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BY TONY DOLLE
I’m at more than 30,000 feet above sea level, somewhere in the skies between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, Ga., and I have to say I’m pretty happy.
￼￼OWAA Executive Director Robin Giner just e-mailed me, say- ing that as of press time, a deal has been reached for sale of the OWAA headquarters condo in Missoula, Mont. If all goes according to plan, we will close the deal on April 8.
We are about to shed what has become an albatross for the organization. While it didn’t start that way, it has definitely become a financial drain on the organization for the past five years or so.
Right now, we are in the final stages of negotiation. Complete details of the sale will be available via the OWAA website as soon as all the paperwork has been completed. This is a good deal for OWAA. Our Realtor in Missoula and Realtors I have spoken with in Tennessee agree.
True, we no longer have a permanent home. But quite frankly, the need of a permanent home for this organization is not what it might once have been. There are fewer full-time empolyees at OWAA headquarters now than when we purchased the property And we are much, much more mobile with our lives and livelihoods. Permanency with office space is not an asset for OWAA right now.
We plan to rent office space in Missoula, in the near future (we may already have done that by the time you read this) and utilize that space until we stabilize our fi- nances and membership numbers. The funds from the sale will be placed in a special ac- count until we make decisions about a more permanent home.
Giner is to be congratulated for making this sale happen. She worked tirelessly with our Realtor and several potential buyers, seeking advice when she needed it and coming up with some creative financial solutions for the buyer as necessary. Provided this deal goes through, OWAA plans to make more money on the sale than we would have without her vision. Giner did as the board instructed her to do: she sold the property. Kudos to Robin.
On other positive notes, the OWAA annual elections are coming up and we have a great slate of candidates for the three seats available on the Board of Directors. I urge you to make sure you vote when the ballot arrives in your mailbox. See page 16 for candidate profiles.
There will also be some bylaws issues on the ballot. You are being asked to say yes or no to eliminating the third vice president’s position on the OWAA officer corps. The board feels this is a good move and that the third vice president’s duties can easily be handled by the other officers and vice presidents.
You are also being asked to allow future OWAA presidents to appoint committee chairmen without board approval – with the exception of bylaws-mandated committees. This just means the president can appoint folks to chair the OWAA committees with- out having to wait for the board approve every one of them.
I can tell you from experience this is a good thing.
I also like the fact that certain commit- tee chairs still need to be approved by the board — those committees are the Finance Committee and the Board Nominating Committee.
These proposed bylaws changes, which you can vote on for the May election, are outlined on page 20.
In a column a few months ago, I said that my goal was to make OWAA actions more transparent. With the exception of real estate negotiations and personnel issues, I think we are getting better at that. Let me know if you agree or disagree, and if you have ideas on ways to improve the transparency. I’m all for it.
The flight attendant has just informed me I need to turn off my computer as we are be- ginning our initial descent into the Atlanta area. And that’s a good way to keep me from being long-winded with this column.
Remember, vote on the candidates and bylaws issues and make plans to attend the convention in July (yes, that’s right, it is July this year).♦
— Tony Dolle, OWAA President firstname.lastname@example.org