|February 19, 2010|
|NANA Cancels Spring Board Meeting|
|By Jack O'Dwyer|
|Gary McCormick, chair of the National Assn. of Not Availables, the name this website gives to the PR Society because of its information-withholding practices, has announced that the next board meeting will be in Atlanta July 15-17. The usual spring meeting is being skipped.|
Shocked NANA veterans theorized the assn. is in a money bind because it is also raising the price of its conference in D.C. Oct. 16-19 to $1,275 for members who register after March 1.
Last year members had until Sept. 25 to sign up for the conference at $975.
Checks for $1,025 must accompany any registrations that are made by March 1, which is six months in advance of the conference.
Still on the schedule is the June 4-6 “Leadership Rally” in New York of the 109 chapter presidents-elect, a meeting that has been held since 1999.
For its first 40 years, NANA had a spring Assembly. However, the board cancelled that meeting in 1987 after the Assembly voted twice to move h.q. out of New York. The board ruled that only it had the power to make such a decision.
NANA has put the cost of the weekend at from $80,000 to $120,000 depending on the program and how many chapter officials show up.
Besides giving each chapter president-elect $500 in cash, NANA also treats attendees to a dinner on the Friday night of the meeting.
The chapter officials meet with national officers and the h.q. staff and are given instructions on such topics as building the memberships of their chapters. They also learn of services that h.q. can provide to the chapters.
The board had its first meeting Jan. 28-30.
McCormick, who is with the HGTV part of Scripps Networks Interactive, said in a NANA e-mail posting Feb. 1 that the board was “energized, excited and enthused about the year ahead.” The last sentence of his e-mail said, “The next meeting of the board will be in Atlanta July 15-17.”
NANA veterans said they could not recall the board ever skipping one of its quarterly meetings and conjectured that only severe economic conditions could force that.
Debra Miller, 1997 NANA president, provided the 1996 financial report in February, the only time the assn. ever provided early financials. Members usually wait until May or June for the “audit” and approval of it by the finance committee. McCormick has not responded to a question by this website on whether he will release financials early.
The 2005 Assembly gave the executive committee (the four officers plus the immediate past chair) the power to act in place of the board between board meetings.
McCormick, who did not return an e-mail on the cancelled meeting, has said that the audiotape of the 2009 Assembly will not be made available to the membership or press and that no transcript of the Assembly will be made.
Transcripts and tapes of the Assembly have been withheld from the membership and press since the 2005 meeting. Previously, such records were available to members and the press.
Also withheld from the membership are the names of Assembly delegates. The list is available only to delegates who ask for it and NANA has said some delegates do not allow their names to be on the list.
O’Dwyer Will Get Earphones
McCormick, after being sent an e-mail that cited sections of the Americans with Disabilities Act, has agreed to give Jack O’Dwyer of this website earphones so that he can adequately hear all speakers at the Assembly Oct. 16 in D.C.
O’Dwyer said he was able to hear every word of the 1.5 hours of presentations by leaders that opened the meeting because they spoke “on” the mike and faced the audience.
However, he said that he and many of the 280 delegates in the audience could not hear many of the delegate remarks from the floor of the Assembly because some delegates did not speak “on” the mike and were forced to address the chair, thus presenting the backs of their heads to much of the audience.
O’Dwyer has asked McCormick to let any delegate use the mikes on the stage and face their fellow delegates.
He has also asked for a hook-up with the hotel audio system so that he can make his own recording of the Assembly and has proposed that the Assembly be audiocast “live” to the membership.
McCormick has not responded to such requests. He has not responded to requests that he meet O’Dwyer editorial staffers in person. The previous four chairs of NANA have followed this policy.
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