Dear UMCA government,
This is my special letter on what catalyzed the fight into a public one.
In the days when I was an innocent candidate interested in carrying UMCA forward in a positive way, I have done a lot of investigation on things from both sides ever since seeing a couple of e-mail, which are both on this topica post:
I talked with more people than I could count. I have hoped to be one of UMCA’s best Board of Director who listens to everybody the best I can and make fair decisions on what really matter for the UMCA organization as a whole. I never foresee myself ending up being an activist fighting for the UMCA members, UMCA event directors, international UMCA members, and even the UMCA Board’s equal rights like I am doing now. I however realized that I am left with the choice of either being quiet or speaking up. I choose to speak up.
Well…I know there will be a day I have to actually unveil the character evidence that brought this fight to the public. This evidence proves the creditity of the protesting former Board of Director, Anna Catharina “Cat” Berge (link is provided above): “I specifically asked about the relationship RAAM- UMCA. I was told that there was nothing that required board approval in the RAAM - UMCA relationship. At the time I received that answer, negotiations to purchase RAAM were already well under way. I would therefore say that the answer I received was a lie.”
Be noted that Cat Berge was careful to question the action and not the people involved. I asked her for the evidence and sure enough it was John Hughes who lied despite his very own words quoted in the article by Greg Pressler: “A few weeks after RAAM last year , I told Lon that Fred and I had a few ideas about how the UMCA could buy RAAM. Fred has built his career on acquiring companies and turning them around. Fred and I went to Canada [the location of Pitre’s summer home] to talk with Jim for three days. After a few other meetings with them, by early September , Fred and I knew that we had everything in place to move the deal forward, except for a full understanding of the finances. Jim shared all the numbers, and now all we needed was a way to pay for it.”
It is clear that most people on the UMCA Board of Directors were left in the dark about the important change to the UMCA organization as stated in this November 24th 2006 letter of intent from John Hughes, two days after Cat Berge publicly resigned in protest:
Here is the evidence of John Hughes’s key lie to UMCA’s Board of Directors on October 27th, 2006, which at that time is believed (based on UMCA’s scrambled reports) to include:
Anna Catharina Berge
John Lee Ellis
From: UMCAHQ@aol.comDate: Fri, 27 Oct 2006 12:40:49 -0400Subject: Re: UMCA and RAAMTo: firstname.lastname@example.orgBoard membersIn a message dated 10/26/06 11:05:32 PM, email@example.com writes:
Board,Several of you are mentioning strengthening the connection between UMCA and RAAM. Could you please explain what part and specific component currently needs strengthening.
I'm thinking of nuts and bolts operational stuff. Here are some examples, none of which require BoD action.
I've been marketing ultracycling as a sport since the 1998. I currently edit the RAAM program in VeloNews and in UltraCycling.
The VN program always includes several articles about the UMCA - and RAAM pays to have 100,000 copies distributed, as well as distribuing copies of the UC RAAM program on the route. This should continue. Currently two hourly workers with no knowledge of cycling edit the rider bios and photos for the program and website. We should recruit a couple of UMCA volunteers to do this - which would save RAAM money *and* result in better quality. (I'm not talking about Carolyn Chandler but two people who work for her.)
The RAAM qualifier directors and I could help RAAM figure out how to market the race better. We have a pretty good understanding of the kinds of riders (age, demographics, etc) who are racing in other ultra events . . . and how to target them.Another example is the Internet. Since RAAM runs non-stop it's the perfect race to webcast. And the RAAM website gets tons of hits in late May and June. How do we get people to come to the website other times of the year? George & Terri did great webcasts of RAO and Ring of Fire. Why not simulcast those as well as other RAAM qualifiers, etc. on the RAAM website.
We wouldn't make any race do this - but it would be to the benefit of all concerned.Currently the RAAM and UMCA websites are managed independently. There's some overlap (e.g., articles on training and nutrition) and there are some gaps (like how to manage saddle sores and other medical issues. We should develop a coordinated plan for who publishes what kind of material and increase the cross-referencing between the sites.I spent a lot of time working with Lon & Jim on the Enduro RAAM concept, and there's more work to be done.
A big issue is recruiting enough TS managers so that the officials don't have to sit in Time Stations. We ran a couple of articles in UC about time stations and encouraged readers to call Robert Giacin - he got very few calls. One TS manager asked me for the names & e-mails of UMCAers in the contiguous states - he had his TS fully staffed in 6-hour shifts! Almost 60 TSs are too much for one person to coordinate - why not appoint multiple coordinators to cover different sections of the route and provide each with a list of UMCAers in their areas?
(We'd only provide info that is already public in the UMCA membership directory).We currently have two handbooks: Preparing for Long Rides and Crewing with Fuzzy. I'd like to put together a third: how to do team events - with a focus on RAAM, but applicable to qualifiers, etc.There are plenty of ways that RAAM, the RAAM qualifiers, and the UMCA can do more together to everyone's benefit - the limiting factor really is staff time (paid & volunteer).
John HughesManaging DirectorUltraMarathon Cycling Associationdirector@ultracycling.comwww.ultracycling.com
Of course, after the letter of intent, the Board of Director's action was required to authorize the UMCA-RAAM partnership on December 3rd, 2006. In the words from this December 3rd, 2006 meeting with the Board of Directors: "Hughes summarized that without UMCA action the 2007 RAAM probably would not take place and that the race might die." Thus, this was more like a take it or lose the event vote informed in late November instead of getting the Board's authorization to proceed with the UMCA-RAAM deal as an important change to the UMCA organization in July. That's right, Hughes's quote in Greg Pressler's article clearly said he had an idea for how UMCA can buy RAAM within weeks after RAAM 2006.
Conclusion: Clearly, either this UMCA leader would say anything to even the Board of Directors to suit what he is doing in the interests of the RAAM business. Or there is a lot of cleaning up to do. Sorry, but based on the evidences here, this observably is the lying and not the miscommunicating.
How much longer will the UMCA government let the lies harm the UMCA organization?
I have hoped to avoid publishing something shoring a light directly on the leader's costly lie, but the time has come. We are at an important time of supporting John Hughes or saying we need a new leader.