Tom et al,
Let me preface my comments : The following are opinions of mine and do not represent those of the AAOP board.
A little background as we begin.
Perhaps it would be easiest to Quote from The KPMG Peat Marwick report of May 1998.
“FINDING: The current organizational structure of the National Office, specifically in relation to AOPA, the Academy, and ABC, empowers neither the staff of the National Office nor the staffs of affiliated associations, resulting in frequent stalemates, miscommunications, and, ultimately, in a lack of mission focus across the organization as a whole.”
>From Lang & Associates the following selected quotes:
1. This physical uncovered a number of serious deficiencies in internal controls and information systems which threaten the safeguarding of the Organization’s assets, reduce the reliability of financial information, and cause inefficiencies and frustration for the Organizations’ staff and members.
2. (From Appendix A) Credit card processing is done only once a month for all four entities due to time constraints.
3. (From Appendix A) … the NO bank statement has never balanced in the six years she has worked at OPNO.
>From Johnson Lambert and Co. Feb 12, 1999
“The processes that have evolved over the years are unduly complicated for the nature of existing operations. Redesigned processes should be streamlined to enable timely and effective controls.”
Now that gives three different outsiders selected views of the National Office. I am completing my fourth year on the Academy board, and it is no secret that I am one to question almost everything, to the point that some think I don’t trust them. With the aforementioned problems I just think it is good policy to ask a lot of questions and for documentation to back it up.
I think you can agree if this is staff driven it is the “worker bees” and not the ED’s that caused the stalemates, miscommunications and lack of focus. Need I remind you that National Office and the three organizations staff did not work a forty hour week, prior to 1996.
The National Office staff grew from 1989 staff levels on Pendleton Street to a staff of twenty two, and a vacancy for Managing Editor by 1998. At that time the Academy had 6 positions, AOPA 9 positions and ABC 7 positions. That’s 23 staff for the NO, and 22 for all three of the others.
There were no members of the national office, Article V – Non Membership- “The National Office shall be a non stock, non-membership organization.” A board of directors that met two to four times a year, while primarily responsible to one of the other organizations, is not a picture of efficiency in my opinion. It leaves the board to rely totally on staff, and little control of anything except the Exec. Director. I think we call that the fox guarding the hen house.
I think all of the respective volunteer boards recognized by the increases in the number of staff and the financial allocations increasing without an increase of service, the system was poor at best. We mandated to the ED’s that the NO budget be controlled. Charlie Unger was able to “squeeze” $125,000 out of the NO budget to fund a project when at least one organization declined to buy in. No staff lay off, no reorganization… hmmm.
There were serious problems! At some point you have worked on an orthosis, probably built by someone else, and adjusted and adjusted to the point it still got them along but you knew it would probably be more cost effective and functional if you just implemented a new orthotic system.
That is where I see us.
Gary A. Lamb LPO, CO, FAAOP
Comprehensive Orthotic-Prosthetic Enterprises
1742 Hickory St.
Abilene, Texas 79601
From: Tom Lunsford, CO [SMTP:[email protected]]
Sent: Sunday, October 17, 1999 11:46 PM
Subject: National Office Break up
Why is the National Office being dissolved? At first I thought it was a
negative reaction to the failed consolidation vote. However, after talking
to a few insiders I have been informed that this is staff driven (Executive
Director Staff). Apparently, the national office is not big enough for some
of the egos of the chief staff of the three organizations. As long as there
is a National Office, they will not be the chief staff of anything. Also, I
was informed that they do not get along well and have managed to manipulate
the volunteer leaders to go along with the break up.
If this is true, it does not seem to be in the best interest of the
profession or industry. Perhaps the volunteer leaders should have replaced
Charlie Ungar, President of the National Office, after he was fired? Having
three EDs running around without direction or anybody to report to could have
led to this situation.
I am not sure there is anybody left in the leadership who can reverse the
damage. I personally feel betrayed by those who went along with this idea
without any communication to the field. Perhaps we should listening
carefully to the positions of the candidates for the BOD positions in the
next election? Perhaps we should nominate more forthright leaders?
Tom Lunsford, CO