This would be a rebuttal to Tiki's post
Additional discussion about it:
James Bradley writes:
Its telling that Tikis campaign note posted here (Oz Report,
October 6, 2020) starts off with an accusation that she presents without
There was no misbehavior in last years director elections, not in the one voted
by the membership nor in the one voted by the board (for the last two
A problem we do have with the current election procedure is we dont have any
fact checking of candidate questionnaires. Im grateful to Tiki for writing to
the Oz Report where I can reply, because her candidate questionnaire, whether
intentionally or through lack of understanding, misrepresents many issues.
Tiki is only the most diverse person in the organization if you prioritize
gender and race and dont count age and region. USHPA's current diversity matrix
looks first at region, next at wing type, and, in a combined last priority, at
gender and age. These were what we prioritized from a long list as the most
currently relevant to USHPA.
Region is first because many members were concerned about the loss of regional
representation in the transition to a nationally elected board. So the first
thing the diversity matrix does is ensure that, if its possible from the viable
candidates available, all regions will be directly represented on the board.
This was not done as a way to exclude Tiki.
Next is wing type, to ensure that the board has at least 3 each of hang and para
pilots, something else that the membership thought was important.
Its worth noting before going on that throwing out the diversity matrix would
mean that all the directors could be from one region and fly the same wing type.
This doesnt seem like the best board for USHPA.
We included age and gender, not because USHPA needs to meet a corporate quota
but because more diverse teams do better work. A key reason is that a diverse
team is much less likely to think they already know the answer to something. The
idea isnt to exclude males and experienced older people, the idea is to not
have only those.
In practice, in many USHPA election scenarios age and gender wont even get
looked at. Together they are the third and last priority, and we only elect 4
directors each year.
USHPAs diversity algorithm is available to read on the website. Any of it can
be changed or discarded if the membership wishes. There are many other criteria
that might be considered for inclusion, including instructors/non-instructors,
school owners/non-school owners, long-time pilots vs newer pilots.
(An example of why a new pilot might be interesting to include is that they will
have gone through starting to fly recently. The quality of that experience is
key to our ability to attract and retain new members, and having someone on the
board with direct experience of it could be a positive.)
Tiki suggests that we dont have school owners and instructors on the current
board, when in fact we have at least five of them currently.
Whatever other criteria are considered, playing through election scenarios there
doesnt seem to be much point in having more criteria than we do now, as we just
wont often get to them when were electing only 4 directors. Consider that with
5 regions we will always be choosing our first director by region, as the 4
directors elected by the membership last year can only represent 4 regions at
most (the 2 directors elected by the board dont count in the matrix). That
leaves just three more slots to cover (1) any remaining unrepresented regions,
(2) any dramatic wing type imbalance, and (3) if any slots are left, a bit of
age and gender diversity. My own opinion is we dont have enough experience with
the matrix, after only one election, to consider revisions yet.
Next, the idea of tying the salary of the executive director to membership
growth is poorly considered. For illustration, the previous strategic planning
committee came up with a mission statement that was grow the membership. From
roughly 2005 - 2012 that was USHPAs mission statement. It didnt work,
membership growth didnt increase and no one involved in USHPA felt like they
knew what they were supposed to do to make it happen.
It wouldnt work any better now. Growth has to be a side effect of doing other
things well. Member numbers are one metric to look at in the question of how
were doing, but they shouldnt be the first or only one.
Another example: There is a large bulge in the age distribution of US hang
glider pilots. As this group ages out of flying over the next 15 years, were
going to see a large decline in our hang gliding member numbers and possibly our
overall total. Thats sad but its a fact. Even if we have successful
initiatives bringing in new, young hang pilots, given hang glidings global
decline we are unlikely to match the attrition of older pilots. The valid
efforts happening currently dont look like theyll get close. Under Tikis
compensation plan, then, an ED who is doing a superb job could get a salary cut
because of something they inherited that is completely out of their control.
Would you sign up for that job?
A board of directors is a collaborative effort at leadership. Tiki describes
herself as battling, being like a dog with a bone, rarely backing down,
and the most vocal person in the room. Having watched her on the old USHPA
board for six years I agree with those characterizations. None of them is a
collaboration skill that leads to working effectively with other human beings.