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Taxidermy Today and Tony Finazzo

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Greg Waite, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. Greg Waite

    Greg Waite Active Member

    First I want to say that this months TT is probably the best that I have seen. Very informative, lots of good articles.

    Second, the Tony Finazzo running for president ad. Tony let me be one of the first to say, congrats for running. I do have a few questions though...... What is going to make you any different than the current pres? The reason I ask is because I know that you are currently on the board and I don't really know where you stand.

    Why should we vote for you? You had a great ad in TT but you know as well as I that anyone can paint a pretty picture. I joined the NTA recently because I was vocal about what I saw from the outside and got tired of hearing "you're not a member". I am still perplexed by the whole ED fiasco that recently got swept under the rug because of reasons that noone discusses.

    With the recent resignation of Manny Chavez, there seems to be some understirrings that may be good or may be real bad. From my understanding from his posted letter, there seems to be some questions about underhanded dealings (Please forgive me that I can't remember the exact wording but you get the point) In your ad you hinted about making board members accountable for their actions or inactions. Care to elobarate? Many feel this is one of the problems with the way things are currently done.

    Thank you for taking the time to answer any or all of these questions. If you don't feel like discussing this on this public forum I understand, feel free to PM me or PM me and I'll give you my home number.

    Sure wish Mr Chavez would have eloborated a little in his letter. Would probably be helpful in determining who to vote for in the upcoming election.
  2. AmyH

    AmyH Guest

    One reason I can think of, off the top of my head, is that Tony has clarity on what "net profit" means.

    Bill Haynes stated very clearly that the Billings convention lost money. (source: post The Outlook is here!!!, page 1)

    The NTA website lists the November minutes, where it states "Executive Director Report Greg Crain, Executive Director reported on the Billings Convention. Net profits were $25,586.11, approximately $4,500 below the targeted profit of $30,000. Wesley Touchstone reminded the board that these figures were the net profit after all expenses and commissions were paid. The president accepted the report." (Source, NTA website, page one of downloadable November NTA minutes.)

    The above clearly states that a profit WAS made. Tony was aware of this, and clarified this information publicly, documenting that the show did in fact make over $25,000 in profit after all show-related expenses were covered. (Source, post New NTA member, page 2)

    Bill either is unclear on the concept of "net profit", or is unclear on the concept of "lost money". I would think it would be important for an NTA President to be able to express his point in plain English with accuracy. Bill uses English, it just seems that his words don't always mean what he thinks they mean.

    To Bill, "lost money" is the same as "net profit of $25, 586".

    If you've seen Manny's post, you've seen his clear, English, point that he left over ethical reasons. Interesting how this translates on the NTA website into "I have accepted the resignation of NTA Board Director Manny Chavez due to family and personal problems." Somehow, that's not how I would have translated that particular letter ... but then, my only language is English.

  3. Gunluvinfull

    Gunluvinfull Guest

    That is a very good magazine. I love it.
  4. Greg Waite

    Greg Waite Active Member

    AmyH - you seem to be very well informed. Although I enjoy these posts, they often leave many questions unanswered. Being as well informed as you are, maybe you can explain what ever happened about the ED position that was supposed to be "up for grabs"? I know that I keep bringing that up but it seems to be something that should concern every member.
  5. AmyH

    AmyH Guest

    Greg, go to www.nationaltaxidermists.com, the official NTA website. You may need to request your password to get into the member only section. (It's on the lower left ... click Minutes.)

    Download the November minutes and read them. The information is out there, it's just that it's simpler to ignore it.

    The NTA Board at the July 06 meeting, voted to advertise for this position. The also voted to hold monthly telephone conferences. This meeting was then not held, for whatever reason, until after the new board was in. At that meeting, the bulk of what was voted IN in July, was voted OUT, including the monthly telephone conferences.
    Read the minutes. They'll be enlightening.

    I, like you, find it disconcerting that decisions made by one board are summarily undone by the next. I was personally shamed that the Code of Conduct - essentially, a statement that each board member would learn & do their job, and not bad-mouth other board members - was NOT passed unanimously. Two board members behaved in a very childish manner about what is a very standard part of *most* non-profit boards - and which is clearly needed, given last year's lovely anonymous letter and the subsequent behavior of some board members - and the executive director - regarding that letter.

    Apparently in the NTA, though, we don't need basic business protocol. We'll just do it the way we've always done it, legal and moral issues aside.
  6. finazducks

    finazducks EJ is not the only one to have two Wasco Awards

    Greg, thank you for your questions. I think there has been a board in place that has been striving to do the right things for the membership. Unfortunately there have been some missed communications along the way. I'll try to give you an example without slandering anyone. That clearly is not my intention. The NTA Bylaw's state clearly that the board of directors make all decisions that affect the NTA. The board is responsible and liable for any and all actions they take.
    If the board directs something to be done and it doesn't get done, because the President doesn't direct it to get done there is a problem. This is one way I would be different. As President it would be my responsibility to get things done if the board directs it. for example; The board voted to accept applications for executive director. They directed that it be advertised in the outlook. It never got done. A simple fact. Now there is a problem. The board said it was the Presidents fault. The President said, He shouldn't have been expected to get it done. Here lies the problem. The President could have got the directive by telling the Outlook editor to put the article in, that simple. He didn't agree with the board so he did nothing. I don't believe he has that option. I have had the opportunity to visit with many of the Old Hats around the NTA. The common feeling is that this type of activity has run rampent in the NTA. There is a real danger that board members choose sides, without regard for the issue. If board member "A" suggest something group one is against it. because of who suggested it. I believe the NTA has been lacking in leadership. Sometimes for actions taken, but mostly for inactions. Some cliches come to mind. "If it aint broke don't fix it." "We've always done it this way" Even if we've been doing it wrong all along.
    "Be patient it will all be OK."
    There are no monetary benefits to officers and board members. Yet some board members have been blasphemed by an anonymous letter that came out last winter. Peoples families have been affected by things that were in that letter. last year attempts were made to exclude two people from running for the board and for Office. One, because his dues were paid late and another because he allegedly didn't get his Bio in in time. For were found fit to run by the board.
    There has been some real headway made by the board as far as procedure and correct ways of conducting business. Yet, there is resistance at every corner. Board members resign because of convictions that things need to be better. People that attend board meetings,they are open any and all members get a real look at how people are.
    When I appoint Chairmen it will be to get the best people to do the work they are best suited for.
    I would talk with anyone at length about the issues facing the NTA. I won't have a chance to win without many many people believing in me so if you have questions ask.
    I ask that you vote because your votes are important.
    In short Greg I believe without the leadership of the NTA the board will keep being stonewalled and hoodwinked.
  7. Jim Kimball

    Jim Kimball New Member

    Amen Tony..... Littlejimmythatcan'tspell
  8. Greg Waite

    Greg Waite Active Member

    Thanks for answering. AmyH - I have been to and read the minutes and, in my personal opinion, couldn't believe that things are handled the way they are. Why vote one way then turn around and vote different? The phone conference thing was a joke, it really made more sense to have people drive from BFE to a board meetign that could have easily been handled over the phone. I have to agree with Tony in the fact that there is currently no accountability and therefore the last phone conference was a fiasco.
    I also agree that if things are voted on, like the ad in magazines, that the objective needs to be given to someone and they follow through with it. I understand that the BM and officers are not paid and it is voluntary but why would you keep a position that you can't fill the obligations to? I think the pride in making our organization the best it can be, should be payment enough. Again, I am a new member and maybe I don't see how much goes into it, but how many of the BM are on their second or more terms? Did they not know going in that they were gonna have to work for it? Tony, you have brought up a good point in the fact that if such and such brings up a good idea it is shot down by someone else because they haven't kissed the right tail. Personal differences aside, which is more important, the better org. or foolish pride? As of right now, until further enlightenment, you have my vote. Of course there will be someone who will shed light on your past, as you well know. So until then you have my support, as did Paul Czarnecki before he was swept under the rug. Be careful, someone might want to sweep this under the rug to.
  9. Kim Owens

    Kim Owens Are we there yet?

    Thank you, Tony, for calling a spade a spade. I believe in you and can promise you that you will have my vote as will Brenda for Vice President. I don't think we need to go back in time with a President that continued to follow the status quo of previous NTA boards and officers when he was in office several years ago and is part of the problem at hand.
  10. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Well, since this is a political advertisement, I guess I may as well announce my candidacy as well. Tony Finazzo is a fine man and a friend of mine and I don't see how either of our objectives differ. Personalities, however, are entirely different in that I'm more prone to call a person a dumbass than Tony is, though he might mutter it to himself.

    Many in this commentary have included me in "the good old boys" while the "good old boys" have referred to me as "going over to the dark side". I guess I just can't win Miss Congeniality, but I do believe that if the truth offends you, you should avoid it at all costs. I don't believe in sugar coating issues just so you can swallow them and then tolerate indigestion. I believe that the NTA needs to be a lighthouse of information available to ALL members and that no member get preferential treatment. I also don't believe any board members should be given a free pass. If you screw up, you deserve whatever punishment is required to be meted out.

    Amy Hugon has had a vicious burr in her saddle over the "gross" versus "net" receipts of the Billings conventions. Regardless of how you slice it, the NTA has and did suffer financially for hosting consecutive conventions that far away from our core of supply companies. That doesn't make our supply companies "good old boys", it's just a fact of logistics and the fact that they chose not to send a caravan of supplies 2500 miles from their operating centers was a decision they made PROFESSIONALLY based on their profit margins - not because they didn't want to go to Billings.

    The competition area was FILLED with mounts. That's the first thing I hear. Sure it was. One, good management of a show would be stupid not to utilize all the floor space available. But HONESTLY, many of the mounts were of lifesized BIG North American Game. Three L/S mule deer bucks romping across the praire take up quite a bit of floor space. Add a few grizzlies, a cougar or two with diorama, a few sheep, and a couple black bear and you can "fill" a lot of places. HOWEVER, from a monetary aspect, the 3 mule deer mount profited the NTA exactly the same amount as 3 hummingbirds, 3 chipmunks, 3 squirrels, 3 foxes or 3 coyotes. Those animals would have left a lot of SPACE in Billings. Secondly, the western shows don't pick up the nomadic memberships that we garner in other places. Many people only join to compete and when you go to Billings, taxidermists from outside 5 or 6 hours drive aren't going to join spontaneously just to compete in one show. Considering the wide expanse of lands out west, the concentrations of taxidermists aren't nearly the numbers as you'd find in Texas or Mississippi.

    None of that is to cast aspersions on Billings Montana and the show. It's just FINANCIAL FACT. The show itself was a celebration of what many of us only dream about and seeing the quality of work was aweinspiring, HOWEVER, actual profits don't play into that.

    Amy is correct that we did NOT lose money per se. What she's implying however, is totally incorrect. She's implying that there was no loss to the NTA and that's completely untrue. When we don't meet budget, that means that the extra cushion of money we spend on ancillary membership perks is not available. Several items fell by the way at our winter board meeting when we discussed the availability of working capital needed for some of these "nice to do" issues. So NO, we didn't LOSE money at the Billings show. But we never MADE any significant money either and that's important down the road.

    And there you have the difference in our candidacies. You can have your cake, but I want to make sure you know the consequencies of eating it, even if you don't like the way I say it.

    Anyway, I'm too cheap to buy an ad in a magazine I don't subscribe to.
  11. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    This could be better than Hillary-Obama ;D
  12. AmyH

    AmyH Guest

    George, my basic point is that Bill did specifically state the the NTA DID lose money on Billings. Evidently he is incapable of putting together the complex thought structure involved in the paragraph you wrote above. I find that lack inappropriate, given the position he holds.

    My argument was never about did Billings or didn't it make *enough* for what the NTA wanted to do. That is a separate issue, and yes, is more complicated. That I recognize.

    My argument was always about Bill's declarative statement that the show "lost money", when all the facts prove that is absolutely untrue. Tony agrees, you agree, the NTA minutes agree. The show did not lose money. Only Bill seems confused about that point.

    If you don't like my words, fine, but I notice you aren't arguing my ACCURACY. I am simply pointing out that Bill's words were not accurate. I do feel the ability to communicate with accuracy is an important ability for the NTA President.

    It is a shame that an expectation that communications from the association president regarding major issues be accurate is presumed to be vicious - or my personal favorite, "pissed-off vindicative" (sic) (source: New NTA Member). There is a huge difference between "the show did not make as much profit as we would have liked" and "we lost money on the show". Those phrases are NOT interchangeable in standard English. Only in Bill's world do those phrases mean the same thing.
  13. Terry Bennett

    Terry Bennett Well-Known Member


    I am not sure about a vicious burr in Amy's saddle, or any other part of her anatomy. I can tell you however that we westerners take it a little bit personally when the western shows are singled out as the only ones that don't meet budget. As an example the last Billing show netted more money than Columbia 96,Huntsville 98,Columbia 2001,and Columbia 2002. In my opinion,after looking at the numbers the geographic location of the show may not have as much relevance to profit as one might think. For example the 98 Huntsville show made not quite half as much as the 2004 Huntsville show.
    As for the correlation of membership numbers and show location I don't agree with that point either.
    I can't say for sure how many members are actually on the roster, but I can say that the revenue from membership as reported for fiscal year 2006 is higher than any previous year that I personally have record of back to 1995. Also, I am sure that you are not purposely omitting Jonas, Research manikkins, and trufitt from the core of supply companies. I do remember seeing their booths at every NTA convention that I have attended, and lets not forget the many other tanneries,ruggers, skull cleaners,rock makers,etc, etc. that are located in the west.

    I will agree with you that concentrations of Taxidermists in the west are not as high as they are in eastern portions of the country, however the numbers of NTA members do not reflect that. A solid 1/3 of the NTA members reside in states that are west of a longitudinal line that starts on the eastern side of Colorado. Is it not the membership the the NTA is supposed to serve.

    I want to point out that I am not trying to make this an East vs. West issue. I am sure that NTA members in the north east would like to see a show in their neck of the woods once in a while also. I just want to see that the facts are reported accurately, and try and dispel some of the myths that have been propagated about all western shows losing money

    I personally think that The show should be on a geographical rotation.

    On a side note would it be possible to let us know what the items that could not be funded were.
  14. finazducks

    finazducks EJ is not the only one to have two Wasco Awards

    Greg, I'm too big to be swept under the rug. I made a personal commitment to make a difference.
    Hopefully I have already to some degree . It is extremely frustrating to leave a meeting feeling good about what has been accomplished only to see it all flushed down the drain behind closed doors. I think in order to make the changes I want to see, I need to be in more of a leadership roll. There does need to be more accountability and when people intentionally break the Bylaws they should be held to task.
    Greg, I can't wait to see what anyone digs out of my closet. Who knows, the next anonymous cowardly letter might be about Me. If that insights anyone, it was purely intentional. I only hope more members can see through it than last year. Anyone that knows Me knows I'm pretty strait forward, without a lot of Bells and Whistles. But I am a friend to the NTA and my commitment is total.
  15. Greg Waite

    Greg Waite Active Member

    George - congrats on running. This whole "net profit" thing has finally been explained in terms I understand, thank you. When you hear that the NTA did not make money, which is untrue, it did, just not enough to run future plans. That makes a big difference. The NTA did make money and that is the whole issue AMy is saying, unfortunately it didn't make enough to cover future expense. Please correct me if I am wrong. Here's the thing I don't understand, and this is not piching on the west or anyone else, but if we didn't make money _ number of times by going out west, why did we continue? Could we have not found a venue that would have been closer for the suppliers and more western centrally located? Again I am but a new member trying to figure this all out. The other thing is why does the board vote so counterproductive? Prime example is the phone conference issue. You have to admit that the costs of the phone conference is cheaper and less taxing on individuals and the borad as a whole, than for each member to drive half way across the country to vote against something that was voted and approved last time. I believe that there are a lot of burr under saddles, for me it is the ED position. I don't have anything against the current ED, I'm sure he does a fine job, but the way it was handled just blows my mind. I have said this before and will say it again, there needs to be a change in the current NTA. Maybe you or Tony can do something about it. You know I have bad mouthed the NTA as hard or worse than most others, but only because I feel it's falling far short of it's potential. I really believed Paul Czarnecki would have been a good change, also some new board members and maybe now a new president. But it's entirely up to the voting majority of the members to choose someone, not based on their name or popularity, but on their achievements or what they want to make the NTA. How many other board positions are open for voting? WHo do we have running? Can we get them to step forward and tell the membership about themselves and what they want to accomplish? I know Manny Chavez' position is open, unfortunately, but do we have any candidates for this one? I know that these issues can be covered in the members only section of the NTA website, but I feel it would better serve the taxidermy community, as a whole, to address them here. There are tons of potential new members here waiting.

    BTW thanks Ken for allowing us to play here.
  16. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    Man, first the rappers and now the Taxidermist's!
  17. mntduks-tx

    mntduks-tx New Member

    what is george running for?
  18. Greg Waite

    Greg Waite Active Member

    Glad to see michaelp kept up on hit rapping history ;) Who shot Tupak?
  19. Terry Bennett

    Terry Bennett Well-Known Member

    Please correct me if I am wrong. Here's the thing I don't understand, and this is not piching on the west or anyone else, but if we didn't make money _ number of times by going out west, why did we continue?


    First of all the NTA did make money going out west, just not as much as the goal set by the board.
    Second since 1991 out of 16 NTA conventions only 5 have met or exceeded said budget. Waco1994, Lubbock 2000,Louisville 2003,Huntsville 2004, Sioux Falls 2005
  20. AmyH

    AmyH Guest

    Greg, as a NATIONAL organization, we owe it to our members to move around the country.

    Yes, the NTA needs to make money. However, as Terry pointed out, MOST of the NTA shows do not meet the financial *goal* set by the NTA Board. They meet expenses, yes. However, if only 6/16 shows made their *goal*, that means that 10/16 (or 62%) of the shows do NOT meet that pre-set goal. So why does the only hue and cry of "we lost money" only occur when the "we didn't make as much as we hoped for" show is in the West.

    There is this furor of *let's not go to the West, we don't make enough there* ... when we don't make that pre-set financial goal in other places either? I've never seen a post on "We'd better not ever go to Columbia MO again" .. and yet Billings made more than any of the THREE Columbia MO shows.