Charlie Brinza

Charlie Brinza


1 - Why do you want to be a member of the KCBS Board of Directors?

I would work to move the BOD to focus in a more strategic manner instead of concentrating on detailed daily operational activity that should be handled by the CEO and his management team.  Using the committees to review issues raised by organizers, reps, cooks and judges then trusting their recommendations will enable the Board members to spend time looking forward.  KCBS needs to find assistance for organizers to gain sponsors for their individual contests and look for new options to attract teams to participate. We should honor and respect our history but embrace change to grow competition BBQ as a sport. KCBS is blessed to have the best people in BBQ as sponsors, organizers, cooks, judges, reps, employees and volunteers.  We just need to provide the tools they need to flourish.


2 – Identify the major areas (Cook, Judge, Organizer, Rep or Backyard Cook) in which you are involved.   

Most of the time that I currently spend with KCBS is serving as a Contest Representative.  I love the opportunity to assist organizers, judges and cooks to conduct fun and successful contests. I also serve as a CBJ and CTC instructor when needed.  Helping bring new people into competition BBQ is sometimes challenging but always rewarding. Getting out to judge, table captain or volunteer at competitions is something I do numerous times yearly.  Watching how other reps run the judging area is great continued education for me and helps me better serve future competitions I get to work.  I have served on the Rule Committee for the past 5 years and serving on the Sanctioning Committee for a couple of years.  This has educated me on the regular challenges KCBS faces and the importance of making sure we keep current.


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.

My major short-term goal is to have KCBS assist contest organizers with getting sponsorships and providing them guidance so they can host successful competitions to attract cooks and judges.  It is the individual contest that affects all members of KCBS and directly touches the public, exciting them about the sport of competition BBQ.

            My long-term goal is to move KCBS forward so that we:

·         take advantage of statistical analysis to normalize judging across the country and internationally

·         better advertise our brand in social and traditional media

·         find ways to work with other food competition organizations to pool resources creating better events for our organizers.

My plan to accomplish the short-term goal is to draw upon the expertise of successful organizers and reps who know how to get local businesses, governments and organizations involved in competitions. Sharing this with new or struggling events will help curb the loss of contests and facilitate new contests. To accomplish the long-term goals, we need to humbly reach out to subject-matter experts to help guide our efforts.


4 – The KCBS Board of Directors is a working board that spends 10-20 hours and possibly more per month in furthering the mission of KCBS depending on your role as a member of the board. If elected, please explain “Your level of Commitment, Time and Energy” in your role as a director.

I have been increasing my temporal commitment each year as I can set aside more time to dedicate to KCBS and BBQ in general. I love the sport but realize it is just one part of my life.  I deferred taking on more competitions when I could not spend the amount of time required to serve properly and delayed running for the BOD until I could dedicate the time and effort required.  I have moved to part-time in my professional career, so I have more time for this passion verses my job. I will take the honor of being selected to serve on the Board very seriously and promise to be devoted to promoting and improving the KCBS experience.  I fully expect 20 hours to be on the low end of the time I will spend on this obligation.


5 – List how you have participated in KCBS and for how long?

 I have been a CBJ since 2006.  I started, as many of us do, by judging a couple of contests a year.  Since my early days, I have found my role as helping make contests successful while enjoying the camaraderie of the BBQ family.  Serving as a TC or volunteer is just as rewarding as judging.  In 2009 I became a Master CBJ and over the next two years worked on new competition cooks helping both physically and financially. I was asked to consider being a Contest Rep by a couple of reps who would be leaving to open their BBQ restaurant.  I embraced this new role in 2014 being lucky to have been trained by some of the best in the business.  I have served as a rep for contests as small as 13 teams and as large as The Jack.  All contests are unique and have their own challenges.  I have been a CBJ and CTC instructor since 2019.  I have served on Committees since 2018.


6 – What skills do you possess that might help the KCBS Board of Directors in its mission, i.e., Accounting, Legal, Marketing, etc.? How do you see using these skills as a KCBS Board of Director member?

My banking and financial technology career has provided my training to develop leadership and organizational skills that would be utilized in my role on the BOD.  I have supervised small groups as well as managed large employee teams of onsite, 3-shift operations as well as remote, multi-state departments.  Meeting deadlines, writing and managing budgets, hiring, coaching and regretfully firing employees, and working as an independent contractor are all experiences from which I can draw.  Currently I work as a Business Analyst, negotiating ideas and needs of customers with our technical staff capabilities.  Helping design new products and improving existing ones then testing these developments is my daily job. I see this as a skill set that can help meet my long-term goal for KCBS. Lastly, I have been on a civic Board of Directors for the past 5 years whose role is to govern a sewer district and prevent flooding along the Mississippi River in two counties east of St. Louis.  I bring the experience of being a director of a multi-million-dollar governmental agency.