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

Campaigning letter to UMCA members

Details: The Managing Director of the UMCA, the only paid employee of the UMCA, was the mastermind behind an endorsement letter, called the “Lee Mitchell letter.” This letter was sent to many voting members of the UMCA, recommending that members vote for six particular candidates. Five of these six candidates were serving in the UMCA government at the time of the mailing—most of them appointed—in addition to one other candidate for the 6th slot. This UMCA Managing Director recruited Lee Mitchell, a sitting Board member at the time, and helped him craft this endorsement letter.

Since Mitchell is a highly recognized and respected member, the intention was that this letter would motivate voters to select the six candidates endorsed in this letter. Lee Mitchell did not mail out this letter. Instead, the UMCA’s Managing Director arranged for this letter to be mailed by a former Board member, who is currently working for the Race Across AMerica. It is believed that the UMCA main office provided this person with the most current data bank of UMCA members in the form of “electronic mailing labels” in order to simplify and expedite the mailing process. This area is still under investigation because this person claims to have received a hard copy from the UMCA, thus generated his own list and labels. Regardless, this list was provided well in advance of the election, something not afforded to any of the other candidates. None of the losing candidates had access to this up-to-date date mailing list in advance of the election or the electronic mailing labels. These labels were used exclusively for the benefit of the winning six candidates.

Click on pictures to enlarge the letter:

Free Image Hosting at

Free Image Hosting at

Update on 1/16/08:


Regarding your original testimony of the endorsement letter, you asked that I not share it with anyone publicly. I have abided by your wishes for as long as I could. Now, some UMCA members are urging me to show the evidence of the truth behind "your" letter. I know you will be upset and probably even mad at me, but I can no longer protect you. The UMCA members who seek the truth have to come before our friendship. Sorry, but I am posting this entire e-mail on the blog and everything else I have. This is really about the UMCA's screwed up system and the paying member's voices in this non-profit government are mostly being sealed off by a few people on high horses. It's all wrong and you do know that.



From: Leebikevan@aol.comDate: Thu, 19 Jul 2007 21:14:31 -0400Subject: The good, the bad, the ugly, you pickTo:;;;;;;;;;;;; paul@sparrow-hawk.orgCC:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Seems to be the time.

I met John Hughes on a PAC Tour in 1988. We were slingshotting like the dickens down some nice hill in Arizona, I think. Have crewed for him on two very hot 508s and two very very hard RAAMs. He has been my friend for a long time.

Early this spring, before the full list of candidates was published, not knowing the full slate, I was asked by John to endorse six of them for election to the UMCA Board of Directors, I either knew those six directly or had heard of them and read their bios. Seemed good to me. I had previously nominated Bill Palmer and Mavis Irwin, both superbly capable of doing a good job on the Board.

The endorsement letter was originally written by Jeff Stephens. It passed back and forth between us until it had the language I liked.
It was commercially mailed by Jeff.
I helped pay for it.
I was not forced to sign it.
I did sign it and therefore am responsible for it.

I repeat, I did not know of the full slate of candidates. Some of those I have known, worked with and for and respected for many years. If I had known, probably/maybe I would have written otherwise. Or not written at all. It is done.
So---that's the bad and the ugly, at least so far.

The good::::: of the 18 candidates only five I have not personally met, not crewed for, not crewed with, not helped.

Ken, met you on the 1200k brevet in BC in 2005.
Pat, enjoyed to the utmost crewing with you for Gerry Tatrai in 1992 and 1993 ! Let's go again???
Nick, if I am ever in Texas, I'll stop by.
Bob, thanks for the help with the dead RV on Cat's RAAM in 2005.
Seana, helped you a bit for the LA Grand Tour, just wish I had been with you OR Muffy during your exciting and epic races !!! Wish the men had such a great rivalry, you betcha.
Chris, glad you were able to finish RAAM 2005 with my neck brace.
Mavis, wish I could crew for you on this coming 508, but am committed to the PAC RATS.
Chris, I saw you jump up on the stage at rider intros in San Francisco when all the other riders had walked up the side stairs. Great start and finish to RAAM!
Lou, thanks for our recent conversations--felt like hell for your effort when I saw you at Wolf Creek Pass this year. Tears are hard to measure. Nobody can ever take away your effort and dedication.
Russ;, thanks for crewing for Becky's RAAM. Think I worked you pretty hard !!
Guus--you have always been a great person at RAAM. A pleasure to see you every year.
Hugh, crewed for you on a couple of hard 508s and a really hard RAAM. Won't forget.
Bill, I expect to see you on some riparian reconstruction project in the near future.

Paul, Joe, Jerry, Doug, Merry--keep up the good work for all of us, we need all the help we can get for our singular addiction to ultra-cycling.

My very heartfelt apologies to all those I have offended this spring. My apologies to those I offend today.
Try my shoes on, they won't fit you either.

Take care, Lee

No justified help for other candidates's campaigning

The six winning candidates received a great benefit, (or boost) in the election by having their campaign endorsement material mailed to voting UMCA members on a timely basis.

Mavis Irwin, a losing candidate, decided to conduct her own campaign mailing. Almost forty days prior to the voting deadline, she requested that the UMCA send her the electronic mailing list, same one used for the Lee Mitchell letter. (Some other candidates also placed this request.) This was a legal mailing list request, per the UMCA Bylaws. Irwin did not receive this list until June 5th and the deadline for voting was June 9th. Plus, the mailing list she received was in “hard copy” format, not in label form, thus she had to enter every name and address into her computer to produce her own mailing labels. This process took her over a week, by then the voting deadline had passed. Irwin sent nothing, having been denied equal and timely access to the mailing lists. The UMCA has no reasonable comment as to why it took so long for them to send Irwin her mailing list.

Conflicts of the "Lee Mitchel letter"

A losing candidate, Bill Palmer, submitted his biography to the UMCA secretary, for publication in the voter package in Ultra Cycling Magazine. Bill Palmer’s opening sentence in the bio he emailed to the UMCA read as follows: “Thank you Lee ‘Fuzzy’ Mitchell for nominating me to run for the UMCA Board of Directors.” This opening sentence was missing in the voter package in Ultra Cycling Magazine. This was a very important sentence for Palmer and for the UMCA Management. If this sentence were to appear, it would not coincide with the Lee Mitchell endorsement letter. It would look odd that Mitchell endorsed six particular candidates in his letter, of which Palmer was not one.

In fact, Mitchell also publicly nominated Mavis Irwin to run for the Board of Directors and yet she was not one of the six people he endorsed in his “Lee Mitchell letter.”

Bill Palmer has produced his original email to the UMCA with the date stamp on his emailed statement and will send anyone else his copy of the letter containing his statement. Despite several requests to the UMCA since August, no copy of the statement Palmer sent to the UMCA has been produced. They contend that Palmer is lying about the omitted opening sentence.

Another losing candidate, Seana Hogan, had an editor’s note added to her published biography in the UMCA magazine, noting her relationship with another candidate. The UMCA editor should have checked with Hogan prior to editing information in her submitted biography. The UMCA’s response was it was wrong of Seana to “hide” her relationship to another candidate. She was not hiding her marriage to Pat Enright (also a losing candidate) – she didn’t feel it had a place in her 150-word limit candidate statement.

Seana's pay-for rejected political advertisement

Seana Hogan wanted to purchase her own political advertisement in Ultra Cycling Magazine. After the Managing Director, who is also the chief editor of the magazine, realized that Hogan was planning to purchase an ad in the magazine, the UMCA made the following announcement on the UMCA website: “Out of fairness to all candidates, no advertisements from, for, or about any candidate or campaign issue will be published in either the January-February or March-April issues of Ultra Cycling. The only exception is that already planned ads for events in the JMC will be published in the January-February issue.”

Reference of the announcement--located near the bottom of webpage.

(Ironically, this fairness to all candidates was reversed by the same Managing Director when he took the lead in putting together a campiganing letter for the six he wanted to win.)

This was what Seana's advertisement said:

The UMCA Needs You Now!

Spring is just around the corner, and all of us will soon be enjoying another summer of epic rides, races, and meetings with dear friends, old and new.

This letter is a call to action, not only to prepare a new cycling season and make it special, but also to take a closer look than ever before at the organization that runs our great sport, namely the UMCA. The future of ultra cycling rests in the hands of the UMCA and—if you use your vote—in your hands too..

Those that follow the Ultra Cycling list on will know that a vivid debate has been taking place, sparked by the purchase of RAAM by the UMCA. To some of you this will come as news.

The purchase required a change of the UMCA constitution, in which all members should have been given the opportunity to vote. After weighing all the issues, I am still not 100% sure which way I would have voted. But the point is: as a UMCA member I would have liked information and the chance to have some say in the matter. After all, it affects my organization at the most fundamental level. I was only informed through the topica listserv, after the RAAM deal had been agreed upon.

Regrettably the RAAM purchase is only the tip of the iceberg. The governance of our association has become very concentrated and is now in the hands of a small group of individuals who don't answer to the general membership. This is a sorry state of affairs, and in my view we are all responsible for allowing it to go this far. We have been slowly deprived of all our rights to influence our organization, and the Board of Directors has been non-functional. The solution lies in all of us learning more about the UMCA, and voting in the forthcoming elections.

The wonderful thing about our democratic system is that we, the ordinary people, get a say in how things are run. And as they say: "Use it or lose it!"

A newsletter will arrive in your email box soon. This will inform you of some issues I hope you will consider when choosing how to cast your vote in the forthcoming election. I do not propose to suggest who you vote for, because I prefer that you make up your own mind. But most of all, I ask that you take a little time to work out what the real issues are and to consider how these affect your vote.

If you have any questions, please send them to this email address:

(Link to the original.)

Not all paying members permitted to vote

The UMCA instituted a last-minute rule that requires all voting members to sign a waiver promising not to sue the UMCA. Starting in April, a month before the election started, all members who join the UMCA must sign a waiver not to sue, so these members were required to provide their signature, birth date, and addresses to the UMCA prior to a certain date for their vote to count. Any life members who joined prior to this waiver rule were not allowed to vote unless they submitted a waiver not to sue. For some of them it meant losing their legal rights protected by their life memberships before the rule was in place. Nothing in the Bylaws state members must agree to sign a legal waiver in order to cast a vote. The UMCA reportedly has a dismal history of obtaining votes from members for BoD elections.


2003 2004 2005 2006
1,240 1,354 1,258 1,658

The UMCA has held three elections.

First got 150 votes, second got 100 votes, and third 250 votes (third election was the one involving the Mitchell letter and the formal protest).

Violation of private policy

At least one UMCA member on the private mailing list was sent the Lee Mitchell letter, meaning that the UMCA illegally released this private person’s address to an unauthorized non-Board member who actually mailed out the letters. It is possible that additional private member’s addresses were also released, however there is no way of knowing since the UMCA will not conduct an open investigation on this matter. (The SaveUMCA team heard of at least three other private members who also got the letter, but they are still investigating these claims.)

None of the losing candidates had access to this private mailing list. This private member has indicated that he is resigning from the UMCA and is demanding a refund of his membership fee. Not all public UMCA members got the Lee Mitchell letter, and not all private members got the letter either. However, if you are on the private list and got the letter, please contact UMCA co-founder John Marino immediately. He will protect your privacy and ensure this is not overlooked. E-mail:

Reference: May 5th public post concerning the private contacts.

Updated March 19th, 2008:

On November 30th 2007, Jack Bochsler agreed to come public with the other members of SaveUMCA Team. He was a UMCA member since 2004 and his contract information was never public. UMCA privately e-mailed him (and Marino) on or about October 27, 2007:

Joseph M Jamison wrote:

John and Jack,

On behalf of the Board and members of the UMCA, please accept my sincere apology for this unfortunate error. If you will forward copies to me of the material you have, related to the incident, I pledge that we will see what additional safeguards must be provided to see that this doesn't happen in the future. I will see that this problem is included in the concerns being addressed by the working committee presently developing procedures for the next election.

Respectfully, Joe Jamison: Pres.

Jack have since withdrew his membership and moved on because it was clear it was a hard mistake to make. Furthermore, if Hughes compared the public UMCA directory and the list he gave Jeff Stephens alphabetically, it wouldn’t take him long to notice “Bochsler” was supposed to not be there like it never was ever since he became a member in 2004. In the May 5th, 2007 public words of Hughes on the topic: “There are multiple ways to validate the list and I've done that. That isn't my point. If someone is going to make a serious public charge about someone else without providing any evidence, that is nothing more than an unsubstantiated rumor, not a statement of fact.”

Board's decision relating the unjusticed election

The formal complaint lodged by the 12 losing candidates regarding election improprieties should have been reviewed by an independent group of people. Almost half of the UMCA Board members who voted on this issue should have rescued themselves from the vote. They benefited from this past election and should not have acted in judgment on this issue as shown in the letter to UMCA members below.

2007 Election of Directors

September 17, 2007

On June 27, 2007 the UMCA Board of Directors (the "Board") had met by teleconference call and confirmed the results of the 2007 election of Directors to the Board.

On September 6, 2007, the Board held a hearing in two sessions regarding the 2007 election of Directors to the Board. The first session was to hear a statement from John Marino, co-founder of the UMCA, regarding the handling of the 2007 election. The second session was to hear the report of the Executive Committee of the Board: Joe Jamison, President, Chris Hopkinson, Vice President, Russ Loomis, Treasurer, Nancy Guth, Secretary and John Hughes, Managing Director (the "Executive Committee"). This letter is intended to provide the UMCA membership with the results of the Board's hearing.

At approximately 7:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Mr. Marino joined the Board members in attendance via teleconference to present his remarks. Mr. Marino was provided 15-20 minutes of uninterrupted time, followed by 5-10 minutes for the Directors to ask for clarification of his remarks if required. At no time was Mr. Marino to be rebutted on his remarks. Mr. Marino did not refer directly to the points in his letter of August 5, 2007, but rather focused on the history of the UMCA, the importance of timely response to problems voiced by the membership and the image members develop from the behavior of the Board. At approximately 7:30 p.m., Mr. Marino indicated that he appreciated the opportunity of addressing the Board. The Board thanked Mr. Marino and expressed its appreciation for Mr. Marino's dedication and work to the UMCA.

Following the conclusion of Mr. Marino's statement, a break was taken and the Board reconvened with the second session to hear the report of the Executive Committee. Comments from several Directors confirmed the respect Mr. Marino holds with this Board. It was expressed that his comments were from the heart, reflecting his passion for the sport and the organization.

The Executive Committee stated it reviewed each allegation made in the letter from Mr. Marino dated August 5, 2007. The Committee noted it was troubled by the inadvertent delay of the election. It also acknowledged that Mr. Marino raised many complaints, using adjectives such as: unfair, unethical, immoral, disingenuous, suspicious actions and morally questionable behavior. However, the Committee noted that these criteria were subjective and personal in nature making it difficult, if not impossible to fairly assess and evaluate. Instead, the Committee reviewed the adopted standards set forth in the UMCA's bylaws and rules for the election. After doing so, the Committee concluded that no violation of the bylaws or rules occurred.

It is the opinion of the Board that, during the election, there was aggressive campaigning on the part of some of the UMCA members. Judging from the prolonged intensity of the campaigning, this level of campaigning is not acceptable in the future. This level of campaigning was the central target of criticism in Mr. Marino's letter. Recognizing this, on August 10, 2007 the Executive Committee created the Committee on Board Elections for the express purpose of studying the complaints raised by Mr. Marino and others, and to then make recommendations for any necessary changes to election procedures.

Therefore, the Board reconfirmed that the 2007 election stands and, that aside from missing the date for holding the election, no other specific bylaws were violated.

Joe Jamison,
President, UMCA

UMCA rejected to redo the unjustifed election

When the complaints were formally presented to the UMCA Board of Directors, there was a consensus of opinion among Board members that mistakes were made by many people involved in the election. No particular individuals were willing to own up to any mistakes or injustices. The Board was very receptive to correcting all of the complaints in the “next” election, however no apologies were forthcoming for this past election.

The 12 candidates suggested that one way to rectify this entire situation was to repeat the election in a fair manner, the way it should have originally been presented. The recommendation was that a first class letter could be sent to all UMCA members with a cover letter explaining that due to the poor voter turnout, a repeat vote is requested. The letter would contain a list of candidates, correct unedited biographies, and a self addressed stamped post card that would serve as the ballot. All members would be urged to fill out their ballot by a certain cut-off date and drop it in the mail. John Marino offered to cover all costs of the mailing, as not to deplete the treasury. This was a harmless alternative that would have prevented any further discussion on this matter. Despite the several injustices in the past election, the losing candidates all agreed to abide by the results of this repeat election. The UMCA Board rejected this plan. The Board’s repeated position of believing that the past election was fair and valid, despite agreeing that an election committee with new election rules are needed, creates suspicion in the minds of many UMCA members.

A repeat election is sensible, logical, and potentially would result in new and/or the same Board members that were actually elected by a large segment of the membership. What is so harmful about this alternative? This blog is part of the fallout brought on by the current UMCA Board and something the Board fully expected.

This begs the questions. Is the Board more interested in the welfare of the membership at large, or their personal benefits as being leaders of the UMCA? The UMCA appears to be quite willing to take your donations as they praise their new founded non-profit democratic status, but when it comes to actually behaving like a democratic non-profit organization, that’s a different story altogether. It appears that too many people in the current controlling factions of the UMCA government also have private agendas, thus the cause of all this unrest.

Why would our UMCA leaders go to such great measures to pre-select candidates in a public UMCA election? Why risk being caught and tarnishing the reputation of the UMCA? What is so important about these six candidates or perhaps, what is so harmful about the losing candidates? The UMCA management seems to go to great lengths to silence certain people and restrict fair access to the UMCA Board. Why not make this go away by permitting a repeat election? It’s believed by many members that some UMCA Board jobs are up for renewal at the end of 2007, thus the importance of crafting a Board with like minded views.

Now, since the UMCA owns RAAM, this presents a whole new set of possibilities that have not yet been fully disclosed. There is still much we don’t know about this deal. We know that some Board members are also partners in a private corporation called RAAM, LLC. This does present some conflict of interest situations that the Board will simply not address. Much is still not known about the terms of the RAAM contract. Despite some members requesting copies of the RAAM contract documents, (as allowed per the Bylaws), the UMCA has yet to comply.

Perhaps the UMCA should return to a private ownership or should sever all associations to owning RAAM. It would help if the UMCA leaders would come to terms with the true spirit of a non-profit association, and conduct business openly.

Questions we need to ask ourselves


1) Do you feel the UMCA should put your company’s logo on the UMCA’s homepage after all of these years, especially if you donated money/equipment to UMCA?

2) How did you feel about having your logo in small print on the back of RAAM's $20 T-shirts in 2007?


1) The UMCA did thank all of you, like old friends, but were you ever aware and concerned about the UMCA’s questionable actions, such as those impossible to deny, listed in this blog?

12/24/48 Event Directors:

1) How do you feel about RAAM overshadowing your events on the website and in the magazines?

2) Sure, the UMCA has a couple of programs in place devoted to your events, but do you ever feel it is helping to make your events better known?

3) Do you think the space in the UMCA magazines can be better used to cover your events? Instead, 20-50 pages of the 60-100 per year are filled with updated names and lists. (These types of lists are more suited for updates on the UMCA website.)

4) How do you feel about the RAAM Program being released 6 days after the start of RAAM with over 30 pages of information already found on the RAAM website? Would you prefer that some of that space be used for your summertime events or programs that actually involve you?

UMCA current and former members:

1) Did you ever win an event, placed high in the standings, or break a record, but get more ink in the UMCA magazine for having DNF'd?

2) Do you feel that your $35 per year membership dues were fair after you were denied your right to have UMCA Bylaw violations investigated? Do you think it is right for a member who breaks a cycling record to wait for as long as 6 months for the magazine to recognize and announce this accomplishment? Should you be expected to use your own stamp and envelope to send in your voting ballot? How do you feel when UMCA magazines arrive 1-2 months late and look like cheap newspapers compared to those colorful, glossy magazines from other $15-20 per
year membership non-profit organizations?

3) Do you think you might be more motivated if you could read more articles about average cyclists participating in 12/24/48 hour events? Would you like to know more about these events?

Predictions of what will happen next

Based on what has transpired in the UMCA up until this point in time, these are only predictions. Should these come true, we will not be surprised. (The UMCA has not surprised us for a long time now.)

Prediction #1: When the current Managing Director's contract expires, a new contract will be written by the same Executive Committee members that decided that there were no violations of Bylaws, regardless of all the evidence that has been presented. This new contract will likely not be shown to the UMCA members, who are legally the owners of the UMCA and have legal rights to view these UMCA contracts.

Prediction #2: The current Managing Director, who was in this position for the pass nine years, may continue, or turn over his reigns to somebody he knows will handle things similar to how he did them. (We will not say names, but we know of a few possible candidates. It’s scary.) We do have a volunteer, Lou Lamoureux, interested in the position and has plans to make the UMCA grow quicker. UMCA chose to publicly tell him how hard the job was and will likely continue to keep him out of UMCA's government system. There are no known report of UMCA seeing his resume and in-detail plans he provided to people who asked him offline.

Reference: UMCA Managing Director Position volunteer.

UMCA's public comments relating managing director position volunteering.

Prediction #3: The Board will change the Constitution and Bylaws, so it will be in harmony with the RAAM Sale. They do know there are changes they need to make in the Constitution and Bylaws. Update on December 2007: No change were done to make the UMCA-RAAM partnership legal in the UMCA's Constitution and Bylaws in the October 22nd, 2007 Bylaw amending meeting. Update on June 2008: Still no public report of the change. Thus, the partnership is violating the UMCA Constitution and Bylaw for 1 and 1/2 years now.

Prediction #4: The UMCA government is leaning towards a ban of all future campaigning by candidates. Their reason was due to “aggressive campaigning” in the last election. How many of the 12 “screwed up” candidates were aggressive? In reality, the six winning candidates were the beneficiaries of 'insider' campaigning efforts by our UMCA Managing Director and his loyal Board member/friend.

Prediction #5: The Executive Committee will continue to take full control of things with the inputs of the RAAM wing. The remaining members of the Board of Directors will continue to be largely ignored when they raise ideas and questions.

Prediction #6: If any UMCA members at large e-mail the Board about something serious, the members in the Executive Committee will say something along these lines: "Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We will get back to you shortly." Then they typically neglect their duty to meaningfully reply to dues-paying UMCA members. (This is already happening.)

Control of communating channels

The control of what goes into the UMCA magazine is one thing.

Trying to control the UMCA on-line forum is another thing.

To those who may remember, the UMCA started an open forum on the Topica site for discussion of things related to ultra marathon cycling. Since the actions of the Managing Director were being criticized on a regular basis, he shut down the Topica site. He started a new forum under the Google server with the ability to censor posts, and prohibited all political discussions. In summary, he silenced his critics.

It was recorded that one UMCA member did dare to test the enforcement of the UMCA-controlled new Google list. He has now been banned from this list. Interestingly, one of the candidates who won the May 2007 late election violated the new list's “no politics rule” on several occasions. Even with these banned posting by this elected Board of Director member, he was later made the UMCA's new Vice President. (Unable to provide links because this Google list can't be viewed by non-members.)

The UMCA members are now left with literally no freedom of speech through the UMCA channels. Yes, there is now an UMCA-controlled yahoo group list for political issues, but anyone who dares to question someone's actions (such as the Managing Director) can be booted off by him.

Trying to hide the old public records?

Curiosity, an independent non-UMCA member enjoying the ultracycling sport kindly moved 7 years of ultracycling posts from topica to a new ultracycling list on the google server months before the UMCA-owned ultracycling google list was set up. His purpose was to give the ultracyclists a more dependable list than the lagging topica. One can wonder: Was the Managing Director trying to put the public records of his past actions under rocks? This google list with 7 years of topica posts were what the Managing Director himself publicly mischaracterized at least twice.

Reference: Purpose of Joe Gross setting up the google list and waiting for making the move official.

Joe Gross's comments when Managing Director decided to make his own google list instead.

The Managing Director mischaracterizing the "Joe Gross's" list.

Joe Gross's reply to the major mischaracterizing.

Managing Director's last mischaracterizing and reply.

Election of a Non-UMCA member (who publicly resigned his membership)

The appointed Vice President of UMCA publicly resigned from his office and the election. He also withdrew his UMCA membership. Original public e-mail:

This is a sad day for me. I am withdrawing from the election, resigning all offices which I currently hold as well as my membership in the UMCA which dates from 1986 effective this date.There have been too many implications by too many people to use legal action for ?what? My's a bike club...are you crazy?? I personally don't know of anything that has transpired that would justify that action, but I'm at the age where I couldn't recover from a financial penalty if there was one and I can't trust you people to be reasonable. I've 14 grandchildren who may need my support for college and the risk isn't fair to them.Don't bother to flame me or gloat that you finally drummed out one of Hughes' cronies. I won't be reading it. I'm unsubscribing and I will NOT take calls, or e-mail from ANY UMCA member. I'm done!

Joe Jamison

The Managing Director's e-mail of support:
Joe and I have been good friends for many years. Joe has chaired the JMC for the past four years, a time of tremendous growth in the program. Joe also puts on the UltraMidwest series - two double centuries and the 24/12/6 hour races.

Joe is a good man. He's worked very hard on the JMC and on promoting events. He's given a tremendous amount to this sport.

It is absolutely outrageous that people would express such venom on the listserv that Joe would decide to resign.

Staiger, your malicious posts are a clear example of why RAAM refuses to allow you to officiate. They demonstrate why one year in RAAM your crew dumped all your gear out of the van, drove off and left you. You haven't done squat for the UMCA - and your vicious remarks have driven a fine man out of the UMCA.

Read through UltraCycling since 1998. Do you find any articles by Staiger? Do you find any programs she is helping as a volunteer . . . or even participating in?

I am very saddened that Staiger has driven Joe out of the UMCA; however, I support Joe's decision 100%. I've written him to thank him for all he has done and to let him know that I value our friendship above all. And I am very sorry that comments on the listserv have caused him to resign.


As of this post, the UMCA owners (all of the members out there) didn't see any public post that indicated Jamison was back as a UMCA member. The first known public report of Jamison being back is after UMCA counted Joe Jamison's ballot and elected him. The UMCA members at large can only wonder if he came back because the Managing Director and others realized he would win the election even through he publicly took off. The members repeatedly asked the UMCA why Jamison was included in the election and got no straight answer so far. Thus, when thinking along the line of the law, the UMCA elected a non-member and this is legally in violation of the UMCA's Bylaws. The UMCA decided to not communicate with the UMCA members questioning this and made Joe Jamison a new Board of Director and he’s now the UMCA President.

Managing Director's role in RAAM matters

After the sale of RAAM, the UMCA’s Managing Director publicly posted his role, as follows: "The employment contract with the Board remains my sole organizational responsibility. I am not, nor will I be an officer or employee of RAAM." This same Managing Director also said in the Nov-Dec 2006 UMCA magazine that he would however become involved in RAAM matters through programs having no financial benefits to him.

Some members have valid concerns that the UMCA’s Managing Director is getting too heavily involved in RAAM. Many UMCA members are non-RAAM customers. The UMCA seems to take this “in your face attitude” about RAAM and force you to buy into the big box notion that RAAM is the “be all and end all” reason why the UMCA exists. For example, in a public post in early May, our Managing Director comments, "I'm working on the RAAM Guide in VeloNews and the UltraCycling/RAAM program. I will be devoting almost all my time to them."

A dereliction of duty: One of the losing candidates in the BoD election, Mavis Irwin, (and others) requested a UMCA directory a couple of days prior to the Managing Director's e-mail Topica forum post relating to his time commitment to the RAAM program (as explained above). It is evident that the Managing Director didn't put UMCA member’s business first because their request for an electronic directory was not sent for almost 40 days (then it was a paper copy for Irwin). Our Managing Director was observably so preoccupied with RAAM business that he contributed to the loss of opportunity for several of our members who thought they were candidates in a fair election. (For paper copies of the public UMCA directory during non-emergency times, the requests typically were completed in about 14 days for the “favorable” UMCA members.) Here, it was suspected that the Managing Director put RAAM first and ignored the candidate’s justified need for fairness in the last election...and these people were his customers.

Updated in June:

(Update with more evidence pending.)

E-mail to Managing Director's Friends

Some of the outsiders got the e-mail below from the Managing Director calling for attacks on two UMCA female members. This action was clearly a call for termination of the Managing Director according to the contract. The UMCA, however, ignored what easily would be a lawsuit and the Managing Director never publicly denied this.

This is still under investigation.

Original e-mail forwarded from an anonymous tipster and validated by a different anonymous tipster forwarding the same thing:

Subject: Favor
Date: Sun, 6 May 2007 11:55:19 EDT
To: __________________

Hi ________

I hope all is well!

You're on the ultra chat list at Topica and you've probably seen the many malicious messages from Cindi Staiger, Seana Hogan and othes. As a result of all of this Joe Jamison, a very good man, has decided to resign. Their attacks drove him out of the UMCA.

Would you please post a note to Topica - in your own words - making two points:

1) the posts of a few people have have destroyed the value of this forum. If you want you can be specific - the posts of Cindi Staiger and Seana Hogan have so poisoned the forum that . . . or, if you prefer, don't name names.
2) as a result you are unsubscribing and from now on will rely on the Google group for you information about the sport. You are already a member and that is where we will post any UMCA and RAAM information.

Many thanks!

John Hughes
Managing Director
UltraMarathon Cycling Association
PO Box 18028
Boulder, CO 80308-1028


Missing loops in UMCA financial reports

For a long time, people were questioning the status of the holes in the UMCA financial reports. Due to pressure from UMCA members, the belated 2003, 2004, and 2005 financial reports were finally published in the Jan-Feb 2007 UMCA magazine. UMCA members were skeptical of the reports, as one publicly put it:

HI All,
I just got Ultracycling in the mail and I also had a chance to peruse Seana Hogan's website ( Thanks Seana! If her information is correct, then the UMCA financial statements are wrong. I'm an MBA, not an accountant, so a CPA could probably spell this out better, but I'll take a stab at it.

John Hughes receives two full page ads in every issue of Ultracycling as part of his compensation. In this post-Enron, post-Worldcom era, everybody should recognize that 2 full pages of advertisement has value and that value should be reported as income to John Hughes and as an expense to the UMCA. Since the UMCA is on a cash basis, I think they only have to report the amount that JH actually uses (while an accrual basis would require writing off the whole amount whether he used it or not). The total annual value of this perk is a maximum of $1350. Not much unless you consider that to be almost 10% of his old cash salary. Does he sell his space to advertisers when he's not using it?

Next. John Hughes has a license to use the UMCA brand for Jerseys, windbreakers, etc. while the contract doesn't specify what this is worth, it does have value and the IRS would probably want to know what the value is and therefore it should be listed in the financial statements or at least addressed in the written explanation that accompanies the statements. Any accountants want to take a stab at valuing the brand? I'm guessing that the IRS would assign some percentage to the actual jersey and commemoratives sales. I, like Seana, am shocked that money spent on UMCA jerseys does not go to the UMCA.

Finally. Back issues of ULTRACYCLING...This has value and should be reported, John makes money off of the back issues and this should be reported as compensation to him, after all the printing costs are listed as an expense to the UMCA. Again, I'm shocked that money spent on back issues of Ultracycling does not benefit the UMCA. Are there any checks in place to make sure JH isn't purchasing more than is necessary? Is the UMCA paying the shipping on these magazines(if so, talk about pure, no risk profit)?

Individually, it might not seem like a lot. he might not make a lot on the advertising, or the jerseys, or the back issues, but add it up and there is a big gaping hole in the UMCA financial statements, maybe not WORLDCOM big, but big enough to make me wonder...if the financial statements don't show a measly $1300 bump to his salary, what else don't we know? What other things are hidden? What other ethical lapses are there?

Lou Lamoureux
P.S. this is not a joke.

Delay of Board of Director elections

Background: The Board of Director members have two-year term limits. Vacancies for positions on the Board of Directors shall be filled in the following manner: The Board shall establish nomination procedures each year not later than the September-October issue of the newsletter for any position which is vacant or whose holder’s term will expire that year. The ballot then shall be included in the November-December issue of the newsletter. Completed ballots shall be returned within 45 days of the date of the mailing of the newsletter.

What happened: The December 2006 election didn’t start until May 2007. So, starting in January 2007, a small group of concerning UMCA members pressured UMCA to get moving with the election. (UMCA did say they were delaying the elections because of the RAAM sale pending, which was a move not all the UMCA Board of Director members knew about until about November 22nd after they were lied about it in October. November 22nd was a date AFTER the September-October magazine was supposed to be finished.)

Reference: First public urgent to start the election.

The 2006 election spanned six months, from the start of “pressuring to hold the election” to the deadline date of mailing ballots. It should normally extend four months, per the Bylaws. Yes, part of this was because of the magazine not being ready on time, plus the slow bulk mail delivery during the first three months of 2007. However, it doesn't explain reasons for the UMCA's long delay (between August 2006 to December 2006) for getting the election process going. Based on the timeline, if members were not publicly pushing for the UMCA to get started with the election, the 2006 election may not have been concluded until September 2007.

Out of fairness to the UMCA, the Managing Director did attempt to help the situation. Prior to UMCA member's urging to proceed with the election, he posted two magazines on the website. The candidate statement deadline was postponed, so candidates would have a chance to submit their statements. Even the last-minute “illegal” resister to vote deadline was postponed from two weeks to four weeks from the date of announcement. Lastly, the Managing Director sent out the magazines containing the ballots through first-class US mail costing the UMCA over $2000. The Managing Director could have packed only the election material and the ballot in an envelope and mailed it first class non-profit status, costing about $300-$400, then send the magazine through normal bulk mail. This would have saved the UMCA a considerable amount of money, plus provided a larger turnout of voters in the election. Why was the ballot sent in the magazine, buried on page 27? We can only speculate that if he would have done a special mailing of the ballot, the voter turnout would have been larger, thus less possibility of controlling the voting population of the UMCA, less possibility of electing his six pre-selected candidates in the election.

Meanwhile, seven directors on the UMCA Board were serving illegally for six months (six to be elected by UMCA members and one to be elected by RAAM, LLC Inc.)

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

The majority of the people involved in the sale of RAAM to the UMCA and the creation of a “for profit” corporation called RAAM LLC, Inc. (who were granted rights from the UMCA to produce RAAM) are leaders in the UMCA government and investors in RAAM LLC, Inc. In other words, these individuals are wearing two hats and are in conflict of interest in several areas. What is best for the UMCA and what is best for RAAM is not always the same. What we have is a private company taking advantage of a non-profit 501(c)3 association and maximizing their personal earning potential. It is believed by many UMCA members that these private investors are trying to have as much control over the affairs of the UMCA as possible.

Fred Boethling:
RAAM 'Angel': Boethling and Hughes are the leaders in buying RAAM from start to finish.
RAAM LLC, Inc.: The CEO has exclusive rights to host RAAM for the next 5 years and also is investing in the company.
RAAM Officer: Boethling is the RAAM President/CEO.
UMCA-RAAM Business: Crafted the contract between UMCA and RAAM.
Executive Committee: Boethling is now a non-elected member, non-attorney, present in the committee making UMCA Bylaw changes as reported in the September-October UMCA issue. You can observe that all changes will benefit his earning potential in RAAM.
Board of Directors: Boethling is now sitting on the UMCA Board instead of the RAAM Race Director, per the rules in the Bylaws. He takes part in all known teleconferences.

John Hughes:
RAAM 'Angel': Hughes and Boethling are the leaders in buying RAAM from start to finish, as Hughes reported in Greg Pressler’s article.
RAAM LLC, Inc.: Hughes is investing in RAAM LLC, Inc. and he said his profits from RAAM, LLC will go to the Annemarie McSweeney Program. However, there are UMCA members who have lost trust in Hughes and wonder about this.
UMCA-RAAM Business: Hughes assisted in developing UMCA's contract for licensing RAAM to RAAM LLC, Inc. Hughes is the Managing Director of the UMCA and presents a clear conflict of interest in all matters that involve RAAM. (Again, this is why some UMCA members wanted to see the contract between UMCA and RAAM.) All requests for seeing the actual contract have been denied.
Executive Committee: Of course, he is on the committee.
Board of Directors: Of course, he's part of the Board.

Terry Zmrhal:
RAAM 'Angel': One of the donors helping to purchase RAAM.
RAAM LLC, Inc.: Zmrhal is an investor in the company.
RAAM Officer: Zmrhal is the Race Director--and was supposed to be on the Board because of his title, not Boethling.

Muffy Ritz:
RAAM 'Angel': One of the donors helping to purchase RAAM.
RAAM LLC, Inc.: Ritz is an investor in the company.
Board of Director: Elected member of the Board, who voted to approve RAAM Sale. Her Board term will end when the next election is completed and approved.

Lee Mitchell:
RAAM 'Angel’: One of the donors helping to purchase RAAM.
RAAM LLC, Inc.: Mitchell is an investor in the company.
Board of Director: Elected member of the Board, who voted to approve RAAM Sale. His Board term ended on June 2007, after the May 2007 election approval.

Jeff Stephen:
RAAM Officer: Currently working in the VP Sales and Marketing area.
UMCA-RAAM Business: Helped Hughes write the 'Lee Mitchell Letter' for campaigning for the six candidates Hughes wanted on the Board. He mailed the letters.
Executive Committee: UMCA Treasurer at the time of RAAM Sale.
Board of Director: Took part in the meeting to approve the RAAM Sale, but didn't take part in the voting. He later resigned from the Board to work as a RAAM officer to avoid any legal conflicts of interest.

Walt Chapman:
RAAM 'Angel': One of the donors to helping purchase RAAM.
RAAM LLC, Inc.: Chapman is investing in the company.

RAAM sale problems

The RAAM sale has been a major reason for causing unrest among many UMCA members. The manner in which this sale was conducted, along with the actual published information about the contract, threaten the wellness of the UMCA as an independent, non-profit, and democratic organization.

Some members recognize that about 90% of the things reported in this full blog disclosure would not have happened if the UMCA members knew RAAM was up for sale back in June 2006.

The involved parties of the RAAM sale were the following: The seller Jim Pitre and Lon Halderman. The buyer was the UMCA’s Managing Director, John Hughes, and Fred Boethling, according to John Hughes’s report published in Greg Pressler’s article (click to see article.) Both Hughes and Boethling secretly portrayed themselves as agents for the UMCA, however in actuality they were not. They had no authority to deal or negotiate on behalf of the UMCA. The financial investors or “Angels” involved two members of the UMCA Board of Directors (both on the Board at the time of the sale and they voted to approve it). Apart from these two Board members, most of the official members of the UMCA Board of Directors knew nothing about the sale beforehand. Some members of the Board were even told lies concerning the sale being negotiated in October 2006 when they inquired the movements they noticed.

Based on what has been published by the UMCA, RAAM and the UMCA are two legally separate organizations, but there is evidence suggesting these two organizations are not separated in practice. The details of the RAAM sale are still sketchy since the business contracts are held in private and will likely always be in private. According to the UMCA, the rationale for privacy of the contract is this: Since RAAM LLC, Inc. is a private company, the contract can remain private. In other words, if the UMCA goes into business with 100 different “private” companies, no UMCA Board members or general members will have access to seeing any of the contracts unless the private company says it’s OK. So, each one of these private contracts can potentially violate all sorts of non-profit laws and financially benefit selected UMCA members, and the UMCA members at large will never know. The non-profit status of the organization could be in jeopardy and there is not a thing we can do about it because we will always be kept in the dark on the “essential parts” of our business contracts. This, in fact, puts the UMCA’s non profit status at risk.

Truth to be known: There are parts of this licensing contract between the UMCA and RAAM that our leaders (who happen to be UMCA/RAAM leaders, wearing two hats) don’t want you to know. They have become quite proficient in spinning information, but will not reveal the contract.

More details on the sale of RAAM

1)Ever since December 2006, there were reports of no one else having an interest in buying RAAM and, “If the UMCA, in partnership with a group of Angels, did not act, RAAM 2007 wouldn’t take place.” (November-December 2006 UMCA magazine.)

In reality, the RAAM sale was negotiated secretly from June 2006 until the public announcement of the letter of intent signed on November 24, 2006. Some UMCA members were upset because they possibly would be interested in buying RAAM. One of the parties involved in the RAAM sale process were well aware of this before they concluded the sale. Here are the real cases:

1-- One of the sellers phoned a foreign UMCA member, Guus Moonen, and asked him if he was interested and he was. Guus Moonen promised to discuss the details the next morning when the time would be better for both sides, but the seller never contacted him again. Then in a few days, the RAAM sale was completed.
2-- A UMCA member, Chris Kostman, had interest in buying RAAM in 1996 and 2000 and the RAAM operators did know about Chris Kostman’s interest. Curiously, they never contacted him about the 2006 sale.
3-- Before the sale was being negotiated between the seller and the current owner, the sellers did have negotiations with another person. However, the deal fell through. Details and the person’s name are not known, but this information came directly from Fred Boethling. Boethling will not reveal the identity of this person.

If the entire Board knew RAAM was up for sale in June, they would be given a chance to investigate, brainstorm, and let the UMCA members know RAAM was for sale. Also, this would be in accordance with the IRS’s laws for non-profit organizations, such as UMCA.

2) On December 3rd 2006, the UMCA Board met through teleconference and voted unanimously for the UMCA “to approve” the purchase of RAAM’s trademark title, even though it was already a done deal, according to the November 24th 2006 public announcement. UMCA members were told that the members of the UMCA Board of Directors had to approve the sale whether or not they agreed with the way it had been done. As clearly stated in the UMCA magazine, the UMCA Board was told that the only other option was to cancel RAAM 2007, which would have been very bad due to the passion for the race and RAAM entrants already training and making plans to participate. Also, the voting was actually not unanimous. One Board of Director member, Catharina “Cat” Berge, resigned immediately in protest on November 22nd, over the RAAM sale. She realized she was previously lied to by the agents of this sale. Another UMCA Board member, Cindi Staiger, didn’t vote either way, out of protest over the vote being a fraud. Later, a third Board of Director member, who didn’t attend the December 3rd 2006 meeting, resigned for reasons he does not want to publicly discuss.

3) Former RAAM owner, Jim Pitre, the RAAM Race Director, served on the UMCA’s Board of Directors according to the Bylaws, which do specify that only the RAAM Race Director title is to be included on the Board ex-officio. Now, Fred Boethling, the RAAM President/CEO, is on the Board. Fred Boethling is not the RAAM Race Director, Terry Zmrhal is the RAAM Race Director. So, all this past time Boethling has illegally been influencing the Board by being allowed to participate as a Board member. It was recently reported that the UMCA is planning to change the Bylaws to fit Fred Boethling’s title rather than having Fred Boethling change his title. In a proper democratic organization, one doesn’t change the Bylaws to accommodate a non-elected outsider to the Board of Director, especially if the RAAM Race Director title still exists. Update in June: UMCA didn't change the Bylaws to fit Fred Boethling's title and Fred Boethling still don't hold the RAAM Race Director title.

4) Some UMCA members have requested on several occasions to see the contract between the UMCA and RAAM, since April 2007’s public posted request. The UMCA chose to say it was RAAM LLC’s business and permission to see the contract needed to be approved by RAAM LLC Inc. This was in violation of UMCA member’s rights to investigate all of the contracts made by the UMCA organization according to UMCA Bylaws. The UMCA members do have the right to make sure the contract is sound, and maintain the UMCA and RAAM as two separate organizations, as they are supposed to be under the UMCA Constitution.

5) The UMCA, the title holder of RAAM, has legal control over RAAM LLC, Inc. Yet, with Fred Boethling on the two highest Boards within the UMCA (UMCA Board of Directors and the UMCA Executive Committee), RAAM is suggested to have a significant sphere of control over the UMCA. Boethling is an ex-officio UMCA Board member and that means he can’t vote, but this allows him access to Board and Executive Committee business. For example, if we look at the Board’s report in the September-October 2007 UMCA magazine, we see how Fred Boethling was present in the Executive Committee meeting to change the Bylaws to make the UMCA less democratic than it was previously.

Members now no longer have the full right to receive the public mailing lists in order to communicate with each other. This is an effort to reduce communication, rather than to increase it, all part of the way the UMCA conducts their business.
Candidates for the Board of Directors will be selected by a Board-appointed Elections Committee. For example, if 4 seats are open on the UMCA Board, the UMCA can legally pick 5 candidates to run for the 4 spots. The “non-selected” candidates must solicit letters of petition from 30 different members and this cannot be conducted through email. This proposes a huge task for a person who desires to run for a Board seat, but is not in “lock step” with the sitting authorities within the UMCA, not exactly a chore worth doing. This arrangement leaves the process open to the creation of an “exclusive club” which can effectively keep dissenting voices off the Board by refusing them space on the ballot. The democratic principle has been lost and replaced by a dictatorial secretive approach. Is this our non-profit organization to promote ultra cycling in our nation?

Problems with the UMCA/RAAM Contract

Based on published material involving the contract between the UMCA and RAAM LLC and the fact that the RAAM contract will always be private, here are some points not discussed in the UMCA’s published report:

1) RAAM LLC has licensing rights to host RAAM for the next five years. There are no clear explanations on the renewal terms of the agreement. What happens if RAAM LLC does a poor job in hosting RAAM? Does the UMCA conduct a Board vote after the fifth year and decide whether or not to renew the contract? What if some of the partners in RAAM LLC are on the UMCA Board of Directors? Do they rescue themselves from the vote or do they get to vote?

2) It is stated that after each race, RAAM and the UMCA Officers will review the race. What does that mean? Does this have anything to do with competency or accountability in RAAM LLC’s proficiency in producing the race? If RAAM LLC proves to be incompetent in their ability to produce a race, what can the UMCA do about this? Is the contract crafted in a way that gives RAAM LLC total non accountability in their actions? Even if there is a way for the UMCA to nullify the license before the end of the contract, is this done with a Board vote? If so, what if several of the Board members are investors in RAAM LLC. Once again, this conflict of interest situation occurs.

3) What if a third party wants to purchase RAAM? What are the terms of the contract concerning the sale of RAAM to someone else? Who gets the money, how is it divided up? Who decides on whether or not to sell?

4) How does the UMCA handle the several conflict of interest situations that do currently exist and will likely always exist under the current terms of the UMCA/RAAM agreement? Did the UMCA propose these situations to their attorney? If so, what did the attorney say, what are the legalities of this situation? Is this contract good or bad for the UMCA?

The waiting game

John Marino, the co-founder and UMCA member #1, sent a 13-page report to the UMCA government. This report was mostly based on logical assumptions based on the behavior and actions of particular people within the UMCA Board, who are also part of RAAM, LLC. This report focused on the illegality of the contract between the UMCA and RAAM, LLC being off limits to the full UMCA Board of Directors. The report demonstrated reasons why RAAM, LLC is so committed to have the UMCA own RAAM. There are still many questions still unanswered. This report was sent on Jan 6th and Marino said he did hear from Joe Jamison a couple of time, but it felt like a waiting game being played on him. Not even the simplest questions were answered as one may see in Mavis’s latest multiple choice letters to UMCA for those questions going unanswered for a long time now.

Ultracycling Strife article disclosed how RAAM sale was done

Below taken from Seana Hogan's website relating the Competitor magazine article.


A journalist from Competitor magazine, Greg Pressler, caught wind of the goings on around the UMCA and started asking questions of his own. Greg is a big fan of RAAM, and on several occasions in recent years has volunteered his time to be the start or finish line announcer. With little knowledge about the UMCA, he approached the subject from an outsider's point of view, and I think he was concerned by what he found. Here is an extract from his article, called "Ultracycling Strife," on There's a link to the full story below.

...Composed of events such as 12- and 24-hour races, 500+ mile races, various state crossings, and the Race Across America (RAAM), the sport is undoubtedly a pimple on the rear of the human-powered, two-wheeled world when compared to shorter-distance bike racing, which is still considered a minor sport by the American public—even in the wake of Lance Armstrong’s success on the roads of France. But that doesn’t mean its devotees are any less passionate than fans of board games, crossword puzzles, or the National Football League. It’s a sport defined by passion, for anyone “crazy” enough to ride in a 500-mile bicycle race needs to bleed a love for the sport....

Although Hughes, an accomplished ultracyclist himself, sits atop the hierarchy of the organization, a growing and vocal group of riders and event promoters who make up the membership of the UMCA wish that weren’t the case.

The list of complaints against Hughes is lengthy, and stems primarily from the UMCA’s handling of the recent sale of RAAM from its previous owners, who included Lon Haldeman, one of the pioneers of the sport, a transcontinental record holder, and the sport’s equivalent to George Washington. Haldeman, along with another RAAM veteran Jim Pitre, managed the race in recent years, and grew weary of its financial burden—and rightly so. No figures have been shared publicly, but Pitre, a successful real estate developer, had dug deep into his pockets to help keep the event afloat. After deciding that they didn’t care to foot the bill for any further losses, Pitre and Haldeman looked for a potential buyer. And they didn’t have to look far. Hughes was waiting in the wings, accompanied by another RAAM veteran, Colorado’s Fred Boethling, who in 2006 broke the record as the oldest person (at age 61) to finish the solo division of the race.

Hughes recalls the conversation he had with Haldeman. “A few weeks after RAAM last year, I told Lon that Fred and I had a few ideas about how the UMCA could buy RAAM,” he said. “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, 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.”

Using a well-worn strategy of recruiting a handful of financial “angels” to foot the bill for a large purchase, Hughes convinced a group of nine investors to pony up $25,000 to fund the purchase. “These were what we call ‘restrictive gifts’ to the UMCA—the funds could only be used to buy RAAM,” says Hughes. “Fred’s operating company, Race Across America LLC, cut a licensing agreement with the UMCA to run the race. The UMCA isn’t a race organizer—what do we know about that? We thought it was best to separate the two entities as much as possible.”

Link to the full article.

Click on "Older posts" located on lower right corner to see Managing Director's contract, UMCA as an international body, and what we already asked UMCA to do.

The RAAM name is the real item of value and the UMCA owns it, but does the UMCA really control it?

In actuality, some private investors in RAAM LLC are doing everything in their power to control the UMCA government. Is this the motivation behind all the “shenanigans” within the leadership of the UMCA? Is there a method to this madness?

For review, we are providing examples of what actually happened or are happening. None of it is lies or jokes. We separated them into two groups. The first was already covered in more detail throughout the blog. The second group are the bits we will be happy to review upon request (the blog is getting long and it was a heavy time investing project.)

Already detailed in the blog:

Crafting an unfair election, creating cleaver changes to the Bylaws, not abiding by some Bylaws, spinning information on the web side and Ultra Cycling magazine, keeping certain individuals off the Board, keeping the UMCA voting population at a minimum, abusing the public mailing list, not providing business documents to Board members who are not in “lock step” with RAAM LLC, abusing the privacy of members who wish to remain private, creating committees to reject members from being able to run for the Board, allowing members who publicly resign from the UMCA to somehow “privately” become officers of the UMCA, shutting down public on-line forums, censoring other on-line forums, not allowing “Letters to the Editor” in the UMCA magazine, lying to UMCA members, allowing the CEO of RAAM LLC to be on the Board when the Bylaws clearly prohibit this, delaying Board elections by 4-6 months, not submitting financial reports on a timely basis, Board members quitting with disgust and speaking out, the UMCA leadership picks their favorite Board members and figures out how to get them elected, editing biographies in the voter package, not providing mailing lists to undesirable Board candidates, crafting a flawed contract to purchase RAAM, not including the UMCA Board in business dealings, allowing Board members to rule on matters that present clear conflicts of interest situations.

Available for review upon request:

Accusing others of trying to destroy the UMCA and RAAM, threatening lawsuits against some whistleblowers, making members promise not to sue, marginalizing some dissenting Board members, silencing key UMCA members with legal threats to prevent speaking publicly, not allowing certain Board members to view the UMCA mailing list to verify the number of members, not allowing certain members of the Board to see the UMCA/RAAM LLC contract, giving the Managing Director a raise in salary without full Board approval per the Bylaws.