ECF officers

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Michele Clack
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ECF officers

Post by Michele Clack » Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:51 pm

Does anyone know why the ECF seem to have such difficulty holding onto officers? First there was the new financial man - was it Michael White? - who seemed to disappear before he took up the post. Then there was the new IT chap called Duncan who people seemed to think would do lots of good things who seems to have gone after a few weeks.
I find this all rather worrying.

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: ECF officers

Post by Carl Hibbard » Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:11 pm

michele clack wrote:Does anyone know why the ECF seem to have such difficulty holding onto officers? First there was the new financial man - was it Michael White? - who seemed to disappear before he took up the post. Then there was the new IT chap called Duncan who people seemed to think would do lots of good things who seems to have gone after a few weeks.
I find this all rather worrying.
The ECF board normally clamp things down when someone leaves so no information is normally forthcoming as to why - this is always going to make some people reluctant to apply for that position is it not?
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Carl Hibbard

Andrew Farthing
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Re: ECF officers

Post by Andrew Farthing » Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:53 am

Michele,

This is a perfectly reasonable question but it's difficult to answer without making it look like there's something to hide. Stewart Reuben commented on the Michael White situation at the time, saying that Michael's decision not to proceed with the Finance role was a personal one. I have since been told the reason and can confirm that there was nothing sinister about it (i.e. it wasn't a question of his encountering something he didn't like in the ECF books, for instance!), but it was a personal matter and, like Stewart and the rest of the ECF, I think it's important to respect confidentiality. I can understand Carl's comment about "clamping down", because it's impossible to distinguish between an innocent but confidential issue and something more conspiratorial, but there's nothing I can say that will satisfy the suspiciously minded.

As for Duncan's departure, I don't know the facts, so I can't comment.

My impression is that a lot of the people involved in the ECF have actually supported the organisation for many years, so I'm not sure that early departures is a widespread problem. I do think the ECF has a problem filling roles. This isn't unique to the ECF. Ask any organisation that relies on volunteers, and they'll tell you that it can be difficult at times to find people. There may be specific issues relating to the ECF - perceptions about the scale of the jobs, the background needed or even concerns about the ECF's lack of financial resources or the politics of it all - and I think it's a priority to try to tackle these.

As for myself, I've clocked up 7 months now and I haven't given up yet!

Andrew

John Upham
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Re: ECF officers

Post by John Upham » Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:11 am

michele clack wrote:Does anyone know why the ECF seem to have such difficulty holding onto officers? First there was the new financial man - was it Michael White? - who seemed to disappear before he took up the post. Then there was the new IT chap called Duncan who people seemed to think would do lots of good things who seems to have gone after a few weeks.
I find this all rather worrying.
Don't forget also the the Director of Chess for Schools was another King Louis XIX (his reign lasted around 20 minutes) style reign lasting around two weeks plus the Directorships of Martin Regan, Claire Summerscale, Peter Sowray and Mike Truran were all relatively short lived.

This can be compared with the opposite situation in which GFW reigned as President for eight more years that he should have done (12 compared with 4). Its a pity those eight years were not divided into two more each for the four mentioned above!

The role of Manager of ICT no longer appears on the ECF web site as though the role has been expunged from history, 1984 style.

Curiously, the non-existent ICT committee is mentioned although it has no members and no-one to report to! :lol:
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E Michael White
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Re: ECF officers

Post by E Michael White » Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:37 pm

Following Michele Clack’s question and Andrew Farthing’s posting, Michael J White has asked me to post this comment as he is not a member of this forum. Michael is one of my sons and was recently proposed for the ECF FD role.

The main reason Michael did not accept the role was that a handover, satisfactory from Michael’s perspective, could not be agreed with the ECF who wanted him to take over immediately without a handover period. Michael wished to have a handover period of about 6-8 weeks to enable him to perform due diligence and collect together information, which in a small organisation may be carried in the heads of officials and/or on bits of paper. Michael’s suggestion was for him to be the FD designate and for the present FD to remain until the end of that period.

Not taking up the role was not due to personal reasons but a professional judgement that such a handover period was necessary for an FD role. Michael had become aware of the overspend at the 2008 British and also money not transferred (, described here by Sean). These and other reasons were not in themselves contributing factors but served to reinforce the need for a quality handover for further familiarisation.

Initially Michael felt things should be kept reasonably confidential so he and Chris Majer could agree a joint posting, giving brief reasons to avoid unnecessary speculation which might affect the ECF adversely but following Andrews posting Michael feels a reply from him is beneficial.

Andrew Farthing
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Re: ECF officers

Post by Andrew Farthing » Thu Jul 23, 2009 6:50 pm

Clearly, I was misinformed. I apologise for any embarrassment caused to Michael.

Andrew Farthing

Michele Clack
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Re: ECF officers

Post by Michele Clack » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:48 pm

Thanks to E Michael White for his comments. I am sorry if I have opened up a discussion that could be construed as negative. His son Michael J White sounds very professional and it is a pity he could not be accommodated.
I remain worried about the ECF. I know of people who have given up what in one case was pretty much a lifelong membership because they are not happy. With so many people working so hard in the chess world I think we could be on the edge of much better times for the sport if only the ECF could get into gear. I know there are a lot of people involved with it who work incredibly hard and are very effective and I don't want to be seen as criticising anyone. However, I do wonder whether the structure of the organisaton needs a major overall to enable it to become a bit more dynamic.

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: ECF officers

Post by Carl Hibbard » Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:56 am

John Upham wrote:The role of Manager of ICT no longer appears on the ECF web site as though the role has been expunged from history, 1984 style.
Why is there still no report of Duncan moving on?
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Carl Hibbard

John Upham
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Re: ECF officers

Post by John Upham » Sun Jul 26, 2009 11:30 am

Who? :lol:
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John Philpott

Re: ECF officers

Post by John Philpott » Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:02 pm

In the meantime, the following has been added to the "Nominations for Election" item on the ECF website

List of Incumbents' Intentions

Gerry Walsh is not standing for President, but is standing for re-election as FIDE and ECU Delegate
Chris Majer is undecided whether to stand for re-election as CEO
Cyril Johnson is standing for re-election as Director of Home Chess
Peter Purland is standing for re-election as Director of Junior Chess & Education
Stewart Reuben is not standing for re-election as Director of International Chess
Peter Wilson is undecided whether to stand for re-election as Director of Marketing
Alan Martin is standing for re-election as a Non-Executive Director
John Wickham is standing for re-election as a Non-Executive Director
John Philpott is standing for re-election as Chairman of Governance Committee

Mike Adams - Chairman of the Finance Committee (to be advised)


Finance Director - no candidate as yet

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: ECF officers

Post by Carl Hibbard » Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:26 pm

It would be nice if each incumbent were to list their achievements before deciding to stand again?
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Carl Hibbard

John Upham
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Re: ECF officers

Post by John Upham » Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:57 pm

Carl Hibbard wrote:It would be nice if each incumbent were to list their achievements before deciding to stand again?
In a couple of cases at least, that list would have zero elements.

I'd like to think that both Adam Raoof and Sean Hewitt would consider the roles of Director of Home Chess.

The most painful (IMHO) declaration of intent is clearly that of Director of Marketing :lol:
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Carl Hibbard
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Re: ECF officers

Post by Carl Hibbard » Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:05 pm

Interestingly the PUBLICITY OFFICER vacancy has appeared again:-

"The person appointed will be responsible for attempting to place favourable items of chess news in the media on a regular basis. He/she will work closely with organisers of League, County and Congress events, many of which currently receive little or no publicity, in order to obtain media coverage of such events. There will be a particular need to work on publicising such events on Mondays and Tuesdays as the results of weekend events are made available by organisers. In time organisers may themselves produce media reports suitable for release - as some already do.

Maximum publicity needs to be obtained for International Events which include England Teams and also of individual International Events where England players are competing.There will be a need to work closely with the ECF Manager of the 'Chess for Schools' Project and with Holloid Plastics' Project Manager and their PR Agents.

The Publicity Officer will report to the ECF Director of Marketing and will need to build working relationships with all ECF Directors as well as the ECF Office who currently issue Press Releases.

Reasonable expenses will be reimbursed. An honorarium may be available for a suitable candidate.

Some experience of journalism would be a positive advantage, but is not essential"
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Carl Hibbard

Alex Holowczak
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Re: ECF officers

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:07 pm

Is voting restricted to ECF members?

Paul Buswell
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Re: ECF officers

Post by Paul Buswell » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:26 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:Is voting restricted to ECF members?
ECF members have no direct vote.

They can lobby the Direct Members' representatives, whose details should be on the ECF website.

They may be in a better position to seek to mandate the County or League of which they are a member as to how the County's or League's delegate should vote. These votes will usually count for more than those of the Direct Members' representatives.

PB

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