Richard Fergola - Gardner, 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 fortunate enough to have two hard working entrepreneurial parents who both instilled the mentality that nothing in this world is given to you, you have to go out and fight for what you want. With that foundation in place, I have attacked life aggressively. As a young man, I found myself faced with many of life’s adversities in the classroom, the streets, and in the wrestling room. I battled and overcame obstacles at a young age and those victories propelled me into bigger and greater things as I grew up. As an adult, I entered into the teaching and coaching fields as ways to extend my upbringing and give back to others in the classroom and on the wrestling mat. This career path offered me many opportunities at the High School and Collegiate levels
and opened doors for me to be involved in training some of the most elite wrestlers in the country for national and world competitions. My most crowning moment was finding my ability to recruit college athletes and grow small, somewhat unknown programs into powerhouse programs and win national championships. That drive, desire, and determination to be the best at everything I do and to fight for what I want has led me to be the man I am today. I strongly believe that our life experiences shape us and we only grow as a person if we take the time to learn from those experiences. As a KCBS board member, I feel I can bring many leadership qualities, a desire to get things done, dedication to excellence and passion for perfection to the organization in a positive way. I feel you will not find another candidate that has my ability and determination to make stuff happen and passion to get others on board and involved. Within the transformation of turning a BBQ hobby into a
business, I have had to sell and promote our product and brand like no other and that’s one of the most complimented things I hear from others is how well the Fergolicious name is out there in people’s faces. I feel I can bring that to KCBS and help make the name and the brand even bigger and better than it already is. Leaders learn by taking time to reflect on their life experiences. Learning from life experience requires us to develop a regular practice of reflection.
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.
As a cook and master judge some of the major concerns I see and hear out on the circuit is the inconsistency with the judging, contest reps, and the promoting/representation of the cooks within the organization. For examples Who is representing KCBS, who is/are the face/s of the organization and how are they being promoted, projected, treated, utilized, etc. within those roles.
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.
Short Term Goal:
KCBS is established as the world’s largest organization of barbeque and grilling enthusiasts however not all members are on the same page supporting and backing the organization in a positive manner. I would like to change that and help people know exactly what KCBS is doing, has done, and can do for them as members.
Long Term Goal:
My goal would be the help improve the overall vison of KCBS and try to make it a more unified, inclusive, organization that has “All” the members in mind and to continue to proves it is the best BBQ organization in the world!
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’m an all-in or nothing type of guy and sometimes it’s perceived as negative, aggressive, arrogant, etc. but it gets stuff done and usually done at a higher level than others. From me you will get more than you probably need or want however, it will be positive, productive, and get completed.
5. What new ideas would you have in regards to marketing or new ideas that would benefit membership?
Marketing is my thing and I love putting myself, my company, my product, my brand, and my reputation out there for all to see. I am not afraid of the public and actually feed off it and will do the same for KCBS. Promotion and marketing has to be consistent, cutting edge, and innovating. I feel with a little brainstorming as a team we can come up with ideas to expand and grow off of what currently exists in the organization.
6. Please describe your previous participation in KCBS activities and years of experience.
I have been an active member since 2012 as a cook doing just under 100 contest and I have earned my Master Judge status with roughly 35 judged comps.
As a Team we have represented KCBS at the Bass Pro Shop days the past two years We have been ambassadors for KCBS on numerous occasions on TV shows, in interviews, at our BBQ classes, and in our daily work at KC Grilling Company. Most recently, I attended the upcoming Awards Banquet food tasting to help set the menu for this year’s event.
7. Please explain why you want to be a member of the KCBS Board of Directors.
I would love to be a member of the KCBS Board of Directors as a way to help grow and develop the overall image of KCBS worldwide by fostering a positive working relationship with all involved in the organization not just focusing on memberships but on training, opportunities, recognition, resources, networking, special projects, events, and more for all.