Transcript for the NAFA® Leadership Chat July 17th, 2011

moderatorThis is Dana Nichols, I'm moderating today. We'll wait a few more minutes to give people a chance to join and then get started.
moderatorIn the meantime, you can start typing your questions. If you have a question you'd like to ask, send it to me privately by clicking on the moderator icon.
moderatorWell, why don't we go ahead and get started. Folks can join in as we go.
moderatorWelcome to our third Nafa Leadership Chat for 2011. We have Executive Director Lee Heighton and Chair of the Board of Directors Leerie Jenkins. A number of other Board members are also present. Your moderator tonight is Dana Nichols. While Lee and Leerie are preparing their opening remarks, I’ll be glad to start receiving questions. If you have any questions for the Board and Ed, please send them to the moderator to be queued. You can do this by double clicking “moderator” and sending a private chat (or selecting “moderator,” right clicking, and selecting “private Chat”). Questions that are queued will be placed into the main window one at a time. I will let you know when your question is on the floor. Please remember that you’ll need to sign in with your first and last name to be able to ask questions.
Lee_HeightonI would like to welcome everyone who is taking time out from the busy weekends to attend the chat.
leerie.jenkinsWelcome to our July 2011 Nafa leadership chat. I hope this provides a useful forum for people to ask questions, via this live interaction, and also by having the transcripts available. I hope the lack of participants here is a sign people are out playing with their dogs! As always, our proverbial doors are open, and please don't hesitate to contact any of us via email, any time.
moderatorWe don't have any questions currently in the queue.
moderatorWhile we are waiting on questions, I thought I'd give everyone an update on elections for this year.
moderatorAt our Board teleconference this week, we voted to utilize an solely online election this year. Lee had already announced at the Agm this year that we'd likely be headed in that direction.
moderatorSo, towards the end of the summer, beginning of fall, we'll begin a campaign to try to get voters to update their email and other contact informaiton with us.
moderatorIn the meantime, if you know your email address needs to be updated, please feel free to send it in and we'll get it updated right away.
moderatorOur first question: Dirk_elber_nrr: Lee/leerie.. What is the current status of online entries received from this year's can am? And given the mid year financial number that were posted what are the forecasted income numbers expected from entries received by the end of August?
moderatorTo clarify, voters include club owners, regional directors, Board members and Ed.
Lee_HeightonDirk, we have not tallied any numbers as of yet. It is still very early in the process and it would premature to speculate on attendance (or income) at this stage
Nancy_GarciaRegarding what technically is the Nafa mid year financials, there are a lot of factors to that report. Keep in mind that the majority of regular tournament income comes spring and summer tournaments.
Nancy_GarciaAlso, with the way Canam falls in regards to the Nafa fiscal year, all of the Canam income from entries, sponsorship money, etc. hits in one year and the expenses the next so that also has some impact on the offical Nafa P&l statement.
Lee_HeightonBased on the improving economy we are anticipating an excellent attendence again this year
moderatorOur next question is: vanwert_christine: I agree that a "busy weekend" can explain the light turnout. Why doesn't Nafa incorprate some kind of "poll" like to find a date & time where more people can participate?
leerie.jenkinsChris, for scheduling chats, I have tried to alternate each chat, between weekday and weekend days, and between evening and day times. Our last chat was held on a Tuesday evening, March 15, at 8 pm Est. This one is on a Sunday afternoon. For scheduling teleconferences, we usually use
leerie.jenkinsI'll certainlly look into
Lee_HeightonThe chat's are also announced well in advance to give ample opportunity for participants to attend is a good program. Alternating is not so good. I took off from work just to participate in this chat and the time is interfering with flyball practice. I don't feel I am getting the full benefit of Nafa chat with all these distractions.
moderatorWe're also dealing with Board members and participants in 5 different time zones. That makes scheduling very challenging.
Lee_HeightonWhat distractions are you referring to Chris
vanwert_christineRight so wouldn't a poll to find better time slots help the whole organization?
vanwert_christineMy distractions already stated.
leerie.jenkinsWell, i do see some people on here who I haven't seen on a chat before. Duly noted regarding your preferences Chris.
Lee_HeightonI think that it is important to point out that chats offer an opportunity for an open forum where someone can speak to several Bod members at once. Every Bod member is also available by direct email which provides an unparalled level of service to all of our competitors, regardless of their personal schedule
moderatorOur next question: vanwert_christine: Second question: Since Nafa is incorporating an all-electronic voting system, can we go back to Club owners designating their delegates so that more people can participate directly in Nafa elections?
leerie.jenkinsDana, as chair of rules and elections, would you like to speak to that?
moderatorSorry, hit return so soon.
moderatorI'm also head of election committee this year. Chris, I think it's unlikely that we'd return to the process of designating a delegate. That process was changed several years ago for a number of reasons. With our current system, one person has to vote for each club, but those votes can be split and voted differently if there are differing views within a club.
vanwert_christineWhat reasons? Thoses reasons no longer exist when you require that club owners update their email address in order to receive their clubs votes.
moderatorIt would not be practical with the online voting process we are using. We would be charged separately for each voter. There would be no way to predict the cost of the election. And, there are also a number of other administrative issues. However, if you'd like to propose that change, Elections or Rules would be more than happy to take a look at your proposal.
vanwert_christineAnd Nafa doesn't make it easy for a club owner to split their votes. Is Nafa still tracking the voting patterns of clubs? Such as how many split their votes and how many vote as a block?
moderatorWe don't have access to that information with the online system.
vanwert_christineThank you.
moderatorOur next question: Karen.peters: I am a first time chat person, so I hope will understand my lack of knowledge. I'd like to make a few suggestions for Can Am. 1st, in the program that is prepared for Canam, team websites would be a great addition. Also, on the crazy side and in an attempt to make all teams one big group, could we have a t shirt exchange? Any team willing to participate, bring shirts to trade with other teams from all over Us and Canada. Trying to mimic pin trading at the olympics. I would like to see more positive cohesive things to draw us together as a group of flyball dog lovers
leerie.jenkinsI love the T-shirt exchange idea Karen!
leerie.jenkinsAnd welcome, btw.
Lee_HeightonHello Karen, welcome to your first chat. The t-shirt exchange sounds fun. We could announce this idea on the Camam site and on the Nafa News but with all of the other organizational demands, someone else would need to actually coordinate it.
Nancy_GarciaGreat ideas. Karen, feel free to write to me at any time with any sort of ideas you might have. And, that goes for anyone else out there.
moderatorNo further questions in the queue at this time.
moderatorWhile we are discussing Canam, entries close August 19, 2011. Online entries will be open soon. We've also created a yahoogroup for those who are trying to get together to form open teams. The name is Nafacanamopen.
Lee_HeightonU.s. just scored in the Women's World Cup
moderatorOur next question: vanwert_christine: In the interest of keeping handlers in the future out of ethics trouble with Nafa, can you define what exactly is an inappropriate correction on a dog in the ring?
leerie.jenkinsChris, I couldn't begin to give you a laundry list. It's why we have judges, rules, procedures, and processes.
leerie.jenkinsGiven the specific language you used, I'm afraid you are talking about a specific incident, of which I'm sure you're aware, would be entirely innappropriate to discuss.
moderatorI think most of our judges are pretty good about keeping handlers from using harsh corrections in the ring. If there is an allegation of an ethical violation, our rules & bylaws are pretty clear in how that is handled.
leerie.jenkinsI mean, we could talk about black and white answers. But I'm guessing you're referring to more grayish areas.
vanwert_christineI'm not asking for a laundry list. I'm trying to keep honest handlers from making a mistake getting into trouble with Nafa when they feel they have done nothing wrong. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
moderatorWe have one more question in the queue.
leerie.jenkinsIf you have a specific "technique" or potentially overly harsh correction you're considering, i'd consider running by the judges committee.
moderatorOur next question: Ruthvanwert: Is the Canam going to replace our Nafa National Champions?
vanwert_christineI'm not talking about any specific "technique" or potentially overly harsh correction. I'm talking about protecting yourself or your dog and then someone doesn't like it and makes false allegations creating turmoil.
Lee_HeightonRuth, there is no plan for Canam to replace our National Chamionship format at this time
moderatorNo questions pending right now.
Nancy_GarciaI have a question.. wondering if the ladies here on the chat liked the edition of a ladies cut Canam Shirt
Karen.petersYes to ladies cut and V neck
RuthVanWertbut, Lee it seems that the Canam winners are given far more exposure on our web sight and our Nafa champions it takes several clicks to find out who won and never a picture
leerie.jenkinsI do, but I fear in the ladies cut, I would need a 7XL, which I did not see offerred.
Nancy_GarciaThere is a footnote on the site but note that on that Ladies' shirt you should order a sizer larger than what you would normally wear as they run smal.
Nancy_GarciaSorry Leerie!
moderatorYes, plus sized ladies would be a great addition next time. :)
leerie.jenkins8XL then.
Nancy_GarciaBut you can get the regular shirt in Pink!
leerie.jenkinsRuth, perhaps it's a matter of the Nafa champions being such a longstanding thing, and Canam is a bit newer.
vanwert_christineYou know, it is rude to chit chat about t-shirt sizes when someone has posed a serious question about Nafa Champions.
leerie.jenkinsAnd that one is a big tournament, that happens in one weekend, whereas the other is the culmination of a season.
leerie.jenkinsI beg your pardon then.
moderatorI have one other question in the queue.
RuthVanWertDoesn't something that takes 12 months to achieve deserve the same or equal amount of exposure? I fear that the "importance" has directly created some egos that had a negative impact to our region.
moderatorOk, on to our next question: vanwert_christine: Over the last few years, Region 1 has gone from a busy Region with 18 Nafa events to just 6 events for Fy 2011. Why do you think this happened and what does Nafa plan to do about it?
leerie.jenkinsI will be happy to refer your comment to marketing, to perhaps consider how our annual nafa champions are presented.
Karen.petersAs a group of people very dedicated to flyball, let me make a comment as a new person. I have a slow dog and it took me a long time to get her ready. Just as I was getting more involved, the floor fell out in /region 1 and tournaments have stopped. the question of handling may not be a big one to you, but we new people are afraid to breath, afraid to speak out and afraid to get involved. We don't understand all that id going on, but we really want to go to trournaments, be inviolved and have fun. a great diversion from life. I will not be on a national champion team with a labradoodle, but I can sure have fun and would like all this to settle so teams will have torunaments. Maybe I over step my bounds, just want fun and as I say all the time...a ochesive group.
moderatorOk, let me step in here.
moderatorPeople may not make comments on other people's question.
moderatorThis is question to the Board.
moderatorThe Board will reply.
Lee_HeightonChris, you have commented about a loss of tournaments in Region 1. Once answer would be for your Club to host or cohost a Nafa tournament to help increase the overall number in that region.
leerie.jenkinsKaren, i am sorry for your discomfort. As I said in answering the initial question, if someone has a specific concern about appropriate handling of dogs, please send me your concerns, via email, and they will be addressed.
Lee_HeightonSorry, One answer
leerie.jenkinsOr if you'd rather talk on the telephone, email me that and I'm happy to do so.
moderatorWe have no further questions in the queue at this time.
Kris.PickeringI will venture in here and say that positive attitude is as important to human/human relationships as it is to dog/human relationships. Each of us plays this sport because of our love of dogs and the fun of teamwork. I think a real effort to focus on the positive instead of constantly finding fault could be an enormous boost to region 1 and any other region that has gone through turmoil.
leerie.jenkinsIf anyone is considering hosting a Nafa flyball tournament, but is hesitant, due to inexperience, or any reason really, please do contact us and we'll be happy to find you a mentor, and provide whatever assistance we can.
vanwert_christineLee, you know my club has only 3 people. I put in a sanctioning request when I had a venue and enough outside help to host and that request was denied even though it was within all written and published rules governing Nafa sanctioning. I think one answer would be for Nafa to stick to their Corporate Policies and Procedures as written.
moderatorWe have discussed doing a section of the video series on hosting Nafa tournaments.
Lee_HeightonI apologize but have to leave now. My retired Chief passed away suddenly a couple of days ago and I will be leaving shortly for the visitation. I want to thank everyone for attending and offering your input in a spirit of making our sport better for everyone. Have a very enjoyable remainder of your weekend.
vanwert_christinealso, it doesn't answer the question why hosting clubs are no longer hosting Nafa.
Kris.PickeringLee - I am so sorry. Thanks for attneding.
leerie.jenkinsWell Chris, I hope that wasn't your one and only chance to host.
Dave.CollettThanks for staying so ling Lee. Sorry to hear about the Chief.
vanwert_christineI don't know if it is or not. I would like to see some imaginitive efforts here by Nafa to find out what is happening here and what is within Nafa's jurisdiction to change.
moderatorNo other questions pending.
moderatorIf there are no other questions, then perhaps we should start wrapping things up.
moderatorLeerie, do you have any concluding remarks?
leerie.jenkinsThanks everyone for your attendance. Thank you Dana and Dave for moderating. I am serious, if someone has some serious concerns, please don't wait for another chat to express them to us.
moderatorIf there are any rules proposals, we'd sure like to have them ahead of time. When we get things last minute, we often don't have sufficient time to address them at the meeting. So, if you have a proposal, please send it to me as soon as possible. Thanks!
moderatorEnd transcript here.