FBA News

FBA Board of Directors Meeting – April 2016

Florida BBQ Association

Board of Directors Meeting

April 25, 2016 at 8:00 PM


Present: Steve Brumm, Lori Frazee, Kevin French, Pat Brannen, Jim Elser, Robin Yelverton


Recorder: Connie Washam

 Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 8:02

Roll call to establish a quorum

Approve minutes of the March 28, 2016 meeting  Robin moved Kevin French minutes were approved unanimously

motion passed.

Business conducted by Email – Connie Washam

Jim Dehne has completed all of the required FBA Representative training. 

Jim Elser made a motion to make Jim Dehne an official FBA Representative Lori Frazee 2nd

The motion carried

Jim Elser – Yes             Lori Frazee – Yes          Pat Brannen – Yes

Connie Washam – Yes   Kevin French – Yes       Robin Yelverton – No response

 Financial Status Report – Treasurer, Robin Yelverton

PNC $20,337.86

Paypal $ 1,224.58

Total $$21,562.44

Outstanding checks – $1341.13

Outstanding checks include Dothan and Barnesville

I still need to write a check to Jim Dehne for $250.00

and to Dennis Schmitz for mileage for Contest Liaison Travel.  I know we passed this but didn’t realize he was putting his mileage on his report and totally missed this.

These checks will be mailed tomorrow.

Connie Washam projected income from member renewal for June and there are 301 members that expire – we can estimate that some will not renew – if

175 renew – $7,000

200 renew – $8,000

301 renew – $12,040

These are only estimates based on single memberships – this number would change if lots of these were family memberships.

So in June we can project an anticipated income of 7,000 from membership renewals

We have 6 (3 rep) contests at $550.00 remaining

We have 4 (4 rep) contests at $650.00 remaining

For a total of $5800.00

There will also be Fun Cook expenses as well as possible future computer/printer expenses

So Projected income for what we have on the books now and not counting Dec renewals – is $12,800.00

Lori Frazee moved to approve the treasurers report Pat Brannen 2nd, the treasurers report was approved unanimously.
Brannen.  Motion carried unanimously

Sonny’s has submitted their sanctioning agreement as well as the fraternity Phi Kappa Delta

Membership Report – Secretary, Connie Washam

Our next renewal season is fast approaching.  I would like to send the first reminder out June 1st.  with a second the 3rd week and a final two weeks after the expiration date of 6/30/2016.

301 memberships will expire of those 56 are family memberships.

New Members:

Individual: Bob Tweedie, Julie Knoebel, Jarrett Padvield, Jim Jenneskens, Arthur Cross, Nikki Novatny, Gary Clark (7)

Family: Joe & Brandi Bolinger, Phylis Welch and Mary Welch, Kevin Kincaid & xxx Kincaid. (3)

Oviedo Judges Seminar:  there are only 7 seats available.  I have contacted all that signed up but were not members and all but one have responded and joined.  I will send him a 3rd email and then if I don’t hear anything, hopefully they will join at the seminar.

Consent Agenda:

  1. Approve Rep Assignment list dated 4-20-16
  2. Authorize President to send email blast regarding deletion of 7.5 as average and availability of score packets for judges.

Lori Frazee moved to approve the consent agenda.  Kevin French 2nd the consent agenda was approved unanimously

 Committee Reports:

  1. Organizers – Don Fisher, No report
  2. Cook Teams – Ben Purvis,

I know this is long but to help save time on Monday I wanted to get these items to you the board so that there is time for everyone to discuss the following and hopefully make some quick but temporary changes. This is mostly a list of items that I have put together with the thoughts of cook teams  and committee members. My main concern was to find solutions that could be implemented quickly and at little to no cost to the FBA.

Most know of all the topics flying around FB this past few weeks and the major ones I would like to address are:
1. Eliminate the perception that anyone can help a team win. To me this takes away from the amazing talents of our cooks especially when the go one these great winning streaks.
2.Low and High scoring judges.
3.Web Site completion
4. Raising money
So here we go!!!!!!!

1. have the lead rep pre-plan the routing of boxes using numbers instead of team names. A different rep could do the seating of judges not knowing the routing of boxes. We could go step farther and have teams pull a number at cooks meeting then all that would have to be done is sub in the team names for numbers.

A. I don’t see where it is much more work than the reps already do and would totally eliminate the thought that any things funny is going on. It may also give the reps more time to look the box routing over and make sure boxes don’t hit the same table and that teams hit with a good mix of teams. This would be easy to start and would work until we can get a computer program that can handle this.  The BOD will instruct the IT Committee to search for availability and costs of software  that will randomize the placing of boxes on the trays.  Boxes are currently routed with only a computer generated random number on the label that the people doing the routing see. The only  person who knows both the team name and the corresponding number is the lead Rep who is actually switching the labels and normally takes no part in the sorting.

2. This was make available score books to judges but we now know this is available. So fast forward to Train judges on how to access and properly use this info. No one wants judges to throw out all 10’s but we don’t want a low baller either. Just as any good cook team looks at his books and only makes changes after seeing constant low scores. Judges could look to see if they are constantly low or high. If a judge can see that they are a point or more lower consistently over three or more contest then that is not a bad sample! That is a low scoring judge and maybe this problem can start to correct itself.  Look for an email blast later this week that will detail for the judges how to use the available score books.  My email feedback indicates that many judges are looking forward to having this information.

A. Also some of you may have seen some discussion about THE ONLY PLACE THAT CHEATING COULD GO ON IS THE PERSON ENTERING SCORES. Again I don’t think this is happening and no one is pointing fingers but the discussion is going to grow. If judges can access their scores if something like this whether on purpose or by mistake happens a judge could catch it. If they see a 7 and know that they didn’t give any 7’s that day. it could be looked into was it a key stroke mistake, maybe the judge didn’t write the 9 clearly. This would stop all that discussion until we can get scantron score cards or some other option.  Scores are always entered by two Reps. Volunteers are never used.   The entered scores for each judge are checked horizontally and then cross checked vertically before the final enter button is pressed.  The Reps must indicate on the bottom of each scorecard that the crosscheck has been made.

3. We know that everything revolves around money and like any good business we need a reserve. What some don’t understand is they hear the bank account is on the rise, while the magazine has been cut out, and that we can’t move forward until we have built a reserve. What they don’t know or maybe understand is a lot of the money in the bank is ear tagged for future contest expenses that have already paid a sanctioning fee. If we could include in the financial report how much money is ear tagged for contest and how much is truly a reserve.  The cost of the commercial newspaper for a year is just about equal to the reserve we hope to build.  The BOD plans to revisit the paper  the first of the year.  Our outgo will include Rep Fees for each contest, updating printers and computers for some Reps, finishing the web site and paying for the fun cook and associated TOTY prizes.

4. Since most things are on hold until the web site is complete. What is the protected completion date? At one time it seemed is if we had lots of people volunteering to assist on this project. Now what we hear is Gary is working on it. I appreciate Gary volunteering his time but where did all the help go? I hear that the board has approved money to increase the things needed to make it all happen but months ago this affiliate program was a hot topic and a lot of work went into getting companies on board with us Yet we still have nothing on the web site? Please don’t take this as blaming anyone but if all improvements are on hold till the web site is done and we can’t get it done even with the money approved. How will we ever move forward.  You are correct.  See agenda. The BOD is voting to price a code audit for the web site which basically is an outside company reviewing and debugging all of the computer codes.

5. To be a judge you have to be a member! To be a Rep you have to be a member! To be on the board you have to be a member!  But the Cook teams don’t !!! With the FBA kinda guaranteeing prize moneys when mistakes are made it seems crazy to me that cook teams don’t have to be members. This met some resistance in the committee and i was told it had been looked at before. some said organizers pick who can cook in a contest and the FBA has no control. So my suggestion here is that why there is a back yard category!  make it where to compete for the PRO money you have to be a member or maybe make it where if you are not a member and a honest mistake happens the FBA doesn’t make good on the money because the FBA should only be looking after its members!!!!!  See agenda

A. At my very first contest Dana Hillis came around introduced himself and handed me a member application. I don’t think he told me I had to join to cook but he welcomed me so I did join. Maybe if you could get it passed then they announce any board members at cooks meeting. Maybe write a short script welcoming new teams then at cooks meeting have a board member, a rep, or even a committee member  stay when they  keep the first time teams and welcome them and explain from the script why they should join and that if something happens the FBA can only guarantee $ to its members.  This may encourage them to join just as a simple insurance policy.

I thank you for reading this and considering these ideas. I also hope the board will discuss these items this weekend. Please contact me with any questions or concerns any of you have so that on Monday we can have a quick, complete discussion and hopefully vote on each of these items this up coming week without tabling everything till next meeting.   As you can see, the BOD is trying to fix some of the problems you have identified. FWIW: I really believe that most of our judges want to be the best that they can be.  I also believe that we will do better trying to educate them prior to mandating procedures and grading them.  I am going to put an item on the agenda that requires judges to cook with a team prior to their eleventh judging event.  If they do not, they will not be allowed to judge until they do.  I am going to propose that be sent to the judge’s committee so you won’t see immediate action.  You can help this project a lot by publishing a list of teams that area. willing to have a judge cook with them and b. you have vetted so the judge will have a true learning experience rather than just filling a square. 


Ben Purvis of the Cooks committee, everything will be touched on in the BOD agenda.

  1. Judges – Nick Wunder called in to give the judges committee report All concerns were addressed as the meeting progressed.

 New Contest Liaison – Dennis Schmitz

Chattahoochee4/6/2016Met with Lee Garner, City Manager-Checked out facilities and they areWill stay in contact every quarter352
adequate-Judging will be in picnic shelter or tent, same for Reps. They
plan to sanction in 2017.
Odessa-PhiKappaDelta4/7/2016Met with Shean Hylton, Organizer-Facilities for power and water adequate,Waiting for Lead to be assigned to410
Judging and Rep Area good. They are set to goturn it over to appointee
Tavares4/24/2016Contest is on schedule with 28 teams. Still need an answer on the questionContest will be held 4/29-30/16
of pre-paid contest reservation fees. Bill Neron said he sent in 3 years
payment, in 2014, and Cheryl Fischel says she paid $75.00 in 2014.
University of Florida4/8/2016Attended a wing contest held in Gainesville as a representative of the FBA.
They indicated they may be interested in sanctioning an event in the future
I will stay in touch with them to keep the communication lines open
Wild Adventures4/22/2016No change in status-they are still planning on a contest but not ready to
act at this time
Marianna4/22/2016No change in status-they are waiting for facility upgrades before planning
Mims4/22/2016Have not heard back from them-still waiting to hear from person who makes


Old Business:

  1. Status of the website: The latest copy of the functional analysis of the status of the website.  no major changes.  a few were completed most work was done on the plug ins plus placing the judges list on a Google doc.  all but four have been completed and there are 22 new functions.  the one is most complete is with Queensboro.  He is working with Chef Works so we can turn theirs on as well… Websites are living documents.  and in constant flux.  as far as new functions it is hard to say depending on what the board wants to move forward with.

New Business:

  1. Authorize Gary Washam to solicit quotes for the following.  No further action is authorized.   These quotes are for information only.  No funds shall be expended until the web site is totally complete.
  2. Automate the table selection by the following criteria:# of contests judged
    1. # of contests judged
    2. b) Equality of genders
    3. c) Partners, spouses, friends kept off same table
  3. Automate the box routing from turn in table to trays
    1. No cook team’s box to the same table twice during the same contest.
  4. Judge tracking – secondary quote, but other items need to be compatible with turning this on in the future, should we need to wait.

In the interest of gathering information we should go ahead and approve item one on the new business.   Lori Frazee moved that Gary Washam investigate the cost of implementation and execution of automated table selection and seating of judges based on 1 number of contests judged, equality of genders, separation of spouses, partners and friends, automate box routing and judge tracking.   the motion carried.

Connie Washam no

Meeting opened to the membership

Nick Wunder: He is phoning in for Louis Goldman, and has the judges committee report

Ben Purvis: is in favor of finding out the possible costs to the membership.

  1.  Rate judges from 1-10, starting at 5 as the average
  2. Use the data into the calculations for #B (Automate the table selection)
  3. Provide update on scoring sheet to show judge trending for every meat category
  4. Provide a report, should the judge wish to see it, as to how they trend overall
  5. Use judge historical trending data into the calculations for #C (Automate the box routing) so that the boxes are sorted as fairly as possible.
  1. Request the Cook’s Committee and the Judge’s Committee to review the judges’ handbook and update the            definitions and criteria for judging tenderness and appearance.

Lori Frazee made a motion that the judges committee and the cooks committee come together to standardize what the definition of Taste and tenderness.  Jim Elser 2nd.  motion passed unanimously

Meeting opened to the membership for comments

Nick Wunder: agrees that it is a good thing to get the two committees together and revamp the judges manual

Ben Purvis: of course the cooks are for it.  He feels that the cooks committee will be for all the motions put forward

  1. Authorize the IT Committee to research the availability and cost of a code audit for the web site

not an issue of lack of confidence just would like to find the issue of the small problems during contests.  Quality control or Q/A process.  It is a good practice.

Kevin French moved Authorize the IT Committee to research the availability and cost of a code audit for the web site and scorecard, Lori Frazee 2nd.  Motion Carried.

Meeting again opened to the membership for comments

Ed Shemanski: supports this idea don’t limit it to the scoring system but also include the entire website.

Gary Washam:  the score card has one remaining problem that has not been resolved which is the dropped card.  the       duplicate card has been resolved.  Will Cleaver has identified the location and fresh eyes need to look at it.

  1. Should cook teams be required to be members to win prize money in Pro? Across the board.

Ben Purvis: Feels that the FBA guarantee the prize money if there is an error in scoring and money needs to pay out.  FBA should be looking out for its members, why should we guarantee thousands of dollars in prize money.  If there is a legal issue that the organizer does not have to guarantee the payout to a non member.  The board members are introduced.  when the new teams are getting the full cook team meeting.  Let them know we welcome them and hopefully they will join FBA on their own.  Can we force them to cook in the Back Yard if they are not members?

The Contest Organizer guarantees all prize money.  The BOD agree that we cannot require a cook team to be a member to participate in pro or backyard but we can let them know that prize money is not guaranteed to non members in the event of an FBA error.

Connie Washam made a motion to table this discussion for time to consult with an attorney regarding guaranteeing prize monies to members only. Lori Frazee 2nd.  motion carried

Ben Purvis will put a script together for new cook teams.  To help them feel more welcome in the FBA and encourage them to become FBA members.

Discussion of “low scoring” judges.

Ben Purvis: What we have approved is a good thing and the Judges manual needs to be updated.  When the judges find themselves to be low scoring consistently, Maybe they will self correct.  Need to continue training.

Nick Wunder: The judges committee agrees that the judges cook with a cook team prior to their 11th contest.

What do we do with those judges who have judged 25+ contests and have never cooked with a team?

Lori Frazee made a motion to send the early cooking with a team requirement to the judges committee.  the motion carried  Connie Washam voted no

 It is important that we devise and come up with a plan that should help make cook teams and judges be the best that they can be.  To try to quell the witch hunt.  Not only are there very few low scoring judges and there are lots of high scoring judges.  We need to make this process better for everyone.

Meeting opened to member comments:

Charles Farrow, Montgomery AL: One thing on the judges cooking we have so many great schools.  Can that count as cooking with a team?  We are looking into it

Marty Hyde: Low scoring judges have been around for a long time.  He did a data base showing a curve and it was very labor intensive.  We should go back to the standard 10 is excellent, not perfect.  We have dropped the average  just took a bite was it excellent, very good or just good.

Connie Washam would like to subscribe to a Clip art site for the Smoke Bits.  She was asked to look into it and see what the cost would be.  Recommended to look into an annual membership as opposed to monthly

Final comments:

President, Steve Brumm believes we have many members who are active and interested in what is going on and would like to thank everyone who took the time to send an email of encouragement and suggestions.

Pat Brannen made a motion to adjourn, Kevin French 2nd.  Everyone hung up.

Meeting adjourned at: 9:21 PM

 Next meeting: May 30, 2016 at 8:00 PM EDT via Teleconference. Call in number: 347-989-1121

Respectfully submitted.

Connie Washam