I have been reading this thread continuously, and have been agonizing over how to respond. Much of what is presented here is good banter. I am, of course, just fine with all of that. I do feel we have collected enough information to take to our other club officers and to make a definitive decision.
Unfortunately, one particular person on this thread has crossed the line. His comments are based on pure speculation. And I will tell you he is nearly 100% WRONG in those allegations. I am sorry, but phrasing questions with "Maybe" at the beginning and a question mark at the end does not make the statement anything other than the slanderous statement that it is.
I will choose to deal with gbraker's comments privately with him. Strangely, a person who appears to have so many deep level concerns has never emailed me, pulled me aside at a show, or picked up the phone and called. My contact information is all over this web site and published in every Brass Bell. I have to question the intentions of someone who chooses to engage in this manner as his first line of questioning.
For all of your benefit, this club does have a mission statement, articles of incorporation, and a governing body. We just happen to have a governing body that is not all that active on Boat Buzz. We also have a bank account, keep meticulous accounting records (all member related transactions are double entered into an SQL database, membership management system and Quickbooks. Monthly statements are reviewed by an independent accountant who prepares our year end return.
This organization follows GAP accounting practices, files an annual return and annually defends its non profit status. We are incorporated in the state of Florida, as we have been for over 25 years.
Admittedly, we have been terrible about sharing this information with our members. Speaking absolutely candidly, this comes more from our grass roots origins, more so than any intentional effort to not share. This is something that we are putting at a high level for 2012.
I can assure you that my time here is—and always has been—in the best interest of this club...often at the expense of my business, my family, my personal activities at shows, and so on.
If any of you feel the need to know more, email me or better yet, pick up the phone. I do have an 8-5 job. My company Basler Design Group has been around for 22 years....about 16 years prior to me having any involvement with this club. I do the best at picking up the phone when I am not in meetings.
I am a happily married man with six kids. My two oldest are in college...one in the Army, and one in the Air Force. I have directed my own design firm for 22 years, and have been working in the marketing niche for nearly 30. I am an adjunct professor at one local college, and a full time instructor at a local university. I have been teaching in addition to my business responsibilities for over three years. My firm has long term relationships with many of our clients. I have been working with John Deere Corporate, for example, for 23 years. My admin person that we employed (up until 2010) had been with us 18 years. My other employees for nearly as long. One of my clients, is a defense contractor requiring extensive background checks for security clearance on highly confidential projects. Both colleges where I teach require background checks and drug testing.
Somehow, through all of this, I must have fooled every person, organization, accountant, the IRS and chemical test. This is the only way that I can possibly be the person that gbraker speculates.
I can assure you that review of our by-laws and and of our disclosure is in process. We are working towards the ideal that many of you suggest.
To run an organization with an Antique & Classic Boat Society, Inc-like structure and governance is very time-consuming and expensive. To serve as an Antique & Classic Boat Society, Inc. Board member takes personal cash...and lots of it. Ironically the ACBS board often gets reviewed as "out of touch" "elitist" and "acting not in membership's best interest." And these comments are directed at persons who are volunteering their time, and using thousands of dollars of personal funds to attend quarterly meetings, etc. I personally know several persons who have turned consideration for an ACBS officer role, because the time and monetary commitment was too heavy.
I asked two simple questions by polls on this forum? Why? Because I wanted to hear from you. And many, on this very forum, said, "why don't you poll our members?" "What we need is a poll."
Mission accomplished. The poll will be closed, and the ratios, relative to the poll responses will be taken into consideration as we move forward.
Again, any of you who have questions or concerns, please pick up the phone and call. This notion of collecting everyone's email addresses in case this forum goes down? Honestly, I do not know where this even comes from.
And my final point. I have not taken this organization hostage. I was asked, by Wilson Wright, our prior executive director to take this club and move it forward. Since spring of 2006, we have introduced Boat Buzz, an SQL-based membership management system, the online archive, the Wiki, an online Hull Registry, Tradingdock.org, and online member directory, and so on. These things did not exist prior to 2006. They have happened since the start of my involvement with the club, and they have been available to you all ever since.
Somehow this discussion about value, dues, and self reflection got inverted into malicious attacks based on 100% speculation.
I will state this publicly. Gbraker's comments go well past playing devils advocate. His comments are based on pure speculation and are absolutely slanderous.