FBA Elections – 2017


This year there are four board positions up for reelection; President, Secretary and two Director seats. For the Director seats the two nominees with the most votes will be considered the winners. Listed below are the people nominated to run for those positions.

Since the President and Secretary positions are being sought by only one individual each and unopposed, they will be automatically elected by acclimation.

About November 11, 2017 a sample ballot will be made available to the membership. Most of the voting will be done online. Those that are not online will be mailed a paper ballot. Actual voting will open on December 6, 2017 and all votes must be in by midnight, December 13, 2017. Terms begin on January 1, 2017.


Ben Purvis

After much consideration and the encouragement of several of our past leaders. I am nominating myself for the position of President of the FBA. Over the past few years I have been involved with the board as Chairman of the cook team committee and currently I am one of the Directors. Two years ago we were financially struggling and the board made major changes to save our organization. Last year we became financially secure again and started rebuilding and restructuring. I was able to lead the way (with the help of many members) on putting into place a very detailed manual on Judging procedures. I enlisted the help of cook teams, judges, and Reps. We came together worked through the details and got the job done. I have also been involved in pushing for a new Judge sign up process. I wanted a process that would relieve organizers from this duty while making it fair for all judges who wish to attend an event. With the FBA handling these duties it allows the organizer to focus their time on the event. We have tested a few different ideas and are very close to being able to make the best choice to fill these needs. I am also pushing for a box routing program. This will make routing boxes to the tables much easier and quicker allowing our reps to focus their time in other areas. We are currently looking and testing a couple programs that can handle this job. As for where i want to see the FBA in the future. We can be the leader in bbq competitions but we must run things more like a business and improve on our marketing. We can help promote contests better on our web site as well as Facebook. We need to finish our member data base. This will allow us to offer member benefits such as discounts to a variety of businesses. We need to explore new ways to build new contest while creating partnerships with major corporations that can benefit by partnering with us. This can not be done by me or no-one else alone. We will need a lot of our members to actively get involved. If you don’t have time to join a committee or listen in and comment on the overly exciting board meetings you can still help. When sending a email about something you don’t like include your ideas on how to improve it. You may just be the one that has the plan that works.


Connie Washam

I became a member of FBA in 2011 because when I met Dana Hillis, he said “Join FBA because we have more fun”. I am an FBA Master Judge as well as an FBA Contest Representative. I work very closely with the IT Committee Chairman. (Our desks face each other).
As the current secretary of the FBA for the past four years, I have performed the following functions:

(1) Maintained the Master Member database
(2) Taken minutes at all Board meetings
(3) Maintain all contest files for future reference
(4) Communicate with all new members
(5) Personally confirm all membership renewals
(6) Expanded and maintained the judges standings list
(7) Worked with FBA lead contest representatives to make sure all judges’ memberships are current
(8) Sent renewal notifications to members whose membership are expiring or have expired
(9) I have made it a personal goal to introduce myself to as many people at contests as possible
(10) Responded to member email questions in a timely manner
(11) Editor and layout designer of the Smoke Bits, the newsletter of FBA happenings

During the past year I conceived a plan and got BOD approval to implement an FBA Virtual Hall of Fame and I proposed, and after BOD approval, implemented a program to recognize FBA Founding Member judges with unique Platinum badges.

I am retired now and have the time and energy to dedicate to FBA as a full-time Secretary and look forward to at least another two years supporting FBA.


Jim Dehne

My name is Jim Dehne. I am running for a position on the FBA Board of Directors. I have been involved in all aspects of our association. I have been a member of a cook team that cooked both Backyard and Professional. I became a judge and progressed to the level of Master Judge. I now spend most of my FBA time as a Contest Representative. I also have 5 years of Board of Directors experience in my work professional State Association including Training and Certification chair, President and a life member Past President.

I think the FBA is a Great organization. With contest numbers shrinking, I would like to work with the current organizers, board members, and the association as a whole to revitalize some of these contests and find new ways to entice  prospective organizers to have their contest sanctioned through the FBA. If any member has any questions of me, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Lou Goldman

In the past month I have been contacted by several other members of the FBA asking that I consider running for Director in the upcoming election. Therefore I am nominating myself to run for Director of the FBA.

I have been a member of the FBA since 2009. I am a Master Judge and have judged 96 contests. I have been active in the FBA as a member of the previous By-Laws committee and currently serve as Chairman of the Judges committee. In this past year our committee has made several changes – eliminating the 7.5 starting point for judging, placing the scoring system on the scorecards and a complete review, edit and rewrite of the Judges Handbook.

Before retiring I spent 30 years in real estate in Daytona Beach as a real estate broker, home builder, residential and commercial building contractor and land developer. I am result driven and goal oriented. I am able to recognize problem areas, deal with people and resolve issues. I presently live in Fernandina Beach and have been very active on several city committees.

In the FBA, I see a need to set goals, both short term (1 year) and long term (2 to 10 years). I see a need for more contests, both in FL and in GA and AL. I see a need for completing our web site. I also see a need for a better relationship between the cook teams and the judges. I see a need for more transparency in the operation of the FBA. Lastly, I see a need for all of the FBA members to be pulling the oars to make headway in the same positive direction. If elected I will work very hard to accomplish all of the above.

Ed Shemanski – Incumbent

I am nominating myself to run for one of the Director’s positions. I was appointed earlier this year to replace Kevin French who resigned and I went into the position not knowing what to expect but determined to do the best job that I could. I feel that I have done pretty well, with some room for improvement. I would like to continue to serve the membership and continue to grow with this organization. I believe in the FBA!

A little bit of my FBA background; I joined the FBA in 2006. I have been a member of the IT Committee for over 2 years. I have been maintaining the TOTY points for over a year. I am the chairperson of the newly formed Social Committee. I am a Master Judge and a Contest Rep.

Some of my professional background; I work for the 9th Circuit Court of Florida as an IT infrastructure manager and recently celebrated 20 years with them. Before that, I worked for Orange County BCC for 10 years in their IT department managing networks & systems. My prior experience includes being a director for the last 6 months. I have also served on the Lake Conway Water and Navigation Control District Advisory Board for Orange County. Additionally, I served as co-chair of the Lake Eola Charter School IT Committee.

I feel that the FBA, while being on a fairly stable foundation, still needs work. We need to evolve and change with the times but we cannot stray from the core values that the organization was founded on. We need to improve our image in the BBQ world. We need to promote the FBA brand. We need to have better communication internally, with organizers and the public. We need to engage every possible organizer and do what we can to get new contests. We need to reach out to organizers of contests we have lost and mend fences, lower prices or whatever we can do to try to get those contest back. We need to make sure we are meeting the needs and expectations of the organizers of the current contests as best as we can. We need to become more agile and flexible; It can take too long for us to act or react and that frustrates the membership and the organizers and can cause lost opportunities.

As I said above, I believe in the FBA! If elected I will do my best and, I will put my heart into this. If anyone has any questions please email me at eshemanski.fba@gmail.com.

Thanks for your consideration.