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AERC Business acumen

To: AERC Board of Directors
	AERC General Membership

Recently I have addressed two E-mails to the AERC Board of Directors asking
pertinent questions. (10 Mar and 17 Mar). These questions went out to the 23
of the 26 Directors, those that have E-mail addresses available. In return I
have received comment or answers from exactly three persons, the AERC
President and two Directors. Since there is little or no concern for my
opinions by the majority of the AERC Directors I will address my further
concerns to the President and the two Directors that did have the courtesy
to answer.

First, is this the way that a National Organization should be run? The
Directors completely ignoring the membership?

Second, It has come to my attention that some of my questions were answered
in a defensive form, to the Board of Directors but the authors declined to
copy me in their messages. Do I take this to mean that the membership does
not warrant an answer as long as the BoD is informed? It sure looks that

Third, in one of the messages that I did receive it was stated <<<<most of
these answers should be directed at Doyle, I think.  He is in command of the
EN publication.  I don't think any of the BOD know what is going to come out
in the next issue, nor do we control the publication of it with a hands-on

I am amazed that the Directors of a corporation such as the AERC have such
little interest in the organization that they refer most questions to the
Executive Director. It is my understanding from this answer to my question
that the Board of Directors is not directing the policies of the AERC but is
allowing the Executive Director to set the direction of the Organization.

Fourth, in the answers to my questions it was also stated <<<<The general
meeting is a forum, not an official business meeting.  Members do express
their opinions, as they can do via e-mail or  to EN.  It is always announced
that if they want Board action they need to contact the pertinent committee,
which is the only entree, by way of committee motions. It is not necessary
to report the general meeting in the minutes since no action is ever

I am amazed, I am aghast, I am shocked to read the words "It is not
necessary to report the general meeting in the minutes since no action is
ever taken". So much for the regard of the General Membership as far as the
Board is concerned. Oh yes, they are the opinions of the masses but let them
get it off their chest so we can get back to the important things. 

As for getting things through Committees, take it from me, if the Chair does
not like what you have to say it will never be heard. Policies and
procedures for Committees have been forgotten  and disregarded for so many
years that no one knows what they are supposed to do.

It has been my opinion, and most likely mine alone, that a Board of
Directors sets the policies of an organization, instructs the Executive
Director as to how these policies are to be implemented and then ensures
that the instructions are carried out.

Now to take a step back, the Directors are the instrument of the Membership.
The Directors are supposed to eliminate any personal opinions or feelings
and take their queue from the membership. This subjugation of personal
feelings is supposed to be present in ALL MATTERS, with complete regard for
the  membership and not the individual.

So we have a chain of delegation, the Membership to the Directors, the
Directors to the Executive Director and the Executive Director delivering
the goods to the membership. Currently this chain is being broken in several
places. The result is dissatisfaction, chaos and a poorly operating

Now, to address the CYA messages sent to the BoD but not to Bob:

I will first state that I have been involved with the AERC/FEI controversy
since 1983,  have supported International competition in the US since the
first event in Davenport, CA. and will continue this support , but only in
the proper manner under AERC.

When I was able to acquire a copy of the budget for the AERC year 2000,
presented in a very understandable form, it became evident that certain
portions of this budget were not in conformance with good business
practices. Let me digress a bit here; the AERC IS A BUSINESS and as such
must be aware of profit and loss. Since most people detest to hear of PROFIT
in a 501c3 corporation let us call it positive and negative cash flow.

One of the items that indicated a negative cash flow was the International
Committee. Now, in the initial glance of things this is not all that
terrible as the several Committees of the AERC are integral functions
necessary for the over all functioning. HOWEVER, when International was
formed it was stated, with great promises and assurance that it would not
need any assistance from the AERC per se. They would be self supporting, no
yearly infusion of cash needed. In fact they would pay the Office for any
support rendered. The $10 membership fee would cover this. 

The writers of the CYA memos indicate the International Committee is self
supporting. If this is reality, and I hope it is, then the Budget report
should so reflect. To not do so is misleading to the members. 

One point of great concern to me is this excerpt from one of the e-mails to
the BoD; <<<<<. As a sub committee, AERC Int'l needs to have approval from
the board on all matters that the AERC Int committee discuss. Int'l is very
much a part of the AERC, and use of this protocol ensures AERC Int'l's
adherence and support of AERC and its principles.>>>> 

Since when did the International Committee develop a "sub-committee"? What
is its function? This is not a function covered by the International
Procedures as I read it. You may not be aware, but the International
Committee is different from any other. As an explanation of WHY the
International Committee is different , take a good look at its structure,
That is if you, as a Director, have a copy of the AERC International
First you have a "Committee" with its own logo!  No, International does not
care to utilize the AERC logo, they wanted differentiation from the parent
organization. However they did need to trade on the "AERC" recognition so
the four letters were incorporated. 

Next, this logo extends to the International stationary. Again completely
different than that of the AERC. I am looking at an old international letter
that states "AERC International, Administrative Offices ..." Granted it is
an old letter but the intent is there, this is an organization separate from
the American Endurance Ride Conference. No, it is not a Committee, at least
by the indications of the letterhead. Can anyone name another Committee that
does this? Is there another Committee that operates out side the structure
of the AERC but utilizes the parent as support?

Then there is the fact that the International Committee benefits not more
than 5% of the membership! Think of that! All other committees in the AERC
structure are for the benefit of the entire organization. Is it time that
they were spun off?

The writers of the several E-mails indicate that there is a complete
different Financial Statement for the International Committee. Interesting,
with membership in International, one has never been offered for review. Who
gets to see this? Certainly not the Membership. But more to the point, if
all the financial transactions are as purported, why is there never a
financial statement produced for the members?

As I have said before, the International Committee acts as a group
independent  from the AERC! They have their own financial structure, their
own group logo, their own letterhead and their own program. Should we not
consider spinning them off into an associate status, so they might be free
to function with out the constraints of the parent organization. They are a
very small percentage of the general membership. This "spin off" could
result in a considerable savings and perhaps some income to the parent,

In closing, let me say there are many problems yet undiscussed that need
answers. As an example; why four months into the ride year do we not have a
legitimate set of Rules available? The Rule Book was approved at the October
BoD!  Why almost three months after allegedly violating a probation ruling
is there no decision regarding this flagrant violation of our most basic of

WHO IS RUNNING THIS ORGANIZATION? My opinion is that perhaps someone, but
not the AERC Board of Directors.

Bob Morris
Morris Endurance Enterprises
Boise, ID 


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