Tom McIntosh - Sturgeon Bay, WI


1.  Please describe the skills you possess 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.

I hold a Degree in Marketing and am a successful business person. I’ve worked for the Garland Company for 22 years and we are an employee owned company. My experience has me involved in many aspects of running a business, which includes marketing, product/deliverable development, sales and maintaining long term customer relationships.

I understand what it takes for groups or stakeholders, many with different goals, to work together to drive success and accomplish greatness; requiring effective teamwork, planning and communication. This real-life experience will be a big asset in taking our organization and family to the next level and working with the KCBS Board to benefit us all. These same skill sets are vital in any organization and will be the same skills and drive that I can bring to KCBS as a board member.

As a KCBS Board Member, we are much like employee owners representing our members. Our decision-making needs to be above board and positively impact our customer (membership/owner) value. More importantly, we need to realize the long-term effects those decisions have on the success of our organization we are asked to represent.

2.  If you are a Cook, Judge, Organizer, Rep or Backyard Cook, please identify the major KCBS issues concerning one of the 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.

The growth of KCBS has been flat since 2015 at just under 20,000 and the number of contests that are cancelling and the apparent decrease in the number of Master Series Cook Teams competing is concerning. I believe two things can have a huge impact on increasing membership and strengthening KCBS for years-
  1. A stronger focus on team development. Focus needs to continue on the growth of Backyard Teams/Events and then transitioning those teams to Master Series. Being from the Upper Midwest and not necessarily in the “BBQ Belt”, local development has always been essential to growing KCBS BBQ Teams and Events in states like Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. BBQ Club’s, Backyard events including both KCBS sanctioned and non-sanctioned, mentoring teams, have all been instrumental in helping BBQ grow for us up here.
  2. Attracting additional membership that are neither cooks or judges but simply BBQ enthusiast. Establishing a brand with benefits that will also attract a huge untapped segment of society that shares interests in BBQ and BBQ People. Additional membership increases our ability to attract additional sponsors which in turn brings in additional monies to assist in growth initiatives and benefits to our members.

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 assist in setting up the framework to achieve effective long-term goals. The need to measure our “value to members” and find those areas that we can grow, strengthen and develop is essential at this point so we can increase that membership value for our whole KCBS Family and in turn grow our membership. We are in an organization that has been somewhat stuck the last 5-6 years in how we can best serve and grow that membership. Being able to better understand our current position will help us to leverage that position and move forward, not backwards, in the future. Simply put, “We need to put ourselves in a position of growth… because if you are not growing, you are dying”.

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.  Board members typically volunteer 4-6 hours a month to Board meeting; Committee Chairs typically volunteer 2-4 hours a month and general Board Work a minimum of 6-8 hours a month.

The ability to be connected via web and teleconference is essential in getting quality candidates outside of the Kansas City based area and I will rely on these resources much as I do now in coordinating project meetings throughout North America. This will allow me to participate in all board and committee meetings. I will also plan on physically attending meetings in Kansas City as deemed necessary.  I am asking for your vote and my commitment to serve all stake holders in the best interest of our KCBS Family will be doing so with my full commitment. I am “all in” and look forward to working with the KCBS Board Member Team. The hours outlined in this question that a board member would expect to commit to, would be at a minimum…

5.  Please describe your previous participation in KCBS activities and years of experience.

I have competed in 121 KCBS Competitions and have always made it a point to also travel and compete in other markets, growing my BBQ Family and enriching my KCBS experience. I feel that I have been very blessed to have had an opportunity to meet some of the very best people in our KCBS Family and look forward to meeting all and serving everyone.

6.  Please explain why you want to be a member of the KCBS Board of Directors.

We are turning a corner at KCBS and I appreciate the good and often thankless job that the people have done to take this organization to where it is today. I also recognize the possibilities that lay ahead for us all. I look forward to being a positive force working with the KCBS Board and building on our great traditions as well as developing new ones. This is my opportunity to give something back to this great family that I belong to and have received so much from. I assure that if you vote for me to serve you on the KCBS Board, I will give my best for the best interest of this organization and all of its stakeholders, working together for the good of this family that we are all a part of.