Multiple USBC Resignations...

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Re: Multiple USBC Resignations...

Postby onocoffee on Wed May 14, 2008 11:16 am

bz wrote:gotta say: i'm floored by the lack of reaction here to the issue of what ethical standards association/committee leaders are held to.


I've tried to stay to the sidelines as much as possible due to my personal relationships with many people on the current board, in addition to the fact that I no longer participate heavily in SCAA activities or politics.

That said, the seeming lack of attention to these recent problems smacks of either ignorance or arrogance. I spent a little time yesterday contacting some friends who do also do non-profit or not-for-profit work here in Maryland (and outside of the foodservice/coffee industry) to get their unbiased perspective. One does volunteer work for United Way of Central Maryland and the other is an executive with the Injured Workers Insurance Fund and their responses were not positive - especially in light of the SCAA embezzlement scandal of 2006.

Their consensus was relatively simple: a director caught up in a tax scandal and quoted in national-level press as being cognizant of financial mismanagement should not be allowed fiduciary responsibility over an association - especially one recently rocked by financial scandal.

Even considering my relationships with the people involved, I am unable to disagree with their assessment.


With regards to Marty Curtis chairing the Membership Committee...

I can only see that as a set up for failure.

While seemingly counter-intuitive, I think the notion of trying to train board members to be "well-rounded" is misguided. People have their strengths and Marty was supported by the membership because of his strengths - a major strength being his enthusiasm and involvement with the technical standards committee. A member who knows and supports Marty most likely did so because they presumed that Marty would increase his influence over that committee and bring about positive change. Positioning him over the membership committee seems misguided at best.

As the former board member and president of a cultural non-profit here in Maryland, membership is one of the hardest areas to develop. A specialist, or one who has the energy and resolve to devote to such a large task, is really the only one with possibilities of success. To place someone technically oriented in such a position is betting on poor results. It's placing Marty outside of his strengths.

It would be akin to asking Mark Inman to develop Third World Profit Increases for Wal*Mart.
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Re: Multiple USBC Resignations...

Postby malachi on Wed May 14, 2008 7:53 pm

I have enormous sympathy for any and all involved in volunteer run membership based non profit organizations.
It's a tough and often thankless situation.

As a result a sort of "bunker mentality" is common within leadership of these organizations.
This can lead to a lack of perspective and a lack of ability to appreciate how "outsiders" will perceive the actions and decisions of the organizational leadership.

Does it seem like a poorly thought through decision (at a management and governance level)? Yes.
But sadly it doesn't surprise me in the slightest nor does it seem in any way anomalous.
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Re: Multiple USBC Resignations...

Postby DaveHaddock on Fri May 16, 2008 9:47 am

The previous posts by Sarah, Ben, Jay and Melanie without a doubt express the very essence and symptom of the good ol' boy/clique mentality that infects the BoD and the political atmosphere of the SCAA. Rather than tiptoeing around a very obvious subject or not wanting to participate in the rumor mill, how about simply speaking the truth? Whether it concerns a raving madwoman physically assaulting one of her staff (and the ramifications of that) or a sitting director having his business siezed, condescension or the appearance of it with silence or the happy face only fosters distrust among the very people the ass'n needs to survive.

While I doubt no one questions Nick's qualifications and desire to be on the board and his willingness to volunteer, Sarah's concerns over his abilities to chair a committee are indeed valid.

We are an Association built on and based on the research of, testing of, promotion of and adherance to standards. The standards are the very backbone of what sets us, as specialty coffee people, apart form the swill of commercial coffee. Having had a hand in writing and implementing many of these standards, I see a disconnect between the work we do and love as committee volunteers and the politics of the SCAA.

We would hardly question the Golden Cup or the USBC score sheet or cupping forms without reasoned argument, testing and agreement. It seems odd that as Ben pointed out, ethical standards are left by the wayside for political expediency and good or at least predictable press.

The hard truth and reality is this: Nick should have been asked to resign from the board when the news broke about his business. Moreover, he should have resigned voluntarily out of personal integrity. Having him stay on and now be promoted to USBC chair brings harm to the SCAA's reputation in the same vein as having all the money imbezzled due to lack of oversight. Not publicy reporting why the former SCAA ED was forced to resign also drew many questions about the ass'n's stability.

Adhereing to standards is a GOOD thing. Telling the world that's what you're doing is a GOOD thing. Cloaking a problem, ignoring a problem and concealing a problem only causes more as we are witnessing now.
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Re: Multiple USBC Resignations...

Postby Mark Prince on Fri May 16, 2008 1:08 pm

DaveHaddock wrote:The hard truth and reality is this: Nick should have been asked to resign from the board when the news broke about his business. Moreover, he should have resigned voluntarily out of personal integrity.


I disagree with the former statement (the latter, I'm personally not sure on). For Nick to be "asked to resign" would set a very dangerous precedent for the SCAA that IMO would only lead down the road to more of the corruption, back room dealings, etc that you wrote about in the rest of your post.

Here's why. There is nothing in the SCAA bylaws that would give the SCAA cause to ask for Nick's resignation. Yes, I read the letter that Sarah posted, but the argument presented in there seems too weak and too interpretive of the bylaws to hold any water.

Since there are no bylaws that specifically violated, then the SCAA BoD cannot have any grounds to request Nick's resignation. If they did, they would be setting a new precedent - and with that new precedent, open up a completely new can of worms. What if a future sitting president doesn't like the fact that Marty won't wear a suit? Their policy for 20 years has been to wear a suit at the ribbon cutting. Marty, please resign, this board can't work with you... etc.

Drastic example? Of course. But with the precedent set, it could happen.

I never personally felt that Nick should resign from the BoD. But I did worry that, months after the financial stuff came to light, announcements that he was named to the WBC board (which was a decision made months before, but not announced), and USBC chair could lead towards perceptions just like the ones being written about now. It also leads to other weird rumours, like the gem that the European WBC Board members quit because of Nick's nomination (completely false).

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Re: Multiple USBC Resignations...

Postby DaveHaddock on Fri May 16, 2008 3:25 pm

While I agree that specifically there is no language or wording that provides a remedy, in this instance, as demonstrated by the letter Sarah posted from Mike Love, the spirit of the bylaws is being put to the test. Ethics, historically are always challenged by specifics and circumstance. Therefore, it is doubtful that Marty would be asked to step down unless a specific rule of personal appearance were written into the bylaws as opposed to the idea that he wasn't presenting himself like the rest of the class. In this instance, however,

Part 6. Of our Mission Statement says:
Encouragement of Sound business practices and Ethics

is clearly being circumvented by the example we are left with by Nick's actions and continued presence. A logical question is warranted, Does the BoD support and/or condone the actions of this director in keeping with the standard set in the bylaws?

I say the evidence supports resignation. The precedent Mark says would be set then is questionable, in my view, given the wide publicity and reflection on the SCAA.

But hey, I'm no lawyer.
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Re: Multiple USBC Resignations...

Postby onocoffee on Fri May 16, 2008 4:40 pm

Asking a member to resign and removing a member from the board are two completely different things.
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Re: Multiple USBC Resignations...

Postby Mike Ferguson on Fri May 16, 2008 5:15 pm

First, I find it tremendously encouraging to see that people are actually reading the SCAA bylaws these days. For years I felt that I, Ted Lingle, and the lawyer were the only people on the planet who had read them closely.

Now for some targets for the slings an arrows...

I have to agree with Mark that Mr. Love’s quotes from the SCAA bylaws are weak support for his stance regarding the status of board members relative to business conduct. I have spoken to Mike and he is earnest and forthright in his opinion: a board member who has broken any law should resign or be removed. That opinion, whether you agree with it or not, whether you believe the question to be more nuanced in this case or not, is a stronger argument standing alone than section 3e from the bylaws, which simply says it is our intent (i.e. object and purpose) to cooperate with others to establish and enforce rules, practices and laws that further our interests as an industry. Having experienced a brief stint in retailing, I may be able to argue that laws governing sales tax do not, to quote directly from 3e, “improve the conditions under which the specialty coffee industry renders services to the public,” and therefore are not subject to our support. Okay, that would be foolish, but I’m trying to make a point.

Mike also quotes 3f, which says to do whatever it takes to reach our goals, as long as it is legal. I’m paraphrasing, but the exact wording is in Mike’s letter via Sarah, page 1. This is specific to our corporate endeavors as a trade association. I can accept that the macro/corporate “do all that is legal to further our aims,” is inherent to the micro/individual “do all that is legal to further your business,” but, again, it is not what the section says and Mike’s opinion, an opinion which others clearly share, stands firm alone, without trying to squeeze it into the bylaws and so remove it from the realm of the “debatable.”

Clearly, it is debatable.

I realize that in online forums we fetishize opinion and a few have asked me to unzip already, but I decline to do so in this context on grounds both professional and personal and make no apology for it. But more importantly, I set aside my opinion as hardly meaningful. I came to it on my own, apart from this forum, as did Mike Love. Nothing I have read here has changed it or even moved it slightly and I have no need to get mine into the circle. Bigger than my opinion are a few questions.

In my view, the most relevant section of the bylaws is section 10 (CONDUCT AND POWERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS) paragraph “i” which reads:

"10(i) A Board member may be publicly reprimanded, fined, or have their Board participation suspended for cause by the Board after the following procedure: Cause shall include a failure, in serious degree, to observe the Association's rules of conduct as prescribed by the Board in the Bylaws or otherwise. This discipline shall occur only after the member has been given a fifteen-day prior written notice of the proposed discipline and the reasons therefore. The Board member shall have an opportunity to be heard by the Board, orally or in writing, not less than five days before the effective date of the discipline by the Board. The Board shall determine whether cause exists and the appropriate discipline, if any."

If I were a board member I would be reading this section over and over and I would be asking myself again and again “What rules of conduct, in the bylaws or anywhere else for that matter?” (note, they may exist, but in ten years I never saw them, or if I did it has been erased from my memory by Ninja hypnotists) Given that I was on staff for nine years and never helped write a code of conduct, I'll take my share of that hit.

And then, if I were a board member, and someone suddenly shoved some rules of conduct into my hands, and those rules addressed the current situation without ambiguity, I would ask which punishment, as described in the bylaws, fits this particular situation: Public reprimand, a fine, or suspension of board participation? And I would note that requesting or forcing a resignation was not in my arsenal. Neither is kicking someone off the board. Surely the reason the “original framers” of the charter/bylaws included more than one punishment was so that the punishment could “fit the crime,” from premeditated malfeasance, to irresponsible business practices. If I were on the board, I would be trying to follow a process using the tools available to me while remaining fair to everyone and respecting confidentiality regardless of what appeared in news articles or forums and it would drive me nuts that people thought I was trying to cover things up but I would keep moving forward with the process and not complain because I didn't sign up for a parade.

Finally, in the category of “let him who is without sin cast the first stone,” I feel I should point out that whatever action the board took toward a board member using section 10(i), they should be prepared to undertake with any member and then some. Section 12(e)(f) reads:

"12(e) A member may be publicly reprimanded, fined, or have their membership suspended for cause by the Board after the following procedure: Cause shall include a failure, in serious degree, to observe the Association's rules of conduct as prescribed by the Board in the Bylaws or otherwise. This discipline shall occur only after the member has been given a fifteen (15) day prior written notice of the proposed discipline and the reasons therefore. The member shall have an opportunity to be heard by the Board, orally or in writing, not less than five (5) days before the effective date of the discipline by the Board. The Board shall determine whether cause exists and the appropriate discipline, if any.
12(f) A member may be expelled for conduct prejudicial to the objects and purposes of the Association. This discipline shall occur only after the member has been given a thirty (30) day prior written notice of the proposed discipline and the reasons therefore. The member shall have an opportunity to be heard by the entire membership, orally or in writing, not less than fifteen (15) days before action is taken to remove the member. Expulsion shall be effected by the adoption of an appropriate resolution by two-thirds vote of the Association's eligible voting members in a written ballot."

But again, in (f) it only indicates acting against “objects and purposes” of the association, which are to promote public interest, provide education, establish a forum, ensure a sense of industry purpose, enhance the unifying character of the industry, and, again, whatever you can legally do to attain the above. As far as I know, only once has a member been publicly expelled, about 12 years ago, when a member was caught labeling bags of green coffee as Kona when they were mostly Panamas.

Clearly, this worked against the objects and purposes of the association. It wasn’t really debatable, and a judges agreed when he sentenced the member to a prison term. The legal punishment and th association punishment, you could say, were fairly aligned.

[edited for typos only...and no doubt I've still missed a few]
Last edited by Mike Ferguson on Fri May 16, 2008 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Multiple USBC Resignations...

Postby DaveHaddock on Fri May 16, 2008 7:03 pm

onocoffee wrote:Asking a member to resign and removing a member from the board are two completely different things.

Right, one requires integrity and the other requires guts.
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Re: Multiple USBC Resignations...

Postby Robert Goble on Fri May 16, 2008 7:44 pm

DaveHaddock wrote:
onocoffee wrote:Asking a member to resign and removing a member from the board are two completely different things.

Right, one requires integrity and the other requires guts.

Dave -- this is a quip -- and as a quip it's bullshit. Do better because your industry peers are watching and no one will engage you in debate or discussion if you're going to be throwing little quips around. Same message to all and any.

R.
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Re: Multiple USBC Resignations...

Postby bz on Fri May 16, 2008 9:06 pm

it's incredible to me that you'd think the ethical questions posted earlier are "weak."

it's incredible that we're parsing the whys and wherefores of a long list of specific bylaws without concrete conclusions -- a sure sign, if there ever was any, that you're on shaky ethical ground.

it's incredible, and logically fallacious, to say nick's removal would lead to MORE corruption involving, say, people who might not wear suits in the future. if you fear those who would take creative license with your principled actions, then you shouldn't be in a position to lead.

mostly, it's incredible how disconnected from the real world these arguments are. we live in a business culture where appearances of conflict (not just obvious conflict), financial irresponsibility, professional reputation and certainly illegal activity are all legitimate reasons for the removal of leadership -- regardless of what the written rules say. why? because credibility is one of the huge assets on which any public organization runs, particularly a volunteer-driven one.

none of these issues needs a rule to justify action, though a rule might make everyone feel "covered."

once again, i want to be cautious and express my respect and sympathy for nick. it's not about him personally. it's about conducting business in the 21st century, where your reputation is all you've got.
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Re: Multiple USBC Resignations...

Postby Mike Ferguson on Fri May 16, 2008 9:39 pm

bz wrote:it's incredible to me that you'd think the ethical questions posted earlier are "weak."


Ben,
My point, if it is my point you are referencing, is misconstrued here by you. Please indictae where I said the ethical question was weak.

I did indicate that attempting to tie the question to the bylaws cited was weak. I made no comment on ethics and, in fact, I said that the argument was well made without reference to the bylaws. It stands alone. The question of ethics is better addressed without referencing the bylaws. As you know, this is often the issue in politics, where no laws were broken, but...

As for "parsing the whys and wherefores of a long list of specific bylaws," I will cop to that. I am playing on the field that was established by others. I did not introduce bylaws into this conversation but since bylaws were being used (weakly) to make points, that's where I am playing. I realize there are countless fields open on this thread and no argument here follows anything approaching Socratic inquiry or even the dogged single-mindedness of McCarthyism's (though its manipulations occasionally echo over this forum), so I have to pick one attempt at presenting a construct and address that. On this thread, I picked bylaws. Bylaws or any laws inevitably lead to parsing (it depends on what your definition of is is).

Having said that, I want say that I could not agree with you more in terms of how disconnected this little chess game is from the simple day to day realities of most people in the coffee industry who depend on their association to be 1) credible, 2) credible, and 3) credible. Someone else set up the chess board, so I sat down.
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Re: Multiple USBC Resignations...

Postby onocoffee on Fri May 16, 2008 9:55 pm

DaveHaddock wrote:
onocoffee wrote:Asking a member to resign and removing a member from the board are two completely different things.

Right, one requires integrity and the other requires guts.


Dave, I think it's a bit more complicated than that. My quote above presupposes that it's the president or other board members of the organization doing the asking or the removing. To my mind, either approach requires guts.

However, the latter may be fouled by a myriad of rules or complete lack of regulations over the particular situation - which makes the forced removal of a member a sticky and complicated task indeed.

While Mike Ferguson offers a lot of food for thought, I tend to boil things down to a more basic level: has the situation in question eroded or destroyed the confidence of the membership in the current governing body? If the answer confirms the question then action needs to be taken before the situation worsens. If not, then business as usual.
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Re: Multiple USBC Resignations...

Postby Aldo1 on Fri May 16, 2008 10:36 pm

I think the ethical issues here are related to fiduciary loyalty and/or care. Protecting the fiduciary relationships the SCAA has with the whole and parts of the community HAS to be particularly important, now more than ever given the recent past history, doesn't it? Even setting aside the recent history, isn't it important?

The tax issue is/was, I believe, also a fiduciary issue, and is why I believe the appearance of all of this is important.
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Re: Multiple USBC Resignations...

Postby Mark Prince on Fri May 16, 2008 11:08 pm

I just want to add something in defence of Nick. Many of you know we've had "words" over various issues, and I won't rehash them here - I just want to give perspective - I'm no Nick "fanboy" :) (yeah, I'm looking at you Ric and Mark I.! :D :D :D :D).

Seriously though, I wanted to say at least from my perspective, Nick's participation on the SCAA board, and with the USBC has already paid huge dividends. He's a tireless worker at regionals and nationals (and the WBC). He's competed and officiated (Emceed) multiple events. This year's SCAA blog and coverage of the USBC is there because of Nick, and he brings a lot to the table as a board member and running the USBC.

He'll continue to advance things within the USBC from the perspective of a competitor and a barista and a shop owner. This hasn't happened with the USBC in the past. You had people running the show who (in my opinion) liked having it as a feather in their cap, on their bio page, but had no practical barista experience. It's different now. And he's also on the WBC board now too, and I expect more of the same - tireless, hard work, and representing the barista / competitor / shop owner perspective.

Sure, there's things Nick needs to improve on, and I think he recognizes this more than anyone. And I'm not too crazy about this idea of somehow merging the USBC with the BGA (I'd like to hear more about that, but I'm not a BGA member... I hope active members are hearing about it). But regardless of what's been going on with other business issues, Nick brings a lot to the table for the USBC and the SCAA, and now the WBC.

There's a phrase - let them speak not with words, but deeds (lol, I've been told this more than a few times), and in deeds within the SCAA and the USBC, we've already seen Nick Cho do a lot. So far, I haven't seen him do anything that's detrimental to both scopes, and I challenge anyone else to say or show different. We all talk about perception, myself included, but let's talk some reality too.

Nick's been under an incredible amount of pressure for months now, and I'm amazed at how well he's actually handling it. Add to it all a new found humbleness and humility, and I have high hopes for where the USBC might go (as long as it isn't a merge with the BGA!), as well as the WBC under his leadership / participation.

Mark
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Re: Multiple USBC Resignations...

Postby DaveHaddock on Sat May 17, 2008 12:42 am

Robert Goble wrote:
DaveHaddock wrote:
onocoffee wrote:Asking a member to resign and removing a member from the board are two completely different things.

Right, one requires integrity and the other requires guts.

Dave -- this is a quip -- and as a quip it's bullshit. Do better because your industry peers are watching and no one will engage you in debate or discussion if you're going to be throwing little quips around. Same message to all and any.

R.

Oh R.
I like quips, and I've seen worse on this and other boards.
As to my peers not engaging me, I think I can handle that. I can go lay by the pool.

And just to clarify, I like Nick as a friend and colleague. I consider him a longtime friend. My point here though was a question of standards and politics within the SCAA and my opinion as to what was going on and what in my opinion should be done.

It is without question Nick is a valuable member of our association, but so is Sarah, you, Robert and in my opinion, me. We are all represented my those elected members of the board and their action (or inaction) reflect upon all the membership.
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Re: Multiple USBC Resignations...

Postby drew johnson on Sat May 17, 2008 1:17 am

this is like the twilight zone. i am not a member of the scaa. i do not consider myself a friend or enemy of nick cho; i do not believe this to be a personal issue at all. i want to ask questions that i would typically ask nick via pm but i think membership has a right to know, or rather, if i were a member, i'd want stated or answered openly and publicly: dude, what's the rush? why not wait tll your name is cleared? if that does not happen why would you want a membership to think your position and abilities are bunk? why would you want that perception? why, in light of past scaa bs, would you push on while so much is in flux?
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Re: Multiple USBC Resignations...

Postby Robert Goble on Sat May 17, 2008 9:40 am

DaveHaddock wrote:Oh R.
I like quips, and I've seen worse on this and other boards.
As to my peers not engaging me, I think I can handle that. I can go lay by the pool.

Let me make this clearer. You (that's you Dave) are being held to a "no-quips" standard by me (that's me). I'm quite happy to oblige your need for sun and send you to the pool - what I won't do is let you participate in sensitive discussion only to watch you drop quips like little bombs - capiche?. Accept this gentle reminder and we can move forward sans quips.

R.
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Re: Multiple USBC Resignations...

Postby John P on Sat May 17, 2008 7:07 pm

interesting and illuminating thread...

It would be in the best interest of the SCAA for Ric and Mark to publicly state their support for Nick so all of this can end. It's really much ado about nothing. Rather than deny, or blame other management, employees, or accountants, Nick has owned up quite well to his mistakes. I think that much of the issue possibly relates to the fact that Nick grates on some at a personal level. Nick is a young guy, relatively new to the business, jumping to the forefront-- he may not have "paid his dues"; he's outspoken, and his motivation often comes across as ego-driven at times, but somehow things get done when he gets his giant melon involved, improvements are made, and things move toward new and unchartered territories. Sometimes he is inappropriate, sometimes he walks on eggshells, he is both admired and hated by many.... all of these things are qualities any good leader possesses.

Rather than this continue like a festering wound, the leadership should step forward and support their man.

Nick, sometimes you are exceptional, and sometimes you're a genuine pain in the ass,
but to continue to give what you do in spite of the controversy surrounding you says a lot about your character. Keep it up.
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Re: Multiple USBC Resignations...

Postby Alistair Durie on Sun May 18, 2008 12:21 am

Personally, and as an SCAA member who voted for Nick, I feel any calls for his resignation pretty empty. Did someone say weak? Ok, weak. If Nick was trying to deny or cover up his mistakes there may be something to discuss here. He has spoken openly, admitting his negligence and issuing many apologies and recourse. This is the kind of honesty and humility I seek in people I vote for.

I think calls for the SCAA leadership or Nick to respond to these calls here should not be answered. Validating this as important would set a sad precedent - these are the kinds of issues that can keep leaders busy doing the wrong work.

Ben Z said something that really bothers me: "it's about conducting business in the 21st century, where your reputation is all you've got." Although this may be a sad reality in some places, as a basis for decision making it is reckless, it is the fuel of political war games. I damn well hope leadership has a lot more to offer than reputation. I think business is about relationships. In any healthy relationship there has to be room for mistakes.

If you are hungry for dirt you will find a lot of it, all you can eat.

I feel great about the current leadership of the SCAA. Good people there. I don't feel the need to hear from them about these matters, in fact I hope they are working on more important things. Neither is it part of their job to come here and deal with these discussions - though I hope if they do visit they will tell us about something much more positive and relevant to specialty coffee.
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Re: Multiple USBC Resignations...

Postby John P on Sun May 18, 2008 9:58 am

Alistair,

agreed.

Enough is enough.

Jay often speaks of circling the wagons, and to me, leaving Nick hanging out to dry involves more circling by the leadership than stepping up and supporting him.

I am not an SCAA member, primarily due to the mishandling of these kinds of situations, and I would guess there are many out here who feel the same way. Leadership is not about doing what is popular, it is amount making tough decisions and sticking with them. Support your man.
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Re: Multiple USBC Resignations...

Postby Aldo1 on Sun May 18, 2008 12:44 pm

Look, I think when an entity (like the SCAA, for example) has knowledge of a fiduciary breach in the behavior of a director, it is a risk to the organization. I don't think that is lame, weak, nor the proper way for an association to conduct business. This is not a personal choosing of sides nor hanging someone out to dry -- and I see no need to assign nefarious motive to those on either side -- this is about risk, and it is serious stuff.
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Re: Multiple USBC Resignations...

Postby Robert Goble on Sun May 18, 2008 3:20 pm

Aldo1 wrote:Look, I think when an entity (like the SCAA, for example) has knowledge of a fiduciary breach in the behavior of a director, it is a risk to the organization. I don't think that is lame, weak, nor the proper way for an association to conduct business. This is not a personal choosing of sides nor hanging someone out to dry -- and I see no need to assign nefarious motive to those on either side -- this is about risk, and it is serious stuff.

I think we all have a pretty clear idea that you are passionate about this Melanie - and I think few would say this wasn't a serious issue - but others judge that risk differently than you and that's okay too.

What are you really worried about? What is it really? Appearances? You think there's a risk of what? Is this a stand on principles? A moral stand? How exactly is this going to affect the organization? What's the realpolitik here? What do we gain and or lose one way or the other? Spell it out. How does or should this go down either way?

R.
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Re: Multiple USBC Resignations...

Postby Brent on Sun May 18, 2008 3:27 pm

Watching from afar...

Is Nick any different today than when he was voted onto the board? in essence no. Perhaps a little wiser in the ways of book keeping? maybe not. I had some discussion via email with Nick a few years ago about his books, and recall that even then he made no pretenses about being a financial guru. Does that mean he shouldn't be on the board? no. He is perhaps not the best person to head up the finance committee though :lol: although then again, he perhaps has a better insight and value to add.

Nick does not appeared to have run and hid from this, and this is I think a good character trait.

Another thought is that in my experience most businesses have "tough" times. The ability to trade through those is not guaranteed. Sometimes, irrespective of the skills around the business it will still fail. Financial skills are in reality not that common. I come across a lot of "accountants" who don't understand the difference between a debit and a credit, which is fundamental. If they don't get it, I don't expect Nick, Mark Inman, Jay, Peter G etc to get it either.

That aside, prudence is required, as I said above, maybe Nick shouldn't be on the finance committee at present. But then I do recall an accountant I knew who was done for at the time one of the biggest fraud cases around. He was still working as an acocuntant the following day - as it was observed, he was still a great accountant, he just wasn't allowed to sign client cheques any more. His financial knowledge, ability and advice was still 100% valid, and the lack of funds stopped the gambling habit.

Nick still knows about coffee. Having abusiness closed down doesn't change that, just gives him more time to serve on SCAA stuff :)
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Re: Multiple USBC Resignations...

Postby Aldo1 on Sun May 18, 2008 4:27 pm

Robert Goble wrote:I think we all have a pretty clear idea that you are passionate about this Melanie - and I think few would say this wasn't a serious issue - but others judge that risk differently than you and that's okay too.
R.


I think i have been quite dispassionate and rational on this topic, Robert. I have some knowledge on this topic that I thought might be useful or something to consider.

I posted again to state my displeasure with what I see as personalized characterizations of the participants. My knowledge and other opinions were characterized as weak and being about dirt, so I thought I would reply with rational argument. I have not once suggested anyone's opinion was not OK, so I dispute that characterization, as well. I work really hard at respecting other opinions and am always disappointed when conversations go that way-- about that, I am passionate.
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Re: Multiple USBC Resignations...

Postby Robert Goble on Sun May 18, 2008 5:22 pm

Aldo1 wrote:
Robert Goble wrote:I think we all have a pretty clear idea that you are passionate about this Melanie - and I think few would say this wasn't a serious issue - but others judge that risk differently than you and that's okay too.
R.


I think i have been quite dispassionate and rational on this topic, Robert. I have some knowledge on this topic that I thought might be useful or something to consider.

I posted again to state my displeasure with what I see as personalized characterizations of the participants. My knowledge and other opinions were characterized as weak and being about dirt, so I thought I would reply with rational argument. I have not once suggested anyone's opinion was not OK, so I dispute that characterization, as well. I work really hard at respecting other opinions and am always disappointed when conversations go that way-- about that, I am passionate.

I'm still waiting for an answer to the substantive questions raised of you. There were no characterizations in my post.
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