Program for April 6, 2023 Meeting is....

Meet Rob Orr, recruiter of the 160 teams of amateur radio operators who provide communications for the famed Chicago Marathon. This in-person presentation will provide insight into the new direction his efforts are taking.

After spending years trying to find a good place to use his ham radio experience and background, Rob Orr, K9RST, stumbled into an opportunity to serve on the organizing team to provide ham radio operators for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, now beginning their 15th year!  

Rob will discuss the multiple paths he has taken to get involved with public service including serving as a Red Cross Volunteer or a FEMA volunteer with Illinois iTech’s Communication trailers. The path was not always straight or rewarding but the place that has been created for the ham radio team at the Chicago Marathon seems a great fit for our hobby and skills. 

He will explain the role ham radio plays, how we recruit and train people for this event. 

He will also introduce a new service club he is forming with several other hams called, Ham Radio Chicago.  The hope is that this group will provide valuable resources to other clubs as they pursue public service events in their community.  This talk is not about Emergency Communications, but rather he will describe how public service events (parades, bike race fund raisers, and other events like the Marathon), are the best place for us to work and promote our hobby to our communities.

An Extra level ham radio operator, Orr was President of the North Shore Radio Club for 10 years and served as the Field Day Captain there for more than 15 years.  In the pre-COVID years, his group consistently scored #1 or #2 in the State for their Category.  He volunteered with the American Red Cross’ ECRV program for 12 years and with the DuPage County FEMA team that managed the regional based iTech’s trailer. 

Orr has served as a volunteer for countless public service events, like bike activities, runs and parades and is the founding lead for ham radio communication team for the Chicago Marathon.  

A self-employed video producer, hed has worked in more than 80 countries for a variety of clients and projects.  He continues to work in this field and recently has been focusing on climate issues.




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