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Candidacy Statement

Discussion in 'Eddy Funahashi' started by steven s, Dec 7, 2023.

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    steven s

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    Eddy Funahashi
    Central California Chapter

    Three years ago, I asked for your vote as I sought the office of President of our club. I was humbled and grateful for your vote then and with that same spirit I ask again for your vote. Over thirty-three years of membership I have witnessed a great deal of change, but never more so than now. With your grace I would like to continue leading the club through this tumultuous period of our history.

    As we straddle the divide between the internal combustion engine and renewables, as membership organizations wrestle with relevancy, I want BMW CCA to set the pace for change and adaptation as only we can. Strategically we can and will achieve our goals by leading with change.

    To meet our needs, we’ll offer greater event diversity. Traditional gatherings for classic BMW aficionados, tuner events for those embracing modernity and customization. Leaning into BMW NA for exclusive events, a co-branded credit card that pays you to be a club member, discounts, rebates, expertise, and advance word on coming tech. Innovating with our other partners to benefit you.

    Membership is no longer defined by static borders. We offer non-geographic chapters centered around BMW sub brands M and X. i Chapter is next. Likewise, 2002 Forever, e30, and e31 Chapters provide specific benefits that our members want. Communication is not limited to print. We are investing the dollars necessary to bring our digital assets up to a level that will augment our print products with an online presence offering commentary, video and an interactive community.

    BMW CCA will guarantee our legacy by embracing the future and maintaining our community. To know our future, look no further than the most recent issue of BimmerLife Magazine which focused on the topic of “generations”. As a club it is our shared passion for all things BMW that brought us together. We remain for the family we built together.
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    chennecy

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    Eddy, if re-elected president, will you serve the full three-year term?


    Chris Hennecy
    Member# 463482
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    86206

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    Hi Chris, yes family, work, and health permitting

    - Eddy Funahashi
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    vcaprigno

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    Hi Eddy -

    Your candidacy statement is broad and covers a lot of important areas; can you summarize what are the top 3 priorities/goals from your perspective and how you would propose addressing those?

    - Valerie Caprigno
    X Chapter President
    Boston, M Chapters Member
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    86206

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    Val,

    What a great question and leave it to the Co-Chair of our Next Generation Committee to pose it. Thank you! As you know my family is the most important thing in the world to me, and the CCA has been my extended family for more 30 plus years. I grew up in the Hanford, California which is a wonderful small town full of caring people. Its where I raised my family and where I operate our family business as a third generation jeweler – in the same building where my Grandfather first did business. I offer that to you because I want you to know how important history is to me. I firmly believe that to know where you are going, you must first understand where you came from. Our Club is at a crossroad. We can either move forward confidently and with bold plans or as some would prefer we can turn around and go back. That is not an option for me or for our future.

    Moving forward we need to work from our strengths. Our number one strength is the passion and drive within our members. Its why I was so supportive of appointing you and your Co-Chair Forrest Bennett to lead the Next Generation Committee. You embody the same enthusiasm and dedication that so many of us came to the club with 20 and 30 years ago. Enthusiasm that we maintain today. However, you bring fresh new thoughts and perspectives on how to communicate, on how to recruit and retain and most importantly a vision for how we can share our passion with BMW enthusiasts who might not otherwise join our ranks. As a more “senior” member of the club, I respect what you and younger leaders like yourself have to offer and my goal and promise is to provide you with a broad platform and all the support I can muster so that members like yourself know that CCA is not only welcoming of them, but it is being entrusted to them.

    While I work with you and Forrest and your committee to lead us into the future I am also pledged to honoring the members who over the past five decades have built BMW CCA into the organization that it is today. When so much of our 2002 Community was feeling cut off from the club they loved so much, I was a strong advocate for the formation of the 2002Forever Chapter. I provided the same support for our e30 and e31 communities. As it turns out our senior members are not so very different from a lot of our younger members – they want community centered around their passion even if that passion begins and ends with one particular BMW model. (Admittedly, they are some pretty great models)At our December 2022 Board meeting you suggested we needed to provide opportunities for micro-volunteering and likewise we need to find ways to allow our members to express their macro and micro passions. Maybe an Isetta Chapter next?

    Speaking of things on a macro level – Roundel is ranked by all of our members, in every age demographic, as the number one benefit that the club provides to them. Like everyone in the club I wish that Roundel could be delivered to the mailbox every month of the year and that we could guarantee that into perpetuity. Unfortunately, like every business in American we must recognize and grapple with economic reality. At one point in time the magazine earned $1.2Million dollars annually in ad revenue. That money not only paid for the magazine, but it also supplemented other club operations. The advent of the technology and social media have forever changed that landscape and annual ad revenue is more like $250,000. Fortunately, we still have sponsors who are dedicated to the club and our members who generously support the magazine. The board and staff have worked valiantly to maintain as many print issues as we can while keeping the club financially healthy. In 2024 we will move two issues of Roundel to digital media. We are investing in upgrading our technology so that we can deliver digital issues that are interactive, contain video and expanded articles that could not otherwise appear in print. My commitment to the club is to sensibly manage this valuable asset in order to maintain it in its current print form into the future. It is valued by every member of the club and it is the one consistent touch that every member of the club shares in common. We will maintain our legacy while preparing for the future that lies in front of us.

    Lastly, I want BMW CCA to be the place our members come to express their passion and to have fun. I want them to do so in a spirit of camaraderie and mutual respect, and I hope we will all do so with a sense of purpose and the need to give back. Under my leadership members will always be treated with respect and dignity. As I strive to live up to the standards of conduct for a both an officer and member of the club, so to will I hold those around me to the same standards. Most of all I will encourage active participation in the club via my own example. Whether it’s a social event, an HPDE where I am a student, instructor or Chief Instructor, attending Cars and Coffee events, helping at show and shines, emceeing at Legends or helping our friends at the Foundation with a Tire Rack Street Survival you will see me all around the club.
    Best regards,
    Eddy Funahashi
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    mjstrine

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    Given that BMW National runs like a business, though being a not-for-profit; how will National generate revenues to be self-sustaining going into the future. Passion is a commendable feeling, however, it doesn't necessarily pay the bills.

    Maria Strine
    Tarheel Chapter
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    johnsugameli

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    Would you like to comment on the fact that not one (of quite a few written) letters of support for Jeff Caldwell were included in the January Roundel? Supporters knew to keep the letters civil, and it's hard to believe they all had to be censored.
    Thanks in advance
    Jack Sugameli
    Sandlapper Chapter
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    executive director

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    Jack,

    Good morning. I was asked by the board to provide a response to your question. In accordance with Club policy both Eddy Funahashi and Simone Harrison recused themselves from any discussions and decisions related to this matter.

    The January issue of Roundel was finalized and uploaded for printing on December 11th, as scheduled. Up and through that date there were exactly two letters submitted and inline for publication that were reviewed and rejected by the Board because they were in violation of Ops Manual Section 3.10.1. Neither letter was civil in tone.

    The National Board sent to all officers of the club a detailed explanation of their decision along with their rationale for making it. I have excerpted part of that letter below. Jack, as Chief Instructor for the Sandlapper Chapter you should have received that explanation. My apologies if you did not. Please reach back out to us privately so that we may confirm the email address we have for you on file.

    "The National Board thinks it prudent to ensure that all leaders have access to the same information. Accordingly, we wish to ensure you are aware of the following series of events, and our response as a Board. We encourage you to share this letter with any Club member you think may benefit from reading it. Because many of the issues center around the upcoming election, we want to be clear that every member in good standing of the Club has the right to support the candidate they believe is the best fit for any office. That does not extend to spreading incorrect, disparaging, or negative information about any other candidates for office. We believe it is equally important that we remind everyone that as club members we share more than a passion for BMW. We share a common code of conduct that is based on decency, kindness and honesty. That code, excerpted from the BMW CCA Operations Manual, dated February 23, 2023, paragraph 3.10.1, may be found at the bottom of this letter.

    We also think it is important to emphasize that, in accordance with CCA policy, both Eddy Funahashi and Simone Harrison recused themselves from any discussion and decisions surrounding these decisions to avoid any appearance or actual conflict of interest.

    As always, we welcome your questions, comments, and feedback, and would be happy to engage in conversation. Please feel free to contact any of us directly. We know that you are volunteers and passionate about the Club and our members. We’re genuinely grateful for the work you do. The Club could not exist without it. Please let us know how we can better assist you in your endeavors.
    Sincerely,
    The BMW Car Club of America Board of Directors
    ----
    On December 10, Frank Patek, Executive Director, informed Brian Thomason, Executive Vice President that a letter to the editor of Roundel had been submitted by Tricia Jones, a former employee of the National Office. This letter addressed the upcoming national Club election for the position of President and contained disparaging language against a fellow club member in violation of paragraph 3.10.1 of the BMW CCA Operations Manual. It encouraged readers to vote for the non-incumbent based on these remarks and contained several inaccuracies about Club operations and included a personal attack on the incumbent.

    Personal attacks are prohibited from being published in Roundel in Section 5.1.3 of the BMWCCA Operations Manual. Because of this, the Executive Board recommended to Frank Patek, as Publisher, that the letter not be included in the upcoming edition of Roundel, as it could reflect poorly on and damage the reputation of the Club. An additional letter containing similar language to that of "name redacted" letter was also not published for the same reasons. Positive letters in support of specific candidates were deemed to be within policy and were recommended to be published in the magazine.

    This recommendation was immediately acted upon and later ratified by the full BMW CCA Board of Directors on December 14.

    - Frank Patek
    BMW CCA Executive Director
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    86206

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    Maria,
    Thank you for your question. Maintaining the financial integrity of the club is key to ensuring its future for generations to come. The best way to manage and grow our financial health is by preserving our existing membership while recruiting and retaining new members. While that sounds easy enough, it turns out to be a more difficult task that is sometimes complicated by a misunderstanding of responsibility and ability. Some might ask who is responsible for introducing the club to new members and who is responsible for retaining the members we have. The answer is that it is no one person’s responsibility, rather it is everyone’s job to contribute to the growth and health of the club that we all love.
    As a Board we have a responsibility to explore all options in front of us and where we can do develop new opportunities on our own. For instance, in February of 2023, we approved a limited run test of a six month membership program. While its efficacy for retention has shown itself lacking, it did bring in a demographic that might otherwise have been hesitant to join for a year. Working with our local chapter leaders we must develop strategies to convert those six month memberships to recurring annual or multiple year memberships.
    Working with our corporate partners is another way that we are working to expand our membership and strengthen the club financially. Below are threeupcoming examples of how we intend to put that strategy to work.
    1. BMW Financial in partnership with the club will introduce to CCA members a credit card program that will allow members to earn points while buying, renewing, and gifting club membership. Points will also be earned while shopping in the club store. Perhaps the best feature is that this card will pay for your club membership via a rebate of the $99 annual fee.
    2. Our strategic partnership with AMICA insurance will yield greater benefit as AMICA markets the club-based discount on insurance rates to their BMW owners who are not club members. The message is simple: “Join CCA and be rewarded with a 10% discount on your rates”. *(where allowable by law)
    3. Working with Turn14 we will host an event in Long Beach, California later this March. The event is called Grid Icons and is geared towards a youthful BMW demographic, but as we know paying homage to our heritage is important to our legacy members and they will be right at home there.
    Our staff has a role to play as they manage communications to our members, provide new and valued membership benefits, recruit members through events and reach out to lapsed members so as to bring them back to the club. In the second half of December the club added more than 400 members to our roster. Some of those came to us a gift memberships as marketed by the staff each year – and purchased via the generosity of our existing members. Many others came back to the club via a marketing campaign conducted by the staff to lapsed members. Both are great examples of how we work together as an organization supporting the individual recruitment efforts of our members.
    What else are we doing? We are making hard decisions and changing the way we do business. I am fully committed to maintaining our print publications for as long as it is economically feasible. Roundel has long been the pride of our members and their voice to BMW NA. BimmerLife is very popular with our younger members and its is welcome at every BMW Center. We even send copies of it to independent BMW shops. It has proven its value as an online and in print recruitment tool. Unfortunately, ad revenue is not what it once was, and the way media is consumed in 2024 is not the same as it was in 1984. Thus, we have begun a transition from 12 months of print publications to eight months of print. We have increased our investment in technology so that we can deliver more robust and varied digital publications. What does that mean in 2024? Between lowered print costs obtained via competitively bidding our print contracts and the replacement of two print issues with two digital issues BMW CCA will see lower print and mailing costs of approximately $230,000+/-. That is money that will be reinvested into the club. The national office staff has been reduced by one full time position, with duties being reassigned and resulting in further savings.
    As President I take seriously my fiduciary responsibility to be a good steward of the Club’s finances. I know my fellow Board members do as well. Hopefully, I have answered your question satisfactorily.
    Thank you,
    Eddy Funahashi
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    HSMeyer

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    Eddy

    I appreciate your effort to address Maria's concerns, but it would seem a savings of $230,000 would still leave a short fall of about $800,000 a year for the publications. Currently the publications are losing about $1 million a year.

    The magazine business has been forced to change or go out of business. I don't read the magazine. I don't have time for it. Anything it might add to my entertainment or knowledge, particularly with regard to racing or items for sale is old news and outdated before the magazine arrives.

    Printing and mailing costs are killing off publications. It is past time to embrace electronic publishing. Electronic delivery and availability make the content more current, portable and valuable to everyone. No one uses a Rolodex anymore.

    Harry Meyer
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    HSMeyer

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    Eddy

    While you are considering my question of Thursday the 18th.

    I was wondering why you believed it was a good idea to spend $2 million cash of member prepaid dues on two buildings and 20 acres (much of which is a lake)? If I remember correctly, interest rates were near a modern low. If you didn't believe it was a good idea, did you vote against it?

    How many square feet of the 13,000 and 5,576 square foot buildings are being utilized by CCA and rented to others? Is any portion of the smaller building occupied by CCA or rented to others?

    How much space did CCA occupy prior to the move? What was the annual rent expense for that space?

    Multiyear dues are considered a liability by organizations for the unearned portion. The liability is reflected on the balance sheet of the Federal Form 990 in Part X Line 19. CCA records member prepaid dues in account number 2105.01. On December 31, 2018, CCA had $3,192,718 of member prepaid dues. That is, in nut shell, other peoples money.

    Cash in the form of Certificates of Deposit decreased by $1.5 million.

    I will appreciate you taking time to address these questions.

    Harry Meyer
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    blotto649

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    I was advised to add this posting here which I originally submitted to the Member Feedback section, but apparently posts don't get much traction there...

    I've been a BMWCCA member for about 20 years now, pretty active in DE, casually follow club racing, love the magazine, hear a little bit of politics in the background, but mostly keep my head down. I just read a stat that mentioned single digit percentage voter turnout in the club's last national election, and there's definitely increased awareness about this current election... which brings me here.

    I received 2 emails directly to my inbox urging me to vote (fine), and both sharing clear support for the non-incumbent (not as fine). The tone of both these emails was a little off-putting, as if there was some mild desperation to squeeze the incumbent out for the good of the chapter/club. One of the emails was followed up with an apology stating that the original email should not have been sent out to the membership with a clear backing for one of the candidates. In both cases, I felt the initial emails to be inappropriate in their messaging (aside from the call to vote).

    Now I've just cracked open my new issue of Roundel for 2024 and there are 3 letters showing clear support for the incumbent, with one of those letters being from a chapter president who not only expresses that Eddy needs to retain the position, but also states "a last minute party has decided to throw their hat in the ring and for reasons unexplained: this worries me."

    So while some chapter presidents have been chastised for their actions of tactfully (I guess) showing support for a candidate via email, another gets a nationally published letter that details who they support, and at the same time disparages the competition! This all reads as "slimy" to me!!

    Let me be clear, I hold no allegiance to anyone, but this obvious mixed messaging and apparent "picking of sides" by some of the leadership is a really big reason to kill any motivation for the average member to vote.

    M. Welker
    Trillium Chapter
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    sdavey

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    undefined

    M. Welker, I am also new to the idea of voting in this election and rather offput by the infighting. But, it seems we have received different information. I'm aware that the incumbent sent personal emails to members he has had prior business with and was chastised by proponents of the challenger, which seems ridiculous; especially after reading your account that the challenger and his people sent disparaging emails to the members they had access to.

    Regarding your concern about the lack of supportive letters for the non-incumbent candidate in the national publication, it has been addressed by the Board. By the time they went to print they were in receipt of only two letters supporting the non-incumbent, one of which was signed by an unhappy employee. They explained that each of those two letters attacked the incumbent instead of focusing on positive qualities of the non-incumbent. As making disparaging comments about an opponent is against the rules the Board decided not to allow those letters.

    My initial instinct was to forgo voting, since I am not familiar with either. But, I did come to a conclusion as to who I believe is being underhanded and ridiculous in making accusations and I promptly cast my vote for the candidate not throwing stones.

    -Susan Davey
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    johnsugameli

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    Mr Davey,
    Your information is not correct. 2 letters in addition to the former employees were recieved in time, and Satch actually had those 2 included in the Roundel initial layout. One of them was from myself, and I have read the other from Scott Hughes. Scott has been a member of the CCA about as long as anyone else alive, and was instrumental in developing our driving events. We were well aware of the standards that we had to follow to have them included well ahead of time. In neither case did they violate any of the standards. But somehow they were removed from the printing. Both letters are on various facebook pages. Yes, it seems like nasty politics. As to Mr. Welker recieving information that Jeff Caldwell entered as a late comer, this is also untrue. Plans were in the works for Jeff over a year ago.
    The fact is, we have lost 23% (numbers from the Board Meeting minutes) of our membership in the last 3 years. Is that not reason enough to call for change?
    Respectfully
    Jack Sugameli
    Sandlapper Chapter
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    HSMeyer

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    Eddy

    I'm disappointed you didn't take the opportunity to address my questions. It says a lot about engagement and probably a lot more than your reply would have.

    Harry Meyer
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