Friday, January 4, 2008

RANT: KCBS Elections

The Kansas City BBQ Society (KCBS) is the largest and most prestigious of the various sanctioning bodies for BBQ competitions. In addition to overseeing hundreds of events a year, the KCBS acts as an evangelizing force, preserving the tradition of low and slow BBQ for generations to come. They provide a monthly magazine, a dedicated websites, judging classes, cooking classes and more.

The membership of the KCBS is currently in the process of deciding who will help lead the organization in 2008. Voting for the Board of Directors is going on now and will finish up on January 17th. We thought that this would be a good time to speak with Merl Whitebook about the organizational structure of the KCBS and see how things are run.

Merl is the Chairperson of the Nominating Committee for the KCBS and has graciously agreed to answer a few questions for us.

Q. Once a nominee for the Board of Directors is elected, how long do they serve?

Each member of the KCBS Board of Directors is elected to a three year term. KCBS has term limits of two consecutive terms. After rolling off the Board for a year, a person may run again for election.

Q. How many members of the Board are there and how many positions are open this year?

There are 12 members of the Board of Directors. Carolyn Wells is the Executive Director and sits on the Board as a nonvoting member. Each year we elect 4 directors for a three year term.

Q. What is the role of the Board of Directors and how does it differ from the KCBS Officers?

The Board of Directors have the responsibility in a fiduciary capacity to the organization and its members. The Board defines the Mission and the Vision of the organization. KCBS is a 501C4 corporation and is governed by the corporate laws of the State of Missouri.

Q. How many employees does the KCBS have?

KCBS has a full time Executive Director and three wonderful administrative assistants who run the office.

Q. Are there any permanent positions amongst the Board and Officers?

Each year the Board votes for the executive committee (President, VP, Secretary and Treasurer) from the Board of Directors. There are no permanent positions, except for the Executive Director sits as a non voting member.

Q. What is the average turnover rate during Board elections?

About 1/2 of the members of the Board serve two terms. The remaining half a single term. Therefore the average is 4.5 years. This does not include those who roll off the Board due to term limits and then come back for additional year of service to the organization.

Q. Are their any restrictions on how many terms someone may serve?

KCBS has a two term limit

Q. Aside from being a current member of the KCBS, are there any other criteria for running for the Board?

KCBS ask for the members to consider the skill sets which a Board Member will bring to the organization. Being a member of the Board is considerably more than being a cook, a CBJ or a Contest Rep. The Board deals with issues in accounting, marketing, procedure, legal, technology, as well as rules, personnel and competition. The organization needs skill sets to meet these needs. The Board is responsible for a substantial business enterprise.

Thanks Merl! Remember, if you are a member of the KCBS you can place your vote up until January 17th. If you are not a member of the KCBS, drop by their website at and consider joining.

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