- Why do you want to be a member of the KCBS Board of Directors?
KCBS should be nothing less than the “Gold Standard” in food sport. Whether you are an organizer or a brand partner putting your hard work & money on the line, a judge traveling hundreds of miles and spending your cash on lodging to take part, a cook team shelling out the entry fees and other expenses to throw down, or a rep busting tail to assure everything follows protocol…everyone involved should be able to have 100% confidence that when you latch your wagon to the KCBS brand you will be getting the most professional, consistent event experience no matter what region or country you are in.
- Identify the major issues ( Cook, Judge, Organizer, Rep or Backyard Cook) in which you are involved.
I will speak to a positive opportunity instead. I’d like to see more mixing of amateur or newer teams with experienced pros, as well as judges with teams. One way this could be achieved is by assisting willing organizers with framework options & resources for an elective Friday night mentoring program at contests. We did this as a beta in 2019 at MN in May with great success, and the gentleman who ran it in 2020 expanded it to include judges which was also a great success. Every participating team that was mentored in 2020 earned a call at their event, how cool is that! The mentorship breaks down any perceived barriers between the divisions, as well as the judge ranks too. New friendships get made, and no longer do you see half the crowd leave after one divisions awards either because they need to stick around and cheer for their new buds! Finally, it also has proven to be a big value add to the event, at zero expense.
- 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 immediate goal will be getting a detailed understanding of board level efforts of the past and the building blocks in place for the vision that has been targeted for the KCBS brand & membership. What I learn with this will hone a long term goal to work toward with my fellow board members.
Here are some things that have my strong interest at the board level:. Seeing a nationwide tournament type of contest structure return to the Pro comp season. Supporting the efforts towards more single meat contest components. Continue efforts towards greater consistency in processes via more protocol based outlines. Greater uniformity in judges training utilizing modern technology to assist delivery of a standardized instruction. Scoring tracking with a more recent look back time frame rather than lifetime to spot irregularities more rapidly and respond accordingly. Reward judges that have great track records of attendance to contests they have signed up for and increase recognition for special judging achievements.
- 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 pledge 100% commitment to fostering and furthering the KCBS brand, for all arenas of consumers & partners. Whatever time and energy that is required to execute that effort properly will be invested in the mission.
- List how you have participated in KCBS and for how long?
I began my BBQ journey as a judge back in 2001. I was judge trained alongside my future bride Tonia, and it was a mind-blowing experience to see what comp level bbq was all about. I’ve become friends with an incredible bunch of people from the KCBS judging community over the years. Fast forward to 2012 when on a family trip we stopped at Smokin’ in the Wiregrass in Dothan AL, as spectators. A pro team let us in their tent right through turn ins and wow, was it an amazing experience of what the cook side of BBQ family is all about! I decided right there I had to try the cooking side of KCBS. My family formed a team (Rub My Rack) and competed in our first pro event in 2013. We were so rookie, looked like the damn Clampetts the way we rolled into that competition, but we had one hell of a good time and were instantly hooked. We have 78 comps under our belt to date and have made so many amazing family memories it is incredible.
Through this timeframe I inhaled everything BBQ and got involved wherever I felt I could make a positive difference for the sport and it’s future. That led to being elected to join the great people on the MN BBQ Society board of directors. Currently I am in my final year of my President position. Throughout my time on the board I had the privilege of assisting with judge classes, working with brand partners supporting events, organizing MN’s largest KCBS Pro & Backyard event, helping create a TOY race for backyard cooks, and creating a successful mentorship program.
- What skills do you possess that might help the KCBS Board of Directors in its mission, ie, Accounting, Legal, Marketing, etc.? How do you see using these skills as a KCBS Board of Director member?
I own and operate Ironfire, Inc., a small family business that has been going strong for decades. This means I understand that the workday doesn’t end at 5, decisiveness is crucial, responsible spending matters, never say what you can’t do, and always do what you say you will.
I’m an elected supervisor of our Town board, presently serving as Chairman and have been so for the majority of the of the 16 plus years. This experience means I am no stranger to executing duties as a team with my fellow board members, being accessible and responsive to electorate input, operating on a budget, contracting with vendors, and staying congruent with current governmental regulations/guidelines.