Forums: Archive: 2008-2009 USPA BOD Elections:
Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member?

 

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Poll: Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member?
Yes 56 / 42%
No 39 / 29%
It depends 38 / 29%
133 total votes
 
Premier NWFlyer  (D License)

Nov 2, 2008, 7:54 AM
Post #1 of 32 (4872 views)
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Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member? Can't Post

Reading through the candidate bios and statements in Parachutist, I was struck by how many don't appear to be active jumpers (based upon their self-reported "jumps in last year.") Four candidates reported no jumps in the last year, one reported two jumps.

I'm curious to get opinions on whether this is a critical attribute to being a good USPA board member - or are there other ways in which someone can be meaningfully involved in the sport that would allow them to serve the membership well on the board without being active jumpers?

I copied this info directly from the USPA elections web site.

* = incumbent

National Director Candidates
*Glenn Bangs Total jumps: 8,375. Jumps past year: 175.
*Jan Meyer Total jumps: 6,200. Jumps past year: 0.
*Jay Stokes Total jumps: 17,250. Jumps past year: 1,000-plus.
Kip Lohmiller Total jumps: 7,578. Jumps past year: 600.
Krisanne Combs Total jumps: 425. Jumps past year: 100.
Michael Swanson Total jumps: 16,000. Jumps past year: 1,500.
Alan "Buzz" Fink Total jumps: 6,103. Jumps past year: 40.
Kirk Verner Total jumps: 23,000. Jumps past year: 350.
Francisco Neri Total jumps: 9,856-plus. Jumps past year: 650.
*Michael Mullins Total jumps: 4,214. Jumps past year: 0.
*John DeSantis Total jumps: 6,500. Jumps past year: 200.
*Larry Hill Total jumps: 5,000-plus. Jumps past year: two.
Luke Aikins Total jumps: 12,000. Jumps past year: 400.
*B.J. Worth Total jumps: 6,300. Jumps past year: 175.
Jon Devore Total jumps: 15,000. Jumps past year: 550.
*Sherry Butcher Total jumps: 5,475. Jumps past year: 249.
Eli Thompson Total jumps: 14,700. Jumps past year: 600.
Merriah Eakins Total jumps: 2,850. Jumps past year: 250.
Charles Bryan Total jumps: 14,000. Jumps past year: 400.
J.P. Furnari Total jumps: 8,000. Jumps past year: 1,200.
Barclay Morris Total jumps: 1,290. Jumps past year: 100.
Eric Deren Total jumps; 3,500-plus. Jumps past year: 200.
J. Scott Stewart Total jumps: 2,900. Jumps past year: 200-plus.

Regional Director Candidates
Matt "Rook" Nelson Total jumps: 14,000. Jumps past year: 650.
*Gary Peek Total jumps: 7,150. Jumps past year: 200.
Randy Schroeder Total jumps: 10,700. Jumps past year: 275.
*Todd Spillers Total jumps: 4,300. Jumps past year: 200.
*Ed Dixon Total jumps: 1,350. Jumps past year: 125.
Tony Thacker Total jumps: 7,700-plus. Jumps past year: 50.
*Randall Allison Total jumps: 3,200. Jumps past year: 50.
Bill Wenger Total jumps: 8,500. Jumps past year: 100.
*John Goswitz Total jumps: 1,250. Jumps past year: 0.
*Marylou Laughlin Total jumps: 4,400. Jumps past year: 50.
*Jessie Farrington Total jumps: 8,000-plus. Jumps past year: 250.
*Chris Quaintance Total jumps: 3,400-plus. Jumps past year: 200.
*Victor Johnson, Jr Total jumps: 2,954. Jumps past year: 65.
*Lee Schlichtemeier Total jumps: 436. Jumps past year: 0.
*Scott Smith Total jumps: 10,000-plus. Jumps past year: 250.


(This post was edited by NWFlyer on Nov 2, 2008, 8:23 AM)


labrys  (D 29848)

Nov 2, 2008, 6:13 PM
Post #2 of 32 (4716 views)
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Re: [NWFlyer] Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
*Jay Stokes Total jumps: 17,250. Jumps past year: 1,000-plus.

Was that 1000 in two days or three? Laugh

I voted no but I was torn between no and it depends. If someone quits jumping I still think they can still have a lot of value to us as an organization.


BillyVance  (D 18895)

Nov 2, 2008, 7:33 PM
Post #3 of 32 (4687 views)
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Re: [labrys] Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
*Jay Stokes Total jumps: 17,250. Jumps past year: 1,000-plus.

Was that 1000 in two days or three? Laugh

I voted no but I was torn between no and it depends. If someone quits jumping I still think they can still have a lot of value to us as an organization.

Like Larry Hill and Mike Mullins. Mike, I don't think he's jumped in a long time, but he serves the sport tirelessly flying his King Air just about every damn weekend, not just at his home base but also at other DZs around the country, mostly in the midwest. Larry had the balls to defend his turf against Skyride and he seems to be doing well on that front. They are both getting my vote.


diablopilot  (D License)

Nov 3, 2008, 9:30 AM
Post #4 of 32 (4582 views)
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Re: [NWFlyer] Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm going to say no. It takes a desire to participate, make progress, and most importantly be in touch with the state of the skydiving community. The latter is sometimes easier as a current jumper.


trumanjsparks

Nov 3, 2008, 2:35 PM
Post #5 of 32 (4524 views)
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Re: [NWFlyer] Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member? [In reply to] Can't Post

If you say being an active jumper is important to being a good board member, then you are, in effect, saying that the next Commander-in-Chief elected tomorrow should spend at least part of each year as a grunt humping a ruck in Afghanistan. Or that the CEO of General Motors should spend part of his week painting vehicles coming out of production.

One has nothing to do with the other.


pilotdave  (D License)

Nov 3, 2008, 7:45 PM
Post #6 of 32 (4468 views)
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Re: [trumanjsparks] Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
you are, in effect, saying that the next Commander-in-Chief elected tomorrow should spend at least part of each year as a grunt humping a ruck in Afghanistan. Or that the CEO of General Motors should spend part of his week painting vehicles coming out of production.

One has nothing to do with the other.

I don't personally think board members need to be active jumpers to be good board members, but your suggestions aren't so unrealistic. It's pretty common for executives to spend some time doing lots of low level jobs within their organization to better understand what goes on inside their company. They can have a lot to do with each other.

BOD members should be spending a lot of time at dropzones, whether they are jumping or not. ESPECIALLY regional directors, but NDs as well. Wouldn't want them getting out of touch with jumpers and the sport.

Dave


skyjumpenfool  (Student)

Nov 4, 2008, 2:15 PM
Post #7 of 32 (4387 views)
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Re: [NWFlyer] Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
*John Goswitz Total jumps: 1,250. Jumps past year: 0.

Just because they’re not jumping, doesn’t mean they’re inactive! John G. has NOT made a jump in a while. However, you will see him at various dropzones all the time. He’s always at the NPSL meets acting as a judge (and I could add as a cheerleader for the newbies). He is always asking questions and looking over your shoulder.
I for one am very comfortable with this individual speaking for me as a member. Jump numbers and currency are not the only measure of a great leader. That’s why I continually vote for John.


SStewart  (D 10405)

Nov 4, 2008, 3:23 PM
Post #8 of 32 (4364 views)
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Re: [skyjumpenfool] Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
*John Goswitz Total jumps: 1,250. Jumps past year: 0.

Just because they’re not jumping, doesn’t mean they’re inactive! John G. has NOT made a jump in a while. However, you will see him at various dropzones all the time. He’s always at the NPSL meets acting as a judge (and I could add as a cheerleader for the newbies). He is always asking questions and looking over your shoulder.
I for one am very comfortable with this individual speaking for me as a member. Jump numbers and currency are not the only measure of a great leader. That’s why I continually vote for John.

+1

John would definetly have my vote if I lived in his region.

CoolCoolCool


wildfan75  (D 29536)

Nov 4, 2008, 4:03 PM
Post #9 of 32 (4355 views)
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Re: [SStewart] Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
*John Goswitz Total jumps: 1,250. Jumps past year: 0.

Just because they’re not jumping, doesn’t mean they’re inactive! John G. has NOT made a jump in a while. However, you will see him at various dropzones all the time. He’s always at the NPSL meets acting as a judge (and I could add as a cheerleader for the newbies). He is always asking questions and looking over your shoulder.
I for one am very comfortable with this individual speaking for me as a member. Jump numbers and currency are not the only measure of a great leader. That’s why I continually vote for John.

+1

John would definetly have my vote if I lived in his region.

CoolCoolCool

+2 and I live in his region.

Maybe a better asked question in regards to those that are running that don't jump anymore...why are they not jumping anymore?

I know there's a thread out there where someone who hadn't jumped in years and years asked if he was still a skydiver. The over-whelmingly majority of the responses told the guy "Absolutely yes! Once a skydiver always a skydiver." Why would it be different in this situation?


darkwing  (D 4164)

Dec 26, 2008, 9:40 AM
Post #10 of 32 (4061 views)
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Re: [NWFlyer] Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member? [In reply to] Can't Post

I suspect that many, many governing boards aren't composed of people who are active in what they govern. How many NFL commissioners are active football players? The two tasks require different skill sets.

So it has never been an issue with me whether or not someone is current.


frost  (D 25011)

Dec 26, 2008, 11:23 AM
Post #11 of 32 (4036 views)
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Re: [NWFlyer] Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member? [In reply to] Can't Post

I think whats more important then current jumps is the candidate's history and amount of time in sport/number of jumps total.

Just bringing a "fresh perspective, intelligence and education" or being "outside of its ‘norm.’" is not enough. It's a good start, but has to be backed up and based on a LOT of experience to get my vote. I voted for a mix of old and new, but mostly for people of younger age, living and breathing skydiving - candidates with lots of time in sport and thousands of jumps.

Please don't take it personally, but I am just not sure how much someone with less 500 jumps and 4 years in sport can know about skydiving or how much longer they will keep interest in it. I have seen way too many people quit after 3-5 years with 400-500 jumps.


diablopilot  (D License)

Dec 26, 2008, 6:45 PM
Post #12 of 32 (3980 views)
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Re: [frost] Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I have seen way too many people quit after 3-5 years with 400-500 jumps.

Maybe they didn't feel the sport represented them.Tongue

Don't get me wrong, there is no way I would support a board comprised of ONLY low time and experience jumpers, but I do think the board should be representative of the wide population of skydiving types.


frost  (D 25011)

Dec 26, 2008, 9:49 PM
Post #13 of 32 (3956 views)
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Re: [diablopilot] Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member? [In reply to] Can't Post

True, may be they did not... And that's a great thing that we have a low experienced jumper getting up and trying to do something and change things. My hat goes off to that effort.

But I feel that other candidates may feel the same way, yet have a ton of experience behind them.

When it comes to my membership benefits and my vote - i want the best combination. Fresh perspective? Good! Experience AND fresh perspective - much better, cant go wrong with that.

Just my point of view and i am sure there are many others.


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
Moderator
Dec 27, 2008, 6:48 AM
Post #14 of 32 (3935 views)
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Re: [frost] Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been around long enough and paid enough attention to the BOD to remember when a few well known skydivers had been elected to the BOD by not much more then their name and a promise to change alone. Once on the BOD it became clear that they knew how to skydive really well but did not have a clue as to how to be a business executive and how Roberts Rules of Order work in the slightest. One of the people elected years ago had a very poor attendence record at the BOD meetings since they were off skydiving and doing other things instead.

The committment to being a BOD member is far more then just showing up to the 2 meetings each year, its dealing with all the issues that occur in between the meetings with out the ability to consult the membership for every decision. Following the Roberts Rules are critical to getting anything done during the meetings since if items are not presented properly it is very easy to have them repelled later or to have them not brought up for a vote at all.

It would be great if people running for the BOD had some previous experience in an executive capasity ot at least some knowledge of Roberts Rules prior to attending the first BOD meeting after they are elected.


dgskydive  (C 25738)

Dec 30, 2008, 9:48 PM
Post #15 of 32 (3785 views)
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Re: [NWFlyer] Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member? [In reply to] Can't Post

I voted it depends. i was gonna vote yes until I ready some of the names on the list.

DZO's that dont jump are very in touch with jumpers and what is going on in the sport and should in my opinion be allowed to sit on the board. They after all have a huge stake in the success of this sport.

Jan???? Did you really not jump at all last year??


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Dec 31, 2008, 5:25 AM
Post #16 of 32 (3762 views)
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Re: [darkwing] Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I suspect that many, many governing boards aren't composed of people who are active in what they govern. How many NFL commissioners are active football players? The two tasks require different skill sets.
.

However, it can also be argued that the NFL commissioners are at every game somewhere, attend a lot of practices, and have daily contact with the sport.
They're also paid a great deal of $$.


MakeItHappen

Dec 31, 2008, 9:57 AM
Post #17 of 32 (3736 views)
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Re: [dgskydive] Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I voted it depends. i was gonna vote yes until I ready some of the names on the list.

DZO's that dont jump are very in touch with jumpers and what is going on in the sport and should in my opinion be allowed to sit on the board. They after all have a huge stake in the success of this sport.

Jan???? Did you really not jump at all last year??

What was printed in the mag was NOT what I submitted on my form.
It was changed by the N&E chair.
I believe this issue will be on the agenda at the next BOD mtg.

Don't believe everything you read in the mags is about all I can say right now.

.


dgskydive  (C 25738)

Dec 31, 2008, 10:19 AM
Post #18 of 32 (3724 views)
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Re: [MakeItHappen] Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Don't believe everything you read in the mags is about all I can say right now.

That is why I asked. That didnt seem right at all! I couldnt believe that you hadnt done a single jump in a full year. The world would have had to shut down for that to happen I would think.


KevinAllen

Jan 2, 2009, 9:29 AM
Post #19 of 32 (3637 views)
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Re: [MakeItHappen] Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member? [In reply to] Can't Post

Jan, Please put this to rest. How many jumps did you make last year?

Thanks.


Kev


Jan???? Did you really not jump at all last year??
What was printed in the mag was NOT what I submitted on my form.
It was changed by the N&E chair.
I believe this issue will be on the agenda at the next BOD mtg.

Don't believe everything you read in the mags is about all I can say right now.

.


3331  (D 3331)

Jan 2, 2009, 3:04 PM
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Re: [MakeItHappen] Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member? [In reply to] Can't Post

Jan,

Glad you mentioned the Nominations and Election Committee.

I had problems with them for decades removing parts of my biography, when I asked why I was told "too many words" which was never true, I used a word processor that counted words, there was always lots of space left over on the Parachutists page.

One year my Aviation Qualifications were removed, for some reason the Nominations and Election Committee didn't want the members to know I had a Commercial Pilots License for fixed wing, multi engine, helicopter and instruments. I never got a straight answer but the Pilot info was never removed again.

They removed my SCS, SCR, NSCR and WSCR information, when I pointed out where it was left in for other candidates I got bull shit answers.

Then there was the last name mix up. Someone named Nuness mailed their election packet by Fed Ex and it got there to late, the office was closed and the dead line had passed. My packet (which was not late) was included with his??? I didn't know anything about it for weeks and had to make many phones calls, no one from the Nominations and Election Committee called me back, I had to buy a full page in Skydiving magazine and ran as a write in. Nuness got a lawyer.

And there's more but this is enough for now.


cliffwhite

Jan 3, 2009, 10:19 PM
Post #21 of 32 (3518 views)
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Re: [MakeItHappen] Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member? [In reply to] Can't Post

 
What was printed in the mag was NOT what I submitted on my form.
It was changed by the N&E chair.
___________________________________________________

Yeah .., right!!!!

Can you proove that?
You are starting to sound like "Treetop" a.k.a.LORD OF THE SKY

Blues,
Cliff


(This post was edited by cliffwhite on Jan 3, 2009, 10:21 PM)


tbrown  (D 6533)

Jan 4, 2009, 1:50 PM
Post #22 of 32 (3473 views)
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Re: [NWFlyer] Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member? [In reply to] Can't Post

As we are a membership association, I think that in general the Board should be filled with active jumpers. But what's your definition of active ? I guess 1700 would be active, but is 50 or 100 "active enough" ? I mean even fifty is an almost once a week average and fifty more than the average American whuffo.

And then there are some obvious names on the list who are major contributors to the sport, without whom the current jump scene would probably just not be the same. Maybe some of them have family or personal reasons, medical issues, or are just too darn busy keeping the rest of us in the air. There are all kinds of legit reasons for a contributing Board member to not jump at all. But in general, yeah, it's better if most of 'em do.


ccq  (D 23345)

Jan 4, 2009, 5:18 PM
Post #23 of 32 (3449 views)
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Re: [MakeItHappen] Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:

Jan???? Did you really not jump at all last year??

What was printed in the mag was NOT what I submitted on my form.
It was changed by the N&E chair.
I believe this issue will be on the agenda at the next BOD mtg.

Don't believe everything you read in the mags is about all I can say right now.

Jan, it's a simple question, really. But it's also a question with which you've been intentionally evasive and misleading - proven again by the above post.

Let me set the record straight from my perspective. While I am a member of the N&E Committee, this is my personal opinion.

Jan submitted the required candidate bio form to the USPA like all of the other candidates for National and Regional Director. Unlike all of the other candidates, however, she chose to answer the question of "Jumps in the past year?" with an answer of "unknown." Some candidates estimated their jumps at 1000+, some at 100, some at ten, and some admitted to zero. I found it quite strange that she couldn't even hazard an estimate of the number jumps she made. As stated clearly on the form, the N&E Committee is charged with reviewing these bio forms per Governance Manual 3-1 "to edit the biographical information and personal statement to meet space limitations, to provide uniformity of verbiage and presentation, and to avoid the appearance of mis-statement of facts."

Seeing as how Jan was the only candidate who chose not to specify a number for jumps in the past year, at least two members of the Committee attempted to clarify this issue. To be fair and considerate, they asked her directly to indicate a number in order to be consistent with the other candidate statements.  (For the record and per my previous DZ posts about Jan, I refrained from any comment to avoid any appearance of impropriety.) She was intentionally vague with the Committee members even after they pressed the issue.  

It was only after giving her the opportunity to respond that they took it upon themselves to attempt to verify her numbers. After several calls and visits to different DZ's including her home DZ, it was confirmed that she hadn't made any jumps at those places in the past year (and actually even further back than that).  Lacking any shred of contrary evidence, the Committee amended her statement to indicate that she made zero jumps.
 
Now, of course Jan cried foul and claimed she was being held to a different standard than the other candidates. That is simply untrue. The Committee was attempting to fulfill its responsibilities to the membership and avoid confusion or deception.

Even without a logbook or any record, how hard is it for any skydiver to estimate the number of jumps he or she made in the previous 12 months? We are not talking about the different between 225 and 350. We are talking orders of magnitude: Zero, one, ten, 100, 1000?

With the voting period closed, it's too late for this to have any impact on this election cycle. It's funny how the timing of this thread worked out, don't you think?

Jan, can your next reply to this thread be simply a number? An estimate? What is the big deal?

Cheers,
--Q


MakeItHappen

Jan 5, 2009, 10:20 AM
Post #24 of 32 (3291 views)
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Re: [ccq] Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
While I am a member of the N&E Committee, this is my personal opinion.

I do not think so.

Suppose that Joe Kool wrote that Joe Shmoe was a 'm*&^$@-f!^%#*' in his bio and the N&E comm removed that sentence. Then you wrote, in a public forum, that 'Oh the sentence was changed to 'blah blah blah'. I'd say that you violated the executive session qualities of the N&E comm transactions and duties.

As for your accusation of being singled out, were all candidates checked up on about their jump numbers? There are 'lots' of candidates with 'suspect' jump numbers.
There was also another candidate that did not provide an age.
Why didn't USPA just fill in the blank on that one 'to provide uniformity of verbiage and presentation'?
It's not like USPA does not have that information.

.


(This post was edited by MakeItHappen on Jan 5, 2009, 10:25 AM)


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
Moderator
Jan 5, 2009, 10:53 AM
Post #25 of 32 (3282 views)
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Re: [MakeItHappen] Is being an active jumper important to being a good board member? [In reply to] Can't Post

Jan, how many jumps did you make?


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