Haymo Gutweniger - St. Johann, Italy
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.
One of the absolute best things for me is surely my ability to talk to a lot of people in their mother language. It is clear, in our BBQ family the official language is English, but often, internationally it helps a lot being able to clear things in the mother language. So over English I’m fluent in German, Italian, have a good French and some Czech.
Coming out of working in International sales business I am used to deal with a lot of different attitudes. I’m fast in understanding the situations and can find solutions between parties. I’m patient but take the decisions when they are needed to be taken and can bring people together in working for a common goal.
Getting this together I am really able to bring people together and work with them to find a base for a common decision where no one feels left behind. My patience, ability and my luck not to get nervous in stressful situations brings all together and gives the chance to focus on moving on the business to a higher level.
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.
My luck here is that I cover various seats. I’m judge, Rep, Instructor and organizer. So with this I see problems, that the three parties (organizers, judges, cooks) have. As said, our stable-instable system needs all three parts. Otherwise a contest is not possible. The biggest issue for me is the often misunderstanding between these 3 parts. At the end they all have the same problems but seem to speak different languages.
My plan is to work to bring them back together (not counting for all or the most – but sometimes it seems so) and bring them to one equal level, to be able to talk clearly together and to solve the eventually upcoming problems together. I want to work for a better understanding of the parts and these will cost a lot of energies and time. We have to be able, and that is one point where the board has to work hardly, to bring the different parts together and this will make
sure that we are able to improve and grow.
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 surely our membership rate. I want to understand why we are always around at about the same quantity of members. We have a big potential but it seems to me that often we look to much in getting new members and are losing “old” ones during that time. We have to look good on our existing members and hear their voices. We have to work with them, cooks, judges, everyone interested in BBQ. They are even our best marketing in the same moment. They have so many information, we have to use this one to improve.
That means, my short-term goal is to stabilize our membership and working with them together for my long-term goal – increasing
Our members love BBQ and we all together share the same passion. This passion is that what we are talking about always. That means all of us walk out and explain often what we are doing. I want to work on increasing membership together with our members, all of us are talking to so many people. If we are able to bring more people in the long-term goal is reached. And it will be reached by all of us together.
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?
About my time management I am very lucky. I’m working in International sales of emergency lighting for tunnels, that gives me the chance to organize my time freely. That means that I’m available when there is the need of.
Just actually, following KCBS in Europe for the most of the time, I am ready to answer questions, solve problems and help when there is the need of.
I know the easiest answer hear is to say I have the time when I need it, but I’m aware that working in the Board is not a something
It is our work, our daily work, to contain the actual status we have and work hard all together to bring KCBS to new levels. To have our membership stable and to increase it. For me we have a big potential and we have to work hard to increase. We have to be clear and communicate well. Than we can grow on a solid base and grow all together. We are the trendsetters and that is not a title, that means hard work. We have to stay on top of it and lead on. So I think, there will be surely a lot of working hours every week for me, and yes, for sure I will be an active board member.
5. What new ideas would you have in regards to marketing or new ideas that would benefit membership?
Being a Rep, judge and organizer I see the different parts of our passion in the contests. We have a stable-instable system. We have the 3 major parts, organizer, teams and judges. And these on these three parts are based my ideas. There are often misunderstandings between them, but in the system, if one of the parts is missing our whole passion breaks down. So that for me is the major issue, we have the problem to have this system running well. We have to work with the organizers to build together a good, stable base on the contests we have. We can use knowledge we have
to help them to get better and better and we are able to let them grow with the level of quality.
We have to take care about the teams, their evolution combined with tradition, and we have to work with the judges, continuing education and help them on their way. We have new teams competing, we have to avoid their start problems as much as possible, to guarantee that they have fun and see progression on their cooking.
The next part is that we have problems to increase the percentage of remaining judges and members. Being an Instructor too, we are always loosing some of the fresh judges, we have to find ways to integrate them better. We have to find a program step to integrate new judges and members better in our family, to reduce the leaving percentage.
Last part, our organizers – we have to hear their problems and work on these too. Surely a long way, but to keep our passion alive we have to be near them and help them – often with little actions we are able to solve problems for them. At the end, I see it as my main goal, I think we should be more active in bringing young people into our passion. We have Kid’s Q’s but for me we should work a program out to bring youngsters into our family. The age between 18-23 would be great. From judging to cooking, we can work out a program and bring them into traditional BBQ, we surely have to move out to get in contact with them but they can build up our next generation for sure. We can think about special newcomer programs, a long way but over the time it surely pays back well. This for me is my main goal in the board. Creating a program to open up our family to youngsters. Teaching them the tradition of BBQ and with that way open new roads for KCBS with keeping and spreading the tradition.
6. Please describe your previous participation in KCBS activities and years of experience.
I came into KCBS with the first CBJ-class in Italy in 2014 and kept the contact to KCBS from than. Over the time I was able to travel more and more and met more of my new family. Travelling not only in Europe but even the United States the legacy got and gets stronger every day.
Serving as an International Representative and CBJ Instructor gets me the chance to help to make KCBS grow and be in constant
contact with organizers, cooks, teams and judges.
On the other side as one of the organizers of W.E.S.T. every year in January I know the organizers side well too and this helps to give
a hand to new organizers and to help the spreading of BBQ love.
It might seem a short time but with the growing of KCBS internationally I was able to be very active and I’m travelling and spending
around 18 to 20 weekends for KCBS a year, a quote that tends to increase constantly.
We have a high potential to grow, but we cannot forget about the existing. We have to do a double job, holding and improving the
present and look good on where and how to grow.
7. Please explain why you want to be a member of the KCBS Board of Directors.
As a new director and with an International view I’m able to keep the traditions and bring in new energies and inputs. On one side to work on keeping KCBS the leader in BBQ and on the other side heading to new goals and markets in the future. Simply keeping solid the base but even staying up to date with the trends. Not only seeing trends them but creating them and leading to new ones.
The KCBS family is leading, has to keep the traditions and with them this family is able to move on to new levels. We are truly a worldwide family and all together we can strengthen it more. As a director than yourself have to hear well the voices, take the decisions all together and then lead all to move on.