The following article is reprinted from the March-April 1970 edition of the SAWE Journal, published by the Society of Aeronautical Weight Engineers, Inc.

The first meeting of the “Sierra Madre” Chapter of SAWE convened on January 28, 1970 in the L-1011 Room of the Hollywood-Burbank Airport restaurant. With over 50 signatures on the Petition for Chapter Status and 19 members present, the meeting was called to order by the Acting President, Jack Hedger. A brief description of the institution of the new chapter was given by Jack Hedger. The National Conference had many times discussed this situation and each time it was felt that a second chapter in the Los Angeles area was needed so a greater participation in the organization could take place. Therefore the National Office asked the Los Angeles Director, Al Robinson, to initiate steps for this. The main purpose of this meeting was to organize the “Sierra Madre” Chapter and nominate officers. It was stated that no boundaries have been defined in the SAWE National By-Laws, only statement on forming a new chapter is that it must have a minimum of 15 members, and they must be present to conduct business.

Discussion of the names to be put before the members was held and it was unanimously agreed that the names of Sierra Madre Chapter, North Los Angeles Chapter, San Fernando Chapter, and California Valley Chapter would be submitted to the charter members for choice. Members in attendance voted unanimous appreciation for Acting President Jack Hedger’s work and efforts in organizing the new chapter. Results of the balloting are noted below. The elected officers will serve until 1971.

  • Director – Arthur A. Baker
  • President – Frank W. Johnson
  • Vice President – James B. Partida
  • Secretary – Yash Manchanda
  • Treasurer – Terry M. Jacobs

The result of the ballot for name of the new chapter was a surprise to many. Instead of “Sierra Madre” the members elected to choose the name SAN FERNANDO VALLEY CHAPTER, which it will be. At this meeting also, an important main speaker was Mr. E. A. Rossman. Ed Rossman was one of the early aeroplane weight control engineers who, in 1938, decided that the group then meeting informally should form themselves into an official engineering society. From these beginnings came the Society of Aeronautical Engineers in 1941. Ed noted that the birthplace of the SAWE was just about exactly at the same place as that of the new SAN FERNANDO VALLEY CHAPTER.

Addressing himself to the problem of name changes, Ed voiced opinion on the subject of weight vs. mass control, he could see no reason why the society should switch to mass and mass control. The main difference between the society now and then, according to Mr. Rossman, is the emphasis and prestige now accorded weight engineering by the aerospace industry. Ed indicated that weight engineers of today are fortunate in that management recognized the weight problem and the role of the weight engineer in solving the problem.