Forrest Bruce

Forrest Bruce - Overland Park, KS

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.
I have been a successful Entrepreneur for over thirty five years. My partners and I grew our company to be one the largest in Kansas City area, with over 265 employees. Dealing with a large list of clients over the years with more than 70 million dollars in Real Estate assets, we had to change with the times and rapid changes in technology.
• Financial Skills
• Negotiation Skills
• Teamwork Skills
• Communication Skills
• Knowledgeable of the KCBS By-Laws/History/Previous board meeting minutes
• KCBS Representative (Rep)
• Certified Master Judge (in less than 1 year)
• Certified Table Captain
• Over 200 events
• Lifetime Member
• Committed to serving ALL members
I firmly believe that the best directors think of themselves as stewards. As stewards, they consider matters not through the lens of self-interest but through the lens of what is best for the organization. I accept that board membership requires a time commitment of anywhere between 5-25 hours of work a month, more or less depending on committee assignments and regular attendance at board meetings. I will delegate, but not abdicate, to my committee
members. Work with the board will be a priority.
As a board member I will be open to hearing and evaluating the viewpoints of others, and willing to discard old beliefs in favor of new ones. I will work closely with my fellow board members to seek as many avenues as possible to maximize the mission of KCBS.

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.
We need to immediately increase our membership base. There has been approximately a 10% drop in the number of members in the last three years. We need to make this a priority.
In addition, I would like to see all new KCBS Judges cook with a team before they complete their 10th event, along with Cooks having to Judge so they get a better understanding of the Judges perspective. Over the years I have seen many times that a judge who has cooked with a team knows how to be a better and smarter judge. The payoff is that their overall judging scores will improve.

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 short-term goal is to get fully involved from the very start by acting instead of reacting. I will maintain a strong work ethic that is responsive to the member’s needs. I want to make a difference for all members.
My long-term goal would be to see that as KCBS grows in membership, types of events i.e., grilling events, collegiate events, etc. I think that a strategic plan should be put in place to meet or exceed future growth of the KCBS.

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 am committed to whatever amount of time and energy is necessary to complete my committee assignments. I have shown that I am willing to go above and beyond what is expected to be a board member who fully supports and promotes the KCBS mission. Although I still run my own business, I am partially retired which allows me plenty of time for KCBS.
• I will be prepared for Board meetings. My committee reports will be prompt.
• I thus have the time to commit myself to KCBS business. And we must bear in mind that KCBS has become a substantial business, with all of the problems and benefits that entails. I have been on various boards and organizations over the years. I think it is important for people to know that if you make a commitment you must follow it though until complete.

5. What new ideas would you have in regards to marketing or new ideas that would benefit membership?
One of the biggest challenges that we face is devising ways to grow the membership. We could add a separate burger contest and a separate steak contest. We can focus more attention on grilling contests. Tailgating as well would attract more members, especially if we revisit Collegiate Tailgating.

6. Please describe your previous participation in KCBS activities and years of experience.
• I have been active in KCBS for 8 years.
• Life member
• Certified Master Judge
• Certified Table Captain
• KCBS Representative (REP)
• Assisted at CBJ classes
• Drove or flown over 12,000 miles at my own expense to participate in KCBS events Over 200 events as Judge/KCBS Rep.

7. Please explain why you want to be a member of the KCBS Board of Directors.
I already support and promote the Kansas City Barbeque Society. I will bring my knowledge and experience to help advance this great organization. My flexibility allows me to always find many ways to promote KCBS. I believe in KCBS and its mission and want to further its traditions. Most importantly, I seek to be a voice of the membership in bringing any concerns to the board to further strengthen, promote and ensure the longevity of the organization. I will continue to support its teams, judges, organizers, and the communities in which its events are held. As a member of the KCBS board, I will have more influence and more opportunities, both within and outside of the Society, to achieve our stated goals and to promote the KCBS Mission. I feel I am an ideal candidate who can represent all of the membership.
I would sum up my position by citing Robert Greenleaf “Servant Leadership”
“The best leadership begins with a desire to serve, not ambition for power, position, privilege, or prestige. Like stewardship, directors are not at the pinnacle of the organization; they are part of a strong base. The people of the organization do not serve the board; the board serves them. The board governs. Management manages. In other words, Nose in, fingers out”.
Please vote for Forrest Bruce