The SaveUMCA Team and Supporters

The co-founders of the UMCA, John Marino and Michael Shermer, support this blog.

NOTE: The team list is incomplete because not all members have given permission to print their names yet.

SaveUMCA Team:

John Marino—UMCA co-founder and RAAM finisher (see December 23rd and October 15th letters to UMCA members)
Michael Shermer--UMCA co-founder, former RAAM Race Director, and RAAM finisher
Mavis Irwin--UMCA member (blog chief editor)
Seana Hogan--Life UMCA member and legend (six-time RAAM first place finisher)
Charlie Liskey--Life UMCA member, founder and president of Ultracycling Association, and RAAM finisher
Chris Kostman--Furnace Creek 508 promoter and RAAM finisher
Guus Moonen--Race Director, RAAM finisher, and UMCA member
Pat Enright--Life UMCA member
James Rosar--former UMCA member
Paul Biron--RAAM time station staff and UMCA member
Catharina "Cat" Berge--RAAM finisher, former UMCA BoD and member
Lou Lamoureux--RAAM rider and former UMCA member
Doug Sloan--former UMCA member
Hugh Murphy--Life UMCA member and RAAM rider
Bill Palmer--RAAM crew, RAAM training partner, and UMCA member
Jack Bochsler--former UMCA member (click for post update relating him)
17 innocent tipsters (number may change)

1 Steve Scheetz
2 Patrick Francois--Raid Provence Extreme (RPE) Race Director, President and Founder of the Ultra Cycling European Association (AECU)
3 David Glasgow
4 Dave Buck--Life UMCA member
5 Anna Noone
6 Reed Finfrock--Life UMCA member
7 Jan Christiansen--Founder of Swedish ultracycling association
8 Dr. Jim Watrous--involved in UMCA and RAAM starting in 1982
9 Jim De Graffenreid--Life UMCA member, RAAM Rider
10 Dr. Jim von Tunglen--former President of Orange County Wheelmen and Bicycle Club of Irvine, RAAM Crew
11 Donald Randolph--Life UMCA member
12 Randy Ice--Life UMCA member
13 Kermit Ganier--President, Los Angeles Wheelmen
14 Bob Paxson
15 Ron ______
16 Rex Reese--FC 508 TS official, FC 508 crewmember for Nick Gnu Gerlich, FC 508 crewchief Team Camel, Team Devil Ray, founder Nancy Dankenbring Award, RAAM crewmember for Seana Hoopoe Hogan, Team Phoenix

To have your name added, please ask Mavis Irwin by commenting anywhere on the blog or e-mailing her:

FAQs and Answers

Q: What is the purpose of this blog?
A: To store information of the UMCA violations in one place for concerned UMCA members to review anytime and use as a reference.

Q: What is the SaveUMCA Team's goal?
A: We currently don't expect much to happen. The current UMCA government chose to ignore the long list of violations, and moved on, which upset hundreds of UMCA members.

Q: Wait a minute, why bring this fight back to the community? We are sick of all the public fighting that happened since December 2006! Why don't the UMCA and its members try to work out things like adults behind the scenes?
A: We were in fact having red flags for nearly three years now. The activists finally brought this to the public's attention after the sale of RAAM, and some very sketchy dealings. We hoped this wouldn’t have to happen this way, but the UMCA members outside the UMCA government were asking us what was going on for a long time now. Then the recent Board of Director’s election resulted in some very deceptive and unethical ploys by the UMCA management in favor of six particular candidates.

Q: It looks like the SaveUMCA Team spent a lot of time putting the blog together. How come the team is doing it even though they expect little or nothing to happen?
A: We strongly feel that the UMCA members have the right to know what is going on. We want to remain optimistic that if members know what is going on, positive changes can be made. The UMCA is a non-profit association, with 501 (c) 3 tax advantages and money raising capabilities, and by law, must behave responsibly as a representative democracy.

Q: Why does SaveUMCA Team care so much about UMCA's non-profit status?
A: For a very long time, the UMCA members were fighting hard to turn UMCA into a non-profit organization and finally obtained it in 2003. These members were hoping that when it became a non-profit organization, with all the formalities, that it would no longer be characterized by dictatorial, secretive management, but that does not appear to have worked and was in fact becoming worse.

Q: We got the September-October 2007 magazine in mail recently and it looks like UMCA's attorney, Steve Larson, has reviewed the actions of the UMCA and found nothing illegal.
A: We suspect that he didn't know everything that has been going on and we would like to chat with him. We will be happy to show him the solid evidence we put together here.

Q: What do you want us to do?
A: All UMCA members are the owners of the UMCA. It's your organization and if you are someone whose cycling records were largely ignored, you will want to put a stop to this dictatorship. (This is why some UMCA members fought to turn the UMCA into a non-profit organization.) The UMCA’s primary income comes from your membership fees along with donors and sponsors. All of the people on the SaveUMCA Team have different ideas on how to approach this problem, but we do have one thing we can agree on and it was letting the other owners have a chance to know. It is entirely up to you to decide what to do about your ownership.

Any questions and comments can either be commented on this blog or send privately to the team's e-mail address:

UMCA member's zone

Noteworth feedbacks/questions with answers

--Added in March: SaveUMCA, you are going at this all wrong!

--Added in March: How about taking formal legal action?

--Added in June: Where can I file my report of UMCA's actions to IRS?

Reference copies of UMCA co-founder and UMCA membership #1's public letters:

--October 2007 letter to UMCA members.

--December 2007 letter to UMCA members.

UMCA's service and predictions

--Some of the questions we need to ask ourselves

--Updated in June: Predictions of what will happen next

List of questionable actions--and growing

Sale of RAAM's title to UMCA.

--Overview of the RAAM sale problems.

--NEW: Managing Director lied to the UMCA Board of Directors, which was what turned the fighting into a public issue.

--The inside circle of RAAM sale and operation in partnership to UMCA.

--Real facts and illegal powers of the RAAM sale to UMCA not publicly discussed by the participants.

--Updated in March: Possible problems with the UMCA/RAAM Contract not publicly addressed and the waiting game. (UMCA chose to not disclose the contract to the UMCA members, which is in violation of the UMCA member's rights to investigate.)

--Ultracycling Strife article disclosed how RAAM sale was done.

--Managing Director is suspected to be being heavily involved in what he was not paid to do based on patterns of volunteers and non-UMCA employees taking on increasing workload of his job.

--Delay of elections said to be due to the RAAM-UMCA partnership development during the election season of 2006. (Thus seven of the Board of Directors were illegally serving through 2007 to the month of the 2007 RAAM.)

UMCA's campaign for six of its chosen candidates.

--Updated in January: Campaigning letter to UMCA members.

--No help for other candidates--deserving or not.

--UMCA broke its own rules in editing two of the candidates' published biographies.

--UMCA silenced a candidate by disallowing to publishing a neutral campaigning advertisement asking the members to come out and vote, which would have run in the UMCA newsletter.

--Not all paying and life members were permitted to vote.

--Updated in March:The UMCA violated private members' personal information.

--Formal complaint lodged by the 12 losing candidates regarding election improprieties should have been reviewed by an independent group of people.

--UMCA refused to re-run the irregular election.

Communication between UMCA and UMCA members

--UMCA ignores neutral offer from highly qualified newslist technician, and then controversially breaks-up ultracycling e-mail group list

--Candidate publicly withdraws from the UMCA Board election, disappears, and then suddenly reappears as an elected member of Board of Directors, weeks later elected as UMCA President.

--Updated in June: Dogpile of things the UMCA members already asked UMCA to do for as long as four years. (Most of the suggestions were ignored.)

--Missing information in the UMCA financial records.

--Added in March: UMCA's election committee

Managing Director's old contract and things related to this contract

--The old UMCA MD contract for 2003-2007 analysed by Seana Hogan and an attorney.

Point of interest:
X. Termination for Cause. "Termination for Cause" shall mean termination of employee's employment by the UMCA by reason of the following: (I) Employee's willful dishonesty towards, fraud upon, crime against, deliberate or attempted injury or bad faith action with respect to the UMCA; or (ii) Employee's conviction for any felony crime (whether in connection with the UMCA's affairs or otherwise). In the event of termination without cause, the UMCA shall pay to Hughes an amount equal to 12 months at the current year's salary. Further, the UMCA will grant to Hughes for a term of three years two full pages (or four half-pages) for advertising in each issue of UltraCycling magazine at no cost to Hughes.

(Instead of being terminated for violations listed below, Hughes was recently given a raise by the UMCA Executive Committee on June/July 2007.)

--(Reposted from above) NEW: Managing Director cut off communication to some, and lied to the UMCA Board of Directors, which was what triggered the public battle.

--John Hughes attacking Joe Gross's work to set up a new ultracycling newslist, instead of thanking him for voluntarily helping. Ultracycling loses a valuable volunteer.

--John Hughes personal attack on UMCA Board member Cindi Staiger.

--E-mail from John Hughes's account to UMCA members, asking them to attack Seana Hogan and Cindi Staiger (This was after one of the battle, which started on May 3rd and can be followed starting here.)

--John Hughes praising people he liked and attacking Mavis Irwin for presenting the case that the UMCA needs to communicate.

--Final update (July 2008): Updates on Managing Director's yet to be renewed contract--the old one presented here orignially expired on December 31st, 2007.

UMCA as an international body

--Overview of UMCA becoming an international body

Mavis's Public Letters to UMCA

Starting on January 1st 2008, Mavis is hosting her own personal public blog containing letters to the UMCA. The UMCA didn’t directly answer any of Mavis questions as of this post, but UMCA now have a Board Liaison, Rick Hays, who is eager to help take down the wall between the members and the Board. Even through he was not elected by the UMCA members, Mavis is happy about the UMCA starting to talk again. You can follow the updates in the links below:

Updated March 8th, 2008:

Rick Hays seemed to be unable to answer all of the questions. Instead of answers to the questions going unanswered since beginning of January, RAAM LLC's attorney mailed Mavis a lawsuit threat letter on Feburary 14th. Click on link for the evidences:

Updated March 19th, 2008:

Mavis tried once again to open up the communicating channels by giving UMCA a set of pointers and they were unanswered as of this post. However, one thing did expose from this ordeal: Chris "Hoppo" Hopkinson, UMCA's endorsement letter's candidate and now UMCA Vice President, acted unprofessionally. A special post was made for reviewing the discussion (and how frustrated some people were.) Click on link for this post:

Outline of Mavis's 2008 Public Letters to UMCA

Unlike the other posts I am in change of managing on this blog, my letters to UMCA is my own personal action. Older letters at bottom, newer ones on top.--Mavis Irwin, UMCA member.

July 29: Managing Director's contract is renewed.

July 20: 21-month old messages summarized.

July 6: Lessons from history: How stable is UMCA-RAAM's partnership?

June 27: Offer of apology still stands.

April 28: Couragous UMCA members then a stirred crowd containing public personal questions and attacks

April 21: UMCA membership went down and election results

March 25: Question about article 3 and not article 12 reportingly reviewed

March 25: Letter asking UMCA why they rejected SaveUMCA's financial assistance and didn't note in the magazine that the assistance was offered. ($8,600 was used for legal advice with the note about certain people--indirectly the SaveUMCA--causing this to happen.)

March 15th: Attendence to open up the communicating channels between UMCA and SaveUMCA, but got personal attacks from UMCA's Vice President instead.

March 8-12th: Response to lawsuit threat from RAAM LLC

February 17-27th: Why UMCA needs an UMCA Managing Director replacement

February 17th (and other dates listed in link): Questions relating Marino's 13-page RAAM Report

February 17th (and other dates listed in link): Questions relating Fred Boethling, the RAAM President/CEO, at UMCA's executive committee meeting

February 6-8th: Discussion with BoD Jerry Segal

January 28th: First wave of questions being answered by Board's Liaison

Hughes lied to UMCA's Board of Directors

Dear UMCA government,

This is my special letter on what catalyzed the fight into a public one.

In the days when I was an innocent candidate interested in carrying UMCA forward in a positive way, I have done a lot of investigation on things from both sides ever since seeing a couple of e-mail, which are both on this topica post:

I talked with more people than I could count. I have hoped to be one of UMCA’s best Board of Director who listens to everybody the best I can and make fair decisions on what really matter for the UMCA organization as a whole. I never foresee myself ending up being an activist fighting for the UMCA members, UMCA event directors, international UMCA members, and even the UMCA Board’s equal rights like I am doing now. I however realized that I am left with the choice of either being quiet or speaking up. I choose to speak up.

Well…I know there will be a day I have to actually unveil the character evidence that brought this fight to the public. This evidence proves the creditity of the protesting former Board of Director, Anna Catharina “Cat” Berge (link is provided above): “I specifically asked about the relationship RAAM- UMCA. I was told that there was nothing that required board approval in the RAAM - UMCA relationship. At the time I received that answer, negotiations to purchase RAAM were already well under way. I would therefore say that the answer I received was a lie.”

Be noted that Cat Berge was careful to question the action and not the people involved. I asked her for the evidence and sure enough it was John Hughes who lied despite his very own words quoted in the article by Greg Pressler: “A few weeks after RAAM last year [2006], I told Lon that Fred and I had a few ideas about how the UMCA could buy RAAM. Fred has built his career on acquiring companies and turning them around. Fred and I went to Canada [the location of Pitre’s summer home] to talk with Jim for three days. After a few other meetings with them, by early September [2006], Fred and I knew that we had everything in place to move the deal forward, except for a full understanding of the finances. Jim shared all the numbers, and now all we needed was a way to pay for it.”


It is clear that most people on the UMCA Board of Directors were left in the dark about the important change to the UMCA organization as stated in this November 24th 2006 letter of intent from John Hughes, two days after Cat Berge publicly resigned in protest:

Here is the evidence of John Hughes’s key lie to UMCA’s Board of Directors on October 27th, 2006, which at that time is believed (based on UMCA’s scrambled reports) to include:

Anna Catharina Berge
Chuck Bramwell
Tom Buckley
John Lee Ellis
Nancy Guth
Joe Jamison
Lee Mitchell
Don Norvelle
Jim Pitre
Muffy Ritz
Mike Roarke
Cindi Staiger
Jeff Stephens
George Thomas

From: UMCAHQ@aol.comDate: Fri, 27 Oct 2006 12:40:49 -0400Subject: Re: UMCA and RAAMTo: board@ultracycling.comBoard membersIn a message dated 10/26/06 11:05:32 PM, writes:

Board,Several of you are mentioning strengthening the connection between UMCA and RAAM. Could you please explain what part and specific component currently needs strengthening.

I'm thinking of nuts and bolts operational stuff. Here are some examples, none of which require BoD action.

I've been marketing ultracycling as a sport since the 1998. I currently edit the RAAM program in VeloNews and in UltraCycling.

The VN program always includes several articles about the UMCA - and RAAM pays to have 100,000 copies distributed, as well as distribuing copies of the UC RAAM program on the route. This should continue. Currently two hourly workers with no knowledge of cycling edit the rider bios and photos for the program and website. We should recruit a couple of UMCA volunteers to do this - which would save RAAM money *and* result in better quality. (I'm not talking about Carolyn Chandler but two people who work for her.)

The RAAM qualifier directors and I could help RAAM figure out how to market the race better. We have a pretty good understanding of the kinds of riders (age, demographics, etc) who are racing in other ultra events . . . and how to target them.Another example is the Internet. Since RAAM runs non-stop it's the perfect race to webcast. And the RAAM website gets tons of hits in late May and June. How do we get people to come to the website other times of the year? George & Terri did great webcasts of RAO and Ring of Fire. Why not simulcast those as well as other RAAM qualifiers, etc. on the RAAM website.

We wouldn't make any race do this - but it would be to the benefit of all concerned.Currently the RAAM and UMCA websites are managed independently. There's some overlap (e.g., articles on training and nutrition) and there are some gaps (like how to manage saddle sores and other medical issues. We should develop a coordinated plan for who publishes what kind of material and increase the cross-referencing between the sites.I spent a lot of time working with Lon & Jim on the Enduro RAAM concept, and there's more work to be done.

A big issue is recruiting enough TS managers so that the officials don't have to sit in Time Stations. We ran a couple of articles in UC about time stations and encouraged readers to call Robert Giacin - he got very few calls. One TS manager asked me for the names & e-mails of UMCAers in the contiguous states - he had his TS fully staffed in 6-hour shifts! Almost 60 TSs are too much for one person to coordinate - why not appoint multiple coordinators to cover different sections of the route and provide each with a list of UMCAers in their areas?

(We'd only provide info that is already public in the UMCA membership directory).We currently have two handbooks: Preparing for Long Rides and Crewing with Fuzzy. I'd like to put together a third: how to do team events - with a focus on RAAM, but applicable to qualifiers, etc.There are plenty of ways that RAAM, the RAAM qualifiers, and the UMCA can do more together to everyone's benefit - the limiting factor really is staff time (paid & volunteer).

John HughesManaging DirectorUltraMarathon Cycling

Of course, after the letter of intent, the Board of Director's action was required to authorize the UMCA-RAAM partnership on December 3rd, 2006. In the words from this December 3rd, 2006 meeting with the Board of Directors: "Hughes summarized that without UMCA action the 2007 RAAM probably would not take place and that the race might die." Thus, this was more like a take it or lose the event vote informed in late November instead of getting the Board's authorization to proceed with the UMCA-RAAM deal as an important change to the UMCA organization in July. That's right, Hughes's quote in Greg Pressler's article clearly said he had an idea for how UMCA can buy RAAM within weeks after RAAM 2006.

Conclusion: Clearly, either this UMCA leader would say anything to even the Board of Directors to suit what he is doing in the interests of the RAAM business. Or there is a lot of cleaning up to do. Sorry, but based on the evidences here, this observably is the lying and not the miscommunicating.

How much longer will the UMCA government let the lies harm the UMCA organization?

I have hoped to avoid publishing something shoring a light directly on the leader's costly lie, but the time has come. We are at an important time of supporting John Hughes or saying we need a new leader.


SaveUMCA, you are going at this all wrong!

Comment: Why don't you have the Save UMCA group convene a qualified group to draft new by-laws and a new MD employment contract that you think is appropriate. In other words, walk the walk and produce what you think are the correct governance documents. Then send them to the board as drafts, and post them on your blog, and send them directly to all board members with an executive summary of how the new versions address, per current governance standards, the needs of the organization and members. This is then the challenge that the board will have to answer to.

Answer: The contract suggestion is already posted on the blog. It was on Seana's website and it was e-mailed to all UMCA members last year.

We however are currently interested in a MD replacement, not a new contract. If you read my letters to UMCA, as a spokeperson I am urging them to find a replacement. They do know that Lou Lamoureux volunteered, so it's not like fishing in an empty lake. The question relating the contract renewal was because THEY didn't tell the UMCA members anything about this for 2 and 1/2 months now--not even on the UMCA website.

Lou Lamoureux's volunteering:

As for the bylaws, the main problem is that they are not following the bylaws already in place. They made several amendments (with the non-elected RAAM LLC's president and none of the other elected Board of Directors present--a bylaw violation) last Fall concerning only the UMCA members's rights. Not UMCA officals's own rights at all. Once we force them to follow their own bylaws, we then will be able to make healthy, legal changes.

UMCA's election committee

An anonymous person commented on the blog, asking about the UMCA’s election committee and whether we have inputs in this. Mavis told this anonymous person: “We felt like we have a foot of a mile influence on these new election rules.”

If anyone noticed, there are four anonymous people on the SaveUMCA team. These people are working hard and can’t be public yet and the SaveUMCA team have faith in them to do everything they can. In Mavis Irwin's personal case, she was asked to be on the election committee too, but she recognized she have to sign a code to be silence and give up any personal power. Mavis won’t be able to sleep well with this over her head. Mavis's hats are off to the others who are able to handle this.

Those involved did note that they are not having much influence because, like they stated, Hughes clearly wanted to have as much control as possible. If those people had more influence, below would be the election standards as opposed to those on page 26 of the Sept-Oct 2007 UMCA magazine:

1) There are no minimum years of membership. (Mavis Irwin, a member for 2 ½ years couldn’t run in the 2008 election even through she was in last year’s election because under the new rules she had to be a member for three or more years first.)

2) The election is open to all. No committees of any kind to select the candidates to be on the ballots. There are only five candidates this year because most from last year’s election were silenced by the new rules instituted by the UMCA. This was one of the ways to keep qualified people from questioning the UMCA government. The rejected applications could have petitioned at least 30 UMCA members done within four weeks by written letters (not e-mails.). This meant that a UMCA member must pay an annual due of $35.00, then an additional $24.60 in postage stamps in order to appear on a ballot, assuming one can compile all the paper work in time. Of course, the UMCA could state that the mail never arrived on time or the mail could get misplaced in the office. Some of the candidates in the last election are familiar with the stated “clerical” errors.

3) Candidates are allowed to campaign in any methods they want. Has anyone heard of the federal, state, and local’s democratic governments passing laws banning advertising in magazines, mailing endorsement letters, and hosting websites? The UMCA has tried to make the campaign fair to all candidates—as reported in the reference of this blog post:

As stated in another post, Hughes did then take part in creating an endorsement letter for those he wanted—and unquestionably over the other qualified candidates:

We would push for banning UMCA from favoring any particular candidates in their campaigning. If the UMCA gave the resources to one person campaigning for one or more candidates, UMCA must give exactly the same resources to the other candidates.

How about taking formal legal action?

Why we are not taking this to the court house, yet—in answer to one anonymous comment:

I can assume who you are, however will answer the best I can for anyone's interest.

Why not take legal action? Mainly the money. We would need a Colorado lawyer. The costs could be very high and who is going to pay? We’re spread out all over the USA and having sit down meetings and making appearances in Colorado could be very costly for us. We're not talking about $1000 or $2000. The for-profit RAAM, LLC, based in Colorado, who got over $250K from RAAM entry fees alone last year and spent an estimated $100-150K to produce the race, is highly motivated to keep ownership of the race under the non-profit UMCA, while they personally can earn all the money with no “non-profit” financial earning limitations, so they will spend whatever it takes. This deal for them is too good to let it go.

The costs could be 30K or more for this big battle. Who see, the small battle with a UMCA member over the JMC cost the UMCA 18K. Plus, it would take lots of time and drag on and on. I think we are better off slowly influencing members and soon a decent Board may emerge.

Managing Director's contract

Mavis finally found out from the new Board’s Liaison that MD’s old contract was extended to the end of February. The SaveUMCA Team is working around the clock to convince the UMCA directors to realize that our organization needs a new face to be a MD because John Hughes had been a MD for 9 years and the first 5 years was when UMCA was a for-profit organization. The UMCA members of that time fought hard to get the non-profit status, with the goal to put the control of UMCA into the member’s hands instead of a small select group. These UMCA members believe John Hughes and few others are still clinging to the for-profit habits and ways. They are deeply concerned because ever since the IRS recognized the UMCA as a non-profit in April 2005, things have clearly gone downhill. Even through some on the SaveUMCA team were in the governing boards before 2002-2003, we believe a fresh face with healthy non-profit ideas is needed to replace John Hughes.

Our new MD must not have any personal conflicts of interest within the UMCA.

Updated June 22nd, 2008:

There are no further known commuincations of the status. This post will be updated when the information is available.

Final Update (July 29th):

John Hughes's contract was renewed. Please follow this link for more information:

UMCA co-founder John Marino's December letter to UMCA members

December 23, 2007

Dear UMCA Member,

I would like your help. Contained in this email are three items. The top item is my Dec. 19th letter to the President of the UMCA, self explanatory. The next item is the President's response to me. And finally, at the end, is a copy of Article 12 of the UMCA Bylaws.

Ever since delving into the Board election complaints, I hired an attorney who specializes in Non-Profit Law for counciling and advice only. I do not plan on pursuing any legal measures against the Board because that would be like suing the membership (you). I would not do that. I was disheartened to discover that in 2003, the Board asked for donations to cover almost $18,000 in their legal fees on another matter with a UMCA member. I would not want that to be repeated.

Non-profits are supposed to be democratic organizations. By dictate, they should be controlled by the members, and not by private individuals or a group of private individuals. Disputes and differences of opinion should be sorted out from within, by the members. Failure to take a role in our affairs could lead to a cancellation of the non-profit status by the US government, a lawsuit from any member, alienation of members one by one (as is currently the case) and an eventual irrelevance in the cycling community, or a combination of all of the above.

After studying the affairs of the UMCA for the past 5-6 months, along with the definite improprieties of the last Board of Director's election, I have concluded that our UMCA management is seriously flawed. This is difficult to determine by reading Ultra Cycling Magazine or the web site, your two windows into the UMCA. The problem is deep seated and only discovered by digging, (reading the fine print, and interviewing and corresponding with past and present members, almost like an investigative reporter). I will be sharing with you all of my concerns in a future correspondence. It's important that you know that I have reached a crossroads with the Board, where I have two options. (A) Ignore what I know and walk away, resign, or just tune out. Watch the future unfold, knowing that what is going on in our UMCA government will bring about it's eventual destruction. (B) Go to the members for support, with the hopes that power in numbers will cause positive changes and correct the problems. I chose option B.

Right now, I need help in this area: if you have any expertise in non-profits or law, or have easy access to experts, read Article 12 of the Bylaws and evaluate my complaint, per my Dec. 19th letter. My personal attorney assured me that we need a 20% quorum, or must obtain at least 20% of the member's votes, in order to validate an election. Our President does not agree. Based on past inaction to my concerns, I doubt that our Board will be addressing this matter. What do you think?

I welcome your input. You can surely communicate with the Board. Maybe your participation in these matters will influence the Board to become more democratic.

Lastly, some members have formed a Blog and have addressed all of their UMCA concerns. Please read this. We are a young non-profit and we don't want to be ripped apart from within. We must follow the laws of our country, and our Bylaws, to the letter of the law, just like following the rules of our cycling competitions. I believe the UMCA as an organization must value integrity above all other personal aspirations of our individual members.


John Marino
UMCA Co-Founder 1980


From: john marino
To: Joseph M Jamison
Cc: ; ; Tom Buckley ; ; chris hopkinson ; ; ; ; ; Mike Roark ; Jerry Segal ; Cindi J Staiger ; ;

December 19, 2007
Joe Jamison, UMCA President

In a second conversation with my attorney, I have confirmed that the 20% quorum needed to conduct a valid Board of Director's election is an absolute fact, per the UMCA Bylaws. In other words, the UMCA cannot hold an election and claim it to be valid if too few members participate in the election.

John Hughes reported to me in a personal letter that the UMCA obtained 245 votes in the most recent election, then 100 and 150 in the other two elections. I presume the UMCA has had three elections since going non profit.

I am conducting a formal inquiry into this violation. My attorney assured me that the UMCA must cooperate and provide me with the number of members in the UMCA at the time of those three elections. This is a matter of public record. At this time, I don't need the actual mailing lists for verification, only the number of paid UMCA members will suffice for now. Since I am not sure when you held these elections, please check the records and provide this information to me. Please note, I need the entire "paying" membership number, which includes life members and regular members, not the number of members who signed the special waiver promising not to sue the UMCA.

Please let me know when I will be receiving this information. If you have any questions, please contact me.

Happy Holidays

John Marino

----- Original Message -----
From: Joseph M Jamison
To: john marino
Cc: ; ; Tom Buckley ; ; chris hopkinson ; ; ; ; ; Mike Roark ; Jerry Segal ; Cindi J Staiger ; ; John Marino ;
Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2007 9:23 AM
Subject: Re: 20% quorum in BoD elections
Hello John,

As a lay person relating to law, I don't agree with your attorney's interpretation of the language alluding to quorum in our Bylaws. However, since I am a layperson, I'll need time to assure I'm on firm legal ground by consulting our attorney for a professional opinion.

Prior to contacting our attorney, I'm going to review this with the Board. Legal expenses are becoming a serious issue and threaten to endanger our ability to support the programs and services our members expect from the organization. If we are going to be following the road of litigation, I must have the full knowledge and support of the elected officers.

If that support of the Board is forthcoming, I'll then engage our attorney for an opinion. Until I receive that opinion I won't be providing a date, as you've requested, for election related documents.

I'll keep you informed.


Joe Jamison

*******************************************************************************--- Original Message -----
From: john marino
To: Joseph M Jamison
Cc: ; ; Tom Buckley ; ; chris hopkinson ; ; ; ; ; Mike Roark ; Jerry Segal ; Cindi J Staiger ; ; John Marino ; ; Mavis Irwin ; Pat Enright ; ; Robert Giacin ; Seana Hogan ; ; ; Hugh Murphy ; ; ; Doug Sloan
Sent: Friday, December 21, 2007 8:48 PM
Subject: Fw: 20% quorum in BoD elections

UMCA Bylaws, as published on the Ultra cycling web site

Article 12 (Note: for Sections 1 and 2, go to the Ultra Cycling web site. Click on Site Index, then scroll down to Bylaws)

Section 3: Quorum for Meetings

A quorum shall consist of 20% of the voting members of the corporation.

Except as otherwise provided under the Articles of Incorporation, these Bylaws or provisions of law, no business shall be considered by the members at any meeting at which the required quorum is not present, and the only motion which the Chair shall entertain at such meeting is a motion to adjourn.

Section 4. Majority Action As Membership Action
Every act or decision done or made by a majority of voting members present in person or by proxy at a duly held meeting at which a quorum is present is the act of the members, unless the Articles of Incorporation, these Bylaws or provisions of law require a greater number.

Section 5. Voting Rights
Each member is entitled to one vote on each matter submitted to a vote by the members. Voting at duly held meetings shall be by voice vote. Election of Directors, however, shall be by written ballot.

Section 6. Action by Written Ballot
Except as otherwise provided under the Articles of Incorporation, these Bylaws or provisions of law, any action which may be taken at any meeting of members may be taken without a meeting if the corporation distributes a written ballot to each member entitled to vote on the matter. The ballot shall:

1. set forth the proposed action;
2 provide an opportunity to specify approval or disapproval of each proposal;
3. indicate the number of responses needed to meet the quorum requirement and, except for ballots soliciting votes for the election of directors, state the percentage of approvals necessary to pass the measure submitted; and
4. shall specify the date by which the ballot must be received by the corporation in order to be counted. The date set shall afford members a reasonable time within which to return the ballots to the corporation.

Ballots shall be mailed or delivered in the manner required for giving notice of membership meetings as specified in these Bylaws.

Approval of action by written ballot shall be valid only when the number of votes cast by ballot within the time period specified equals or exceeds the quorum required to be present at a meeting arthorizing the action, and the number of approvals equals or exceeds the number of votes that would be required to approve the action at a meeting at which the total number of votes cast was the same as the number of votes cast by ballot.

Directors may be elected by written ballot. Such ballots for the election of directors shall list the persons nominated at the time the ballots are mailed or delivered.

UMCA co-founder John Marino's October letter to UMCA members

October 15, 2007

Dear UMCA Member,

Hello, I hope all is well with you.

Recently you may have received your issue of Ultra Cycling Magazine, July-Aug edition. Depending upon how closely you read it, you may have noticed a report about the May/June Board of Director's election, and the mentioning of my name in regard to a letter I wrote the Board on August 5th. You might want to take time to read the passage. It's also included on

[Editor's note: UMCA's report about the election is no longer locatable on the UMCA website. Click here to see the report copied from July-Aug UMCA magazine.]

The partial information the UMCA reported is really just the tip of the iceberg, thus the reason for this letter. I believe the UMCA has made an error in their representation of me in regard to this issue. The UMCA characterized the information in that letter as "subjective and personal in nature," however, omitted many of the details that prompted me to write of that August 5th letter. Since Ultra Cycling Magazine does not include a "Letters to the Editor" section, where I could rebut what was written about me, I decided to write to you personally.

What's this all about?

The best place to start is at the beginning. The UMCA Board presented the Board of Director's election this past May/June. Six seats were open. A total of 18 UMCA members entered the race, six won, and 12 lost.

All 12 losing candidates believed that the election was run unfairly. I mean ALL losing candidates - not half, not four, not eight, but all. Some of these losing candidates approached selected Board members to complain about specific events that led them to feel this way. They were essentially told that the election was over and that the Board had approved the results.

I learned about this situation from one of the losing candidates and decided to get involved. I began by conducting my own investigation. This involved communication with various members on the Board, as well as past Board members, and people in the general membership. After about three weeks of intense focus on this matter, I too, arrived at the belief that the election was unfair. Altogether, I spent about three months thinking about this, practically during all waking hours of the day and some sleepless nights. It was that troubling to me.

It's important for you to know that my primary goal was to learn the truth. I have no personal stake in choosing one side or the other in this argument. The identity of the winning or losing candidates has no bearing on my desire to get involved. My only interest is fairness. In my opinion, fairness in competition is the cornerstone of the UMCA and must never be compromised.

I decided to be the representative for the 12 losing candidates around early July. Due to my history as a co-founder of the UMCA, we hoped that the Board would open their minds to my (our) complaints and conduct a proper investigation. We did not want to involve the membership in this dispute. I agreed to address only the Board and the 12 losing candidates with respect to this issue. We all would try to seek a resolution amongst ourselves, without membership involvement.

Over the course of the next two months, I presented the Board with our complaints through a series of emails. Since we live throughout the U.S., Great Britain and Europe, emails were our primary method of communication. I asked on several occasions if I could participate in the Board's teleconference meetings to engage in discussions with the Board, and essentially get some answers to some very important questions that could possibly resolve opposing views. I was refused on two different occasions. I eventually was allowed to address the Board, however I was not allowed to engage in a discussion. I was permitted to "give a speech" for about 15-20 minutes at 4PM Pacific Time on Sept. 6th. What I needed was feedback, a discussion with the Board, something that was never granted.

The 12 candidates and I were essentially asking for a repeat election which would allow all members of the UMCA to cast a vote. Under the current structure, only members who signed a waiver promising never to sue the UMCA were allowed to vote. I believe that this is an actual UMCA Bylaw violation, per Article 4, Section 1 of our Bylaws, and possibly a state law violation for non-profit organizations. Nothing is mentioned in the Bylaws that in order for your vote to count, you must sign a waiver not to sue. We asked that all members be sent a self-addressed, stamped post-card which would serve as a ballot, along with a cover letter basically explaining that the reason for a repeat election was low voter turnout (only about 13% of the members voted, and even fewer in the past two elections).

I also presented seven other complaints and questions surrounding the election, each significant and worth evaluating, and contributing to our belief that the election was unfair. I will not mention the details of these complaints at this time, however they relate to the following: improper publishing of candidate biographies, improper campaigning on the part of the UMCA management, improper use of membership directories, conflict of interest improprieties, and non-equal access to mailing lists. I have written over 20 pages of emails to the Board, expressing all these complaints and questions. I believe that all complaints are valid. I provided emailed documents and witness statements relating to our complaints. The Board never acknowledged the validity of the evidence, never asked any questions regarding the evidence, and never would engage me in any type of verbal dialogue. The Board never offered any investigative measures they used to evaluate the complaints. We asked for copies of UMCA documents that were instrumental to the evaluation of our complaints, but never received anything. Per UMCA Bylaws, (Article 7, Section 4), any member has the right to demand and receive UMCA documents for inspection. Nothing was ever received. Whether this "cold shoulder approach" was intentional or not, it ultimately led to no resolution, and certainly did not seem like a non-profit democratic organization. I was not permitted to engage in any type of dialogue with Board members, despite making myself available to call them or be called by them any day of the week, from 8AM to 11PM PST.

The Board later voted not to re-do the election and proclaimed the past election fair and valid.
In the public statement the UMCA made to the members, which I raised at the beginning of this letter, the UMCA made reference to my letter of August 5th. The UMCA had asked me to assign all of our complaints to actual UMCA Bylaw violations, which I did. My letter was never published by the UMCA - just the few select words you saw in the July/Aug Ultra Cycling Magazine.

Most disturbing to me...

Due to the serious nature of this complaint by the 12 losing candidates, I asked that the UMCA Board assign this complaint to an independent arbiter or special independent UMCA committee to review all claims made by the 12 candidates. I offered to pay for a repeat election as well as contribute $1,000 towards an arbiter, to erase the financial deterrent of this option. If this was done, the 12 candidates agreed to abide by whatever new decision was reached. One reason the 12 candidates felt it was important to have an independent group/person take a look at the election was because six of the winning candidates, now seated on the Board, were not exempt from voting on the validity of this election. If these six new Board members were allowed to participate in the discussion, re: the validity of the election, then the 12 losing candidates (or their representative) should have also been allowed to participate in the discussion and present their views. This did not happen. The Board essentially decided this issue "in house," by taking a vote among the 15 Board members.

One way to compare this action is by imagining how RAAM would settle a dispute over the outcome of a race. Let's say 18 racers entered the solo division, six were official finishers and 12 were unofficial finishers. The 12 UF waged a complaint against the directors of the event for questions involving fairness. The RAAM management rounded up all the race directors/staff and the "six official finishers" and held a vote. The vote resulted in proclaiming the race as fair. Are you OK with that?

The complaints and questions about this recent election have prompted the UMCA Board to form a special committee to address election protocols, so obviously the Board feels something was wrong with the past election. I believe that 12 UMCA members were mistreated. If you don't believe me, ask them. I presented ways to attempt to make it right, however it led me down a disturbing and threatening road that no member should ever have to travel.
Perhaps the UMCA should formally establish a mechanism whereby members can address personal complaints, without legal fears. If it means we use a professional arbiter, fine. Perhaps a committee made up of members from all walks of life can be called into action when members feel their rights are being trampled.

What Now? For starters, I believe either an independent entity should evaluate the complaints of the 12 losing candidates or repeat the election. As I mentioned in my 15 minute "speech" to the Board, 12 disgruntled candidates in an election could easily turn into 100 disgruntled UMCA friends, etc. Does that help the UMCA?
If you agree, let the Board know since they represent you. In a real democracy, our representatives must reflect the will of the members.

In no way do I want you to use this letter or information as a reason to not support the UMCA and RAAM. In fact, this letter serves as a reason why you should continue to offer your support. The UMCA is a nonprofit democracy and, therefore, YOUR organization. Stand up for the rights of your fellow members.

To all the 12 losing candidates, don't give up.

Lastly, nothing in my complaint is directed towards the six new board members who won in this last election. They were never individually involved in any of my personal complaints. I believe they were given an advantage in this past election, however it was not due to their actions.

Also, since Board voting is private, I do not know how each individual Board member has evaluated this complaint, therefore I have not publicly assigned blame to anyone on the Board. All my references are directed to the group, "the Board," because the UMCA President made it clear to me that this is the manner in which to direct my complaints. I was told that the Board speaks as one.

Sincerely yours,
John Marino
UMCA co-founder 1980

PS: The information in this letter is directed to official UMCA members on the public mailing list only. If you know of private members who express an interest in receiving this letter, please have them contact me. The reproduction of all or part of this letter is prohibited by John Marino. This is UMCA business and should remain UMCA business.

15 Current UMCA Board members with emails, per UMCA public directory

Joe Jamison, President, email
Chris Hopkinson, Vice President, email
Russ Loomis, Treasurer, email
Nancy Guth, Secretary, email
John Hughes, Managing Director, email
Fred Boethling, RAAM Director (ex officio), email
Ken Bonner (2007 - 2009), email
Tom Buckley (2005 - 2007), email
Don Norvelle (2006 - 2008), email
Muffy Ritz (2005 - 2007), email
Mike Roark (2006 - 2008),
Jerry Segal (2007 - 2008), email
Cindi Staiger (2006 - 2008),
Merry Vander Linden (2007 - 2009),
Terri Gooch, (ex officio), RAAM Qualifier Representative