dgsmithJust so everyone knows how this will flow. I plan to give each candidate a chance to make an opening stmt - no long Oscar's acceptance speeches please. Then we'll move to topics/questions from the "audience". All candidates will be able to discuss whatever topic or question is "in the room" at the time. We'll likely see people drift in and out of the room as the evening goes on. We'll try not to cover the exact same topic more than once. Transcripts will be available much as leadership chats are done. Just to be clear - candidates are always welcome to type in the main chat area - just play nice with others.
dgsmithOK, we'll go ahead and get started. I'll offer each candidate a chance to say something as an opener - perhaps it will spark some questions.
Zachary_A_ChernikHello everyone. I would like to take just this moment to say Thanks for being part of this chat. This is a major step in communication for the NAFA membership the people that are running for this years BoD.
Glenn.HamiltonA corporation like NAFA is dependent on its officers to ensure its well being. It speaks to its members through its board and other officials. We, as board members, need to ensure that the positive trend towards good management continues. In the past three years, this board has brought integrity to its financial statements, improvements to judging, introduced the state of the art Signature Gear EJS's and introduced several new classes of racing to the sport. I'd like to see that trend continue.
Dana.NicholsGood evening everyone. I'm very glad that NAFA has provided this opportunity for everyone to get to know the candidates and for us to hear from the flyball community. I think the current Board has done a tremendous amount of work this year. If elected, I hope that my legal background and experience in growing flyball in a new area would contribute positively to the Board and NAFA.
LisaPHi everybody, thanks for coming tonight. I'm Lisa Peckham and I'm presently the webmaster of the NAFA website. I have really enjoyed getting the word out about various NAFA things this year, and hope to have an opportunity to do it on a larger scale as a board member. Communication to the delegates and marketing flyball to the general public are areas where i would really like to see improvements made. I believe we aren't doing nearly enough now. NAFA growth has pretty much leveled out over the past few years and I'd like to see that trend reversed.
kris_pickeringBefore it gets too far underway, I'd like to add to this portion of the chat what I mentioned before it formally began -- Lee Heighton is en route by RV from Michigan to Arizona currently. He hoped to find a wireless uplink courtesy of one of the guys traveling with him but if that didn't happen -- and it evidently didn't -- I said I'd relay his apologies.
dgsmithOK, first question comes from Jane. She directs it at Zac but I'd invite others to comment on what they might bring to the BoD as well. "I do recall you being a little rough on the BoD at times ... can you tell us what you feel they are lacking that you might bring to the table"? All candidates are welcome to respond - no particular order (to save time waiting for typing). Jane can chime in as well since its her topic.
Zachary_A_ChernikHmmm...rough...I would like to say that they need to be challenged, just as I would need to be challenged if elected to the BoD. Do you have a specific topic?
Jane_RnRoverswhat are they lacking that you feel you can bring to NAFA
dgsmithAnyone else want to comment on what they feel they would personally bring to the Board?
Glenn.HamiltonJane, what challenges do you see from your side of the ballot?
Jane_RnRoversyou feel the current sitting board lacks integrity????? My concern here is.......having the BoD blend and work together....not pull apart
Josh_Watsonwhat do you mean by integrity?
Zachary_A_ChernikA better balance to represent all members of NAFA.
Glenn.HamiltonI'd like to say that I bring experience, a love of dogs and flyball, a keen sense of right and wrong and lots of gray hair.
Jane_RnRoversZac.....i asked if you felt the current board lacks integrity....or did I misread your answer. And can you explain how you're better balanced.....your answers are a bit vague
Zachary_A_ChernikI believe that it can be improved. I've seen some very questionable issues. Measuring is one of them
scottNETCan you elaborate on the questionable issues
Jane_RnRoversand how would you improve the measuring process....i think everyone is concerned with that..
dgsmithLets not move to measuring just yet as a specific topic - its in the queue
Jane_RnRoversand I wish you'd answer the integrity question
Zachary_A_ChernikOpen debate....ideas are out there...we just need to see all the options and go from there on measuring.
Jane_RnRoversOK...i give up.......
dgsmithOK, last call for any other stmts from other candidates on what they feel they will bring to the BoD.
Zachary_A_ChernikI give a right and wrong.
Zachary_A_ChernikThis goes to Glenn....we were racing your team in Davisburg this year. You went you to the judge and had our dog removed from the ring and the building because her bark sounded like a whistle. Is that fair?
dgsmithGlenn can answer and then we're moving on.
Glenn.HamiltonYes I did do that because I felt it was distraction to our dogs. No different than if you had been throwing a Frisbee. Let's make note of the the fact that your dog wasn't racing but sitting on the side lines.
Zachary_A_ChernikShe was racing....the heat before. We pulled her for 1 heat to try our Jrt.
dgsmithOK, moving to our next topic. You're going to have to bear with tonight as I've just learned I don't have the cut and paste functions I used to have in the previous version of the chat SW.
dgsmithStacy asks "How many of the candidates participate in U-FLI and if they feel that participating in another organization will be a conflict of interest if elected to the BoD"
Dana.NicholsI do not participate in U-FLI. I do think that it is important for the NAFA Board of Directors to be loyal to NAFA. They owe a legal duty of loyalty to the organization. I don't think a Board member who participates in competing organizations should be prevented from sitting on the Board, but the Board of Directors of NAFA should be promoting NAFA.
Glenn.HamiltonDana, you've said it all. Board members owe it to NAFA to keep it uppermost in their minds at all times. That is one of the hardships of being elected. You can't pick your weekends to be a NAFA guy. I do not play in U-FLI
LisaPI personally don't feel that competing at a U-FLI event is a big issue, or that my loyalty to NAFA is in question because of it. My team (other than me of course :)) is not into politics -- if there is a flyball tourney within driving distance they are going to want to go. They don't really care who's hosting it. I would bet about half the active teams in NAFA feel the same way. It has never affected my integrity when it comes to dealing with the NAFA website, and it wouldn't affect things if i were elected to the BoD. I have probably done more to improve NAFA's communication this year than just about anybody else within NAFA.
Paul.TheGamblersSo, if you love dogs and flyball, you are not being loyal to NAFA just because you run your dog in another venue?
Jane_RnRoversplay in and promote are two very separate things...
kimI am not sure it is fair to question someone's loyalty because they participate in U-FLI but are running for NAFA board - I will run U-FLI for the first time in TX
LisaPI would like to point out that seeing what the competition is doing is not always such a bad thing either.
dgsmithMake sure the questions are directed to the candidates and not each other please.
kimI would think that running in U-FLI could actually help - bring new ideas to NAFA, say that does not work in U-FLI and may not work in NAFA - it could actually be a benefit
Zachary_A_ChernikYes U-FLI is a competing organization....but if you don't learn what your competition is doing....you might be left in the dust. Our team does run in U-FLI....and I agree with Lisa's comment about driving distance and loyalty.
Glenn.HamiltonIf it's me that Paul is questioning, then I agree. My loyalty stays with NAFA.
Stacy_C8If you are submitting entry fees, and paying membership fees to another organization, is that not promoting that organization?
MargaretBITPLisa you are doing a great job on the website. Weren't you hired by the current board and aren't you payed well to do it?
Paul.TheGamblersGlenn, How is running in an event in other then NAFA being disloyal if you are just running your dog.
LisaPYes - I was asked to bid on the site after writing Glenn to complain about it. I won the bid, built the site, and am paid to do it ($100 a month - no big secret).
Glenn.HamiltonPerhaps I could be racing at a NAFA tournament?
LisaPMaybe in your region Glenn :) In ours there are no conflicts. We have about 9 NAFA tourneys a year and 2 U-FLI.
dgsmithJust for perspective I will add that a number of NAFA positions receive some compensation for doing the job. These include things like EJS shipping, NAFA News (when it was published), scoring, etc
Paul.TheGamblersGlenn, that still isn't answering my question.
MargaretBITPHow much were you payed to build the site?
LisaP$4500 -- it was in the last financial report. For anybody out there who does web development -- that was for about 100 pages, and all the design, coding and content
petemach4money well spent
Dana.NicholsMy position is that NAFA Board members should be working to grow NAFA.
dgsmithEllen adds"question for all candidates: if you are a participant in both, given a choice of a NAFA vs. U-FLI event on the same weekend....how would you choose?"
Glenn.HamiltonPaul, when I am spending the several hundred dollars per event that our club pays in entry fees, why would I send to that U-FLI? That is disloyalty.
Stacy_C8Zach - if elected, will you continue to enter U-FLI competitions?
Zachary_A_ChernikStacy...that is a team decision....I'm only one vote on my team.
LisaPMine is a team decision too but it would probably be NAFA b/c we're in the running for regionals
Stacy_C8so if your team wanted to go, you would attend as well?
dgsmithAbout 5 more minutes max on this topic and then we have three others in the queue
kimIf there are more U-FLI tourneys in your area - how would you promote flyball for NAFA
LisaPI would argue that the current BoD hasn't done too much to grow NAFA lately. If you look at the numbers
Stacy_C8what numbers Lisa?
LisaPnumbers of new dogs registered, numbers of tournaments, numbers of teams, etc etc - the trend has been down for several years now
Paul.TheGamblersGlenn, I believe if a person is just doing the sport for their dogs and their enjoyment then I don't feel it is being disloyal. If on the other hand someone had "An Agenda" then it may seem that way.
Dana.NicholsIn Region 19 (the region where I am), NAFA has grown exponentially.
scottNETI noted an interesting comment about knowing what the competition is doing. NAFA & U-FLI have their own 'flavor' regarding playing flyball. I would like to know whether the candidates are in favor of trying to make the organizations more similar or not?
Chris_WooferinesZac.... you are a little bit more than just one vote on your team. You are the registered Team owner. I would consider that a leadership position on your team. Your opinions should carry some sway with the other members of your team.
LisaPActually Scott i like your question - i would be in favor of making them as different as possible. I think NAFA has a really unique product with regional alignment and with teams as well. NAFA is more about teams
Stacy_C8So, Zach, your answer is yes. You will continue to run in U-FLI if elected if your team votes to?
Chris_WooferinesLisa..... the minutes of the past two AGM report the exact opposite. NAFA is growing in all these areas. What has you so convinced otherwise?
Zachary_A_ChernikYes to Stacy. Chris...I'm just one vote...we take a poll for every tournament.
LisaPwell it's tedious but you can go out to the database and count things up
Zachary_A_ChernikChris...where is the growth....please explain what numbers?
Paul.TheGamblersZac, I guess Chris knows the structure of your team
LisaPperhaps NAFA could provide all of us, its delegates, with those numbers
dgsmith2 minutes
scottNETLisa, those numbers are published yearly at the AGM
Zachary_A_ChernikI guess so....I'm also married....so my wife has a say since she runs most of the dogs.
Glenn.HamiltonThere is no denying that the introduction of U-FLI has caused the NAFA numbers to drop. That goes without saying. The question is "how do we bring people back?"
kimas long as a person's loyalty so to NAFA then I don't see why they can't compete with their dogs elsewhere
Zachary_A_ChernikDrop...up...which is it?
scottNETI would like the other candidates to respond to my question
Glenn.HamiltonIt's important to understand that many people will try out a new organization to see if they like that style of racing. Singles, Pairs, lower jump heights ... all very exciting. But ...
jhhhbut don't you think that if people were happy with NAFA then they won't need to "try out" the new organization?
dgsmithOK folks - last comments and we're moving on - we can come back to the topic if time permits. Scott, you can submit your question to the queue if you'd like.
kimin our area we are getting new clubs but not new people - people are splitting from their current clubs and creating new
kris_pickeringNAFA's fiscal year closes 9.30 The year end reporting is at the AGM; interim reports are published to the website. The current one is attached to the August minutes. Sam's annual analysis takes the financial reporting further in terms of no. of tournaments, entries, etc.
Glenn.HamiltonDo you always buy a Ford? Maybe the Chevy is snappier looking this year. so you give it a test drive. And decide.
dgsmithChris asks "My question has to do with measuring of course. How would the current candidates fix the measuring problems that NAFA is having and since the delegates voted on lowering the jump heights for the bigger dogs to 14 inches, what about the height dogs."
Glenn.HamiltonChris, what is the NAFA measuring problem?
Zachary_A_ChernikI believe this is one of the biggest issues in flyball. It creates the most headaches for judges and dog owners. Plus....safety of the dog is part of the key.
Glenn.HamiltonZac, please explain what you mean.
Chris_THTHThat it isn't accurate and everyone in flyball has had problems in every region with the way measuring is done.
LisaPMeasuring...the big pink elephant in the living room. Honestly, i think we'd be better off if we got rid of all the height cards and just had optional measuring done at each tourney. I would like to see all the judges Trained - i mean really trained - to measure. And we start over.
Zachary_A_ChernikGlenn....please....the Binbrook Tournament in August was a perfect issue.
Stacy_C8If measuring was optional, would anyone measure their dogs?
scottNETChris asked how the candidates would propose to fix the problem. Please explain how you would fix it, vs. just restating the perceived problem.
Glenn.HamiltonBTW, I agree with Lisap's statement.
Paul.TheGamblersWell said Lisa. I couldn't agree more.
LisaPWell, keep the challenge in there. And geez also educate people that they don't really have to measure their dogs. I think about half the time in our region is spent measuring a dog that somebody just thinks they have to measure
kimdo you think it would be better to keep measuring as is or maybe look at an easier way that does not freak out many dogs
scottNETLisa & Glenn, would that not just increase the number of challenges leading to a more confrontational setting vs. sportsmanship?
eav_srcI agree Stacy. If measuring is 'optional' then who is going to do it. What if measuring was a requirement of competition?
barbaraSundogsI'd rather see All dogs have height cards... with whatever measurement process NAFA decides on... and with as few measurement steps as possible. Five is too many.
Chris_THTHNot only freak dogs out, but find a better way to measure and give the heights dogs a chance to single stride and not crouch and there has to be a better way!!
kimi have a dog that could run 7" but a judge freaked him out a couple years ago - he no longer will measure so I am still jumping him at 8" - don't want someone to question - How can you fix this problem going forward - judges to freak out dogs
Dana.NicholsActually there is already a huge focus on measuring in the judge training program. I think that the current NAFA measuring stance is clearly defined. If there are problems with judges implementing it, it can be addressed on an individual basis. From my reading of the past Board minutes it is being addressed when needed. Measuring is optional at tournaments. A dog only has to be measured if someone challenges the height.
LisaPIt would be more fair though -- think about it. Each dog is measured based on what its measuring that day, and everyone measures under the same judge (with the same style of measuring etc.)
Cindi_High5I think the measuring is a huge issue as to why people choose U-FLI over NAFA. If a dog could just be measured once I think it would alleviate a lot of the headaches.
Glenn.HamiltonChallenges might be the outcome of no measuring but then is that a bad thing? But just as an aside, would it be better to devote an entire evening of one of the chats to this topic?
Chris_THTHYes Glenn, because it seems to be a huge issue that has not been addressed!!
Zachary_A_ChernikWe need to look for a way that reduces the stress and is fair. Also...the safety of the Hd that is jumping. I think that measuring from the chest to the ground would be a safer solution. But how to do that is another question.
LisaPThe problem Dana is that there are a lot of height cards out there signed by judges who did not go thru that training program
Glenn.HamiltonI am all for deferring this topic to another night. We have seen what the candidates feel about it in summary ... why not make a night of it?
Cindi_High5I agree Zac. It should not be stressful for the dog and safety is a huge reason why to change things.
Zachary_A_ChernikThis is the public forum...which will be posted on the website...so why not discuss it now.
Glenn.HamiltonBecause one of the candidates isn't present.
dgsmithWell, we'll discuss it for a bit more here. The problem with making it another chat night is that some candidates may not be able to attend that particular night. Its also a topic I think the BoD is going to need to address regardless of which of you gets elected. We need voices from our participants more than BoD members IMHO. I'm sure it will come up in other chat nights.
Zachary_A_ChernikBut there is no requirement for a candidate to be here.
dgsmithOK, lets move off the who's here and who's not. Not everyone can make every night. Those who are here discuss the topics that come up tonight...
kimZac mentioned that he thinks measuring she be done differently - do the others feel that something could be changed to make it better on the dog
dgsmithEllen_furfun: OK, so for Lisa (or anyone who'd like to comment), you mentioned reminding folks they don't have to measure...how would you then square the new requirement for judges to stay current, since it isn't even a requirement for people to measure their dogs.
Glenn.HamiltonOK. Is the U-FLI method of measuring more accurate than the NAFA method or just easier?
LisaPI'm not sure I understand your question LN
kimI think U-FLI measuring is probably more fair for the Height dogs but it also makes small height dogs not necessary so U-FLI measuring is not perfect either
Glenn.HamiltonKim, why is it more fair? Would you exclude the need for a height dog from the sport?
Chris_THTHGlenn, I have two examples. A BC that jumps 13 inches in NAFA and 8 inches in U-FLI, a sheltie who jumps 8 inches in NAFA and 6 inches in U-FLI. One is my own... for safety issues, which do you think most people would prefer?
eav_srcIs there data available anywhere to support the accuracy of either method of measuring?
dgsmithEllen_furfun: there is now a requirement for judges to measure a certain # of dogs to maintain their status....how do you propose to square that new req. with the fact you pointed out...that measuring isn't a req.
Zachary_A_ChernikThis is were knowing you competing venue helps. I looked at the U-FLI measuring device....it has merits but is it perfect...no...that is why we need to research options.
Cindi_High5I think the U-FLI method is less stressful on the dog by far and I've rarely seen a jump knocked over by any dog or boards broken at a U-FLI tourney.
kimno - i have 2 height dogs - and height dogs are jumping their shoulder height where taller dogs are getting the advantage to run with a dog that brings jump heights down for them
LisaPAh. I would suspect that more people would measure their dogs who used to have height cards, thereby balancing it out. It's not a tested theory. :)
Glenn.HamiltonChris, perhaps jumping a line on the mat. Where do you want to take the sport Chris?
kimi am just saying that the wicket and judge can freak out a dog so think there should be an easier way to measure a dog
Zachary_A_ChernikSafety is the key....
dgsmithFive more minutes on measuring - then we have two more topics in the queue
kimmy borderjack will not measure - i jump him at 11" in NAFA - if he measured and was not freaked by the judges he could jump 10"
Glenn.HamiltonThe NAFA method is used by many well established dogsport orgs and has been for decades. That gives it some validity and that is why NAFA stays with it. There is history.
Chris_THTHGlenn, this was directed at all of the people on the list. The wicket scares 75% of the dog's that have to get measured by it. Safety is a huge factor for me I own 3 height dog's. If it's more comfortable for the dogs to jump a lower height and have more fun, then I am all for it.
kimi worked him for 8-9 months and first measurement he freaked out but he has issues
jhhhGlenn what dog sports are you talking about?
kimmy poodle was worked for a year and a judge freaked him out
Zachary_A_ChernikHistory does change.
scottNETCan I have some clarification? A number of people has stated that safety is the key. It sounds like people are saying that jumping lower is the safety issue. So, the issue doesn't sound like its measuring, but the jump height itself.
Glenn.HamiltonDogs need to be trained to measure. If what you say is try Chris, then 75% of the people haven't done their home work.
dgsmithjeannie_mapleleaps: the reason i don't get my JRT measured is because she is a nervous dog and the first time i took her to be measured the judge scared her...if she fails to measure right then she faces a 14" jump height was a 16" height this scared me into not trying anymore ...how is a dog/team facing a maximum height fair,safe,or ruling in favour of the dog ?
Dana.NicholsMost agility venues use the exact same wicket NAFA does.
dgsmithPjstaffy_hw: I would like to know what "safety issues" people are talking about. That is a general term. Name some specifics. I have Staffies who do just fine in NAFA and don't see why dogs with longer legs should have "safety issues" jumping their NAFA height. Thanks.
kris_pickeringDo candidates regard the height card/measuring issue as suitable for delegate vote? Why or why not? How would they frame the question(s) if they favor its submission to delegate vote?
kimGlenn - i did my homework - months at home, going to tournys and practicing, getting strangers to measure And wham - first measurement by a judge and dog now freaks
jhhhbut in agility you aren't measuring to go by inches.
Glenn.HamiltonThe AKC, CKC and many other other kennel clubs all use a shoulder measurement because it reflects the length of leg that the dog has to use.
jhhhthey aren't using the measurement in the same way as NAFA is.
Glenn.HamiltonAgility measures to the inch. Just not all of them. A border line dog has all of the same issues there as in Flyball.
LisaPYes Kris, i think the measuring issue should be brought to delegate vote. Not sure about the wording, i would have to think on that one.
Zachary_A_ChernikI second that issue
jhhhso in agility you jump 10" or 11" or 12" jumps? so that the measurement has to be that accurate?
kimand dog that jumps its height is more fair than a dog that uses a Hd to bring down the jumps so they can run safer, faster
dgsmithKris' question will be a separate topic later.
LisaPdrats i already answered
scottNETOK, you have indicated that this needs to delegate vote. Not a problem, but to do so, you need to have a solution in order to get the 2/3 vote needed. So, again, what is the solution?
PJStaffy_HWActually, the margin that the jumps go up in agility, is larger than NAFA flyball. Say from 8" to 12" and then 16".
Glenn.HamiltonLet me clarify - agility has its separate height divisions just like NAFA - just less of them.
kimi personally have more of an issue with how measuring is done because a dog can freak so easily
dgsmith2 minutes
dgsmithLets be sure this is oriented to the candidates - not just a general discussion
Chris_THTHIt's a safety issue that needs to be addressed.
Dana.NicholsI think this is an issue that needs considerable study before it should be brought to a delegate vote. I think other measuring devices would need to be researched fully before considering making such a major change to our sport.
Glenn.HamiltonI do not believe that it is a safety issue whatsoever.
Zachary_A_ChernikI think it should be brought to the delegates to vote. So that we can research the issue in greater detail and get it resolved Asap.
PJStaffy_HWI would still like some examples of "safety issues" other than dogs freaking at measuring. That is not a safety issue. What type of "safety issues" do the candidates feel the dogs face when jumping NAFA heights versus U-FLI heights.
dgsmithLast comments please.
scottNETZach, that is not the way it works. To bring it to the delegates, you need to have something for them to vote on
Stacy_C8How does the agility world handle their safety issues? Or are there safety issues in agility?
Zachary_A_ChernikI stand corrected...thanks Scott.
kimthe jumps are PVC vs wood/sintra solid jumps
Dana.NicholsIf your dog is not safely able to jump his NAFA jump height, then you can run with a smaller dog that would allow you to jump a lower height. If your dog can't safely jump 7 inches, then flyball might not be the best sport for him.
kimPVC falls off whereas in agility a jump is knocked and falls
Zachary_A_ChernikStacy....ask the rehab vets in your area. In my area....there is a growing number of dog injuries in both agility and flyball.
dgsmithChris asks "what is the biggest challenge facing NAFA and what is your specific plan to address that challenge?"
Dana.NicholsIt's the challenges in flyball that make it rewarding. Like Glenn said, we don't want to get to the point where we eliminate jumping alltogether.
Glenn.HamiltonI believe that our biggest challenge is getting consistent, accurate measuring established. As you can see from the board's activity over the past several years, that has been a central focus on what has been done. Improved judging programs, better defined rule description and a stronger focus on ensuring conformity to the rules. So the next step is understanding that our judges needs continued upgrading to bring the sport that conformity. As Lisa indicated earlier, perhaps the height card has outlived it usefulness and should be replaced.
jhhhGlenn what improved judging programs are you talking about
Chris_WooferinesGlenn, what do you plan to do/introduce at the BoD level to insure this trend continues and how do you see NAFA benefiting?
Glenn.HamiltonA different approach may be to offer an annual challenge to an existing height card.
Chris_WooferinesThat's interesting. Don't let people sit on their laurels...
Glenn.HamiltonI have been working to get a ballot established on the height card issue for some time now. Yet another approach would be that teams racing for regional points are required to measure to their height dogs at every event or forfeit the points. Seems harsh, but consider it as a validation of the team's effort.
LisaPI don't really like the idea of certain divisions being singled out
Chris_THTHIt still means that there are problems with measuring as I have been asking the question for months and not getting a response from the current BoD.
LisaPI think it should be the same standard across the board
Glenn.HamiltonAll of these ideas still rely on the accuracy of the judge which brings us back to better education.
scottNETAren't the rules of racing supposed to apply to all divisions? What would it mean to the sport if single divisions were singled out?
jhhhso isn't there a video suppose to be shot on measuring? for training the judges?
Chris_WooferinesLisa....what do you see as NAFAs biggest challenge and what will you do about it should you win election?
Glenn.HamiltonLisa, regional winners have more to be gained than the lower divisions in that they are trying to be the champions of the region.
Glenn.Hamiltonjhhh: Yes
LisaPtrue, but sometimes teams end up in div 1 or div 2 depending on seeding or whatever and div 5 cares just as much as div 1
jhhhSo will that video be used to show the measuring that was being done at that tournament? for training?
petemach4Scott and Lisa - div 1 can't break out
Glenn.HamiltonIn my scenario, a team not contending for the region would not be awarded the points if they didn't measure.
Zachary_A_ChernikMeasuring needs to be resolved. Followed closely behind by growing/marketing NAFA are the two biggest issues I see.
scottNETI guess my question stems from our own history. The delegates have always complained that many rules have been created specifically for the faster teams. How do the candidates view how rules should be created? Should rules be created for everyone to abide by, or should certain divisions be singled out?
Zachary_A_ChernikDid NAFA not create new rules for veterans in jump heights and false starts?
scottNETThat applies to the whole class, not a certain division.
Dana.NicholsI think rules should apply evenly to all dogs in the same class, regardless of division.
Chris_WooferinesIt's easy to identify problems. Much more difficult to find compromise and offer solutions. Zac.... tell me what specifically you will do to resolve the main issue as you see it? Why should we vote for you?
LisaPThe rules should be the same for everybody, whether they are in Div 1 or Div 8.
dgsmith3 minutes
Josh_WatsonWhat rules do you think are different between divisions?
Dana.NicholsFrankly, I see other challenges facing NAFA. NAFA has done a great deal with improving the technology of the EJS system. I'd like to see that implemented in all regions. I think we are also approaching a time when scoring, racing sheets, and other administrative parts of racing can advance as well.
Zachary_A_ChernikWe need to get creative and also get more of the membership involved in discussions, we only have 30 members here tonight and there are how many members in NAFA? I've been researching new ways to measure dogs to see if there is a fair and fast way to measure a height dog. Using lasers and ultra-sonic devices.
kimwhat do you think about giving "regions" their own EJS systems? This could cut down on shipping and other issues from shipping
Chris_WooferinesZac.....people have the right to choose to Not participate. What should the NAFA Board have done to get more members here, tonight to talk?
Dana.NicholsNAFA has really moved in this direction this year by buying so many EJS units. I saw on the last minutes that there was a big reduction in shipping costs.
LisaPI'll answer Chris's earlier question. I think NAFA's biggest challenge is engaging new people and marketing the sport to the general public. We need to start talking up NAFA flyball. I think it's really sad that i can go into my vet's office or Petsmart (petsmart, for god's sake!) and none of them know what flyball is. There is a Lot that can be done on the web. There is lot more that can be done with a Marketing 101 approach. I don't see how NAFA flyball can grow if NAFA is not out marketing it. I don't have a specific plan, just various thoughts. A true plan would have to be created with the other board & committee members.
dgsmithLast comments please
Zachary_A_ChernikDo we know why they are not here? Monday Night Football....we need their input. or do they feel that their voice will not be heard?
dgsmithComing back to a previous topic with a bit of a different slant. We won't be on this for long - please just answer the question. Candidates only this time please.
dgsmithScott asks "How do the candidates view the relationship between NAFA and U-FLI? Do they see or are in favor of a reduction in the difference between the two organizations?"
Glenn.HamiltonMy view is that NAFA should continue with its rules, structure and game dimensions. We have over 20 years of history, records, champions and points that should not be ignored in a quick rush to make the sport easier.
Dana.NicholsI think the team and club component of NAFA is an integral part of flyball. I think NAFA needs to be responsive to its delegates and realize that flyball may evolve over the years, but I would hate to see NAFA change just to become like U-FLI.
LisaPI think NAFA should differentiate itself as much as possible. Focus on its unique strengths like teams and regions. Quit worrying about U-FLI and start worrying about NAFA.
Zachary_A_ChernikU-FLI is a organization that is competing with NAFA. Their growth has slowed from last year. I research each organization to see how each one is doing. I spend many hours researching information regarding flyball. My wife can attest to that fact with all the hours each week and video of flyball of different teams being reviewed to better understand our sport. Growth of NAFA is a major issue.
dgsmithOK, next question - same rules. This again is related to an earlier topic.
dgsmithKris asks "Do candidates regard the height card/measuring issue as suitable for delegate vote? Why or why not? How would they frame the question(s) if they favor its submission to delegate vote?"
Glenn.HamiltonI believe that the delegates should have a say in whether the height card continues. The problem is in the wording of the ballot. Perhaps it should be a multi stage problem to be answered in two ballots. First ballot would ask if Height Cards should be rescinded to determine if there is indeed a problem. If action was required, then the second ballot could offer an alternative method. The board has been wrestling with this problem for some time.
LisaP1) Yes 2) Because NAFA is built on the delegates 3) not sure how I'd frame the questions. Would need to do more research on measuring and options in general.
Dana.NicholsAt this point, I don't think this issue is ready for a delegate vote. To go to the delegates, we would need a clearly defined issue that could be voted on. Right now, I don't see there there are other alternatives that have been thoroughly researched. If at some point the Board was presented with an alternate measuring device that they believed was accurate and a far superior product, then it might be time to present that to the delegates. But, I don't think that such a major change to our sport should be entered lightly. Additionally, this matter would not be able to be brought to the delegates again for another three years. I'd rather see the Board take their time and frame the issue correctly the first time.
Zachary_A_ChernikYes and two parts to the delegate vote. The first part is Yes/no Change Measuring. The second would be options for changing....but this needs discussion from the BoD though the leadership chats with the membership.
dgsmithBev asks "I would like to ask the candidates about term limits, for/against and why?"
Dana.NicholsThe current rules provide Board members may serve two 3 year terms. I think this seems reasonable.
Zachary_A_ChernikI like term limits...but I think there should be a no vote of competence added for the delegates.
LisaPBev, is there a specific problem that you see with the current limits?
Glenn.HamiltonHaving a term defined provides for change within the board. As a volunteer run organization, it is important to provide a constant apprenticeship for new board members coming aboard. Knowing that terms is coming to an end can signal positive change. With the delegates in control of the elections, it remains positive.
Chris_WooferinesZac....I'm confused what is a "no vote of competence"?
rageLisa, I was just curious as to what was thought of the current limit, enough time to make changes not enough time etc
LisaPoh OK
Zachary_A_ChernikIf the membership has the vote to put somebody on the BoD, the only way for that member to be removed is by the BoD is my understanding of the by-laws. By having a Vote of No Competence the BoD will be mandated to remove that BoD member.
dgsmithMoving to the next question - should be short and then we have a broader question for all candidates.
dgsmithMy apologies to Judy and Glenn on this one - it was buried under some other windows. I think this addresses a part of Glenn's opening stmt: Judy asks "glenn when you are talking about financial integrity what exactly are you talking about? Are you saying that there was no integrity until this BoD?"
Glenn.HamiltonIntegrity means accuracy when applied to financial statements. Recent boards have worked very hard to make the organization run much more smoothly and have instituted the use of outside accounting agencies to validate the work. Financial reporting has been ingrained in the bylaws to provide for ongoing accuracy.
jhhhSo Glenn you are saying that an outside audit is being conducted each year of the NAFA books?
Glenn.HamiltonJudy, an independent accountant reviews the books for NAFA and prepares our financial statements for publication and tax filing. It is not an audit.
jhhhSo really that is no different then what had been done in the past
Glenn.HamiltonJudy, it really is quite different from past boards. To the best of our knowledge, in an extensive review of minutes we found that the NAFA books had not been reviewed by an outside agency since 1998. IRS filings were done by a board member and not by an accountant. Our IRS 990's are now available on-line.
jhhhWell technology has come along way in the past several years and has helped this to happen.
Glenn.HamiltonCurrent and available reporting, mandated by the bylaws is the significant difference.
dgsmithMoving to a broader question of discussion:
dgsmithKaren asks "tell me about what business experience you have that qualifies you to be a NAFA BoD member. A BoD steers a business, NAFA is a business."
Dana.NicholsI have studied many legal areas of business. I'm currently a criminal attorney, but for several years, I worked in civil practice representing and advising business owners.
Glenn.HamiltonI have run my own software development firm since before NAFA. That involves extensive knowledge of business systems, management techniques and how to make ice cream. I have served as secretary for NAFA in the early 90's, on the NAFA board in the mid 90's and have just finished a term of three years as a board member. In 2005, I made presentations to the Ontario government regarding BSL and secured an exemption for NAFA flyball from the Breed Specific Legislation.
Zachary_A_ChernikI've been in the consulting field for over 20 years have started a few companies along the way and had to deal with the growth and competition of other organizations for dollars. NAFA is Not-for-profit business but it is a business and thus must run like a business. Does NAFA have a mission statement....a business plan....how does it response....slowly or quickly to issues....theses are major items. I've asked the BoD in leadership chats some hard questions....regarding the organization...i would like to see NAFA grow.
LisaPI have worked for the past 11 years at several large companies - IBM, Bank of America, Tiaa-cref (my current job), etc. I work on project teams that are tasked with creating corporate websites or web applications. So most of my experience has been working with a team of people to get things done on time and to standard and budget. Prior to that i worked at a newspaper for 5 years , where i learned to curse like a sailor. i didn't want to mislead people into thinking i was younger than i really am.
dgsmithWith that I'm going to conclude tonight's chat session. Its been 2 1/2 hours and we've covered some good ground. I suspect future chats will also be informative. I'll ask each candidate to make a closing stmt to wrap up if they like and then I'll stop the transcript and open the room. Type away - no specific order.
Glenn.HamiltonI think that this has been a valuable discussion and look forward to the next three chats as well. But mostly, I'm looking forward to Scottsdale, Arizona and the Cynosport Games this coming weekend!
LisaPI just want to thank everybody for coming to the chat and bringing their questions. I look forward to the rest of them and i hope you all learned a little about me. I'm open to questions anytime via email: xterrier@gmail.com
Dana.NicholsNAFA has moved forward well in the past few years. It's in prime position to continue in this direction and see flyball move into the next generation in terms of technology and growth. NAFA's democratic structure allows us to have great input from the flyball community. Chats like this let us all contribute. I've really enjoyed these discussions and look forward to the upcoming chats.
Zachary_A_ChernikThanks to everyone that was present at this chat and others that will be reading the transcript later. I can be reached anytime by e-mail at zchernik@4gci.com or by cell at 847-951-5809. I look forward to all the future NAFA discussions.
dgsmithG'nite folks - thanks for coming! Room is now in open chat.