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.