Resignation of RAC Office Manager
The following two postings appear on the
Radio Amateurs of Canada Blog and may be seen first-hand at http://racblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/28/rac-values/#comments
. They are reproduced here in the interests of an informed Amateur Radio
community, especially RAC members.
The RAC Office Manager resigned on April 27, 2010, after less than seven months in the
position. At this writing (May 19, 2010), no explanation has been given by the RAC,
nor has any announcement been seen as to a replacement, to the best of my
By Peter West
Here’s our second posting from RAC president Geoff, VE4BAW:
RAC is amateurs helping amateurs and it is important because all of us
together are stronger than each of us alone.
I believe that there are only two kinds of amateurs: those that are RAC
members and those that will be. To recruit new members all we have to show
is openness, inclusiveness, effectiveness and credibility. These need to
be the values of RAC.
I have been through a great many organizational reviews over the past
years as organizations that I have worked in have struggled to identify
the values that they wish to have at their core. Make no mistake, values
are important because they are the standard to which decisions are
measured against. Is the decision consistent with the values that the
organization intends to practice and portray? An organization without
articulated values is one which is at the mercy of the wind, of the latest
fad, of the latest challenge whether imaginary or real. Values are the
compass that keeps the organizational ship sailing without deviation
through tempests, real or imaginary.
An organization can have many values and I have expressed four;
openness, inclusiveness, effectiveness, and credibility.
There are often a great many words and sometimes many sentences in a
value statement but I have always argued that in the end, after you have
distilled away all the dross and lofty expressions there is left the most
important value: credibility. Without credibility none of the other values
will allow you to succeed.
I propose values for RAC: openness, inclusiveness, effectiveness, and
credibility. I believe that with these values there are only two types of
amateurs; those that are RAC members and those that will be.
Former RAC Office Manager releases letter of
As the RAC official of the day who
hired Ms Wagorn for the Office Manager position, I was dismayed by her recent,
unexplained resignation as, in my informed opinion, she was the right person, at
the right time, for the job.
In fact, she was handed and
willing accepted the task of sorting out what seemed to be hopelessly muddled
bookkeeping matters, as well as fixing other issues at the RAC HQ office in
Ottawa and recognizing how formidable those matters and tasks might be. To
that end, as president I did my utmost to support and encourage her, until
I resigned at the end of October 2009. I am quite familiar with how hard
Ms Wagorn was working on behalf of the RAC and its members.
Now, she has left the post and
regrettably we have seen nothing from the RAC to explain that action or even to
acknowledge it has happened. We, the members, have a right to know
what is going on.
So, I approached her, asking for
The result was her agreement to
allow the resignation letter, which carries no corporate secrets and was penned
by her, to be published here.
After reading the two
postings above, one by the present RAC President and the other by the immediate Past President, Ms Denise Wagorn has
her letter of resignation, sent to the RAC Executive and Board of Directors on
April 13, 2010, be made public.
email agreeing to have her letter published, Ms Wagorn states:
"I've also been giving a lot of thought to having you make
my letter of resignation public. You bring up a very good point...that
after having left RAC almost a month ago, there still is no announcement of my
departure or of plans to deal with the vacancy. You also bring up a very
good point that the members have a right to know how the new Board and
Executive are managing such potentially damaging situations.
Combine these points with my increasing concern for the well-being of RAC
(although not a licensed amateur, I became very committed to the ability of
hobbyists being allowed to pursue their hobby), I believe it is time that
the "public" be made aware of the reasons why I left. That
being said, I would greatly appreciate if you would post my letter for
concerned parties to see."
With the best
interests of the RAC membership in mind, the letter of resignation is being
re-produced below, without prejudice, malice or any ulterior motive, in the
belief that the Amateur Radio community has a right to know. It's
refreshing, I think, that we are finally getting answers from
someone. One can only wonder at the silence of the senior RAC
officials. Where is the promised transparency?
Ms Wagorn admits that some of the comments made in the
letter represent her opinion and that's fair. However, I believe her
reasons for resigning should be evident to any unbiased reader as her opinions
serve to amplify those reasons and put the whole matter into context. If
one reads between the lines, it becomes obvious what prompted her resignation,
at least in my opinion. Equally obvious should be that a serious review
of current RAC management style needs to be considered.
Amateurs of Canada Inc.
Radio Amateurs of Canada <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, Apr 13, 2010 at 10:43 PM
To: RAC Board Mailing List <email@example.com>
Dear RAC Board of Directors and Executive,
It is with heartfelt sadness that I tender my resignation as Office Manager with
Radio Amateurs of/du Canada Inc.
After much thought and consideration, I have finally accepted that RAC is
"broke" and "I" can't fix it. When I first signed on
with RAC, I was informed that there was much that needed to be done to
straighten out the office and RAC's systems. I welcomed the challenge.
Over the last 7 months, I have had to put out many fires...some minor but many
of them major. Unfortunately, they continue to erupt and due to
micro-management and lack of confidence in my abilities by certain individuals,
I find it increasingly difficult to perform the duties of my position in a
fashion that is acceptable to me.
It is my opinion that what ails RAC is a combination of several things...the
lack of financial resources and the lack of human resources go without saying.
But more importantly, it is management's inability to perceive one of the major
flaws in its problem-solving ideology. Rather than concentrating its
efforts on one problem at a time and resolving it, once and for all, efforts are
spread thin trying to resolve them all at the same time.
It would appear that past methodology was to deal with problematic areas as they
arose, never really solving problems but just dealing with the results caused by
them. This method, of course, is akin to putting a band-aid on an
amputation...nothing gets resolved, it's just made to go away until the next
time. In addition, in an effort to generate revenues and appease the
membership, the introduction of even more membership benefit programs have been
discussed by management. As a result, the various managerial factions of
this organization have been pulling at this office from every which way, each
demanding its share of time, effort and attention. Combine these demands
with the administrative and financial responsibilities of this position, this
office's resources have been left splintered and spread thin. At this
point in time, I find myself in the same position as past incumbents, not enough
time in a day, not enough hands and brainpower to deal with day-to-day
operations, let alone specific requests from the various areas making demands.
In a nutshell, the expectations of the two positions at RAC HQ far exceed their
I well realize that RAC goes forth but for the revenues generated by its
membership. I also realize that RAC was created to allow the pursuit of
amateur radio as a hobby and a passion as well as a mechanism for coping with
tragic events. However, in creating RAC, a legal entity with legal
obligations was born. Hired as the Office Manager, it is my duty to ensure
that those legal obligations are met. This past week, it was demanded that
I set aside these legal obligations (the audit as well as work required to make
financial remittances that are due and past due) to deal with an ongoing
operational issue. It would seem that my tentative date to deal with this
issue was not found satisfactory. As much as I believe that we do what
needs to be done to keep our members happy and fulfill our commitments to them,
I do not believe that it should be done at the expense of our legal and
financial obligations. Of late, it has become increasingly difficult, if
not impossible, to balance the needs of the membership and the needs of the
Since November of last year, I have done my best to meet the requirements of
this position with very little support. I have worked late hours, worked
weekends and brought in a volunteer working with me full-time for 3 months with
no remuneration. I did all these things knowingly and willingly in an
attempt to start "fixing" RAC, turning it around. But when my
efforts are usurped, let alone seemingly questioned and unappreciated, the
situation becomes personally untenable.
As required by my Letter of Agreement with RAC, I am giving two-weeks notice
effective today. My last day of employment, therefore, will be April 27,
2010. It should be noted that during those 2 weeks, I will be taking 2
days off for the 2 days that I worked this past weekend getting the A/R accounts
reconciled for the audit.