2012 KCBS Board of Directors Election
Candidate: Sonny Ashford
1. Please describe the skills you possess (which you believe are stronger than the other candidates) which would make you an asset as a board member, in dealing with the challenges facing KCBS, and give an example of how those skills would serve the KCBS Board of Directors and its membership.Not knowing the other candidates, I can't tell you that my skills will be stronger; however, I do know that with my background will measure up with anyone running. I can bring additional strength to the board in the areas of marketing, business development, contracting, and overall organization administration. I have the experience, and knowledge, to work with all the Board members to grow KCBS and expedite issue resolution for actions brought to the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) Board of Directors (BOD). Let me review a couple of skills:
- I recognize that "Order" must exist within any organization, and there has to be an orderly reporting up to the Board President. I can help continue to build that structure based on my 23 yr Air Force career where it is a necessity to keep order through schedules and scheduled events and that I will attempt to sponsor this through the BOD. In addition, I am currently Director, Business Development and Marketing, for a software engineering company, and as such, I have to work with people everyday, and I do it quite effectively in every venue from DoD, Federal, State and Commercial enterprises. Every undertaking I perform requires schedules and the ability to work with teams of people to meet scheduled deadlines. I can work to bring this order to the Board.
- Marketing pays my mortgage and I believe that I can work with the BOD and MMA to grow KCBS into an organization that can be better tomorrow than it is today through training for CBJ's, for increased sponsorships for the KCBS, and advantages for our membership in their day-to-day activities. Advertising can increase membership and recognition in all the media outlets which will again make KCBS a household name in the US and worldwide.
- I have a passion for barbeque, and take every opportunity to spread the word of America's greatest food. I will champion getting the word spread throughout the United States and overseas [if permitted] of what a great opportunity KCBS brings to every event, and to businesses that will work with KCBS. Through my business development efforts I would like to have KCBS pick up corporate sponsorships that can not only enhance the organization but can be trickled down to support local events and members. Let's make KCBS "THE" place to go for barbeque expertise.
2. If you are a Cook, Judge, Rep or Backyard Cook, please identify the major KCBS issues concerning, one of areas in which you are involved. Describe the major issue, your strategies to correct or improve the issue, and what you see as the biggest challenge to the success of your plan.KCBS CBJ/REPRESENTATIVE/CBJ INSTRUCTOR/COOK
Consistency in judging seems to be the major area of concern and disappointment experienced by cooks and by Reps. Personally, I see the judging getting to a point of very little consideration for the effort put forth by the cook teams with judges giving extremely low scores. As with any certification there is a requirement for continuing education, and the CBJ refresher could be done on a three year cycle with computer-based training through videos, regional seminars, or other methods that are available. The main focus is to provide consistency so that the KCBS CBJ is the very best that they can be for every contest. My experience in working with training courses, whether platform or computer-based training can assist in bringing our CBJ's up to a common set of standards throughout all the sanctioned contests.
Probably the biggest obstacle to total implementation will come from those judges that feel like they don’t need the refresher. They will use years of experience as their major argument for not supporting the refresher training but that can be overcome through a reward program of sorts.
3. Identify your major short term goal and the major long term goal, if elected to the Board of KCBS and your plan to implement change or improvement in order to carry out each of these goals.Short-term Goal
Enhance communications with KCBS Membership
I will sponsor motions to enhance communications through:
- Establish monthly open conference calls to membership to discuss pending board actions, and to highlight successful events and people.
- Town hall meetings with KCBS members throughout the year
- Supplemental emails to support highlighted KCBS activities
More KCBS Membership involvement!!
I will sponsor motions to enhance KCBS Membership involvement through:
- Provide support to KCBS Certified Barbeque Judges (CBJ) through refresher courses, website link, and address CBJ issues.
- Provide support to Cook Teams where their issues can be addressed through open communication with the KCBS BOD, and a website link
- Provide support to contest coordinators through an "active" mentor program, establish a contest helpdesk to support KCBS Mentors/coordinators, establish a website link to allow for idea sharing between coordinators.
- Make sure the KCBS BOD knows that the membership is the backbone of the KCBS organization.
4. If elected please explain "your level of commitment, time and energy" for committee projects and monthly reports, board meetings and attendance, as well as representing KCBS to the public and being responsive to our members.I would love to tell you that you have Sonny 24/7/365 but that just ain't the case; however, let's address each area requested.
Monthly Reports are something that will take priority, and they will be in sufficient detail that everyone on the BOD, or the membership, will be able to read and understand the purpose, intent and actions that were taken within my reporting area.
Board meetings and attendance will be scheduled and every attempt will be made to attend in person unless it is determined to be done virtually. Being within 3 hrs of the KCBS office I would be available to make all meetings. In addition, I will pledge to support whatever committee work is appointed to me. I will work to diligently support the planks identified in my platform.
5. Please describe your previous participation in KCBS activities and years of experience.Participation in KCBS has ranged from one end to the other. I have been active in writing articles for the BullSheet. These articles were contest focused or they were reviews of cookbooks that would be of interest to the KCBS Membership. I have worked to promote the vendors at the annual conferences, and for the last three years solicited vendors for the "Vendor Alley" along with products for the annual conference auction and member gift bags. I have basically been volunteering to do whatever was/is needed to support KCBS and for the good of the events.
I have been a KCBS Member in good standing for 12 years and a Certified Barbeque Judge (CBJ) for 10 years. I have been a KCBS Contest Representative for 7 years and a Table Captain Instructor for 3 years focused on developing the Upper Midwest training area.
6. Please explain why you want to be a member of the KCBS Board.I want to be a member of the KCBS Board of Directors to help build the organization through continued implementation of high standards for the organization and the people we represent. I want to strive for better communications through all levels of the organization, and have the KCBS acknowledged as the leading barbeque organization throughout the United States and the world. I can provide that support to the KCBS Board of Directors if I am elected.