Resignation of RAC Office Manager

The following two postings appear on the Radio Amateurs of Canada Blog and may be seen first-hand at .  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 knowledge.



RAC Values

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.


Geoff  VE4BAW

One Response to “RAC Values”

  1. Bob Cooke VE3BDB Says:

    Greetings, all.

    As the result of recent disturbing news received concerning management of the RAC HQ office, I feel compelled to make a comment regarding the posting above by RAC President Bawden, VE4BAW.

    While I can and do certainly agree in principle with the president’s proposed values for the RAC, as stated in the aforementioned posting, I am alarmed and saddened that those same values do not appear to have been extended internally to the RAC Office or its Manager.

    I am referring to the fact that, according to information I have received but which apparently is not, as yet, general knowledge, the RAC Office Manager reportedly has submitted her resignation, effective later this month (April 2010).

    I was the RAC officer who, as president, was given the task last year of “fixing” what were seen by the board and others as serious shortcomings, at the HQ office in particular and with the health of the RAC in general. That included finding and hiring a new Office Manager.

    The current Office Manager came to the RAC with impressive credentials, as well as experience and abilities seemingly tailor-made for the RAC office.

    In addition, she projected a frank openness and impressive credibility, as well as ideas for an effective management style that was obviously inclusive in scope.

    I saw a bright light at the end of the dark RAC tunnel when the new Office Manager accepted the job late last September. In fact, in her first 30 days in the job, her hand began to make a difference. No knowledgeable person can argue the fact that the paid position of Office Manager (formerly called General Manager) is the single most important function within the RAC corporation.

    Why she has now felt it necessary to tender her resignation after less than seven months in the job is a question that the RAC Board must answer, convincingly and without reservation, to the satisfaction of all RAC members.

    This loss, combined with the fact that Office Coordinator Guy Charron (who, because of his past years of working in the office, I brought out of retirement last year to help turn things around) resigned effective the end of last month (March 2010), should be of serious concern to the RAC Board, Executive and to every RAC member.

    With Guy gone and the new Office Manager about to leave, there will be NO ONE at the RAC HQ who has any idea of how the corporation operates day to day, not even the weekly volunteer or two whose job has never been to run the office.

    This removal of — or failure to recognize — experienced persons is becoming an all too-familiar occurrence within the RAC.

    In my open letter of resignation last October, I expressed a wish that the Board, then dealing with the concurrent resignation of the president and two elected directors, would be able to rise above the current situation for the good of the organization. The letter may be seen at

    Sadly, this latest reported event does not appear to support that wish in the least, nor does it enhance the RAC’s credibility.


    Bob Cooke
    (not VE3DBD, contrary to past RAC bulletins)

    “Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be done.” – C.E. Stowe



Former RAC Office Manager releases letter of resignation

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 further information.  

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 agreed that her letter of resignation, sent to the RAC Executive and Board of Directors on April 13, 2010, be made public. 

In an 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.   



Bob Cooke


Member and Past President 

Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc.



From: Manager, Radio Amateurs of Canada <[email protected]>
Date: Tue, Apr 13, 2010 at 10:43 PM
Subject: Resignation
To: RAC Board Mailing List <[email protected]>

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 capabilities.

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 legal entity.

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.

Denise Wagorn