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ATA Organization Structure

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by jeffro, Feb 27, 2007.

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  1. jeffro

    jeffro TS Member

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    Neil Winston:

    Here's a tangible, and I believe positive, suggestion for you to consider:

    1. Push to amend the ATA's by-laws to mirror the management structure of a for-profit corporation, i.e., provide for a President (and one or more Vice-Presidents and other officers, as necessary) with FULL-TIME responsibility for the COMPETENT, DAY-TO-DAY MANAGEMENT of the corporation, subject only to the periodic review and removal power of the Board of Directors. Get the Board and the EC out of management and into an oversight role where they belong.

    2. Hire these officers from private industry, rather than from the ranks of the ATA's membership.

    3. Make certain that these officers have a successful track record in management, finance and marketing WITH A SIZABLE COMPANY, and not some mom and pop outfit with two part-time employees, a dog, an empty bank account and no room left on its line of credit.

    For proof of the viability of this suggestion, I direct your attention to ANY successful corporation, whether for-profit or otherwise.

    Now, fire away. Tell me why this structure can't work for the ATA when it works for every other signifant corporation in the world. You have chastized another poster on another thread for not "taking things to the real world." I challenge you explain rationally why this "real world" approach to the organizational structure and management of the ATA would not be successful. And please don't say it would be too expensive, when, as things now stand, we are stagnating and losing our collective ass at every turn. Jeff Voiles.
     
  2. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Jeff - Our current organization is not significantly different from your suggestion but we do use different names. We have the position of Executive Director (your president). He/she is a full time professional. The EC and the B of D enact policy that is to be carried out by the ED. This is the same way a B of D of a corporation operate. With +-15 full time employees to manage, the ED does not require any more managerial staff.

    If you study the the requirements for the ED position, I doubt that you could add any additional qualifications. I do agree that we are stagnating a bit but the primary requirement to attract new members is the job of the local gun clubs and us. It can not successfully be accomplished at any other level than the local clubs. The cause of our stagnation is us, not the ATA office.

    Pat Ireland
     
  3. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

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    The ATA does not promote membership, the gun clubs do ... The ATA does not run trapshoots, the gun clubs do ... The ATA doesn't provide any help in running the shoots, the gun clubs do ... The ATA takes no blame for anything that goes wrong, the gun clubs do ... This sounds like the "Perfect type of Oganizational structure" that the ATA/EC could come up with ... The ATA takes all of the credit if things go right, and none of the blame when they don't ...
    Hell, even Neil isn't dumb enough to want to change that, but some gun clubs do ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
     
  4. rcmax29

    rcmax29 TS Member

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    I believe that there should be a slight tweak to what Mr Ireland describes. Notice we don't call the ED the CEO. The ED position is just weak enough so as to limit the impact a really dynamic ED with "CEO" powers might bring us. Like it or not, in this day and age ED connotes a bit of a "water carrier" rather than a strategic leader. Maybe that's intentional in this case, but it can limit upside potential for a growing organization.

    I don't quite like the direct comparison in the first post to the private sector, for-profit structure. That said, take a look at most successful non-profits and even other amateur and pro sports organizations. The head professional is typically given a CEO type status, with the title of President and/or CEO. Sure there is a strong board in most cases, and in non-profits, all accountability and the concience of the organization surely rests with the board, but the head elected volunteer is a "chairman" rather than a president. And in the successful sports organizations, there is always a "commissioner" type with pretty broad powers.

    In our case, there would be risk in handing more reins to our ED, but the upside could be great if it's the right person. Great care of couse should be taken in the hire and there should be a good deal of EC oversight especially in the beginning. BUT, a stonger CEO model would allow the new person to innovate and take action to grow and promote the sport, oversee staff, etc, improve communcations with local clubs, etc without thinking he/she has to ask for EC permission every time a move is made. (for example only the ED should have the power to hire and fire any staff - maybe that's the present model, but if not, it should be. the ED is totally accountable to the EC, but his authorty over staff should be complete and autonomous)

    The present structure keeps our EC more involved and better assures that we protect the traditions etc of the ATA. But the trade off is continued stagnation as the rest of the world [including the shooting sports world] passes us by wether we like to admit it or not.

    Tough call, but a really great, dynamic replacement for our ED vacancy could really set us on a great track for future growth.
     
  5. Big Heap

    Big Heap TS Member

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    In bowling, the game was headed down towards bankruptcy when it was taken over by professional business people. Some version of a similar operation should be put in place while there is still an organization such as the ATA to build on.

    A board of directors should oversee professional managers, all of whom are selected for their proven competence. Life members should be allowed to vote for directors who are nominated for their business abilities, not their shooting abilities, nice smile or their ability to attend the Grand. There should be no requirement that a director be elected from every state. The Life Members should have one vote for each 100 targets they register in the year.

    The ATA needs a thread of continuity, no longer in place without ownership of a home grounds. The yearly turnover of the current EC just gives cover and escape from bad decisions.
     
  6. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Well-Known Member

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    I guess that I agree with WPT's first 3 statements, but with a different view.The ATA does not,and can not help us in the running of our local shoots. The trophies for the State shoot are about all that they can do. What help can they provide for your regular shoots? That is up to us as a club to deal with.There is where one of the problems of today are as I see it. Today's shooter has no interest or desire to help in shoot management. Their time is too valuable, they want to come, shoot quickly, and get on their way. I do believe that the ATA needs to back up and rethink their direction on shooter recruitment.I love to see kids shoot and help in any way that I can, but they are not growing our sport in the manner that we need. From shoot managements view, if you are not able to properly supervise or provide separate fields for their use, it can cause delays for the other shooters and becomes a source of complaint from some of them.

    Where the ATA CAN and SHOULD help is in trying to market the sport on a national level to the young adult, 35 to 50, who has his family well under way, and has some free time and a little extra disposable income.It requires less time than Golf and is easier to learn.

    I agree with Pat that it is our job as a local club, but I know that we in our area struggle with how to accomplish it. It's a difficult task with no ONE EASY answer. I suspect that this is a common problem across the country.
    Good luck to all, it's not easy, but it is fun. Bob Hawkes
     
  7. drunk_again

    drunk_again TS Member

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    only changes that need to be made are, The title of the ATA President. I personally think that the title should be changed to, " El Supreme Commander"
    and with that title there should be a spiffy uniform that the " EL Supreme Commander " should wear at all ATA functions. One that would make him shine like a diamond in a goats ass, one that we al could tell it was the " El supreme Commander" from a mile away. I mean, that lil white hat with the ATA emblem on it and President on it is near enuff for the man in charge. We need are " El Supreme Commander " wearing lots of gold braids on his shirt, maybe a hat like Napolene wore. something distinguished. maybe dress him up in something like the Pope wears, hat in all, he needs to stick out, and give him a full compliment of hinchmen to protect him at all times. this issue really needs to be addressed.
     
  8. KEYBEAR

    KEYBEAR Active Member

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    I think you did ??
     
  9. maltzahn

    maltzahn Active Member

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    Wow, hold on here. So far it has been implied that our EC elected officials are not professional people. Many if not all have business experience, actually that should read successful business experience. Many have been General Managers CEO's, CFO's, business owners or people with vast business experience, and professional attributes. My guess is the same thing can be said about our ATA state directors. Shooting often gains access to other shooters and shooting well gains respect. Being a concerned volunteer to help with the direction of our organization, is a prerequisite to being available for election.

    While not saying some change might be good. For those of us that have complete confidence in the business structure, and model of a traditional fraternal organization, governered by the "Roberts Rules of Order". Thereto, a proposal like this is either motivated by petty jealousy or a persoanal vendetta. Also implying the ATA should be making decisions for individual club management will certainly drive these clubs away.

    The ATA offers an organized approach to competitive trapshooting. A format premised in fairness, or as close to fair as possible. Leadership in rules, regulation, and guidlines. A standard to compete by. As compared, a business model would be focused on profitability and operates based on said profit. Business looks for a standard to be governed by, gun clubs look for similar standerds to develope their model. Gun club autonomy relates to what programs they put together for their shooters, but always endorse and relate ATA rules.

    Dramatic change in the structure of the ATA would fail the organization, our organization.

    Maltzie
     
  10. Big Heap

    Big Heap TS Member

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    Sincere people can disagree. The basic trapshooting game may have to be tweaked, not just the organization. Success will be shown by reversing the dwindling participation in the game.
     
  11. maltzahn

    maltzahn Active Member

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    I can agree with that post....big heap.

    Maltzie
     
  12. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    I don't have a dog in this fight, and I'm not trying to pick one with anybody. I just don't get the animosity some have against the ATA. I don't understand their underlying reason(s).

    To be sure tha ATA does some things that discourage participation and membership. There is also ambiguity in some of their rules. Some new rules proposed are ill advised. So what. They appear to do a better job than some other similar organizations I can think of. Membership, individual and club, is not mandatory.

    So moonbeam and others, it would help if you listed the underlying problem rather than just the proposed "cure". What is it that you all feel the ATA should be doing for us, and isn't?
     
  13. lumper

    lumper TS Member

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    A professional organization needs professional people running it ... if you have a mom and pop type of leader you will have a mom and pop organization ... you get what you elect and you get what you pay for.

    Ya know word on the street is that ATA and trap shooting on in general is in a major decline and trap shooters can only blame themselves for the decline and inevitable end to the sport. Why must trap shooters be so much against change? It has been mentioned around the trap fields that allot of people are upset with the ATA because they will not change. They will not modify anything that could upset/hurt those high scores while making the game more appealing and more competitive across the board.

    Change could be a good thing and could only increase the amount of shooters who shoot this game we know as trap. So we must all ask ourselves why be so much against change unless we're scared it might bring along somebody who will be a better shooter than you?
     
  14. rcmax29

    rcmax29 TS Member

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    I'll take a stab. First of all the ATA is a great organization, mostly full of great people from the top to the bottom. That does not mean, however, that there are not some opportunities for change, and the hiring of a new ED or CEO is a great time to address that.

    The fairly simple two areas I would address, for example, are outreach to new / younger shooters and better support for local clubs.

    We are making progress with the creation of the youth director slot, but we have a ways to go. For example, you can't talk about new /young shooters when so many clubs and even state organizations are not on line. A new ED for example should be obsessed with fixing that. Maybe providing software or template websites so at a minimum finding programs for upcoming shoots in certain areas was not a treasure hunt. Ditto for faster, uniform uploading of shoot scores. That's an example of what a modern organization can do in a day and age where the local tire shop has a web site! That's not bashing anyone or changing something in a bad way, just an example of how to streamline some of what we do and do it in a way that is more attractive to a younger shooter.

    Taking a hard look at the location of our headquarters - now there is a more major topic for you. But without our home grounds, should we look at locating in a more media friendly market, or somewhere with more interstate traffic for visiting the hall of fame, or somewhere we the ATA might get some direct economic help - look at what New Mexico did to get the PRCA to move there - whoda thunk it, but what a great move it will be. Should we move? Who knows, but that's the kind of thing a strong, creative ED can get the EC or board to look at.

    It's like we have a really nice house, with a great family living in it, but someone has to speak up and say it's time to change the green shag carpet in the den. Again, that's not bashing the folks who live there, nor is it tearing down the house. It's just fixing something that needs fixing.

    We could go on, but a new ED who is allowed some reasonable power and discretion to implement a better way of doing some things operationally while preserving our heritage, our people, and the things that we do right, could give us a shot in the arm. Saying we need to keep up with the times, plan for the future, and structure ourselves to grow our sport a bit more effectively than we have done in the recent past is a good thing.
     
  15. Bocephas

    Bocephas Well-Known Member

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    Jeff, I can see your point.



    When was the last time dues were raised?


    I am sure someone can tell me.

    When ever they raised the dues the last time,lets take a look at the price of a new car,gas,meat,etc.at that time.

    I am just speaking for myself.

    The dues we now pay should be double.

    Raise the dues and then hire a pro. to run ATA.

    I know some people will get out,so be it.

    We do not have $12.00 per bag shot anymore either.


    Bo
     
  16. maltzahn

    maltzahn Active Member

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    There are posters here that just will never get it. Lumper, you can not design a fair way to make an average shooter win against a top shooter. Even if you required the big dogs to shoot 20 ga. at 27 yards they will still kick your butt. Your not in there class, but you can work to improve shooting skills instead of working to drag top shooters down. I see no evidence that the big dogs are afforded any advantage based on ATA rules. To imply that is dishonest.

    As a volunteer at local gun clubs, you call me a mom & pop operator and you will get the job. Imply that our EC are mom & pop, and they may just buy you out of pocket change. They volunteer at great personal cost, and have been finacially successful enough to offer thier expertise and services to the membership. Most of the descending people here don't even go to the grand, some don't shoot ATA targets at all.

    We should recognise these people. They are the same shooters that cause problems at the local club. Never happy with anything, criticize and drag the club down into controversy. My advise has always been....whiners, get the hell out! Try bowling.

    Maltzie
     
  17. RLSS

    RLSS TS Member

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    Maltzahn,

    AMEN!!

    RLSS
     
  18. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

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    Last year over 70,000,000 people went bowling, and I ran into a lot of people I used to shoot with while I was there ... I choose to do both, but when I want and if I want to spend a day waiting around to get 200 targets in ... Shoot 20 to a post so we can shoot and get the hell out of there and go bowling ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
     
  19. maltzahn

    maltzahn Active Member

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    WPT....Bill, assuming that makes bowling about 20% whiners. Glad to see y'alls can live with that. Here in Iowa, bowling is 80% drunks, hoping to get home without a DWI. Great party crowd, fun people to drink with, but I'm not too sure about shooting trap with these people.

    For the record, and from what has been said. I don't regard your criticism of the ATA as whining...... But Sparta?????

    Maltzie
     
  20. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

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    Steve,

    I drink very little and even then only on special occasions be it as it may with trapshooters or bowlers ... I happen to have a lot of good friends who do both and some that have quit trapshooting and turned to bowling exclusively ... I bowl on some leagues that are very intense and highly competitive which eliminates a lot of the drunks and heavy drinkers ... I truly understand and happen to feel much the same way you do about most things when it comes to shooting and getting involved in things and trying to make them better rather than make them worst ... I feel that the ATA needs Professional management to make it in the future ... That might be a problem because them "Good Ol'Boys" would have to hand over the power and step back out of the spotlight for the most part ... The Sparta thing has yet to prove itself to be a success, but I will admit it did look like it was on its way until the ATA again got involved and started cancelling shoots, events, and letting people go who were supposed to be the Key personel in Sparta ... I still think Sparta has a chance but it will have to obviously make it on its own or get involved with some organizations where Integrity prevails ... I didn't plan it this way but I ended up being a Delegate for one of the local Bowling Associations and the USBC and they do things in a very simplified and direct manner and cut threw the BS ... This is much accredited to the overall management of both organizations and might just be what the ATA needs to do in the future and cut the politics out of it ... I truly consider you to be one of the good guys and take most of what you say seriously and on face value ... By the way there isn't very much whining when it comes to bowling because everyone plays by the same rules, no exceptions ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
     
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