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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 8682 times)
Tammy Lynn Van Gemert
Northeast Association of 4WD Clubs
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« Reply #30 on: July 03, 2007, 08:52:00 pm »

I just finished reading over the Business Plan and By-laws. I was unable to get to the links that were listed for the dues discussions (said they did not exist or I don't have proper access).

Other than quite a few grammatical edits (sorry-it is what I do for a living so I can't read something without catching them), I found everything to be reasonable. I do have a couple specific questions. Starting with the By-laws:
1. Section 1, D- I found this to be confusing and a bit vague. Pardon my ignorance but what does it mean that "any member can waive notice of an annual membership meeting"? And is "any member" defined as a BOD member or any one of the member classifications.

2. Also in Section 2, B- I am pretty good at reading and comprehension but I read that several times and have no idea what that means. Maybe someone could paraphrase that into a few easy-to-understand sentences.  Smiley

3. Section 5- Will members have access to the resumes that the nominees have submitted prior to voting, so that the members may make an educated vote on who they want to elect for office? And again, does members refer to all of the classifications of membership to UFWDA?

With regards to the Business Plan:
I found this to be impressive and informative. However, I have to say that many of the Northeast organizations have found support to be a bit lacking from the national organizations. We understand that this is also in part to our lack of communication with the national organizations but at times we have communicated our issues only to be told that we cannot be helped because various people that sit on the board of the national organizations do not have the proper training/license to advocate in the Northeast. I read time and again in this Business Plan that efforts are going to be concentrated on all regions and support and attention will be given to local events, etc. So does this mean we can expect a better response to issues we are facing in the Northeast? Does this also mean when we have events that UFWDA will make more of an effort to attend if given ample notice? I know of at least three major events we host in the Northeast and I know we have asked for representatives from some of the national organizations and we never have received any interest. I understand sometimes schedules conflict and all you can do is send material but organizations are better received and accepted if there are actual representatives present.

I also do not understand and did not see a response to the question regarding the whole "Competition" issue. Why would you be worried about other national groups as long as we are all working towards the same goal?  I wouldn't view it as a competition-I would view it as strength in numbers with each organization working on issues using their own styles and expertise. I can't confirm the competition you speak of but if they are the other organizations mentioned in a previous post, I think each of them work individually with separate initiatives but in the end they all have the same result in mind-increased land access as well as sustaining the rights of those who wish to use the land we have been blessed with.

Please do not take any of this as criticism. I simply am trying to understand the process better and I think it is good to see that you realize the need for change and growth and are taking steps to improve your system!

Thank you.

This is OT but I was also shocked to learn that the new format of the Voice is cheaper than the old format. I worked for a publishing company for approximately 3 years up until this past year when I left to be a SAH mom. Based on the quotes we used to receive it seemed to me the new format would've been more expensive.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2007, 08:56:10 pm by Tammy Lynn Van Gemert » Logged

Tammy Lynn Van Gemert
Executive Vice President/Chief Editor, Northeast Association of 4WD Clubs, Inc.
95 XJ aka Dream Angel
http://www.DeepWoodsExtreme.com
http://www.nea4wd.org
Todd Ockert
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« Reply #31 on: July 05, 2007, 04:40:24 pm »

I am not going to try to explain anything that has happened in the past with UFWDA, since I am a new member, and new BOD member. 
If I am elected as the Director of Env. Affairs, I hope to get to as many events as I possibly can.  I also know that we have BOD's near the east coast, and cost wise, it would be nice to have someone attend those events.  I do agree with you, in that if we have a person there, it is easier to answer questions, and show that we have people that care about the organizations in our organization.

Travel is costly these days no matter what form you take. 

As for the other part of your post in relation to marketing.

We need to know what our competition is doing, and how they are doing it.  They are competing for your dollar also right along with us.  Even though we may work with them on some issues, for that unified group aspect, it still comes down to dollars from the people that join our organizations.  Everyone only has so much money to donate, and pay for membership in this organization, and others!  Some of us are in more groups then other people, and others are not in any, when they have the financial means to join all of them.  In the end, if they join all groups, and we join forces on an issue, then they would actually be counted three times in the numbers game. 
I do think that most of our competition is working towards the same goal we are, but with a little different game plan then we are. 
I could list our competition for donations here, but I think we can all list them, and there are probably more then what I could list.
I was not involved with the marketing plan or business plan, but have looked at both, and think they are excellent.  I am sure someone will not like them, and have issues with them.  But if we take a look at them from a marketing perspective, and look at what we are trying to provide to our potential customer/user, and make sure we can fit into their lifestyle, we will succeed in the future. 

Todd
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UFWDA Member #14102
Member of Cal4Wheel, Hanford Trail Busters, Rubicon 4WDA
www.accessarmy.com
Carla Boucher
UFWDA Executive Director & Legal Counsel
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« Reply #32 on: July 13, 2007, 12:19:19 pm »

By-laws:
1. Section 1, D- I found this to be confusing and a bit vague. Pardon my ignorance but what does it mean that "any member can waive notice of an annual membership meeting"? And is "any member" defined as a BOD member or any one of the member classifications.

"Member" is defined by Article III.  The section you inquire about in Article IV means that a member can waive notice of the annual meeting.  State law requires all corporations to notify its membership of the yearly annual meeting which is also required by state statute.  This section of the by-laws articulates the fact that a member can waive their statutory right to notice of the annual meeting.  More importantly the section goes on to indicate that if a member shows up at the meeting, their waiver of notice occurs de facto.  Except when the only reason they show up at the meeting is to stop the meeting for unproper notice.  In short, this section covers UFWDA by saying that a member can't whine they didn't get notice if they in fact show up to the meeting, unless the ONLY reason they show up to the meeting is to complain about not getting notice.  If they accomplish any business at that meeting they can't later complain they didn't get "notice".  Clear as mud, huh?

2. Also in Section 2, B- I am pretty good at reading and comprehension but I read that several times and have no idea what that means. Maybe someone could paraphrase that into a few easy-to-understand sentences. Smiley

This section means that UFWDA isn't expected to notify all new members of the annual meeting who join after we've published the original notice.  For example, we publish notice of the annual meeting in the Voice and on our website on June 1, 2008.  We do not have to then notify all new members who join after June 1, 2008.

This section also speaks to another situation for when UFWDA can draw a line in the sand on when it has to calculate membership.  Absentee voting is provided for in these by-laws.  But absentee votes have to be received in the office at a certain time prior to the annual meeting.  This section organizes who UFWDA must allow to vote by absentee ballot by giving UFWDA the opportunity to set a drop-dead date for determining who is on our membership roster. 

3. Section 5- Will members have access to the resumes that the nominees have submitted prior to voting, so that the members may make an educated vote on who they want to elect for office? And again, does members refer to all of the classifications of membership to UFWDA?

Yes, members will have access to information about the nominess to aid them in making an informed decision.  Yes, members refers to all classification of members appearing in Article III.

With regards to the Business Plan:
I found this to be impressive and informative. However, I have to say that many of the Northeast organizations have found support to be a bit lacking from the national organizations. We understand that this is also in part to our lack of communication with the national organizations but at times we have communicated our issues only to be told that we cannot be helped because various people that sit on the board of the national organizations do not have the proper training/license to advocate in the Northeast. I read time and again in this Business Plan that efforts are going to be concentrated on all regions and support and attention will be given to local events, etc. So does this mean we can expect a better response to issues we are facing in the Northeast? Does this also mean when we have events that UFWDA will make more of an effort to attend if given ample notice? I know of at least three major events we host in the Northeast and I know we have asked for representatives from some of the national organizations and we never have received any interest. I understand sometimes schedules conflict and all you can do is send material but organizations are better received and accepted if there are actual representatives present.

I can only speak to this national organization - UFWDA.  When I have been asked for legal support or advise I have given it to the extent I am able to.  For example, my help was requested in drafting by-laws for a club in Massachusetts.  Although I am not licensed to practice law in MA, indicating such to the club I worked with, I was able to give them guidance on general issues pertaining to the by-laws and also give them pointers on specific issues that needed more attention.  I was able to give them the help they needed but also pointed out areas where I could not give them advise on what to do, only what to look for and how to use their own best judgment to resolve the issue or how to seek legal advise from an attorney licensed in MA. 

I have also been contacted many years ago about state law road access claims.  I offered my legal opinion and advise on handling the issue from a general standpoint. 

Recognizing the limitations UFWDA has with the states its attorney(s) is limited to practicing state law claims in does not detract from the overall legal benefits that UFWDA can offer state organizations.  UFWDA may not be able to send an attorney to court in your state of interest on a state law claim but that doesn't mean your organization can't get legal benefits for the amount of dues it pays. 

UFWDA makes every effort to attend the events at which our attendence is requested.  However, our financial situation dictates that decisions are made based on the money available to pay for travel, balanced against the revenue and goodwill potential of the event, the size of the event, the amount of advanced notice, the time of year, the length of the event, etc.  The business plan reflects an acknowledgment on the part of UFWDA that "face time" is important - as you point out.  The business plan is a general guide.  I can't speak directly to whether or not UFWDA will meet your organizations expectations because I don't know what you need or desire.  I can ensure that UFWDA is putting into place objective and fair criteria under which we can make decisions on which events to attend, which events to donate raffle prizes to, which events to send information to, which events to have a booth at, etc.  Please list the three major events in the Northeast and the details surrounding each event and whether or not you want UFWDA representation at each one.

I also do not understand and did not see a response to the question regarding the whole "Competition" issue. Why would you be worried about other national groups as long as we are all working towards the same goal? I wouldn't view it as a competition-I would view it as strength in numbers with each organization working on issues using their own styles and expertise. I can't confirm the competition you speak of but if they are the other organizations mentioned in a previous post, I think each of them work individually with separate initiatives but in the end they all have the same result in mind-increased land access as well as sustaining the rights of those who wish to use the land we have been blessed with.

We identify and worry about what other national groups are doing because our membership requires it of us.  UFWDA is asked very frequently "what have you done for me lately"?  What has UFWDA done in the NE?  What events has UFWDA supported in the NE?  What legal assistance has UFWDA rendered for clubs in the NE?  UFWDA only cares about public land, what has it ever done for those of us living in states without public land?  If we can not address these questions and address them in a manner that is better than BlueRibbon Coaltion or TreadLightly! or SEMA, or whoever, then you will spend your dues with them, not with us. 

When organizations believe they can purchase better benefits from the new "legal beagle" eco-law group they will divert their membership funds to the new entity with new promises in a New York minute.  We must stay competitive and responsive to our membership in order to maintain their membership.  We can only stay responsive if we do a better job of servicing them than our competitors. 

The same thing is occuring at a state level.  Over the past decade state-level multiple-use organizations have cropped up in many states.  They often refer to themselves as [state] Off Highway Vehicle Council (Coalition, Association, etc.).  Their purpose is to "give a larger voice to the motorized recreation community" by pooling numbers into a single organization that represents a large cross-section of modes of motorized recreation - ATV, OHM, 4x4.  4x4 clubs then see the new OHV council and start asking their state 4x4 association what they are doing to be the "voice" for motorized recreation.  While the overreaching goal of the two entities is the same - save access - they compete for money from the same set of individuals. 

My final comment in the "competition" question is to point out the intricate relationship between dues, benefits perceived, and the mind-set of some members.  It is incumbent upon UFWDA to provide benefits that square with the dollar amount of dues.  It matters not that many 4x4 enthusiasts spend thousands of dollars for a winch, a lift-kit, a CB, a couple tanks of gas and registration for some wheeling events, or whatever.  They will NOT see the value in spending $25 (or more) with UFWDA, AND joining BRC for $20.  If either one of those entities are not working on a specific project in their backyard, they do not see any "benefits" in belonging to them, let alone to both of them.  They believe $45 a year is too much to spend because they do not believe that the legal battles our groups spend at the national level ever has or will have any impact on their access at the local level. 

I'm very passionate about the competitive nature of getting and keeping dues.  I've re-read my post in the hopes that I've achieved a balance between being passionate about the issue without being defensive.  I hope you take my words based my passion for UFWDA and not as being a defensive answer to your harmless question. 

Thanks for posting your questions here and now while I have a chance to respond to them. 

Carla
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Carla Boucher, Attorney
United Four Wheel Drive Associations
P.O. Box 15696
Chesapeake, VA  23328
(757) 546-7969
Tammy Lynn Van Gemert
Northeast Association of 4WD Clubs
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Posts: 92


« Reply #33 on: July 13, 2007, 08:47:42 pm »

I appreciate the response and understand where you are coming from. I did not take offense and only hope that you read my post in the same manner as we share the same passions. I also was not calling you out personally with my NE references.

I understand the by-law questions I had-it is too bad you have to use all the jargon and can't just print in black and white what you explained.  Smiley

I will definitely post the details of our events. At a minimum it would be nice just to have United literature to distribute at these events. Anything provided in addition to that would be considered a bonus!  Wink

Thanks again.
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Tammy Lynn Van Gemert
Executive Vice President/Chief Editor, Northeast Association of 4WD Clubs, Inc.
95 XJ aka Dream Angel
http://www.DeepWoodsExtreme.com
http://www.nea4wd.org
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