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Posted by Bob P ( on July 12, 2001 at 20:58:15:

6600 miles and one heck of a convention!

I neglected two things at the convention:

First - a standing round of applause for Elaine, Todd and Kip for putting on a get together that will be hard to beat. The effort they put in was above the call of duty. My sincerest thanks for doing all the foot work so the rest of us could enjoy it. People like you are what makes OUCH so special.

Second - another standing round for DJ, who's idea for a web site is what started all of this. I'm not sure he really knows how he has changed so many people's lifes. I'm forever in your debt dude!

My take on the convention:

Like many others, it was the first time I've seen others getting hit by the demon. It rips your guts out to see and know what's happening and there's nothing you can do about it.

I came away with the commitment that OUCH has to succeed in it's mission. No if's, and's or but's. It just has to!

Convention 2002:

This whole stink only reinforces my belief that we have created one hell of a complicated organization (I'd write buearocracy but I can't spell it even close enough to find it in the dictionary).

The reason the Bylaws specifically say the Pres-elect has a vote on the Board of Directors and it doesn't for the other Officers is because it was a given that the others already had a vote. The Pres-Elect, being an officer waiting to assume a post, needed to be specified as having a vote. This is shown in other areas of the Bylaws where it states the the President can call a meeting of the Board. In my mind that says the President (and the other Officers) are members of the Board.

This is just an example of why I feel the Bylaws need to be streamlined.

All the same, there are 12 members of the BOD, including Officers. There were 5 at the BOD meeting at the convention. Not the 6 needed for a quarum. I've posted the 2002 convention location issue on the message board the BOD uses to conduct business to get input from the rest of the Board.

This still doesn't alieviate the conflict with the Bylaws stating that the Convention Committee should pick the date an location. My opinion on this is that most of the Standing Committees should be done away with. In their place, we should have projects that OUCH would like to tackle and ask for volunteers to lead and participate in working on these projects (this is Steve VanRees' suggestion and I think a good one). I think this is how the convention shold be handled each year. Someone volunteers to organize it in their area.

I realize Vancouver is the extreme west coast (almost as far west as Atlanta is east). Because of this there will be people who can't make the trip (just as there were people who couldn't make it to Atlanta). This is just one of those things where you just can't please everyone.

I think the convention should be moved around the continent, east, west, north, south, middle. Give everyone a chance to make it one when it's in their area. It should be in a city with good air travel access and have other atttractions for those who want to turn it into a vacation in addition to a convention. It's a lot easier to swallow the cost when you feel you're paying for a vacation and taking in the convention in addition rather than just paying the travel cost for the convention alone.

As far as having a general membership vote on the location, Kip is right, it leads to a lot of bickering. I'm really not aware of any organizatons that have general membership votes on items like this. That's why you elect Officers and a BOD. To make these decisions. If the decisions are bad ones, you vote them out next election and put someone else in.

We'd be bogged down in votes if we went to the membership for a decision on each item of business and if you do it for the convention why not for everything?

Well I think those are all of thoughts for now. To summarize:

Thanks Elaine, Todd, Kip and DJ.

The 2002 convention should be in Vancouver and the Wood's should take over the duties of the Convention Committee.

If members would be willing to organize an annual convention in their town, let us know and the BOD will do it's best to rotate the location around the country so everyone has a chance to attend.

The Bylaws need to be streamlined, the number of committees and BOD members reduced.

We need a small core of trusted individuals as BOD members to run the Org. and we need to let them do their job.

We need to show patience and understanding. We can't always have what we want.

Bob P

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