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34147Re: Conflict of Interest : Secretary Position AKSA

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  • dave@machelp.com.au
    Jul 1, 2001
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      Yo Drew, sounds like you might put your hand up for an AKSA position.
      Maybe a position as committee member for wakeboard moves. ;-)

      Seriously though, this issue has come come up before in my experience.
      As a member of a number of sports, community and business groups, the
      fact that I run businesses that can possibly be seen as a conflict of
      interest in these groups when I take an executive position has caused a
      problem with other members. This has at least once led to those
      opposing my position to either leave the group or refuse to participate
      in its operation.

      From my perspective I would have been happy to support other capable
      persons to make themselves available for election. But as often happens
      there are few who wish to take on the positions on the executive of a
      committee knowing there is work involved. It is often easier to
      criticise the result than volunteer to work for changes you see as
      worthwhile.

      I constantly sought feedback to ensure that I didn't exploit my
      position on the committee. However I must admit that by just being on
      the executive was good for business. It gave me a higher profile and
      publicity as well as making useful contacts I would otherwise not
      easily made. But ultimately when the position became available at the
      AGM I was re-elected which I believed was a vote of support that I was
      fulfilling my obligations with due diligence.

      However the conflict of interest issue never dies and is constantly
      raised by those who disagree with the committee whether it is true or
      not. Unfortunately it is the perception of conflict of interest that is
      all that is needed to fuel the issue, not proof of its occurence. It
      can lead to general disunity right through to formation of rival groups
      all seeking the same members.

      But in support of commercial executive members, such as myself in my
      organisations and the many of the AKSA committee, they often have more
      incentive to perform than the average member as their livelihoods are
      more dependent on the success of the sport and its access to venues.
      They also tend to have extensive and varied business knowledge which is
      an essential component in running a not for profit organisation
      nowadays. (At least that's the case in Australia!) It would be ideal if
      our organisations had executive members who were competent lawyers,
      accountants, company directors etc but that's usually wishful thinking
      and just filling the main committee positions can be such a struggle
      that sometimes two positions have to be filled by one person.

      I'm sure that the AKSA and other similar organisations have the
      required mechanisms for dispute resolution by members. And Internet
      groups such as this certainly give the opportunity for greivances to be
      aired.

      However if you are would rather just complain than put your hand up to
      do the work of an executive member or offer some equally valued service
      to the organisation, don't expect a great deal of respect.

      Anyway have fun kitesurfing and yes we are short of wind in Australia
      so expect us to be a bit terse at the moment :-)

      Dave (Dr Surf Australia 02 4443 7665) COM

      --- In kitesurf@y..., kitemanic@y... wrote:
      > Yo Steve, sounds like you got some professional computer-kite-
      > slanderer-nerds on your ass! Well you said you wouldnt get caught up
      > in this stuff after the last thread, so let's see you do just that.
      > Like you said they're just trolling, obviously.
      > lates,
      > DREW
      >
      > aruzer, very warrior like name, must be tuff! :P
      > if aruzer put half as much energy into writing funny posts then he'd
      > probably be able to surpass tODD with ease...
      >
      >
      > --- In kitesurf@y..., aruzer@y... wrote:
      > > --- In kitesurf@y..., darrenthepres@h... wrote:
      > > > Aloha Aruzer,(Reply)Hi Darren
      > > >
      > > > Thanks for bringing this up mate. Yes you are correct, normally
      > a
      > > > person with commercial interests is usually barred from holding
      > > > office in a public association.
      > >
      > > (Reply from Aruzer) That is correct.Well DO Something about it.
      > >
      > > Most people would do the walk of shame..But look what Steve
      > > posted..Instructions to Shut UP, from him
      > > not even the President. It looked hostile ..(brazen? Confident?
      > > Obviously he is in Total Control of the AKSA) and sadly you have
      > > allowed yourselves to become comprimised, complicit, and to accept
      > > the untoward situation because.........
      > >
      > > it's convenient,better to have something...... than nothing.
      > >
      > > Kinda like Like The reaction you get from a guy with from a
      > beautiful
      > > wife he wants to keep when he tries to justiy her sleeping
      > > around. "Look !! She
      > > keeps the house clean. I don't have to do it and it allows me more
      > > time to kitesurf...." How dare you bring that up. We're not
      > supposed
      > > to talk about that... or when you're caught in a gay pub by your
      > mates
      > > because " I went to school with him"
      > >
      > > I'd hoped for something more honest than a hostile reply, may be
      > > something like.. "yeah it's not good is it? We made a mistake but
      > > that's only a short term appointment till we get the AKSA up and
      > > running to a level where it can be squeaky clean." Just give us
      > time."
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > (R)Please tell me I'm wrong?
      > > >
      > > > This was brought up at the First General Meeting when the
      > committee
      > > > was elected at the Georges River Sailing Club almost a year ago.
      > I
      > > > had very strong concerns about persons with commercial interests
      > > > being on the committee.
      > >
      > > >(R)None ever should
      > >
      > > > During the election of the committee, I raised this point with
      > the
      > > > members who sat in and voted and it was agreed unanimously, that
      > we
      > > > would allow these exceptions.
      > >
      > > (R)WRONG nice atmosphere,nice guys,keen to get anything going so
      > you
      > > comprimise your principles... Better to have waited and found 6
      > > other members. Not every member is in business surely !!!! The
      > > groundwork for the AKSA deserved better than that.
      > >
      > > >
      > > > Now let me tell you, when I first took over the group of members
      > > from
      > > > Ian Young some 16 or 18 months ago, there was NO support, NO
      > > interest
      > > > and NO help from anyone but a few dedicated individuals who saw
      > the
      > > > importance of getting a solid, proffessional, association up and
      > > off
      > > > the ground.
      > >
      > > (R)Oh That was in 2000 BK (Before Kitesurfing) None existed before
      > > then?
      > > Ian and others had in fact done quite a lot.True?
      > >
      > > (R) Guys from WA were not even invited to Attend.
      > > Maybe the name should be "The AKSA (Except WA) Inc.
      > >
      > > There was a clear, dire need to gain PL insurance, and
      > > > all the committee pulled hard together to acheive the great
      > policy
      > > we
      > > > currently enjoy. (And pay for)
      > >
      > > (R) Could have been contracted out to Steve, He would still have
      > done
      > > it I'm sure even if he wasn't the Sec/Treasurer ????
      > > >
      > > > The committee is made up of 8 persons, 6 of whom have commercial
      > > > interests in the sport including myself with my school. If we
      > were
      > > > all to vacate the positions, there would be NO ASSOCIATION,
      > nothing
      > > > would get done, you wouldn't have insurance, there would be no
      > one
      > > > working on a judging format, contest format, minimum requirements
      > > for
      > > > schools and instructors, and the Australian Kitesurfing scene
      > would
      > > > be a lost sport when it came to dealing with the authorities,
      > like
      > > > the Victorian Waterways incident.
      > >
      > > (R)
      > > In dealing with organisations like waterways you should declare
      > > whether you are a public organisation of just a group of self
      > seeking
      > > businesmen. Of course that isn't the case but if it is you should
      > > disband your articles of Association (You have them) and reregister
      > > as a private company.
      > >
      > > Ie. We would be a joke
      > > > internationally. As it stands, to my knowledge, the AKSA is the
      > > most
      > > > proffessional, most organised association of it's type in the
      > > world.
      > >
      > > (R) respect is something that is acheived not assumed. You will
      > take
      > > this matter in hand and fix it. You can hardly sweep it under the
      > > carpet or be told to "Shut up about it" Then you will have
      > > credibility.
      > >
      > >
      > > > I can make this statement with a fair amount of certainty, after
      > > > speaking with the President of the HKA (Hawaiian Kitesurfing
      > > > Association) who believed they were well organised until I spoke
      > to
      > > > them about what we had done in Oz, they were amazed at our
      > progress
      > > > and organisation. Also impressed was Eric Beaudonnat from Wipika
      > > > when he visited us in January, he was trying to assist in setting
      > > up
      > > > a worldwide association and found we were also most organised,
      > and
      > > > Eric travels the world dealing with aassociations and schools as
      > > his
      > > > job!
      > >
      > > > (R)Go Go eric, Standard Reply (the Commercial) follows below
      > from
      > > Darren
      > >
      > > > People like you who sit back, doing nothing but criticise the
      > hard
      > > > working efforts of others, because you have a personal grudge or
      > > > whatever, really should be ashamed of yourself. Steve and the
      > rest
      > > > of the committee work tirelessly on the AKSA. Steve also is
      > > holding
      > > > down two positions, (Secretary and Treasurer) because our
      > treasurer
      > > > never showed.
      > >
      > > (R) Hold Elections then
      > >
      > > I have been watching out for all kitesurfers to ensure
      > > > that there is no bias, or commercial gain coming from the
      > > involvement
      > > > of those in office who have comm. interests, and to date I have
      > > seen
      > > > nothing which would cause me concern, during my time as President.
      > >
      > > (R) Big Brother eh? wink wink. A lot can happen when you are
      > > thousands of miles away.
      > > >
      > > > Do you know that each and every committee member devotes around 3
      > > hrs
      > > > of their own personal time, to meetings EVERY WEEK, so that
      > people
      > > > like you can enjoy the benefits of their work? This time is just
      > > the
      > > > time for meetings. Steve also takes time out of his commercial
      > day
      > > > to go to the bank, run errands, visit government authorities, and
      > > > along with Paul C, made a trip to Victoria to sort out the mess
      > > made
      > > > by others so that people they have never met,
      > > can enjoy their beach
      > > > access, in places where they never kitesurf.
      > >
      > > (R) You have done this for me? Darren now gets upwind (Below)
      > >
      > > >
      > > > You and people like you really make me angry. What have you done
      > > for
      > > > the sport of kitesurfing? I don't recall seeing you putting up
      > > your
      > > > hand at any meetings to devote your personal time to help the
      > sport
      > > > grow in a controlled and proffessional manner. I apologise for
      > my
      > > > unproffessional outburst, but see it from our point of view.
      > > >
      > > > We are putting together state chapters, which can then run their
      > > own
      > > > affairs and we can then bow out of the national association,
      > which
      > > > will be made up of spokespersons from each state. Does this
      > sound
      > > > fair to you? Each state chapter will be the group unto which
      > local
      > > > clubs will join to speak about their local issues. This is the
      > > most
      > > > unbiased and democratic structure we can put together so that
      > every
      > > > persons voice is heard and the structure is in place to push the
      > > > sport into the next ten years and further.
      > > >
      > > > We do have strong support from a small handful of individuals in
      > > some
      > > > states willing to start putting things together in their local
      > area
      > > > to get the new structure off the ground, and to these people I
      > and
      > > > the committee members, I say thank you.
      > > >
      > > > Let me also tell you, 12 months ago when I used to send out the
      > > > newsletter to all members via email, I would get NO RESPONSE from
      > > 70
      > > > recipients, even after a call to respond with a reply, just to
      > make
      > > > sure my email was working I would get 1 or 2 replies. This shows
      > > the
      > > > general level of apathy in the Australian kitesurfing community.
      > >
      > > > Typical, no one says a word or lifts a finger to help, the
      > > committee
      > > > work hard and then those that enjoy the fruits of the committees
      > > > labour sit around whinging and accusing of conflict of interest?
      > > > Wake up to yourself. Now who's credability is looking shaky?
      > >
      > > (R) Whats New, it's like our cricket club, but we are not whingeing.
      > > At least our Chairman doesn't own the Sports Shop.
      > > >
      > > > Thanks and sorry to all the persons who do care and make an
      > effort.
      > >
      > > (R) To buy product from us.
      > >
      > > > My personal thanks also go out to my fellow AKSA committee
      > members
      > > > who are at home in the cold, not kitesurfing and still working
      > > > tirelessly in my absence. My hat is off to you blokes.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > MAHALO!
      > > >
      > > > Darren Marshall
      > > > Founding President, Australian Kite Surfing Association.
      > > > And Owner Operator of Australian Kiteboarding School
      > >
      > > CHECKLIST Sec/Treasurer web site with competition with no T/C
      > permit
      > > Raffle on Reg premises no permit.
      > > Hope the Insurance deal has no similar oversights....
      > >
      > >
      > > Cheers,
      > > aruzer
      > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > --- In kitesurf@y..., aruzer@y... wrote:
      > > > > Yes Darren,
      > > > > But the AKSA has a credibility problem.In Australian
      > > > > public sporting organisations, People
      > > > > in ownership or
      > > > > with a vested interest in a commercial business selling
      > > > > equipment are normally barred from public office.
      > > > > Is he AKSA Secretary?
      > > > > It's not that Steve may be a top guy or the best man for the
      > > > > job, it's just that people will say he could use his influence
      > > > > as secretary for contacts for product sales.
      > > > > Didn't anyone think about this when you elected him?
      > > > > Look what happens to politicians with a vested interest.
      > > > > Chop chop.
      > > > > From what I've seen of him on this board he is an honest man
      > > > > and certainly isn't a guy who would sell kites from the boot of
      > > his
      > > > > car. I'm sorry, In most organisations people who sell product
      > > > > distance themselves from public organisations.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > --- In kitesurf@y..., kitemaster26@y... wrote:
      > > > > > great to hear what you have to say about steve ,Im sure he is
      > a
      > > > > great
      > > > > > kite flyer after all he does own a kite/toy shop..
      > > > > >
      > > > > > But I have not said one word of a lie I have actually spoke
      > to
      > > > you
      > > > > > about a kite I was looking to buy of kitepower ,you totaly
      > > > advised
      > > > > me
      > > > > > again'st it & said its not the right kite for me ,so I guess
      > I
      > > > have
      > > > > > you to thank for that.. thanks dude!!
      > > > > >
      > > > > > But really who is the lier here & really who has to earn the
      > > > > respect
      > > > > > back after slagging off about bullshit to my good friends at
      > > > > > longreef ,the damage has been done & you cant take back what
      > > has
      > > > > been
      > > > > > said.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > scott c
      > > > > >
      > > > > > --- In kitesurf@y..., darrenthepres@h... wrote:
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Aloha Scott C,
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Ive been casually reading your postings and slanderings
      > about
      > > > > Steve
      > > > > > > and Kitepower. Now, I wasn't going to get involved and
      > just
      > > > sit
      > > > > > back
      > > > > > > and chuckle over your BS, but finally I must throw my 2
      > bobs
      > > > > worth
      > > > > > in
      > > > > > > to right wrongs.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > I have known Steve for about eighteen months, and some of
      > his
      > > > > > family,
      > > > > > > and I drop into the Kitepower store from time to time to
      > say
      > > > > G'Day
      > > > > > > and check out his stock.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > I can tell you that Steve does have a Mickey Mouse toy
      > store
      > > > and
      > > > > > yes,
      > > > > > > he actually does sell rubber chickens, and a whole host of
      > > > other
      > > > > > > gross/interesting/quirky toys and novelties. Steve's store
      > > is
      > > > > > always
      > > > > > > busy with customers, I don't think that I have ever been in
      > > > there
      > > > > > and
      > > > > > > not seen anyone buying/browsing.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > The Kite side is a whole different matter, and I can tell
      > you
      > > > > that
      > > > > > > Steve stocks more brands, and has more boards and
      > accessories
      > > > > than
      > > > > > > any other shop I have been to. He sells foils, and sleds
      > and
      > > > > > several
      > > > > > > brands of each for his customers to chose from.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > I would say that Steve knows more about kite surfing than
      > > > anyone
      > > > > > else
      > > > > > > in the country, and this is due to his fanatic obsessive,
      > > > > > compulsive
      > > > > > > addiction to power kites and stunt kites.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > You have obviously never seen Steve kitesurf or entertain a
      > > > crowd
      > > > > > > with his big stunt kites and long tails or his flying the
      > > Delta
      > > > > > with
      > > > > > > 100 foot tail at Dixon Park beach with Jeremy the
      > inflatable
      > > > > > dolphin
      > > > > > > gaffer taped to the end of the tail.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Scott C, you are a liar also, as I was the second person to
      > > buy
      > > > a
      > > > > > > kite from Long Reef in Sydney and that was over eighteen
      > > months
      > > > > > ago,
      > > > > > > before they even started stocking kites. The first was my
      > > good
      > > > > > > friend Paul C, who bought his kite some six months earlier
      > > than
      > > > > > that
      > > > > > > again.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Steve devotes his time and his life to kitesurfers, and
      > > > > > kitesurfing,
      > > > > > > his after hours time along with a group of other dedicated
      > > > > > > individuals, is spent driving AKSA in the right direction
      > to
      > > > > > further
      > > > > > > everyones enjoyment and safety of the sport.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > I suggest you turn your spite into support for Steve, maybe
      > > get
      > > > > to
      > > > > > > know him and his quirky ways and maybe you would have some
      > > more
      > > > > > > respect.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > By the way, in case you are wondering, I am sponsored by
      > Long
      > > > > Reef
      > > > > > > Sailboards and have been sponsored in windsurfing and
      > kiting
      > > > for
      > > > > > > around three years, and I owe many thanks to Long Reef, but
      > > you
      > > > > are
      > > > > > > way outa line and I felt you needed another side of the
      > story.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Mahalo for taking the time to read.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Best WInds and waves,
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > AKSA President in exile
      > > > > > > Australian Kiteboarding School Owner
      > > > > > > and Long Reef Sponsored Sailor
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