At the Jan 7th, 2009 BoD meeting the ACNA elected its officers from the Board:
Bruce Bradigan, President
Kent Anderson, Vice Presiedent
Mary Ayers, Secratary
Steve Earley, Treasurer
Also, Bill Congo was appointed to fill Matt Hull's vacant position for the remainder of Matt's term.
01-09-2009, 06:42 AM
Well, that is terrible news indeed.
01-09-2009, 08:49 AM
01-11-2009, 03:42 AM
Why do you say that?
01-11-2009, 10:22 AM
I think its best to let the record of what's happened over the past few months and years stand on its own Bruce. I like to deal in facts. I wouldn't want anything I might say to be mistaken for an opinion.
Are there any hens left in the foxhouse?
01-11-2009, 12:59 PM
Okay. If you ever want an explanation from me of anything I might done or might know about please let me know.
Give my best to Bonnie.
01-11-2009, 08:06 PM
I'm not sure that such a public forum is quite appropriate for a what could be a lengthy discussion between two men that might cover as much as more than two years of history. One of my last "discussions" with you was an email dated March 14, 2007 in which you explained that it was your decision alone to "Blacklist" me from registering for an NEQ event and how you thought my attendance would put your event at risk. You explained how you felt I had an agenda that might be inappropriate. I asked if you felt you were giving me a fair shake.
I've got nothing to hide, but others may not be so interested in our "dirty laundry." However, since I have your attention (and it is most welcome), one of my good friends who has read this thread has asked me to ask you the following:
I think Bruce would do well to provide a reason behind the bannings, the banishments, the abrupt two-face and how he treated both you and Bonnie.
Further, he insists:
All you gotta do is let him know and he'll tell you why he did what he did.
The only problem with answering that question here is that you would want to tell the whole story and not leave anything out. That would take volumes and to do any less would not be fair to either of us Further you do not have access to or even understand the FULL story because some of what transpired happened before your tenure at the NEQ and has been hidden from you. It would HAVE to be since some of that knowledge base would be derived from NEQ Executive Sessions, that by rule, you could not know.
So, in the final analysis, if you were to present an argument as to why your decisions were correct and honorable, they would, at best, be incomplete, and at worst be incorrect perhaps through no fault of your own.
Perhaps I spoke too quickly when I used the word "terrible" in my post. I admit that I have dismissed you as arrogant and misinformed. I have assumed that as an NEQ Board Member that you have gone along with their numerous violations of their own bylaws, the ACNA Code of Ethics and mistreatment of ACNA members.
Perhaps I was wrong.
Since we last interacted I have become a father for the second time and still live in a home where my elderly parents have an apartment. Although I still mismanage my own time which is no end of frustration to my lovely wife I realize that time is more precious than ever.
As I age (46 next week) I also realize that each and every one of us has obligations and complications in life that relative strangers could not possibly know.
I say these things because I realize your time and efforts are no less valuable than my own. However, as President of the ACNA you have been presented with an unusual opportunity to wield executive power in a way that can help heal the organizations.
I've put a lot of sweat and tears into my local Audi clubs (including much service to the NEQ) over more than a decade and I would welcome the opportunity to discuss the FUTURE. I have some suggestions that might help you be able to effect change that will make local chapters, remaining members, and ex-members feel like they have a voice and a stake in the greater organization.
Surely, if you have the time to discuss the past with me, you can make the time to discuss the future in order to effect positive change. I promise to listen if you will honor me with the same privilege. I will do my best to accomodate your schedule if you will do the same and I am willing to travel if it means meeting half-way.
I would further welcome and encourage other participants that you or I would like to invite.
There is too much knowledge available, too many good people willing to work, too much to lose, and precious little risk in trying to do the right thing.
I am extending my hand, will you?
Please allow me to leave you with a quote from John Foster Dulles:
"The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it's the same problem you had last year."
01-12-2009, 04:24 AM
I have to apologize, I guess I was feeling charitable late last night when I wrote my last post. If I have that kind of time available I should be spending it where the rubber meets the road with the good people still left in the ACNA, and with my wife, kids, and parents. I would be happy to help you facilitate a meeting between you and whoever else has the time and energy to go down this road. My trust in the ACNA has been broken so many times I guess my confidence in a postive outcome is really at an all time low and I'm not convinced any energy I might put in is a good use of my time or limited resources. I guess that's part of the uphill battle you'll be challenged with as the new ACNA President.
I guess I do still have the same problem I had last year... along with many, many others.
I welcome other concerned folks to contribute to this thread and ask the hard questions.
01-12-2009, 08:12 AM
...something I am very appreciative about, I have a question or two.
Last March, I filed a formal complaint with the ACNA about the banning of Mike Collier from a NEQ event. I never formally heard back from them. I only heard tell that it was rejected because Robert's Rules stated that the ACNA could not accept complaints from advocates. Of course, the person that stated this was the very person who the complaint was filed against: Steve Earley. Robert's Rules specifically states that such complaints should not only be accepted, they should be encouraged.
So, my questions are: why is this banning accepted practice with the NEQ? Are you going to continue this practice with the ACNA? Why is Mr. Earley allowed to dictate the policies and procedures of the ACNA when he continually mistates policy in his own favor?
Oh, and here's the complaint:
Dear ACNA Board of Directors,
At the risk of being accused of stirring the pot or opening old wounds, I find that I must once again bring a situation to your attention; in this case, one that directly involves one of the members of the 2008 ACNA Board of Directors. It is a situation that you probably all are aware of, at least on some level. However, the latest occurrences in this long pattern of behavior are ones that I can no longer sit and ignore.
As you know, since the formation of the NAAC, there has been friction between the NEQ and the NAAC. With no notification, explanation or formal process, the NEQ has routinely banned NAAC members from attending or participating in their ACNA events, either as instructors, students, guests, or at all levels of participation. Among those currently blacklisted are Paul Royal, Ray Tomlinson, Bonnie Royal and now, it comes to light, Mike Collier. (Scott Downs, though banned from setting foot at any NEQ event, at least had the `benefit' of standing before the NEQ board so that they could tell him, to his face, that he was not welcome for the remainder of his life.)
It is the blackballing of Mike Collier that has finally driven me to take vocal exception to this practice and those that perpetrate it.
Given that Mike is a former ACNA director, many of you have worked with him and know that he is a man of character, dedication, achievement and, above all, one who holds honesty as paramount in all his dealings. He is also not one to complain, nor to broach ill comment about anybody. When asked, however, Mike will speak the truth, regardless of where it leads, but he is not one to take to the soapbox.
Mike has been striving to mend some of the rifts between the NEQ and the NAAC. He has established a dialogue between our clubs, even going so far as to ask Bruce Wiggett, President of the NEQ, to be a mentor for the newer NAAC driving instructors. On February 8, 2008, after previously contacting Mr. Wigget about instructing at the NEQ winter driving school at the Team O'Neil facility in Dalton NH on Feb 9, Mike called Mr. Wigget to confirm. Mr. Wiggett was a little hesitant but Mike assured him that he just wanted to assist in any way possible and that he viewed this as a means of taking more steps in rebuilding relations between our clubs. Mr. Wiggett thought this was terrific and told Mike to come on up, his presence and help were more than welcome. Mr. Wiggett went so far as to arrange for Mike to caravan with him from the hotel to Team O'Neil.
Not half an hour later after enthusiastically inviting Mike, Mr. Wiggett called back and sheepishly left a message stating that Mike was, in fact, not welcome to attend the NEQ winter driving school. Not only was Mike not welcome, if he did show up, he would be told to leave.
Mike was naturally taken aback by this turn of events and left wondering what could have brought on such an about-face. When they connected later that evening, Mike asked why he was un-invited. Mr. Wiggett, to his credit, told Mike exactly what had transpired. The reason Mr. Wiggett gave was that Steve Earley, the same Steve Earley that currently sits on the ACNA BoD and Executive Committee, had heard that Mike Collier had been invited to the school. Mr. Earley told Mr. Wiggett, in no uncertain terms, to call Mike back and un-invite him. Mr. Earley stressed that he, personally, forbade Mr. Collier from attending, assisting or even appearing at the school. Mr. Wiggett told Mike that Mr. Earley's exact words were "Collier or me. One of us will be leaving."
Naturally, as head driving instructor for the NEQ, the event could not be run without Mr. Earley. So Mr. Wiggett was left with the sad duty of making the reprehensible phone call to Mike Collier.
Gentlemen, I don't need to remind you that, as ACNA Board of Director members, you are required to be held to a standard to which all members of the ACNA should strive. You are required to regard the Bylaws and Code of Ethics as scripture in all ACNA dealings. You are required to treat every member with dignity. Your business should be handled with the highest degree of integrity and you each are to operate with the highest of personal ethics.
So, I ask you, where are the ethics, morals, equity, dignity and integrity in Mr. Earley's behavior? Is this the kind of example that the ACNA BoD hopes to set as acceptable? Is this the model behavior of somebody who is placed in charge of the Policies and Procedures? Why would an ACNA Director threaten to walk out of an event that he was an organizer of, simply because a member who had every right to attend, was granted that permission by a co-organizer? And why would Mr. Earley not grant Mike the dignity of telling him why personally, instead giving that sad duty to Mr. Wiggett? On so many levels, this appears to be a violation of so much of the ACNA code of ethics that I find it difficult to enumerate them.
Yet, it does not stop there. On March 8, the NEQ held an instructors clinic for all NEQ instructors. The clinic featured Larry Boyer as the speaker, along with sessions on safety, instructor candidates and dealing with aggressive students. The NAAC president, Peter Barada, attempted to sign himself up, along with Mike Collier and Paul Royal; all of whom have been NEQ instructors without complaint or incident. Mr. Barada was informed, by Mr. Earley, that although there was plenty of open room, the event was by invitation only. Of the three, only Mr. Barada would be allowed to attend. Mr. Collier and Mr. Royal were succinctly not on the invitation list.
As Co-chair of the ACNA policies and procedures committee, I would expect Mr. Earley to be more familiar with the ACNA code of ethics or, at the very least, the meaning and application of the Golden Rule. Instead, Mr. Earley has displayed a consistent pattern of disrespect, discourtesy and personal vindictiveness for a number of well respected ACNA members as well as countless voices that have gone unheard. This behavior continues even after taking a place on the National Board of Directors as well as a position on the ACNA Executive committee. In my opinion, with the un-invitation of Mike Collier, Mr. Earley's behavior has crossed the line into blatant and open abuse of position and office.
Mike Collier, as anybody who has worked with him knows, is a dedicated, focused ACNA leader who takes his duties seriously. He is not one to complain or politicize. I only found out about these incidents because he informed the NAAC Board of Directors as he felt it had a direct effect on inter-club relations. Mike did not want to take it any further than the NAAC board. I, and others, do not share that feeling. Mr. Earley has been allowed to continue his vindictive behavior long enough and it must stop immediately.
I informed Mike that I wanted to bring this before the ACNA board and he told me to go right ahead. I asked if he would back up what he told the NAAC BoD and he said that he absolutely would do so. If there are questions that any of you have about these incidents or even about Mike's original grievance filed with the ACNA BoD under Keith Anderson, you have permission to contact Mike directly. His cell phone number is xxx-xxx-xxxx.
Of course, you may decide that this is something that is not worth pursuing or rectifying, as was the case with Mike's original grievance, along with the three others filed by members of the NAAC (not coincidentally Paul Royal, Bonnie Royal and Ray Tomlinson). As the ACNA BoD, you are empowered to make that decision, but if that is indeed the case, please tell me directly so that I may inform Mike and the board of the NAAC. You might want to tell all the chapter reps too, so that they may inform their respective boards and members. That way, nobody will be surprised or complain when it happens to them.
As Mr. Wiggett told Mike during their un-invitation conversation, the problem does not lie with Paul Royal, Bonnie Royal or Mike Collier, the problem starts with Mr. Earley himself.
01-12-2009, 02:15 PM
01-12-2009, 02:47 PM
<center><img src="http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w37/KaiserFotog/rottentomatoes_big.jpg"></center><p>CAN'T attend an NEQ event.
Once you can address these issues (from the NEQ's end) THEN we can move forward.
Its simply BAD for the NEQ to have banned an instructor and then have other Audi chapters continue and use their services.
What was so bad to "ban" him? Paypal payments?
THEN there are several other <just happen to be NAAC members too> instructors who are <NOT> free to visit, welcome to attend and/or instruct at an NEQ event.
The list is QUITE impressive:
NEQ (now NAAC)Event masters
NEQ (now NAAC) Instructors
Former ACNA BoD members &
ACNA members all thanked and praised (at banquets and by thank you cards and holiday cards....)for their former help and assistance with NEQ events.
Some were also "let go" during their BoD service time and EVEN WHEN an ACNA directive allowed them to finish their NEQ time on the BoD, when the NAAc was formed..............guess what, they were thanked for their service and let go BEFORE their terms were up.
Keep in mind the ACNA addressed this by issuing a directive allowing them to remain and finish out their terms......but guess what, it didn't matter.
How about them apples Bruce?
All some of us had to do was run in an NEQ election provided by the Bylaws of the NEQ and the ACNA as a non profit, and for that, where are we now Bruce?
What can you do as President from both the ACNA and NEQ positions?
Not only are there stalled and unaddressed ethics issues at the ACNA, (you inherit these) but some of us can't even get a reply to our REPEATED INQUIRES.
I have had an issue before the ACNA BoD for OVER a year. Craig Lichety submitted it.
and guess what............happened to Craig...... the ACNA BoD moved the election candidate deadline up on him and 3 others to keep them from running in this years ACNA election which you befitted from, being elected and then becoming the ACNA president.
FACTS win every time Bruce.
I heard what you had to say at the annual meeting. I sat right next to you.
Your words about a "Quorum" spoke volumes about what you, in my opinion, are capable in doing as an elected ACNA BoD member....let alone the new President.
Care to address these: "carried over issues" from above (and others) or will you defer to the Policies and Procedures Committee on those?
-Scott # 3862
01-12-2009, 04:16 PM
There was no Bill Congo on my ballot. What are his qualifications? From which chapter does he originate?
01-12-2009, 05:17 PM
Bill Congo is from the Deep South (Georgia) chapter. There were 7 candidate names submitted by the current Board with their bios. As required by the bylaws the Board was required to select the replacement for Matt Hull. The next candidate on the most recent ballot was considered. The Board debated for about an hour. The debate included their contribution to their chapters, their contribution to the ACNA, thier geographical area, thier backgrounds and NFP experience, among other issues. Past ballot candidates were among those considered as well. Bill Congo was not on any prior ballots but he was recommended by a current Board member. Every candidate had positive and negative attibutes. Bill Congo got the highest number of votes on the second ballot and on balance was felt to be the best candidate.
I hope this helps.
01-12-2009, 06:10 PM
That is helpful and I'm glad that you were able to respond. I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on some of the other issues that have been raised here. I have some amount of understanding of the problems that have been laid squarely in your lap as the new President, but the other questions do deserve some answers if you are able. If you are not able to address the other concerns put forth here, would you be willing to say why? There are a lot of them to be sure, but I think if you were to tackle them one by one, we can get through it, finally. I, for one, realize that although you are President, you are also but one member of the board and you are new to the job. I am however, also under the impression that the President has the power to greatly influence, if not outright determine the agenda for the business of the board. As President of the NEQ, Steve Earley, your fellow executive, insisted that the President set the agenda. I don't think anyone is looking for overnight miracles, but rather a good faith effort to clear the decks and get to the bottom of some old business... which until it is addressed is current business. Thanks.
01-12-2009, 07:28 PM
01-13-2009, 07:15 PM
<b>"Bill Congo was not on any prior ballots but he was recommended by a current Board member."</b>
"Every candidate had positive and negative attibutes."
<b>"Bill Congo got the highest number of votes on the second ballot and on balance was felt to be the best candidate."</b>
So who was the first ballot winner? Why a second?
01-14-2009, 02:18 PM
Face it Scott, as far as a lot of things in life are concerned, it takes some time and natural causes before some people will ever answer for what they've done. Given the advances in geriatric care I don't hold out much hope ... you know, "Render unto Caesar..etc."
Better communication with the Chapters and Members is a high priority and is on the agenda for the 1/28 Board meeting.
Do you (or anyone) have any suggestions for us? We have thought about using the AudiWorld ACNA forum or a separate weblog. Any ideas?
01-15-2009, 07:47 PM
I'll start with an obvious one: When a member files a formal complaint, respond to him or her. Let them know what is going to happen. Or what needs to happen. Or did happen. Or why nothing is ever, ever going to happen.
Simply ignoring them only makes one want to make certain that every member knows what has taken place and who is responsible.
01-15-2009, 07:52 PM
You can start with responsiveness and honesty.
The silent treatment is not a communication skill as some folks seem to think.
01-19-2009, 07:11 AM
or something like that?
01-20-2009, 06:33 PM
Well, what gives, this isn't even a tough question....
01-21-2009, 10:20 AM
Just so we're on the same page, you are referring to Johnathan Porath's long post dated 1/12/09, of which the primary complaint is Mike Collier's being requested to not attend an NEQ event, right?
In any case, before the ACNA Board can respond I am having the Board develop a policy for dealing with such issues. Towards that end, a policy has been drafted, it has been discussed at an Executive Committee meeting and it will be discussed and, I hope, voted on at the next Board meeting, scheduled for 1/28/09. I believe the policy will be based on principles in the best interest of the ACNA.
Please stay tuned.
01-21-2009, 10:54 AM
Yes, sort of, actually one specific complaint is about the ultimatum given to Bruce Wiggett, but it only highlights the much larger problem that is evident from the complaint.
Hopefully, this doesn't get boiled down to "Whatever the Eventmaster or Chief Instructor wants is what the Eventmaster or Chief Instructor gets." While I support the intent of such rules, there's got to be some kind of meat behind the reasoning apart from: "That guy is smarter than me, he works harder than me, he makes me look bad, or I don't like that person, so I'm taking my ball and I'm only going to play in a place where I can have complete control and everyone likes me."
Someday, someone is going to tell me why I can't attend NEQ events. The only reasons I have been given are either based on the emotions (and misunderstandings I might add) of a few people, or assertions that no one seems willing or able to back up.
I am concerned (in general) about how some policies will come to bear ....
With regard to communication on issues like these I'm going to suggest that whenever anyone on the BoD thinks:
"best interest of the ACNA"
you should ALWAYS be able to think, write, and speak:
"best interest of the membership"
While it may be true that many of us should think of the "ACNA" and "The Membership" as one in the same, I think it serves as a reminder that the ACNA is best served when the membership is best served.
I think you would agree. Sometimes words are important on the way to action.
01-21-2009, 02:39 PM
I was just giving this some more thought while the spaghetti was boiling and in the specific case mentioned above what was really needed was some common decency on the part of the ultimatum giver, and some stones on the part of the guy that accepted it to tell him he was out of line... its going to be challenging to adopt any "policy" that will ensure just plain old decent behavior as opposed to some of the childishness we've seen. We have rules at our house, but we also have children... fact is, rules get broken, but its tough for anybody but a parent to enforce things like acting your age.
My guess is that no matter how hard you try, we'll wind up depending upon good faith, and for some folks, there's precious little to be had.
01-21-2009, 05:58 PM
He organized the Deep South Chapter (Alabama, Mississippi, Louisana, Arkansas)three-years ago. He drives an RS4 and his wife has an A-3. They have owned an Audi TT, A-6, A-4 Cab, and an S-4. For the past 40 years he has worked for the Defense Department. Has a BS degree from American University and has attended grad school at American University and University of Alabama as well as attending the Senior Excutive Fellows Program at Harvard. He served as an officer in the United States Army Reserve and retired as an LTC in 2006. He plans to run for election to the ACNA Board in 2010.
01-21-2009, 06:38 PM
Are you this Bill Congo?
"[Kwajaelin's] the only place where you can do exoatmospheric tests of long-range missiles," says Bill Congo of the Army's Space and Missile Defense Command in Huntsville, Ala., which operates the Kwajalein Range. "We've been testing out there for 40 years, and it's been a very successful facility."
You sound like a serious guy.... good luck in your new position.
01-22-2009, 03:40 AM
That be me. Thanks.
01-29-2009, 05:46 AM
Well, how'd it go? Was the outcome of your meeting fantastic, craptastic, or somewhere in between? Did the Board address any of the outstanding complaints?
02-08-2009, 07:30 PM
...as I've been removed from the Chapter Rep list. No notification, no "sorry-to-see-you-go", no inquiry to the chapter... just a complete removal from the list.
Reason? Well, it probably spawns from the desire to have certain 'aggressive' individuals silenced, but it falls under the guise of wanting to only have a single chapter rep per chapter.
While this may seem equitable, the duty of the chapter rep is not to present the views of the chapter or its members to the ACNA board. It has been proven time and again that the board does not listen or act upon the views or opinions of the reps. The job of the chapter rep is primarily to spread the word of the ACNA to the members of the chapters.
Of course, some chapters, like the NEQ, have three of their board members attending the chapter rep meeting. Oddly enough, they are the ones who are most in favor of having a single chapter rep per chapter on the calls.