Transcript for the NAFA® Candidate Chat November 12th, 2014

emma.makThis is Emma Mak. I'm on the election committee and the moderator for this evening's candidate chat. Leerie Jenkins and Kim Davis are assisting. Thanks to those joining us in the first candidate chat for the 2014/2015 Nafa Election. the Board of Directors Candidates are: Steve Corona, Neil Flood, Sam Ford and Dale Smith. Steve, Neil, and Dale are participating in this chat.
emma.makIf you have a question for the candidates, please send them in a private message to me. I'll queue the questions and provide them to the candidates. we will now take opening remarks from the candidates.
emma.makI have two questions in the queue.
Steve CoronaI'd like to thank everyone for taking time out of their busy schedules to join us this evening. Thank you to Nafa for hosting this chat and giving myself and my fellow nominees the opportunity to express our views this evening.
dgsmithGood evening and thanks for joining the chat this evening. I look forward to continuing to serve Nafa in the coming years if re-elected. I've enjoyed my time on the Board of Directors and really enjoy meeting and working with competitors and volunteers from all over the Us and Canada.
Neil.FloodThanks everyone! It's been a pleasure to be a apart of Nafa for long. i'd be honoured to be a member of the board and give back to the community that i have enjoyed so much.
emma.makQuestion from Dana Hanson: This year's ballot brings us four candidates that I have neatly compartmentalized into two camps: two whose past service offers the comfort of an organization that continues on a stable course in steady hands and two whose newness to this level of service offers the appeal of a fresh perspective and perhaps a somewhat altered course. I presume each of you know which camp I've put you in. Please tell us what about your qualifications, experience and character defies this pigeon holing.
emma.makI have two questions in the queue.
Neil.Floodgood question. While I could be a new member to the board, and I could bring a different perspective to the issues that they face, I have been around the sport for quite some time. I start training back in 1997, and since then have raced for two clubs in two different regions. I have had the opportunity to travel to many different regions and see how different our sport can be. I have an appreciation and understanding for hwo the sport has evolved and matured. While I wasn't on the board during that time, I certainly feel i have a very broad range of experience in our fantastic sport during that time.
dgsmithI've served on the Nafa Board of Directors over the past 17 years and have seen a number of things change and some stay the same. To assume that someone is for "staying the course" because they've served before I think is a mischaracterization. I believe I look at each issue or idea that comes before the Board and weigh its impact on Nafa as a whole. I've had the good fortune to travel to many areas in Nafa and speak to folks with many different points of view. I think my experience and perspective is valuable as we look to extend this organiztion into the future. At the same time, my background in technology keeps me always looking for new ideas or new approaches that could make Nafa better or stronger for the future.
Steve CoronaWhile it is correct that you could view me as the newbie to this level of service my experience within Nafa as a Judge, Regional Director, and non-board member of the Judge's Committee has given me insight into the operational aspects of the Nafa Bod. Outside of Nafa, I am a small business owner with the responsibility of managing a small company. This runs parallel with Nafa being a business and having to face the same challenges in this economy. I agree that my views may be "new" but a fresh perspective on prior views may not be a bad thing. I respect the rules and policies we have in place but am willing to always look at new ways of doing things for the betterment of our dogs, competitors and Nafa as a whole.
emma.makQuestion from Dana Hanson: I'm not sure what it's like being a Board member the rest of the year, but I've seen everyone in action at Canam, and these folks work there behinds off at that event. By now you've probably told us about your qualifications, now tell us why you want to serve.
bcsamfinally made it, Sam
emma.makSam Ford has joined the conversation.
bcsamlet me catch up on them and I will
dgsmithI want to conitnue to serve because I love this sport - the dogs, the competitors and the competition - and I think I still have some things to offer to Nafa. There are times, like Canam, when its hard work; but there are also times we really get to enjoy being a part of this great organization. I've had a number of different jobs for Nafa over the years, and even with all the work, I've enjoyed every minute of it. If I didn't I guess I'd be crazy to still be here.
Steve CoronaIt is an absolute honor to represent Nafa and I get true enjoyment from being actively involved with this organization. I am one of those people who enjoys staying active and putting my energies where they can be best utilized. I enjoy seeing people have a wondeful time at tournaments and any role that I can have in making this sport a great experience for all those involved would be a pleasure.
Neil.FloodI have done this sport for a long time, and it's really become a central part of our family. This sport has given so much to myself and my family, and I think it's important to try and give back and help all the people that have made this a great organization. I have seen a lot of things over the years, some large, some small, that I could see being changed to hopefully help grow and improve the sport. The best way to help impact that change is to offer my service to Nafa.
emma.makWe'll give Sam a few moments to catch up on the first two questions.
emma.makI have two questions in the queue.
bcsamI think putting us into camps is a bit difficult. Each of the years I have served I have tried to be on the cutting edge of the "new items" in Nafa flyball. Being involved with Open class, being involved with Veterans class, being involved with lowering jump heights are all forward thinking ideas that have helped Nafa flyball continue to be the best sport around. So being "long of tooth" doesn't mean you are for the status quo.
emma.makQuestion from Leerie Jenkins: Is there an area of service or pet project that interests you most (i.e. on which committees would you like to serve)?
emma.makI have one question in the queue.
bcsamNow why do I do this? Because Nafa needs a business perspective. People have different talents and we need all of this group to provide their own talents to make this thing work. Great dog trainers, great racers are needed but so are people with a business background. All contribute to making it successful. So I serve to bring my small talents to a sport I enjoy.
bcsamI like serving where I am needed most. Marketing, Finance, Rules, are all things that I love to contribute to. All are needed for the success of the whole.
dgsmithNo pet projects for me right now. I certainly enjoy helping Nafa to make good use of technology, but I enjoy other areas as well. I enjoy serving on technology, judges, rules and finance the most I think.
Steve CoronaI am interested in advancing and growing the sport of flyball so the marketing committee is of interest to me. Of course the Judge's and Rules committee play into my strengths and I would be happy to serve on any of these committees. A pet projest tha I would like to put some energy into is our Junior Handler program as they are the future of our sport.
Neil.FloodI would certainly contribute as best I could to any, but of most interest me, or perhaps where i think my skillset is best suited would be rules, judges and techology type areas. I like the direction where Nafa is going with a lot fo the techology, and I think i could help keep it moving and expand more of those areas.
emma.makQuestion from Dana Hanson: Nine participants in tonight's chat so far. Many club owners and participants prefer to say out of the polcitics of flyball. What ideas do you have for the future or tools have you used in the past to engage people? -- bring them to new levels of commitment and caring for the sport.
emma.mak0 question in the queue
bcsamI think it is important for people to know what we think is the future of Nafa flyball. I see us moving forward with technology. I love some of the innovations we have seen at Canam. We need to continue that. I think we need to continue working on making tournaments easier to host. I see us working hard at keep the cost in control for all participants. So those are things that I see the future board working on.
Neil.FloodGood question. I think one of the things i have observerd, is that we have a number of ways or communicating with our membership, both club owners and just participants, but they are all separate streams of communication. I think we use different methods of communication, but we need to integrate these tools together and make it easier for paritipants and club owners to access our information. A perfect example is that we have a Facebook page, a mailing list and a website, but they aren't really connected that well. We should make it easy extremely easy to get to the facebook page and the mailing list from the webpage.
Steve CoronaI believe one of the main issues that needs to be addressed is that their opinions do matter and are taken into consideration when new rules, policies, etc. are brought about. Tools such as Survey Monkey may help engage the flyball community in getting more involved in these decisions.
dgsmithSome people just enjoy competing, other find multiple ways to enjoy our sport - be it judging, serving on the Board, being a regional director or maybe hostinbg a tournament. I think more important than getting more people to participate is ensuring that people feel their voice will be heard if they have something to say. Not every idea or concern that comes forward end in the way the originator wuld hope. But its important that we listen. Sometimes a great idea is born from the most unlikely casual comment, question or complaint. As far as tools, I think we should continue to support a broad range of options - whatever people are comfortable using.
emma.makQuestion from Leerie Jenkins: What specific change would you like to see in Nafa?
emma.mak0 questions in the queue.
emma.makAnyone else have questions?
dgsmithI don't have a specific agenda going into the new year. I'd like to see our sport continue to grow - to help more competitors find our sport and get hooked as we all were. I'd like to make competing and hosting and judging (and all the other roles in Nafa) more enjoyable. Any idea that advances Nafa is what I'm watching out for.
bcsamI think we need to continue our efforts to make hosting easier. The program to do schedules is a step forward. electronic scoring a step forward. More lights parked in more regions is a step forward. But the future of Nafa the business is for us to have more tournaments. So anything we can do to make things go smoother is a big plus
Neil.FloodI have a few things i would like to change. The most specific is the World Record rule. I think it merits more discussion and considerations. I don't think its Nafa most import issue, I think Finances and Marketing will always be more important, but that specific issue jumps out at me as something I think new discussion should occur around.
Steve CoronaI think a closer look at how we could possibly speed up racing deserves some attention. There have been some guidelines given to the judges to assist with this and we are headed in the right direction but there is room for improvement.
emma.makCandidates please prepare your closing remarks.
emma.makA reminder that the ballots will be sent out electronically December 1. Club Owners, Regional Directors, Approved/supervising Judges and Board Members are eligible to vote. Please ensure that Nafa has your latest email address by November 23rd to ensure you receive your ballots. If you need to update your contact data, please email changes to If you'd like to confirm your email address and number of votes, you have two options: 1. Go to and input your name and email address. You'll receive a confirmation email with your number of votes. 2. View your contact info and vote count through your Nafa website account If you don't already have an account you can go here:
bcsamI think that no matter what Ideas we have the core issue for the future board is whether we can keep Nafa on a sound financial footing. Everything spins off our doing good business at the top. The best rules, the equipment, the best people need a steady hand with the finances so we can do all of the things that make Nafa flyball great. So my commitment is to keep Nafa sound and to improve our sport when we have the opportunity.
Steve CoronaThank you to everyone that submitted their though provoking questions this evening. It would be an honor to work for you on the Nafa Bod and seek ways to improve this sport we all love. I hope to be given the opportunity to put forth my talents as an individual as well as a competitor. Thank you again to Nafa for hosting this evening and I look forward to our remaining chats.
Neil.Floodi would just like to thank Nafa, and our membership at large for the opportunity. I think our board has done a tremendous job and I would be honoured to be able to help in anyway that i can. i think we have an excellent set of candidates. I would love for the opportunity to help build the sport and keep it moving in the right direction.
dgsmithThank you all for taking the time this evening to participate. And thanks to those that are taking the time afterwards to read the transcript. I appreciate the opportunity to answer any questions in this forum. If you think of something later on, always feel free to drop me a note - email is the easiest way to find me. Thank you again for your time this evening and I hope you'll allow me to continue to serve this sport and all of its great participants for another three years.
emma.makThanks to the candidates, nomination and election committee members, and all the Nafa participants. Any questions about the election should be directed to Have a good night.
dgsmithG'nite all
bcsamThank you all.
Neil.Floodthanks everyone
Steve CoronaThank you!