RI Section Manager Welcome Email to Members

RI ARRL bannerJuly 4, 2023

Hello Rhode Island radio amateurs and Happy Fourth of July!

Thank you for this opportunity to serve as your RI Section Manager. I’m pleased to update you on these exciting initiatives underway:

  • Launch of a new RI Section website, July 5
  • Leadership team update
  • Club Outreach
  • Public Service & ARES® in RI
  • Contesting, Special Events and POTA

The RI Section’s first website: RI-ARRL.org

A team has been hard at work getting our section’s new website ready for release, with an anticipated Beta launch date of July 5th. Many thanks to ARRL New England Division Vice-Director, Phil Temples, K9HI for countless hours over the last busy month helping bring this communication platform to our state. It is a work-in-progress and the website will evolve with your contributed news, updates, and photos to come alive and best represent RI. Stay tuned!

Leadership team update

Several key cabinet positions have been filled, but we have more to match to the right folks. Our Section leadership team is focused on building relationships across the Amateur Radio community and with external partners, and empowering and encouraging the good work across the Section from individuals and clubs. Working together, I know we’ll get those positions filled in time. Here is the cabinet as it stands now:

Rhode Island Section Cabinet

Section Manager – Nancy Austin, KC1NEK

Assistant Section Manager/Public Information Coordinator – Mike Corey, KI1U

Technical Coordinator – Dave Neal, W2DAN

Section Government Liaison – Todd Manni, KB1PGR

Section Traffic Manager – Marcia Forde, KW1U

District Emergency Coordinator Kent County – Jeremy Taylor, K1JST

District Emergency Coordinator Providence County – Barry Noel, W1BSN

District Emergency Coordinator Washington County – Jim Creamer, KB1MAO

Assistant Section Government Liaisons

Two Rhode Island radio amateurs have been asked to assist the SGL in his duties: Ryan Lukowicz, KC1KUF and Andrew Staub, KC1OKI.

North Kingstown High School student Ryan Lukowicz, KC1KUF is a RI State House Page learning the mechanics and negotiation tactics required to get laws enacted. This experiential learning opportunity will prepare Ryan for a planned college major in policy, including laws that impact Amateur Radio and the future of communication and mobility.  Or maybe loop back into his interest in weather, SKYWARN® and meteorology?  All relevant ways to explore possible future career options in the Ocean State’s Blue Economy and our changing climate.

Andrew Staub, KC1OKI is an attorney in Rhode Island familiar with drone/UAV and technology law issues. There are emerging issues already tackled in neighboring Massachusetts, and it is exciting to get ahead of this topic here in Rhode Island with Andrew’s expertise. Andrew also supports the drone team at Portsmouth Emergency Management Agency.

Partner Agency Liaisons

We’re trying something new with the RI Cabinet, adding liaisons to partner agencies and organizations. Initially we’ve identified three liaison positions – RI EMA, RI VOAD, and NWS/SKYWARN. Their input is critical in understanding what is needed from our partners.

Positions still to be filled:

Section Emergency Coordinator – This is a critical position for the Rhode Island Section, and we are working on identifying the person who is the right fit for this role. The relationships built and fostered by the SEC help pave the way for our service back to our communities. Until the SEC position is filled, the DECs will serve on the Section Cabinet.

District Emergency Coordinators for Bristol and Newport Counties.

Section Youth Coordinator

Public Information Coordinator – This position will be filled by Mike Corey, KI1U, with a plan of identifying and recruiting a PIC within a year.

Section Traffic Manager – We are looking for an experienced traffic handler and RI resident to support Interim RI Section Traffic Manager Marcia Forde, KW1U. We will help her recruit and train RI skilled operators for the daily RI-MA Phone/CW NTS 2.0 traffic-handling nets.

This is an exciting time for Amateur Radio across Rhode Island! There is great opportunity, energy, and possibilities as your RI Section leadership team collaborates to forge new pathways and partnerships and lead positive change for the Amateur Radio community in Rhode Island.

And we look forward to including many of you as part of this team as we fill key Section level roles and local positions. If you feel called to step up and serve, please let me or one of the members of the leadership team know.

Biographical Statements and more about your new RI Section leadership team are posted on the RI-ARRL.org website. I’d like to again thank these volunteers for their willingness to serve and offer selfless leadership, guidance, and energy to better the whole ARRL Rhode Island Section.

Club Outreach

Congratulations to the growing ARRL-affiliated clubs in Rhode Island! It was inspiring to reach out and hear twelve clubs are active, despite the pandemic, with five general interest clubs having over 25 members and the largest RI club with almost 150 members. As it is, a number of RI hams already belong to more than one club, and better communication about what each club is like will only strengthen the overall radio ecosystem.

Two active regional contesting clubs are a big draw for many, while the clubs at Brown and the University of Rhode Island are germinating renewed possibilities. EMAs continue to support ARRL affiliated Amateur Radio Clubs among their membership – with positive possibilities for coordination around public safety missions and collaborative partnerships.

The RI-ARRL.org website will be a great place to post news, nets, etc. We look forward to hearing the history, current status and future vision each club has for the coming year.

Best of all will be the possibility in our small state to visit club gatherings in person and listen to all you are doing, need help with, and opportunities you see to collaborate with other RI hams.

Public Service & ARES in RI

Your Amateur Radio license is the doorway into a radio service that has much to offer and will challenge you to learn, grow, and engage in ways that are only limited by your desire and willingness. So, what next? The Public Service section of the RI Section website suggests pathways to learn, grow, engage – and how ARES fits in.


Your license got you in the door, but this house of Amateur Radio has many rooms….go explore!

Contesting, Special Events & POTA

The 13 Colonies Special Event is underway now from July 1 until midnight July 7th. This fun, patriotic get-on-the-air Special Event is a favorite for many. The RI Section thanks those dozen or so skilled hams who dedicate their time and skill to operate the RI event call sign, K2C, and brave the pile ups to give a small state a big presence in this event.

This year’s operators include: W1KMA – Chris – Warwick,  RI – QSL Manager – SSB & Digital; W2DAN – Dave – Tiverton, RI – SSB; W1WIU – Jim – North Scituate, RI – SSB & CW; WA1BXY – Don – Little Compton, RI – SSB, CW & Digital; KC1BXY – Melissa – Little Compton, RI – SSB & Digital; AJ1DM – John – Westerly, RI –  CW; N1KM – Mark – Bristol, RI – SSB, CW, Digital & Satellite; W1KDA – Ron – Warwick, RI – SSB & Digital; KI1U – Mike – Coventry, RI – CW & Digital; N1QDQ – Pete – Westerly, RI – Satellite; N6RFM – Robert – Bristol, RI – Satellite; N2FYA – John – Mystic, CT – (working Satellite in RI); KC2BNW – Jon – Mahopac, NY (camping in RI ) – QRP; KC2BNX – Michael- Mahopac, NY (camping in RI ) – QRP

W1AW/1 July 26 – August 1

Rhode Island will go on the air as W1AW/1 as part of the ARRL’s year long Volunteers on the Air event (VOTA). You are invited to be one of the operators that makes this happen. If you would like the chance to operate as W1AW/1 from your station, or would like some help being matched up with another station for the event, please contact Mike Corey, KI1U.

POTA – Activate All RI September 6-10 (NCRC)

Jim Garman, KC1QDZ has only been licensed a short while but fell in love with the popular Parks on the Air (POTA) program. He has brought together operators from across RI and nearby Massachusetts, along with POTA top operators to do a first of its kind, activate all 52 parks in RI over five days this September. This event is being hosted by the Newport County Radio Club and is only one example of new opportunities for cross-club networking and collaboration. Stay tuned!

Happy July 4th, 2023!

Twenty-first century amateur radio is so many things: an amazing and diverse hobby, a gateway for technology and twenty-first century upskilling, and a model collaborative community based on sharing the frequency and mentoring others. Between our new leadership team, ARRL members across Rhode Island, and our robust clubs we have a chance to collaborate on where our field organization and our programs may go, and how to help promote and grow this amazing Service in our state. Thank you for your support and stay tuned!

73, Nancy, KC1NEK


Nancy Austin, KC1NEK

Rhode Island Section Manager