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Thread: Your AMCA Board

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,034

    Default Your AMCA Board

    Dear All, we've had questions and concerns all over this forum about the workings of the Club Board. If you'd like to organise them under this heading, I'll do my best to answer them for you, or put you in touch with someone who can. Best regards.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Merritt Island, Florida
    Posts
    159

    Default

    Dear Steve,
    A section in the Forum with board member involvement is long, long over due. As you can tell from many comments in the judging section, the lack of the board to be sensitive to the membership is the real crux of the problem. As you very well know, we, the members, have NO direct vote in anything the board says or does. I hope the board can see from the groundswell that has developed over the judging issue that perhaps the board needs to see that the old way of doing business may not be in the best interest of the club in the long run. I think we have heard every excuse at some point why the board stays isolated and that it supposedly is in the best interest of the club, but until the board [and our finances] is open to the members, there will always be suspicion that the board works in it's best interest, not the club members. We may be a bunch of old bikers, but we need to run in an open, business like manner.
    There obviously has to be a mentality that " we are the only ones who can handle it" and that anyone from the rank and file isn't qualified or isn't an "insider' and therefor not eligible for consideration. Like in our country's history, "taxation without representation' is a good comparisson of what is happening. Sorry for the English-American history reference , but it gets the point across. Having to petition the board for permission for up to two members to sit in a board meeting is rediculous[as written in the bylaws]. Board meetings should be open to anyone wishing to attend, as long as they keep quiet unless given an opportunity to speak. There may not have been any real interest to attend board meetings in the past, but that should not stop members from having the right to openly attend. The present system is too restrictive to members. If our club truly has the 10,000 plus members claimed, there are many qualified to run in OPEN elections whereby the members qualifications can be published and then voted on by members, without it just being a popularity contest, like some fear. There are many members who feel the board has done a good job. But the lack of openess is now being looked at more and more like what presently is happening in the US Congress where lack of openess and back door deals seems to be the way we are heading. All know what a stink that has caused. Our board needs to adapt an openess policy. Until the board is opened up directly to the members, every decision will be questioned, especially after the distrust the Foundation separation caused. [I hope the board doesn't really think that issue has gone completely away.Members talk about it every meet I have been to since it happened]. I'm not trying to debate the necessity of that action. It is the way it was handled and came down that is what is at issue.
    The judging issue isn't really about whether or not Kevin or Robin were out of line, or there is disagreement over rules, or personalites. It is being seen by many, whether involved in the judging or not, friends of those involved or not, as a deliberate attempt by the board or board members, or even the President, as having a heavy hand with no repercussions from members who have no say in their board.
    I would like to see, from members of the board, why they think this system should stay in place where members have no say in who is on the board.
    Tell the membership why we have seen no financial statements from the club [audited as well] when the bylaws require chapters to report financial matters yearly. The form is in the bylaws for that. [If I have somehow missed this in reading the bylaws, let me know, but I can't see anything requring a full financial disclosure from national or an audit requirement].
    Why at a minimum, we couldn't have at least one or two "at Large" elected board members that directly represent the members if the status quo is desired overall by the board.
    Why meetings can't be opened to any member who wants to attend, no strings attached. [No advanced permission and more than two open to attend].
    Steve, even if everything has been totally above board in the past with nothing but truest of intent by the board, it has to see that the old way of doing business has, and is being challenged. What better way to deal with it than opening up the books, let the members inside, and asking members to be involved and listen to their input. Prove there is nothing to hide. Each and every board member should write to this column you have started and address these issues before this matter that started with the judging gets out of control. A President's column would also be a good addition, or at least, a posting to this column.
    In closing, if the board was more open, most of the questions that have occured in recent years from the Foundation situation to the recent judging controversy would be averted. On the Forum, the club by-laws should be published as well. We should not have to request them as is now the case. Finances could also be posted. This would completely negate any concerns over cost of printing. Recorded audeo copies of board meetings could also be posted. Anything done to open things up would prevent all the misconceptions that recently have come boiling to the surface.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    252

    Default

    bikerdds
    You have summed it up very well
    Jeff Bowles
    Arkansas
    Membership # 14023
    1957 Sportster

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    25

    Default

    What was the TRUE cost of the alliance with the AACA museum to the AMCA? Not only in dollars, but in lose of board of directors members and regular members? With $400,000 being used to start the foundation about two years ago, and the recent request for an additional amount it would seem that the cost has been at least $400,000. Please prove this theory wrong. Did AMCA get ANY benefit from the alliance, any new members or sizeable donations? The first thing Peter Gagan did as president was raise dues. Now a few years later 1/2 the treasury is gone.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Mitford Community, South Carolina
    Posts
    584

    Default

    I hate to get this started again, but please allow me to pass on this information as was told to the Chapter Presidents in Davenport a couple of years ago.

    Many of us remember the AMCA as a IRS 501(c)3 - with donations being tax deductible - organization. As part of the process whereby the National required the local chapters to submit documentation so that the National would be able to file the taxe reports on the chapters, the IRS examined everything and make a determination that the AMCA is not a 501(c)3 organization. Where a 501(c)3 determination could be granted for a group that is offering historical illumination to the public, like a museum for example, the IRS determined that the AMCA was in fact a 501(c)7 organization which is basically a group of folks organized to share a common interest. The main difference for most of us is that contributions to a 501(c)3 are tax deductible while those to a 501(c)7 are not - they can be accepted but all you get is a big thank you.

    Accordingly, if the AMCA wanted to establish a means to bring more folks into the group, in effect educate and enlighted the public, and as part of this process attract donations from corporate or individuals, it had to do so under a SEPARATE 501(c)3 organization, hence the AMCA Foundation. Examples of the work by the AMCA Foundation are the attempts to develop an AMCA Museum and the expenses being incurred by the Bobber Give-Away that we have all followed on this forum.

    The single issue that has divided the membership is not that a separation of Club and Foundation occurred, it is the lack of information and lack of transparency in the implementation. Though the chapter presidents were informed, and I passed along that information which we included in our newsletter plus I discussed it in our next chapter meeting, the majority of our members are not in a local chapter.

    This same lack of transparency and the helter-skelter approach taken in the implementation of the new judging rules is the issue, not the fact that there are new rules. I am sure that if we all give it enough thought, we can all agree that certain changes were inevitable. The way it was accomplished was, IMHO, horrendous. If the proper methods had been undertaken, which involve rational discourse and a step-by-step implementation plan, I feel that the changes would have occurred regardless, though in a more measured timeframe.

    At issue is the "lack of memory" of the board in such matters. The apparent disregard of some of the board members to the mistakes made in the past and the lessons that should have been learned, but have not, gives the membership reason to distrust the very folks entrusted with serving all our needs.

    I do not believe that any of the board members have a hidden agenda, but they do need to make clear where they intend to take the club.
    Lonnie Campbell #9
    South Cackalackey, U.S. of A.

    Come see us at the AMCA Southern National Meet - May 2018 at Denton FarmPark, Denton, N.C.

    Visit the website for vendor and visitor information at www.amcasouthernnationalmeet.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    3,475

    Default

    Lonnie, I think you've done more to enlighten the membership in regards to the Foundation than anyone from the Foundation has. Just an observation on my part; but when the BOD gets an idea they want to implement. . . Run it by the membership. I would think that it would be easier to get members on board first rather than do damage control for months and years after one of these adventures.

    In support of the AMCA I would like to say that our quarterly magazine "The Antique Motorcycle" is great. The magazine is the most important function of the national organization and is by far the greatest benefit to the greatest number of AMCA members. In that respect, I think the AMCA is doing well.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Queens, N.Y.
    Posts
    5

    Default Thread

    Well spoken gentleman! I am looking forward to the new Southern Meet and the famous southern hospitality.

    Hackwing

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Mitford Community, South Carolina
    Posts
    584

    Default Some non-BOD insight into a BOD meeting

    Thank you. If any to the information is incorrect I did not say it. I would like to make a few other observations.

    I, along with Louie Hale, Pres. of the Dixie Chapter, Matt McManus, VP of the Blue Ridge and Bob Aton, our Nat'l meet coordinator, met with the Board at Eustis in 2009 to give our presentation for our Southern National Meet. The Board meeting was held in the hotel (forget the name) in Mt. Dora in a conference room. As such, the room was pretty well full, with no extra room to speak off for any spectators. Keep this in mind as I go further into some insight.

    I am BOD chairman of a rural water district in S.C. appointed to the board by the governor (please no comments about soul mates from Argentina), and elected to the chairmanship by the other board members. We have close to 1,000 customers and all on the board are customers, by law. Also by law we are required to have an annual meeting, advertised in a local newspaper 30 days prior, wherein any and all members or even the general public may attend. Keep this in mind also.

    Comparing my experiences in the above two circumstances, I can make the following statements:

    1> If the room in which the '09 Spring meeting is indicative of the other rooms in which the AMCA Board meetings are held, without a larger venue there is no way any more than a handful of members could attend. I would say that four would be the max. I am sure that Trudi negotiates the best possible rate and a larger venue would entail greater expense, if one is available.

    2> When a statement was made that in the past when the Board meetings were fully open only two people attended, I fully believe that to be true. In the five years I have been on the water board, the most we have had attend any meeting including the publicized ones is two people. And the members we have are all local! And we have the meetings in the evening! And we are usually done in 1-1/2 hours! And there is no swap meet to distract them! So, two AMCA member attendees is quite believable.

    3> From statements Board members have made in my hearing, it is not uncommon to have a meeting last 6 - 9 hours. Can you imagine, from 4PM to 1AM! Based on that, I am quite greatful that our presentation was the very first thing on the agenda! And no wonder we do not see them at the Oyster Trough in Eustis on Friday night!

    All that being said, I do personally believe that the board meeting should be open to the general membership, with all rules of respectable behaviour, especially silence during the procedures in place and with no comings-and-goings except at regularly scheduled periods. I believe that, as at any government council meeting, pre-approval should be required so that Trudi could make proper arrangements, even if that involved a several month prior notification deadline with topic noted for the agenda and so the Board members can prepare. Time to speak prior to the beginning should be granted, five minutes max with a 30 minute cap on the time available. Just my thoughts.

    I would like to say that from the information I now see posted on this forum it seems that the Board does now "get it". It all boils down to communication and feedback.
    Lonnie Campbell #9
    South Cackalackey, U.S. of A.

    Come see us at the AMCA Southern National Meet - May 2018 at Denton FarmPark, Denton, N.C.

    Visit the website for vendor and visitor information at www.amcasouthernnationalmeet.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    233

    Default

    MGD
    Seeing as my name was mentioned, I'll put in my two bits worth. Raising the dues when I took over as president was long overdue, (by over a decade). Regardless of the treasury, there was a negative cash flow. In other words, more costs than revenue. That is what makes organizations such as ours go down the tube.
    As to the foundation, the slightly less than $400,000, which includes the cost of the Torque Four has not dissappeared or been squandered. The Antique Motorcycle Foundation is in the process of moving its museum from Hershey to its own 15000 sq. ft. facility in Newburg NY, right in the center of our club's greatest concentration of members. The current exhibit, "Fast From The Past", made up of AMCA members' racing machines will be opening in time for the Rhinebeck Super meet near there, and a ride and alternatively, coach transportation is planned from the meet. Fast From The Past will go on the road once it has run its term at our museum, and will be leased out to other museums in other areas to provide access to all members, and raise more revenue for the Foundation, whose reason for being is to educate the public in a positive manner about motorcycle history, our hobby, and the AMCA. We plan on a new exhibit per year, each one travelling like Fast From The Past.
    I hope you and others on the forum have a chance to visit us while at Rhinebeck.
    Pete Gagan

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    1,276

    Default

    pete is it really at teds

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