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Thread: Meeting to discuss club options to recent AKCA board actions

  1. #11
    Daihonmei
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve E View Post
    There are people standing in line to "pick up" the slack. But their involvement has been summarily dismissed. Volunteers have been discarded repeatedly in the past few months. So while the points in Jim's two posts are very well stated and valid, the fact that people are stepping up maybe negates the main point of concern. Add in my perception that there is (or maybe now the correct word is was) no concerted effort to drive out all of the Californians, rather just the desire for representation on the akca bod by koi hobbyists from across the country and my vote would be no.

    There was a statement by Doug Dahl to the effect that the ballot being sent out is no different than ones sent to him from all of the companies in which he has held stock. This is a case of not telling the whole story. All of the ballots I have received over the last 40 years from companies in which I held or hold stock send out ballots with a selected list of candidates WITH, (necessary to repeat this word) WITH a line item for write-in candidates. That little point is not included in this ballot.

    There have issues between three of the boards over the years, KB, KS, and KP. This one item has all three agreeing that something is wrong with the way the akca is being managed.
    Hi Steve, well I don't want to get involved in AKCA politics but you ARE talking to someone who has seen it unfold for 22 years now. The folks who started the association and built it from just a handful of southern california clubs, have always carefully brought along people as they appeared in the hobby. many of them have long ago left the hobby so the people you choose must be 'lifers' and not just enthusiasts or just big egos. The last two that were going to take things over are both out of the hobby now. So this is not something I'm imagining.
    Once talent has been recognized by the core group they are given volunteer jobs and their performance is noted. Like any organization, the more you do, the more talent you have, and the more loyal you are, the more you are trusted. Bringing too many new people on board at one time has the danger of swamping the culture and not just the board room. In other words, radical change always seems good to the revolutionaries but it is not usually good for the organization. Don't get me wrong, change is good but only at a controlled pace.
    You can say what you want about that old guard. But no one knows how hard they have worked and how much natural talent it takes to create the next generation of managers. It is a process, not a revolution.

    I know nothing of the plans of the new guard. I suspect it is something that involves a lot of changes in management ( another layer of regional officers and managers from what I've heard). I can tell you as a National officer of another international organization, only a very few people hang around to clean up 'after the party'. The notion that there will be new politicans at regional levels and a super board overseeing it all, is way too political and I can predict the problems quite easily.
    This limited volunteer number is a chronic problem in clubs, chapters, shows and associations. If the old guard is crushed and driven out of koi, the new group will likley tire quickly. I can see people traveling to help weaker clubs put on shows while being presidents of their own clubs, and also regional VPs of AKCA and maybe even sitting on the AKCA board and also being KHAs and Judges! My concern is that the whole thing will implode like the BKKS did and like MAKC did. Most of these groups have a core of 6- 12 people that do it all. Once the energy, youth, koi show experience and excitment of the new young turks subsides, you will see how many are left to run a magazine, a seminar program, a judging program etc. The hobby is weak enough without this kind of thing. And as I've said a few times now, long term volunteers are as scarce as hen's teeth, so it is an odd timing to want to expand the number of chickens with mouths!

    I hope I'm wrong. But I see the days of AKCA coming to an end if civil war truly breaks out and there are numerous "casualties". Its like any civil war, in that each side loses one soldier but the country loses two! These clashes happen on the local level often and the result is usually two much weaker entities emerging and neither strong enough to do what the orginal club could do. I could go on, but hopefully you get my point. Best, JR

  2. #12
    Daihonmei
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    Thanks to those that have emailed me and filled me in on what is going on.

    I get it. If a new national organization is more than just a bluff, then I think you are all making a mistake. If it is to show the old guard you are all serious it might work.
    This just comes at an awful time. As I see Japanese shows shrink and the seminars here come to an end, I wonder what people are thinking?
    How many people would you guess are actually active koi members in all the clubs and all the organizations in the country? Cutting back on th duplications I'd say there are less than 400. The 99 clubs of AKCA are made up of koi clubs, pond clubs, professionals running amateur clubs, water gardening clubs. Does anyone remember the water garden barrel competition put on by the Florida 'koi clubs' a few years back. Not making fun just saying these are not koi keepers. In effect we have many clubs that are water garden clubs that might keep some koi in them. Again, no criticism, it seems like a fun hobby! But it is just not focused on koi per sae. When I hear calls for the new organization to go International or be all of North America-- I have to chuckle and shake my head. Today there are clubs holding together their annual koi shows with 4 and 5 people. And they must import workers and pay workers to get the show just set up.
    God bless the resourceful! But it is not a sign of good health.
    My point is, this is no time to try and tear things down. This is a time to come together and preserve something valuable. Without AKCA the industry will inherit the hobby and it will be 'pet smarted' to death.
    Rather than try and expand the political participation in all regions maybe its better to simplify and remove structure. Big KOI is as bad as Big Government in my opinion. It is an outlet for our shakers and movers no doubt. But it isn't about the koi. The koi are on the local level. And the clubs are presently all pretty weak. Some non-existant and others mere shadows of what they once were. If you are a shaker and mover, my advise is to concentrate on growing your membership thru education and the koi show. Forget about what the other guy is doing. Be a self started and work at the local level. It will drain that excess energy and keep the focus on the koi. The fish are Innocent! JR

  3. #13
    Daihonmei
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    I re-read this last post and wanted to clarify one point--
    There is a place for a national organization in:

    1) standardizing judging with a program of trained judges

    2) the distribution of educational pieces to associated clubs

    3) the assistance to start up clubs in the area of education/ direction

    I'd give the judging program an A+ in its mission
    The old phamplets on education were also A+
    The expansion of the website C
    The KHA program, D-
    Helping new clubs A
    Seminars started at an A+ and degenerated to an C-


    This is my honest opinion as a private citizen of AKCA.

  4. #14
    Nisai MikeS's Avatar
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    Is the ZNA here in north america associated with the AKCA. Reason I ask is, is the ZNA an alternative for clubs or an addition to the AKCA? I'm ignorant as to the structure as I'm sure many are as well. Perhaps someone like JR could explain I'm not saying everyone should turn their back on the AKCA as I have no experience with either, just wondering.
    Last edited by MikeS; 02-19-2012 at 01:37 PM. Reason: clarification

  5. #15
    Jumbo jnorth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    This is a time to come together and preserve something valuable.
    I feel the same way and I think its a damn shame that the "old guard" is doing everything they can to destroy it.
    Koi-Unit
    My personal koi page Updated 7/8/07
    ZNA Potomac Koi Club

  6. #16
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    This is a time to come together and preserve something valuable. Without AKCA the industry will inherit the hobby and it will be 'pet smarted' to death.
    Thanks, JR. You of course had me at "Hello" -- but for your sage advice on this topic I'll forever be in your debt.

    Though I seldom post on the boards anymore, you've moved me to dig up a few 'source documents' that Bito readers might appreciate (since they're in such short supply on these threads on the various boards - as opposed to ill-informed opinions, which are always too readily available, both here and elsewhere).

    Best wishes, Don

  7. #17
    Daihonmei
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeS View Post
    Is the ZNA here in north america associated with the AKCA. Reason I ask is, is the ZNA an alternative for clubs or an addition to the AKCA? I'm ignorant as to the structure as I'm sure many are as well. Perhaps someone like JR could explain I'm not saying everyone should turn their back on the AKCA as I have no experience with either, just wondering.
    Hi Mike, no the ZNA is not an alternative to AKCA. ZNA is the Japanese koi fanciers association that spread all over the world in the 1970s and 1980s. There are chapters through out Japan and greater Asia, Europe, the UK, South Africa and North and South America. It is truly world wide.

    Within the individual countries you often find National domestic associations. In many countries these national organizations ARE the ZNA. And in others like our country and the UK, these are domestic national organizations. We have the AKCA and the UK has the BKKS of example. The alternative model is say, Taiwan where the domestic organization is also ther international affiliation ZNA.
    These things tend to be evolutionary in nature. In the USA all our ZNA chapters happen to also be AKCA national clubs. But not all our AKCA associated clubs are members of ZNA. ZNA is our International Identity.
    The one important difference is, clubs of all stirps can be associated with their national organization AKCA. BUT clubs/chapters of ZNA are actually members of an entity called ZNA ( strictly a KOI centric focus). This is why AKCA is very flexible about local clubs by laws. But a ZNA chapter must have their individual bylaws always within the general bylaws of ZNA itself. JR

  8. #18
    Daihonmei
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    Quote Originally Posted by KoiCop View Post
    Thanks, JR. You of course had me at "Hello" -- but for your sage advice on this topic I'll forever be in your debt.

    Though I seldom post on the boards anymore, you've moved me to dig up a few 'source documents' that Bito readers might appreciate (since they're in such short supply on these threads on the various boards - as opposed to ill-informed opinions, which are always too readily available, both here and elsewhere).

    Best wishes, Don
    Hey Don, long time, no talk! Hope you two are well and the pond is doing well ( now mature I'm sure!).
    Don't go to the other boards myself these days. Just don't have the time! I'm trying to keep most of my stuff in print in Japan and south east Asia. Just gave larry KOI USA the nod to pick up my stuff if he is up to the editing! Have a series coming out in Nichrin as well. Miss the Childers!

    Hoping all works out for you all out there in sunny California. Keep up the good work and maybe I'll see you all at Gardena next month. Best, JR

  9. #19
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Don and Brenda Chandler has sent out an email to clubs for which Brenda serves as liaison on the Board basically saying that there really is a hostile takeover going on and a vote against the slate threatens the continued existence of the AKCA.

    In response, Joe White has emailed:

    "Greetings all,

    There is no "hostile takeover" or possibility of the "colllaspe of AKCA" in the works. These are emotionally loaded phrases being used to misrepresent what is being requested. For the most part many of us across the country just want a chance to participate in the decision making process on the AKCA board which up to now has been limited. No one wants to see the AKCA go under. The people whose names have been offered as candidates are all long time reputable koi hobbyists and workers for the AKCA. To read Kristine Peterson's comments you would think they are no account fly-by-night unknowns. No, not even close.

    In short, a majority of the clubs simply wanted another qualified person (not some outsider or stranger to AKCA) given the opportunity to serve on the board when Mike Frady was written in and subsequently successful in the forced runoff. They (we) all knew Mike was offering up some new ideas about the structure of the AKCA that might prove to be more representational of the member clubs in the decision making that goes on. All Mike's ideas would still be subject to discussion and voting from among the AKCA board. This isn't even close to something called a take over. We are not here to harm the organization, we want to strengthen it.

    Now in the face of the majority of clubs that put Mike on the AKCA board, the nominating committee knowing the history of Mike's election failed to include him on the ballot this time and when Burt Ballou, long time AKCA board member, placed Mike's name in nomination the board voted to reject Burt's nomination. Go figure.

    To add insult to injury, they then have the audacity to eliminate the long standing provision for write-in candidates. (Doug, what WERE you thinking.) The board took these actions on by themselves without even considering first running these enormous changes by the member clubs. In other words all other member clubs of the AKCA were denied input into these decisions Friday night a week ago by the members of of just 3 or 4 SoCal clubs who sit on the AKCA board. Many of them have been on the board for years.

    The whole entire judges group has come out endorsing a petition to ask that the denied names be placed on the ballot as per the existing procedures and rules followed in the past matters of the electorate. Also, the early return of another petition sent out to the clubs has shown acceptance with over 20 clubs (or more by now) responding in favor of the petition in just the first 24 hours it has been out there.

    I am sure the numbers of clubs will increase in the coming weeks. Please ignor the scare tactics and vote "no" to this slate of officers. AKCA will survive just fine and perhaps we will see some movement in a positive direction as free elections will encourage many more idividuals with talent to continue the AKCA as a strong viable national organization.

    Please say "no" too to this paternalistic sounding notion that AKCA "is a corporation, not a club." When you cut away all the organization dressing and verbiage the AKCA board now is just the members from a few other California based AKCA clubs trying to impose their will on the other some 90 odd clubs across America.

    Joe White, President
    Florida East Coast Koi and Pond Club

    Founder and Co-Chair of the Central Florida Koi Show (since 1998)
    Regular AKCA Seminar Attendee since 1994
    Webmaster KHV Project website 3 years
    Interim KHA Director 1 year
    KOIUSA.COM website editor/manager 5 years
    AKCA Certified Judge since 2004

    But most of all I am your fellow AKCA club member.

    PS --- Doug, I really hope you will not carry out your promise to walk out if the current slate does not get the two-thirds vote. But if you do, so be it. You've earned a break from the hugh work load you are under. Surely there are other people that would step forward with your skill set to carry on."

    The reference to 'Doug' is Doug Dahl. There is reference on another forum to Doug having sent out an email saying that he would cease to perform the CFO duties of his office if the slate is not approved, and suggesting that would risk financial collapse of AKCA and KoiUSA. However, I have not seen that email and it is being said that a posting of it on another forum was deleted. So, I do not know if what Doug Dahl actually said was as 'my way or no way' as it is perceived by some to have been.

  10. #20
    Daihonmei
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    Interesting! It does look like a civil war is on. May the best side win...
    I have one question for the new leadership candidates if they get the brace ring-- will AKCA no longer be based in California? What is the plan/platform of the new board members ? I'd like to see the platform of the competing officers before I speak to my AKCA rep. JR

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