Transcript for the NAFA® Leadership Chat June 6th, 2010
moderator I'd like to welcome everyone out to the Nafa leadership chat this afternoon. This chat is one additional avenue to provide to the Nafa leadership on htings you like or don't like or to get questions answered. When we don't have chats running, oyur questions and comments are always welcome via email, letter or phone. I'll let Lee and Leerie (our Executive Director and Chairman of the Board respectively) open with any comments they may like. I have no questions pending at this time.
Lee_Heighton I would like to thank everyone in attendance for taking time out of their Sunday afternoon to attend this chat. I will only be able to attend the chat for about an hour as I have to work this evening.
leerie.jenkins Thanks and welcome everyone. Questions are always welcome.
moderator In that spirit, our first question comes from Dirk Elber: so can we get an update on this years Canam planning. Given the concern during previous chats on the profitablily of this tournament how are we coming along with additional sponsors (beyond those already shown on the website)? Are entries starting to come in as expected to fill 6 rings?
nancy.garcia To date I have identified over 10,000 of monies from various sources
leerie.jenkins Nancy has been doing a great job with sponsors...and the flyball public has really responded well to all of the various levels of sponsorship
nancy.garcia I have a lot of potential sponsors who have indicated they are still considering the idea and/or working on a proposal to give to Nafa. In addition, I have been contacted by many flyball individuals regarding division sponsorship interest
nancy.garcia I spend every lunch hour calling or emailing poential sponsors!
Lee_Heighton Dirk, it's still pretty early to actually be recieving entries but we are getting a lot of feedback from teams letting us know that they will be attending. These are teams that are in addition to the ones that attended last year
nancy.garcia I can say that I know that the number of clubs comeing from Texas alone are doubling this year.
moderator (No other questions in queue at this time)
leerie.jenkins I know with my club's big tourney in June, we closed recently...5 days before the closing date we had 5 or 7 entries...by closing we had 77, so I think most wait until the last moment.
Lee_Heighton We have also been approached by a group offering a matching sponsorship to any non-commercial sponsors, such as the Divisional sponsors, up to $5000.00
linda_bullard the votem item regarding a discrepancy in the voting process has not been addressed or resolved to my knowledge and the current voting season has already begun. how is the original discrepancy in the process being handled from the last note?
leerie.jenkins I'll defer to Lee since I was a candidate.
Kris_Pickering Discrepancy - explain, please.
Kris_Pickering are you referencing Dale's decision to bundle the ballots?
moderator Our next question comes from Linda Bullard: the votem item regarding a discrepancy in the voting process has not been addressed or resolved to my knowledge and the current voting season has already begun. how is the original discrepancy in the process being handled from the last note?
linda_bullard the original item was on the jan 15 bod agenda under new business
Lee_Heighton Linda, can you define the actual discrepency you are referring to.
linda_bullard as stated on the Jan 15 agenda: the rules/policies/procedures should fully & clearly explain the voting process specifically addressing the fact that splitting votes is available and what exactly it means. combined with the fact that the paper ballot and the online ballot do not contain the same information in support of the voting process by both providing a method & instruction for how to split a vote and that some votes may have been case without this knowledge by the voter.
linda_bullard ooops, may have been cast (not case)
Lee_Heighton The ballot issue was covered pretty much on the flyball list. As soon as any concern was called to our attention, we fixed it and that occurred before balloting ended. Dale wrote a long note to the general flyball list explaining his reasons for providing just a single code instead of multiple print ballots on the delegate ballots he sent out.
moderator (No other questions pending at this time - you can queue a question by sending a private message to moderator)
linda_bullard this is not about bundling ballots
Lee_Heighton To my knowledge we have not been contacted by any delegates expressing that they had diffuculty actually casting their votes . Dale can you confirm this.
moderator That is correct
linda_bullard this is not about any difficulty casting a vote
Kris_Pickering hi Scott
Lee_Heighton Linda, I apologize then because I don't understand your concern. The process on casting the votes was clearly defined and no one has expressed having a problem actually casting thier vote. Where is the discrepency.
linda_bullard thewritten rules do not say what splitting votes are and the paper method & online method did not give the same instructions or ability as well as some votes could have been cast before some folks new splitting a part of the process and they could do so
linda_bullard this was spelled out very well in the Jan 15 bod agenda item
Lee_Heighton No one has contacted us that they had any difficulties in understanding or completing the process.
linda_bullard that could be because it was on the agenda and folks believed it would be addressedd
Lee_Heighton Your request for a rule change was on the agenda. An agenda item does not necessarily mean there will be a rule change.
linda_bullard i was told it was going to be a rules clarification, then i was told it would be a by-law review, then it disappeared from print completely and has still not been addressed or resolved
Lee_Heighton It was discussed at the meeting as an agenda item and this will be reflected in the minutes.
moderator (No other questions pending at this time - you can queue a question by sending a private message to moderator). I should also have announced at the start of the chat that your moderator today is Dale Smith.
linda_bullard so there are approximately 5% of the votes from new clubs that do not know about splitting votes that were not potentially included
Lee_Heighton Where did you come up with this percentage, I was not aware that we had this item tracked anywhere
linda_bullard how is this an acceptable way to vote; looking at the nafa database and counting new clubs in '08-'09
Lee_Heighton We have not received any information that anyone had difficulty. To estimate this with no actual evidence is irresponsible.
linda_bullard i spoke with many new clubs who have no idea what splitting a vote is
linda_bullard new clubs sometimes don't know they don't know something the rules should say something about splitting votes so the new clubs are not left out of the process
Sharon_Harrell As one of the new clubs in 08-09 I can promise you that we were not confused (nor did we wish to split our vote)
linda_bullard that's cool, Sharon
moderator (No other questions pending at this time - you can queue a question by sending a private message to moderator).
linda_bullard what will nafa do to rectify this issue?
Kris_Pickering Linda, votes aren't split. That is a misnomer. Club owners get delegate votes. The number of votes is as caculated in Article Vii of the bylaws, quite clearly. The revised bylaws will group these provisions but the earning of delegate votes is clearly stated in the bylaws. The split vote discussion came about as a result of the issue that came up re Dale sending one paper ballot listing the votes earned. When someone raised it as a potential problem, we fixed it as quickly as possible so any club owner who wanted to divvie up the delegate votes could.
Lee_Heighton We are looking into options such as an outside company for online voting.
linda_bullard right and in the meantime it was confirmed that some votes could have been cast before the correction was put in place
Lee_Heighton that was not confirmed as far as we know.
linda_bullard also, the issue disappeared and nothing was done to correct it; yes, Lee, Dale confirmed it in an email when he agreed to place the item on the Jan 15 bod meeting
Sharon_Harrell Is it possible to move on from this issue? Last year's election is over, apparently without reported harm, and none of the tallies was close at all as I recall. I found, even as a new club owner, the directions to be quite crystal clear, but possibly the print and email directions could be proofread by a couple different folks before they are sent out next fall
Lee_Heighton This issue came up at the same time we had asked an outside attorney for a basic health check up of our corporate documents and bylaws. As part of that project we asked her to look at the election conduct issues you have raised. Since Nafa is a Michigan directorship entity, she prepared a resolution for us which was unanimously passed at the May meeting confirming the Agm vote
moderator We place many letters to the Nafa Bod on the agenda as appropriate. That's not a confirmation of an issue - just letting you know its been placed on the agenda. Its the only real way for the Board to address a topic - during a Board meeting.
linda_bullard if splitting votes is a misnomer as someone just said, then why was there a process implemented online to be able to split them but not the paper method?
Lee_Heighton This was explained at the beginning of this thread.
Kris_Pickering because a club owner asked to be able to divide up the delegate votes earned.
Kris_Pickering we accommodated that.
moderator The item that was placed on the website was to split your ballot - not your votes - as Kris described. And it was called "split your ballot"
linda_bullard and a club owner who may not know they can split their ballot but already cast theirs?
Karen_Oleson A responsible club owner who may not have known, and wished to do so, after casting their ballot would have contacted Nafa(r).
Lee_Heighton Again, we have no one that contacted us with this question. We can spend countless hours debating hypothetical issues that we have no evidence even occurred. I would prefer that we focus on actual topics that are productive
moderator Given that we're going to lose Lee to his work commitment, I'm going to post the next question. From Kris Pickering: I have a question: What can we, as a group, do to get more new teams and new players interested in flyball and learning it?
linda_bullard again some new club owners may not know what they do not know.
linda_bullard there is nothing in the rules to address this issue and it is not that difficult to explain it better in order to help new clubs
Lee_Heighton Kris, thanks for a great question. I have to walk away from the computer to get ready for work and will check in one last time before leaving
moderator I think the best way to get folks interested in flyball is for them to see it. Once they see the excitement - of the people and the dogs - they want to learn more. The next step is getting them an opportunity to see that Their Dog can do it - while it can look really complicated, it can be taught (at least the basics, in a step by tep fashion and most dogs can get it.
leerie.jenkins linda, as lee said, we are looking into options for outside firms to conduct online voting for us...we will certainly take your request of "make instructions clearer" into consideration. Thanks for your input.
moderator To me, this means events where the public can see flyball - especially the public that owns dogs.
Kris_Pickering Do most people come to flyball from other dogsports? I know I got there via obedience. But I'm not sure about everyone else.
leerie.jenkins I got there via disc-dogs
Kris_Pickering It seems like such a natural for people with high drive dogs that otherwise are entertaining themselves in not-so-good ways.
nancy.garcia As part of my marketing responsibilities I am also trying to find opportunities to advertise our sport. Lee will be a guest on "Dog Talk Radio" in early July. We will send out an announcement about that later this month with the details if anyone would like to listen.
Sharon_Harrell Although many new clubs are formed by people who are not new to flyball, as owner of a relatively new club, I do think it would be nice and helpful to get something other than a Nafa number when a new club is sanctioned. Maybe a couple of pages about welcome to the sport, this is your Rd, this is who your Board of Directors are, this is when we vote, etc. Something more than just 'you're 805'
nancy.garcia Great idea Sharon.
Kris_Pickering that is a terrific idea.
leerie.jenkins Good idea
moderator We used to at least mail a rulebook, before the age of online everything....
leerie.jenkins Nancy, I'd like to refer that suggestion to the Marketing Committee
nancy.garcia Already on it!! - Well, as of a few seconds ago. Lol
Kim_Davis it's great that we (the Nafa commnunity) will be attempting a new world record to be entered into the Guiness Book of World Records for the largest flyball tournament at the Canam Classic! And I think setting this record will go a long way in getting flyball more in the public spotlight! Do you all agree? Will we make the 500 on Saturday? From the response of possible teams coming and those #s entered last year, it certainly seems so!
leerie.jenkins I am tickled and excited about that for sure! If I was a betting man, I'd bet on the "over"
Kris_Pickering One thing I think we could also do better out is enlisting existing clubs to reach out to other dog groups in their areas to give flyball a try. There used to be more flyball demos at sporting events and the like.
leerie.jenkins The other thing I hope people will be thinking about, is our new Judge of the Year award. Please think about who deserves the honor, and nominate! (and vote)
leerie.jenkins Honour, for you north of the border.
moderator (No other questions pending at this time - you can queue a question by sending a private message to moderator).
Dana.Nichols Nominations for the new Judge of the Year award, as well as Hof, Mvp, and Board of Directors close July 31.
nancy.garcia Part of our press release program for Canam is that we are going to make available to all clubs a standard press release that they can send out to thier local press markets. Something to the effect that your club will be traveling X miles to attend the Nafa Canam Classic where you will be taking part in attemping to set a new World Record for Largest Flyball Tournament
moderator With no other questions pending, I gess its time to wrap this chat up. I'd like to thiank everyone who took some time out of your Sunday afternoon to join us and participate. We need and value your input - and while the chat is only one method available - it provides a niquely interactive opportunity to communicate. We'll have our next chat date out soon. I'm sure Leerie and Lee may also have some closing comments.
leerie.jenkins Thanks for the suggestions and comments. To anyone reading the transcript, please feel free to email us with any additional comments, questions, etc.,... Have a great day and hopefully see you in the lanes soon!
Lee_Heighton I'm off to work. Thank you everyone that attended.
moderator Transcript ends