Rick Wagner


KCBS BBQ Life: ?I have been a member and cook since 2013 and served on the Rocky Mountain BBQ Association Board of Directors interestingly enough when they changed their website, I feel your pain with your new website.

Work Life: ?I have been a CPA for about the last 40 years after graduating from the University of Arkansas. Out of school I worked for a large firm and eventually started my own firm and grew that to the point that I sold it to an even larger firm and became a partner in Eide Bailly, LLP one of the top twenty CPA firms in the nation. I manage our healthcare business from Oklahoma to the west coast and specifically work with distressed community Hospitals to turn them around. During my career I started out doing tax and audit and have migrated to consulting based on my years of experience. 

Volunteer Life: ?I have been on numerous non-profit boards, many of which as President over the last 40 years. Currently I am on the Board and Executive Committee of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and a board member for Saint Mary’s Academy, a school with grades Pre-K to 12th. These board positions teach you how to work with a diverse group of board members to advance an organizations missions and goals. 

Family:??I am married to Marlo Wagner, which has been a judge for KCBS and two girls Morgan and Sarah, ages 22 and 15 respectively. Marlo comes with me to some events and cooks the desserts and sides of which she as a couple 180 pins. She did really well in her first Kansas City Royal last year.

General Campaign Platform

I want to use my financial background and longtime membership in KCBS as a cook to work with the other board members to manage the business of KCBS. With a business this large we need a finance committee to deal with the monthly financial statements, manage the upcoming audit and oversee the preparation of the annual 990 tax return. We need to prepare financial projections of the next five years and give the board something to guide them in the long-term decisions that need to be made. I want to work with all the other Board Members to make KCBS a financially stable organization for many years to come.

Q: Please explain why you want to be a member of the KCBS Board of Directors and the skills you possess which would make you an asset as a board member.

I feel I am the right person with the right skill set at the right time for the KCBS organization. My work life is all about managing change. I work with Community Hospitals across the country to find ways for them to survive in today’s fast changing healthcare environment. I have taken dozens of Hospitals from the verge of closing to be a successful community benefit providing the right care at the right location in an environment that seems to be changing daily. My passion however is BBQ and sharing that passion with others. By combining my work life of managing change with my passion of BBQ I can assist the Board of Directors to bring KCBS to a new level while maintaining all the attributes we love about the sport. Other positives I bring to the board is that I am a CPA and can assist with the financial issues as pointed out by some of the current board members when they ran for the Board last year. KCBS is going to have their first financial audit, I am licensed to do audits and can assist in managing this process. KCBS is a non-profit organization that files 990 tax returns with the IRS, I am trained to prepare and review these returns and can assist with that process. Being a CPA I can assist with the books and records and making sure those are reported to the members on a timely basis. This is a member-based organization and should report to the members. We have a great Board now with their diversity of talents in business as well as, great cooks, organizers, reps and judges, my addition would simply bring another talent I feel is needed at just this time in the history of KCBS to continue to move the organization to another level and benefit to its members.


Q: Please describe your previous participation in KCBS activities and years of experience.

I have served on numerous non-profit Boards over the last 40 years including the Rocky Mountain BBQ Association Board. I am currently on a school board and the executive committee for the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. Succeeding as a member of a non-profit board requires a unique commitment to the mission of the organization, you get no financial benefit as a volunteer Board Member. Your purpose is to work with the other Board Members to focus on the mission of the organization and advancing that mission for the benefit of its members. I have been a cook for the last six years and been lucky enough to win a couple contests, heavy emphasis on the “lucky”.

Q: As a board member, what do you believe are the major challenges currently facing KCBS?

KCBS is at a point in its business life where change is occurring whether the Board or its members wants it to happen. No one likes change, I deal with change every day in my work. The keys to managing this change includes; continuous and open communication, management of your financial future, board members that all work together in a collaborative fashion to achieve results and focusing on the mission of the organization even when the method of achieving that mission might be different than in the past. We need to get our financial house in order, so the organization can outlive us all. This is where I will focus my attention based on my skill set and work with the other board members that have skill sets in other areas of the organization. We need a finance committee that is made up of board members and some non-board members to oversee the financial operations for the members. We have many challenges from consistent judging to maintaining the right number of events but with my background I feel the need to focus my attention to the financial side of the operation. We need to not only manage our current finances but also look to the future and project our potential financial picture. What if the membership drops how do you deal with that from a financial perspective. What other revenue sources are we looking into for the organization? We need to be more proactive rather than reactive with our financial health of the organization. We should have monthly financial statements posted on the web site as part of the board minutes for the members. The benefit to me assisting with this process as a board member is that I have the accounting and financial background to make all this happen and I am a cook that is passionate about this sport and can understand the mission of KCBS.

Q: In dealing with these challenges, give an example of how your skills would serve the KCBS membership as a Director on the board.

If given the opportunity I would start with two items:

1. Make sure the current books and records are in order and do what is needed to get monthly financial statements posted for the membership. 
2. Prepare some financial projections of what our future looks like based on other board members input for the next five years. This would give the board a financial guide of the issues or opportunity that exist for the organization in the future. 

We need to be looking forward and not back. The organization has had a great past, thanks to all the board members and volunteers but now is the time to look forward and help make KCBS live on for many years to come.