Doug Cain changes roles

The Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship board of directors asked Doug Cain to change roles at their bimonthly meeting January 10th and announced that Jim Cumming is the newly elected chair, retaining his angler services directorship.

In a special presentation to the board Jim Cumming explained that two situations require urgent action. First, almost half of the directors retired last year, many after serving long terms. This means that the new directors joining the board have very little hands-on experience. While the Tournament is still six months away, winter is a very busy time. Directors must prepare budgets, establish priorities and plan events and infrastructure.

“The workload for new directors is almost overwhelming” cautioned Jim. So “I recommended that we create a short term contract position involving Doug who has served on the board since 1995”. Doug was given a comprehensive job description that emphasizes three primary areas of work.

Doug will immediately begin working hand-in-hand with all directors, particularly those joining the organization this month, to develop preliminary portfolio budgets. He will then present a consolidated version to the board for analysis. Using history and factoring in planned changes as well as the effects of increased costs, the board will have the entire package to work with very quickly. “From my experience the Tournament budget is the cornerstone that enables directors to do their jobs and it must be completed by the end of February” Jim explained.

As the same time Doug will work closely with Tournament sponsors. In addition he will be seeking out new sponsors to find the money and in-kind donations needed by the directors to achieve their goals.

Jim explained another area of concern - Tournament history. “Doug has been serving as our source of historical information for a decade. His input, particularly for new volunteers, has been helpful and important. But, all this information is carried around in his head so I asked the board to consider where we would be if he was hit by a truck”.

“We also decided to use this opportunity to find out if the Tournament needs a year round part or full-time staff member. The Tournament has grown from the original field of 47 teams in 1995 to over 136 plus a long waiting list of anglers wanting to participate. At the same time we have added a host of events, activities and expanded the site generating work twelve months of the year” Jim continued.

“Over the years we created new portfolios, restructured existing duties and attempted to share the increasing workloads through Team Leaders who directly assisted our volunteer directors. While this helped we also have to look ahead. Government legislation covering security staff (professional training), safety (site and food); fund raising (lottery license) will create even more demands on our time” Jim said.

“I saw a tremendous need and opportunity to not only help the new directors get “up to speed” but also record our history while the information is still available to us”.

“Doug has accepted a real challenge to accomplish the primary goals and objectives, plus many others listed in the job description in only 13 weeks. Since this is a paid position, Doug has resigned as a director and chair of the board. In his new role he will be reporting directly at our bimonthly meetings” said Jim explaining some of the details.

“I am very pleased that the board modified and approved the proposal during our in-camera meeting while Doug sat outside in his van. We have done our best to follow the letter of the law to prevent any question about conflict of interest and ensured that every director was free to express opinions, ask questions and come to their own decision”.

“Most importantly, I want everyone, volunteers, spectators, sponsors, anglers & civic leaders, to know that the Tournament is in strong hands and in good shape. It is time to move our organization to the next level and this positive action will ensure the long term viability of the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship” new chairman Jim Cumming concluded.