North American Flyball Association

dgsmithJust so you all know how this will flow - probably old hat for many of you now - we'll start with an opening comment from each candidate. Perhaps their statement will even spur some additional questions. Next we'll move to questions. You can submit a question to me by double-clicking on dgsmith in the upper left corner and sending a private chat message. I'll let you know when your question moves into the main window. You are free to interact with the candidates in the main window while your question is on the floor. Please try to stick to the one question - if you think of others you can always send them to me privately to be queued.
dgsmithLee indicated on the second chat that he would be unable to join any of the future chats due to work commitments.
dgsmithAlso, I received an email from Glenn indicating that he would be unable to connect for the chat this evening. He said he is out of town traveling and won't have any internet connectivity. He asked that I convey the following as well "I will be pleased to respond to any emailed questions after the fact when I return home on Friday. I can be reached at"
Zachary_ChernikHello everyone and thanks again for being part of this final chat this evening. I hope that we have a productive discussion this evening.
LisaPNo fancy statement tonight -- hi everybody and thanks for coming.
Dana.NicholsGood evening. These chats have been a great way to get to know everyone. Thanks for joining us.
dgsmithOur first two questions were leftovers from late in the last chat.
dgsmithGlenn has spoken a lot about what he has done on BSL in Ontario. I'm wondering how each of you feels about BSL (breed Specific Legislation) as it relates to flyball and what you've done or would do not only in your home region but elsewhere across NAFA.
LisaPIn Charlotte NC, where I live, there was a proposal brought before the city council in 2004 to ban pit bulls in the city. There were similar proposals brought in several other areas nearby, like Wilmington NC (near Myrtle Beach). Luckily in all these cases, the city councils quickly decided that the behavior of a dog was clearly the responsibility of the owner and not the breed, and it has been very quiet here ever since. I fostered a rescue pit bull in 2004 -- I had her for about a year before I found a permanent home for her. I also have a border staffy mix, and we have a pit bull puppy in training on our team. So I know how wonderful the bully breeds are. I am committed to doing whatever is necessary to fight BSL -- luckily in my region this hasn't been an issue yet
Zachary_ChernikI would work with our ED and the RD to start tracking each regions BSL. Putting together a game plan not only with ideas from the NAFA management but also with input from each club in that region. Like Sam mentioned before, we have limited funds and need to use them wisely.
LisaPI think showing the bully breeds playing flyball is a great way to educate the public about them. The website has several pics of pit bulls and staffy mixes up there. There's a lot more we could do like this to show off the breeds.
Dana.NicholsColorado has also been hit hard by BSL. We've struggled with it here for quite some time. Aside from my personal views opposing BSL, I it think strikes at the core principal of flyball that all dogs, no matter their pedigree (or lack thereof) can compete. I think NAFA was very vocal against BSL. AKC has also has a similar position. Our legislators in Colorado have seemed to be more moved not by national attention, but by movement from constituents in their district directly contacting them and stating their opposition. I'd like to see NAFA continue to work against BSL and perhaps incorporate support from local clubs against specific legislative threats.
Zachary_ChernikOntario would have been a big impact because of the 45+ clubs. Because each state/province is unique in law, we would not be able to use all the same ideas from one region to another. Teaming up with powerful groups like the AKC might help. We need to be proactive vs reactive.
jhhhwould you propose NAFA spending money in other regions like it has spent money in Ont?
scottNETIn Ontario, NAFA was not the primary group that challenged BSL. We supported a conglomerate. Do you advocate NAFA taking the lead? If so, why?
Dana.NicholsI think in some situations monetary contributions can be helpful, but it really depends on the individual situation. In Ontario, the proposal was one that affected such a huge area. NAFA got in on the ground floor at just the right time. There were avenues in which NAFA could make a difference & they did a great job utilizing those opportunities. Not every area is in that same position. Unfortunately in Colorado, our BSL is in a very different procedural posture.
Zachary_ChernikGood question. How do we fairly use the funds? Maybe we need to budget for regions so that one or two regions don't use up all the allocated dollars for BSL within NAFA. Maybe NAFA needs to create regional funding accounts....we need to review on what would work best.
LisaPMaybe there are organizations in the US. similar to the one we supported in Ontario. Are we involved with any of those already?
Dana.NicholsAs a non-profit, NAFA does have some limitations legally on how much money it can spend on lobbying efforts.
Dana.NicholsAKC has a very active legislative department that sends out alerts to local clubs when they hear of proposed legislation. There are also good cooperative efforts going on between national organizations.
Dana.NicholsAlso, many of the laws enacted here by Colorado municipalities already contain the exemptions for dog competitions that NAFA won in Ontario. Ontario's law was one of the widest reaching BSLs I've seen.
Zachary_ChernikThe AKC being a very large NFP organization....most likely as a sizable budget to fight BSL plus many legal staff on hand. So maybe working closely with the AKC would be a good route to go.
jhhhIf it is limited shouldn't NAFA have looked at the amount spent in Ont and maybe spread it out more then?
BCSamSpreading money pointlessly isn't what NAFA needs. NAFA needs to back groups that are local to the issue that have a grasp of what is going on and whether the legislation is bluster (which much is) or not. Setting one standard of spending isn't a good pattern. Supporting whatever local efforts there are is a better approach. NAFA can't defeat BSL in a local region. Only the locals can. If they aren't organized sending in 100s or even thousands won't help. Ontario had a strong grass roots organization that could make a difference to a first in Canada BSL. It was important in that circumstance to defeat this first of a kind movement. But don't think we did it, It was the local folks that carried the burden. and they came to us with a clear plan. And they took it to many organizations who helped.
dgsmithMoving to our next question - How committed are you to attending board meetings and what are your feelings on a board member consistently not attending meetings?
Dana.NicholsI'm very committed to attending meetings. It's difficult to make a meaningful contribution to the Board if you can't be there to be a part of the discussion regarding issues. Obviously there are going to be scheduling conflicts & emergencies that arise, but it will definitely be my top priority.
LisaPI would consider it an honor to be elected to the BoD and I would participate in everything I possibly could. If someone is elected to the BoD, then doesn't bother to attend any of the meetings, it would really tick me off, because they took that position away from somebody who might have really cared about the organization and would have worked really hard on their committees to improve NAFA. I know everybody has a life outside of flyball, and it's a volunteer position, so sometimes family or work might have to take precedence. I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about someone who sends in their proxy and pretty much never goes to anything. I've seen that happen with a few different board members in the past few years.
Zachary_ChernikAttending the meetings are very important but also being a very active BoD member during the meeting is required. We don't need dead wood at these meetings or on the BoD. Members that miss unless for unforeseen issues that might come up are OK but if you are a BoD member and miss over 50%....that is not taking an active role being on the BoD and that member should step down.
dgsmithOur next question comes from Rick - I would like to know what the candidates think about the idea of attracting more handlers/dogs in flyball, by increasing the 24 second rule. I feel too many dogs are not participating in flyball because they run too slow. (6 secs or more) Small clubs don't have the depth to run some teams because some dogs cant run fast enough to make the team under 24 secs. We say, flyball is for everyone and their dog, but that's not really true. If your dog runs 6 secs or more, your likely to not participate because you cant even finish under 24 secs. What would be so bad about having the time limit increase to say 30 secs, to allow more dogs to participate? We have lost handlers and their dogs because we cant fit them into our lineup.
LisaPI hadn't thought of that before -- it would be worth looking into. I think we'd need to try and figure out how many dogs/handlers this affects, etc.
Dana.NicholsI've run on a number of teams that ran over 24 seconds. We've had some very competitive racing in those divisions! One of my older labs would sometimes manage to pull a clean 7.5 second run. But, we still had lots of fun and enjoyed flyball. I don't think it is necessary to change the point structure to keep folks with slower dogs interested in flyball. Those teams still get 5 points under 28 seconds and 1 point under 32. Even with fewer points towards titles, you still get the thrill of racing against another team in the tournament. And, those titles really mean something at that level. : )
Zachary_ChernikThat is a great question Rick. Maybe we need to look at review our point structure based on completed team run vs team time. Rick has a valid point. The person is running their dog, paying the same fees as everyone else. But they might never get an Onyx during the lifetime of that dog.
Rick_BDBOn a team with 10 dogs its tough to be competitive if you have 3 , 7.5 secs dogs.
Zachary_ChernikThis would reduce the stress on some teams because you Must have faster dogs to help out the slower dog.
Rick_BDBWho wants to spend $300 for a weekend and get 75 points?
Dana.NicholsI've spent far more than that. When we first started competing in flyball, we were traveling 13 hours to many tournaments. We traveled with teams that were over 24 seconds and still had great, competitive racing in the bottom divisions. People do flyball for many different reasons. Not everyone is concerned with how many points their dogs get. Like I said, it really made the titles I got seem very rewarding.
Rick_BDBWe talk about making flyball more popular . We have had dogs run 7.5 to 10secs clean , but the owners don't want to waste their time, cause they feel like it isn't worth it.
dgsmithNext question comes from Cindy - NAFA does not have any public forum where NAFA members can go to discuss issues. The flyball list that we currently use , we have been told is not an official site for NAFA and people are criticized when they attempt to use it. I know that we can email individual members, but that is not public. What can NAFA do to improve communication and set up a venue that is "official" where issues can be discussed.
Zachary_ChernikWe need to have the forums and improved. Maybe with graphics/picture posting options too. There are many good forum software packages like Vbulletin
LisaPThe website used to have forums several years ago. We could develop an area on the site again for competitors only. I actually think it's odd that anybody can get to this chat tonight from the general public b/c I posted it at the top of the site -- I would really like to have an area that is geared more towards competitors. NAFA would actually have to moderate and post to the forums though, b/c there's nothing more lame than going to a forum where the last post was weeks ago
Dana.NicholsActually, I felt a little differently about the public forums on the web page. The problem I saw was that we are a competitive bunch & the discussions sometimes got a bit heated, like the list sometimes does. I often see comments on the list by folks that are new to flyball that they are sometimes a bit put off by those heated discussions. We're used to it and know that sometimes those spirited discussions help us work through issues. But, when you have forums associated with the site, it may not do much to promote the sport. It could, unintentionally, have the opposite effect. I like the leadership chats as a way to have a good discussion.
BCSamGentle people you write NAFA as if it is a person. It isn't. The ED operates the business but isn't an authoritarian leader. The BoD sets policies and rules but the BoD only exists at meetings. So who would you have speak as NAFA?
LisaPwhy the ED and BoD of course Sam :)
dgsmithVolunteers in ED's employ
BCSamBut Lisa there is no BoD when they aren't in session. There are only BoD members with 9 opinions. As it is set up the BoD sets a meeting date gathers information and then works together by compromise and discussion to make a final NAFA decision. One opinion is just that - a person's own opinion.
LisaPHmm, good points, Sam, you have me thinking and not talking - which is hard to do - hehe. How did NAFA handle it with the last forums? How does NAFA handle it with Certainly there are precedents. Maybe NAFA would have to appoint a moderator (or several) to handle it email is forwarded to a Board committee or an ED employee as appropriate to be answered/handled.
scottNETThe previous forums were unofficial chats between competitors. To the best of my knowledge, the BoD (as an official entity) did not comment on threads.
Cindy_FerlittoDo the candidates feel, as I do, that there needs to be a place where there can be ongoing open discussions re issues. A place where BoD members can also participate and it would become the "official" site.
LisaPWhy can't those same people answer questions or discuss things in a forum? I know it's trickier when you are dealing with matters of opinion and not fact
Rick_BDBWhat is preventing us from bringing back the forums? money? time?
LisaPBut Brett moderated them and answered questions, did he not?
scottNETAs an individual, not as NAFA
BCSamBut that was never an official opinion of NAFA but a person's opinion
Cindy_FerlittoSometimes it takes hearing from many people over a period of time. There is not enough time in the leadership chats and they don't come often enough
BCSamWhat you are setting up is a person to say his opinion and then go to a meeting and the outcome to be different. It also hinders the free flow of ideas. I could have a great idea and put it out but then go next week to the AGM and have Dale make it better. Now I am on record wanting A so now I have to stick to what I said or face the wrath of people when I change to A+b. The BoD uses many forums to gather information for the betterment of the sport
Cindy_FerlittoI used the leadership chat as an example. I would like to see something like the flyball list that we all are used to where issues can be discussed. What do the candidates think of that ?
kris_pickeringI would like to say that institutionally I agree 100% with Sam here. The point in having agendas, meetings, comments, leadership chats -- all of it -- is to ensure that the board as a group acts appropriately, with respect for its constituents, not for 9 individuals to come in with cemented opinions they inflexibly hold. I do think the organizational model is correct -- can communication and input be improved, sure. But it's by input from the constituents, not interrogation.
Zachary-ChernikI would like to see the forum. Maybe it's not the Official seal "word" of NAFA but it is hosted by NAFA.
LisaPBut we could still do a better job gathering input and ideas - like on the False Start proposal. Glenn posted something to the flyball list about that and got tons of responses. But instead we should have had something on the NAFA site for that - a competitors only area where people could discuss it
Cindy_FerlittoAll I'm saying is that right now as a member of NAFA I only have 2 choices; the flyball list which is not official and a private email to a member or another flyball participant. A list would enable me and others to hear various opinions on many topics and be official. No ones talking about concrete comments..if you are afraid to commit then don't, but at least you would have the opportunity to speak your mind
BCSamBut that isn't the goal of the site. The site's stated goal is to be the official voice of NAFA and is not to reflect someone's opinion.
scottNETI'm also confused on how the forum would be official if it only represents 'unofficial' opinions?
Cindy_FerlittoI would think that those who sit on the board of NAFA would want to hear what their constituency thinks
Zachary-ChernikHow many people don't subscribe to the list because of all the bickering....having a better tool for communication to all members. How do we get the word out to the whole membership. If no forum then we need to increase the leadership chats to at least once a month. IMO
BCSamAh Cindy we do. That is why we go to tournaments. Do chats. Read our e mails and do loads of things I can't think of. Now we don't all do the same thing but we are not all the same person. But we use every method we are comfortable with to accomplish the gathering of information
Cindy_FerlittoI know you do a lot Sam, but you are only one person. That's why we need a list where all the members can communicate ate any time
BCSamah but isn't there already a list? So another list?
Cindy_FerlittoYes, the flyball list, but it is not "official" and has often not had the "love of the NAFA BoD members. That's why I would like to see NAFA have its own list
dgsmithOur next question comes from Karen - As candidates you have shared many good ideas for the future. Judges training, videos, BSL, technology, EJS systems for each region to name a few. It has been noted that NAFA has a limited amount of funds. How do you prioritize these specific programs And Why do you prioritize them in that order?
LisaPKaren - I would put judges training and videos as first priority. I think getting all our judges on the same page regarding measuring and other issues is critical. After that I would probably say marketing (which you didn't include) and EJS systems for each region.
Zachary-ChernikI would look at the EJS systems to get all the regions on the same equipment as this can be done in the shortest time period. We need the judges training and videos for the judges completed ASAP because there is a problem out there and it needs to be addressed. Marketing....analyzing each region and creating a game plan to increase our growth. If we don't know anything about our members how can we grow. We are a small business but nonetheless a business and must function as one. We now have a competing venue which is a business.
Dana.NicholsPrioritizing funds is always a difficult issue. All organizations struggle with this. We have limited funds to expend for all of NAFA. For some of these items, I understand from the Board minutes that funds have already been allocated (judge's training videos for example). It's difficult to make those decisions without seeing actual numbers and how much of the budget is allocated to what. But, I think our money is, in general, best spent on concrete areas. Personally, on your specific list, I'd like to see the judges' training materials completed (although I'd like to see us use the most cost effective method of doing so), EJS moved into additional regions (as funds allow - which would not be all at once), then use funds for more development type projects like technology and BSL efforts. But, primarily, I think NAFA needs to remain a fiscally responsible entity that is spending money wisely.
dgsmithOur next question comes from Chris - NAFA is a 501-c4 Non-profit organization and is required to follow strict IRS rules to maintain its non-profit status. 1) Could each candidate list their experiences or involvement in non-profit organizations that prepares them to serve on the NAFA BoD? and, 2) also list your experience or involvement in any other animal or dog sport?
LisaPHi Chris. I work for a non-profit organization -- TIAA-CREF, which is a large financial services organization. So I'm getting an education in non-profit every day. I am actively involved in Jack Russell Terrier Club of America trials as well (to answer part 2 of your question).
Zachary-ChernikI've heard of these strict rules regarding Not-for-profit status. Can we have details on the strict rules that you are talking about that are in question? The NYSE is also a Not-for-profit is the AKC. They both have grown to very large organizations with millions of dollars. We follow the letter of the tax laws. I belong to The Midwest JRTCA. I was also president of our Home Owners Associations which is also a Not-for-profit group.
Dana.NicholsI have had some experience with non profits as well as tax exempt organizations. RUFF's club owner just went through the process to have RUFF recognized as both while I was on the board of directors. As part of that experience, I did some research into requirements for these organizations (although she retained an attorney who specializes in those areas because they are quite complicated). I've also, in civil legal practice, advised some organizations that were non profit groups. I also have training in legal areas of tax & business. And, certainly, I've been members of many non profits.
dgsmithOur next question from Judy - What would each candidate do about the NAFA News or a similar publication that might include minutes and agendas but also other NAFA flyball content?
Zachary-ChernikNot all people have internet or computer access. If we knew what our membership was about, we could most likely produce the NAFA news on our website and paper.
LisaPThe JRTCA publishes a newsletter called "true Grit". I think it comes out every couple of months. It is awesome. They have info about trials, dogs that have gotten titles, articles by veterinarians, training articles, merchandise for sale in the back, meeting minutes, etc. I think NAFA should explore doing something like this. Yes, I love the website but I think there is value in having something hard copy that you receive in the mail and can carry around and show people.
Dana.NicholsWell, I think it might be time to evaluate whether we want to continue to have that kind of publication, or if the web page (which Lisa has done a fabulous job on) might serve that same purpose. If we decide that we still need (or want) something similar to NAFA News, it might be a good idea to also offer it in electronic format (via email) to cut down on postage & printing costs.
LisaPThere is no flyball "magazine" out there, and NAFA could be the first to produce something like that. It would be great from a marketing perspective. People carry around those True Grits, or Clean Run if you're into agility, etc., and lots of people look at them
Zachary-ChernikAlso with the magazine that Lisa pointed out. The marketing committee can go get the sponsors that we would like to finally have for NAFA.
dgsmithOur next question comes from Rick who asks "Of the these three topics listed . (1. BSL 2. Increase 24 sec rule 3. Marketing NAFA ) How do you rank them in effectiveness in bringing more people into flyball? (example ( 3,1,2 ) )"
Zachary-Chernik3 - 2 - 1
LisaPI think marketing NAFA would do a lot more than either of the first 2 to bring more people into flyball. You have to bring them before you keep them, right?
Dana.NicholsAs I've said in previous chats, I firmly believe that marketing flyball at a grassroots level is key to bringing more people into flyball. Region 19 has been successful at bringing tons of new people into flyball. We've grown flyball exponentially in our area. To answer your question completely, my ranking would be 3,1,2
dgsmithFor our next question, the other Chris poses "If we find after this next Board meeting that a new NAFA Brochure is not complete - what would you do to expedite one and do you feel its important?"
Zachary-ChernikPut a deadline if it is missed then get someone else to help or take over. It's been 18 months....
LisaPYes Chris, it's important. I just got an email last month asking me where the brochure was on the website (there was one there long ago), because their team wanted one to hand out at a demo
Chris_THTHI agree that a new brochure has been long in the making, but when we do demo's that's the first thing that is asked for!!!!
Zachary-ChernikVery important....not just a brochure...but have the different media to send out, be it DVD, VCR Tapes, PDF files whatever....we should be ready for any request.
Dana.NicholsIt's hard to answer that question without having been a part of the Board's discussion and plan regarding the brochure. For instance, I don't know for sure what the status really is. But, as to whether I feel a brochure is important, we touched on this topic in one of the previous chats. I think it would be helpful for NAFA to have a nice brochure that is updated and contains information useful for clubs to hand out. But, a brochure isn't going to take the place of grassroots marketing. I used to be very involved in AKC hunt test competitions. We had several slick brochures from AKC, but the thing that really got us new members was when our club had a good plan in place to pull in new members - a clinic planned, fun days, classes, meeting, or other projects that got folks involved with us locally.
LisaPBut NAFA as a business needs to promote NAFA flyball in addition to just flyball the sport - grassroots efforts don't take that into consideration
dgsmithFor our next question, we have "your first year on the NAFA Board of Directors is likely to be somewhat of a learning experience. What one item would you most like to lead or dig into during that first year that brings value to NAFA?"
Zachary-ChernikOnce being part of the BoD, it would be hard to say, because that one issue that you would really like to push still needs the votes of the other BoD members to help make that happen, plus there might be other more important issues that just running for the position on the BoD we were unaware of.
Dana.NicholsI agree that the first year would be a learning experience. I know there are many, many things that happen behind the scenes with the Board. Getting the lay of the land is bound to take some time. But, one of the things, I'm eager to start work on is to put together some resources for clubs so that they have some idea for promoting NAFA at their local level. It seems to be an issue that comes up quite a bit and that clubs really want help with. I think putting together some resources to show different ideas & options that they can utilize immediately (and on a long term plan) to promote NAFA in their area would be a good way to pull the NAFA flyball community together, as well as expand it into new territories.
LisaPI would really like to dig into Marketing (I'm sounding like a broken record, I know) and the judges training & videos. The board is a team effort though. During campaigns we tend not to act that way, but in the end we all have to work together
dgsmithEllen asks "Dana makes a great point about clinics, fun days etc as a means of reaching folks....i think she is absolutely correct in her assessment of that being one of the best ways to increase interest in the sport. So my question is, for Dana and the other candidates...what things, as a Director,do you think you could do to facilitate this sort of "grass-roots" effort?"
LisaPI think putting on demos at all the dog events you can is a great way to get exposure -- down here we do demos at sheep herding trials, disc dog events, Bark in the Park type stuff, etc. You can also put on seminars for true beginners -- a day-long seminar geared towards those people who have maybe only seen the sport on TV. We have been talking to a local agility club about doing that -- they are willing to go into it 50/50 with us, and the agility folks are a good place to start b/c they are already accustomed to training and traveling for dog sports. Classes is another good way to get people involved. We have been doing that as well - an Intro to flyball class to get newbies interested.
Rick_BDBLisa, how would NAFA be involved in demos and training classes
Dana.NicholsWell, one concrete thing we could do is have some documents for clubs with ideas for organizing demos (ie sample scripts, contacting local humane societies, working with another club to do a little fun scrimmage) & other activities. Sometimes a sheet with time lines, organizational plans, equipment lists, etc is just the right thing to make it more of a reality. For instance, when our club was considering hosting our first tournament, we scoured the internet for tournament resources. There is a great checklist that was slightly out of date, but gave us some good starting points. I think lots of clubs want to do these things, they just don't know what to do.
LisaPNAFA could help promote these events on the website. NAFA could provide a swank looking brochure for clubs to hand out.
Zachary-ChernikWe have been doing classes for over 4 years even though we are newbies to this sport at just 6 years. We just started the clinics this fall. We need to track where we are getting our new members....does NAFA really know, so I would work hard at creating the resources and knowledge for all of NAFA's clubs to use and request their input from their previous experiences.
LisaPNAFA could help match up newbies to teams through some sort of team locator on the website -- from there folks could get involved in classes or whatever
dgsmithKaren asks "How hard will you work to support NAFA and the BoD efforts in the event you are not elected?"
dgsmithand another participant adds "many of the candidates have been fairly critical of the current BoD. Part of getting things done is building consensus with others. Its a give and take. How do you think your comments during the election will impact your effectiveness if you make it on the BoD?"
LisaPI already work closely with the Executive Director and several members of the BoD on the NAFA website. My dealings with everyone on the board have always been professional and cordial. It's all about mutual respect, isn't it? NAFA doesn't need a board made up of 9 people who feel exactly the same about everything -- we need 9 people who are open minded and willing to work together in a civil way to get things done. Debate is healthy. Diversity is good. Different ideas are okay. A good sense of humor really helps too.
Karen.OlesonIn years past there have been numerous candidates with good ideas that have not been elected. They very quickly disappear with their ideas and enthusiasm, sometimes becoming vocal critics of the BoD. I feel it is a travesty to lose this resource of ideas and passion, considering that much of the NAFA population expects all of NAFA's progress to be completed by 9 board members, 1 ED and a smattering of RDs.
Dana.NicholsI'll continue to be a strong supporter of NAFA. If I don't get elected, I'd really like to work on some committees. I hope to maintain the great relationships I've forged with flyballers all over North America long after this election is over.
Zachary-ChernikThey have my support. I've been currently work with a few BoD members on different technology for flyball. This will not change if elected or not. We all have one common goal already...each and everyone of us...we like flyball for our dogs. We what it to be fun and safe. The BoD is made up of 9 members, each one unique but wanting to make NAFA better.
dgsmithBill raises the issue "How would you feel about having each board member represent an area of NAFA regions? In other words divide up the regions into 9 areas. Each area would have a board member elected who resides in each area. This would give delegates better representation of their area by someone who a lot of them would know personally."
Zachary-ChernikI believe that the RD should take a more leading role working with the ED and the BoD members.
Dana.NicholsThat would require a fundamental change to NAFA's current bylaws.
LisaPBill, is your concern that NAFA is currently represented by a small group of regions?
Dana.NicholsI think the current system provides for much more flexibility. It also gives each member of the Board more accountability to the whole of the NAFA community, rather than just advocating for their particular region.
Zachary-ChernikSince the BoD is voted on by all the delegates....they should represent All of NAFA....the RDs should be more involved in each region as they are from that region and play flyball in that region.
Cindy_FerlittoThe RDs are appointed, not elected and really have no power
Zachary-ChernikNo power but they should be able to communicate back to the ED and the BoD via the ED.
Bill_BuntingFor a long time the East coast never had a board member from our area. Our clubs never knew any Board members and could not talk to them one on one until Scott Stein was elected. It makes a difference meeting someone you know from area tournaments.
LisaPYes, it does make a difference. I think your idea has merit.
Zachary-ChernikMaybe that is something that we need to discuss with all of our they feel like they are being heard or are they the step child of NAFA.
scottNETBased on this proposal, to equally represent everyone, the BoD would need to be expanded to represent all regions. How do the candidates feel about a BoD with almost 20 members?
Cindy_FerlittoJust to clarify, the RDs are the eyes and ears of the ED. When I was RD, I communicated often with Sam as I know the other RDs do. My intention was to say that an RD is not the same as having someone from each region who actually sits on the Board.
Bill_BuntingI had more in mind like having one member take regions 9,15, and 13. Another member would cover three or more other connected regions.
Zachary-ChernikLike Super Regional Sets
BCSamSo then you set up the possibility that you have super regions joining to pass the pork. Sounds a lot like congress
scottNETInteresting perspective, but just to point out, the current BoD only has one region with two members from it
BCSamRight now representation is each person working for the best of NAFA flyball. Not "I am looking out for my region only."
dgsmithFor our final question this evening in this final episode of the chat series. By simple math, at least one of you will be elected to the NAFA Board next month. For those that have not yet voted - why should you be our representative on the NAFA BoD? This can be your closing as well...
LisaPOK OK I'll go. Thank you all for being here and for your questions. You obviously care a lot about the future of NAFA if you keep sitting through these chats or reading the transcripts every other week. I would like to ask you for your vote -- I think I have a lot to offer the organization, and I will always strive to keep the lines of communication open and to listen & vote with an open mind. I think the board will benefit from some new ideas and a fresh perspective. I have these things, but I have also worked with the ED and the BoD for the past year as the NAFA webmaster, so I already have a good relationship with them and an understanding of how things work (well, at least more than I did a year ago!).
Zachary-ChernikI will represent All of NAFA membership. I'm open minded and don't have a problem if I'm wrong and stating that I'm wrong. I will work hard at growing NAFA. We all want this to be the best and safest dog sport for our K9 family members. We can achieve this working together. To quote MLK....."I Have A Dream" that we can make NAFA better each day. Thanks for your time again in the 4th and final chat before the 2006 vote. I thank also all the other membership that will be reading this chat transcript later. I ask All of the NAFA membership for your vote. Even it you don't vote for me...please vote....thanks and good night.
Dana.NicholsI think I'd be able to contribute in many areas as a NAFA Board member. My legal training & practice helps in analyzing all sides of an issue - flushing out ahead of time possible arguments from all sides, potential consequences, and likely outcomes. Plus, knowing how to argue compellingly on an issue to people who may come to an issue from all different angles. I'm used to working in committee & board atmospheres where fostering working relationships with people with many different backgrounds & experiences is important. Knowing when and how to create a consensus and still stand your ground are vital skills. Finding solutions for everyone's diverse interests is a challenge I enjoy. I'd also like the opportunity to put in place concrete resources to help clubs with a grass roots movement to expand NAFA flyball. Working together to promote NAFA brings our community closer. That's what I'd like to contribute to NAFA as a Board member.
dgsmithWith about 31.5% of the vote returned electronically as of this time and about a week to go, there are still plenty of people out there who can exercise their right to vote. Use the votes you have and/or encourage your neighbors and friends to exercise the right they've earned through hosting and competing in NAFA events. G'nite all and thank you for participating in these chats.

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