Thursday, November 17, 2005

Eastern Region Trustee Reports re the Strawman

Originally posted November 15, 2005:
  The Eastern Region Trustee has just reported as of last night (a shade over two weeks before the BOT meeting).
  Thanks to Bill Aston for passing this along.
  Its possible to make all sorts of comments here, but I am going to limit myself to just one.
  Here we have the "Strawman."  The proposal advanced by Carl Trost and labeled by him.
  The Strawman has been among us now for just about a year IIRC.
  We are now about two weeks away from the point where Carl Trost wants our representatives to vote on the Strawman, yet the Eastern Region Trustee, for one, knows precious little about the strawman.
  Look at the conjecture that is run through his analysis below. 
  Frankly, there is no excuse for such a state of affairs.
  I don't fault Bill Rentz and the other Trustees other than for failing to DEMAND better from Messrs. Trost, Watt and Snyder.
  I am still completely unaware of ANY form of formal report from the Governance Committee other than the petulant response to an alum's (one of the At Large) query that Roy Snyder put out just a couple of days ago and that we circulated to the At Large on Sunday.
  Strongly recommend to Messrs. Trost and Watt that they IMMEDIATELY take a wave-off this time around and resolve to do a better job on the approach for May 2006.
    Go Navy!  John Howland


Thank You for your review of the situation re possible changes to BOT.
I likely have already had my turn at bat since I believe Mase Wells
has forwarded to you my objections to the Strawman.

I support 100% you views that the chapters are the heart of the alumni
association.  Every decent and honest effort must be made to increase
their influence on alumni association activities,

IMHO there is little record of accomplishment for the council of class
presidents. They do not seek the advice of their classes, do not
announce what they do, and in general seem not to "be with it". A
beautiful example of too much inside the beltway action. Strange that
my friend Roy Snyder thinks he and his pals have done so well.

Please act to defeat the strawman. Get rid of appointed trustees.
Clean out excess hangers-on. Power to the chapters.

Good Luck. Keep your Cool    Doing good so far!
Bill Aston
Fort Lauderdale

----- Original Message -----
From: "USNAAA Regional Trustee" <>
To: Eastern Region Alumni
Sent: Monday, November 14, 2005 9:19 PM
Subject: Eastern Region Update
Subj: Eastern Region Trustee Update for USNAAA Fall 2005 Board Meeting

1. As promised here is a recap of my activities and a request for your input on the matters to be discussed prior to the Board of Trustees meeting on 1 December 2005, following Standing Committee Meetings on 30 November 2005.  I am Chairman of the Admissions Committee and this will be my first meeting in that role.  One of my agenda items is to exchange ideas on use of the Chapter's Academy Awareness Reps in assisting Blue and Gold Officers in carrying out their mission.  I have also been a member of the Nominating Committee, which will present candidates for Chairman, Western Region Trustee, and Mid-Atlantic Region Trustee to the Board for approval.  These candidates will be presented to the entire membership for a vote this Spring in SHIPMATE.

2. On the subject of the Nominating Committee, of course you in the Eastern Region cannot vote for the other Region Trustees, but you can vote for the Chairman, and I strongly urge you to do so.  I will give you my endorsements, for what they are worth, at a later date after the nominations are approved by the BOT.  Some observations; first, all of the nominating committee members were favorably impressed by the quality of individuals who were submitted to the nominating    committee.  The resumes showed tremendous accomplishments in education, service, and business experience, but most important was their willingness to serve our great alumni association.  You will all be impressed by the slate that comes forth in SHIPMATE.  The one thing that set some of them apart was their amount of experience or lack thereof in alumni association activities.  Several had never been involved in alumni Chapter activities or held any Chapter office.  Personally I think that is a key ingredient in being effective at the national level, understanding and appreciating the grunt work that goes into making the system work at all levels, especially what it takes to generate and recruit our informed advocacy.  It is most important not to make decisions that cause problems with growing Chapter membership.  So my simple message is - get involved in your local Chapter and encourage your classmates, shipmates, and neighbors to do the same and participate.

3. On the agenda for a vote by the Board will be the Nominating Committee results, the Joint Finance and Audit Committee Report, Authorization to transact business,  Member-ship Committee Associate Member, Other Chapter Trustee Selection Committee evaluation matrix, and the issue of the day the Governance Committee Report on Composition of the Board of Trustees. Presently the Board consists of 29 voting members: Chairman, Vice Chairman, Immediate Past-Chairman, President-CEO, 4 Regional Trustees, 12 Chapter Trustees
(9 largest Chapters and 3 Other Selected Chapters), 7 Class Trustees
(elected by Decade groups), and 2 Board appointed Trustees.  This configuration came about as a result of a 1998 study group whose last recommendation was finally implemented in 2003.  When Admiral Trost came on board in 2003, his opinion, based on vast experience with service on corporate boards, was that the Board of Trustees may be too large to be efficient.  I heard anecdotally that he somewhat tempered that opinion after seeing the good work that the Board was accomplishing through its Committees.  At any rate over the last year the Governance Committee under RAdm Roy Snyder '50 took a look at the suggestion to examine the issue, but came to no    unanimous conclusion.  In fact, I had heard that the Committee was about 50-50 split    on whether a change was necessary at all. Admiral Trost was then asked to give the committee some idea of what he had in mind.  That idea has been referred to as the "Strawman" and the Governance Committee from what I have heard is still about split on how to proceed.  The "Strawman" proposes to reduce the size of the Board to 25 members by the following steps:  Eliminate the 4 Regional Trustees and replace them with 6 At-large Trustees  (2 of which would be replaced by vote of the membership every 2 years); reduce 12 Chapter Trustees to 8; eliminate the 2 Board appointed Trustees, and make the Immediate Past-Chair a non-voting member; and also add 1 Class trustee. My opinion: I am not in favor of reducing the 9 Chapter Trustees selected from the 9 largest chapters.  That is the only Trustee category that results from and encourages increased alumni membership.  I have been associated with
3 Chapters, Atlanta which now has a Chapter Trustee, and Knoxville-Oak Ridge which recently finished a term as an Other Chapter Trustee.  Both efforts to earn the job are beneficial to the alumni association and to the alumni.  Atlanta works like the devil on its membership drive every year, and the activities and efforts described in the Other Chapter  Trustee applications are fantastic.  I've served on that Selection Committee and was floored at the effort put in by all involved. Naturally, I favor the Regional approach over At-large Trustees.  That is the concept that the 1998 study group revised in order to have a geographical constituency that can communicate with members and bring their concerns to the national association.  In fact, there are some who have given a compelling argument to recommend increasing the Regional Trustees to 6. Board appointed Trustees were created to bring additional talent, such as finance, legal, and public relations to the Board membership.  It has also been used to ensure female, minority, and younger class representation on the Board.  It appears that the nomination process is accomplishing that on its own, and that is better for all. So, if you took my "Strawman #2" and kept the Chairman, Vice Chair, President and CEO as voting members, went from 4 to 6 Regional Trustees, kept
9 largest    Chapter Trustees and only 2 Other Chapter Trustees, got rid of the Board appointed Trustees, and had 7 Class Trustees, that would only total 27 for the Board size, which would be a reduction of 2 from the present.  Now these are only my opinions as to the right way to go.  I have heard from quite a few of you already and so far I am convinced that it is your desire that I should vote against the "Strawman" coming from the Governance Committee in its present form.

4.   Please let me hear from you and give me your views.  My job is to represent your interests to the Board of Trustees.  Sorry this is so long and complex, but I have tried to convey from my point of view how we got into this controversy.  We need to get it resolved in the best interest of our great Alumni Association.

Best Regards and Beat Notre Dame! Bill Rentz '55  Eastern Region Trustee


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