Category Archives: Election

2021 NBUA Election Results

Fellow Members of NBUA,

We’ve had some days full of events and results. We had our annual golf tournament, the 2021 banquet announcing promotions and awards, the completion of the 2021 election and the appointment of committee chairmen and board positions.

Please welcome new board members Corky Trewin and Terry Granillo. Dale Wilson and Brian Rooney were, by our votes, returned to the board. Our thanks to all those that ran for office and did not get elected. Your offer of service is very much appreciated and, more than anything, demonstrates your commitment to our organization.

Our new board members round out the board with great experience and a diverse set of backgrounds.

Our 2021-2022 NBUA Board members and Committee Chairmen are:

Hank Margeson        President

Brian Rooney            Vice President and Recruiting & Retention Chairman

Dale Wilson              Secretary

Terry Granillo           Treasurer

Greg Olmstead          Umpire Evaluations

Henry VonJouanne  Training

Earl Smith                  Policies and Procedures

Corky Trewin            Recruiting and Retention Vice-Chairman

Peyton Coffin            Member Services and Communication (& Technology sub-committee)

We voted in Reams Goodloe to continue in the important position of Member Liaison. Reams is your go-to guy if you have an issue or suggestion and would rather seek his counsel and advice instead of contacting a board member directly. He has been invaluable in the past and will be so in the future. Thank you, Reams.

That said, every board member is always available to all members, even if the issue or suggestion might be in the remit of another.

We are all members of the NBUA and we are all partners on and off the field.

For your Board of Directors,

Peyton Coffin

206 280 8633

Member Services and Communication

2021 Candidate Questionnaire

NBUA 2021 Elections
Following are the questions asked by NBUA members and the answers submitted by the candidates.


Question 1: As we move into new training procedures, taking into account last year’s remote-mostly format, what percentage of training could be virtual?  Which aspects must be in person?

Mr. Granillo:
There are aspects of training that virtual meetings can actually enhance. Participation, play and positioning analysis, drilling down on rules to name a few. Future training might continue to employ some limited use of virtual modes even after we’re past pandemic protocols. Of course we’ll always need to get on the field and drill the fundamentals of the two-umpire system. For a full training regimen for new umpires, I’d estimate 15 hours field time, 15 hours rule study and classroom training, most if not all of which could be virtual.
Mr. Venters:
I do not have an exact percentage, however I feel about 50% of the meetings could be conducted online.  Much of the training can be conducted virtually; and these trainings should be repeated at least once with replays available via YouTube. Apprentice training may be an exception. The first meeting and WOA meeting should be in person.  The field training must be in person.  An in-person and virtual option can be available for most meetings. With some structure virtual training can have accountability for attendance and participation. I believe with what is already available online, we need to expand virtual training with a series of emailed plays to invoke thought and discussion.  We can look at what other associations have posted online to improve our training.
Mr. Wilson:
My recommendation to the training director for the 2022 training format would be to take the learning we had in 2021 and use this to layout the training format with a mix of Live and Virtual. We could also do a better job of training the trainers.
My suggestion would be that the Apprentice level would have a large % of in person meeting with the C and upper tiers apportionately less virtual for the classroom training. The virtual training worked out to be effective and saves time for all when it comes to travel, but part of getting together with our friends/umpires at training is important to fellowship.
Mr. Owsiak:
The format of the training should be driven by the desired outcomes and the effectiveness of the delivery format in achieving those outcomes. That said, virtual training during the week enables us to reach more members out of convenience. The online format is effective for learning concepts. Field training would continue to be in person as it is necessary to learn and practice the mechanics on a field. I am in favor of using more scrimmages to train umpires early in the season.

Question 2: What aspects of training should be emphasized more?
What will you do as a member of the board to enhance NBUA’s umpire training?

Mr. Granillo:
It really varies by level of official. Although I’d immediately qualify that if we continue to struggle with numbers and by necessity have to assign newer umpires to upper level games they might not normally work. Consistency of mechanics, communication, pregame are all essential foundational components of training we have to drill into all officials on day one, and then re-emphasize as they grow as officials. NBUA is a leader in the officiating community because of the consistent quality of officials we put on the field year-to-year. It’s not a given that we maintain that level of consistent quality, and we have to continue to refocus our training to do so. If we continue to face a reality of limited numbers, then it becomes more important to give our newer umpires more training, both in controlled training scenarios and live-game situations, on how to manage a game, players, team personnel, and situational awareness. You learn that best by doing it, but trial-by-fire can be pretty awful. To best serve our membership and our customers NBUA will need to adapt to low numbers through more and more carefully progressive assignments with top-tier umpires when higher level assignments come up. Leslie and Mark have long done a great job of this, but where in the past it’s been less frequent, it may unfortunately become more of a norm. I have long been committed to the training program at NBUA, participating every year as an on-field
training instructor. I consider my work with newer officials critical as well, as that immediate post-(or in-) game feedback is some of the most effective at teaching developing umpires.
Mr. Venters:
I believe we need to adjust part of our focus to spend more time on unique plays and case plays with visual aids.  These are the situations that get us in trouble.  We need to spend time on league rules and the NBUA philosophy for certain situations so we can present a unified approach to all games. We need to spend time on how to communicate with coaches. Every year everyone needs to spend time on fundamentals like partner communication, strike zone, and ball tracking.  TT, A, and B umpires need to be trained how to provide feedback and what NBUA wants emphasized. As a board member, I would try to form a new group under the education unit to find existing online resources to use.  I would work to have the leadership establish NBUA’s opinion instead of individual opinions.
Mr. Wilson:
High School areas of emphasis and how to enforce and discipline for violations. Best example would be the jewelry issues we ran into in the 2021 High school season.
For Summer Ball I would have the training team work on helping with game management when it comes to Coaches, Players, and fan conduct. I believe that if we are well prepared and trained for incidents we can handle them better and have fewer problems for our umpires.
Mr Owsiak:
Field training specific to your tier should be emphasized more. For example, C-tier umpires should have the option to attend Apprentice field training; however, I would use feedback from evaluations and members to offer targeted training to C-tier members to address areas of interest. In addition, I would look to standardize our training handouts and further define the NBUA to address any conflicting feedback that has been brought up in training or in evaluations.

Question 3: With cost of living, gas prices, etc, increasing, not to mention the deduction of “travel fee” from the 2nd game of a HS DH, how tough should NBUA get with game fee negotiation? Do you think we are fairly compensated?

Mr. Granillo:
If I’m 100% honest, I do. I think youth sport officiating is an avocation best pursued for the intrinsic rewards. I understand many officials rely more on the compensation. NBUA operates in partnership with our customers to ensure as many young people can participate in this sport as possible, with quality officials present to adjudicate. We should be honest and transparent about our costs and our challenges in attracting and retaining officials, and work together with our customers to arrive at our rates.
Mr. Venters:
All contract negotiations can be a delicate balancing act. In regards to the 2 nd game fee travel deduction, I would push the board to research the current contract to confirm who the agreement is with and the details of that contract to confirm it is being interpreted correctly.   I believe we have the power to negotiate this now. This is the first place I have been where a travel fee has been part of regular season.  Perhaps we can negotiate future contracts with verbiage of just a “game fee”. Like everyone, I want more money.  I came from San Jose with the highest cost of living in the country and similar game fees.  I also spent time in less expensive markets with higher game fees.  We are dealing with businesses which have their own expenses, I believe we have the power to negotiate appropriate increases over a period of time.
Mr. Wilson:
The larger opportunity for pay structure in my opinion is around High School Pay. I would be looking at removing the Travel Fee and getting into the game fee, this would eliminate the Double Header same field deduction issue as well as increasing total game fee to better align with the other High School sports.
Mr. Owsiak:
NBUA is a mission-driven organization. As such, we are called to promote the sport in our community. I prefer to think of compensation as a means to make certain our members can obtain the correct equipment, uniforms, and cover necessary costs to officiate. That said, NBUA’s ability to negotiate and request game fees is influenced by the officiating experience provided by its members. Our focus should continue to be on providing best-in-class officiating services, so our customers see the value in maintaining and increasing the game fees.


Question 4: How would you, as a board member, suggest handling fan and coach “over-competitiveness” and on-field criticisms of umpires during games? This borders on abuse at several schools and some leagues. It is a culture passed down by the coaches and even some AD’s and is inciteful for the players. What would you suggest to alleviate this?

Mr. Granillo:
Strong training. As I mentioned in Question 2, we’ve got more inexperienced officials in general on higher level games than we have had in recent memory. Often times the approach an official takes as situations are budding can change an ejection into a nothing. Umpire abuse is part of the culture of baseball. It’s changing; they’re working hard on it in High School and College ball every year. We alleviate it be consistently enforcing the progressive discipline protocols. We do that by training them into our umpires effectively. We support our umpires when they have to eject. We coach our umpires when an ejection might’ve been avoided.
Mr. Venters:
I believe the board needs to form guidance within the rules for misconduct and provide better training for umpire communications with coaches.  We need to educate some conflict resolution. NBUA also needs to work with the leagues to set expectations for coach, player, and fan conduct.  Unfortunately, we cannot mandate their policies or rules.  We need to provide better training and work with umpires who are in these situations.  Let’s be honest, if someone is acting completely out of control, maybe the umpire did something to light that fire or add fuel to the flame. This is not allows the case, but it usually a factor whether truthful or perceived. We need to work with these umpires to improve their umpire skills and communication skills.
Mr. Wilson:
There are a few areas that can help with this issue. The first would be to include into our training program more role-play to help members be better prepared. I believe if we are prepared, we can handle situations better. The second would be scheduling, if we insured that Apprentice and C tier are working more games with upper tiers, we would have the opportunity to mentor and potentially defuse issues before they become a larger situation and at the same tome show management examples.
In addition, if we have consistent problems with one school, team or league, our board can step in and, if necessary, levy sanctions.
Mr. Owsiak:
The rules and our procedures are very clear on addressing certain behaviors during the game. NBUA should continue to train members on the rules, use of preventative umpiring to keep coaches and players in the games, and, if necessary, ejections. For our non-school ball leagues, NBUA should continue to have a dialogue regarding the types of behaviors seen on the field; however, this discussion needs to be fact-based and in the context of promoting the sport.

Question 5: In what areas do you feel the Board can effect improvements? What should the board do in the near future to improve NBUA? What (specifically) is your plan to make those improvements?

Mr. Granillo:
I have no specific plan to improve NBUA.
Mr. Venters:
I think the board needs to do a better job of making sure member questions are resolved with simple answers, negotiating higher increases in fees, and improving training.  I will work to make sure all of the communication from NBUA is clear and to the point with direct links were appropriate. Improving training can immediately be addressed.   I do appreciate the work our volunteers put in. My plan is to review of how we train and as stated above, initiate new methods including video clips and field training exercises. Perhaps we need to spend some money on training aids, training our
trainers or paying our trainers. I think part of the field training needs to be with real players or teams and immediate feedback from trainers.  We can script scenarios into these trainings.  If an contracts are immediately up for renewal, I will work for higher fees.
Mr. Wilson:
The areas that I would be looking to improve is continuing to gather feedback from the members to make training the best possible. We should continue to add technology to the organization to better train, communicate, share information and recruit.
Mr. Owsiak:
Training and evaluations are two areas I would enact improvements. For training, I would consider targeted training sessions to address specific areas of interest from our members, both in theory and in practice. In doing so, I would look to give members a chance to work on their evaluation feedback. This may include mid-season training opportunities. For evaluations, I would clarify the rating system and reviewing guidelines as my experience is the understanding of the system and directions varies by the individual. I would look to more clearly define the desired competencies at each level (e.g., what is a 3 for an A-tier vs. C-tier). Lastly, I would clarify the use of the rating information to address any member frustration.

Question 6: What skills/knowledge/life experiences do you possess and could bring to the Board to make the Association function more smoothly and effectively?

Mr. Granillo:
I’ve been a CPA in corporate finance, accounting and auditing for thirty years. I’ve served as an instructor for NBUA for over ten years, and as Evaluations Chair for three years.
Mr. Venters:
I have worked with coaches and administrators all my professional life at the college and professional levels. Some who make millions of dollars a year with huge egos and some who think they do.  I have learned from many experiences how to interact with them and how to communicate during difficult interactions.  I have also learned how to train and communicate with inexperienced and new staff members.  I believe I can help the board rationalize decisions and communicate effectively.  I have an education degree and always worked in educational environments.  I know how to teach with common language and focus on the major items without getting lost in the details.
Mr. Wilson:
I am levelheaded and always look at all sides before sharing my thoughts and opinions.
I always look forward and not back with the goal to get better.
Mr. Owsiak:
The majority of my professional career has been working with leaders of large corporations to define their vision and a strategy to achieve that vision. From this, I have learned that the path forward is a combination of the culture that makes the organization great and a continuous improvement mindset I bring collaboration, inclusion, problem solving, and most of all, the ability to own and drive outcomes.

2021 Combined Candidate Statements

Corky Trewin

I became a member of the NBUA in 2013.

It is my pleasure to offer my candidacy to the NBUA membership for consideration to be elected to the NBUA Board of Directors for the 2021 election.

I started my umpiring journey in 1967 as a 13-year-old Redmond Babe Ruth baseball player. The year before as a Redmond Little League player for the Tigers I was primarily a catcher. It was there I developed a personal relationship with my plate umpires and especially Virgil Magruder. Magruder went on to be part of the first class of NBUA umpires when the association was formed by George Eshelman in 1969.

The Redmond Little League umpires were all volunteers and all integral parts of the community with less than 6,000 residents that year. I enjoyed and looked forward to meeting the men on the field – Dr. Fisher, Dr. Way, Mr. Lawson, Chief of Police Sollito, Mayor Bud Young and Magruder. My fondness for Magruder grew that season into a wonderful friendship. He challenged me to be the best catcher I could be, especially blocking the ball as umpires rarely wore shin guards. In between innings and pitches, He had a wonderful baseball story telling style and would ask me how I liked any of his new umpire “moves.” I loved it.

Towards the end of the season, Magruder announced to me “Trewin, I’m going to make you an umpire” and he did. He tutored me for the following five years as I rose through the Redmond Baseball community umpire ranks. It was a piece of baseball heaven and again I loved it.

It is that love for the game, the love for the umpiring aspect of the game, the personal relationship part of the game that Magruder and his Redmond Little League umpires gave me that is my motivation to be considered by you for election to the NBUA Board of Directors.

NBUA is wonderful and I would like to be a member of the NBUA Board of Directors to assist the membership to become even better.

Micheal Owsiak

As an Elite sports officiating organization, the NBUA and its members are recognized by peers and customers for providing best-in-class umpiring services to the community. It is imperative that we acknowledge and maintain the core values, processes, and culture that has gotten it here. Yet, at the same time, we must be persistent in our pursuit of excellence in service to our community.

My focus would be on collecting member feedback and incorporating it into our training, evaluation, and customer relationship activities. I would prioritize connecting evaluation feedback into targeted training designed to help members learn and grow at their desired pace. To our customers, I’d like to strengthen our relationships so that we can work on the issues that frustrate our members while officiating and collectively build a more positive game-time experience for all.

David Richardson

Fellow umpires

Umpiring has been my passion for 25+ years with various organizations. I joined the NBUA in 2017. Every year I’ve worked to improve my skills. The training never stops.

I retired from my dental practice, last August and always strived at making it successful for 38 years. I know what it takes to succeed and I will bring this effort to the NBUA board. I also have lots of time. Gotta love retirement…..

Randy Venters

I have been a part of many associations amongst the sports I officiate and the locations I have worked. I come from an education and sports background and have spent time in sales training systems. I am the ideal candidate to help lead the NBUA into the future.

I believe now is the time for the NBUA to adapt and move forward. With COVID we changed our training and meeting structure and many younger umpires received their chance to officiate games they may normally not have been assigned. I believe we need to continue to look at changes that can advance the NBUA as a whole.

The virtual training was great and I think we need to expand on the platform by offering the same meeting/topic a couple of times. There are many great resources online that already exist and we need the education committee to find and utilize these clips or find members willing to help. I believe the best way for individuals to grow is to see and experience new situations. I would like to see a regular(weekly maybe) email training series with video clips and rewards for participation.

Our field clinics are good, but they can be better. We need to get clinics with real players and real situations. There are many training tools and methods that we do not use. Let’s look at what other associations in different areas of the country are doing. We also need to have drills for reacting to players and coaches.

Partner feedback is great, but often the messages can be contradictory to what another official has said and often higher tier umpires focus on very specific details. We need to train all umpires on how to provide feedback and make sure all of the evaluators have the same standards and messaging. I also believe we work better when we have some familiarity with our partners. We should develop pods of officials and when possible assign pod members to work together. This would give umpires a truer sense where others are and give more knowledgeable feedback to help each other improve. Mentors need to work with their mentees and we need to develop more mentors.

This last season has definitely taught us we need to improve our recruiting and listen to our current members. Often voices feel like they are not heard or given enough support. We need to change this.

I thank you for your time and consideration.

Thank you

Terry Granillo

Fellow umpires,

Thank you for the work you do on the field, for the teams we serve, and for the sport we serve. It’s been a unique couple of years and as we move into the 2022 season and beyond, the stewardship, support, and leadership of your board of directors will be critical to the NBUA continuing to thrive and lead amongst umpire associations nationwide.

I would be honored to serve on your board of directors. I have been with the NBUA since 2007, and it’s the absolute truth that I’ve learned all I know about umpiring from the men and women in this association over that time. The greatest service we can give is to help others improve and grow as officials. I have served in that capacity as Evaluations Chair and on the Training Committee in the past. I am a CPA and have worked as a CFO for the past twenty years, and I bring those skills into board service as well.

This association, again, is a national leader; in training, in performance on the field, in umpire development, in customer service, and in consistency of service. As we return to a more normal way of doing business we’ll need strength, experience, and wisdom on the tiller. I don’t know what role the board will need me for over the next two years, but I am happy to serve where our association’s needs are greatest. Thank you for your consideration.

Incumbents

Dale Wilson

I am Dale Wilson and I started with NBUA in 2016. In 2020 I was elected to the NBUA board. My two years on the board has been very rewarding and exciting at the same time with COVID, no games in 2020, and adjusting to the new world of officiating in 2021.

As a member of the NBUA board I have been the Chair of Member Services & Communication in 2020 and then was voted to be on the Executive Committee as the Secretary. I am currently part of the Member Services & Communication and Evaluations Committee.

My goal when I started on the board was to focus on looking forward and how we can get better as a board and an organization. I believe that I have helped make steps in that direction with better communication to our members as the Member Service Chair. I will continue to bring new ideas and being the voice of our members to the board and executive committee.

If reelected, I will continue to work on what members share as potential issues, help to build the member base and to have the NBUA members best interest with changes that affects officials on and off the field.

Thank you to all the NBUA members for building a best in class umpiring organization. The desire for each of you to get better every game is what makes this a great organization.

Thank You

Brian Rooney

Brian Rooney

It has been an honor to have been on the NBUA board for the past four years. During that time, I have actively contributed my time and energy as the Chair of the Recruiting and Retention committee. In addition, I have also been a member of the Evaluation and Training staffs.

As the R&R Chair, we have streamlined our efforts and are actively pursuing leads that come our way. I have either emailed or spoken with everyone that has come to the recruiting committee’s attention and stayed in touch with them throughout the process. These future members of the NBUA are coming through a variety of sources whether it is Facebook, LinkedIn, WIAA, or our own website. However, the biggest recruiting tool we have is you, our members. I have greatly enjoyed being the conduit for those that you introduce to the NBUA.

It is an honor to wear the NBUA hat and represent the best Umpire’s Association in the state. Our principles of customer service, teamwork and excellence guide me as a member of the Board and an umpire on the field. I ask for your support and vote for the NBUA Board of Directors.

Member Liaison

Reams Goodloe

Reams Goodloe

I have provided services to members of NBUA as the Member Liaison since the position was created. I have assisted members in protecting their interests before the Board of Directors. I would welcome the opportunity to continue such service.

As Member Liaison, I have been able to bring many items to the attention of appropriate Board Members or to the Assignor, to express the members’ view of difficult situations or seemingly unfair positions, or to give voice to the frustration that various members have experienced with certain events, action, or disciplinary procedures. And, where asked by an affected member, such issues have been effectively raised on an anonymous basis.

As a member since 2004, I can bring the experience of working my way up through the association to understand situations that members encounter, and thus effectively advocate with Board Members, or before the Board as a whole, for explanation, adjustments, and changes as members believe appropriate given their situation.

Now that this position is a member elected position – a change which I supported before the Board – I am seeing members open up with more difficult issues. Hopefully, the Member Liaison role will enable me to enhance the visibility of problems and lead to increased scrutiny of issues which need the attention of the Board of Directors. I would appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve all members of NBUA in the Member Liaison role.

Mark Clough – Stepping Down

Lane Loland -Stepping Down

Ask the Candidates

The NBUA Election is set. This year, we have 8 Candidates who have offered to step up & serve our great organization.  They are competing for 5 open positions on the Board of Directors. Their Candidate Statements are contained in the previous post. We are soliciting questions for the candidates and ask that you send them to the election committee.

The election committee is composed of Vernon Dahl, Don Warfield, Mark Snyder, and Mark Clough. You should have received an e-mail concerning this topic and to submit your questions properly and anonymously, you should use that e-mail and Reply to All. If you have not received an e-mail, then please contact any one of the committee members.

2020 BOD Candidates

Christopher Castro

Greetings fellow members,

I am an NBUA rookie and based upon the number of games I have worked this year, I expect to be a rookie next year as well. I recognize that a great number of members are employed and do not have a large amount of free time to dedicate to the NBUA Board. However, as a retiree, I have an abundance of personal free time to offer in service to our association. I do not have any specific job aspirations; I will simply be of service where needed. My background is diverse enough that I can adapt to any role.

Background:

Career Naval Aviator, F/A-18 Pilot, TOPGUN Graduate, Commander / O-5, 22 years of service in the U.S. Navy’s Enlisted and Officer ranks. Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. Proven strategist, leader, and manager shaped through a large variety of job assignments and the intense pressure of three combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Qualifications:

M.A. Sports Administration and Leadership (Sport focused MBA), B.S. Aviation Management. FAA Certified Flight Instructor (CFI)/Instrument Instructor (CFII)/Ground School Instructor (IGI). 11 years of training officer/instructor experience, 8 years leading Operations, 6 years managing 350 + personnel, $20M budget execution experience, Certificate in Acquisition, and 3 years’ experience in African multi-national partnering, planning, negotiation, and training.

Little League Veteran: League President (twice) Lemoore, California and Naples, Italy. Manager, Umpire, District Umpire-in-Chief, and Mentor.

Umpired three divisions (L.L./Jr./Sr.) at the Little League Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) Regional Championships in Kutno, Poland and Novara, Italy. Umpired the American High Schools in Europe Championships at Ramstein, Germany.

Registered to attend the Minor League Baseball Umpire Training Academy in Jan. 2021.

I look forward to getting to know more of our membership and being of service to you.

Kind Regards,

Chris

Peyton Coffin

Fellow Umpires.

After 16 years, I’ve decided to ask you to elect me to serve you as a member of your Board of Directors. I have been a member of five officiating associations and that, coupled with my business experience, qualifies me to be one of your representatives. Some of my business experience: Owned/operated restaurants; Owned an advertising/public relations business; Account Director for an international public relations firm; Assistant Director of the Singapore National Parks Board; Project Director for the electrical subcontractor that installed systems in the Seahawks Exhibition Center; Built houses in Seattle, and; Umpire and Referee in three sports.

Many of you know me as the guy who likes to be light-hearted at the cars but knows and knows how to apply the rules on the field, or as the behind-the-scenes guy who listens to your concerns/complaints and brings them up to the appropriate board member and who calls you before our elections and encourages you to vote for others. I’m finally asking you to vote for me.

I’m the guy who printed and paid for that batch of recruitment cards. You know me as one of your trainers in the classroom, on the field and in the cages and as the guy who makes sure all new umpires have an indicator to be familiar with. You also know me as … the Pizza Guy!

The point is, whether you know me from many years past or more recent years, you know my record: I’ve volunteered in many ways to serve you and will continue to support my partners and our association.

We face a challenging time. No newly generated 2020 income and a purposeful administration and management of COVID-protocol games will demand action. Association-wide protocols will have to be implemented safely, authoritatively, yet respectfully. Assessment and evaluation procedures should be examined for their appropriateness considering the circumstances, especially as they affect newer umpires.

Newer umpires deserve special consideration because they’ve lost a year of experience to apply their training. Our newer umpires, especially, should vote their support for me as someone who has and will listen to their concerns. You know me — and you are our future.

Recruitment: Last year, I attended, at my expense, the NASO Summit/Spokane. I buttonholed the Managing Editor/Director Referee/NASO and proposed writing a recruiting/informational article in the largest US circulation magazine: AARP. Full support from NASO/Referee but it bogged down in AARP’s machinery. With national focus, I’m going behind the scenes again and putting him, the Executive Director, NFHS, the CEO, AARP, etc. all together via letters and contacts so they can get their butts in gear and encourage AARP’s members to stay healthy and active. Most 50+ year-olds played sports in school/coached/umpired their Little League kids. Now those kids are out of the house. Mom and dad should continue their involvement in sports. I know it’ll work!

These ideas and actions will not cease.

Vote for me to serve you on your Board … and I’ll deliver more than pizza!

Lane Loland

                Greetings to all NBUA members, and I would like to thank you for considering me for a Board of Directors position. Before anything else, I would like to acknowledge the presumptuous nature of my candidacy. I am fully aware that I have not “earned” any position of responsibility with my mere 100+ games of work as an umpire. Nonetheless, I would love the opportunity to increase my involvement with the NBUA and to help promote the interests of our organization.

            I came to umpiring after retiring from other endeavors. Retirement has given me time for greater involvement, and my work history (a short jaunt as a lawyer followed by a 32-year high school teaching career) helped me to develop and refine a few attributes that I feel will help me to be successful in our efforts to augment the strength of the NBUA. First, I believe I am very good in working with people. I listen well and my interactions are very non-judgmental. Further, my stoic nature allows me to deal with situations with an unemotional detachment. I have no ax to grind and no agenda to pursue. In addition, I show some proficiency at creative problem solving and I willingly take on difficult issues to find outcomes that are best for all involved. I look forward to using my skills and temperament as we figure out how to move forward in donning our black hats in a Covid world.

            When we do return to work, service is the entire focus of a position on the Board of Directors. I will continually advocate for increased game pay (and potentially ancillary compensation) for our hard-working members. I would also like for our organization to seek out enhanced recognition for our efforts as we strive to polish the image of umpires within baseball, and in the larger community. I smile whenever I see pictures of NBUA umpires in Referee magazine, and I would support an effort to promote our work with local print and electronic media. Finally, I would advocate for more frequent, informal evaluations for our C-Tier and Apprentice umpires. My proposal would be for voluntary observations and feedback by experienced members who might receive game credit (akin to a game worked) for watching and giving feedback to our newer members.

            The absence of a 2020 season has been horrendous for all of us in the middle of a nightmarish national trauma. As a possible silver-lining, however, I truly hope that this is an instance of “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Ideally, the time to reflect has left all of us with a renewed appreciation of how much we enjoy being on the field and part of the game. I love umpiring and I take great pride in being member of the NBUA. While I am anxious to continue to work and grow as an umpire, simultaneously I would appreciate the opportunity to expand my role with the NBUA through a seat on the Board of Directors.

Thank you.

Hank Margeson-Incumbent

I am continually honored to serve this fine association as a member of the Board of Directors, and it is in service of the association that I seek to be honored with an additional 2-year term.  While the past couple of years were a roller coaster ride for some, not getting to umpire (so far) this year has proven that in times of crisis, leadership is paramount.  No one expected that we’d be completely shut out of High School and summer ball games when the year commenced.  And we were so ready to launch our new payment program, ensuring you’re compensated in a timelier manner than ever in the history of the NBUA.  But a virus delayed our plans.  The good news is we will not be deterred and provided we are once again able to safely step onto a baseball field in 2021, this change will be fully implemented.

The COVID-19 pandemic has strained the resources of the association, but not to the point of breaking.  We took significant action to reduce our expenditures when it became clear there would be no revenue from the schools.  We also worked closely with our summer customers so that if they were given the green light to launch their seasons there was agreement on finances.  Fortunately, the agreements we made prevented us from having to refund unearned revenues.  Approaching the situation with a clear head and having contingencies was crucial to preventing the association from falling into financial peril.  And most importantly, we can weather the storm and resume normal activities in 2021.

Two years ago I stated the my goals were to professionalize this association at all levels, creatively recruit and train outstanding new umpires, foster a sense of camaraderie to increase our membership, make it easier for members to access their increased earnings, identify and challenge the next generation of NBUA leadership, and elevate the stature of the NBUA in District 2 as well as within the WOA.  As I write this, I believe we’ve made significant progress in each of the areas, notwithstanding our aborted 2020 season.

So, here’s my pitch for the next couple years.  I will continue to focus on moving the association toward a more professional approach to recruiting, training, financing and evaluating.  The goal is to ensure the NBUA is held out as a model officials association within the state and region.  I will continue to urge members to get involved in the operation of the association with the goal of developing the next generation of Directors.  Finally, I pledge to make sound fiscal decisions with the goal of ensuring each member is fairly remunerated for the professional effort they display on (and off) the field.  I will accomplish this during conversations with our summer ball leagues/teams as well as continuing my outspoken advocacy for all officials within the WOA.

I will finish as I started, it is an honor to serve a fine group of umpires.  I would be honored to continue to represent you as a member of the NBUA Board in 2021-2022.

John Moore

Hello,

I’m John Moore, and after 12 years with NBUA, I’m still waiting to meet some of you for the first time and looking forward to it. The previous eight years of LL umpiring helped get me started, and even though I’ve completed my first two years as an “A” tier, I continue to soak up more information and experience from the game, and all of you as well.

If you know me, then you’ll recall I’m a talker–let me use my voice to convey your words, ideas, and complaints (if any ^_^) to the attention of the board.  I cannot remember the ideas and possible changes I have grown as a (data) analyst at my current job for the past 17 years where I have created many types of reports involving health insurance.  While umpiring LL, I served as the UIC and President for two years, and was involved with the creation of North Lake LL.  We had to write Williamsport for permission to retire our two (declining) smaller leagues into one, and it took a team of us to make it happen.

My wife and our son have supported me since I umpired my first game back in 1997, when I also coached the “Velociraptors” (we just loved that name–the players came up with it).  My son played ball through LL and it was quite the ordeal when I had to punch him out on a called third strike for “our” first plate appearance.  We joined a Bothell PONY team when he reached Junior High, however, due to a back injury he was unable to play.  I had already agreed to coach the team, and even though he sat out the majority of the season, I still coached the team that season.  The parents and players all appreciated my dedication to stay on, even though my son would not be playing.  As with those players, I enjoy my involvement for the players and the enjoyment of baseball. My wife still comes out to watch me umpire after these dozen years, and says she will continue to come out.  I think they (and my other family members) enjoy the game a little more since I started umpiring.  It lifts me up.

If you elect me, I’ll do all I can to help the board and our association to maintain our level of quality umpiring and the respect of our customers and baseball in our region.   

Thank you.

Greg Olmstead

Hello,

I have decided to run for the NBUA board in order to give back to the organization.  I’ve been a member over 10 years working over 100 games/ year and serving as a mentor every season.  I played at a fairly high level growing up and continued until age 38, then moving over to coaching both baseball and football.  After my son graduated HS, I saw the need for officials and in 2010 became both a baseball and football official and have worked state playoff games in both sports.  I’ve seen our sport from the perspective of a player, coach, parent, fan and official.

I recently served on the board of directors for the football associate, PNFOA.  Besides taking on the most time-consuming tasks I also brought many ideas to the board for ways to improve the membership.  I decided not to run for re-election last year, in order to give back to the NBUA if elected.

I am an electrical engineer remaining technical throughout my career.  I am the main inventor listed on 3 US patents.  I consider myself an idea person bringing logical, well considered ideas to problems that can sometimes bring out passionate emotions responses in others.  I feel I can bring energy to a discussion and not take it personally if my ideas are not adopted.

There are many tasks a board has to perform – my overriding drive is to retain officials that we have invested our training in.  I will always work to eliminate the frustrations we see at every level of the game and keep positive experiences throughout the season.

Greg Olmstead

Earl Smith-Incumbent

Well, let me say that this has been the easiest year on the board out of the two I have served! But in all seriousness, I hope this finds you and your families healthy. I would like to continue with my involvement with our board for a variety of reasons. I do not think that a board member in their freshman term can be as effective as a tenured member. Trying to involve myself and not make monumental mistakes sums up the first two years. It is obvious now more than ever that we lost a season that would have resulted in too many clients and far too few umpires. As a member of the evaluation staff, I think it is critical to impart evaluation feedback in a manner that helps our membership mature without alienating them in the process. I am maturing as an umpire every year, and hopefully as an evaluations staff member as well. I feel like my strongest contributions to the membership were in the contract and negotiation arenas, and my weakest were in the election process last year. As I stated, I am still maturing, but not afraid to take that step forward when I think I can bring value to a board committee. I have a broader understanding of the Board as a whole, and I have to say a deeper appreciation for this group. They gain clients, schedule and keep us organized, they foster checks and balances, show fiduciary responsibility for and with the association’s money, they recruit and retain umpires, and they keep us in the 21st century from payment methods to member feedback tools. I had such a small understanding of what went on behind the scenes to keep our association the best in the Northwest. The volunteers on this board work hard to make that happen. I hope to serve another two years with the association as a board member and I think I can still bring a value-added attitude to the Association!

Thank you for your consideration. 

Earl Smith 

Henry VonJouanne-Incumbent

I am honored to be considered again for an NBUA Board of Director position.  I have completed one term – two years – as a board member and I am eager to continue serving for another term.  I can genuinely argue that I feel like I want to “finish the job”.  I served as the Training director the past two years; both years, our training programs were profoundly impacted by unforeseen events.  In 2019, the heavy snow forced cancellation of several training events, and of course the COVID19 pandemic abruptly halted our training this year.  Looking forward, if selected to continue as the Training director, I am eager to plan and execute high-quality training programs to completion.

My goal as a Board Member is simple:  to fully and enthusiastically support the NBUA mission.  That is, “We deliver the highest quality service to our customers by umpiring all games to the best of our ability and with fairness to all participants via state of the art training and evaluation and demonstrated examples of inclusion.”  The NBUA has – in my opinion – always separated itself with a strong training program – so I believe our excellence and “highest quality” starts with training.  And I believe the training starts with emphasis on the basics:  superior rules knowledge and superior mechanics knowledge.  Of course, this begins with the formal pre-season classroom, field training, and cage training.  The training extends to the mentorship program and the important and valuable pre-game and post-game discussions.  A strong and comprehensive training emphasis should convince every member that the NBUA strives to support their improvement as an umpire – and their eventual promotion as a result.

What qualifies me to be a Board Member?  First off, I believe the NBUA is an exceptional organization and I am committed to be a strong advocate for our organization.  I maintain my collection of experiences and skills serve me well as a Board member and NBUA advocate.  As a helicopter Instructor Pilot in the U.S. Air Force, I was responsible for developing and teaching the ground-school and flight curriculum.  I learned the age-old truth that instructing is the best way to learn.  As an aerospace engineer, I was expected to develop systems in a systematic manner – driven by facts and data – while also leading with energy and passion.  As a manager, I have penned seven good rules to follow:  1) it is impossible to over-communicate, 2) in all ways, be completely honest and overt in your actions – no agendas, 3) from this day forward, always do the right thing, 4) make mistakes, 5) learn from your mistakes, 6) the most important job you’ll ever have is the job you have now, and 7) sweat the details – really understand the facts – before making a decision.  These rules are not rocket-science – but they have served me very well and I intend to hold myself to these rules if elected to the NBUA Board of Directors.

I believe the NBUA is a great organization – filled with great people.  I am proud of our members and the quality of the product we place on the field.  As an NBUA official, I am proud to know that I walk onto the field with a partner who loves the game, loves to officiate, wants to be there, and wants to improve. 

If elected again to the Board of Directors, I pledge to continue as a strong advocate for the NBUA. 

Thank you for your consideration.

2018 Elections results

The polls closed at 6pm on Monday night and the election results are as follows:

89 of 149 eligible members voted (60%) which is up 2% from last year
Allen Christie 84 votes (94%)
Henry VonJouanne 82 votes (92%)
Hank Margeson 81 votes (91%)
Ron Beal 78 votes (88%)
Earl Smith 78 votes (88%)
Gary Coy 35 votes (39%)

The 2018-19 Executive Committee is:
Hank Margeson – President
Mark Snyder – Vice President
Allen Christie – Secretary
Mark Clough – Treasurer

Committee Chairs are:
Finance – Mark Clough
Bylaws/Policies and Procedures – Mark Snyder
Member Services and Communications – Allen Christie
Recruiting and Retention – Brian Rooney
Training – Henry VonJouanne
Evaluations – Mark Clough

2018 BOD Candidate Statements

Candidate Statement – Ron Beal

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Dear Umpire Brothers

It has been my honor to be an umpire in the NBUA for the last 9 years.  I am running for the NBUA Board this year to serve as your representative. I want to have an open ear to the Association. 

I was the NBUA Rookie of the Year in 2009 & was promoted to B tier in my 2nd year. I umpired in AZ and GA for 9 years before joining the outstanding NBUA. 

I would use my extensive experience to represent your interests on the Board. I also offer my business experience as a Manager in dispatch for the Matheus Lumber company in Woodinville. 

I will do my best to make sure the NBUA remains the Premier Umpire organization in the Northwest.  

 
Best Regards
Ron

Candidate Statement – Allen Christie

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It is hard to believe I’ve been on the Board of Directors for five years but it has been a quick, interesting and challenging five years.  In each year, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in many discussions on a wide variety of issues and make decisions to keep NBUA healthy and prosperous.  There is rarely an easy answer to most issues but through thoughtful consideration of the facts, I feel your current board has acted in the best interest of the association and the membership. The times are constantly changing and it takes people with flexible thinking and a willingness to adapt to keep this organization at the top while holding true to its core beliefs and methods.  I have a strong sense of history (context) and a desire to make things better (content).

During the last five years I have actively contributed my time and energy to the Recruiting and Retention Committee (2014-2016), Election Committee (2015 and 2017), Training Staff (2015-current), Evaluation Staff (2012-current), and have served as the Secretary for the last four years.  Last year was a particularly challenging year as the association dealt with a financial dilemma with a customer.  Instead of taking a hard line with the customer that some people endorsed, your board worked in the best interests of the association to resolve the issue and come out of the ordeal in better shape.  I am proud of my contributions to this solution and proud of the way I executed my responsibilities to arrange for and moderate a respectful special meeting of the association.  I have a good grasp of how things work in this association yet I am open to new ideas, not afraid to take on new work, adapt my thoughts to the times and change my ways of doing things as necessary.

When I ran several years ago, I stated that I wanted to maintain the good work of previous directors and improve the functionality of our umpire association.  I think I have done that and, if re-elected, I will continue to do so.   I value the friendships I have with other members of NBUA and I care a lot about the health and well-being of the association.  With your vote, I hopefully will be able to continue to serve you and ensure the health and vitality of NBUA.

Candidate Statement – Gary Coy

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I’m running for election to the NBUA board of directors because I believe YOU (The Membership), deserve better than what you have recieved over the past several years from your board and to give you a choice.

Candidate Statement – Hank Margeson 

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In considering whether to run for another term to serve the membership on the Board of Directors, a sitting member should ponder whether they’ve contributed to the betterment of the association or held it back.  I think it is safe to say the past couple years have been eventful and while the ride has been bumpy at times, in the end the association has moved forward and the general membership is better for it.

We were able to navigate a very challenging fiscal situation as a result of a major business partner’s failure to remit payment in full.  Rather than panic and burn bridges in an effort to collect what we were owed, we instead forged a better working relationship while holding them accountable to pay us off with interest.  A difficult lesson to learn, but from the abyss we grew professionally as an association.  We now have contracts in place with all of our large business partners, many other smaller partners and collect in advance from every other customer.  Slowly but surely the NBUA is achieving a paradigm shift while also extracting higher game fees for our members.

I am especially proud of the implementation of the dynamic weekend surcharge in 2018 as well as the significant increases in game fees paid to members for higher intensity competitive games.  Looking forward, if reelected, by goal will be to ensure that our contract extension with Puget Sound Senior Baseball includes significant game fee adjustments, reflective of the level of skills required to manage those contests.

Finally, one other goal I had for the past term was to ensure that the Board memorialized the multitude of informal tasks and duties carried out over the course of a year.  This was a prime reason I sought an outside process audit of the Board, our Accountant and the Association.  Upon receipt of the auditor’s report, I led by example in documenting the processes for how to complete the annual High School Regionals and Finals recommendations to the WOA and I drafted the inaugural Assignor responsibilities document that was recently incorporated into the Policies and Procedures update.

Over the next two years, my goals will be to continue to professionalize this association at all levels, creatively recruit and train outstanding new umpires, foster a sense of camaraderie to increase our membership, make it easier for members to access their increased earnings, identify and challenge the next generation of NBUA leadership, and elevate the stature of the NBUA in District 2 as well as within the WOA.  Wearing the NBUA cap is an accomplishment and we should all be proud to represent our association.  I would be honored to continue to represent you as a member of the NBUA Board in 2019-2020.

Candidate Statement – Earl Smith

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Hello fellow NBUA officials,

I have considered volunteering on our Board for a few seasons now. In 2018 I was invited to participate in our membership evaluation process. I look forward to continuing with maturing into that role. We know that sports officials are becoming the precious few. We are facing both recruitment and retention challenges. Part of our passion for officiating is to see how far our efforts can take us, and to what level. I have used my evaluations as a motivation and they have helped me mature. The officials who took the time over the years to share constructive criticism have helped in that process and it is my intent to give back to the association. If we don’t give back, there may be a day when there isn’t anyone to give back to. I hope to continue to play a role in the evaluation process, and would like to say thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully, 

Earl Smith

Candidate Statement – Henry VonJouanne

I am honored to be considered for an NBUA Board of Director position.  I believe the NBUA is a great organization – perhaps one of the best such associations in the country – and it is filled with great people.  I am proud of our association and the quality of the product we place on the field.  As an NBUA official, I am proud to know that I walk onto the field with a partner who loves the game, loves to officiate, wants to be there, and wants to improve. 

My goal as a Board Member is simple:  to fully and enthusiastically support the NBUA mission.  That is, “We deliver the highest quality service to our customers by umpiring all games to the best of our ability and with fairness to all participants via state of the art training and evaluation and demonstrated examples of inclusion.”  The NBUA has – in my opinion – always separated itself with a strong training program – so I believe our excellence and “highest quality” starts with training.  And I believe the training starts with emphasis on the basics:  superior rules knowledge and superior mechanics knowledge.  Of course, this begins with the formal pre-season classroom and field training, but extends to the mentorship program and the important and valuable pre-game and post-game discussions.  A strong comprehensive training emphasis should fully convince every member that our organization strives to support their improvement as an umpire – and their eventual promotion as a result.

What qualifies me to be a Board Member?  Not one thing – but a collection of experience and skill from my past roles as 1) an Air Force Instructor Pilot, 2) an Aerospace Engineer, and 3) a Manager of Aerospace Engineers and Technicians.  As a helicopter Instructor Pilot, I was responsible for developing and teaching the ground-school and flight curriculum.  I learned the age-old truth that instructing is the best way to learn.  As an engineer, I was expected to develop systems in a systematic manner – driven by facts and data – while also leading with energy and passion.  As a manager, I have penned seven good rules to follow:  1) it is impossible to over-communicate, 2) in all ways, be completely honest and overt in your actions – no agendas, 3) from this day forward, always do the right thing, 4) make mistakes, 5) learn from your mistakes, 6) the most important job you’ll ever have is the job you have now, and 7) sweat the details – really understand the facts – before making a decision.  These rules are certainly not rocket-science – but they have served me very well and I intend to hold myself to these rules if elected to the NBUA Board of Directors.

Finally, if elected to the NBUA Board of Directors, I pledge to be an outstanding advocate for the greater organization.  Thank you for your consideration.

Election Results 2017

The 2017 election results are in and the new Board of Directors joining Allen Christie, Bill Coyne, Jay Neff, Hank Margeson, and Mickey Whitaker are:
Mark Clough
Rick Park
Brian Rooney
Mark Snyder
In addition, Reams Goodloe was elected as your Member Liaison.

All new elected officials start immediately in their two year term representing you and NBUA. 
Congratulations to all.

Your 2017 NBUA Election Committee
Allen Christie
Jay Neff
Vern Dahl