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UFWDA Community Forum  |  UFWDA General Discussion  |  General UFWDA Topics  |  Topic: A new UFWDA 2007-2011 « previous next »
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Author Topic: A new UFWDA 2007-2011  (Read 7632 times)
Carla Boucher
UFWDA Executive Director & Legal Counsel
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« on: March 12, 2007, 12:41:39 pm »

As UFWDA prepares to face 4x4 access challenges for the next 5 years, its board of directors has undertaken a new business and marketing plan to steer the way. Our mission remains the same - promote, protect, and provide 4x4 access across the globe.† †

While some of the changes won't be effective until approved by the delegates at the 2007 annual memeber meeting, here's a look at what's on tap.

*† Improved techniques for servicing our members, including on-line member account services, improved 4WD Awareness Clinic availability, more on-line programs, and a fresh new look to the UFWDA Voice.† †

*† Better discounts from more merchants.

*† Better merchandise on cooler stuff.† Don't miss out on the Endangered Species shirts!†

*† An Organization Incentive Program where members can donate $3 of their membership dues to a UFWDA Organization of their choice.† If your club or association is a UFWDA member this program sends money back to your area to help keep 4x4 access in your area open!†

*† A dues increase to $25/year/member.

*† One vote for every member.† The current delegate structure† that limited voting to associations and/or clubs appointing delegates that was historically used to steer direction for UFWDA is being replaced with a "one vote for every member" voting structure.

*† New Business member structure to provide more benefits for each membership class, including special advertising discounts and special and exclusive promotional opportunities.†

To find out more, read the business plan and the proposed by-laws here!

edited 3/21/07 to post revised by-laws to correct Article III, Section 1(C) and renumber the remaining Sections.

edited 3/26/07 to post revised by-laws to correct Article III, Section 4 to clarify that membership classes with life-time benefits do not expire.

edited 6/20/07 to post revised by-laws to correct Article II, Section 1 to expressly indicate UFWDA is a non-profit corporation;  Article III, Section 1(c) to clarify that organizations will be entitled to one vote;  and Article V, Section 3 to clarify that directors must be members in good standing of UFWDA.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2007, 12:02:12 pm by Carla Boucher » Logged

Carla Boucher, Attorney
United Four Wheel Drive Associations
P.O. Box 15696
Chesapeake, VA  23328
(757) 546-7969
Carla Boucher
UFWDA Executive Director & Legal Counsel
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2007, 12:53:18 pm »

Take a look at an overview of what we have in store for a better UFWDA.

Give us your comments.  We'd love to hear from  you!

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Carla Boucher, Attorney
United Four Wheel Drive Associations
P.O. Box 15696
Chesapeake, VA  23328
(757) 546-7969
Todd Ockert
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2007, 03:57:06 pm »

Carla

It looks good, and looks like it is very sustainable.

Like mentioned in the plan, there may be a loss of members initially, but I am sure they will come back once they see what United is doing to protect their land access.

I know from talking to some friends in Vegas this week, they have a lot of issues there with access to public lands. 

Todd
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Member of Cal4Wheel, Hanford Trail Busters, Rubicon 4WDA
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Carla Boucher
UFWDA Executive Director & Legal Counsel
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2007, 10:31:30 am »

Todd, thanks for taking the time to review the documents and presentations.  And thank you for your kind words on the sustainability long-term for the plan for UFWDA. 

UFWDA is committed to providing better benefits with a sustainable UFWDA, including protection of access!

Carla
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Carla Boucher, Attorney
United Four Wheel Drive Associations
P.O. Box 15696
Chesapeake, VA  23328
(757) 546-7969
Todd Ockert
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« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2007, 02:43:12 pm »

Carla

I know it is getting harder and harder to get donation dollars. 
I know I cringe everytime I have to fill the gas tank, and with the doubling of the cost to fill my jeeps, it takes away from money I can donate.

If United could make something like the BlueRibbon, and a small donation every month of 5, 10 or what ever from their checking account, or credit card may help. 
I give $10.00 to Blue Ribbon every month, and would do the same here if that option was available.
Also in the military, we have the Combined Federal Campaign every year, and if United was listed there, I would donate that way if available.  Tread Lightly was there this year, and i made a donation to them. 

I know a bunch of groups are looking for our donations, and it is getting harder to pick who to donate too.  I would rather constantly donate to 1 or two donations along with my annual dues to my club and state association then pick a new association to donate to every year.  The reason for this, is the organization starts to depend on my donation, and if I take it away every other year, they may not be able to fight to keep lands open in my area.  Now my donations are small when compared to the big overall picture, but every dollar helps the association. 

Keep up the good work Carla.

Todd Ockert
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Member of Cal4Wheel, Hanford Trail Busters, Rubicon 4WDA
www.accessarmy.com
Trish Dinsmore
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2007, 12:51:28 pm »

Wow!

     What a major over haul- this really brings to the table a very serious discussion on how Associations will supoort United starting in 2008.
     Its very good to see that United is moving in a positive direction.  A business plan is an excellent idea and demonstrates Unitedís commitment to providing the best means of support to its members.  Successful management is the key.

Trish Dinsmore
Secretary, VA4WDA
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Tom Sumner
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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2007, 05:52:02 pm »

Thanks Carla  Grin

I will read these over and make them available to our Club to read. I will do my very best to answer any questions they have. I enjoyed having the luxury of attending the meeting and being able to hear you first hand. That will make it much easier. Any questions I can't answer I will try and get an answer here or contact you or your agency directly.

Thanks

Tom
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Carla Boucher
UFWDA Executive Director & Legal Counsel
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2007, 08:52:55 am »

Thank you Trish and Tom for your posts.  Tom, please don't hesitate to post any questions you or your club members have.  We are very committed to going through questions and ideas now so that when the July meeting arrives all of our associations and organizations are prepared to vote.

It was a pleasure meeting everyone from KMA Off-Road at the VA4WDA annual meeting.  You are a great bunch of folks and we're very happy to have you aboard.

Carla
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Carla Boucher, Attorney
United Four Wheel Drive Associations
P.O. Box 15696
Chesapeake, VA  23328
(757) 546-7969
Mark R Gregory
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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2007, 11:26:45 am »

Kudos to those responsible for the proposed new business plan and membership fee structure.

The proposed new fee structure should benefit everyone involved, UFWDA, its members, and the other organizations that support United.

When specifically (month), if the new fees are approved at the July meeting,  will they go into effect and be collected?

Thank you,
Mark
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President
Lone Star Jeep Club
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« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2007, 11:30:54 am »

The proposed dues change would take effect for 2008 Dues. 

Amanda Cottrell
UFWDA Administrative Officer
800-44-UFWDA
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Alan Hatcher
Southwest Four Wheel Drive Association
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2007, 10:12:13 am »

Take a look at an overview of what we have in store for a better UFWDA.

Give us your comments.† We'd love to hear from† you!


It looks like UFWDA is now going to be all about the almighty dollar, no longer operating as a not-for-profit corp. It will be about INDIVIDUAL members, not about member ORGANIZATIONS. It will no longer be UNITED ASSOCIATIONS, so how can you sleep at night keeping the name the same while radically moving the center of gravity of UFWDA?

The current BOD is 9 members and requires 2/3 present to conduct business and a 2/3 majority to take action. The new BOD will be 6 (or 7...more on that later) and quorum/voting is only simple majority. More power in fewer hands...not good.

Meeting notification will be as little as 10 days; it's currently 60 days. With 60 days notice I have a chance at making plans to attend a far-off convention; 10 days and it would be more costly (more difficult) to attend. There is mention of absentee voting, but no specifics on how this works. However many INDIVIDUAL members show up at a convention is a quorum. Very easy for a few folks living close to an annual convention to make changes that a vast majority of members wouldn't agree to. Control is moved to a smaller group...not good. Current voting/org is similar to representative government, much better than direct voting all the time.

Who is responsible for the books and records? Why is there no Secretary to record/file meeting minutes and other corporate documents? That's what a corp secretary does.

I have much more, but I have to go back to making a living. I'll be back.

Alan Hatcher
President
Southwest Four Wheel Drive Association
www.swfwda.org
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President
Southwest Four Wheel Drive Assn.
www.swfwda.org
Carla Boucher
UFWDA Executive Director & Legal Counsel
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2007, 12:23:00 pm »

Well.  Thank you for your candor. 

UFWDA is all about making your almighty dollar work hard for you and using it to protect 4x4 access globally to the best of our ability.  But we are not about the all mighty dollar in the disparaging way you indicate. 

UFWDA will continue to operate as a not-for-profit corporation, as we have since our inception some 30+ years ago.  This means that any excess money left at the end of year will NOT be spent to pay dividend or otherwise pay our members a profit.  Instead, it means that all the revenue we take in will be utilized for the mission of the organization - to protect, promote, and provide for 4x4 opportunities worldwide.  Our goal remains the same - keep roads and trails open for four wheel drive motor vehicle use.

I am unclear on the basis for your accusation that UFWDA will NOT be about member Organizations.  As indicated in the business plan posted at the beginning of this thread, Organizations are the only class of members that will be benefit from member referral and financial assistance from the Organization Incentive Program.  I invite you to review the business plan, particularly section 3.1.1(c) and 3.1.2(c).  Furthermore, Organizations shall continue to have voting rights to guide UFWDA policy and direction, see By-law Article IV, Section 2.  The change moves UFWDA from being controlled by 75% of our members (as is the case currently where only members represented through an organization have voting rights) to being controlled by the whole of our members or by 100% of them. 

Thank you for asking.  UFWDA, and it board of directors sleep very well indeed knowing that the proposed plan does more to enable UFWDA to save more trails and more access than it currently can while meeting the needs of 100% of the members yet retaining our focus on organizations. 

The meeting notification section of the proposed by-laws was drafted in conformance with IN state law which requires that no corporation may give notice of annual meeting less than 10 days before the meeting or more than 60 days before the meeting.  IN law in this regard is based upon model legislation adopted in the majority of states utilizing language adopted as matter of public policy to protect corporate members, contrary to the tone of your insinuation to the contrary.  The public policy behind the "no less than 10 days and no more than 60" is to give enough notice so people can make plans to attend but not so much notice that they forget to go. 
If Southwest Four Wheel Drive Association, whom you represent, would like to change the notice to require more than 10 days all you need do is bring your request before the board.  It matters not to UFWDA whether we give you 10 days, 25 days, 45 days, or 60 days.  However, we are legally bound to stay within the parameters set by IN state law that gives you no less than 10 days notice and no more than 60 days notice. 

The specifics on how absentee voting works is clearly spelled out in the by-laws, Article V, Section 4(d) and Article VIII.  Absentee voting is limited to two circumstances - voting of officers and by-law amendments. 

There is no secretary because the cost of travel solely to fulfill the purpose of taking meeting minutes is expense and redundant.  The obligation of the recording secretary is placed upon the Administrative Officer as part of the paid duties of that office.  In the past the office manager attended the meeting at the expense of the corporation and the secretary attended the meeting at the expense of the corporation.  UFWDA feels it is the best use of limited funds to only pay one person to record the minutes and attend the meeting rather than two. 

UFWDA has a special forum established for organization delegates and organization board members, to which you have full access.  Please go here for the in-depth discussions that have been taking place since January regarding the proposed changes for UFWDA.  I trust that your SWFWDA delegates provided you with a full report of these activities upon your acceptance of office, but in the unlikely event they did not please feel free to browse around and read the voluminous amount of information on this subject.  Please follow this link: http://www.ufwda.org/smf/index.php?board=16.0

 I appreciate your apparent passion in seeing that UFWDA remains the world's leading all-brand representative of four wheel drive enthusiasts.  Please feel free to direct any complaints or questions you have to our board of directors or to myself at attorney@ufwda.org.  Our goals are those of our members - making a strong UFWDA to protect, promote, and provide 4x4 opportunities worldwide.  I have been copied on your e-mail communication with the President that you sent yesterday.  Please understand that the board and myself strive to respond to matters quickly and efficiently, but even myself, working 12 hours + in a day can not always respond the same business day in which correspondence is sent to us.  Your patience is appreciated.   

Thank you,

Carla




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Carla Boucher, Attorney
United Four Wheel Drive Associations
P.O. Box 15696
Chesapeake, VA  23328
(757) 546-7969
Jim Mazzola
UFWDA President
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2007, 12:27:05 pm »

Meeting notification will be as little as 10 days; it's currently 60 days. With 60 days notice I have a chance at making plans to attend a far-off convention; 10 days and it would be more costly (more difficult) to attend. There is mention of absentee voting, but no specifics on how this works. However many INDIVIDUAL members show up at a convention is a quorum. Very easy for a few folks living close to an annual convention to make changes that a vast majority of members wouldn't agree to. Control is moved to a smaller group...not good. Current voting/org is similar to representative government, much better than direct voting all the time.

Alan Hatcher
President
Southwest Four Wheel Drive Association
www.swfwda.org

This is one of the issue I have with a pure INDIVIDUAL based membership organization. I agree we should let individuals have some say but as you pointed out, a meeeting in a strategic location could garner enough members to shift the focus of UFWDA. While I don't think it's 'dooms day' scenario, I do believe the Associations in the organization should still hold the majority power.
I hope you'll be in attendance at the Delegates Caucus prior to the AGM this year. There's lots' to talk about. And a Carla just pointed out while I was typing, there has been mucho discussion on this. Go read the post's she identifed and weigh in on the discussion more, please!
jim-kb8ymf
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Alan Hatcher
Southwest Four Wheel Drive Association
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2007, 02:11:13 pm »

We have elected delegates; I am not one and I have no plans to attend the convention. I trust our delegates to take care of business.

I don't see how UFWDA can still be about it's member orgs/assoc. when one grizzly old prospector in the Yukon Territory who sends in his dues has a vote equal to SWFWDA's one vote. Southwest can afford to send a couple delegates to represent/vote for us. Under the new plan, two of those prospectors can vote alike and trump SWFWDA's single vote (from 1000+ members). Oh wait, I guess we could send one delegate carrying 1000 absentee ballots. That sounds a whole lot better than the current system, you bet.

I prefer to keep my questions/concerns out here where ALL members can read/comment.

If UFWDA will still be non profit, then put the words in the bylaws.

Where in the new bylaws is it CLEARLY stated that ORGANIZATIONS get a vote? Article 3, A. clearly says private sector members get a vot, B. clearly states biz members get a vote, C. says nothing about Organizations getting a vote. Since two of three classes are clearly given voting rights and no mention is made for a third, one can only infer that ORGANIZATIONS GET NO VOTE. There is ambiguity between this article and article 4 regarding voting rights. One seems to trump the other.

The membership no longer votes on dues. The Board has total control to set dues. The board shrinks; it takes a smaller portion of this smaller number to make things happen. Fewer people have TOTAL control of the purse strings. This is scary to me. Very scary.

As I read the proposed bylaws, the APPOINTED operations person is a director and officer AND [maybe] will earn a salary. The wording needs work if this is not the intention. The bylaws suck if this is the intention. I have no problem with a paid professional Executive Director. I have big problems with some of the convoluted language in the new bylaws regarding officer/directors/appointments and executive committee. It's as if great care were taken to hide what's really going on.

As small as the borad of directors will be, why is there a need for an Executive Committee? Provisions are there to conduct business by phone, so it ain't like "it's too hard to meet often to conduct the day-to-day biz."

If the goal is to give individual members more power (apparently, greater power than member orgs), then UFWDA is no longer ASSOCIATIONS united for common goals, but rather INDIVIDUALS and BUSINESSES united for common goals. Will individual members need access to club insurance for trail rides/events? Who's more likely to work together for a common cause [like keeping BLM lnad/trails open]: Las Cruces Four Wheel Drive Club and Southwest Four Wheel Drive Association, or individual joined members of United living in New MExico and Texas? SWFWDA is an ASSOCIATION that UNITED with other ASSOCIATIONS within UFWDA to achieve common goals. The new UFWDA should be UFWDE or UFWDP (enthusiasts or people). It will no longer be united four wheel drive ASSOCIATIONS. This is a significant change to the core of UFWDA.

Back to work for me.
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Southwest Four Wheel Drive Assn.
www.swfwda.org
Alan Hatcher
Southwest Four Wheel Drive Association
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« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2007, 02:32:29 pm »

Last comment then I really have to run.

Please don't reply, "Read the business plan" as a retort to my concerns. The BYLAWS establish the rules. If the bylaws don't say it's so, the business plan doesn't make it so. Will delegates vote on a BINDING business plan? Can the directors change the business plan whenever the wind changes?
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President
Southwest Four Wheel Drive Assn.
www.swfwda.org
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