Tuesday, May 31, 2011


about There is at least one Federation of the 157 that is without doubt the single most incredible place in the constellation of federations. Back in the day it had created so much debt that its then leadership had to engage in heroic acts to retire it...and they did. In doing so, that leadership fell behind on many obligations -- overseas allocations payments and national system Dues, among others.

Fast forward to the JFNA "era" if you will. First, this federation hires a terrific, experienced professional leader; then lets him go. Hired a new professional leader, one with what appears to be a strong FRD background. Then, communal facilities were damaged by hurricane; the federation sought hardship Dues relief from JFNA, rejected outright by JFNA's "leaders." The federation's Chair and CEO effectively "dismissed" past Chairs from any role in the communal instrumentality when those federation Chairs were told that they must increase their annual campaign gifts of they would be off the Board. Good faith attempts to resolve these issues were rejected unilaterally by the federation's leaders.

Incredible salaries were paid to a CEO and his top aide -- approved apparently by the Chair, the CEO'S biggest supporter even as the annual campaign dropped precipitously...but that CEO became ill on the job and when he returned to health was informed that his contract would not be renewed. Then a new CEO was hired-- given a contract for an extremely brief time frame (one- and one-half years). That term lasted but a few months.

A new Chair was elected and this federation jumped the gun on the Select Core Priorities -- with no discussion just threw what I understand was about $45,000 to the JDC -- that's from a Federation that allocates about 6% of its campaign for overseas needs in total...yes, 6%. And, under the Global Planning Table, 6% would qualify for "membership." Huh?

Then on April 21, 2011, within 25 minutes of each other, the Federation Chair e-mailed the community (or what is now left of it) to announce tersely and suggestively that, first, the CEO and, next, the Foundation Director, had "resigned." Not even a "thanks for your service to the community," just...gone.

And, the Annual Campaign? A shell of its former self -- down another $1 million more or less this year. When I wrote that our communal success is dependent upon the trust the donors have in the Federation, I could have been thinking about Bizzaroland.

(Was Jerry consulted in the midst of any part of this mess? Just asking inasmuch as Bizarroland pays $650,000 in annual JFNA Dues...that's $650,000, my friends...2% of JFNA's Budget. Hello...and hello, again.)

As one of the FOBs said: "You couldn't make this stuff up." Another, very knowledgeable in the workings (or dysfunction) of this federation, suggested that just as with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, should take over this federation: "after all," she said, "the circumstances are the same -- ...no money, no leadership and no...support" -- only worse.



Anonymous said...

If this Post is true, it evidences the rot that is eating away at the totality of the federation system and JFNA. Where is lay accountability? How can there be trust in a federation that allows these alleged actions to take place let alone be repeated?

And, does JFNA believe that if a federation pays Dues, that's all that's expected of them and JFNA has no further interest in how a given federation's acts can imperil the entire system?

Anonymous said...

It is not clear what lay leadership Anonymous is referring to. If the question is "Where is lay accountability of JFNA?" then it seems to me this is what Richard has been writing about for 3 plus years. If the question is "Where is the lay accountability in Bizzaro land, as a person quite familiar with the situation I assure you not only is there no lay leadership accountability, but the lay leadership represent at least the first, second, and third problems that have caused Bizzaroland to reach its level of disaster.

Anonymous said...

let's stay focused or as Jim Collins once wrote - look in the mirror not out the window. Where is our much needed, readable and cliche-less, document "The Unfinished Federation Agenda Overseas"? Not to mention the dozens of leaders ready to travel the continent powerpoint and their own credibility in hand to promote it!

Anonymous said...

In your 'fast forward' comment you gloss over many years of CEO transitions. This is not a modern phenom in "Bizarroland." It appears to be systemic, further supporting your point that perhaps some external resources would be warranted. A weak Federation in the system, especially one as large as Bizarroland, weakens the entire system.