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Old June 13th 04, 06:26 PM
ComputerlessBrother
 
Posts: n/a
Default Candidates Confess

By now we have all read at least some of the candidates statements in
this special election. There has been talk about the USCF's mission
and direction it is going. Also, we have had a number of generalities
from the candidates. So I ask how about some specifics?

I would like the candidates to answer the 3 following questions.

1) What do you see the mission of the USCF as being?

2) In what direction would you have the USCF go? [i.e. all scholastic,
all adult, some specific mix, no magazine, something else]

3) Can you list three specific actions you feel most strongly the USCF
needs to take? [Please list specific actions. Improving the finances
is a good goal, but not specific. Raising the rating fees (as I
suggested in the last special election) is a specific action]

I want to thank in advance all the candidates who respond.

Lawrence S. Cohen
USCF Delegate for Illinois
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Old June 13th 04, 11:16 PM
HAASpittle
 
Posts: n/a
Default Candidates Confess

"2) In what direction would you have the USCF go? [i.e. all scholastic, all
adult, some specific mix, no magazine, something else]" (ChessNehoc)
==============
I'm not a candidate, but I'd love to see the USCF borrow some aspects of
Mensa's organizational structure and apply it to chess.
Mainly that would consist of using a fair sized portion of the national dues
to capitalize Metro District umbrella type orgs which would then function in
the associative form as the "promoter / organizer of first and/or last resort
as the need be in their operational territory."
The Mensa model, in my opinion, is the ideal form for a national chess
federation, at least one with a premium membership price.

RSHaas
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Old June 13th 04, 11:46 PM
WPraeder
 
Posts: n/a
Default Candidates Confess

1) What do you see the mission of the USCF as being?

The purpose of the Federation is educational and instructional, to broaden and
develop chess as art and recreation, as a significant element of culture in
America. The USCF mission as published in Chess Life states: USCF is a
not-for-profit membership organization devoted to extending the role of chess
in American society. Founded in 1939, USCF promotes the study and knowledge of
the game of chess, for its own sake as an art and enjoyment, but also as a
means for the improvement of society. The USCF offers a monthly magazine,
various other publications, and organizes many chess tournaments, bestowing
national titles. USCF offers discounted chess books, products, and provides
many other benefits to its more than 90,000 members. We serve as the governing
body for chess in the United States and as a participant in international chess
organizations and projects.

A nonprofit mission statement should be no more than three clear sentences,
emphasize what our organization's reason is for existence, avoids emphasizing
how we intend to carry out our mission, and it seems realistic, believable, and
doable to people inside and outside the organization.

Certainly the current mission statement need to be better focused,
understandable, and up to date. The mission is what the organization does and
its reason to exist. Excellent organizations know their mission. Without a
mission there is no point. All actions of the board should be focused on
advancing the mission. In my view if our actions do not help grow chess by
facilitating the creation of more players or better players than it is not
central to our mission.

2) In what direction would you have the USCF go? [i.e. all scholastic, all
adult, some specific mix, no magazine, something else]

Right now in my view, program decisions need to be based on a strategy platform
that focuses the mission on outcomes. We must tighten our focus on core
activities that are central to our mission and do them as well as possible --
quality is what will matter in our services and programs. Now is the time to
prioritize and scale back our activities to focus on core items such as the
Chess Trust, ratings/rules infrastructure, the magazine/web information, and
chess governance. From there we should rebuild our services consistent with the
mission and consistent with what the membership feels is of value. I do believe
learning the game should be part of our culture and we should be pledged to
foster the development of players and to help those who seek to become masters.
I certainly would like to enhance these efforts assuming membership support and
we get our funding under better control. As a representative of the membership
I will focus my efforts on what the members view as important, however, my
suggested starting point for a vision for the USCF can be found at
http://members.aol.com/govote/future.htm .


3) Can you list three specific actions you feel most strongly the USCF needs to
take? [Please list specific actions. Improving the finances is a good goal,
but not specific. Raising the rating fees (as I suggested in the last special
election) is a specific action]

1. Hire an Executive Director: One of the key duties of a board is to hire a
competent and professional chief executive to run daily operations. Part of
this duty assumes that there is a valid job description and a performance
evaluation process in place. The board's role is to oversee that the
organization is well run; not to interfere in the domain of the chief
executive. The chief executives performance affects the performance of the
entire organization. Clear objectives and limitations combined with regular
evaluation of the chief executives performance is important to produce useful
results and to improve organizational performance.

2. Retool our financial reporting to be program or activity based:
Understanding exactly where the money comes from and where the money goes for
each core program is essential to keep the mission and associated outcomes on
track. By identifying program costs, we will be in a better position to
determine which activities deserve our time and attention. Membership dues
should address core programs and all other activities/services should be self
supporting and fee based. Dues and membership benefits need to be right sized
accordingly. We need to take a hard look at our revenue and expenses and at
this point plan for the most likely and worst-case scenarios for our
organization, and develop strategies to deal with each one.

3. Develop a membership facing strategic plan: We must reassess and develop an
organizational strategy that everyone understands. We need to balance
short-term and long-term planning, so that the organization can respond quickly
to this month's challenge while still keeping your eye on the future. Every
organization has competitors, including not-for-profits. They compete for
donations and grant funding, skilled personnel, and for market share with the
products and services they provide. In order to be successful, they must
provide services that are in demand at a price that allows the organization to
sustain its mission-driven operations. We need to clearly establish the goals
and vision for our future.

Subject: Candidates Confess
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By now we have all read at least some of the candidates statements in
this special election. There has been talk about the USCF's mission
and direction it is going. Also, we have had a number of generalities
from the candidates. So I ask how about some specifics?

I would like the candidates to answer the 3 following questions.

1) What do you see the mission of the USCF as being?

2) In what direction would you have the USCF go? [i.e. all scholastic,
all adult, some specific mix, no magazine, something else]

3) Can you list three specific actions you feel most strongly the USCF
needs to take? [Please list specific actions. Improving the finances
is a good goal, but not specific. Raising the rating fees (as I
suggested in the last special election) is a specific action]

I want to thank in advance all the candidates who respond.

Lawrence S. Cohen
USCF Delegate for Illinois




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Old June 14th 04, 12:09 AM
Kenneth Sloan
 
Posts: n/a
Default Candidates Confess

(WPraeder) writes:

1) What do you see the mission of the USCF as being?

The purpose of the Federation is educational and instructional, to broaden and
develop chess as art and recreation, as a significant element of culture in
America. The USCF mission as published in Chess Life states: USCF is a
not-for-profit membership organization devoted to extending the role of chess
in American society. Founded in 1939, USCF promotes the study and knowledge of
the game of chess, for its own sake as an art and enjoyment, but also as a
means for the improvement of society. The USCF offers a monthly magazine,
various other publications, and organizes many chess tournaments, bestowing
national titles. USCF offers discounted chess books, products, and provides
many other benefits to its more than 90,000 members. We serve as the governing
body for chess in the United States and as a participant in international chess
organizations and projects.




Yes, very nice cut and paste. But...what do *you* see as the mission of
the USCF? Are you content to accept the mission as stated in Chess
Life? Are youo content to accept the mission as actually implemented
today? Or, would you prefer to change it. If so, in what (specific)
way would you change things?



A nonprofit mission statement should be no more than three clear sentences,
emphasize what our organization's reason is for existence, avoids emphasizing
how we intend to carry out our mission, and it seems realistic, believable, and
doable to people inside and outside the organization.




Would you care to compose three clear sentences as a candidate mission
statement for USCF, please?




Certainly the current mission statement need to be better focused,
understandable, and up to date.



Which part of it is not "up to date"?



The mission is what the organization does and
its reason to exist. Excellent organizations know their mission. Without a
mission there is no point. All actions of the board should be focused on
advancing the mission. In my view if our actions do not help grow chess by
facilitating the creation of more players or better players than it is not
central to our mission.

2) In what direction would you have the USCF go? [i.e. all scholastic, all
adult, some specific mix, no magazine, something else]

Right now in my view, program decisions need to be based on a strategy platform
that focuses the mission on outcomes.



Please answer the question: in what direction would *you* have the USCF
go? This is not a question about process, it's a question about actions.


We must tighten our focus on core
activities



Please name three.

that are central to our mission and do them as well as possible --
quality is what will matter in our services and programs. Now is the time to
prioritize and scale back our activities



Please name two.


to focus on core items such as the
Chess Trust


the Chess Trust is a separate organization. How can it be part of the
"core activities" of the USCF????

, ratings/rules infrastructure, the magazine/web information, and
chess governance. From there we should rebuild our services consistent with the
mission and consistent with what the membership feels is of value.



The question is: what do *you* think is "of value"?


I do believe
learning the game should be part of our culture and we should be pledged to
foster the development of players and to help those who seek to become
masters.



Suppose there is a conflict between activities which teach the game to
beginners and support for those attempting to become masters. Which of
these two activities would receive the most support, from you?



I certainly would like to enhance these efforts assuming membership support and
we get our funding under better control. As a representative of the membership
I will focus my efforts on what the members view as important



How will you discover "what the members view as important"? What will
you do when you discover that "the members" consist of many different
constituencies, each with their own priorities?


, however, my
suggested starting point for a vision for the USCF can be found at
http://members.aol.com/govote/future.htm .


3) Can you list three specific actions you feel most strongly the USCF needs to
take? [Please list specific actions. Improving the finances is a good goal,
but not specific. Raising the rating fees (as I suggested in the last special
election) is a specific action]

1. Hire an Executive Director: One of the key duties of a board is to hire a
competent and professional chief executive to run daily operations. Part of
this duty assumes that there is a valid job description and a performance
evaluation process in place. The board's role is to oversee that the
organization is well run; not to interfere in the domain of the chief
executive. The chief executives performance affects the performance of the
entire organization. Clear objectives and limitations combined with regular
evaluation of the chief executives performance is important to produce useful
results and to improve organizational performance.


Recent ED's have filled various roles, from "office manager" to "sales
director", to "glad hander". Which of these roles is most important (to
you) and which of our past ED's best personifies the type of person you
would try to hire?



2. Retool our financial reporting to be program or activity based:


That's a "specific action"????


Understanding exactly where the money comes from and where the money goes for
each core program is essential to keep the mission and associated outcomes on
track. By identifying program costs, we will be in a better position to
determine which activities deserve our time and attention. Membership dues
should address core programs and all other activities/services should be self
supporting and fee based. Dues and membership benefits need to be right sized
accordingly. We need to take a hard look at our revenue and expenses and at
this point plan for the most likely and worst-case scenarios for our
organization, and develop strategies to deal with each one.



Please reduce the volume of your answers by 1/2 and increase the
specific content by 5. You have exceeded your Motherhood quotient for
the month.



3. Develop a membership facing strategic plan:



What's that?

See above.

We must reassess and develop an
organizational strategy that everyone understands. We need to balance
short-term and long-term planning, so that the organization can respond quickly
to this month's challenge while still keeping your eye on the future.



How would *you* advance this goal? Specifics, please.

Every
organization has competitors, including not-for-profits. They compete for
donations and grant funding, skilled personnel, and for market share with the
products and services they provide. In order to be successful, they must
provide services that are in demand at a price that allows the organization to
sustain its mission-driven operations. We need to clearly establish the goals
and vision for our future.



I expect candidates for the EB to have *already* established goals and a
vision for our future. Have you done this? Or, is the above
hand-waving as far as you have gotten in your thinking?



--
Kenneth Sloan
Computer and Information Sciences (205) 934-2213
University of Alabama at Birmingham FAX (205) 934-5473
Birmingham, AL 35294-1170
http://www.cis.uab.edu/sloan/
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Old June 14th 04, 01:19 AM
WPraeder
 
Posts: n/a
Default Candidates Confess

I expect candidates for the EB to have *already* established goals and a
vision for our future. Have you done this? Or, is the above
hand-waving as far as you have gotten in your thinking?

--
Kenneth Sloan
Computer and Information Sciences (205) 934-2213
University of Alabama at Birmingham FAX (205) 934-5473
Birmingham, AL 35294-1170
http://www.cis.uab.edu/sloan/


Ken,

Note I would be one of seven EB members. As a BOD member yourself I suspect you
know all this stuff and have your own plan laid out for the USCF. You are
probably familiar with the current boards vision and plans. It is good we are
setting new standards for EB candidates.

However, as you know successful nonprofits are collaborative efforts, process
orientated, where board members must honor the mission and represent the
membership. Board members need to deal at the strategic and policy level and
propose direction. Yes, I can do most of the detail work also and have led
efforts to write strategic plans for organizations as well as having been a
participants in larger planning efforts.

I'm not sure it would meet your expectations but I have been the only candidate
to put forth a specific vision and recommended goals for the organization. I
believe the proposed vision will answer many of your questions and can be found
at: http://members.aol.com/govote/future.htm .

You can find the very specific goals I would like to accomplish during my one
year term in my May Chess Life statement as well as at
http://members.aol.com/betteruscf/ .

Regards,
Wayne Praeder



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Old June 14th 04, 02:15 AM
Kenneth Sloan
 
Posts: n/a
Default Candidates Confess

(WPraeder) writes:


Note I would be one of seven EB members.


Only if elected.

As a BOD member yourself I suspect you
know all this stuff and have your own plan laid out for the USCF.


I don't have a plan. I'm not running for office. I'm not asking for
support from others.

You are
probably familiar with the current boards vision and plans.


Nope. They have uniformly been less than forthcoming. Is it your plan
to continue this tradition? In what other ways will you simply follow
established tradition?

It is good we are
setting new standards for EB candidates.


What does "new" have to do with it.

Oh, I see - you don't want to answer my questions. Why not just say so
and be done with it?


However, as you know


All I know is that sentences that begin "as you know" are likely to
include stuff that is completely at variance with my current knowledge.

successful nonprofits are collaborative efforts, process
orientated, where board members must honor the mission and represent the
membership.



*AFTER* they are elected. In general, people get elected based on their
vision of the future. *Then* (and only then) do they switch gears and
consider how to compromise their vision in order to get along.

In order to compromise, you must have a position. What's yours?

Board members need to deal at the strategic and policy level and
propose direction. Yes, I can do most of the detail work also and have led
efforts to write strategic plans for organizations as well as having been a
participants in larger planning efforts.


I don't care about your previous experience formulating plans. I would
like to see your current plan for USCF. If you have one.


I'm not sure it would meet your expectations but I have been the only candidate
to put forth a specific vision and recommended goals for the organization. I
believe the proposed vision will answer many of your questions and can be found
at:
http://members.aol.com/govote/future.htm .

You can find the very specific goals I would like to accomplish during my one
year term in my May Chess Life statement as well as at
http://members.aol.com/betteruscf/ .


(literally) mis-direction!



Regards,
Wayne Praeder


--
Kenneth Sloan
Computer and Information Sciences (205) 934-2213
University of Alabama at Birmingham FAX (205) 934-5473
Birmingham, AL 35294-1170
http://www.cis.uab.edu/sloan/
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Old June 20th 04, 05:37 PM
WPraeder
 
Posts: n/a
Default Candidates Confess

Nope. They have uniformly been less than forthcoming. Is it your plan
to continue this tradition? In what other ways will you simply follow
established tradition?


Ken,

I was more interested in addressing Larry's questions rather than carrying on a
side debate. I'm sorry you don't care for my answers. Let's agree to disagree.

I believe I have stated goals and have put forth a suggested vision for the
USCF. So, no I have not followed in the tradition. I however must have
mistakenly thought it was the boards job to make sure a plan is developed for
the organization.

I'm sure you will have no problem getting reelected to the Board of Delegates
and I wish you well.

Regards,
Wayne Praeder
http://members.aol.com/wpraeder/ken.htm

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