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?

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