NTA Promotional Video Scandel or not?

Submitted by Wade on 7/13/06 at 11:31 PM. ( wadeesplin@acninc.net )

I'm a Lifetime Member of the NTA and until recently have been a member on paper only. I am a hobby-taxidermist, but taxidermy is my passion. I wasn't aware of any issues in the NTA until I received my copy of the famous "letter" a couple months ago. I wanted to find out what the issues really were, so I decided to start asking some questions, out of curiosity mostly. Wow, there sure is a lot of sludge out there on both sides of the issues. Getting to the bottom is nearly impossible because everyone seems to have their own agenda, but I think I'm starting to find the truth. Sometimes you can tell the crap by the smell.

One thing that is particularly disturbing to me was when I learned about a promotional video that was made for the NTA. I'm not exactly sure how much was spent making the show, but I understand that it was around $10,000 although Bill Haynes says that is an exageration. The video was paid for by a loan from the Charlie Flemming Educational. It appears that the Board had an informal vote and it was unanimously approved (at least I don't know of any members that voted against it). To be honest, I probabaly would have voted for it myself. Long story short, the video was made, the money was paid, sponsors were aquired (at least $8,000 - best I can tell), and then the video seems to have disappeared. I have been unable to confirm if any of the sponsorship money was used to pay back the loan, but I have reqested that information from the NTA headquarters.

Bill Haynes said there were 6 copies at the Board meeting that he made but "no one... asked to see the film." (The full story is posted on taxinet I found it by doing a search for "Bill Haynes Video", it's entitled "Since you asked...") I've spoken with several Board Members and it appears that none of them even knew the video was there (if it actually was). I have heard rumors that the video had some sort of controversy associated with it, but noone seems to know what, because they've never seen it.

Out of curiosity I wrote an e-mail to Bill Haynes expressing my concerns and requesting that it be shown at the upcoming general membership meeting in Billings next week. Why not let the members see it so they can form their own unbiased opinions? I was told that "The board has not considered making the video available to members as of yet." He also said that he thought that the video would be shown at the Board Meeting, but that it was up to the Sponsorship Chairman (I guess that's Mark Wilson). I then made the same request to all of the Board Members and Executives (including Mark Wilson) that I could find e-mails for. There seems to be some sort of agenda behind not allowing members to see the video and this is why I am on this forum. I exhausted myself trying to get answers out of the President and after his last e-mail to me titled "PRIVATE", I thought it would be best to keep everything out in the public. (I can't think of a whole lot of reasons why the President of a public non-profit organization would need to send "PRIVATE" e-mails to a member that he's never even met before. What is everyone so afraid of?

Is there anyone out there, besides me, who is curious about the video and wants to see it, too? Does anyone know how much the video actually cost? Does anyone know if the loan was ever paid back? Were there actually any sponsorships for the video? If so, how much did they pay? And if they paid as sponsors, wouldn't they want the video to be played so that their money wasn't wasted? If the video isn't fit to be shown to the members, shouldn't the sponsors get a refund on their sponsorship money? What's going to happen to the future of the CFEF, if there's no seed money left? I guess I have a lot of questions, that I don't think are too extreme, but when I asked them to Bill Haynes, I got responses like, "Your concern over the scholarship money is baseless." And, "There will always be enough money for scholarships,as the principle is never touched." If you borrow money from the "principle" of an endowment fund via an interest free loan, wouldn't it have some effect on the potential to earn interest and give out scholarships? Another silly question, I guess.

I'd like to hear what everyone else thinks about this issue. I'd also like to encourage you all to call, or e-mail the NTA leadership and ask them to allow you, as a member, to see the video that was paid for with a loan from a educational scholarship fund that you may be entitled to benefit from.

I hope to get to know you all at the Billings show next week. I hope that my simple curiosity hasn't ruined my chances of making friends there. Oh well, I guess anyone that would be upset by my probing for the truth is not anyone that I want to know anyway.

Wade Esplin

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This response submitted by Bill Yox on 7/13/06 at 11:58 PM. ( )

When the next Breakthrough comes out you might read my Yox Yax column. I wrote about supporting the NTA as our strong voice for our industry. Yet I would have to agree with Wade on these concerns. Its not time to condemn the NTA as a voice for us all, but it sure as hell sounds like its time to clean house and have folks who are in the organization-running business to run this correctly. I personally am tired of the ballot for officers running looking more like a popularity contest. Lets start running the NTA as an open organization. Unfortunately, like too many other groups, it becomes a top heavy board with only a few true hard working individuals doing all the work. How many board members are there? How many have turned in their committee reports, or done what they were appointed to this year? I am not looking for any names, Im just asking as a matter of fact. I dont think this is the best we can do. I realize that Im not one for this job, but there are those who will be able to do it, why not allow them to?


This response submitted by George on 7/14/06 at 12:48 AM. ( georoof@aol.com )

Aside from having your facts skewed about 180 degrees, you might be surprised to hear that the video will be played at the Saturday night Awards Banquet. I don't know where you got the $10,000 figure, but that would impress the hell out of me to think that the Charlie Flemming Fund had that much to "loan" us in making the film to begin with. There were no "sponsors" tied to the filming, otherwise, why would there have needed to be a "loan". If I recall, and I may be wrong here, but the cost was around $3,000. I don't THINK it has been paid off yet, but it will be if we're able to get corporations to come on board as "official sponsors".

I know when you see it, you're still going to have questions. I've already heard most of them. "Why did it cost so much?" "Why wasn't it longer?" "Why did you pick them to do it." Just remember, the video was taped by a professional crew selected AT THAT TIME. It is to be used for advertising on outdoor show segments for television and it's not a half hour program. In hindsight, there's probably a lot of things that could have been done cheaper or better, but SOMEONE wasn't there to make those decisions when they were needed. It's easy to Monday morning quarterback, especially when the person doing it was sitting in the cheap seats to begin with and not out there on the field.

For some God awful reason, many members ASSUME that the NTA has cash flowing out of its seams and that "headquarters" is a manicured lot with a fancy brick building outside Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Well, pop that bubble. Like most non-profit organizations with less than 10,000 members, we tend to live hand to mouth existencies. We have an Executive Director who works for less than you could expect to make at McDonalds in year. I know he gets paid a helluva lot less periodically than the French frier gets paid. Our board gets nothing. As a life member (like me) you should realize that our membership funds were deposited into cash bearing accounts to pay for many of the services all members get. That means that you and I are actually paying LESS per year for our membership than many others. I hope that encourages you to dig a little deeper next week at the auctions and maybe even consider a donation or two.

Bill Yox made me privy to his upcoming article in Breakthrough and I hope everyone on here takes time to read it. It strikes at the very heart of a posting just like this one and should come as a jolt to many of you who seem to think that when we say "SOMEONE" should do something, we didn't intend to include ourselves in the work. SOMEONE DOES have to do it and I, for one, would love to see you join in and help. Conventions don't just happen. SOMEONE has to work very long hours so that the effects look as if they go seamlessly. If you'd like to be SOMEONE, you can catch me running around between seminars or you can volunteer to Cindy at the Registration table.

Wade, I appreciate members who insist on knowing how the NTA operates. Everyone should, but I have to give you a little jab. Your posting has managed to perpetuate the mudslinging that always happens just days before we open a convention. This film took place a year ago this week and you had 300 days to ask for answers. I'm no elected official, but I keep my nose stuck in NTA affairs because I feel that's an obligation of my membership. (One board member actually told me that some information was "none of my business", but I think we got that straighted out pretty quickly.) I'm always on here speaking to issues and my email is always posted. Had you bothered to ask here, I'd have given you direct contacts and specific figures anytime you asked. The only "secrets" the NTA seems to have is the source of all the conspiracy theorists.

It's tough giving you exact figures right now as you've waited so late. NTA headquarters is packing boxes from shipments and the Executive Director is pretty close to boarding a plane for the site. There are reams of contract problems to be ironed out before you show up next week. All my information is already packed up, but I'm SURE some board member could give you the exact expenditure.

George, thanks for your response.

This response submitted by Wade on 7/14/06 at 2:15 AM. ( wadeesplin@acninc.net )

Wow, to be honest I'm a little surprised that it took you so long to respond. I expected you to be the first one, but the fodder-like content was right on cue. Actually, I was expecting you to make fun of my spelling, did you miss "scandel" (it should be Scandal).

I have three basic rules about taxidermy: 1. Only take technical advice from taxidermists that are at the top of their game. 2. Only listen to businessmen who know more about running a business than I do. 3. Only learn people skills from people who have them. Since you don't fall into any of the above catefgories, I give no merit to your response. However, in fairness to the others who will read this forum, I feel that I should clarify your untruths.

First, I look forward to seeing the video at the awards banquet. How you got that information (not being an elected official) before Bill Haynes is beyond me. He said that it might be showed at the Board Meeting but only if Mark Wilson allows it. I guess either way, it will be history next week. If my information is skewed 180 degrees, it's because I got it from the president. Perhaps you should direct your comments at him. By the way, if your not an elected official (your a member like me) how did you get permission to see the film that has not been "made available to members as of yet" and I have to get special permission from the Sponsorship Coordinator. That seems a little messed up, don't you think?

Second, as informed as you claim to be I'm blown away that you didn't know that the money was loaned from the Charlie Flemming Educational Fund, I thought that was general knowledge. Once again, I got that info directly from Bill Haynes and he even told me that it was an interest free loan. Since neither you nor the president know how much the video cost, I'll tell you where you can find it. In the Outlook Magazine November/December 2005 Issue on page 8, the NTA Treasurer's Report, about 2/3 of the way down on the left column it gives the exact amount... $10,836.12. I appologize for the mistatement. Your estimate of $3,000 was way off! And sorry Bill, I guess you were wrong when you told me that I was exagerating. There is one possibility, perhaps the Treasurer lied in his report and the editors failed to catch the mistake. George, perhaps you can launch an official investigation. Bill Haynes was the one who told me that he thought we had received $8,000 in sponsorship money. Before you make another post like this will you at least get in touch with him so that you can both get your stories straight.

I liked your comment about sitting in the cheap seats. Your right, I haven't been much of a support at the National Shows. Largely due to the fact that taxidermy is a hobby and most of the shows are at least halfway across the country. Despite these facts, I did make the extra commitment of becoming a life-member. In fact, a couple of weeks ago I upgraded my membership to a Family Life-Membership to show my support, even though my wife thinks dead animals are gross and would never consider touching one. You forgot to calculate that into your brilliant theory about me trying to save money!

Where did your Bourbon Street comment and how much Greg Crain makes come from? And just what does that have to do with a promotional video. If you want to start a new topic, please follow the forum rules.

It's funny that you asked, but we are planning on donating to the auction. The donation will come directly from our family and will not be a donation that we solicited from someone else. I look forward to seeing what you plan on donating. Not that it's anyone's business, but I look forward to the auction, it's probably one of my favorite parts at every convention I attend. As far as your opinion in this matter, please see my basic rules listed above.

Believe it or not, I almost agree with some of your comments on helping out at the show. I have a pretty good idea what it takes to put together a show as I have been involved in the Idaho Taxidermists Association for several years. I don't doubt for a second that Cindy does a lot of work. Every time that I've ever had a question or concern for her she has been there to help me and has been very prompt in doing so. I am taking a couple extra days off work (without pay) so that I can be there in time to help set up backboards, etc. I was planning on bringing a drill and some basic tools. Is there anything in particular that I should bring to help out. As far as running around between seminars, I may have to pass this time. I have been to quite a few shows in the the 8 years that I've been involved in taxidermy, and don't remember ever being able to sit through an entire seminar. I've been one of those guys doing the running around and this time I am looking forward to actually learning from those taxidermists at the top of their game. (See my basic rule #1). I will gladly help with set-up and take-down and anything I can do around the classes. Thanks for the invitation.

Thanks for the "jab" for not putting my nose in the association like I should. I think I admitted in my first line that I'd been a slacker. Thanks for restating the obvious. As far as calling my posting "mudslinging", what would you call yours? In fact, the majority of the trash throwing I've read on here came straight from the horse's mouth. Quite frankly, I'm glad I didn't ask you first, I think I've shown how valuable your "specific figures" are.

Simply stated, I tried to resolve what I thought was a legitimate issue through private means. I felt like I kept getting the run around from people with answers and "facts" much like the sludge you just posted so I decided to take my concerns public. Now I'm some sort of malicious mudslinger.

Back to the questions at hand. Am I the only one who didn't know about the video? I welcome legitimate comments, from either side of this issue, but let's try to stick to the facts in the future.


Thank you Wade

This response submitted by George on 7/14/06 at 10:29 AM. ( )

Someone contacted me and assured me you weren't "looking for trouble". I see by your bulldog attack that argument had no merit and since I'm obviously someone who doesn't possess any qualities you would seek advice from, I guess I'll just post this here for those who might be interested.
1) I have NOT seen the video as you imply. I never said I had. I did help MAKE the video. I wrote up all the cue cards that the speakers deliver in the video. I spent most of the last Saturday of last years convention helping with layout and word content.
2) I am NOT an elected official of the NTA, but I am APPOINTED to handle several functions. I am the Seminar Chair and the Audio-visual Chair. (I make sure your requirements of rule #1 are sufficiently covered.) I ensure that the equipment is on hand when needed and I handle the specific contracts required for EACH event that takes place during the convention. I sit through contract sessions prior to the convention (as in Tuesday morning before the Board Meeting this year)and insure that the hotel has met it's agreed upon requirements and add in anything they've either missed or we forgot to include OR SOMEONE added at the last moment. I have also be asked by the NTA President to be the emcee at the Awards Banquet. As such, I was informed that the video would be played to the "largest audience" at the convention. I don't think there's anyplace you'll find more than the 600 people we expect at the banquet.
3) I have no idea where you concluded that I didn't know the money was borrowed from the Charlie Flemming fund. That was common knowledge to anyone who inquired.
4) You seem to have no idea how monies are handled within the NTA (I'm not sure we do at times) HOWEVER, sponsorship money comes in many forms. Many firms donate cash awards earmarked specifically toward one particular project or piece. The Breakthrough Award of $500 goes only to the individual winning the Breakthrough Award. Others go to special groupings. This year one talented taxidermy family donated $100 that is earmarked for the Horizon Award winners (our future taxidermists under the age of 18) who enter their pieces in that category. Many corporations donate money that goes directly into the General Fund which pays for general operations. And finally, we get many who sponsor the cash awards program at the convention that we refer to as the Prize Fund. Select winners such as North American Small Game get a "cut" of that prize fund. The actual amount received by that individual is determined by an approved nomogram that equally divides the total sum of money between winners AND ordinary NTA members who haven't entered anything. That "Prize Fund" is spent in it's entirety. If we have $3000 in the Prize Fund, $500 is earmarked to be given away to 10 NON-competing NTA members at the banquet in $50 denominations. (Any of us serving in official capacities are exempt from winning ANY cash prize.) The remainder of that $2500 is spread over 12 other categories.

Since I obviously have no people skills, I guess that gives me a free pass. Since I'm here so often, I guess I wasn't considered part of the "public" you brought this issue to. Since all I gave you was sludge, do you have a better source available to your here? I'm gratifed that you will take "a couple extra days off (without pay)" to attend and enjoy the convention. I think I've already used up most of my extra days off getting a few items I hope you'll get a chance to enjoy taken care of. Next week, without pay, I'll fly all the way across the country and spend a whole week working (without pay). I usually put in about 80 hours at a convention, but I do that only because I enjoy it. I won't get to see any of the seminars since there's 5 or 6 of them running simultaneously that need attention. When they don't, SOMEONE has to be preparing the boards and supplies for the next seminar after the one in progress.

I do hope you find time to come up to me and meet me at the convention. I apologize ahead of time for not recognizing you on sight. I apologize to everyone because the faces of most attendees tend to become a blur to me during the convention. Some old and dear friends have jumped me about not even speaking to them and I assure them that I actually never "saw" them. I'm not "at the top of my game". (I doubt I ever was.) Since you have been in business 8 years, my being in it 48 doesn't count for anything except survival, and since I have so few people skills, I'd admonish you to be very careful when you meet me. I wouldn't want to disappoint you in telling you something you may not have known.

Total costs

This response submitted by George on 7/14/06 at 2:18 PM. ( georoof@aol.com )

Here's what I found out this morning. My figures were incorrect in that I was quoting only the video costs. I referred to the 2005 Annual Report, page 8, second column, about half way down. The total cost of the entire venture was $10,836.12. This increased cost over the actual video was because the NTA also had to pick up transportation and lodging costs for 4 people (the two camera jockies had to be paid union wages) along with complimentary registration and banquet tickets. I was advised that gross and net are never the same and I apologize for no realizing the ancillary costs involved in this venture. As Wade said, each board member was contacted and asked to vote on the issue. It can only be construed as the expenditures were approved by the board.

Since I'm there

This response submitted by George on 7/14/06 at 2:38 PM. ( )

You NTA members can refer to the Annual Report for many items you have questions about. If you look at that referenced Treasurer's Report, move over to page 9. Near the bottom it lists the Investment Accounts. Charlie Flemming Educational Fund has $17, 875.52 (We usually present 2 or 3 $500+ scholarships each year), The Competition Prize Fund had $22,506.57, and the Life Membership Account had $42,782.97. That looks good until you scroll down to the Outstanding General Fund moneys owed for 04/05Yr. You'll see that money was also borrowed from the convention account and that the NTA executive/staff had not been paid yet. There's no scandal to be found if you look and ask the right people. I called Wesley Touchstone and in 2 minutes, he'd given me everything I've just reported.

Now will SOMEONE please tell me that they're looking forward to coming to the convention next week just for the fun of it and not to start a fight. That would be so damned refreshing to hear occasionally.


This response submitted by Crusty on 7/14/06 at 3:08 PM. ( )

I was really trying to find a way to come down, but it looks like it ain't gonna happen. A buddy was just there last week, and said it had been 100+. I start melting like the Wicked Witch of the West over about 75, so it's probably just as well. I'll have to try again I guess...

looked forward to going but,,,,,,

This response submitted by drew on 7/14/06 at 3:16 PM. ( )

ran out of time. i missed fred vanderburg seminar in texas and was looking forward to it at nationals, but i am behind at the office so i am staying home this summer. i am preparing for louisville next year.

oh yeah, i wanted to try my luck panning at the sapphire mine too.

My 2 cents worth (or 25, you decide)

This response submitted by Wade on 7/14/06 at 5:49 PM. ( wadeesplin@acninc.net )

I'd like to start by talking to those of you new to taxinet about the evolution of issues in the NTA, as I see it. If you are a member or just a taxidermist considering becoming a member you need to understand first and foremost that you are WRONG and that your opinion has no validity. As long as you accept these basic rules and are prepared to have your grandmothers illicit affairs dragged through a mire of muck, then you will be accepted with open arms. The forums usually go in something like this: 1. You have a legitimate question. 2. Someone answers it right away or... 2. (most likely) Someone will find something wrong with your request and the battle to defend your integrity begins. (It doesn't really matter if the thing you unknowingly did wrong was to forget to check the archives, making a spelling error or ask about your concerns with the way the NTA is run - someone's going to unload on you with both guns.) Since I've watched these forums long enough I fully expected the alternative #2 response. 3. If after being attacked for asking a legitimate question you respond and in an attempt to support your position you will be accused of "looking for trouble) and someone will call your defense a "bulldog attack). (Because bulldogs don't just sit there and take unprovoked verbal tongue lashing very well, I guess?) 4. If your response is valid, and substantiated and proves that the instigator of the attacks was really at fault, the subject will quickly change to assuming that you meant what you didn't say and that they didn‘t mean what they did say. When they realize that they are getting deeper they will try to change face, by changing the subject altogether and making it look like the person with the question is just so negative and they are trying to drag down the entire association. (Kind of like the kid saying, "Fine I'm taking my toys and going home.)) If none of these options work, a mass mailing will be sent out where someone says that they know someone who saw or heard that you did something but that to protect the innocent they choose to remain anonymous. It's all just a contest to see who can pee the farthest. I'm not too experienced at public urination, but I'm sure that the "FNTA) will come up with something.

Now, I'd like to respond to George's last posting to me. Just exactly how was my defense to your verbal vomit a bulldog attack? I believe that you actually used the phrase, "I have to give you a little jab.) Perhaps I'm reading something into it but the thesaurus mentions stab, punch and thrust as synonyms for your chosen words, all of which are aggressive in nature. I guess it could be said that you drew first blood. I'm still not sure how asking to see a video that was paid for with well over $10,000 in borrowed educationally earmarked money is "looking for trouble). (For those of you are new to taxinet, this is where the alternate step #2 begins.)

(1) You said that I implied that you had seen the video, I think that I "assumed) would have been a better word. You see, you said in your first post, (referring to watching the video) "I know when you see it, you're still going to have questions. I've heard most of them. ‘Why did it cost so much?' ‘Why isn't it longer?' ‘Why did you pick them to do it') It appears that people who have seen the movie have been asking you questions about it. (Why would anyone ask, "Why isn't it longer?) if they haven't seen it?) Any reasonable person could assume that it would make no sense for someone, after watching a movie wouldn't ask for clarification from someone who has never seen it before. Maybe the whole thing about people asking you questions was just made up altogether, is that it? Now that you mention it, why isn't it longer. It is my understanding that the movie was to be a documentary of 60-90 minutes. You're making it sound like a 2 minute commercial. I certainly hope that you weren't involved in making a $10,000 commercial that's been missing for nearly a year. Were we planning on running this ad during the Superbowl? Perhaps there are two movies? The commercial and then the members aren't yet authorized to view.

(2) Sorry I didn't know that you were appointed to the positions you hold. You weren't listed in Outlook as an Executive or as being on the Board of Directors. Perhaps you should contact them and let them know that they need to make that change. After all, you deserve all of the recognition you can get. (Isn't that the purpose of Taxinet though? A forum for you to bang your own drum?) As for your comment about making sure that my requirements of rule #1 are sufficiently covered, I don't remember saying anything about only taking advice from taxidermist when the audio and visual aids are working properly. Your point being? (For those of you new to this, you may want to pay attention again.) I've found in my experience that the keynote speakers and those presenting the seminars are more likely to have beneficial information than the housekeeper that set it up and takes all of the credit. Be sure you're getting your information from the right source. (Funny, the work that you are doing at the show (contracts, etc.) sounds like a Board Members responsibility. Were you appointed to a Board Position? (That's probably a question for another day.)

(3) I concluded that you had no idea that the money was borrowed from the CFEF when you said, "That would surprise the hell out of me to think that the Charlie Flemming Fund had that much to "loan) ($10,000) us in making the film to begin with.) in your first post. How could you "KNOW the money was borrowed from the Charlie Flemming fund) and be as surprised as hell if it was at the same time. (You're loosing me in your changing story, George.)

(4) What's your point here? If sponsorship money came in for the video it would likely come from companies or individual interested in promoting themselves and the ideals in the video. Any such monies should automatically be earmarked as sponsorship of the video monies and used to pay back the loan. Am I way off there? If there was in fact money collected then there should be equal payments reflected on the outstanding loan.

Finally, your comment about me being in business for 8 years and you for 48 ( how do I know if you have 48 years of experience or just one year's experience 48 times) doesn't count for anything. Where did that come from. (I believe that you are referring to my basic rule #2. I believe that is "Only listen to businessmen who know more about running a business than I do.)) One of the things about taxidermy businessmen that I like is that they are required to be jacks of all trades. To run a successful taxidermy business you must know everything from marketing to finances to tax and wildlife laws, not including the secrets of the trade, etc. In my opinion if you can be truly successful in a taxidermy business, you can succeed at anything. I have little interest in running a successful taxidermy business, primarily because I am way too slow at it. However, I believe that this is an excellent group of business owners where I can learn how to run and improve my chosen profession and business. It's rare to find an industry with talented leaders such as the ones in the taxidermy industry that are willing to share their secrets to success. And most of them are willing to do it to help others and aren't quite so concerned about how much recognition they get. I want to learn and emulate those who are at the top of their game. Your statement assumes and infers that the only business experience that I have is as a "hobby taxidermist) the past 8 years. Actually, I worked in management for a Top-50 Fortune 500 company for over thirteen years, and am currently on a Board for a company that did $500,000 in sales last year and is on track to break $1,000,000 this year. In September I will be flying to Baltimore for business and leadership training with Donald Trump. (I'll send you some pictures.) So in response to your arrogant statement about telling me something I may not have know, I'm really not interested. Especially if it has to come from someone who's been in business twice as long as Wal-Mart, yet no one has ever even heard of him And knowing that the information will likely be force fed because the delivery will be totally unpalatable. How about instead of you giving me some of your unwanted knowledge at the show, I give you a quarter and you call someone who cares. Just a little note: A wise man once told me, "If George has a problem with everyone, the problem is George.)

By the way, I'm jacked about attending the show. My past experience has been that conventions like this are primarily filled with positive, up-lifting and fun people. There's always a few rotten apples, but no one pays much attention to them anyways.


Wade, you don't know any "wise" men

This response submitted by George on 7/14/06 at 7:13 PM. ( )

You've managed to turn a post into the anti-NTA tripe you intended. As I said, why did you wait until a week before the convention to vent your spleen? Did you look in your NTA Annual Report? Did you bother to call Wesley Touchstone when you thought you were getting a run around? Why didn't you just come out and admit what's obvious: you were just trying to bait me into responding just so you could vilipend me? You win.

I don't NEED my name published in Outlook. There are many other people appointed to various positions who don't have their names published either. Skip Skidmore is Judges Chair, Larry Bloomquist is Parliamentarian, Frankie Thompson is Ethics Chair and John Janelli is Conservation Chair.

I see you didn't bother to read about "sponsorships". If you had, you'd have seen that this particular video was produced to advertise THE NTA and not someone else's business. These are ADVERTISING VIDEO CLIPS. The NTA doesn't just divert sponsorship money into an advertising campaign. Had you bothered to read your annual report instead of frothing at the mouth about my hurting your tender sensibilities, you'd have known that.

I had to laugh at your use of the word "arrogance". That's a killer when in the next breath after saying it, you want to learn from industry leaders how to be successful in taxidermy. Then you tell us how you'll be flown to Baltimore and drop the name of Donald Trump and how you'll be in his presence. Joe Kulis is giving the only business seminar I have scheduled this year, and Joe's quite successful. I'm not sure he's in the Donald Trump category, however. I'll also have to inform the seminar hosts that many of them aren't up to your standards of qualifications. How about supplying me with a list of a few who are so I can insure that I invite them to next years convention in Louisville?

I didn't ASSUME anything about you. I just repeated what you said. I don't much care if you were President of Slobovia for Life. If you're a taxidermist, that's what the convention is for. (You implied that you'd worked the Idaho shows, but Dino Hugon seemed to have a tough time recalling who you were.) Not many of us who could have been in big muckity muck organizations would try to correlate what taxidermy is to big business. If being a camp follower is your thing, enjoy it. Most of the very best talent in this industry live in middleclass brackets. Their TALENT didn't come with a silver spoon.

I can see where you'd need to seek out the advice of someone with people skills. It's pretty obvious you need to be housebroken first. If you're looking for a conspiracy theory, you'll find it. If you're looking to make life miserable for everyone around you, you'll succeed. But if you're interested in meeting good people who'd like to enjoy themselves, they'll be there too. I probably won't meet you it seems, as I plan on being with that last group.

George, Dino knows who Wade is

This response submitted by Amy (Idaho Taxidermy Assocation Secretary) on 7/14/06 at 8:47 PM. ( )

George, Wade is a long-term member of our ITA Board. He was personally responsible for our hugely successful youth education board at our state show. His very talented wife donates beautiful artwork each year to our auction, and created the artwork for our letterhead and our t-shirts. Dino absolutely knows Wade, his beautiful wife Jenny, and their kids.

Did Dino know who was fussing here in the internet? Nope, he opts not to hang out here. However, he is very clear who Wade is. He may or may not choose to discuss him with you, and that is his option.

Anyone who doubts my word is free to contact Terry Bennett, Idaho Taxidermy Association state president, and verify that Wade is, in fact, a current, involved, supportive, active member. Terry can be reached at 208-461-3155 or bennetttaxidermy@earthlink.net.

Wade's questions are valid, and he is completely entitled to ask them, whether or not someone YOU like assures you that Wade wasn't "looking for trouble", whatever THAT is supposed to mean. What, asking a valid question is now an evil thing?

Wade's initial request - to see the video which was funded by NTA money - seems extremely reasonable to me. I think that, since this is a video the Board is very proud of, they would be excited to show it to the membership. I understand, from your post, that it will be shown at the Banquet. Great. However, that was NOT the information - or lack thereof - that Wade initially received from Bill Haynes. Bill seemed to feel that it would require umpteen Board members to agree to "permit" the membership to see this. I think, since this was an NTA funded video, Bill should have been thrilled at the opportunity for the membership to see it. I'm confused as to why this even became an issue.

I also find it pretty darn funny that you chose to list the video production money only, and ignore the additional costs listed in the financial report. Sounds like someone who goes shopping and then hides packages in the closet so they can later say "Oh, this old thing? I've had it forever." The amount isn't a secret, and the source isn't a secret, but both you and Bill seem determined to keep insisting the total was under 10K.

Methinks someone is protesting a bit much.

Good night.

How it should've been handled

This response submitted by Wade on 7/14/06 at 9:36 PM. ( wadeesplin@acninc.net )

May I be permitted to give a hypothetical example of how this should have been dealt with.

Day 1: E-mail to Bill Haynes: "Bill I am a NTA member, and would like to request that the Engel's NTA Promotional video be shown at the upcoming show. I also have some concerns about how it was financed. Wade)

Day 1 or 2: Response from Bill, "Wade, I'm glad that you are interested in viewing the video. We are excited about showing it. We haven't yet finalized the agenda, so I will talk with a few people and see what can be done to ensure that it is available. If we don't have time for it at the show, check with me when you get there and we'll work it out. As for your concerns, I don't have all of the financial information with me but I'll get the information and we can discuss it at the board meeting as well as the general membership meeting. Bill)

Day 3: E-mail to Bill: "I know how busy you are and I appreciate you taking the time to do that for me. I look forward to your response. Wade)

Day 3 or 4: Response from Bill: "Wade there has been a few other requests from members on this same issue and rather than answer the same questions over and over, I've decided to field them all at the general membership meeting, after we show the video. I hope that will do. See you in a few days, Bill)

Day 4: E-mail to Bill: "Sounds great! We'll see you there. Wade)

That's how it should've been handled, but unfortunately it wasn't. George, I'm not really sure what your feelings are about the video, but I'm sure I'll get a chance to hear them soon enough. I have a feeling that our ideas on it are not really that different. My whole purpose in starting this post was to ensure that the mysterious video was shown at the convention. True George, timing had a lot to do with it. Had I brought this up 6 months ago, no one would care to hear about it now and the chances of the video ever being shown (in my opinion) would have been very small. I've spoken with several others about this very subject who have tried and failed to get it shown. Quite frankly, when I was e-mailing Bill Haynes, I was becoming convinced that I wouldn't get anywhere either. (By the way, I never even got a response from Mark Wilson who I was suppose to get permission from to have it shown.) Not that I was able to change anything, but at least now it has been posted on a public forum that the video will be shown at the awards assembly. I'm not so sure that that is the place to show it considering the controversy surrounding it. I would think there should be time to discuss the good, bad and ugly without interfering with the culminating event of the show. But I respect and support the Board's decision on when it will be shown Do I think the video was a scandal? No! I think it was a poor hastily made decision. Do I think that someone should be held responsible for it? I'm not sure, I haven't seen it yet. I do think that it needs to be shown and dealt with rather than swept under the rug. If it turns out to be a bad deal, we need to figure out how to fix it and move on. If it's a good deal then we need to get it out there and promote the industry!

George, I owe you an apology. My purpose, to ensure the video be shown was accomplished in your first posting. After that I WAS just egging you on. I'm not sure why you get so fired up, but I was playing with you. I will say this much. I think you have excellent writing and communication skills. I have read a few of your postings in the archives and must admit that I have learned a few things from them. It's obvious that you are dedicated to taxidermy and that you are a wealth of knowledge. I'm sure that you will continue to answer postings on here. My only request would be that you try not to be so harsh. I was harsh with you because I wanted to prove a point. The only thing I did was create bad feelings between myself and someone I've never even met. I hope that we can move forward. And I will find you when I get there and shake your hand. By the way, I don't have any "basic rules for taxidermy). For me it's about meeting people, having fun and appreciating other people's talents. And I come from a middleclass background just like everyone else. Nothing's ever been handed to me on a silver spoon, I got my first job working on a hay farm the summer after the fifth grade. If I didn't think that the taxidermists presenting the seminars weren't a goldmine of information, as well as the many participants and suppliers that will be at the show, I wouldn't waste my time.

We'll see you all at the show. I hope it's one of the biggest and best ever. See you soon!

PS: I may get a little vocal at the board meeting and membership meeting. I hope no one takes it personally. I think there are some issues that need to be confronted, dealt with and put in the past. I hope that we can all work together on that common goal and make the Association the best it can be.


This is why I have sworn off organizations

This response submitted by Ron on 7/14/06 at 10:15 PM. ( )

Goerge, you do the NTA no service. You are a truly insulting ass.

Now Wade is either a liar or a concerned member. Which is he Goerge. All the questions he asked are legit. He either got no answer or he lied about not getting one. Which is it George.
Fact is, one of you arrogant bastards that are at the top of this could come on here and answer these simple questions in five minutes. Why the stalling act. If you know so g**d***b much george how come you thought the video only cost 3000. Lets see, you mist it by $7000. Remind me not to trust you with my money. Tell me why in the hell you did not know this. Do the top guys not give you straight answers either. Come on! This kind of crap makes me sick, and I have seen so much of it.

This is my second apology this week. I'm on a roll

This response submitted by George on 7/14/06 at 10:18 PM. ( )

Wade, I too apologize. I tend to get very defensive when someone tells me I have an ugly baby. I know it's ugly, but it's MY ugly baby so I tend to get stupid about it.

I never was "sold" on the idea to begin with, but like a good soldier given undesirable orders, once given it's my job to carry them out. It all started innocently enough and with great intentions, but the subsequent fallout has actually polarized the current board which has led to a lot of nothing being done in some cases. Had we just waited a few days and explored an opportunity John Janelli had offered, we'd have found out that Joe Kulis would have done the same thing for us for FREE. Trust me when I tell you, this "video" has been a boil on a lot of butts this last year. It was "supposed" to have been shown at the Winter Boards. As I couldn't attend, I'm not sure why it never was, but it wasn't.

Amy seems to think I care how much was spent (or reported) but as you can see, the $10,836.12 is pretty solid evidence that it's not my intent at all. That's part of the official record.

I hope you ARE vocal at the board meeting. More members should be active and demand information that's supposed to be public knowlege. I thrive on the truth because I won't have to remember what I said last week when I do.

Look me up and I'll buy the sodas. Then we'll find Dino and I'll kick his butt for hemming and hawing earlier today.

Ron, you're out of luck. Two's my limit for the week

This response submitted by George on 7/14/06 at 10:33 PM. ( )

I told you, the cost of the VIDEO was in that $3000 bracket. It was all those niceties that I wasn't told about and that were added in afterwards that caused me to be so far off. I see in the annual report that a total of $9,687.90 was "borrowed" from the Charlie Flemming Fund. Still, it's not like the money was STOLEN, goofball. Money was simply moved from one designation to another and IT IS ALL DOCUMENTED for those who can and will read. But you sound as if you aren't a member anyway, so why would you care? I didn't know all this because I wasn't a board member during that period. I'm just a member of the NTA and I can only ask questions that I find as a member of the NTA. Wade seems certainly on the right track, but then again, he's a Family Life Member. What's your excuse?

Thanks for your response George.

This response submitted by Wade on 7/14/06 at 10:43 PM. ( wadeesplin@acninc.net )

I was right, we are on the same page about the video. I don't think the issue is going to go away. It's obviously a sore spot for a lot of people on both sides. Unfortunately, it's had a year to fester. Let's get it out in the open, clean it up and let it get better. I think that if we can compromise on that one, we can all learn something from it and it may help bring some unity back to the association.

See you in Billings!

Hey George

This response submitted by Joey Arender on 7/14/06 at 10:46 PM. ( J32a2aol.com )

I am coming for fun! and to be told just how ugly my babies are. Maybe they aren't as bad as i think. I just hope they aren't much more worst then i think. See ya there.

Been there done that... thats my excuse George

This response submitted by Ron on 7/14/06 at 10:56 PM. ( )

George, I don't give a crap about what the video cost. If its quality 10 grand isn't bad. My problem is WHY WERN'T YOU TOLD about the ""niceties".
My problem is with secrets in a public organization. Give me a f-ing break. This is a taxidermist association not the CIA.
My problem with you George (besides being an ass which i swear you can't help) is you never adress an issue. You attack and avoid. Answer Wades damb questions. Why was he given the runaround. Why is getting an answer out of these people like pulling teeth. His questions are not subjective, they have answers. They could have been answered long ago.

When some one at the table says ''I am going to buy a coke for 50 cents'' then comes back with no coke, wont admitt to the final price of the coke, and wont commit to showing anyone the coke, guess what; everybody at the table is now suspicious. It is perfectly okay to buy a coke. It may be a fine coke, it may have cost a little more than expected, but when you act in this way nobody can trust you. If Wade and several other are not liars then I suggest you get rid of everyone at the top and start over.

Look Ron, I don't know how else to tell you

This response submitted by George on 7/14/06 at 11:34 PM. ( )

I told Wade what I knew. I didn't invent anything. Then I refused to be put off and made more calls. That's when I found out that the information I'd wanted was already available to me had I know where to look. I honestly don't believe there are any "secrets" out there. I do believe that just like the niceties, I wasn't given the correct answer because my questions wasn't specific enough. I'm not saying I like it, but it's a valuable lesson to learn so I can improve the way I address an issue.

Whatever you think of me is irrelevant. What you think of your ability to continue in this business should be damned important to you and everyone else who isn't a member of the NTA. There is no other organization out there to represent you on national and international issues. Our membership is small (even when we encompass the 80,000 or so practicing taxidermists who are just like you and aren't members). Our only hope is to unite and entice other larger forces to allow us to ride their coattails.

I can appreciate you wanting direct answer to all your questions, but Dick and Jane books aren't used in school any longer. People seeking simple answers to complex questions are in a dream world that's never existed. If I PERSONALLY am not doing enough to keep the general public informed, how the hell do you sit on your pompass ass and accuse me of misleading anyone. You could help, but you've already decided that you'd rather be part of the problem rather than work with me for the solution.

George once again you do it.

This response submitted by Ron on 7/15/06 at 10:53 PM. ( )

They weren't COMPLEX QUESTION ASS WHOLE. George, I've been doing this taxidermy thing since I was ten years old and I can't tell you a g**d*** thing the NTA has done for me. As much as I hate to say it, you have done more for taxidermy by answering questions on here than they have for me.
Also George, I never accused you of "'inventing"' or misleading ANYTHING. You simply attack and avoid.

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