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

  1. #71
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    The association of koi Clubs in the pacific northwest met the weekend of the
    meeting in florida. It's an annual meeting always held on that date and planned from year to year prior to any other event being scheduled.

    I'm not sure that by pointing out no one attended the AKCA focus meeting from the NW, fairly gives account of what was taking place. Nor does it create unity or good will among those who might think less of us in the NW, while we actually do care and are involved.

    Larry Christensen, AKCA judge did an excellent job of explaining what was going on to help all of the clubs in the association to understand what was happening with the AKCA.

    I just wanted to share this, so in all fairness people would know ...
    Dick Benbow

  2. #72
    Jumbo RobF's Avatar
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    sunrise

    I have decided on my own to make a brief report of the momentous meeting held in Orlando Florida, Friday, the 9th of March 2012. I sat in the second row. I’d say there were 70 in attendance. The room was called to order at 4:00 pm.

    Joe White, the soft spoken, the most highly respected koi fancier this side of Japan, began the presentation, he began with a welcome, to all, rebel or spy, curious or crazy, welcome. This is my abbreviated recollection with minor elaboration. Joe summarized in objective terms the recent actions of the AKCA BoD as regards the ballot and the candidates. Joe related to the assembled that at 40+ clubs have signed a petition protesting these actions. He said that 30+ judges have signed a similar petition and that both petitions would be hand delivered to the ACKA Board Meeting later that evening by Burt Ballou. Joe did not express much optimism that the AKCA BoD would be receptive to the expressed concerns of the member clubs and judges group. He said that in the likely event that the protestations of the clubs and judges went unheeded then an alternative was in place.

    Mike Frady was next. Once again without, or a least very little, recrimination Mike related his recent experiences with the BoD and how the way forward may in fact be in a way leading away. A way to an organization with vision expressed through action, inclusion, and cooperation. Steve Childers, five years editor of Koi USA, who of course is known as the “most divisive person in koi keeping” then spoke. However, contrary to that reputation Steve spoke not so much about division as about a new unity. Not so much about past injustice as the possibilities that technology offers the present. Richard Porter then presented some charts that showed the uniformly downward trend of the AKCA as regards to finance, KoiUSA, and clubs. In the last few years, under the current AKCA management, the annual seminars are stopped, insurance coverage was lost, magazine revenues are way down, the number of shows have declined; many longtime AKCA volunteers were lost. In retrospect many now see that the destruction of KHA was motivated by the same hubris the BoD now shows toward the clubs and judges.

    Porter showed us some details and the tentative by-laws and Trustees of a national organization: The Koi Society. The initiation of The Koi Society would be held back until later that evening in the event that the AKCA BoD chose to listen to overwhelming majority of the Association’s membership. Charles Phelps assured the assembled that whatever the short and long of it might be: that judges would always be available, indeed eager, for shows. Questions were taken, Joe pretty much forbade any inclination to discuss personalities and speculate upon motivation, the meeting was adjourned at 5:00.

    I spoke with Joe and Mike Frady the next day, they said that the AKCA BoD was completely unresponsive, indeed dismissive, of the club and judge petitions. And so Kichis the die is cast. It is possible that some, and maybe the AKCA BoD is among them, consider that this creation of another national organization is a ploy, just a negotiating tactic, so wrong! Don’t doubt for a second that far too many have already put far too much on the line to turn back now.

    A new day is awakening to the dawn; the sun rising in the eastern sky is the same sun that set in the west, the dark night is past, a soft, warm light shines upon the smiling face of American koi keepers.

  3. #73
    Tosai
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    Hi Dick, no problem. I mentioned no one there from the NW not as a criticism so sorry you or others may have thought that was my intention. My only intention was to convey accurately the areas represented so as not to falsely give people the impression that ALL areas of the country were present.

    I would not have expected many from that far away to be at our show or at our meeting in view of the relatvely short notice.

    Your group is a fine example of regional clubs coming together that has served for a long time now as to the benefits your type of organization can provide to the clubs in the Northwest. This was the model that contributed at least in part to my idea to start the original Orlando show by bringing 8 Florida clubs together.

    Also, I have spoken at length with Larry C. regarding the history of your group. Joe

  4. #74
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    thanks Joe.... I had hoped you wouldn't take my comments as anything but clarification. Lots of great folks here that think like you and others that it really is all about the koi.

  5. #75
    MCA
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    Honmei MCA's Avatar
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    Much thanks to all who have worked on this painful topic in behalf of the clubs and their members. It would seem organized American koi keeping has reached a "point of inflection".

  6. #76
    Tategoi andy's Avatar
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    Why so much emphasis on "koi clubs". Clubs come and go but not koi hobbyst. What about the thousands of KoiKichi who don't belong to clubs? Economically speaking a huge mistake of wasted opportunities. AKCA needs to drop the C, while C becomes the all important committee on shows and judges.....................just saying.

  7. #77
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy View Post
    Why so much emphasis on "koi clubs". Clubs come and go but not koi hobbyst. What about the thousands of KoiKichi who don't belong to clubs? Economically speaking a huge mistake of wasted opportunities. AKCA needs to drop the C, while C becomes the all important committee on shows and judges.....................just saying.
    You raise an important question. I have my own thoughts, but rather than suggest reasons for the emphasis on clubs, I'll ask you another question: What would you like a national organization to do that would cause you to be willing to pay dues? (And, what amount of dues would you consider appropriate for those activities/services?)

  8. #78
    Daihonmei
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    Morning Andy, long time no squabble!
    I suppose your comments are sincere and from the heart. Kinda like “we are the world" or "Imagine, if only---" from the Lennon song?
    In the past I've defended the dirty word 'politics' as the way people interact with one another and come to compromise. So if we see organizations as the only place politics exists then we do not understand politics as a word.
    But I decided to respond as currently I'm not a member of AKCA. And certainly no longer a politician of the AKCA club. Most of the folks posting are politicians. Even reps are politicians so in that respect the current stress on 'both sides of the ball' are disagreements amongst politicians and they are recruiting 'voters' within the clubs to take political sides.
    That is how things get done. Nothing wrong with that- that is politics in it's 'energized' mode.
    I decided to respond as a believer in 'clubs'. The club is the structure of the hobby. Without it there would be no koi education, no koi shows, More importantly, no koi standard and --NO dealers of show koi. With no standards or effort to produce winning fish, there would be no ALL JAPAN show, no ZNA and no koi culture.
    And we must not be too naive while listening to “Imagine" by my favorite Beatle. Without an amateur structure there will be a vacuum until the culture shrinks and dies away. In that vacuum, the industry would fill the void. And you would have HIGH end breeders moving product around the world and the rest would be a pet smart world.
    The internet would provide the backdrop and unknown advisors on the many many websites from frogs and bogs to snobbier koi kichi would be the source of all information. And the wolves in sheep’s clothing would dominate these sites (as they tend to do now on some channels). But the new hobbyist can't know when information is academic or an infomercial. And that is a sad truth. It is the 'clubs' that stand for pure information, not the industry.
    So, no, the thing that makes KOI and KOI culture special, over all other ornamental fish keeping hobbies, is the club structure.
    I'm in favor, as a private citizen, in shrinking the political structure. I think it is distracting from the things you talk about. A larger bureaucratic system is a movement to words like 'service to the members' and ' better communication' etc. Sounds good. But it is an incubator of more politicians and less koi.
    Clubs, by their very nature, will create friendships for life and an outlet for many people who come and go. They will also bring together people from very different walks of life and some will not mix with one another very well. And it will also bring in the bored and yes, the problem personalities. This all leads to inevitable strife. But that is the downside and we should be inspired enough by these amazing animals that we resist the temptation to turn koi culture into an 'operation' similar to big government.
    Clubs yes, big structure and endless politician strife, no.
    So Andy don't throw the baby out with the bathwater! The truth is the POWER sought is really in the lowly 'club' and not in the national administration where only the people are. The koi are clueless as to who is in charge beyond the pond and the show vat. JR

  9. #79
    Tategoi andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    Morning Andy, long time no squabble!
    I suppose your comments are sincere and from the heart. Kinda like “we are the world" or "Imagine, if only---" from the Lennon song?
    In the past I've defended the dirty word 'politics' as the way people interact with one another and come to compromise. So if we see organizations as the only place politics exists then we do not understand politics as a word.
    But I decided to respond as currently I'm not a member of AKCA. And certainly no longer a politician of the AKCA club. Most of the folks posting are politicians. Even reps are politicians so in that respect the current stress on 'both sides of the ball' are disagreements amongst politicians and they are recruiting 'voters' within the clubs to take political sides.
    That is how things get done. Nothing wrong with that- that is politics in it's 'energized' mode.
    I decided to respond as a believer in 'clubs'. The club is the structure of the hobby. Without it there would be no koi education, no koi shows, More importantly, no koi standard and --NO dealers of show koi. With no standards or effort to produce winning fish, there would be no ALL JAPAN show, no ZNA and no koi culture.
    And we must not be too naive while listening to “Imagine" by my favorite Beatle. Without an amateur structure there will be a vacuum until the culture shrinks and dies away. In that vacuum, the industry would fill the void. And you would have HIGH end breeders moving product around the world and the rest would be a pet smart world.
    The internet would provide the backdrop and unknown advisors on the many many websites from frogs and bogs to snobbier koi kichi would be the source of all information. And the wolves in sheep’s clothing would dominate these sites (as they tend to do now on some channels). But the new hobbyist can't know when information is academic or an infomercial. And that is a sad truth. It is the 'clubs' that stand for pure information, not the industry.
    So, no, the thing that makes KOI and KOI culture special, over all other ornamental fish keeping hobbies, is the club structure.
    I'm in favor, as a private citizen, in shrinking the political structure. I think it is distracting from the things you talk about. A larger bureaucratic system is a movement to words like 'service to the members' and ' better communication' etc. Sounds good. But it is an incubator of more politicians and less koi.
    Clubs, by their very nature, will create friendships for life and an outlet for many people who come and go. They will also bring together people from very different walks of life and some will not mix with one another very well. And it will also bring in the bored and yes, the problem personalities. This all leads to inevitable strife. But that is the downside and we should be inspired enough by these amazing animals that we resist the temptation to turn koi culture into an 'operation' similar to big government.
    Clubs yes, big structure and endless politician strife, no.
    So Andy don't throw the baby out with the bathwater! The truth is the POWER sought is really in the lowly 'club' and not in the national administration where only the people are. The koi are clueless as to who is in charge beyond the pond and the show vat. JR
    JR ....... Clubs, shows, judges, Koi Health, vendors, advertisers, magazines and hobbyist, just to mention a few, play an integral part in promoting and preserving our beloved hobby. Having not experienced the history and tradition of years past I tend to view the current situation through a different prism.

    In my mind AKCA has become the one association (brick and mortar) that has capture the most attention becoming by default our hobby's national representative weather it likes it or not. But How can the AKCA be the flagship of our hobby when it discriminates to those enthusiast who for whatever reason don't belong to a "club". That has puzzled me from the beginning. I figured for every club member there are tens who don't belong. Ergo my comments on lost revenue opportunities.

    Mature and experienced Koi hobbyist is a demographic you can take to the bank. I'm certain they would support the hobby weather they belong to a club or not. But the current AKCA structure does not have the flexibility to deal with that segment.... Join a club and then you can be counted is hardly a form of survival.

    At this stage its very hard, as history has proven, to start a new national movement. I'm almost positive it would never work unless a few folk really spend tons of money and time. Why not update/upgrade the next best thing.... AKCA. It already has experience and structure. Rearrange AKCA's model a little. Create a regionally represented board who's sole purpose is to focus on the big picture, individual memberships, budgets, marketing and modernization. Shift the current "club" board to an autonomous committee who's sole purpose is to promote and support clubs, shows and judge programs. And create a new autonomous committee to deal with Koi health. I'm sure I'm missing a bunch more but you get my drift.......Science and technology for instance.

    Clubs are really a great thing but not for everybody. Those who enjoy that aspect of Koi society will find each other and thrive. But they should not carry the burden of the whole industry.

    Times have changed and social networks are here to stay. I don't think clubs are the only way to preserve tradition and neither is the internet but together they form a great partnership that far exceeds the expectations of a few decade ago.
    Last edited by andy; 03-14-2012 at 11:51 PM.

  10. #80
    Tategoi andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    You raise an important question. I have my own thoughts, but rather than suggest reasons for the emphasis on clubs, I'll ask you another question: What would you like a national organization to do that would cause you to be willing to pay dues? (And, what amount of dues would you consider appropriate for those activities/services?)
    Mike I think I answerd your question in my last post. I'd like to see membership dues being paid for the national organization and if so desired dues paid for club membership. All benefiting the same Association......

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