FBA News

FBA Board of Directors Minutes – June 2017

Florida BBQ Association

Board of Directors Meeting

June 25, 2017 at 8:00 PM

 Present: Jim Elser, Ed Shemanski, Ben Purvis, Steve Brumm, Robin Yelverton,

Recorder: Connie Washam

Absent: Matt Barber

Guests: Tim Geibieg, David Haskett, Alison Strachan, Faithy Harris, Roy Griffin, Tom Snow, Lou Goldman,

Call to Order: Meeting called to order at 8:02

 Approve April and May minutes:

Steve Brumm made a motion to approve the April and May Minutes, Robin Yelverton 2nd,  Motion carried unanimously.

 Business conducted by email: There was no official business conducted by email.

Financial ReportRobin Yelverton

PNC:    $12,693.67

Paypal: $10,224.68

Total:  $28,918.35

Membership ReportConnie Washam

New members

Individual: Nick Ambrose, Jane Martin, Matthew Woodall, Jimmie Vaughan, Margaret Chryplewicz, Kevin Kehoe, Hans Seitz, Edward Syfrett, Jerry Addison (9)

Family: Victoria & Julia Piskor, Samantha Summerlin & David Tomlinson, (2)

Restaurant: Sparky’s Roadside BBQ

Organizer: Shelby Lomen

We are in the middle of a renewal cycle, there were over 370 memberships expiring 6/30/2017.  219 still have until 6/30/2017.  Of that 47 are teams.

I will send another reminder 6/30.  and then a final reminder two weeks later.  With the exception of Valdosta, there are no contests so there is little incentive to renew.

Active members are 815 (this number includes those whose memberships will expire in 4 days.  There will be a more accurate member count for the July meeting)

Consent Agenda – President

  1. Give Will Cleaver permission to extract FBA contest score data from Scorecard and post it on his BBQ Scores website.
  2. Approve Ed Shemanski as a FBA Rep

Steve Brumm moved to approve the Consent Agenda, Connie Washam 2nd, The Motion carried unanimously.

Cook Teams Committee – Ben Purvis: We have nothing going on right now.

 Judges Committee – Louis Goldman:

To the BOD,

After sending out our committee report along with the previously revised Judge’s Handbook I received emails from Steve and Connie, both having  having comments and suggestions. These were all taken into consideration and the committee has come up with a revision that I feel addresses all of their concerns. Please discard my previous June Report email.

In the handbook there are a few policy changes – our feeling is that if the handbook were approved, as is, the policy changes would automatically be approved. Connie pointed out that the policy changes needed to be approved before they are put into the handbook. Either way works for us.

Here are four policy changes, that are in the handbook, that we would like to have included in the agenda, to be approved at the June BOD meeting, in addition to the newly revised handbook, which is attached.

  1.  This has to do with Certification. The requirement to have judged at least once in the past 12 months was removed a few years ago. This means that a judge who has paid their dues for 10 years could, with no problem, sign up to judge a contest. Our feelings are that this is not good for judging. Our goal is to strengthen the quality of the judges – we like changing back to one year but feel that 2 years might be more acceptable. Remember, we already have judges who have not judged for 2 – 3 years.
  2. Certification (Page 3)

In order to remain on the FBA roster of active judges, you must keep your FBA membership current and have judged a contest within the past 24 months. Auditing the judges training (at no cost) is required for recertification. 

  1.  We want to have a provision in the handbook that prohibits taking pictures during the judging process.

Page 8

  1. Taking pictures during the judging process, that is, from the time the TC brings their tray to the serving table to the time the scoring cards are turned in to the TC, is NOT ALLOWED. Do not take any picture of the table showing the table number.

We want to give the judges the ability to take their scores home so they could check how they scored in relation to the rest of their table. We feel that in this manner it may help to improve the judge’s scoring.

Page 8

  1. If you want to take your scoring numbers home  to verify the quality of your scores with the scores of the other judge at your table, you are allowed to copy your scores on a separate piece of paper.

We judge what is presented to us. We’ve been told that 4 wings and 4 thighs would constitute the 8 portions required for a box of chicken. We’ve never seen a box like that but we have seen a box of 8 thighs and some number less than 8 of wings or thigh medallions.  We feel that the parts of chicken should be judged the same as the parts of pork and brisket – a minimum of 8 of each part that is included in the box.

Page 10

Lastly, some of the chicken, pork and brisket boxes will have different parts of the meat in the box.  We judge what is presented to us. To be fair to the cook teams we should judge every part of the meat in the box. We can then give the best score possible as some of the individual parts could be cooked to different levels of tenderness and possibly have different flavors.

The committee asks that the BOD approve these four changes and the attached revised handbook as it written.

Respectfully submitted, Louis Goldman, Chairman, Judges Committee.

No motion was made to approve.  the BOD wants to review further.

 IT Committee – Gary Washam: Working with Will to implement action items as discussed with Jim Elser.  Is working to get all the pass words together.

Bonnie Titus, Mulberry Organizer, also wants FBA to handle the judges selection.

Box Routing has not been a priority because the contests have been moving smoothing.

We are working on getting the Score Card program from the old FBA Website to the new Website, which is the number one task to work on during this slow period.

New Contest Liaison – Dennis Schmitz:

Contacted by a group in coral gables who want to sanction this year but after reviewing the information felt next year would be a better time to sanction.

Jim has not been able to contact Ricky Burts to secure a refund for his contest that had to cancel

 Rep Committee –  Dennis Schmitz and Lorne Brumm:  We just sent the latest information that they were working on to find ways to sanction Back Yard contests.

Marketing Committee – Matt Barber

Old Business – President

  1. Fun Cook –
  2. FBA handling the selection of judges: September, Apopka contest and in 30 minutes we had 70 judges sign up. Gary only heard from two members that had a problem. We’ll wait for the number of teams to sign up.  We didn’t have the log jam as happened the first attempt at this.  We had one member with a good suggestion to send the active link until they get the email that the judges sign up is open.  This is the approach that will be used for the Jacksonville contest.

Jim Else would like to see an announcement that lets the members know the time when the judges sign up will to live. 

Three sign up methods were checked out.  BBQJudgesignup, is a KCBS specific But they would like us to enter into a contract for them to customize a sign up specific to FBA.  there is also a $150. fee per contest.

Event Bright, good sides and bad sides of it.  the biggest disadvantage to Event Bright is that we have no access to the data.

Band with is not an issue, it is because we share a server.  Gary has turned the Cache program is now turned on and see if it is sufficient for us.  If not we will upgrade our server account.  Will look into CDN, Open Space on Blue Host.  Find out how much it’s going to cost so we can use it for the Jacksonville contest.  As soon as Gary has an answer he will get it to the BOD.

David Haskett: Sending out an email may be problematic because everyone’s email server doesn’t deliver as quickly as others.

  1. FBA Sanctioned Backyard events. We received the proposal from Dennis this morning. the BOD has not had an opportunity to really dissect.

Subject:  Backyard Sanctioning by the FBA

I have been working with non-sanctioned BBQ contests, as an ambassador of the FBA, for more than 3 years.  Three of these contests have expressed a desire to sanction with the FBA from the first contact.  Each of these three has held non-sanctioned events for three years, and is no closer to sanctioning than they were on day one.

All three of these contests have called each year a success, with a maximum of 15 teams, and cash payouts up to $1500.  The communities they represent are small, with perhaps 30,000 residents within the county.  They are financially not able to afford a normal sanctioned contest, with minimum payout of $8,000.

However, they still want a sanctioned contest and the prestige that comes with being sanctioned by a nationally recognized sanctioning body.

In a brief discussion with Jim Elser, at Tavares, I suggested the possibility of the FBA sanctioning Back Yard only contests.  He asked me to draft something to present for consideration.

After discussing many of the issues with successful contest organizers, experienced cook teams, Master Judges, FBA Reps, and new contest organizers it was apparent that there were a couple major issues to address.

First item mentioned most often: cost of sanctioning, to include fees, expenses for Reps, and prize money.

Second item mentioned most often:  Part time teams are intimidated from competing, even if there is a separate BY division.  They feel many of the teams competing are Pro level teams that do not want to step up in competition.

Third item mentioned most often:  We have a contest that has been successful to our liking, but we do not want to cook more than we currently do.

These concerns drove most of the recommended changes that are submitted with this packet.  Some of the changes included were ideas that have been circulating for a while, and were included since the documents were being changed anyway.  Some of the changes should have been made previously, but never were changed.  These will be pointed out.

I have had extensive cooperation from several Reps, and the Judges Committee, in bouncing ideas back and forth.

Once a plan was drafted, it was sent to all FBA Contest Reps for input and suggestions for change or improvement.  Ed Shemanski, Bill Tanner, and Mike Deming were not included.  Four Reps did not respond at all.  One Rep responded to one point that was not liked, but no suggestion for change or improvement.  Four Reps responded with good feedback, and ideas for improvement.  What is presented is the draft that most responding individuals agreed to in principle.

Once we got started with this effort, there were many aspects of our current operating procedures that were brought into play.  If it was brought up, we tried to address it.  Some of the ideas presented are not needed to sanction BY contests, but it made sense to  look at them.

One of the biggest Sanctioning expenses for Organizers, beyond the prize money, is the fee for Reps, and expenses for Reps.  One of the factors driving up Rep expenses is the current shortage of Reps, causing excess distance to cover contests.

One of the major reasons we have a shortage of Reps is the need to dedicate two days minimum to function as a Rep.  In the discussions, it was apparent that our most critical need for help was on Saturday, not Friday.  We have an abundance of members who are available on Saturdays, every contest.  Many of our members want to play a bigger role in the FBA but only want to do it Saturday.  Drawing on this concept, the idea of Representative Assistants(RAs) was hatched.

RA’s would not be Reps, and would have no decision making authority that might determine the outcome of a contest.  They would be trained to assist with Saturday Rep duties.  They would arrive on Sat at 8AM, and work until score packets were completed.  Appendix II has been added to the Rep Manual to address their training.  The Rep Manual has been changed reflecting this new position, responsibilities, qualifications,etc..  The idea that makes this successful is that it is believed that we will have many members interested in signing up to be a RA.  RA’s would be assigned to a contest within one hour drive of their residence.

This is the biggest change presented in this draft.  It solves the need for more FBA members to assist the FBA in running contests, it provides our members with another avenue to contribute, and it lowers the expenses for Organizers.

This point was the most unpopular, with one Rep flat against, and two expressing much concern.  Five Reps did not have a major issue with the final proposal.

Next idea addresses cutting costs for Reps.  An extension of the discussion about what it costs to sanction a contest.    Currently it costs $625 in fees to sanction. This includes $75.00 application fee, $200 for Lead Rep, and $150 each for two additional Reps, totaling $575.  We do not know where the additional $50 enters.  Added to this, is mileage expenses, per diem, and lodging.    It was suggested to lower the application fee, or do a flat fee for all, but none of us knew the reasoning behind the current application fee, so we left it as is.  In looking at ways to reduce costs the following was developed.

Most recent experience at contests I have worked has shown there is no need for 3 Reps on Friday.  Most Reps input teams and judges prior to arriving, so much of the Friday work is done.  Meat inspections, printing labels and cover sheets, preparing turn-in cartons, and the cook team meeting are the major tasks.  For a normal 47 teams or less contest, Two Reps can handle these duties adequately.  The 3rd Rep would arrive Sat morning, by 8:00 AM.  This reduces the cost of Rep Fees by $75.00 and lodging and per diem expenses for one Rep.  Current cost reduced from $625 to $500.

The major concerns expressed on this issue were: too much work on Friday, and what happens if the 3rd Rep is a no show on Sat?  We have had one incident of a no show in the 8 years I have been a Rep.  That is over 900 opportunities for no shows.  A pretty good statistic for it to be of little concern.  Plus, if the new RA’s are on board, we will have perhaps 10 in the judging pool to call on to fill in.  The Lead Rep would select one, that RA would get the mileage and pay.  The RA  is covered in the Sanctioning Agreement, so we have no legal issues.

Sanctioning costs for BY only events would be $350, $200 Lead, $75 Rep or RA, with the current $75 application fee.  It is suggested the application fee be reduced, if possible.

The full RA use is defined in the changes to the Rep Manual.  I believe all changes are in  RED.  Please read this carefully to fully understand the changes.

Hope we did not miss any.

The Request for Sanctioning has been changed to reflect the BY changes recommended and some other changes were made to bring it in line with current policies.

Section 2, para 10 changed the 150 miles to 200

Section 3, para 4  is recommended for deletion.  We have never seen it used.

Section  3, para 9, wording changed to reflect policy

Section 3 para 10, wording changed to reflect policy

Section 4, para 1, outlines the changes to include RA’s & Reps in Training

Section 4, para 3, added “if requested”

Section 5 Please read this entire section, much is changed -Also, adds BY staffing.

Biggest concern expressed by two Reps, only one Rep on Friday, and only two Reps or one Rep and one RA total.  I have worked the 3 non-sanctioned contests for 3 years, with no help on Friday, except for meat inspections.  On Saturdays, I have had one person assist with scoring.  You do not have a lot of time to lollygag, but it works fine.  BY contests will be limited to 30 teams max.

Section 6, wording changes

The Sanctioning Application reflects the change to add BY, and puts in the recommendation for prize payout as follows:  For BY only competitions, the payout structure is recommended to not exceed the minimum as shown below.  The more teams that can be awarded, the more likely you will have return competitors in the future.  Contact our New Contest Liaison for guidance.

The “Cook Team Rules” were changed:

Para 1, wording change

Para 1, defines Professional Competitions, and Backyard Only Competitions

Para 10 a, Added cornish hens are legal

Para 10 e, added  For sanctioned Backyard Contests, the Organizer may opt to have cook teams cook all of the meat6 categories, or choose any number of the listed categories for their contest.  For example, and Organizer may opt to have only one category, Ribs, or any combination of the four approved categories.

Para 13 a, clarified and expanded  definition of marking  PLEASE READ

Para 13 b, added wording for examples

Para 13 j, added new social media rule

The Reps did not make any recommendations to the judging arena, but we did run the whole idea of BY sanctioning and RA’s through the Judge Committee for input.

The general feedback was positive for sanctioning BY, and the RA idea was exciting to many we talked with.

Some basic issues discussed involved:

BY Only Competitions will not count toward Master Judge qualification if less than four categories

BY Only Competitions will count toward judging total for Master Judges

RA’s , who are Master Judges, will get credit for judging a contest when they work

Cooking with a team will count at Backyard Only events, if there are 4 categories

We defer these issues to the Judges Committee for resolution, but mention them as they need to be addressed.

As the new contest liaison, I have spoken with many current non sanctioned Organizers who currently host events and have not taken the steps to sanction.  Many are “Rib Only” events, many are only Ribs and Pork.  Considering this new approach will help bring those folks into the FBA family.

The ultimate goal is to grow the FBA.  We had 30 plus contests ten years ago, we are stagnated, and losing contests every year, mostly due to costs.  We need to grow in GA and AL, as well as Florida.  We believe this will be a “farm system” for new teams and contests.  Please give these ideas your consideration.

Steve Brumm: Extremely well done piece of work.

Jim Elser: Will this take existing pro contests to take their pro contest to a Back Yard contest because of lower fees?

There is no advantage for a current pro contest to go to a Back Yard contest.

  1. Judges Handbook Update
  2. Should we require a person to judge every 24 months to stay current or leave our policy as it is.
  3. Should judges be allowed to write down their scores for future reference
  4. Judges Photo Policy during judging

Lou Goldman:  two separate items one is taking home your scores for judging some write them down some take photos of their score cards.   The other is taking actual photos of judges during the break between judging.

Ben Purvis would like to see the judges given their judges numbers.

New Business:

  1. Team Name Duplicates Policy, we will address this at a future date.

Ben Purvis will ask the cook teams what they think about this.

  1. Team of the year Date change/FBA Calendar year

Connie Washam made a motion that the FBA Calendar year be from January 1 2018 to December 31 2018 and the TOTY points be calculated from September 1, 2017 through December 31, 2018.  Ben Purvis 2nd.  the motion carried unanimously.

  1. Allowing SCA events and links to be posted on the FBA website

We have tasked Matt Barber, Marketing Committee Chair, to speak to Brett Garrison, president of SCA regarding their links

Comments from members:

Tim Giebeig: numbers of servings in a turn in box

Tom Snow: SCA link on the website.  FBA member and SCA rep.  If you are running a non sanctioned event the FBA will put the information on our website.  When the SCA is running a partnering event the organizer’s website has a link to SCA as well as FBA.

David Haskett: SCA is not competing with FBA, stand alone or anything else.  Every Flyer that goes out has FBA on it.  The BOD needs to consider posting the minutes before they are BOD approved.  Disagrees with our policy on unsanctioned contests.  Why should a contest that is not sanctioned be put on the website, especially if it is competing with a sanctioned contest.

The meeting adjourned at 10:01 PM

Next BOD meeting Monday, July 31, 2017 8:00 PM

Call in number 1-712-451-0294   Access Code: 184732