The SaveUMCA Team and Supporters

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

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

SaveUMCA Team:

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

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

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

FAQs and Answers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UMCA member's zone

Noteworth feedbacks/questions with answers

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

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

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

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

--October 2007 letter to UMCA members.

--December 2007 letter to UMCA members.

UMCA's service and predictions

--Some of the questions we need to ask ourselves

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

List of questionable actions--and growing

Sale of RAAM's title to UMCA.

--Overview of the RAAM sale problems.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UMCA's campaign for six of its chosen candidates.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Communication between UMCA and UMCA members

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

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

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

--Missing information in the UMCA financial records.

--Added in March: UMCA's election committee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UMCA as an international body

--Overview of UMCA becoming an international body

Mavis's Public Letters to UMCA

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

Updated March 8th, 2008:

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

Updated March 19th, 2008:

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

Outline of Mavis's 2008 Public Letters to UMCA

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

July 29: Managing Director's contract is renewed.

July 20: 21-month old messages summarized.

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

June 27: Offer of apology still stands.

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

April 21: UMCA membership went down and election results

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 6-8th: Discussion with BoD Jerry Segal

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