AN OPEN LETTER TO THE MEMBERSHIP
Answers to comments and questions to my letter dated 2-15-2017
Hello to all Red Knights, 02-27-2017
My last letter has posed a few questions about how your International Board is structured and how we may restructure, eliminating the salary for the QM and honorariums to two of your elected officers thus allowing an Administrative Assistant to be hired.
Also, as the rest of the International Board and many members already know, I do not have a Facebook account, so bear with my response in this form
After someone showing me the comments to my letter to the membership on 2-16-17, I see that there are some members that don’t really know what the International Board does and how it functions.
If you still have questions after reading this letter, like I stated in my previous letter, Please contact your Regional Director for clarification. That is their job, to be there for you, the member.
First, an overall picture of the Red Knights as a whole;
- There are currently two organizations, the Red Knights International Firefighters Motorcycle Club Inc.
- This is a 501c(7) Not-for-Profit Fraternal Club
- This is where all the nearly 10,000 members that reside in 26 countries, that speak over 6 different languages.
- The officers of the Board are elected by you, the members. They are the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and 8 Regional Directors
- The President, VP, Secretary and Treasurer are Responsible for the day to day operations of the incorporation as a whole.
- The President is ultimately responsible for the operations of the organization as a whole, is the primary spokesperson for the organization and is responsible for chairing the meetings of the Board and the Annual Business Meeting.
- The Vice President fills in for the President in his absence and is also in charge of the Member At Large program, currently over 400 individuals. As well as additional assigned projects
- The Secretary is Responsible for all chapter inquires and start-ups(Charters), all record keeping, all TMLA processes, All official correspondence. As well as additional assigned projects
- The Treasurer is responsible for all bookkeeping, upkeep of the International Roster, Filing of taxes. As well as additional assigned projects.
- The Regional Directors are fully responsible for the day to day operations of everything within their regions. As well as additional assigned projects.
- The second business is the Red Knights Regalia Inc.
- This is a for profit company that is responsible for all patches and physical items for sale to the membership by the international.
- The officers of the RKR are the Chairman(elected RKIFMC President), the Vice-Chair (elected RKIFMC Vice President), the Secretary(elected RKIFMC Secretary) and the Treasurer(elected RKIFMC Treasurer)
- These officers are responsible for the record keeping, product development and implementation of all International Regalia, order processing, bookkeeping, and filing of taxes.
- The RKR employs the International Quartermaster, who is responsible for the ordering of, maintenance and storage of stock, the packaging and shipping of all member orders.
- By Law 3:11A(voted in, by the membership at the 2007 convention) stipulates that the Secretary and Treasurer are compensated for their work. For the past 6+ years the amount is $15,000 to each annually.
- The RKR also pays the Quartermaster a salary for his work.
- The Chairman and Vice Chair of the RKR are compensated $100 annually. The Regional Directors are not compensated in any way.
- All officers are reimbursed for a portion of travel costs.
Now that we have a base of how the International Board and companies are structured; below are a few answers that hopefully will answer your questions. Some of the questions and comments were repetitive, so I grouped together our answers.
- First Topic
The Board of the RKR, during executive Session (due to personnel discussion) made the decision to place the new Quartermaster into the Interim position for the timeframe defined in the previous letter. The position was not advertised. Please understand that discussions in executive session of any company are not able to be disclosed.
- Next Topic
There are many programs that the International club offers and fulfills to the members; in fact too many to explain off topic, please contact your Regional Director for more of an explanation.
- Topic #3
The above explanation offers some broad descriptions of the offices. The average amount of time the President, VP, Secretary and Treasurer spend is +/- 60 hours per month. The Regional Directors of some of the smaller regions obviously have a lessor workload that those of the larger regions. The Directors spend between 30 and 60 hours monthly. The only way the concept of an administrative assistant would be able to move forward would be to have the membership vote on a By-Law proposal to eliminate the $30,000 compensations currently being paid to the Secretary and Treasurer. The salary paid to the Quartermaster would also be eliminated. The Duties of the Admin Assistant would be to take over some of the daily tasks of the President, VP, and many of the Secretary and Treasurer as well as the Quartermasters job. The interactions with the membership would be maintained by the elected officers as well as the meetings and events. It is anticipated that the overall net cost for this would be roughly the same as current amounts paid. As this would simply be changing who monies are paid to. Again, we DO NOT foresee any reason for a dues increase for this transfer of work.
- Topic #4
As you can see, we have all volunteered to be elected into our positions, two of your officers are already compensated and the RKR already has one employee. This Board works incredibly well together and puts out so much for the common good; I can’t say enough positive about it. The amount of members that have the time to dedicate to these offices is very few. Over the past 7 years, I believe that only 4 or so times someone has had a contest for an election. We would love to see more people interested in running for an International office. As far as I can find, we are the largest international organization that does not employ some type of an Administrative Assistant.
- Topic #5
We are looking at the possibility of an Administrative Assistant, NOT an Executive Director. There are not anymore officers to spread the work around to. Your officers already voluntarily give many hundreds of hours each and every month to run these businesses in the smoothest way possible. We all knew what our jobs and responsibilities would be. Please understand that we have not had a dues increase in approximately 10 years. We have, by far the lowest dues of any social/fraternal or motorcycle club that I know of anywhere, roughly a single dollar a month. I want to reiterate we DO NOT foresee any reason for a dues increase for this transfer of work. Coincidently, a few years ago, a survey was sent out to all members with a very similar question. It was a bit confusing, asking the question about a business manager being hired, even if it needed a dues increase. The results were nearly even.
In closing, we as the International Board were elected by you to work daily with this, the greatest firefighter based motorcycle club and business in the world. We believe that putting this forward for discussion is a good business decision and will yield even better results and service for the same costs as we currently have. This would allow for redistribution of workload, freeing up officers from some tasks, giving more time to focus on more and better services to the membership.
The Regional Directors email addresses are (with general area):
Region1@redknightsmc.com (northeast US)
Region2@redknightsmc.com (eastern Canada)
Region3@redkngithsmc.com (north-central US)
Region4@redknightsmc.com (southeast US)
Region5@redknightsmc.com (northwest US and western Canada)
Region6@redknightsmc.com (southwest US)
Region8@redknightsmc.com (South Pacific)
If you are not comfortable with or don’t know who your Regional Director is, please email me, firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.