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Viewpoint: Reply to ANA Hindsight and Vision

By Ron Brown 

Mr. Ellsworth,

Your recent exposition on taking the ANA members out of the selection process for electing the President and Vice President of the ANA and abdicating it to some inside selection process is most offensive. Your rationale is insulting and injudicious. In reply to your point that ANA is unique in the election of officers, Ihave been on many non-profit companies’ boards that have large net worths where all the members still retain their votes. How this is in any way a justification for your proposal is beyond me.

An example that comes to mind is my status as a shareholder in the Green Bay Packers where my vote still counts in board member elections. It is not a for-profit business, but the difference between for-profit and non-profit is negligible. As a past director of both types of entities, the basic difference is at the end of the year, one has net “loss or profit” and the other has net “deficit or excess revenue.” Both follow standard business and management processes, with the exception of a non-profit possibly having a development director who seeks donations.

I see your expressed idea as a promotion of PNG that goes along with their protracted occupation and control of the ANA. Nothing about this idea is helpful to the ANA or its membership but giving control to others enables them to direct our organization. To further justify your defective plan, you state that a large part of the membership does not vote anyway.

They do not vote because ANA alienates them via programs that benefit not the membership but companies by board relationships with companies that benefit each other, leaving membership in the cold. If you want voters, embrace all the membership and not deep-pocket business over individual members. You’ll likely think I’m wrong but your very own comments besmirch members by saying that “any unqualified and under-motivated member” can seek and win elections – as if someone running for office could be one.

It seems that what you’re really saying is: you want the ability to say who is and is not qualified to be President or Vice President. Every member should have a seat at the table and your dangerous idea could disqualify members because you or others think they should not have a voice. This is the perfect design that would allow select individuals to gang up on others because of some perceived notion. It is not democratic!

The membership should have the input before a business relationship is established. Currently, business relationships seem to benefit the business and not necessarily ANA members.

This “Viewpoint” was written by ANA member Ron Brown.

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