Transcript for the NAFA Candidate Chat November 25th, 2017

 

DanaHanson

A reminder before the chats begin, you must be registered according to the instructions at the top of the page in order to remain on this chat. You cannot remain anonymous.

DanaHanson

This is Dana Hanson. I am the election committee chair and the moderator for this morningís candidate chat. Kyle Mankes, who also serves on the election committee, is assisting. Thanks to all who have joined us for the first candidate chat for the 2017/2018 NAFA Election. This yearís candidates for the Board of Directors are Jan Brule, Lisa Daum, John Forseth, Emma Mak, Lynda Mantler and Aaron Robbins. Lisa, John, Emma, Lynda and Aaron are participating in todayís chats. We have two more chats scheduled for Monday, December 11, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, December 16, at 11 a.m. when you can hear more from each of these and the other candidates.
If you have questions for the candidates, please send them in private messages to me. Instructions are at the top of the web page. Iíll queue the questions and provide them to the candidates. Weíll now take opening remarks from the candidates.

EmmaMak

Iíd like to thank Dana Hanson and Kyle Mankes for organizing and moderating this chat. Thanks to all participating or reading the transcript later and congratulations to my fellow candidates on their nominations. Iíve been playing NAFA flyball for 16 years - this sport means a lot to me because of the lifelong friendships and Ďflyball familyí feeling this sport can have. Iíve been volunteering with NAFA since 2009 and have working relationships with a lot of the current board members already. Iím ready to serve in whatever capacity I can be of benefit. Thank you for considering me.

LyndaMantler

Hello Flyball enthusiasts and fellow candidates! I am honoured to be nominated for the BOD. I have been competing in flyball for 16 years in region 7, BC, OR, WA. I love being involved in various tournament related duties and have had a great experience serving on the NAFA board this past year. I am looking forward to our chat this morning. You canít hear the dogs barking but I am actually at a tournament right now.

JohnForseth

Thank you Dana, Kyle and the rest of NAFA for putting together this chat. I have been playing Flyball for 13 years and have continually taken on a more active role in the sports. I have been a Approved Judge for about 2 years now and feel that running for the Board will allow me to contribute even more to the sport.

DanaHanson

We'll come back to Jan's opening remarks in a moment. And Kyle points out that while I expected Aaron and Lisa, it doesn't appear they've logged in at this time. Should they join, we will allow their opening remarks as well.

 

KyleMankes

Hi, everyone. I've been playing flyball for 17-years, and this is my third year serving on the nomination's committee. Welcome everyone. Let the fun begin!

JanBrule

Hi everyone. I would also like to thank Dana and Kyle for organizing today's chat. I have been involved in flyball for over 25 years. Back when we had a one holed box and used stop watches.

DanaHanson

Carry Forward Question: I'll start with our first and perhaps most basic question; Why do you want to be on the board?

DanaHanson

An explanatory note as they are typing: If you are currently an anonymous user, you are not able to post. If you would like to submit a question for the candidates, please establish a login as instructed at the top of this web page.

EmmaMak

I would like to be on the board because Iíve become more and more involved in helping the board over the years and itís the natural next step. I can see where I would fit in and be of benefit. I really enjoy being part of a team and contributing as much as I can for something I care about.

JohnForseth

I would like to be elected to the board to help grow and contribute to the sport. In doing so I would like everyone to feel that there is a fair and consistent plat form across NAFA.

JanBrule

I feel that flyball has come a long way as a dog sport, but I think that it could become even bigger with the right cultivating. I would like to be a part of that process.

LyndaMantler

I want to contribute to sport I am so passionate about. I have received so much from the awesome experiences I have had during my time in flyball and have made lifelong friends. I want to be involved and give back to the sport. Iike to know what is going on and I find work on the NAFA board very interesting and challenging. The board needs many points of view and I am not afraid to speak up at meetings and state opinions.

DanaHanson

Is there a service area or pet project that interests you most (or a committee on which youíd most like to serve)? And what experiences do you have to draw on to pursue that?

LisaDaum

Good Morning everyone.

DanaHanson

Good morning Lisa.

JohnForseth

With my own job I deal a lot with policies and planning and feel that would fit well with in Rules and Judging.

LyndaMantler

My goal is to work where needed if I should be a successful board candidate. Areas I feel I would be able to contribute best are marketing and technology committees. As I am a detail person, these would be areas of strength for me. As positions become available, I am willing to step up and take on greater responsibility. I am planning on working at CanAm from set up to take down next year.

LisaDaum

I have been playing flyball now for approximately 7 years and love this sport. I'm an advocate for the large breed dogs playing flyball. Showing everyone that any breed can play. I'm very active in my team and with Region 9. I fell that I have a lot to offer if I was elected to be a member of the board.

JanBrule

I would like to help mentor the next generation of flyball enthusiasts. I would like to get juniors more involved in flyball competitions especially at CanAm. I have been involved in the Minnesota 4-H dog project form many years so I think this experience would help getting juniors more involved in flyball.

EmmaMak

I would like to continue to serve on the rules committee and would likely come back to the election committee, if needed. I was on the rules committee the past year, and contributed my skills in re-writing parts of the rulebook. I have previous experience writing policies and procedures for an aerospace company to get their quality certification. I also brought data reports to the rules committee meetings to help with decisions. My pet project of choice would be to continue work with a directive given by Neil Flood to create an additional type of regional championships which would include lower divisions. Iíve already started work on this on the rules committee this past year and am eager to get that implemented.

DanaHanson

The next question is from Jonathan Bescher: The world of dog sports now offers more choices, but most people have the same dollars to spend. As a result, I believe, weíve seen some erosion in tournaments hosted and tournament attendance. What ideas to you have to make them choose NAFA flyball?

LisaDaum

I've worked in the administrative world my whole life. First in the Navy and now working for the U.S. Coast Guard writing contacts. I have a lot of experience in this area and feel that it could be useful in many areas. I fell that I would be an asset to any position that I might be elected too.


 

LyndaMantler

Good question. We need to keep NAFA tournaments as the premier tournaments in the regions. Many people want to accumulate points and titles and therefore stick with one organization or the other. We need to be ensure there is good communication with the participants and that decisions are understood and that players feel they have a voice. We need them to feel good about playing flyball with NAFA and continue to recognize accomplishments, treat everyone fairly and very importantly, to keep evolving and improving where we can. The initiative to add some new awards is a good step in this direction

EmmaMak

Itís true, flyball is a bit of a shrinking market because of the large array of choices available. The board can help with this by remaining open to competitorsí suggestions and seeking feedback (as they've done with the email feedback for recent proposed changes to open class, etc.). NAFA flyball has a lot to offer because it remains very affordable and offers the opportunity to be part of a team and community. By emphasizing these parts and keeping them strong, NAFA can hold its own in this new competitive dog sport environment. I feel the board also needs to keep things fair and the playing field even. A focus on making everyone feel valued and encouragement of young competitors will help.

LisaDaum

Money can always be in issue in picking and choosing what dog sports you play. But in all reality, Flyball is the cheapest depending on the number of dogs you run. One of the things that happens in Region 9 is at certain tournaments a free entry is awarded to a special team. It

JohnForseth

with social media there has been some bad PR that has given a bad light on the sport. Creating a more proactive PR program with in the NAFA organization can help eliminate confusion and create a positive image for NAFA. PR should not be at the top level but help in promoting regions and clubs.

JanBrule

People need to know that flyball exists as a sport. I always take the opportunity to explain what flyball is to anyone who asks. I even keep a video keyed up on my phone to show people. I encourage people to come to tournaments to experience flyball. We do demonstrations at other pet expos and sporting events. If NAFA had some way to help give local clubs guidance on how to promote flyball that would help.

LisaDaum

It's a great way to keep teams from coming back. Also where I live it's a very rural area. Recruitment and Demos are always a great way to bring in newer members and promote our sport.

 


 

DanaHanson

Carry Forward Question: A couple of you have made reference to continuing to attract young people to the sport. Do you have any ideas about how to specifically attract more youth to flyball?

DanaHanson

Two questions in the cue at this time.

LisaDaum

One of the best things about flyball is it is a family sport. I work closely with our local animal shelter and I believe those young dog lovers that volunteer at our shelter are a good place to start. But I have also spoken with young junior handlers at dog shows, participated in demos at these shows and believe that it would be a good idea to schedule demos maybe during field day at local schools. Our club also attends many other demonstrations throughout the year at dog specific events.

LyndaMantler

Promoting flyball as a family sport helps get kids involved. Continued recognition of junior handlers is important. Demos at schools and fairs where youth attend gains exposure. Some of the tournaments we attend are at fairs so we have spectators. I always make a point of talking to them and explaining that any dog can play and all are welcome.

JanBrule

I am very active in our Minnesota 4-H Dog project. I am also a judge for the 4-H dog project. I take the opportunity to inform the youth I come in contact with that there are many other things that they can do with there dogs besides 4-H. I have recruited some kids to give flyball a try. One youth member even made his own flyball box so he could train his dog. One way to keep these kids interested in flyball might be to possibly make a division specifically for juniors.

JohnForseth

There are a lot of smart people in the Flyball community that have many different talents. I would like to encourage innovation and a process to test and evaluate new methods ex. measuring, EJS

EmmaMak

Well, my son has actually done presentations about flyball at his school and a flyball demo! Thatís a start. Iíve seen some great ideas at tournaments Ė where junior handlers are announced, sometimes given fun prizes. I think the board has already done some great things Ė introducing the pin design contest for the junior handlers was great. Perhaps more things like this would be good. Overall, promoting good sportsmanship, keeping things fair, is going to make people want to stay in the sport and bring their kids out.

DanaHanson

The next question is from Meagan Langs: What changes would you like to see or to help NAFA make?

 


 

EmmaMak

I canít say thereís anything I would like to change about NAFA. I would say thereís things I would like to encourage more of Ė for example, seeking feedback from competitors before making major decisions. Being transparent as possible in decision making. Keeping the lines of communication open through social media. I think itís important for the community to feel like its heard and that all sides have been taken into consideration when decisions are made.

LyndaMantler

I would like to help with communication in the flyball community. I have tried to do that regionally this year. Seeking feedback as the board did this year provided a much broader perspective of the viewpoints people have and the reasons for those opinions. Having a forum where questions can be addressed and ideas shared would be valuable. We have many people with great talents playing the sport. They may not want to be involved at the board level but I would like to draw on their expertise.

JanBrule

I would like to see an even more open dialog between the board and the NAFA community. I think there has been great strides towards a more accessible board, but I would like everyone to feel comfortable approaching the board about any issue.

DanaHanson

We have one question remaining in the cue at this time.

LisaDaum

As with any organization, change happens. Not everyone will be happy about those changes. Allowing input from the competitors or at least team captains is always a great way to keep everyone involved in these changes. Maybe even allowing an online chat like this when major changes are being discussed would be helpful and there would be no miscommunication. I do believe that NAFA has been doing a great job with keeping everyone posted on upcoming changes on the website and through social media.

DanaHanson

Carry Forward Question: What do you see as the most urgent issue facing NAFA flyball?

DanaHanson

No questions remain in the cue, and I will ask candidates for closing remarks after receiving their responses to the prior question.

LisaDaum

Social media. People posting about things they don't like or feel is unfair but not willing to be a part of the change.

LyndaMantler

I think the measuring issue is the single biggest concern at this time. It is being addressed by the board committees and then the board as whole. Progress has been made and work on this process continues.

LisaDaum

Instead of posting and fueling the fire, work with the board to help make things better.

LisaDaum

In closing, while I may not have been playing flyball as long as many others. I am extremely passionate about the sport and promote it all the time.

JanBrule

I think both recruitment of new players as well as keeping those already involved in the sport are key. We need to make sure that we welcome new people. Encourage their participation and answer questions. We also need to keep the participants we have by making sure that they feel comfortable with how the organization is run and encourage open communication.

JohnForseth

Continue making forward steps with the new Measuring Judges. Trial periods for major rule changes that allow for feed back.

EmmaMak

The most urgent issue facing NAFA flyball continues to be keeping membership and participation up. I think the open class changes will help this way. Offsetting the move away from entering regular and multibreed with an additional type of regional championship will help too. The board needs people that are strongly committed to NAFA flyball succeeding.

DanaHanson

Candidates please prepare your closing remarks.
While theyíre doing that, Iíd like to remind you that ballots will be sent out electronically December 1. Club owners, regional directors, approved/supervising judges and board members are eligible to vote. By now you should have verified your contact information and vote counts. You still may update contact information by e-mail to 
crn@flyball.org.

EmmaMak

In closing, thanks to all who participated and those reading this later. Iím available on social media if you have any questions. Thanks for considering me for a board position. Whether I make it or not I will continue to volunteer my time to NAFA as I feel strongly that I want to give back to this community that means so much to me. Thanks to the organizers and hope everyone has a good weekend!

JohnForseth

Thank you all for your questions. There are a lot of good things about Flyball and a few negatives. I look forward to serving the Flyball community and working on eliminating the negatives and heighten the good to create a fun, fair, family oriented sport that everyone of all ages can enjoy.


 

LyndaMantler

Thank you to those that provided this forum for the candidate discussion and to you all for participating. I would love the opportunity to continue serving on the NAFA board. Have a fantastic weekend!

JanBrule

Thank you everyone. I am very honored to be nominated! I love the sport of flyball and I would like the opportunity to serve on the board. Flyball is a great sport for all ages and I would like to help promote flyball and move the sport forward. Thanks!

LisaDaum

I believe that I have so much to offer NAFA and our flyball community. Thank you all for this opportunity and I would be honored to serve on the NAFA Board of Directors.

DanaHanson

Thanks to the candidates, to nomination and election committee members, and to all the NAFA participants that joined today or will take time to read this transcript. Have a great weekend!

KyleMankes

Bye everyone.