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Management Question for the Candidates



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 27th 09, 11:12 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.computer,alt.chess
samsloan
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 14,871
Default Management Question for the Candidates

My answer is fairly simple:

The USCF has $3.2 million in annual revenues.

What do we spend the money on, please tell me?

I will tell you that it is wasted on "sacred cows" that the board
refuses to cut.

It is wasted on mismanagement.

I can tell you that if I am elected, and if three others are elected
who agree with me, there will be a lot of changes made.

Regarding the litigation, the impact of that is overstated. The USCF
was already losing an average of about $200,000 to $300,000 per year
before the litigation started. These huge losses were being hidden
from the delegates through "prior period adjustments" every year. The
cost of litigation is minor compared with these huge operating losses.

What the USCF needs is effective management like the kind we had prior
to 1996. During the period from the early 1980s to 1996 the USCF was
profitable every year. That was the period when the USCF built up its
$2 million reserve. That $2 million reserve is being squandered by the
office and the board every year, which is the reason why there is
almost nothing left now.

As to how to raise revenues, first we have to get rid of incompetent
and unqualified management. Next, the biggest area of growth is
scholastic chess. Chess Life 4 Kids needs to be expanded and improved
and not eliminated as the current board wants to do. The USCF could
easily have a million scholastic members if it made any effort at all
to promote scholastic chess. The current board has done nothing, not a
single thing, to advance scholastic chess.

Take a look at other organizations like the Boy Scouts of America and
Little League Baseball. They have millions of members. Why cannot the
USCF do the same thing?

Sam Sloan
  #2  
Old January 27th 09, 03:53 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.computer,alt.chess
samsloan
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 14,871
Default Management Question for the Candidates

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianLafferty
Quote:
Originally Posted by DACP
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolan
What would be the
practical impact of "Instructing the ED to raise revenue"? What
revenue items are there that the ED can impact in any meaningful
fashion, especially in the short term?

Mike Nolan
It's up to management to do that, but just as a point of information,
most non-profits live on fund raisers. Habitat for Humanity held an
auction - all items donated, had hors doeuvres, music, etc. MACA has
had auctions of chess books which were donated to it for that
purpose. Our church had a Church Fair. Others have had silent online
auctions. Could ask organizers to run chess festivals for USCF's
benefit and co-op on advertising, etc. I don't know Mike, but that's
my point, the ED's of other non-profits think about how to raise funds
not just cut expenses. I had suggested about two years ago that USCF
consider running regional scholastic chess events. There are options,
but I'm not running for the EB...let's hear from those who are.

Donna Alarie
I agree completely with the need for fund raising
and a full time fund raiser on the USCF staff. That does not mean we
can afford a full time paid fund raiser now, but it is something to
set as a goal of having. In the interim, once the litigation drain of
time and money is reduced, as it will be, the board and the ED will
have more time to focus on fund raising/development. I have worked in
fund raising and have taught a graduate level public administration
course in grant writing. Those are assets that I bring to the board
table if elected. If I'm not elected, I would certainly be more than
willing to aid the ED in that area.


Brian Lafferty
I disagree completely with almost everything that Donna Alarie and
Brian Lafferty write above.

The USCF is not the kind of organization that holds bake-sales to
raise funds. We are not a charity.

The idea of holding regional scholastic championships has merit. There
is a possible problem in that they would conflict with state
scholastic organizers who already hold these events. For example, USCF
President Bill Goichberg already holds the New England Scholastic
Championship. Would we want to be in conflict with an event already
being held by our president?

The proposals of Brian Lafferty demonstrate the problems with having a
candidate who has only been a USCF member for two years. When Tim
Redman was USCF President for the second time in 2000-2001, the board
was focused around raising funds through donations. Read the old
transcripts and you will see that they talked about this at length.
George DeFeis was hired primarily for his claimed expertise in grant
writing and fund raising. The end result was that DeFeis did not raise
any funds and indeed lost us more than one million dollars, which is
the main reason why the USCF is in great financial difficulty today.

Similarly, in 2006 the USCF hired Mikhail Korenman as a fund raiser
and advanced him $10,000 to help get him started. Korenman did not
raise any funds either and kept the money. It was primarily for this
reason that Korenman was defeated when he ran for election in 2007,
even though he had the strong support of Susan Polgar. It is shocking
that he has the audacity to run again. First thing he should do is
give the $10,000 back before he runs again.

These are not the only examples. There are many others. The USCF has
never been an attractive organization for donors. In the 70 years that
it has been in existence, the USCF has received few donations and when
it did, look at what has happened. Only one month ago, the USCF
received a bequest of $350,000. Now the money is spent, gone already.
The Frustrated Chess Mom is right. Unless and until and in the
unlikely event that the USCF puts its house in order, asking the
public for donations is just asking them to put money down the rat
hole.

Sam Sloan
  #3  
Old January 27th 09, 04:15 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.computer,alt.chess
B. Lafferty[_6_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 570
Default Management Question for the Candidates

samsloan wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianLafferty
Quote:
Originally Posted by DACP
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolan
What would be the
practical impact of "Instructing the ED to raise revenue"? What
revenue items are there that the ED can impact in any meaningful
fashion, especially in the short term?

Mike Nolan

It's up to management to do that, but just as a point of information,
most non-profits live on fund raisers. Habitat for Humanity held an
auction - all items donated, had hors doeuvres, music, etc. MACA has
had auctions of chess books which were donated to it for that
purpose. Our church had a Church Fair. Others have had silent online
auctions. Could ask organizers to run chess festivals for USCF's
benefit and co-op on advertising, etc. I don't know Mike, but that's
my point, the ED's of other non-profits think about how to raise funds
not just cut expenses. I had suggested about two years ago that USCF
consider running regional scholastic chess events. There are options,
but I'm not running for the EB...let's hear from those who are.

Donna Alarie

I agree completely with the need for fund raising
and a full time fund raiser on the USCF staff. That does not mean we
can afford a full time paid fund raiser now, but it is something to
set as a goal of having. In the interim, once the litigation drain of
time and money is reduced, as it will be, the board and the ED will
have more time to focus on fund raising/development. I have worked in
fund raising and have taught a graduate level public administration
course in grant writing. Those are assets that I bring to the board
table if elected. If I'm not elected, I would certainly be more than
willing to aid the ED in that area.


Brian Lafferty

I disagree completely with almost everything that Donna Alarie and
Brian Lafferty write above.

The USCF is not the kind of organization that holds bake-sales to
raise funds. We are not a charity.



Sam completely misses the point. We're not talking about bake sales.
We are a non-profit and organizations such as ours do effectively raise
funds in various ways from events to grant seeking.


The idea of holding regional scholastic championships has merit. There
is a possible problem in that they would conflict with state
scholastic organizers who already hold these events. For example, USCF
President Bill Goichberg already holds the New England Scholastic
Championship. Would we want to be in conflict with an event already
being held by our president?

The proposals of Brian Lafferty demonstrate the problems with having a
candidate who has only been a USCF member for two years. When Tim
Redman was USCF President for the second time in 2000-2001, the board
was focused around raising funds through donations. Read the old
transcripts and you will see that they talked about this at length.
George DeFeis was hired primarily for his claimed expertise in grant
writing and fund raising. The end result was that DeFeis did not raise
any funds and indeed lost us more than one million dollars, which is
the main reason why the USCF is in great financial difficulty today.



You can live in the past, Sam or you can move forward. I understand the
problems of the past as to these situations. They do not have to be
repeated in the future.


Similarly, in 2006 the USCF hired Mikhail Korenman as a fund raiser
and advanced him $10,000 to help get him started. Korenman did not
raise any funds either and kept the money. It was primarily for this
reason that Korenman was defeated when he ran for election in 2007,
even though he had the strong support of Susan Polgar. It is shocking
that he has the audacity to run again. First thing he should do is
give the $10,000 back before he runs again.

These are not the only examples. There are many others. The USCF has
never been an attractive organization for donors. In the 70 years that
it has been in existence, the USCF has received few donations and when
it did, look at what has happened.


That may well be because the USCF has not marketed itself well. That
should be changed and can be changed with responsible leadership.


Only one month ago, the USCF
received a bequest of $350,000. Now the money is spent, gone already.


Wrong, Sam. Earth to Sam--time to power up and engage factual reality
drive.

The Frustrated Chess Mom is right. Unless and until and in the
unlikely event that the USCF puts its house in order, asking the
public for donations is just asking them to put money down the rat
hole.


This election is about putting the USCF's house in order. There has been
great improvement in the financial accounting system used by USCF
managers in the past year. So we are moving in the right direction.
Sadly, I don't see you as capable of accomplishing much future
improvement, although I do not question your intentions


Sam Sloan

  #4  
Old January 27th 09, 06:10 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.computer,alt.chess
samsloan
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 14,871
Default Management Question for the Candidates

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Payne
Quote:
Originally Posted by samsloan
Donna makes a valid and
important point.

Brian Lafferty has many, many times said that the USCF either will go
bankrupt or should file for bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy should not be an option, no matter what, except in the
unlikely event that Susan Polgar wins her suit for $25 million against
the USCF.

I would not want for Brian Lafferty to be elected and then be voting
for the USCF for file for bankruptcy. Lafferty writes above:

"As to bankruptcy, that is not monster many think it is. If the USCF
management had not made the improvements it has in the financial
accounting area (Donna Alarie outlined this well in another Forum
post), then it could have been argued that bankruptcy reorganization
was a reasonable option."

Since the "improvements" that Brian Lafferty claims have been made
have not actually been made, this means that he still thinks that the
USCF should consider filing for bankruptcy.

I think that everybody should strike the name of Brian Lafferty off of
their list of names of acceptable candidates.

Sam Sloan
That is your point of view, and those agreeing with you should
consider that.
I now have a few questions for you Sam.

1. How did you, or do you think your lawsuit has or indeed will help
the USCF, and it's finances ?
2. Did you consider the Organization when you sued it (which includes
all of it's members)?
3. What makes your actions suing the USCF (intending to run for the
EB again) any less irresponsible than Susan and Paul's actions ?
4. Which in your mind would be worse, voting for the USCF to file a
reorganizing Bankruptcy if necessary, or bankrupting the USCF with
frivolous lawsuits ?

Just wondering.

Harry Payne
Your questions are valid and they have good answers.

My lawsuit, if successful, will greatly benefit the USCF. Have you
even bothered to read my complaint? I expect that you have not read it
or else you would not be asking these questions. It is posted in
several places, so you should read it before asking questions about
it.

My lawsuit seeks among other things to force the board to follow the
by-laws such as by publishing the transcripts of the meetings which
has not been done since the current president took office. It also
seeks to declare the sale of the building in New Windsor to have been
illegal. It demands a full accounting of the $2 million that has been
lost by this and previous boards. It also seeks to overturn the
results of the previous election, as they were obtained by fraud on
the part of four members of the board (not only two members of the
board). All of this would be for the benefit of the USCF, if I were to
win this suit.

Susan Polgar's lawsuit on the other hand seeks to get $25 million for
herself and her personal benefit. Meanwhile, she remains on the board
where she could even vote to give herself the $25 million if the
candidates she supports win the upcoming election.

This answers the first three questions above.

As to the fourth, I see no possibility that either my or Susan
Polgar's lawsuit will bankrupt the USCF. In the very unlikely event
that Susan wins her case, the most that will happen is that the court
will order individuals such as myself and Randy Bauer to pay her the
$25 million. Randy will put it on his credit card. Again, I see no
likelihood of this happening.

On the other hand, if I win my case, the court will order the
individuals who have taken money out of the USCF over the years to
repay that money. Take a look at my list of defendants and you will be
able to see who those people are. One thing that we were not allowed
to tell the voters during the last election is that two of the
candidates (I will not say which two but you know who they are) had
been milking the USCF for funds for years. Then there is a defendant
who is believed to have gambled away substantial USCF Funds at
Foxwoods Casino. If I win the case, I will ask the court to order
those misappropriated funds to be repaid to the USCF (not to me).

Under no circumstances should the USCF consider filing for bankruptcy.

Again, if you want a more detailed answer to your questions, you
should read my complaint. It is often a good idea to read things
before asking questions about them.

Sam Sloan
  #5  
Old January 27th 09, 07:17 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.computer,alt.chess
samsloan
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 14,871
Default Management Question for the Candidates

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Mottershead
I would like to see the USCF find ways to
reduce its reliance on membership dues as a source of revenue, and to
increase the proportion of revenue that comes from the other revenue
sources. As heretical as it might seem, I actually believe that the
USCF should lower membership dues and/or aim to have fewer members in
some categories. For example, I see no reason why we expect first-
graders to become "USCF members", other than the fact that we need
more money from their parents than we get from the kids' tournament
entry fees and rating fees. Given the financial situation, I do not
see us achieving this rapidly, but I would like to be on a path to
achieving it. Almost every discussion about "what the USCF should
do" becomes a discussion about how to get "more members". I don't
think that should be what we are talking about. At least, not
exclusively.
Brian Mottershead is another one who has been a USCF member for less
than two years, yet he is running for the board. He wants to abolish
dues for scholastic members. He needs a history lesson.

At the 1998 USCF delegate's meeting in Orlando, Florida, the delegates
reduced scholastic membership to just $7. This was done for the noble
purpose of encouraging the kids to play.

This one decision did more to bring the USCF to the brink of
bankruptcy than anything else, because it costs more than $7 just to
process a membership.

Now, Brian Mottershead wants to give away scholastic memberships for
free. He also wants to reduce the number of overall members and to
stop relying on membership dues for income.

I recognize that Brian Mottershead is new at this and needs to learn,
but he had better learn The Way, The Truth and The Life quickly or we
will have to eliminate him as an acceptable candidate.

On the other hand, I want to increase the membership to a million
scholastic members, which I believe can be done, but I also want the
darling little kiddies to pay through the nose for the substantial
services that we will be providing them, including an expanded and
enhanced Chess Life 4 Kids.

Do the Boy Scouts let kids in for free?

Does Little League Baseball let kids in for free?

How about the popular video game Grand Theft Auto IV which has
millions of kids playing? This game provides a valuable service to the
kids, by teaching the kids how to earn a living for life, by stealing
cars. Do the provides of that video game provide it for free, even
though it serves a noble purpose?

How about the Harry Potter books, which probably more than anything
else has brought kids into chess, because Harry Potter in the books
plays chess? Are those books given away for free?

We need to promote scholastic chess as a way to bring kids into chess
and also as a way to produce the revenues needed to keep the USCF
viable.

Sam Sloan
  #6  
Old January 27th 09, 08:07 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.computer,alt.chess
samsloan
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 14,871
Default Management Question for the Candidates

Quote:
Originally Posted by marknibb
Sam, it no longer could possibly cost more than $7
to process a membership. I enter memberships most every week. I
enter the players information, submit the batch for checking, submit
the batch for processing, and in less than two minutes membership has
been processed. There is now no need for manual processing, only to
correct an occasional name change or error. And some of that can be
done online.

Mark Nibbelin
A valid point and thank you. The cost of processing memberships has
been greatly reduced now that it has become possible to renew online.

Thank you, Mike Nolan.

However, this raises another point. Although our Executive Director
still refuses to give us an exact total of how many people work for
the USCF, I believe that the number is equal to or greater than 23,
the number of employees that the USCF had before it started processing
memberships online.

Why has not the size of the office staff been reduced to reflect the
increased efficiencies provided by Mike Nolan, including not only
online memberships, but online ratings, online TLAs, outsourced Chess
Life and Chess Life 4 Kids, etc.?

Sam Sloan
  #7  
Old January 27th 09, 08:28 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.computer,alt.chess
samsloan
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 14,871
Default Management Question for the Candidates

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Mottershead
During the four years that I was running
photo.net, over 600,000 people signed up as members. This is not
really a huge number. MySpace has 110 million members.

How big do you think photo.net's membership staff was? Zero. It
was all automated. Now, this is not really a completely fair
comparison, because photo.net did not care if someone signed up
multiple times, and most of the memberships were free, with only a
tiny percentage becoming paid subscribers and bringing in the problems
of processing credit cards, etc. But the paid memberships were
automated too, and took almost no time. Resolving issues took a part-
time person who worked with me about one hour per week (out of the ten
total that she spent).

So, I don't understand why we need a staff of six to eight people to
handle our memberships, and it certainly should not cost us anything
like $7 per person to process a membership. Sam Sloan to the
contrary, I doubt even in the current USCF it costs that much.

As for Sam's milk-the-kids post, he is expressing a view that others
have sufficient sense to disguise. Fortunately, it is not too
prevalent, or at least I hope not. I also think he is vastly
overestimating the USCF's ability to milk the kids.

Brian Mottershead
I believe that Brian Mottershead has valuable services and ideas to
offer the USCF, such as his ability to set up a USCF site similar to
the myspace and facebook sites that have millions of members. Need I
remind everyone that Brian Mottershead was the administrator of the
USCF website, before you-know-who threw him out.

However, myspace.com is not our model. Myspace is primarily a kids
site, although I have an account and use it to communicate with my
kids. Myspace is ad driven. Presumably the online ads pay for the cost
of operating the site. Members get to use it for free and they use it
primarily to exchange photos and IMs.

Myspace is owned by Fox News Corporation, which can provide the
millions of dollars needed to keep it running and keep it free. We
cannot compete with that.

The USCF runs over-the-board chess tournaments, still publishes a
magazine and used to sell books and equipment. We should stick to our
business model and not consider making the drastic changes that Mr.
Mottershead advocates.

Sam Sloan
  #8  
Old January 27th 09, 08:30 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.computer,alt.chess
B. Lafferty[_6_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 570
Default Management Question for the Candidates

samsloan wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Mottershead
I would like to see the USCF find ways to
reduce its reliance on membership dues as a source of revenue, and to
increase the proportion of revenue that comes from the other revenue
sources. As heretical as it might seem, I actually believe that the
USCF should lower membership dues and/or aim to have fewer members in
some categories. For example, I see no reason why we expect first-
graders to become "USCF members", other than the fact that we need
more money from their parents than we get from the kids' tournament
entry fees and rating fees. Given the financial situation, I do not
see us achieving this rapidly, but I would like to be on a path to
achieving it. Almost every discussion about "what the USCF should
do" becomes a discussion about how to get "more members". I don't
think that should be what we are talking about. At least, not
exclusively.

Brian Mottershead is another one who has been a USCF member for less
than two years, yet he is running for the board. He wants to abolish
dues for scholastic members. He needs a history lesson.

At the 1998 USCF delegate's meeting in Orlando, Florida, the delegates
reduced scholastic membership to just $7. This was done for the noble
purpose of encouraging the kids to play.

This one decision did more to bring the USCF to the brink of
bankruptcy than anything else, because it costs more than $7 just to
process a membership.

Now, Brian Mottershead wants to give away scholastic memberships for
free. He also wants to reduce the number of overall members and to
stop relying on membership dues for income.

I recognize that Brian Mottershead is new at this and needs to learn,
but he had better learn The Way, The Truth and The Life quickly or we
will have to eliminate him as an acceptable candidate.

On the other hand, I want to increase the membership to a million
scholastic members, which I believe can be done, but I also want the
darling little kiddies to pay through the nose for the substantial
services that we will be providing them, including an expanded and
enhanced Chess Life 4 Kids.

Do the Boy Scouts let kids in for free?

Does Little League Baseball let kids in for free?

How about the popular video game Grand Theft Auto IV which has
millions of kids playing? This game provides a valuable service to the
kids, by teaching the kids how to earn a living for life, by stealing
cars. Do the provides of that video game provide it for free, even
though it serves a noble purpose?

How about the Harry Potter books, which probably more than anything
else has brought kids into chess, because Harry Potter in the books
plays chess? Are those books given away for free?

We need to promote scholastic chess as a way to bring kids into chess
and also as a way to produce the revenues needed to keep the USCF
viable.

Sam Sloan


LOL. Sam, length of membership is irrelevant--look at yourself. You're
so ossified in so many ways.
  #9  
Old January 27th 09, 08:38 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.computer,alt.chess
samsloan
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 14,871
Default Management Question for the Candidates

On Jan 27, 2:30*pm, "B. Lafferty " wrote:

LOL. *Sam, length of membership is irrelevant--look at yourself. *You're
so ossified in so many ways.


It certainly is relevant. We have had people who joined the USCF and
shortly thereafter ran for the board. All of them turned out badly.
Some even got elected. Joel Channing is a recent example.

You joined the USCF less than two years ago and are not a chess
player. If you are elected, will you stick around for your four year
term on the board, or will you move on to something else?

Sam
  #10  
Old January 27th 09, 09:47 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.computer,alt.chess
B. Lafferty[_6_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 570
Default Management Question for the Candidates

samsloan wrote:
On Jan 27, 2:30 pm, "B. Lafferty " wrote:

LOL. Sam, length of membership is irrelevant--look at yourself. You're
so ossified in so many ways.


It certainly is relevant. We have had people who joined the USCF and
shortly thereafter ran for the board. All of them turned out badly.
Some even got elected. Joel Channing is a recent example.

You joined the USCF less than two years ago and are not a chess
player. If you are elected, will you stick around for your four year
term on the board, or will you move on to something else?

Sam


Sam, you are such a putz. I play around 30 to 40 games per week over
the internet. I play over the board at least twice a week. So, please
don't be insulting by labeling people as chessplayers or not. Better
that you stick to current issues.
 




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