Director-at-Large Candidates Chat
Candidates John Flannery and Ron Lesher attended.
All eight other candidates were invited.
[Not everyone who attended the chat spoke. This transcript has been edited of extraneous comments and the entrances and departures of participants. © 2003 de Vries Philatelic Media.]
April 30, 2003 10:00 p.m. EDT
Lloyd: OK, let's get started with the at-Large candidates....
DealerMalls_com: Do we have any here?
Lloyd: Just a reminder that you can change your chat ID by using the "/nick xxx" command (no quotes).
Foster_Miller: Lloyd - Steve Washburne reports in the Message Board that he is having problems with Chat.
JOHNFLANNERY:: Back in the saddle.
Lloyd: John Flannery is one, Ron "Revenuer42" Lesher is another.
DJS127:: Ron, as a directory at large what will be your focus if you are elected?
Alan: Did not know I reverted to Dealermalls.
Revenuer42 [Ron Lesher]: The tone of the board has to change. We need to build trust within the board before anything positive is going to happen.
DJS127:: How will you build trust and change the tone of the board Les?
Revenuer42: A board retreat with some outside professional help combined with some setting of direction for the APS.
Lloyd: Ron, won't that depend on the outcome of the election?
Revenuer42: We have lots of data from town meetings, but we haven't done much about looking at all of that systematically as a board.
Alan: Hi Ron and John, which BVP and Presidential Candidate do you hope wins?
Lloyd: LOL - Loaded Question Alert!!
Revenuer42: Lloyd, it has to happen regardless who is elected.
Alan: hey, it is fair game!
Lloyd: Yes, it is, Alan.
Foster_Miller: Alan - you didn't ask them if they supported Lloyd for Secretary!
Alan: I would be asking you too Lloyd if you had an opponent!
JOHNFLANNERY:: Ron's idea for some good old-fashioned Team-building is worth consideration no matter the outcome of the election!
Ada_M__Prill: should we leave while this question is considered?:-)
Lloyd: In 1997, we had a December meeting in S.C. specifically to brainstorm on the post-Pac97 image problems
ParksK: Lloyd, the politically correct answer would be: "The one who will do the most for the membership of APS."
JOHNFLANNERY:: I support the Treasurer candidate.
DICKSINE:: Ron, do you believe lack of teamwork is the single largest issue facing the Board right now?
Alan: No answer?
Revenuer42: Regarding the candidates for President. I believe that each candidate has demonstrated a commitment to the hobby. Each has a record of accomplishments within the hobby. I see the difference as one of style and I would like to believe that I can work equally well with either one.
Foster_Miller: For John and Ron - what is your opinion of the winter show? Are you willing to lose a little money in order to move the show around the country?
Revenuer42: Dick, anyone reading the minutes can see the evident lack of trust. It has colored many discussions in the last year and a half.
DICKSINE:: I won't argue that at all ... but is your response a "yes"?
Alan: I also want to ask about using the Internet more effectively, and supporting more funding to increase member participation in the society through the Internet. Is that something either of you support?
DICKSINE:: John: what is the largest single issue facing the board right now.
Revenuer42: Foster, the question of stamp shows is larger than just the winter show. The cost of venues is going through the roof and that includes New York. I would not be surprised that the ASDA New York shows are under a great deal of financial pressure.
Lloyd: Three questions on the floor right now; folks may need time to type their answers...
JOHNFLANNERY:: Foster, it is unclear to me that the notion of losing money on any show is a necessary predicate. I support winter activity. Is there an economic way to do it?
Lloyd: Alan has asked about use of the Internet, Dick has asked Jack about largest single issue....
Alan: Internet use and expansion, yes indeed! much more could be said (if I could keep up here!).
Ed: You're doing fine, John.
Lloyd: The trick is not to wait for the next answer, but just to plow ahead and send yours.
Revenuer42: Continuing on the winter show. I am aware that they have been held for a number of different purposes. That includes waving the APS flag in more remote areas, experimental exhibiting classes (one frame, cinderella, etc.)
Foster_Miller: Nick - welcome to the chat.
Ada_M__Prill: Jack just said he supports your candidacy.
dngc [Nick Carter]: Great!!
JOHNFLANNERY:: Dick: Biggest generic issue is finances. That issue comes in several dominant flavors: MF development, membership growth, investment policy, et al.
Lloyd: DNGC is Nick Carter, running unopposed for Treasurer.
Revenuer42: The question remains as to how much APS resources should be spent on such ventures. Which brings me back to team building and a systematic goal setting process that this board has to get involved with.
JOHNFLANNERY:: Hi Nick
dngc: Agreed - finance cuts through everything. I need directors who are willing to listen, learn and help
DICKSINE:: How, Jack, do you make the financial picture more positive ... do you have specific ideas other than spend less and get more members?
DJS127:: Les, you are sounding like a corporate team builder expert!
Revenuer42: Not an expert. But we have finite resources and we have not had any agreement on how to use the limited funds for Winter Show, Internet development, recruiting, etc.
DICKSINE:: Good point
JOHNFLANNERY:: Dick: Spend less is the easy part, and some , if not much, of the low hanging fruit in that area has been picked. I would like to consider promotion of the society in directions that a professional demographer could point out. Youngsters, yes, but surely that cannot be the extent of the opportunity?
DICKSINE:: There you go ... positive ideas. Love it!
Revenuer42: On another tack, the APS is just like other nonprofits. We need to rebuild the endowment to provide some consistent income, so we can better weather periods of financial unrest.
DICKSINE:: Can that be done with current staff?
Lloyd: Are philatelists' charity dollars being pulled in too many directions? MF, Wash 2006, Rangers, etc.?
DICKSINE:: No more than in any other endeavor
Revenuer42: I agree with the mentoring of youngsters, but we have to present them with some sound and lasting approaches. I'm not totally in agreement with such things as sitting down at a computer and designing a stamp as we have done at some shows. That doesn't lead anywhere to a sustainable hobby that carries over to adult life.
Ada_M__Prill: Ron, do you think the StampCamp USA approach is a good one for reaching kids?
Lloyd: We'll probably never get anywhere worrying about diverse draws on the philatelist's pocketbook. In fact, isn't the existence of multiple draws a measure of the vitality of organized philately in the broadest sense?
Lloyd: I'm just moderator/facilitator, Jack. I have no opinions ;-)
DJS127:: Ron but my son Aryeh loved the computer software to design a stamp as well as the other activities
DJS127:: at the Mega events and APS Stampshow in Atlantic city - and he sells stamps for me!
Revenuer42: Ada, the Stamp camp idea is a good one. It reaches very limited numbers, but if we can connect the kids with something that carries on into their studies in school. Connect them with the whiskey rebellion with revenue stamps; connect them with Ben Franklin and why the postmaster's job and his newspaper made him known throughout the colonies.
Lloyd: Q for both candidates: I believe you're both retired from your main careers now. How did those careers prepare you for being an APS director?
Revenuer42: The hobby of stamp collecting is not just about drawing boxes and filling the boxes with little pieces of paper.
DJS127:: Ron how about reviving the school stamp club through teh APS?
gimpy2002: Thanks......have a problem.....am trying to locate the particular stamp I wanted to ask about...... seems to have been misplaced in the past week.... very embarrassing....
Lloyd: Well, there's always the message board, Gimpy. It's 24/7 :)
DJS127:: if someone would send me ideas and plans I would do it in my local parochial school
DJS127:: Ron personally I hate designing album pages
DJS127:: What about reaching out to adults -- Lloyd has always said that they should be looked at for new membership?
Revenuer42: Well, I was a government bureaucrat in the field of education. I think some of my answers here this evening betray a lot of that. But my life long love of history and my involvement in being a docent at the local maritime museum has also had an impact in thinking about what these artifacts have to say about something larger.
Lloyd: Jack? Your background vis a vis APS Board?
DJS127:: Ron do you think that revenue collecting should be promoted more by the APS? It's a fascinating part of the hobby.
JOHNFLANNERY:: Retired, yes, but "retiring," NO! Many years in management in multinational business enterprise, in parallel with involvement in and on Boards of unrelated nonprofits have taught me a great deal about the responsibilities of fiduciaries (Board members) and the power of groups of people to great things if given sound direction as to objectives, goals, etc., and listened to with care as to the best means to achieve such ends.
Revenuer42: I think that the APS has done a lot already. Look at the divisions in exhibiting: revenues, cinderellas, illustrated mail. All making connections to our culture and society.
Foster_Miller: John/Ron: as an elected member of the board, will agree to support the actions of the board once they are taken? Will agree not to take an ad in Linn's opposing a board decision?
Revenuer42: Foster, I believe in representative democracy. Of course, I will work with the decision of the majority. Of course, I would not take an ad in Linn's. Didn't even do so for my lowest of low profile campaigns for this election.
JOHNFLANNERY:: Foster: Good question! I believe the time for debate is in the meeting of the Board. Once due process is complete, the Board speaks with one voice for all! No ads after the fact (or before for that matter!)
DJS127:: I have to call it a night as I am very very tired. WHat a great chat and good luck to all the candidates
Revenuer42: But let's take my words in the context of what else I have said this evening. We need to build trust and set some goals and then work for consensus.
Foster_Miller: Ron and John - THANK-YOU!
Foster_Miller: Ron and John - hopefully another easy one - What is your opinion of the proposed bylaw amendment that would allow the APS to suspend membership of someone charged in a government civil suit?
JOHNFLANNERY:: Foster: I favor the amendment, and was surprised earlier to learn that it was even needed.
Revenuer42: Foster, I was part of the meeting when that was discussed. The board of VP's and our legal counsel have to steer us in a way that does not open the APS to lawsuits. But at the same time we also have to protect our members. So it is a great balancing act. The amendment which I favor helps us in that delicate balancing act.
Lloyd: Any other questions?
Lloyd: I have one...what do you think of the tone of the APS elections this year?
Lloyd: Go ahead, Dick.
DICKSINE:: Ron: How long do you believe will be required for team-building to take hold and how effective do you believe the Board can be until then?
Ada_M__Prill: A member has proposed spending limits in future APS elections. Thoughts from either of you?
JOHNFLANNERY:: Ada: Haven't thought about that one, and have no first hand experience or knowledge that it is problem. Instinct tells me to be cautious and skeptical about proposals that may have the effect of restricting an electoral process - here or anywhere.
Revenuer42: Dick, that depends upon who is elected to the board. We have to do a better job of board building with new board members. And we desperately need to set some goals. The best-case scenario has us leaps and bounds ahead of where we are in under the year.
DICKSINE:: Could not agree more with that.
Lloyd: another good session. It is good to see candidates who have a broad -- board-like -- view of the APS and do not appear to be locked onto a single issue.
Foster_Miller: Related question to Ada's - do you favorite shortening the campaign period - this year's electioneering seemed to start too early,
Revenuer42: Ada, in the best of all possible worlds we don't need spending limits.
Lloyd: Thanks. I'm just sorry more couldn't/wouldn't be here.
dngc: Ron and John - I like what both of you have said this evening and I look forward to working with you on the next board.
Revenuer42: Thanks, Nick.
dngc: Thanks Lloyd for a great session - sorry the others didn't turn up.
JOHNFLANNERY:: Foster: Another one where I would tread lightly. I am not sure what constitutes "too long" and what harm is done. To the contrary, the existing format at least has the effect of bolstering interest among some in the affairs of their Society.
Revenuer42: Foster, that's a very complicated question. What comprises "campaigning?" again, I would prefer not to get into regulating that.
Ada_M__Prill: Ron, what about in our ho-hum pretty good world? I'm curious, as the issue was just raised by a member from the UK, and I haven't had much time to mull it over.
JOHNFLANNERY:: Thanks, Nick. Keep a seat warm for us...
Lloyd: John, I would disagree. From the moment Nancy declared, last October, I think, everything became political.
Foster_Miller: Personally, I'm concerned that the campaigning seemed to start right after the last election - candidates seemed to have to announce long before the nomination period to have a chance - I considered running for the board but wasn't ready to make a decision that early
Lloyd: How far in advance did Jack and Ron decide they would run? (Ron, for your first term)
Ed: I wish all the candidates the best of luck. We'll open the VSC polls after the last of the candidate forums...stay tuned!
JOHNFLANNERY:: Lloyd & Foster: But, what harm was done? It seems that even if one had a fixed date before which formal announcements could not be made, the "informal" would happen anyway. It's in the nature of such things.
Lloyd: Right. The VSC, as a chapter, also has a vote
Teamcat: [Ken Lawrence]: Now that the At-Large hour is up, I'd like to rejoin. The issue is when candidates may be officially nominated and seconded, not when someone may declare an intention.
Revenuer42: Foster, I was approached before the last election to consider running for director at large. I sent an e-mail out to about 10 people in the hobby who I respected. That was in September just prior to getting the petition and securing the signatures.
Ada_M__Prill: This isn't my part of the forum, but since it's after 11, I'll risk voicing an opinion. The long campaign period meant that I had to be putting together positions for the next election before I'd really learned the ropes in my first term. People tend to get locked into positions - one candidate still has a section of "Why I voted against the Match Factory." I don't want to restrain freedom of speech, but this 18-month campaign was exhausting and unhealthy.
Foster_Miller: The harm of early nominations is (1) it increases the decisiveness of the Board and (2) it discourages potential candidates.
Lloyd: I think both times it was in the fall of the year that I finally decided.
Teamcat:: The incumbent BVPs complained that some clubs do not meet in December, so they should be allowed to do so earlier. Unfortunately, the Board fell for that, and agreed, though in my opinion it violated the bylaws. Then Janet, Ann, Roger, and Joe opened their campaign by requesting nominations and seconds in July and August!
Foster_Miller: From what people told me, if you weren't ready to announce by STAMPSHOW in August, you weren't going to be a viable candidate.
Lloyd: I was asked to run, by Ken, in fact, so I hadn't given it much forethought until that fall, either.
DICKSINE:: If you only need 10 nominations from a minimum of 800 or so clubs, that logic seems rather flawed.
Lloyd: I still haven't put together my Web site :)
Lloyd: Bob Lamb told me the first time I ran that no one who participates in the chapter mailing has EVER failed to get sufficient nominations.
Teamcat:: Ada realized her mistake, and proposed to repeal the folly at Biloxi, which the Board did. But for this election, the harm was done.
Ada_M__Prill: The trouble is that once clubs have seconded one nomination, they don't discuss other potential candidates.
Revenuer42: My nomination was all individuals, not clubs. I then participated in the mass mailing for seconds.
DICKSINE:: Don't agree Ada ... ours certainly has!
Lloyd: Which one, Dick?
DICKSINE:: Fortnightly Club in Charlotte
Ada_M__Prill: The Collectors Club is not your average APS chapter, Dick
Lloyd: I know it would have been tough for VSC to reconsider. We made 3 seconds for at-Large...
DICKSINE:: What Collectors Club?
Revenuer42: Dick, our local club has also discussed at some length.
Ada_M__Prill: Sorry, I thought you were talking about the CCC.
DICKSINE:: 1) the CCC is not an APS chapter; 2) I am not a member
Ed: ...And, Lloyd, we were very deliberate in our seconding methodology
Lloyd: Collectors Club of Chicago isn't a chapter???
Lloyd: Yes, no quibbles there, Ed, but it would have been hard to reconsider.
Teamcat:: Ron, although that worked for you, it could trip up someone, because under the bylaws, individuals can nominate by petition only if they are not members of clubs that nominate or second.
Lloyd: Why isn't CCC a chapter, Dick? Some long-standing feud?
DICKSINE:: I don't know ... don't believe there is a feud. At least two of its members have been APS officers.
DICKSINE:: It prefers to maintain its independence, I guess.
Teamcat:: CPS is the oldest chapter, though.
Lloyd: I don't feel that APS has limited VSC's independence....
Lloyd: We're done with the candidates chat, I think...just generally chatting now.
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