Candy Weaver - Pine Bluff, AR
1. Please describe the skills you posses (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.
My life has revolved around all aspects of barbeque since 1999. I have proven experience
on the KCBS BoD from 2010 through 2015. I was the last KCBS president to serve in that role for 3 concurrent years (following Mike Lake and Tony Stone, who were the first elected presidents after Gary Wells). After serving as president, I was secretary for 2 years until leaving the Board. My historical knowledge and experience of KCBS is my strongest recommendation for election to the Board. Communication skill is second. I believe I can use my historical connection to clarify actions taken by KCBS going forward.
2. If you are a Cook, Judge, 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.
I started as a backyard cook in 2003, became a cook and judge in 2004. I am a certified table captain and a MCBJ. I have gone through rep training, but choose not to be a rep (too much work! I’d rather cook.). Biggest issue I see is that KCBS isn’t FUN anymore! I don’t care whether you’re a cook, judge, rep or organizer, the FUN seems to be evaporating. That FUN needs to come back or KCBS will continue to shrink (membership numbers are down by 1000 in 2018). Biggest challenge to getting more FUN is expansive rules and regulations and the enrichment of perceptions and roles within KCBS. Make KCBS FUN Again! After all, the first rule in KCBS BBQ has always been “Have Fun!”
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.
Since the BoD unanimously passed a motion in July 2018 requiring that every cook team that participates in a KCBS contest must be a KCBS member by January 2019, is this going to effect contest participation next year? How will this be enforced? Seems like this puts added pressure on contest organizers to act as membership recruiters. Contest participation by cook teams has been dropping, I believe this will only continue this trend. Cook teams should want to be
KCBS members, not be required to be.
Long term goal is to improve communications between KCBS Board and office and membership. In 2014, the minutes of board meetings was removed from the Bullsheet. Let’s put it back! Transparency means that the membership knows what’s going on at the management of KCBS. I’d like to know why membership renewal rates are down. Selectively reaching out to KCBS membership may be enlightening and lead to improvements. The Bylaws of KCBS need a major overhaul. Management by board for each individual year (board changes yearly!) does not assist with long-term organizational planning. This gives KCBS an inertia that is very difficult to overcome. This project will take lots of time and any revisions have to be approved by member vote.
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. Please understand that “whatever time is required” is not an acceptable answer. Executive Committee members typically volunteer 8-10 hours a month and Committee Chairs typically volunteer 3-5 hours a month. “No Report” often means no activity. Will you be an active board member or inactive board member?
I will do what ever is necessary to achieve my part as a Director of the Board of Directors of KCBS. I want KCBS to succeed and I am willing to allocate the time required to do my part.
5. What new ideas would you have in regards to marketing or new ideas that would benefit membership?
What does it take for the Board and KCBS office to communicate with membership? Make that happen. KCBS doesn’t need an outside “marketing” expert to tell members what’s going on. Institute a weekly report on the weekend’s previous KCBS events. What is the National Grilling Society? How is it a part of KCBS? Why was no information put out to the membership? Put the Overall results (10/36 place/number of teams) on each team’s detail sheet. (This was actually approved before I got off the Board in 2015! But never happened.) Cut out the Category results. Make that detail information available (and printable) as a membership benefit through kcbs.us login. Otherwise, cook teams have access to results on the web site without details. This would do more to get cooks to pay $40 for membership than making KCBS membership an unenforceable “requirement” to cook a KCBS contest.
6. Please describe your previous participation in KCBS activities and years of experience.
1999 to 2003 – involved in promoting my employer through goodie bag donations and presence at KCBS events, assisted on committee for Smoke on the Water BBQ Contest. As manufacturers of Jack Daniel’s Smoking Pellets, I was part of The Jack every year.
2003 – cooked backyard at Smoke on the Water – won sauce!
2004 – became CBJ, bought a bigger cooker and cooked my first pro event in April. Judged a bunch, cooked more. Went from DAL in brisket to 3rd as the substitute Brisket Chick for Chicks in Charge to winning brisket at the Amazin Blazin BBQ Cookoff.
2006 – present. I still cook and cook some more! The transportation method changes, the cooker changes, seasonings/sauces change, but the actions are still the same.
2009 – elected to the Board for 2010
2012 – elected to Board for a 2nd term
2011 to 2013 – elected by the Board to serve as president
2015 to present – I’ve been a part of several committees and contribute to the Bullsheet. I still cook. While I’ve enjoyed time off the Board, I disagree with a number of actions that have been taken and I’d like to do something about it.
7. Please explain why you want to be a member of the KCBS Board of Directors.
As a lifetime member, I want to see KCBS thrive. It’s very easy for the Board of Directors to get mired in minutia and not keep the larger purpose in mind. The Board should not be actively involved in KCBS office activities. The Board should be focused on progress of long term goals and continuation of KCBS. Why are contests smaller? Why do more contests cancel? Why is KCBS losing members? How does KCBS stack up against other sanctioning organizations? Is KCBS where it needs to be and if not, I want to be a part of the group that steers KCBS in the right direction.