David Qualls - Tecumseh, OK
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.
KCBS Faces many challenges today, Declining contest participation, Inconsistent Judge Training, Financial Burdens, and a all but non-existent responsibility to the membership thru limited communication, no transparency of actions, and no real contributions in support the most important aspect of its mission to promote Barbeque as culinary technique, sport and art form. My most important skill is I am a communicator. There isn’t very much transparency between the current leadership and the members and that creates a unnecessary dissention between the Organization and its Members. The Cooks and Judges. And
Sponsoring Affiliates recognize that, and that’s detrimental to our sport. Financial stability of any organization requires leadership with the ability and knowledge of the functions and purpose of one the size of KCBS is necessary to create financial strength, promote transparency, and meaningful goals in order to stabilize
and grow our sport. My decade’s long tenure as the Chairman of a Trade Association that represents the $5 Billion Dollar Gaming Industry in Oklahoma gives me the experience to help steer KCBS down a solvent stable path. My Private Ownership in successful tenured businesses prove my ability to conservatively budget and administer revenues that stabilize the foundation of the Organization while maintaining a value to the membership and attracting Marketing Partners that see
the value in a joint participation in this sport. My experience as a publicly elected official as a Mayor, School Board Member, Rural Water District Representative proves itself that I am responsible to the membership. I am the candidate that has the Qualifications, Experience, Integrity, Talent, and equally important,
The Passion to represent each member of KCBS whether it be cooks, judges, Sponsors, or Spectators. 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 am primarily a cook but there are many major KCBS issues that are common to all members. In my opinion they are equally, “The Major Issue”
1: The Financial Instability of the Organization. It’s no secret.
2: The Decline in the number of teams at contests. To date 29% of contests have fewer than 25 teams yet the organization keeps sanctioning new contests and placing a hardship on existing contests and they are cancelling at an unprecedented rate.
3: The Continued inconsistency in the Standards and Practices of the Scoring of Contests. KCBS uses “Certified Judge” training classes as a revenue tool. This revenue “For Profit” concept has flooded the sport with more judges than contests available to create any real tenure and experience for new judges. These classes are promoted in a way that if one participates in one of “The Hundreds Of Classes” and pays the fees, that they will, through a half day program learn how to “Grade World Class” entries and taste the such in the process. This system gives the student a false expectation that will get a return on their investment of time and money yet the ratio of supply of judges to availability to be selected in virtually impossible, and isn’t consistent with the Mission Statement to “Teach”. However, for those that do get to judge, inconsistent and insufficient curriculum standards across the nation put these Judges at a distinct disadvantage to equally demonstrate their skills. This spills over to cooks who have no restrictions on the number of contests they can participate in to hone their craft experience the inconsistent scoring and this friction between cooks Blaming Judges and Judges left defenseless because they are only acting as trained and advised.
4: No real benefits to the sport or its Members. The 2017 KCBS tax return (IRS Form 990) Reports Gross Receipts of over $1.75Million Dollars.
Out of that record sum of revenue, the report shows a meager $33,645 paid out as “Grants and other assistance to Domestic Organizations and Domestic Organizations which was a 50% decrease from the last year. The same return reported $0 Dollars, yes ZERO DOLLARS spent on “Benefits Paid to or for Members”....... And The Team Of The Year Awards were cut 50% and only restored after an outrage by the recipients of the awards because they gave no notice of the cut in prizes.
IN 2017 KCBS REPORTED A LOSS OF OVER $133,000 on $1.75 Million Dollars of Receipts. This is unacceptable. Would you participate or donate to another national charitable organization with this performance? This is only from a single year. I ask where is the fiscal Responsibility along with any benefit to being a member? As one can see, all four area’s identified are directly related or each other.
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 strategy is stop the irresponsibility. If elected, I must convince my fellow Board Members to accept the situation and, make the tough decisions to fix the problems and take the organization back to its members.
My Short Term Goals;
Make the sport fun and viable again
End the lack of transparency in the Conduct of Business.
Communicate with Membership
Establish Budgets and Audits for Accountability
Stop the Financial Bleeding
Create Programs that Benefit the Sport
Retain Professionals that will guide this Organization forward, while preserving its rich past and the foundations of its existence.
My Long Term Goals;
Offer amendments of the bylaws to take to the membership for approval that, Require Accountability, Represent the Membership
Equally, and require a minimum percentage of gross receipts to be spent on The True Mission of Promoting Barbecue and its Members.
The bylaws that govern this Organizations are antiquated and insufficient to effectively administer and protect the assets and mission
of the now Multimillion Dollar and nearly 20,000 membership base.
At the end of my tenure if elected I want to be remembered for making it better for all and solidifying Barbecue’s place one of America’s Most Popular Past Time!
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 fully understand the time and commitment required to make a positive impact on the state of the Organization.
5. What new ideas would you have in regards to marketing or new ideas that would benefit membership?
In its present state, KCBS needs Solutions rather than Ideas. I believe that real professionals in the field of Marketing need to be retained that have the experience to promote and secure the proper partners on a national level. A national firm with the history and account portfolio that has the talent and resources to rebuild the revenue base and thus begin to offer real value benefits to the membership. Things such a Contest prize participation, nationally sponsored Team Events. Media Attraction to exemplify the sports real family atmosphere and values. Fences need mending and new relationships need born.
6. Please describe your previous participation in KCBS activities and years of experience.
I previously served two years on the marketing Committee in 2015 and 2016. I am a Gary Wells Sportsmanship Award Recipient. I have always actively communicated and lobbied Board Members to make the right decisions for what is best for the Membership and not a singular interest. I am beginning my eighth year of continuous Competitive Cooking in KCBS Contests and have cooked KCBS Contests since 2009. Since then I have competed in over 200 KCBS Sanctioned contests in 25 States, and have 31 Grand Championships and 17 Reserve Grand’s. I’ve seen a lot of territory, met a lot of people, but most importantly, I’ve listened to a lot of concerns and praise about what this sport and KCBS is all about.
7. Please explain why you want to be a member of the KCBS Board of Directors.
I want to see BBQ survive this downturn in popularity. I believe I can bring a presence of fiscal responsibility back to the membership from an acute understanding of not only the business, legal, and financial aspects of an organization the size of KCBS but, I want cooks, judges, spectators, and affiliated partners to believe that once again this sport and KCBS is thriving, fun, and a valuable investment for all involved.
This will take a Board Member that believes in unifying for the good of the sport and all parties involved.
I am that Candidate.