Two big changes in the first part of this year at ARRL. Chief Operating Officer Harold Kramer, WJ1B, retired as of March 1; no successor has yet been named. Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, takes over as the League's new CEO on April 18, succeeding Dave Sumner, K1ZZ, who also retired. Gallagher joined the staff at the end of February so he could hit the ground running once Sumner's retirement took effect.
Across the pond, the Radio Society of Great Britain announced in early April that Steve Thomas, M1ACB, will become its new General Manager on April 11, following the retirement of Graham Coomber, G0NBI, after four years in the post.
Comedian Garry Shandling, who used to be KD6OY, passed away on March 24 at age 66. According to the ARRL Letter, Shandling was active as a ham until 2009, but as KQ6KA, a license issued to him using a pseudonym of Dave Waddell.
And the original "Elmer" became a Silent Key in March as well. Elmer P. "Bud" Frohardt, W9DY, of Madison, Wisconsin, was the inspiration for a column written in 1971 by then QST DX Editor Rod Newkirk, W9BRD (SK), about the need to mentor new hams. "Too frequently one hears a sad story in this little nutshell," Newkirk wrote, according to the ARRL Letter, " 'Oh, I almost got a ticket, too, but Elmer, W9XYZ, moved away and I kind of lost interest.' We need those Elmers. All the Elmers … are the birds who keep this great game young and fresh."