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Old 02-17-2010, 06:53 AM   #85
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Perfectly said. I can only hope that its not ignored out of hand.

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Old 02-17-2010, 09:42 AM   #86
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Well done Kerry...

My best to both of you...

Let me know if you pass thru Montreal we'll try to catch up...


Originally Posted by Kerrbett View Post
Following is the text of a letter sent today to the IP.

Dear Tom:

I want to convey my disappointment and alarm with the decision to expel Leo G from our Club. This decision, coming as it does on top of the decisions made at the recent IBT meeting, have grave implications for the future of WBCCI. While some people may be uncomfortable with Leo’s style of communication, I can think of few people who have done more to initiate and encourage progress in this Club. My Unit has been a strong supporter of Leo’s election efforts for an International role in both of the last two International elections. He gave us an election with a clear choice. His expulsion sends a very negative message to our membership.

This decision, coming on the heels of the IBT decision to raise International membership dues while continuing to run a deficit, is causing members to critically examine their commitment to WBCCI. In recent days, I have been approached by both newer and long time members who are expressing serious doubt that they will renew their memberships. These are not “arm chair” members, but people who are active and involved in our Unit program. They see an International organization in long term decline, stuck in its traditional hierarchy, focused on its own needs instead of membership benefits. Ask yourself how many of the myriad motions approved at the recent IBT benefit the Airstream lifestyle of WBCCI members. What we saw was leadership more involved in apportioning its own recompense, in tightening procedures for disciplining members who run afoul of something and in ultimately passing the buck to the general membership. We remain a club with declining membership, eating its assets and now holding the fond hope that a marketing program will somehow reverse the decline. Is it any wonder that members are losing faith? When we lose the hearts and minds of our core membership, our future is bleak.

We hear repeatedly from our leadership that the Unit is key. It is at the Unit level that most of our members find the real value of WBCCI. As Unit President, I am frequently asked why our Unit needs WBCCI International. For this fiscal year, the Ontario Canada Unit will transfer approximately $10,500 Cdn to WBCCI HQ (we must use part of our Unit dues to cover currency exchange rates and international bank transfer fees). Next year it will be even more, if members choose to renew. Members are asking what dollar value we get for that investment. The question is legitimate and difficult to answer. Most of the benefits of Fun, Fellowship and Adventure that our members experience are delivered by the Unit program. We are told that building membership is a Unit responsibility but the reality that we face is that WBCCI International is the biggest impediment.

This year, WBCCI has lost two new events, the Birthday Bash and the Pocono Race Weekend, because their initiators were either alienated or expelled by WBCCI. Both are going ahead full steam outside of WBCCI. Our Unit responded enthusiastically to the Pocono Race Weekend when initially proposed and it will continue to be on our Unit program, despite no longer being a WBCCI Special Event Rally. These are opportunities lost by WBCCI to expand member benefits. Instead, the benefits will be seen to be delivered without WBCCI. The message to members reconsidering their commitment to WBCCI is clear.

I repeat that we are losing the hearts and minds of our members – their wallets will surely follow. We do not have the luxury of years to revitalize this Club. Passing the responsibility to Units and/or Committees without authority doesn’t help. Leadership is elected to lead. Members will decide with their hearts, their minds and ultimately, vote with their feet. Let’s start giving them reasons to stay in WBCCI.

Yours truly,

Kerry Mattila
President, Ontario Canada Unit

Canadian Atlantic Unit Past President
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:20 AM   #87
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Take back the power!


Great letter Kerry!

What I find most interesting though is Kerry is not someone that’s post here or on SaveWally. In fact, this is only the “second” post! Most of the time, the IBT blows off anything said here or SaveWally has the group of “misfit toys”. But this time, it’s not the case. You are having more and more folks standing up that never have before in the past and saying, “Enough’s, enough”.

It’s time for the Units to take back the power from the IBT/EC7 and get control of this club. The members join the local unit it should be up to that Unit to decide what happens with its members.

I ask everyone to push their leadership to pull back the power and right the course of the WBCCI ship.
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Old 02-17-2010, 05:11 PM   #88
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Let the momentum build! However I feel rather deflated that anyone who has posted on SaveWally is discounted summarily and as such that is accepted. Especially since they would have been first to call the infractions and increase member awareness and suffer sanctions. However, I know that was not your intent but as such I gravitated to the aspersion quickly.

Wholeheartedly I agree, WBCCI members take back your club! You well outnumber the IBT and they are not representing you or doing the work they were nominated to do.

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Old 02-17-2010, 08:45 PM   #89
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The thrust of those of us who look forward to re-balancing the power in the Club must follow two paths. The first is well under way; letting the International officers know, politely but in no uncertain terms, that the membership is not happy with the way they are running things. The second is to inform the membership about the facts of how money is evaporating, decisions are made by the elite without reference to the rest of us, and we have a discipline process that operates in the dark and is being used to punish and stifle disenting views. Who is Garvey? Indeed!!!!
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Old 02-17-2010, 09:02 PM   #90
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Your post #89 in Letters to IBT

Along the lines of your last post I sent E Mails to 12 unit Presidents 3 days ago. The only one to reply was your President, Kerry, and a day later he wrote his letter.

I have the current E Mail list from HQ, since the left it out of this years directory I ashed them for it and got it.

If a back room group can be put together I would be willing to be part of it.

This is what I sent.

I don't know how closely you follow the actions of the IBT but I thought you and possibly your membership should know. The IBT has terminated the membership of Leo G, Past President of Metro NY.

Leo was terminated because he voiced opinions and ideas that did not sit well with the current Club Leadership even though he is generally recognized as one of the most ardent supporters of the concepts originally put fourth by Wally.

While this subject has received extension discussion on the Airforums Leo's first hand report can be viewed here.

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Old 02-17-2010, 09:38 PM   #91
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Rideair, please add another to the stack.

To the International Board of Trustees and the Ethics & Grievance Committee:

I could begin with telling you why I am a member of the WBCCI, but I’m convinced that matters little to most of you. So I’ll remind you of what I have learned the Wally Byam Caravan Club was originally intended to be. The Wally Byam Caravan Club was created at the request of caravanners and brought into reality by Helen Byam Schwamborn to be a conduit for socialization when they weren’t caravanning. The Wally Byam Caravan Club was a meaningful part of Airstreaming to each and every member. The spirit of camaraderie and unselfish volunteerism on all levels was the essence of the club and perhaps the club’s greatest asset.

The mid-twentieth century has given way to a new millennium, technological advancement, fresh ideas, and a changing family structure within today’s society. But the interest in all things Airstream remains a real component of current culture. The profile of the Airstreamer has broadened to include working families, kids, single people, single parents, young couples. gay couples, old couples, straight couples, rich people, not-so-rich people, and vintage enthusiasts as well as retirees with time and money at their disposal. Thank goodness for diversity!

The WBCCI continues to have a lot of wonderful people within it’s ranks. I have made lifetime friends at unit level rallies and I have had tremendous fun. Unfortunately, it has become apparent that much of the leadership steering the WBCCI is not acting in the club’s best interest. It becomes increasingly difficult, even negligent, for members including myself to continue to ignore the actions or inaction of the IBT when it will eventually impact everyone at the unit level. Indeed, the fitness of the club as a whole is at risk.

The lack of fiduciary responsibility is only the tip of the iceberg. Documents that were not originally intended for the general membership’s eyes reveal poor financial decisions if not blatant mismanagement. Mid-Winter’s IBT meeting demonstrated only minimal effort to constrain spending and correct deficits. As my grandfather would say, “That’s about like an ox eating a violet.” A $10 membership dues increase, none of which support the units, sends the message that membership is being penalized for leadership’s shortfalls. Most members agree it’s not about the monetary value of $10; it’s about the principle. You are treating symptoms with short-acting remedies instead of curing the disease.

Effecting change within the construct of the constitution and bylaws is a slow and arduous process. Real efforts to change the status quo through the system are met with admonishment or tabled completely. Gentlemen, you do not have the luxury of time. Real change needs to happen now. You, the IBT, are currently endowed with near absolute power without oversight as per the constitution and bylaws. Many members question your use and abuse of this power. Without seriously rethinking the direction in which you are going, you may soon have no club to rule. Do something positive and meaningful with your power for membership and the club while you have the chance. Open your doors and open your minds.

Leo G's revocation from the WBCCI appears to be a shamefully sad action to suppress what you perceive to be a threat to your existence. In actuality, Leo may have been the WBCCI’s best ally. Leo was one of the first individuals to invite me to become a part of the WBCCI. He is a zealot for an organization whose rich history and true purpose he holds dear to his heart. He has been beating the drum to keep the WBCCI alive, please hear me, keep it ALIVE! In his effort to promote truth and transparency he has revealed some detrimental practices and attitudes of entitlement that are killing the organization. And you terminate him? Any upstanding organization in corporate America would remove their collective executive heads from under the rocks where they hide and say, “Hey, you know, we should take a hard look at ourselves. We are stewards of this organization and have a responsibility to our shareholders. What are we really giving shareholders for their dollars and what can we do to keep our shareholders from selling out?” But then, perhaps for some of you the survival of the WBCCI isn’t your primary concern.

You may believe my line of thinking applies only to a small percentage of the current club and can be ignored. Therein lies your downfall. As this growing percentage declines to renew memberships, you lose one of your best marketing tools. You are left with an aging population with an inherently high attrition rate. In addition, there are countless Airstreamers, potential members, who reject the WBCCI because they see nothing appealing about paying $65+ a year for no perceived benefit. Except for a handful of progressive units who, by the way, are beginning to question their support at the International level, the WBCCI doesn’t fit the 21st century Airstreamer’s lifestyle. There is more at stake here than you may imagine.

Long ago I received some advice from a very wise man. He told me that any organization, religion, club, etc. in which a) questions are answered deceptively, discouraged, or ignored completely, b) questioning of authority is not allowed, c) rules of conformity are promoted and diversity discouraged, and d) criticism is silenced,the organization is not of goodly intent and I should have no part of it. After peeling back cloak of unit activities and caravans, many get the perception that this is the type of organization the WBCCI has become. I doubt this characterization is what the caravanners, Helen Byam Schwamborn and Wally Byam envisioned at the club’s inception. If this is NOT what the WBCCI’s Airstream lifestyle has become, NOW is the time to make this evident.

Please don’t let the essence of the WBCCI fade into a distant memory. Please don’t continue to push the club into an accelerating death spiral. The heritage of the club is so very rich and meaningful to many of us. We want to pass a progressive, viable WBCCI on to our children and our children’s children. Pull up now before it is all lost.

Sincerely yours,

Dacia Susleck
WBCCI #14674

(Now why won't the forum software let me spell out Leo's last name in this post????? Rideair, I'll email you a PDF file with Leo's full name)
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:05 PM   #92
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Dacia - Thank you!
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:04 AM   #93
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Dacia...Ditto....Thank-You...Awesome letter...Obie
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:49 PM   #94
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Dacia, well said.

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Old 02-19-2010, 12:41 AM   #95
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I really fear/think/believe

that it will take three or four BIG units withholding their dues to the national organization or outright seceding until there are serious rule reforms and accountability - to get the IBT to blink.

I hope I'm wrong, but I really appreciate the leadership of several units speaking up. I guess it comes down to the IBT's balance between arrogance and intelligence. Right now I'd bet on arrogance winning.

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Old 02-20-2010, 11:22 AM   #96
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Members of the IBT/EC7

My history with, Airstreaming, dates back to my in-laws in the 60s. My uncle, with over 25 years of membership, was a Past President of the Watchung unit and a frequent participant in the opening ceremonies of the International singing the National Anthem. The purchase of my current unit, 15 years ago, eventually lead to my choice to honor my deceased uncle by joining WBCCI and requesting his numbers 4 years ago.

During my tenure of membership I have followed what I see as the decline of the Club in several aspects. Starting with the attempt to redefine the Clubs name, redefine the requirement for membership, and most recently the complete lack of fiscal responsibility.

In each of these cases the general membership has clearly voiced disagreement and voted these proposals down only to receive a reaction of contempt and “we shall return” from the Leadership. While not one of these actions caused me to consider not renewing my membership, but rather to remain and work against such future action, your latest misdirection of leadership has caused reconsideration.

I read and sent in my reactions to ALL of the 26 amendments proposed for action this year. I listened to the simulcast only to hear you circumvent the complete concept put forth to revise the grievance regulations requested by the membership.

I trust this action was taken to allow your intended and preplanned actions of having members singled out for punitive actions via legal threats. Not only are these treats now being disseminated through costly Attorney written letters, but your so called consolidation of the grievance procedures has not been released denying the effected members a clear path of response.

Given your latest distasteful actions I find a more positive action, rather than wait and see, is required. I will withhold renewel of my membership and consider future membership based on the actions of future IBT meetings, namely the redefinement of reasonable grievance procedures, reduction of expenditures causing an unbalanced budget and solely designed for your personnel benefit, and the reinstatement of any and all members you have threatened with termination.

In the interim my numbers will be crossed with a black ribbon to display my discontent and to solicit question from other members I may encounter while traveling. This action will serve to overcome Management’s communication with the membership, clearly another shortfall of the Club.

Additionally I have just pledged the first $100.00 towards Leo’s defense fund.
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Old 02-20-2010, 12:17 PM   #97
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I'll gladly match HowiE's donation of $100 to Leo's defense fund, and I wouldn't know Leo & his wife if he/they walked over to my campfire with a cooler of beer and joined me for a bison burger.
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Old 02-20-2010, 05:51 PM   #98
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If you want to back your letter up with a buck or 2 visit this site and note the pool above post #1

We are all fighting the same battle this is just another avenue

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