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Times Like These

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Brad Dysinger, Jul 25, 2010.

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  1. Brad Dysinger

    Brad Dysinger Member

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    As more and more ATA members learn about the current situation invoving the EC and the health of the ATA I think that a President Truman Quote is in order. I don't know it word for word so I'll go by memory. "Truman once said, People accuse me of giving them Hell, I just tell the truth and they think it's hell". I know how he felt. Brad
     
  2. Bisi

    Bisi TS Member

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    Yes, what are you talking about? Please tell us what the "current situation invoving the EC and the health of the ATA" is.
     
  3. Dbl Auto

    Dbl Auto Active Member

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    Brad, good to hear from you. Go head and give'em hell/truth. See you at the Cardinal Classic in a few weeks.
    Doug Allison
     
  4. grunt

    grunt TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Brad, What is the scoop on the ATA? Dave
     
  5. Brad Dysinger

    Brad Dysinger Member

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    If you haven't read "the letter" yet I'm sure you will have by this time tomorrow nite. It needs to be read fully. I'm not capable of posting it, I'm just able to run the key board. I think every ATA delegate has a copy. I'm sure every EC member has one. Read it for yourselves. Brad
     
  6. Dave Berlet

    Dave Berlet Active Member

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    The copies that I read covered over 20 8.5X11 pages. It basically covers the financial condition of the ATA, the 501 (c)(3) status, expense reimbursement, operating within the bylaws and other problems and concerns that need to be made aware to the general membership.

    Dave
     
  7. Harv Shell

    Harv Shell TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Very eye opening letter, change is inevitable. Guess Brad was right about the "good ole boys club".
     
  8. goatskin

    goatskin TS Member

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    'tis a mess. a.pure.mess.

    There are three .pdf files Bob Glatz penned 'going over the head' of the EC.

    I have them, but do not know how to post/attach them on ts.com. Anybody?

    I can, of course, email them to somebody less halt & lame, computerwise.

    Bob
     
  9. shotgunpeople

    shotgunpeople Active Member

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    I wrote a letter last night thanking Bob Glatz for bringing this situation to light...A very long, drawn out set of findings and suggestions. Needs to be read word for word.

    OK, is it true that in San Antonio they put Dr. Rively on "Probation" and would not sign a contract with him??? To me it's sort of like the old saying.."Shoot the Messenger".

    Wish I knew myself how to put this whole package that I received onto this forum...I'm a Dummy on a computer...Looks to me all of the suspicions of the Mis-management or, as it was put in quotes "Cover up" in the ATA have been confirmed...Will be interesting to see what happens over this...

    In the long run I believe this will have a positive impact for our organization.

    Dave in SC
     
  10. goatskin

    goatskin TS Member

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    page 1 of abt 30+ tables .... there's a 1600 character limit to any TS.com post.

    bobglatz@mac.com

    July 19, 2010

    Mr. Gary Sherrod, President ..
    Amateur Trapshooting Association ..
    601 West National Road ..
    Vandalia, Ohio 45377


    Dear Gary:

    I am writing you and the other members of the Executive Committee (EC) to again voice my
    concerns about the deteriorating financial condition of the ATA, the EC expense reimbursement
    issue, the impact the EC expense reimbursement issue could have on the ATA's 501(c)(3) status,
    and the lack of effective governance surrounding EC expense reimbursement practices.

    As you know, in late January 2010, I did a very limited two?day review of the ATA’s operations as a
    way of helping Frank Rively get up to speed in his new role as Executive Director. The purpose was
    to shorten Frank’s learning curve with respect to understanding the ATA’s current financial
    situation and help him identify potential low hanging opportunities to improve member services
    and reduce costs. The ATA’s Controller, Judy Harden, spent most of the two days with us and was
    an invaluable resource.

    As part of my work, I had the chance to review the ATA’s 2009 draft financial statements and
    provide the EC (through Judy Harden) a few suggestions to enhance the transparency and
    readability of the footnotes and supplemental disclosures. Those suggestions apparently struck a
    nerve with the EC which resulted in Frank being instructed to stop working with me and provide
    no additional information to me.

    The issue that seems to have caused all the controversy was a supplemental disclosure of expense
    reimbursements to EC members. After reviewing the disclosure with Judy it became apparent
    that the numbers were incomplete and didn’t paint a true picture of the magnitude of the actual
    reimbursements. We worked out a more comprehensive disclosure and provided it to the EC for
    comments. I’m told that the EC rejected the revised disclosure and insisted that the financial
    statement go out as originally drafted. I have included the actual disclosure along with the
    suggested revision as attachments to this letter.

    I’ve tried several times to engage EC members in a discussion about the disclosure issue and other
    operational and financial recommendations. Frankly, I haven’t been able to get to the big picture
    discussion given the defensiveness surrounding the disclosure of EC expense reimbursements. As
    you know, I am not a fan of reimbursing inherently personal expenses for volunteer directors of
    public charities, though I concede that such reimbursements are not my call. However, I remain
    very concerned that what you are doing is a violation of law and IRS Regulations and could reflect
    very badly upon the ATA and potentially lead to the loss of the organization’s 501(c)(3) status.
     
  11. goatskin

    goatskin TS Member

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    p 2.

    I’ve pointed out numerous times that the payments can be restructured on a go?forward basis as
    compensation to eliminate the tax exposure for future years. I’ve also pointed out that if the EC
    members feel strongly about these expenses, they can simply deduct them as charitable
    contributions (or as employee business expenses) on their individual tax returns. This would
    essentially get the same money to the EC on a “tax free” basis as the charitable (or business)
    deductions would essentially offset the compensation. The significant difference is that the tax
    risk of deducting personal expenses is shifted to the individual EC member and away from the
    ATA.

    Technically, the ATA By?Laws prohibit the payment of compensation to the board and EC.
    However, the By?Laws are currently being violated by the payment of the president's gun
    allowance which is clearly "compensation". If the board wants to continue to make lavish
    reimbursements to the EC for travel, it shouldn't be a problem to amend the By?Laws.

    Unfortunately, it is clear to me that the EC has no intention of changing how it pays or discloses
    payments to EC members regardless of my advice or that of legal experts. So, I feel compelled to
    open up this dialog to a broader group of ATA delegates and members with hope that the
    collective voice might persuade the EC to make the needed changes.

    I have been trying to get to some of the real operational issues that need to be addressed but
    have been unable to get past the EC’s obsession with protecting its travel reimbursements. Some
    of these important issues include the following which are further discussed in the attached draft:

    * Returning the ATA to operational profitability. In 2009, the ATA had a loss from Net
    Operating Income from Continuing Operations of nearly $400,000 and over the last four
    years, losses from Net Operating Income from Continuing Operations have exceeded $1.4
    million.
    * Establishing a fundraising function to take advantage of the ATA’s 501(c)(3) status.
    * Establishing a comprehensive member communication plan.
    * Exploring the use of technology in enhancing member services and reducing the ATA’s
    cost to serve.
    * Restructuring ATA “Governance” to better serve the needs of today’s business.

    Gary, I want to also go on record that I am personally very disappointed by the EC’s unanimous
    decision in San Antonio to put Frank Rively on probation (and defer signature of his contract) for
    “bringing me in” to review the ATA’s business. You personally encouraged me on several
    occasions to take a look at the operations and provide my recommendations. The fact that Frank
    has supported my views is not surprising given our long personal relationship and my background
    as a former PricewaterhouseCoopers tax partner with extensive experience in these issues. The
    ATA’s recently?enacted Whistleblower Policy and federal law would seem to shield Frank from
    such retaliation given the fact that he believes, as I do, that the way the EC is currently dealing
    with its expense reimbursements is a clear violation of tax law and IRS Regulations. The “cover
    up” of the true amounts involved raises serious ethical issues as well.
     
  12. goatskin

    goatskin TS Member

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    p 3 ...

    I spent a significant amount of my personal time on the 501(c)(3) application process. The
    enhanced tax status has saved the ATA at least a million dollars since 2005 even without the
    development of a fund raising function. I am loathe to see this valuable tax status compromised
    by the EC’s inability to make decisions consistent with the IRS requirements for a public charity. I
    am saddened by the need to go directly to the board and membership, but I have found the EC
    more interested in its own travel expenses than in the effective and profitable management of the
    organization.

    In an effort to help address these and other operational issues, I have attached a DRAFT Summary
    of Recommendations/Observations that I believe could improve ATA operations as well as the
    perception of the EC in the eyes of the membership. It is my hope that these recommendations
    may be used as a basis for the ATA’s leaders and membership to work together to improve the
    organization’s effectiveness and profitability, while safeguarding its 501(3)(c) tax exempt status.
    Gary, I am still willing to meet with you and other members of the EC to discuss the attached. I
    have certainly tried to do so on several occasions. However, if you continue to believe there is
    nothing of value here to discuss, I will take my case to the delegates and membership directly. I
    understand that reasonable people can disagree and I firmly believe that open debate is healthy. I
    also believe that when people take the time to look at facts, the differences in opinion tend to
    narrow considerably.

    As a final thought, I believe that the 501(c)(3) status is one of the keys to the future success of the
    organization and sport we all hold dear. But, our success in raising tax deductible contributions
    from our membership and others depends heavily on our ability to get our own financial house in
    order. Donors rarely give to fund operating losses! We also need to instill the appropriate
    volunteer spirit in our organization starting at the top. The gun allowance, the president’s $20,000
    discretionary allowance (in addition to his normal EC expense reimbursements) and the EC
    expense reimbursements are inappropriate for a public charity. Change is often painful, but it is
    frequently necessary for growth and prosperity.

    Sincerely yours,

    Robert R. Glatz

    cc: ATA Executive Committee:
    Frank R. Rively /
    John D. Hiter /
    William M. Anzaldi, Jr. /
    Jeff Wagner /
    Allan Radway /
    Bruce F. Reed /
    G. Mike Seitz /
    Tom Burkey /

    cc: Judy Harden
     
  13. goatskin

    goatskin TS Member

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    this is the cover letter to the three-part distribution:

    From: Robert R Glatz <bobglatz@aol.com>
    To: bobglatz@aol.com
    Cc: Judy Harden <jharden@shootata.com>

    Sent: Wed, July 21, 2010 9:28:25 AM

    Subject: To Delegates and Central Handicap Committee: Improvements in ATA Governance and Finance

    Dear Trapshooting Friends,

    In late January this year and at the request of Frank Rively, our new ATA Executive Director, I spent two days doing a limited review of the ATA's operations and financial statements. The purpose was to try to shorten Frank's learning curve with respect to understanding the ATA's current financial situation and help him identify opportunities to reduce costs and improve member services. Unfortunately, my volunteer project was cut short when I suggested to the Executive Committee that a supplemental disclosure to the audited financial statements was incomplete and misleading. For the most part, the attached is fairly self explanatory and tells the rest of the story.

    What might not be so easy to understand is my motive for writing this note and providing you with the attached. So, let me take a minute to explain. I have been a member of the ATA for nearly 45 years and a life member for most of that time. In August, I will attend my 43rd Grand American having missed only one tournament since I started and that because I was hospitalized. I competed on Ohio State's team in the late 70's where I met Frank Rively at an intercollegiate event and we have been friends ever since. While I will admit to being perhaps overly absorbed in my professional career, I never failed to register targets and I have always loved everything about the sport. And, I have always been very proud of my association with the ATA.

    When I retired the first time, I had the opportunity to volunteer my time working with the EC and outside counsel to design and file the ATA's tax exempt application. I also assisted with the tax planning associated with the sale of the home grounds in Vandalia. I enjoyed both projects and take great pleasure at the amount of money the ATA has saved as a result of achieving tax exempt status in 2005. I am even more excited by what the ATA could do with the 501(c)(3) status in the years ahead to build a stronger organization. I was surprised and very pleased when the ATA named me Volunteer of the Year in 2006. It is gratifying to be able to use one's professional expertise on behalf of an organization that has been such an important part of my life. I offer the attached in the same spirit as my volunteer work for the ATA discussed above. I simply want to help the organization be better and more capable than it already is.

    A few folks who previewed the attachments encouraged me to include a brief bio presumably so those who don't know me might understand the foundation from which my recommendations and observations are made. Some found my writing a bit too direct and heavy-handed and others suggested that I wasn't direct enough, so I added a two page set of my personal recommendations. The EC focused almost solely on my comments on EC expense reimbursements and once that issue hit the table, I believe they completely stopped listening. I hope you will take the time to read the attachments and consider the recommendations. My motives are all about building a stronger, more financially sound organization and perhaps a bit about fixing some expense issues that I believe have gotten way out of control.

    Please take a look at the documents in the following order -

    1. Letter to ATA President Gary Sherrod

    2. Draft Report to ATA Executive Committee - Summary Recommendations/Observations

    3. RRG's Specific Recommendations/Conclusions

    I welcome your thoughts and concerns and I'm interested in hearing from you. But, more importantly, whatever your view, I hope you will take the time to communicate with each other and the Executive Committee. I believe the ATA has some very important financial and governance decisions to make and you are the political activists of the organization. If you would like to talk with me, please give me a call at any time. I'd also be happy to meet with you at the Grand to discuss the attached or any other issues that will make the ATA stronger for the next generation of shooters.

    Regards,

    Bob
     
  14. Brad Dysinger

    Brad Dysinger Member

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    Goatskin, I'm glad you posted this. I think the two different dollars and names tables should be printed if you could. Brad
     
  15. goatskin

    goatskin TS Member

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    < great minds > .... working on them now ... but the formatting sux ...

    DAVID ... if I email you the three .pdf, can you put them in a clickable header?

    Bob
     
  16. shadow

    shadow Active Member

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    Sounds to me like the "cookis jar" has been raided.
     
  17. Brad Dysinger

    Brad Dysinger Member

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    See wasn't it worth the wait to read it for yourselves. Brad
     
  18. goatskin

    goatskin TS Member

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  19. Singleshot

    Singleshot Member

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    Actually, if that's the smoking gun that was dropped at the scene of The Great ATA Heist, it's turning out to be closer to a kid's cap pistol than a Thompson submachine gun. The figures seem kind of high, but not all that other-worldly.

    If you aren't happy with the current ATA leadership, wait till you see what you get when you tell them that they get no pay AND no expense reimbursement.

    Hell, I thought this was going to finally be the expose that details all the secret millions of dollars spirited away after that sweetheart land deal in Southern Illinois.

    I'm sure the IRS will shortly decide to apply a little extra scrutiny to the ATA, and anything too far out of the norm will be addressed.

    Meanwhile, the bigger issue is that $350,000 average yearly loss for the last few years. That's something more worrisome.
     
  20. Trap2

    Trap2 Well-Known Member

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    Now let's see how the ATA and the EC play this one down. It appears as though it really hasn't been a figment of our imagination after all, has it? The "good old boy" syndicate we have been talking about and telling you about is about to be cracked. For years, the EC has surrounded themselves with people that were like minded and wanted a piece of the "free ride" at the cost of the general membership. Brad and a few others have been on here warning us that the fox was watching the hen house, but many of you just belittled him, called him names, and generally did not believe him..... As the old saying goes, 'HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW?!

    The truth will always win out. Here, in these letters and documents, is absolute proof. Not rumor. Not hearsay. Just facts and figures. It's about time this all came to light.... Dan Thome (Trap2)
     
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