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Old 12-22-2021, 11:33 AM   #1
Sharpy01
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Here's one Everyone should read....


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It's rare I see a ZD report in the MAAC Mag that I feel ALL members should read, but here's one:

HOW TO WEAR MULTIPLE HATS

Before I wax poetic in this article... did
you read the September-October issue
of Model Aviation Canada? WOW – that
entire issue may have set a new standard
for build stories. My favourite is the Tutor
story on page 42, and of course, the large
model pics on page 74! Not to mention the
glider article on page 47 (our Editor reminds
me) – great stuff!
Back to Zone D, many thanks for all those
who supported me in my re-election quest.
This is the fifth time in my life where I had
to mount an election campaign as opposed
to being acclaimed (I did that five times
too) – elections are a good exercise in actual
democracy and an opportunity to get to the
heart of issues – which we did, somewhat.
So now onto some clarifications on what
the position I just won really entails.
Hats - I want to introduce you all to my
#1 “boss hat” – the guy you elected to serve
all of MAAC – Director Randall Hepner.
What?
Most members don’t really understand
MAAC structure – MAAC is not a bigger
version of a club, and a Zone Director’s first
job/loyalty is not to the Zone that elected
him.
Huh?
MAAC, the organization that you, the
member or Club freely joined, is a legal
entity; a not-for-profit Corporation and
is governed by the Canada Not-for-profit
Corporations Act – serious boring legal
document.
When you elect a Zone Director,
you elect me to sit as a Director of the
MAAC Corporation. By the Act, MAAC
constitution, and by-law structure, the
Board of Directors is the entity you, the
members, entrust to run MAAC. (MAAC
is not run by “Zone Directors” – there is a
difference).
The member’s role in this is setting
guidelines and even limits by submitting
Recommendations or Resolutions at their
Annual Zone meetings for consideration
and passing at the Annual General Meeting.
That is how MAAC works…. or is supposed
to work.
Outside the formal AZM/AGM process,
members and clubs do have a direct pipeline
to the MAAC decision makers -- the Board
as a whole -- via their Zone Director – but
there is a catch, which is more than a bit
tricky.
While a Director comes from an
‘administrative’ Zone and should be aware
of the member issues within that zone,
he does not specifically represent those
members/issues when participating as a
Director at Board meetings.
A Director’s primary job on the Board
of Directors is to protect MAAC – the
organization. Directors take a big picture
view of MAAC and most decision making
requires at least 50%+1 of the Board to
agree on any issue. This is by design and
prevents special interests/individuals from
having unfair influence or control. It is
designed so that issues are agreed upon by
the majority.
Directors are also legally bound to fully
support all prior and properly made Board
decisions – even if their Zone members
opposes it. Ultimately, if a Director finds a
Board decision so onerous he can’t support
it, then the expectation is he resign from
the Board. Rogue Directors remaining on
a Board is not good for MAAC because
MAAC needs to be one organization, one
team – not 13 individuals doing their own
thing.
The duty to the organization first, before
the Zone, even goes so far as to require
Directors to intentionally not succumb
to the more vocal individuals or special
interest groups in their zone or other zones
– no matter how vocal or unfortunate their
tactics.
For example, if a small and vocal group in
Zone D started a national e-mail campaign
to try to induce Directors to take a position
that is contrary to a properly made Board
decision or that would be damaging to
MAAC, the Board would be bound to refuse
that.
These small groups might try to counter
that the Directors are being undemocratic
because they are not listening – BUT they
would be wrong. The founding members of
MAAC very intentionally and democratically
choose our organizational model to prevent
exactly that type of pressure/bullying
tactics from small groups or individuals –
key to that is the Directors’ responsibility to
protect the organization first and foremost.
So, a good Director will, from time to
time, have to explain in an honest manner,
why any singular idea or issue was decided
by the Board for the good of MAAC. A
‘bad’ Director will try to hide from that
responsibility, perhaps so he can be viewed
as popular.
Perhaps this is because members can
remove Directors if they feel strongly enough
and two-thirds of the zone agrees... an article for
another day perhaps.

AUDITING MEETINGS

As a reminder, members are allowed to listen
in to any open Board meetings, and I strongly
encourage every member to do so and see which
Directors are supporting which issues. Listen to
the commentary and the votes taken. The entire
Board is responsible to all of the members in
how they exercise the incredible power they are
entrusted with. I have been sending out Board
meeting notices and general agendas for more
transparent communications and will continue
to do so unless member prefers to not know.
I heard many issues at the Zone D AZM and
the Board will be trying to move the ball forward
on many related fronts. For example, we are
crafting an all-encompassing Code of Conduct
that will hopefully allow some folks to see the
light – antics of yesteryear have no place in
a modern federally regulated safety-sensitive
industry with many eyes watching.
It’s a new day for MAAC folks -- time to move
on and make MAAC fun again.
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Old 12-22-2021, 07:46 PM   #2
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Re: Here's one Everyone should read....

Just got the MAAC mag yesterday and read that article at lunch.
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Old 12-23-2021, 04:26 PM   #3
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Re: Here's one Everyone should read....

The balancing act of being a director is a tough one at the best of times.
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Old 01-10-2022, 12:25 PM   #4
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Re: Here's one Everyone should read....

My name is David Webb. I have been an active sailplane pilot competing at the World Championship levels representing Canada in 3 different disciplines across 8 World Championships for the last 20 years. In addition to this R/C experience I am also the Co-chair of the MAAC Sailplane committee assisting Fabien Gagne. I have been a business owner and senior consultant to major corporations’ career wise for 25 years. In my spare time I have assisted in the development of key technologies for Citrix technologies, MADOX games, Sanwa (Airtronics) and Frsky to name a few. I love flying gliders and I love technology and I generally stay away from these kinds of political posts but I fee that our beloved sport is in serious peril.

Mr. Sharpe, you have chosen to re-print Mr. Hepner's column from the Nov/Dec issue of MAC magazine - a column which contains in my opinion and others, much that is erroneous and much that illustrates why the MAAC Board of Directors (BOD) is in the sad shape that it is in today. The remainder of my post is addressed to the membership of MAAC.

To underscore the severity and criticality of this content it should be noted that it is backed by several of MAAC’s Board of Directors including a past president of MAAC and a two past constitutional chairman. The laundry list of actions that cause concern is extensive, some are complex and many require a firm grasp of Not For Profit corporate laws, but I will speak to a few issues that every member can understand and support. When you see the rest, assuming you accept my challenge to act, you will likely be as astounded as I was and you yourself will be the change we desperately need.

We have what is essentially 3 factions struggling at the governance layers within MAAC. We have a current leader that has garnered support from some directors and through that support several very concerning and damaging changes have occurred. The president's right hand man Randy Hepner has been actively bullying ZD’s that have opposing perspectives in any way. I have seen communication from him suggesting other ZD’s quit MAAC as an example of clear bullying. I have seen the most unprofessional and inappropriate communications from both positions in 2021. I am making direct reference to racial slurs referencing the Indian Act and misogynistic comments suggesting that certain Zone directors pull up their “big girl panties”. This is YOUR MAAC not the board of directors MAAC and it is currently being run by people making these racial and misogynistic statements. It is 2022 and while I know these positions do not pay for their services, we need to remove anyone capable of doing this within a national organization. Canada is better than this representation. We need to reflect that with our votes. If this isn’t enough to motivate you, feel free to investigate and many of you will see the concern we see.

We have a second group of members with vast business and non profit experience that has served in many of the previous MAAC capacities with distinction. That group is essentially how we managed to resist the motions to put MAAC into a position to leave the FAI. They are the last bastion of democracy and critical thinking. It is unfortunate that they are labeled as “gas lighters” by oppositional members and leaders. On the contrary, what I found is that the communication coming from these ZD’s is professional, correct and in the best interest of MAAC 9/10 times. Are they perfect? No – certainly not. Have they made some mistakes interpreting our policy yes but that’s the process we must engage in to understand what we have created.

We have a 3rd group that appears to simply be going with whatever flow appears to be dominant from one meeting to the next. This “swing vote” of sorts is actually quite small currently and allows you the membership a unique opportunity to make a fast change.

I have presented technical content to the largest companies on the planet including Siemens Global, Siemens Automotive, Walmart, American Express, Pfizer and Nasa Godard Flight Center to name a few. In my entire life and business exposure I have yet to see an organization run in the way MAAC appears to be running. I have witnessed extensive bullying, defamation of character, racially charged statements and generally inappropriate conduct that, if it occurred in a regular corporation with oversight, would immediately result in a senior leadership "restructure" if not legal charges being laid. If the general membership audited meetings, asked for meeting minutes and followed the organization's rules and policies, I am 100% certain that they would not only be alarmed but motivated to make change. We need it immediately.

One of the largest problems MAAC has, in my opinion, is freedom of speech - or, rather, the lack of it. The general membership is unaware of these issues because the current president and executive leaders have chosen to deny several requests to communicate to you the members from several Zones who believe your best interest is not being served. This should alarm you. People who can help are being blocked from speaking to you, the membership of MAAC. Need I remind you all of the sacrifices Canada has made to enable our freedoms?

Past presidents, Zone directors, committee chairmen and constitutional advisory members have literally been trying to rectify this for years. Our requests to email all members on various opportunities to improve this organization are denied by key members at MAAC. Freedom of speech is not an easy thing to juggle, and it can be outright ugly at times, but I think we can all agree that the membership should be able to hear dissenting views, alternative ideas and at the least, collaborate on solutions with interested parties to improve MAAC. None of this can really be effective in a country as large as Canada without access to the members email addresses. The current MAAC leadership have openly opposed communication from members on matters to come before the Board - it is their position that ONLY the Board and in particular the executive member's opinions have any relevance, and those that disagree with the majority are vilified, intimidated, and ridiculed. As an example, a member was threatened with physical violence by his Zone Director for disagreeing with his position - no action was taken against the ZD. Our constitutional advisory board was effectively disbanded by the president, as he declared it obsolete in a move many believe lays a foundation of reduced constitutional oversight to further abuse our governing policies.

If you value the organization, you should know that it is in clear jeopardy on many levels. If you value competition you might be interested to hear that the current president has, without membership approval or knowledge, made significant steps to damage or dissolve our affiliation to the FAI. Shortly after assuming office, he took it upon himself to write to the FAI and AMA declaring among other things that MAAC and the AMA were considering canceling their FAI affiliation. This was done without Board discussion or approval, and without the concurrence of the AMA. No disciplinary action was taken. Those actions in concert with new Transport Canada negotiations made in a clearly non-transparent manner will likely further undermine your options to compete and Canada's potential to attain medals at the world championship levels. Furthermore, if the debacle which is our Transport Canada negotiations continue in secrecy and without full disclosure to all MAAC flight disciplines, the likelihood is that thousands more R/C pilots will simply fly rogue and we will all be tarnished. In short, MAAC is failing.

I assume that some of you may find this hard to believe but if you require validation of the assertions I have made, I suggest, no I personally challenge you to do something many of you have yet to do. That challenge is to attend the meetings available to you and see it firsthand. We can't fix this organization if you do not attend and vote. Change is impossible without an active vote from each and every one of you the way MAAC is run today. That is because your Zone Director carries your votes and without a proxy or an in-person vote (or virtual vote via teleconference) your vote is allotted to his or her perspective or in the worst case scenario, influenced by other executives if your ZD is less interested in independent thought. That scenario is just one of a dozen leftover mechanisms from 1979 when electronic attendance could not increase quorum because it didn’t exist. Now technology can do exactly that, but your ZD is still carrying your votes because in short no one joins these meetings to vote. Let us change that! I should note here that members cannot vote at Board meetings - only at the AGM! So, it is critical that you come up to speed on BOD meetings and attend and vote independently at all AGM’s. I realize that this is not a small ask of you. It will require roughly 10 hours to read documents, attend BOD meetings and a few AGMS. If we don’t do this as an organization, MAAC will implode.

MAAC has no functional value statement or mission statement to its users and for thousands, its value proposition is extensively weak. In my experience, MAAC is essentially a means to an end in that if you want insurance or to fly at a club, or to represent Canada at the international level, you have only one choice, MAAC. This value relationship will not sustain MAAC as an organization. MAAC must provide actual value to its member base or it will cease to exist. If you disagree, I suggest you extrapolate our membership attrition over the last 4 years and ask yourself how long it has to survive without a growth effort and currently none is being planned by your BOD. In fact, the efforts to grow MAAC as suggested by concerned BOD members were quickly shot down by the current MAAC leadership despite the fact that said programs have a long history of success both here and in the USA.

MAAC requires a complete and systematic overhaul and a massive change in leadership if it is to survive. I implore you to join any and all meetings at your disposal. There are several people not only willing to take up the mantle of change, but they have a much longer success history within MAAC. It is time to support change.
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Old 01-10-2022, 07:34 PM   #5
Sharpy01
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Re: Here's one Everyone should read....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wwebbsolution View Post
My name is David Webb. I have been an active sailplane pilot competing at the World Championship levels representing Canada in 3 different disciplines across 8 World Championships for the last 20 years. In addition to this R/C experience I am also the Co-chair of the MAAC Sailplane committee assisting Fabien Gagne. I have been a business owner and senior consultant to major corporations’ career wise for 25 years. In my spare time I have assisted in the development of key technologies for Citrix technologies, MADOX games, Sanwa (Airtronics) and Frsky to name a few. I love flying gliders and I love technology and I generally stay away from these kinds of political posts but I fee that our beloved sport is in serious peril.

Mr. Sharpe, you have chosen to re-print Mr. Hepner's column from the Nov/Dec issue of MAC magazine - a column which contains in my opinion and others, much that is erroneous and much that illustrates why the MAAC Board of Directors (BOD) is in the sad shape that it is in today. The remainder of my post is addressed to the membership of MAAC.

To underscore the severity and criticality of this content it should be noted that it is backed by several of MAAC’s Board of Directors including a past president of MAAC and a two past constitutional chairman. The laundry list of actions that cause concern is extensive, some are complex and many require a firm grasp of Not For Profit corporate laws, but I will speak to a few issues that every member can understand and support. When you see the rest, assuming you accept my challenge to act, you will likely be as astounded as I was and you yourself will be the change we desperately need.

We have what is essentially 3 factions struggling at the governance layers within MAAC. We have a current leader that has garnered support from some directors and through that support several very concerning and damaging changes have occurred. The president's right hand man Randy Hepner has been actively bullying ZD’s that have opposing perspectives in any way. I have seen communication from him suggesting other ZD’s quit MAAC as an example of clear bullying. I have seen the most unprofessional and inappropriate communications from both positions in 2021. I am making direct reference to racial slurs referencing the Indian Act and misogynistic comments suggesting that certain Zone directors pull up their “big girl panties”. This is YOUR MAAC not the board of directors MAAC and it is currently being run by people making these racial and misogynistic statements. It is 2022 and while I know these positions do not pay for their services, we need to remove anyone capable of doing this within a national organization. Canada is better than this representation. We need to reflect that with our votes. If this isn’t enough to motivate you, feel free to investigate and many of you will see the concern we see.

We have a second group of members with vast business and non profit experience that has served in many of the previous MAAC capacities with distinction. That group is essentially how we managed to resist the motions to put MAAC into a position to leave the FAI. They are the last bastion of democracy and critical thinking. It is unfortunate that they are labeled as “gas lighters” by oppositional members and leaders. On the contrary, what I found is that the communication coming from these ZD’s is professional, correct and in the best interest of MAAC 9/10 times. Are they perfect? No – certainly not. Have they made some mistakes interpreting our policy yes but that’s the process we must engage in to understand what we have created.

We have a 3rd group that appears to simply be going with whatever flow appears to be dominant from one meeting to the next. This “swing vote” of sorts is actually quite small currently and allows you the membership a unique opportunity to make a fast change.

I have presented technical content to the largest companies on the planet including Siemens Global, Siemens Automotive, Walmart, American Express, Pfizer and Nasa Godard Flight Center to name a few. In my entire life and business exposure I have yet to see an organization run in the way MAAC appears to be running. I have witnessed extensive bullying, defamation of character, racially charged statements and generally inappropriate conduct that, if it occurred in a regular corporation with oversight, would immediately result in a senior leadership "restructure" if not legal charges being laid. If the general membership audited meetings, asked for meeting minutes and followed the organization's rules and policies, I am 100% certain that they would not only be alarmed but motivated to make change. We need it immediately.

One of the largest problems MAAC has, in my opinion, is freedom of speech - or, rather, the lack of it. The general membership is unaware of these issues because the current president and executive leaders have chosen to deny several requests to communicate to you the members from several Zones who believe your best interest is not being served. This should alarm you. People who can help are being blocked from speaking to you, the membership of MAAC. Need I remind you all of the sacrifices Canada has made to enable our freedoms?

Past presidents, Zone directors, committee chairmen and constitutional advisory members have literally been trying to rectify this for years. Our requests to email all members on various opportunities to improve this organization are denied by key members at MAAC. Freedom of speech is not an easy thing to juggle, and it can be outright ugly at times, but I think we can all agree that the membership should be able to hear dissenting views, alternative ideas and at the least, collaborate on solutions with interested parties to improve MAAC. None of this can really be effective in a country as large as Canada without access to the members email addresses. The current MAAC leadership have openly opposed communication from members on matters to come before the Board - it is their position that ONLY the Board and in particular the executive member's opinions have any relevance, and those that disagree with the majority are vilified, intimidated, and ridiculed. As an example, a member was threatened with physical violence by his Zone Director for disagreeing with his position - no action was taken against the ZD. Our constitutional advisory board was effectively disbanded by the president, as he declared it obsolete in a move many believe lays a foundation of reduced constitutional oversight to further abuse our governing policies.

If you value the organization, you should know that it is in clear jeopardy on many levels. If you value competition you might be interested to hear that the current president has, without membership approval or knowledge, made significant steps to damage or dissolve our affiliation to the FAI. Shortly after assuming office, he took it upon himself to write to the FAI and AMA declaring among other things that MAAC and the AMA were considering canceling their FAI affiliation. This was done without Board discussion or approval, and without the concurrence of the AMA. No disciplinary action was taken. Those actions in concert with new Transport Canada negotiations made in a clearly non-transparent manner will likely further undermine your options to compete and Canada's potential to attain medals at the world championship levels. Furthermore, if the debacle which is our Transport Canada negotiations continue in secrecy and without full disclosure to all MAAC flight disciplines, the likelihood is that thousands more R/C pilots will simply fly rogue and we will all be tarnished. In short, MAAC is failing.

I assume that some of you may find this hard to believe but if you require validation of the assertions I have made, I suggest, no I personally challenge you to do something many of you have yet to do. That challenge is to attend the meetings available to you and see it firsthand. We can't fix this organization if you do not attend and vote. Change is impossible without an active vote from each and every one of you the way MAAC is run today. That is because your Zone Director carries your votes and without a proxy or an in-person vote (or virtual vote via teleconference) your vote is allotted to his or her perspective or in the worst case scenario, influenced by other executives if your ZD is less interested in independent thought. That scenario is just one of a dozen leftover mechanisms from 1979 when electronic attendance could not increase quorum because it didn’t exist. Now technology can do exactly that, but your ZD is still carrying your votes because in short no one joins these meetings to vote. Let us change that! I should note here that members cannot vote at Board meetings - only at the AGM! So, it is critical that you come up to speed on BOD meetings and attend and vote independently at all AGM’s. I realize that this is not a small ask of you. It will require roughly 10 hours to read documents, attend BOD meetings and a few AGMS. If we don’t do this as an organization, MAAC will implode.

MAAC has no functional value statement or mission statement to its users and for thousands, its value proposition is extensively weak. In my experience, MAAC is essentially a means to an end in that if you want insurance or to fly at a club, or to represent Canada at the international level, you have only one choice, MAAC. This value relationship will not sustain MAAC as an organization. MAAC must provide actual value to its member base or it will cease to exist. If you disagree, I suggest you extrapolate our membership attrition over the last 4 years and ask yourself how long it has to survive without a growth effort and currently none is being planned by your BOD. In fact, the efforts to grow MAAC as suggested by concerned BOD members were quickly shot down by the current MAAC leadership despite the fact that said programs have a long history of success both here and in the USA.

MAAC requires a complete and systematic overhaul and a massive change in leadership if it is to survive. I implore you to join any and all meetings at your disposal. There are several people not only willing to take up the mantle of change, but they have a much longer success history within MAAC. It is time to support change.
........ well...... I'll make sure Director Hepner is made aware.

Thank you.
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Old 01-11-2022, 08:35 AM   #6
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Re: Here's one Everyone should read....

On digesting your open letter, you have made some serious public accusations against named elected members of our association.

It's clear that fairness dictates that you provide us all with the FULL content of all the "communications" you have been privy to that led you to your opinions so that we can judge for ourselves if our directors have crossed any ethical lines.

Further, please identify the other directors beyond Director Gagne, whom you named, and the Past President, that support your position/accusations.

If you step into the public circle and make serious public accusations against individual volunteer members, our full membership whom you address, deserve to have names and supportive evidence, or you are doing nothing more than actively dividing the membership for political gain with innuendo and unsubstantiated claims.

We await full disclosure.
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Old 01-11-2022, 09:28 AM   #7
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Re: Here's one Everyone should read....

Question for you @sharpy01 - who appointed you the judge, jury and executioner?
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Old 01-11-2022, 09:54 AM   #8
Sharpy01
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Re: Here's one Everyone should read....

Quote:
Originally Posted by athol View Post
Question for you @sharpy01 - who appointed you the judge, jury and executioner?
.... do I really need to point out how ridiculous that logic is? lol

I'm not the one making serious personal public accusations of others sir. I am asking to see the evidence....... like most fair minded members should.

What would your connection to these accusations be Mr Athol?
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Old 01-11-2022, 10:18 AM   #9
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Re: Here's one Everyone should read....

With respect, we are discussing this in a public forum because MAAC leadership restricted communications to all members by denying access to the members email list. If I had that (which is my right according to our policies and the NFP act) I could have disseminated this data differently. As I stated many people have been trying to send word to the membership for years.

I have no faith in the character and fairness of the current leadership to review this data in a neutral way. Publicly exposing my source to those who have willfully broken free speech and possibly federal laws would seem less affective than sending the content, proof and technical backing of said positions to the entire membership.

If you want all my sources, please restore freedom of speech and allow any member to communicate to the entire membership. Then I will present a clear and easily backed laundry list for the entire membership to review. Anything less simply feeds the confirmation bias already at play in many directors in MAAC.

Furthermore, because freedom of speech and other freedoms were so hard won I can not back down from this request. I will be exposing this thread in other social media sites shortly.
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Old 01-11-2022, 10:42 AM   #10
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Re: Here's one Everyone should read....

Wwebbsolution, did you read my pm?
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