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

  1. #31
    Jumbo jnorth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    hi Jim, when I say old guard I really do mean the system of AKCA ( mostly the orginal core of which Bob and joan Finnegan are its heart and soul)
    I'm telling you something that you may or may not know--- It is this old guard system that discovers talent and hones it and brings it along, that is what AKCA really is and WHY it has is so successful and enduring over the past 34 years.

    Just like in your chapter/club, it was the Poppe's that founded, and brought along people to run Potomac ZNA and created a sense of culture- the ZNA culture.

    But at the national level there are others/many involved - yet they all understand the culture even if they don't see the tradition or long term direction of things. Loyality to amongst the true old guard is strong and taht si what appears to be a closed club. But I can tell you that I'm from New jersey- born and raised and I was part of the AKCA for a long time as much as any californian. I never had ambition to be on the board proper but didn't see it as impossible. And since I rewrote the bylaws I find it funny that people suggest that no one is well represented!

    Years ago a fella by the name of Jim Brunk appeared on the scene. He was a nice guy, had a beautiful pond and was retired so he had time to dedicate to AKCA. he was promoted by the east coast clubs that were at a kinda war with AKCA ( they called them the 'west coast mafia') and Brunk felt their pain and wanted to represent the other clubs outside of California. he was a well off guy and had time so he began to fly out to meetings every month to add his ideas and vision for a new and better AKCA. You can imagine how this was received by the board! It was threatening! yet, even as much as I was sympathetic with Jim and his energy, I saw that he was not very respectful of all that had come before him. In fact Jim didn't really see much of anything of the culture of the organization. He was just sure he had a better AKCA in mind. And he had the momentum for a very power set of koi clubs mostly out east.
    I think the disturbing thing for the board of that day was this person who was being considered for more and more involvement was not interested in their opinions as much as he was in the idea of replacing the old organization with a new one- born from his ideas of what a national koi association should be and look like. In short, it was a hostile take over and the old guard sensed it.

    I'm not saying we are seeing the exact same thing now. But I'm sure the Brunk and eastern club charge have an effect of sensitivity. And I'm not saying change is not good-- it is. But I am saying that a new culture will be established if the 'farm team' recruitment system is dumped in favor of ' a thinking outside the box' group comes into full power. I called that slate of candidiates the 'new guard' as they are not of the same cultural mind set as the old guard.
    I know when I post things that 99% of the folks reading my words are trying to figure out WHO'S SIDE is JR on?? I'm on no one's side. Indeed I have friends on both sides! And I have duties elsewhere to see to. In ZNA we don't have these issues as we only have an advisory board and no such politics.

    But I know some things. And I have some perspective. I care about the future of AKCA. And I see the danger of this particular election, no matter who wins. JR
    Wasn't Brunk a dealer or something like that? He certainly wasn't a judge or group of judges as the case may be.

    Quite frankly I don't like any of this mess. You know I am generally not all that vocal but the actions of the current board leave me and countless others that work our asses off locally and/or nationally feeling like the AKCA does not give a shit about us or our opinions. That doesn't seem like a good culture to foster.

    It’s funny you mention ZNA Potomac…when I joined ZNA Potomac they had just seen their annual show site snatched away and the general consensus was that everyone was too old and tired to put on a show anyway…I really didn’t care much for that attitude but instead of leaving for greener pastures a couple of us said its ok old guard we will do the heavy lifting and you guys just hang out and advise us. The first show our little group of new guard type people put on was the largest in ZNA Potomac history at the time with 199 koi in 2007. The next year was even bigger with 296 koi (you should know since you judged it lol). My point is the Poppe’s did find that little group to bring along but that didn’t mean we did everything the way Chuck wanted…if we had there might not be a ZNA Potomac Show. Which by the way is September 7-9 this year so make your reservations early.

    I love koi and ZNA Potomac. I do what I do because of that. Sadly whenever 2 or more people get together there will be politics. There are some people in the koi world I don’t like but I still respect them because of their love for koi. There are people in the koi world that don’t like me but still respect me because of my love for koi. Look at your own koi resume. Pretty clearly you do what you do because of your love for koi. Now I’m not saying the current board doesn’t love koi because I know that they do but they clearly don’t understand that they aren’t the only ones that do. Look at the koi resumes of the people involved. We have judges (a lot of them) that aren’t happy with the board. Look at all the club officers that are not happy. Look at all the bystanders that aren’t happy. Instead of them informing all of us about how wrong we are perhaps they should be showing us how right they are. Instead of talking about hostile takeovers in the board minutes they should be addressing the problem directly with the people involved. They made a mistake and they need to own up to it and work with the membership of the AKCA to resolve the issue. No one wants to see the AKCA die but locking people out and claiming hostile takeovers isn’t the answer.

    As for Mike’s plan(no chess here): Not that it matters since Mike was booted but it’s pretty simple. Clubs actually end up with a vote instead of a non-existent one. The current problem with proxy votes is that your person doing the voting doesn’t always vote the way your club tells them to. Also the person with your proxy has multiple votes but doesn’t use them all. Strange system that needs to be fixed. Mike had an idea that maybe wasn’t for everyone but alas we will never know. By the way I believe the AKCA should be people/koi first and not corporate first. The AKCA is nothing without its members which seem to have been leaving at a rapid pace over the last several years.


    I’m not trying to figure out whose side you are on JR because whether I agree with your opinion or not I will allows value it.
    Koi-Unit
    My personal koi page Updated 7/8/07
    ZNA Potomac Koi Club

  2. #32
    Daihonmei
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    Jim, you might be confusing the structure and purpose of a national organization with the structure and purpose of a local club?
    The job of both is to find talent and develop it for the continuity of the entity for sure. But the structure is different as is the purpose.

    I think there is a difference between club members and their club verses clubs and their affiliation with a national organization. Can you see that difference?
    The members of a club that are affilated with a national organization should not look at the national association as giving them a say in how it is run? If the true water garden clubs do not see a value in being affiliated with AKCA should the members of that club demand change? I don't think so? I think that is a confusion of the relationship/role of a national organization and an affilate. I don't know, maybe its me? But I never expected that 2000 members of 99 clubs were directly expecting and demanding " more of a voice" on a national level? I dare say that a large percentage just take a magazine. And really only the shakers and movers care to get involved in the politics.

    I assumed that local clubs had their hands full just keeping their monthly meetings interesting and relevant and planning their annual shows, auctions and covering expenses. Maybe I'm weird. But I just don't see membership in a National associate as the same as membership in a local club.

    And the idea that beyond providing judges for shows and doing some work in the area of education they need to be more beholding to individual local club members expectations seems odd to me? Dues pay for discounts on magazines and such, access to judges, the tortured concept of insurance and additional educational information. What more do you require? A voice in just how that is done? Put another way, it could be that marketing efforts asked in the name of inclusiveness has caused the affilated clubs to see themselves as owners asking for reform at the top.
    Im afraid that a general call to arms and opening this up to a democratic free-for-all solves nothing. Certainly a burning down of AKCA is not the solution.
    I'm going to suggest that cooler heads prevail and a compromise be worked out.
    And for the record, I and others took a lot of heat several years back now for being on the internet expressing our opinions because we were not remaining above reproach. Point taken. But I don't think it is a good idea for AKCA judges to be forming a group to protest politics. That is not remaining above reproach. Indeed, if the old guard has any supporting clubs ( I think I recall 70% against so that must mean 30% for) how will the political judges do judging in those 30% shows. Its a bad direction for the judging program to take. Leave the politics to the politicians. JR

  3. #33
    Jumbo jnorth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    Jim, you might be confusing the structure and purpose of a national organization with the structure and purpose of a local club?
    The job of both is to find talent and develop it for the continuity of the entity for sure. But the structure is different as is the purpose.

    I think there is a difference between club members and their club verses clubs and their affiliation with a national organization. Can you see that difference?
    The members of a club that are affilated with a national organization should not look at the national association as giving them a say in how it is run? If the true water garden clubs do not see a value in being affiliated with AKCA should the members of that club demand change? I don't think so? I think that is a confusion of the relationship/role of a national organization and an affilate. I don't know, maybe its me? But I never expected that 2000 members of 99 clubs were directly expecting and demanding " more of a voice" on a national level? I dare say that a large percentage just take a magazine. And really only the shakers and movers care to get involved in the politics.

    I assumed that local clubs had their hands full just keeping their monthly meetings interesting and relevant and planning their annual shows, auctions and covering expenses. Maybe I'm weird. But I just don't see membership in a National associate as the same as membership in a local club.

    And the idea that beyond providing judges for shows and doing some work in the area of education they need to be more beholding to individual local club members expectations seems odd to me? Dues pay for discounts on magazines and such, access to judges, the tortured concept of insurance and additional educational information. What more do you require? A voice in just how that is done? Put another way, it could be that marketing efforts asked in the name of inclusiveness has caused the affilated clubs to see themselves as owners asking for reform at the top.
    Im afraid that a general call to arms and opening this up to a democratic free-for-all solves nothing. Certainly a burning down of AKCA is not the solution.
    I'm going to suggest that cooler heads prevail and a compromise be worked out.
    And for the record, I and others took a lot of heat several years back now for being on the internet expressing our opinions because we were not remaining above reproach. Point taken. But I don't think it is a good idea for AKCA judges to be forming a group to protest politics. That is not remaining above reproach. Indeed, if the old guard has any supporting clubs ( I think I recall 70% against so that must mean 30% for) how will the political judges do judging in those 30% shows. Its a bad direction for the judging program to take. Leave the politics to the politicians. JR
    I stand corrected and you have set me straight. AKCA gives my club nothing that ZNA doesn't give it except insurance. I'm sure we can get insurance on our own.
    Koi-Unit
    My personal koi page Updated 7/8/07
    ZNA Potomac Koi Club

  4. #34
    Daihonmei
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    Well, not exactly my point Jim! LOLs
    If you don't like AKCA structure and feel there is not enough democracy then you have to hate ZNA!!! (What?? The guy is the District Chairman what is he saying!!!!)

    I know Mike hates history lessons but you all need to take in some history to understand why we all don't agree on everything!

    ZNA was the first. The first organized koi association, the first and only International organization, the first koi judging standards, the first philosophy on koi appreciation and the first political structure in koi.
    The AKCA was formed from, or better put, as a reaction 'to' ZNA in America. That is why so many of the AKCA structures and ideas are ZNA like.
    They were either borrowed from ZNA or reactions to ZNA. That was logical and a sign of the times as koi was on fire in California! And not everyone liked to be talked down to as the Japanese sometimes did! The sensei teacher roll is a pretty serious thing in the minds of Japanese.
    ZNA is a Japanese organization and as such is altruistic in nature, friendly in spirit but quite authoritarian! It is sometimes a bit no nonsense in that it is a series of lessons to enlighten the members. So we see things like 'no prizes' for really bad koi in shows, disqualifications of certain deformities, strict rules on chapters etc. This is not to be mean! This is direct.
    So AKCA wanted to be more democratic. And as a domestic organization it would spread the hobby by tolerance and with a distinct American eye for koi. It would also be tolerant of all levels of clubs and never dictate how clubs should be run the way ZNA did. This was really the fundamental difference between our national/domestic structure and the International domestic structure-- that is, the club would be an 'affiliate' or associated member of an organization ( AKCA) as opposed to being a direct part of a greater association ( ZNA)

    And since the bar was higher to join ZNA and more expensive, AKCA was positioned to grow very rapidly whereas ZNA plotted along with an ebb and flow of chapters (between 8- 12 in all of the United States). And interestingly enough our own Bob Finnegan was BOTH head of AKCA and District Chairman of ZNA for years. A real sign of linkage between our domestic national organization and our membership in ZNA International.

    As membership drives and healthy competition grew between the two organizations, AKCA entered a period of 'service orientation'. It looked for ways to be of more service to its market segment. And they were quite successful at that! Reps and directors were used to see ' what more' the national organization could do for its member clubs. Seminars ( this was the 'hot' in the sauce for years), KOI USA, pamphlets, koi related stuff, books, judges, insurances, health certifications etc. all this for the member clubs so that there was clear added value to being an associate of the organization. But there is a danger in this, in that you become locked into giving more and more without thought to scale, budget, practicality and liability. The unfortunate timing of insurance issues and a 'way out of control' KHV program was probably the first real signal that the line had been crossed.
    So where does that bring us to today? In this writer's opinion, we now have membership (individuals) that want to continue to reach for the stars with a dwindling treasury. And we have those that see the limits of a shrinking hobby and printed publications. And we have a membership that wants more say in how the organization should be run. To me, there are nothing but danger signs ahead.
    In ZNA we never 'evolved' with much of a treasury or much emphasis beyond the koi and koi shows. Ironically we have the who’s, who in koi in our organization. Yet we don't have these same political problems? One reason is the board is the board of presidents, not reps. this makes for one less layer of officers and one less level of potential misunderstanding. In addition we have only an advisory board. That is the presidents are to advise the District chairman. There is an election every two years for DC. Other than that there is no real opportunity for clashes.
    Now I'm not saying ZNA is better! It is simply different as AKCA has evolved more since its starting point from ZNA. Older and more steeped in tradition, ZNA is probably less sophisticated in the areas such as Roberts rules and rewriting of bylaws on a routine basis. I love both our organizations AKCA and ZNA. I feel more at home with the koi however and the tradition. To each his/her own.
    I really do hope my friends in AKCA work out their differences. And I hope this will not be a radical change in the organization.
    I've rambled enough. Best, JR

  5. #35
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnorth View Post
    I stand corrected and you have set me straight. AKCA gives my club nothing that ZNA doesn't give it except insurance. I'm sure we can get insurance on our own.
    And A.K.C.A. gave you Koi USA magazine... which you can take or leave it.

  6. #36
    Jumbo jnorth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    Well, not exactly my point Jim! LOLs
    If you don't like AKCA structure and feel there is not enough democracy then you have to hate ZNA!!! (What?? The guy is the District Chairman what is he saying!!!!)

    I know Mike hates history lessons but you all need to take in some history to understand why we all don't agree on everything!

    ZNA was the first. The first organized koi association, the first and only International organization, the first koi judging standards, the first philosophy on koi appreciation and the first political structure in koi.
    The AKCA was formed from, or better put, as a reaction 'to' ZNA in America. That is why so many of the AKCA structures and ideas are ZNA like.
    They were either borrowed from ZNA or reactions to ZNA. That was logical and a sign of the times as koi was on fire in California! And not everyone liked to be talked down to as the Japanese sometimes did! The sensei teacher roll is a pretty serious thing in the minds of Japanese.
    ZNA is a Japanese organization and as such is altruistic in nature, friendly in spirit but quite authoritarian! It is sometimes a bit no nonsense in that it is a series of lessons to enlighten the members. So we see things like 'no prizes' for really bad koi in shows, disqualifications of certain deformities, strict rules on chapters etc. This is not to be mean! This is direct.
    So AKCA wanted to be more democratic. And as a domestic organization it would spread the hobby by tolerance and with a distinct American eye for koi. It would also be tolerant of all levels of clubs and never dictate how clubs should be run the way ZNA did. This was really the fundamental difference between our national/domestic structure and the International domestic structure-- that is, the club would be an 'affiliate' or associated member of an organization ( AKCA) as opposed to being a direct part of a greater association ( ZNA)

    And since the bar was higher to join ZNA and more expensive, AKCA was positioned to grow very rapidly whereas ZNA plotted along with an ebb and flow of chapters (between 8- 12 in all of the United States). And it interestingly enough our own Bob Finnegan was BOTH head of AKCA and District Chairman of ZNA for years. A real sign of linkage between our domestic national organization and our membership in ZNA International.

    As membership drives and healthy competition grew between the two organizations, AKCA entered a period of 'service orientation'. It looked for ways to be of more service to its market segment. And they were quite successful at that! Reps and directors were used to see ' what more' the national organization could do for its member clubs. Seminars ( this was the 'hot' in the sauce for years), KOI USA, pamphlets, koi related stuff, books, judges, insurances, health certifications etc. all this for the member clubs so that there was clear added value to being an associate of the organization. But there is a danger in this, in that you become locked into giving more and more without thought to scale, budget, practicality and liability. The unfortunate timing of insurance issues and a 'way out of control' KHV program was probably the first real signal that the line had been crossed.
    So where does that bring us to today? In this writer's opinion, we now have membership (individuals) that want to continue to reach for the stars with a dwindling treasury. And we have those that see the limits of a shrinking hobby and printed publications. And we have a membership that wants more say in how the organization should be run. To me, there are nothing but danger signs ahead.
    In ZNA we never 'evolved' with much of a treasury or much emphasis beyond the koi and koi shows. Ironically we have the who’s, who in koi in our organization. Yet we don't have these same political problems? One reason is the board is the board of presidents, not reps. this makes for one less layer of officers and one less level of potential misunderstanding. In addition we have only an advisory board. That is the presidents are to advise the District chairman. There is an election every two years for DC. Other than that there is no real opportunity for clashes.
    Now I'm not saying ZNA is better! It is simply different as AKCA has evolved more since its starting point from ZNA. Older and more steeped in tradition, ZNA is probably less sophisticated in the areas such as Roberts rules and rewriting of bylaws on a routine basis. I love both our organizations AKCA and ZNA. I feel more at home with the koi however and the tradition. To each his/her own.
    I really do hope my friends in AKCA work out their differences. And I hope this will not be a radical change in the organization.
    I've rambled enough. Best, JR
    Quite the contrary....that's one of the reasons I like ZNA so much. Very straight forward and easy to understand.
    Koi-Unit
    My personal koi page Updated 7/8/07
    ZNA Potomac Koi Club

  7. #37
    Daihonmei
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    well thats true! we are pretty straight forward and not too complicated. Unless it comes to the fish! Even those simple red and white ones get pretty interesting in their details! LOLs

    My name is James p and I'm addicted to koi! LOLs

  8. #38
    Jumbo jnorth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
    And A.K.C.A. gave you Koi USA magazine... which you can take or leave it.
    Very true although I have not resubscribed yet because of this mess.
    Koi-Unit
    My personal koi page Updated 7/8/07
    ZNA Potomac Koi Club

  9. #39
    Daihonmei
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    Jim , think about the organization and its survival and not personalities. The magazine KOI USA is back again thanks to the turn around Steve c and wife pulled off years ago now. And now under the leadership of a teriffic new editor full of energy and a great philosophy.
    And think of that person who JUST discovered koi and has now found KOI USA and sees it as unique and amazing as it is just what they were looking for. a publication full of inspiration and answers.
    We need to support that magazine regardless of politics or favorite sons in a political fight. JR

  10. #40
    Jumbo jnorth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    well thats true! we are pretty straight forward and not too complicated. Unless it comes to the fish! Even those simple red and white ones get pretty interesting in their details! LOLs

    My name is James p and I'm addicted to koi! LOLs
    Bingo! Japan does its thing and the US chapter presidents get together once a year to shoot the bull. Every chapter gets a voice even if its largely symbolic.
    Koi-Unit
    My personal koi page Updated 7/8/07
    ZNA Potomac Koi Club

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