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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Unread 01-20-2008, 08:54 PM   #1
Jeff_in_KC
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Default "Whether you like it or not"

Yes, that's the phrase added onto the end of MMA Creative's CEO and President Mike McCloud's speech to the 370 or so KCBS members in attendance at the annual KCBS banquet in Kansas City last night. In his message to members, McCloud stated "Change is coming... whether you like it or not." Question is... do YOU like it? How do YOU feel being told your opinion doesn't matter? That they're going to do their thing whether YOU like it or not?

My opinion matters because I paid my membership dues. I've voted for three years running now (for FOUR candidates each time, not just one). And we're paying our sanctioning fees to KCBS for our contest here. And my opinion is that MMA Creative is forcing its views of how things should be right down my throat, your throat and the throats of the staff and Board of Directors at KCBS. My question is WHO IS RUNNING WHO? Do Carolyn and the Board of Directors not ultimately make the decisions? Why does McCloud walk around these events like some damned politician with a sneering grin on his face like the fox who just got the chicken?

Rewind to the Organizer's Roundtable only hours before McCloud made his forceful and disrespectful comment at the banquet. In the Roundtable, the issue of what the benefits to being in KCBS are came up. Instead of answering that, the mic was handed to McCloud who said (and I'm paraphrasing here) that we aren't going to discuss that right now but rather he wanted to focus on something else. He was pressed a second time by an organizer and repeated the same thing. Why not answer the question, Mr. McCloud? It seems like a perfectly logical time to do so given the fact that it wasn't the organizers who brought up this issue. It was someone at the front of the room facing us, the organizers. What are you hiding? Are there not REALLY as many benefits to the members as you say are coming soon? What's the real story.

During the speech at the banquet last night and if memory serves, also at the roundtable, McCloud spoke of KCBS eventually adding monetary prizes to the Team of the Year winners and how we are like NASCAR and on and on. I've thought about this a lot this afternoon and evening and what I've decided in my mind is that we are not at all like NASCAR. KC Bobby made the comment in another thread that keeps coming back to my mind: "somewhere along the line someone forgot that KCBS is a 501(c)3". NASCAR is not a non-profit. There are a very profitable FOR profit organization. My opinion is that McCloud's group is a snake in the grass and they're eventually leading KCBS away from the non-profit sanctioning body into a big business. I have no idea whether KCBS made a pay forjust working agreement with MMA or if they get paid for results. I'd like to know. Seems to me, MMA sees an organization with money to spend and they're seeing dollar signs in their eyes. I hope that Carolyn and the Board of Directors are not being taken advantage of by some slick outfit who's sweet talked them into something that ultimately will destroy KCBS as we know it.

I enjoy the new Web site and some of the things that will eventually be on it and those that are now on it. But at what cost is this new tool?

The new point system is interesting and I'm looking forward to seeing how it works but unless you cook 20 or more contests a year, you won't have an opportunity to take the walk during TOY announcements in January ever again.

I doubt I will attend the banquet in 2009. They're basically taking it away from Stephanie, who has done a fantastic job all these years putting it on, and having MMA say what happens and it started this year. In the past, we've taken the time to enjoy the drawings for door prizes and all the free contest entries. We got to applaud the winners as they went up to get their items and laugh at the fun comments that occasionally got yelled out by winner's friends. it was long but it was fun and the drawings were done right there. This year, however, all that was gone. The drawings were pre-drawn in another room and the names were read off quickly and unceremoniously. Afterwards, winners went out to the hallway to claim whatever prize they had won. Then the hired band came in to play from 9 to 11 pm. HOWEVER...I applaud the efforts of two prominent KCBS members who took the initiative to start up a campaign to pass the word around that after the last award was given and the band took the stage that we all get up and leave and go to our parties and such. And it HAPPENED! Within minutes, almost everyone was up and heading out or at least milling around visiting with friends before moving on. We estimated that less than 20% of the crowd stayed for the band and from what word made it up to one of our parties afterwards, the band played one set only, packed up and left.

During the Organizer's Roundtable, Mr. McCloud made the comment that he's seen a lot and learned a lot from being in Kansas City this weekend. Mr. McCloud, I hope you've learned something of value. I hope you've learned that we're all important and we all have voices. And if things aren't going as us members like, one day, we'll be able to vote in an entire Board of Directors that can drop you out on your ass. I only hope it happens before you bleed KCBS dry.
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Unread 01-20-2008, 09:06 PM   #2
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Jeff - Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Very eye opening.

It's interesting.. that's all I can say about where KCBS may or may not be 1, 5, 10 yrs from now. I see unlimited potential for the good of BBQ and the organization, but on the other side I also see the potential for greed, power and favoritism to negate all the good.

I'll take it one day at a time, if I don't like what I see, I'll stop paying my dues to vote, stop competing and go back to just cooking in my yard only where the essence of BBQ and the KCBS mission statement still exist.
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Unread 01-20-2008, 09:25 PM   #3
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I hope these are growing pains, I believe this is KCBS is first time formally working with an agency of record. Is that correct? If so, I just pray that the board and KCBS employees are wise enough to realize that the agency's agenda may not be the same as the organizations. Thus, continually ask big picture questions asking how their recommendations effect the short term and the long term for the good of the organization.

I come from an agency background and I'm very pro-agency, but keep in mind that the agency is apt to recommend profitable ideas, It's up to our elected board members to determine which ideas are worth the greater good of the organization.

Being new to the organization and unable to attend this weekend, I'm not all that familiar with the goals and direction of KCBS. I hope the new/current leadership sends out a current state of the KCBS or something so the members understand why the changes we hear about are happening and are able to recognize their purpose.
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Unread 01-20-2008, 09:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilitantSquatter View Post
I'll take it one day at a time, if I don't like what I see, I'll stop paying my dues to vote, stop competing and go back to just cooking in my yard only where the essence of BBQ and the KCBS mission statement still exist.
Amen to that.
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Unread 01-20-2008, 09:28 PM   #5
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It was VERY evident that the contest organizer's need to insist teams are KCBS members came directly from Mike.

Another way to say it is charging teams an extra $25 for not being KCBS members most definately came from Mike.

I like some of things he was talking about but I really think he is looking at a different big picture than the rest of us.
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Unread 01-20-2008, 09:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stlgreg View Post
It was VERY evident that the contest organizer's need to insist teams are KCBS members came directly from Mike.

Another way to say it is charging teams an extra $25 for not being KCBS members most definately came from Mike.

I like some of things he was talking about but I really think he is looking at a different big picture than the rest of us.

I can't help but wonder what Gary Wells would have thought about all this. I wonder if he knew some of it before he passed.
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Unread 01-20-2008, 09:34 PM   #7
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McCloud also kept saying that the hotel discount we all get is like the greatest thing in the world


I can still get a better rate from hotwire or priceline. Plus I stay at a hotel once every three years. How many of us really stay at a hotel when we go to a competition?

Not a benefit for me
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Unread 01-20-2008, 09:46 PM   #8
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I've wondered the same thing. It comes down to the ad people not understanding what is truly a benefit to the members and what's not.

Keep in mind that not all members are competitors, but I gotta think that the competing members are the majority of the active members in the organization.

I can see it already, MMA is going to land some deal with Strickland Propane. We'll get a dollar off all propane purchases and accessories. - Hank Hill mod

OK, I'll be serious. They'll land something with Kingsford thinking that is some big benefit to the KCBS member. Sure, the pots might go up. But what percent of KCBS members - much less competitors use Kingsford?
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Unread 01-20-2008, 10:07 PM   #9
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I guarantee that MMA is getting a cut of the new members. How many times was that told to us that there are over 2000 new members. Honestly, who cares? How does that help us? What are the percentages of CBJ's to cooks that are new members? If they really wanted to impress us, they would quit giving us the fluff and give us facts.

I would love to see some disclosure statements from the Board and MMA. Someone is going to make a killing on us, the cooks. All I see are people making money on us. What do we get? We're supposedly the stars of the show, but we don't get benefits? I don't know if I really like that.

I know we need to give some things time. But we've had a year. I would like to see something. A few teams are going to make it with sponsors handed to them, but what about the rest?

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Unread 01-20-2008, 10:23 PM   #10
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Is it true no that no RFP was sent out prior to choosing an agency?
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Unread 01-20-2008, 10:36 PM   #11
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I've had an uneasy feeling since the banquet last night. I'll just say this, Tony Stone spoke before Mike from MMA. Most of Tony's speech was about Gary's vision that this whole thing was about fun. To me, he evoked the heart of KCBS that I felt when I joined back in 2001.

The next speaker was Mike. Fun turned to money. Another quote from Mike's speech was, "Hopefully next year, you all sitting here will be going home with some really big checks!" That's when it hit me that the focus of the KCBS has completely changed.

I could say more, but I'll leave it at that. We'll see who the KCBS caters to. My guess is that many occasional cookers will be marginalized. Everything I'm seeing benefits the top 10%.
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Unread 01-20-2008, 11:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottie View Post
I guarantee that MMA is getting a cut of the new members. How many times was that told to us that there are over 2000 new members. Honestly, who cares? How does that help us? What are the percentages of CBJ's to cooks that are new members? If they really wanted to impress us, they would quit giving us the fluff and give us facts.

I would love to see some disclosure statements from the Board and MMA. Someone is going to make a killing on us, the cooks. All I see are people making money on us. What do we get? We're supposedly the stars of the show, but we don't get benefits? I don't know if I really like that.

I know we need to give some things time. But we've had a year. I would like to see something. A few teams are going to make it with sponsors handed to them, but what about the rest?

Scottie
Okay, I'll add one other thing.

Another thing that Mike said I thought was amusing and telling was about the upcoming Members section of the Web Site. He mentioned that this was coming soon, but the only feature he talked about was how it was going to tell you when your membership fees were up and overdue.

Here's a cool feature for the Members section: allow cooks and judges to add their future contest list. Cooks can see where their friends (or foes) will be cooking. Organizers can see how much interest their contest is drawing.
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Unread 01-20-2008, 11:45 PM   #13
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Only thing I can say is Wow! Its probably a good thing I wasnt in attendance at that meeting.
I have a tendancy to open my mouth and call a spade a spade. That probably would have gotten me ejected from the crowd. Cool thing is wouldnt be my first time from getting......asked to leave a meeting. But thats ok as I always told my kids 2 basic rules that they had to live by. #1 Dont ever lie to me. Rule # 2 Dont ever steal from me.
I still live my those 2 basic rules today and shall until I die.
Im assuming from the above comments that my rule #1 was violated.
Wondering whats coming down the pike next?
Still trying to keep the faith here my friends, but its hard to swallow what I think is next.
Like Vinny said..........I would rather save my dues from the KCBS and forgo any more KCBS contests. Take that money and hold a big neighborhood party or bash for the Brethren Folks.
That way I dont have to impress anybody except the folks who come here to enjoy some fine eats.
Im sure ive ticked off a lot of folks with this post. Im not sorry if I did.
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Unread 01-21-2008, 06:26 AM   #14
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So, I guess with all the continued uneasiness and reservation by some, what is the solution ?

Some have said to make it known with your vote. Does everyone concerned believe their votes this year or next will accomplish this ?

If someone ran under a platform to try to uncover the rumors about KCBS future vision, MMA, where the avg member stands (especially those not competing) and how they benefit etc., would you vote for them if nothing else was on their agenda like judging, rules etc ? Could they win ?


PS - I just sent an e-mail to all the the KCBS Executives/BOD to share some of my thoughts and concerns on KCBS' direction . I'll be interested to see if their opinions are in line with mine in some areas or not.
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Unread 01-21-2008, 07:13 AM   #15
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In all fairness, the comment about "whether you like it or not" has been taken out of context here and spun a little. He was saying that the thing is growing wildly and we are all just along for the ride at this point, and I believe that to be true.

I am a little concerned about the general direction and I believe there are some board members that are steering it that way. It's not all MMA. Are you guys aware that two cooks are also under contract with MMA? And one of them is a BOD member? You'll have to PM me for the names.
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