COVER LETTER TO A FACTUAL ACCOUNT OF THE PAST PB YEAR
August 5, 1997
Dear Colleagues and Friends:
As many of you now know, we have again this year been treated to the unwelcome spectacle of a last-minute hit letter, this time from Policy Board member Fanueil Adams, attacking me and Member-At-Large Jim Eade. While pretending to claim the moral high ground, this personal attack by Fanueil in its timing and context clearly originated from the other end of the mountain, replete with out-of-context quotes, self-serving excuses, and revisions of the facts of the past year. I believe it was wrong, but characteristic of Fanueil, to trivialize the real issues the Delegates face this year by launching a series of personal attacks timed to poison the atmosphere at the Annual Meeting.
The real issues have nothing to do with name-calling but with improving the USCF, and the differences between Dorsch and Eade on one side and Fanueil and Schultz on the other are not over politeness, they are over policy.
It is really a difference in approach between two generations of leadership. It's the difference between the management style of Alan Watson of IBM and Bill Gates of Microsoft. Fanueil and Schultz represent the type of managers detailed in David Halberstam's "The Reckoning." Dorsch and Eade represent a proactive approach for the Nineties. We don't want to conserve and protect, we want to learn and grow. Fanueil and Schultz distrust the Internet; we see its potential. Fanueil and Schultz obsess about committee assignments for their friends, Dorsch and Eade are immersed in improving office efficiency--Jim Eade wrote the first performance appraisal standards for our Executive Director. The bottom line is that Fanueil and Schultz worry about how they fit into USCF history, while Dorsch and Eade are focused on the USCF's future.
If you allow yourself to get mired in the minutiae of hit letters, you find yourself staring at knotholes instead of contemplating forest management. Strictly speaking, a response is not necessary, but I admit a personal desire to at least correct some of the more outrageous misstatements presented as fact, and the attached rebuttal aims at that. I apologize for this, because my best instincts tell me I should be more like Gandhi and less like Gideon, and I have for eleven months resisted the temptation to write a letter, despite a weary series of misrepresentations, distortions and attacks from Fanueil and Schultz.
After I have exercised my right of self-defense against Faneuil's latest untruths and accusations, I would like to focus on Federation business. Wouldn't it be nice if Fanueil and Schultz would do the same?
Have a good meeting!
P.O. Box 7453
Menlo Park, CA 94026-0453
August 8, 1997
Subject: A FACTUAL ACCOUNT OF THE PAST POLICY BOARD YEAR
Dear Colleagues and Friends:
By now, most of you have probably received and, with a little antacid, digested Member-At-Large Fanueil Adams' embittered last-minute hit letter. If there was any hope that our Annual Meeting would focus on policy issues instead of personal attacks, it was dispelled by the discredited practice of collecting a heap of insults, smears, out-of-context quotes and distortions of fact, then mailing them at the last minute to deprive the victim of an opportunity to respond. The method, more than the message, is a revealing commentary on the integrity of the author. Included with the last-minute hit letter is another motion of censure, secretly prepared to be introduced at the Policy Board meeting held Thursday morning, August 7.
It is too late to furnish a point-by-point rebuttal of the many misstatements, errors of fact, and deliberate misrepresentations accumulated by Fanueil Adams and his helpers. But that of course is the point of last-minute hit letters, isn't it? The timing is designed to deprive the target of any hope of setting the record straight. There is no intention to have real debate of issues, merely an attempt to unfairly skew opinion with an emotional and inaccurate presentation. The style replicates the morality of the cutpurse or assassin. And the penultimate finishing flourish, with the "Martyr of Moscow" again offering to resign to save the Federation, is a signature touch--Fanueil Adams will take his ball and go home if you don't agree to play by his rules.
This is a debate I did not desire. All year long, despite such acts as the 12/23 motion stripping the Treasurer of his Board responsibilities and limiting his access to information, and myriad other threats, insults, libels, accusations, and falsehoods, I have resisted the impulse to write my own letter to the Voting Members. As many of you know, it is not an impulse that I successfully resist often. But the ignoble tactics and the magnitude of inaccuracies in Fanueil's last-minute hit letter require a response. I have also become concerned after talking to some of you that there are many facts of which you are unaware because censorship deprived you of balanced access to the facts.
Fanueil in his hit letter felt compelled to state his curriculum vitae. Many of the things he adverts to, such as a business career, a first-rate education, etc., are the accouterments of privilege--inherited wealth opened doors in life, many years ago. Fanueil serves on the Board of a bank (The bank lost $40 million last year and fired its management). Fanueil replaced IM James T. Sherwin as president of the American Chess Foundation. According to Schultz, Fanueil wrote a letter saying he would no longer contribute $100K per year to an organization run by a convicted felon. IM Sherwin, a beloved leader in American chess for decades, was a peripheral figure in the Ivan Boesky securities scandal, and was eventually cleared of all charges. Faneuil's first major policy decision at ACF was to terminate the generations-old relationship between ACF and USCF whereby ACF sponsored the US Championship. Leaving the USCF scrambling to find funding to take up the slack.
Fanueil's two years of service on the Policy Board have by any standard been undistinguished. As he points out, the current Board was blindsided by financial problems, and "the three PB members, including myself, who were members of the prior Board must share in the blame for this [Hit Letter, p.2]." I once described them as "mindless zombies," one of the characterizations Fanueil felt was unfair, but which accurately described the Board performance I witnessed at the meetings I attended (I have attended all of the meetings since Fanueil was elected). At the November, 1995 meeting, for example, I pointed out (reciting chapter and verse) the problems with the Interplay agreement and how it inadequately protected USCF interests. It was approved anyway without comment by the Board (Al Lawrence, to his credit, later attempted to obtain redress in a 1/96 addendum). At the meeting in San Francisco that I organized in February, 1996, the Northern California representatives succeeded in averting a policy that would have outlawed any clock but USCF clocks in tournament competition (by defining only the USCF clock as "standard equipment.") The Board was prepared to rubber-stamp the proposal, with Faneuil's approval, without understanding its importance. At the May, 1996, meeting in New Windsor, a major reorganization of the USCF was proposed that would have split the organization into separate taxable and non-taxable entities. The lawyers made a recommendation based on court rulings. I read the cases, and when the lawyer made his presentation, I pointed out that he was wrong, that he had reversed the ruling in the key case, and that his argument was unsound. The lawyer admitted that I was right and he was wrong. Then I watched in astonishment as the Board went ahead and approved the reorganization plan 7-0 anyway! Is "mindless zombies" really an unfair characterization? At meeting after meeting, it became clear that nobody was even paying attention. Many of the other Board members deferred to Fan in business and legal matters because of his training, but he was able to provide no help at all, and in fact the business and legal affairs of the Federation deteriorated very badly on his watch.
Fanueil presents his view that in August and September the USCF "had major problems in a number of areas [Hit Letter, p. 1, ¦¦4-5]." He further states that the office was hit by "staff shortages, a growing list of time-consuming crises, and a series of abusive communications from Dorsch attacking [the AED's] competence." He essentially blames Lawrence for the "major problems" and Dorsch for the office's failure to solve them, and claims "all PB members came fairly quickly to" agreement on the "most urgent areas."
This view is utter nonsense. The same "mindless zombies" that were oblivious to the state of federation affairs in June and July were equally oblivious in August and September. The idea that Al Lawrence was the cause of all of our problems originated in his simplistic condemnation of Lawrence, based (as always) on an emotional response instead of an understanding of the facts. The idea that the Board Members would have "fairly quickly" recognized and begun to solve the problems we faced is not credible in light of his failure for thirteen months to recognize any problem or take any corrective action. The "abusive communications" from Dorsch that he adverts to were wake-up calls. The Board woke up and faced the problems only because of these wake-up calls, and was able to formulate a response only because of them. It is important to understand that every single crisis we faced was identified first by Dorsch and Eade and every solution that was adopted was at their insistence. Let's take the "crises" in Fanueil's order.
State of the office. When Filippone took over, he had two years of experience as the de facto CFO (his title was Director of Operations). I took the view that he not only bore responsibility for what had happened on his watch, but that he of course had the responsibility as Acting ED (and candidate for the top job) to fix things. Fanueil argued over and over that Filippone could not be held accountable for anything that happened before August 12 because "he was under the influence of Lawrence." Fanueil's hatred of Lawrence prevented him from making an objective evaluation of Filippone. On at least one occasion that sticks firmly in my mind, Filippone had just told us a whopper about what he had been able to negotiate with a sponsor, Interplay. While I was still reeling from statements that I knew could not be true, Fanueil turned to me in an aside and said, "Don't you get the impression that George is telling it like it is? I never believed a word that Lawrence told me." This disconnect between us was such a gaping chasm that I later asked him how he could explain the fact that we both heard the same presentation from Filippone, and came away with such diametrically opposed assessments. "Maybe it's just 'Rashomon,'" Fanueil said. Time after time, I alerted Fanueil to major problems that were rapidly escalating out of control. In every case, he said, "Let's see what George [Filippone] says." Filippone would offer some excuse or rationale, and Fanueil accepted it uncritically. It is not too much of an exaggeration to say that his approach to his oversight responsibilities was negligent and inadequate--no one but Jim Eade and I was minding the store.
In short, Fanueil Adams was oblivious to management shortcomings during his 1995-1996 term, when an alert Board member should easily have seen problems--such as Filippone squandering $30K on the Nolo contract, about which several people (including Myron Lieberman) raised alarms. Fanueil's refusal to deal responsibly with the issue of office competence carried over into the 1996-1997 term. As late as the November meeting, at which Filippone "agreed to leave," Fanueil opened the closed session discussion of Filippone's competence with the following verbatim statement:
"Filippone is the first professional manager I have seen in this organization in twenty years, and if he goes, I go!"
This statement, on November 16, 1996, is characteristic of Fanueil in two telling ways. One, it is indicative of his utter failure to understand the cause of the crises in the office; and it contains his now familiar ultimatum to resign unless he gets his way.
It is also instructive that, as soon as he understood that his departure was a small price to pay to restore order to the USCF, Fanueil quickly changed his tune, and within a half hour had turned on his loyal friend Filippone. It's all on tape!
Now, of course, it is nigh impossible to find anyone who is willing to offer a fig leaf to cover office mismanagement. Stalwart defenders like Goichberg, who initially promised to testify against the USCF, can't remember ever describing Filippone in glowing terms. The fact is that a careful analysis of that period, and the mistakes that were made, would convince any objective observer that we dodged a bullet, and nothing less serious than the survival of the Federation hung in the balance.
Hiring of the New ED. Fanueil Adams says there "was no strong objection" to waiting a bit. In fact, in August there were no "strong" objections to anything, because Eade and I, against our better judgment, were bending over backward to cooperate with Fanueil and Schultz and relying on Fanueil's judgment that the office was in good hands. But the fact is that we counseled, over and over, that groundwork should be done, that it was necessary to have candidates in the pipeline in case of need, that a responsible approach would be to begin the process as soon as possible. Schultz had made up his mind, in the days before he took office, that he wanted the prior Board to solve the "Lawrence" problem for him. Through Fanueil, he kept a hand in the negotiations, and counseled them to spend as much money as they needed. Then he planned to have the Board hold things in the office together until at least January, when he would look for a new ED. That way about six months of Lawrence's salary would be saved to offset the amounts paid in severance. While I tried very hard to cooperate with Schultz during this honeymoon period, I felt his decision was a mistake, penny-wise and pound-foolish. In the first place, selection of a new ED would be the most important decision this Board would make. We should devote ourselves to making the very best decision. That meant we should start early, consider carefully, and cast a wide net. At the Alexandria Annual Meeting in August, 1996, I sought out Glenn Peterson and asked him if we could get an emergency insertion of a job description in the next Chess Life. He said if we acted immediately he could probably get something in the October issue (which appears September 1). I ran to tell Schultz. His response? "We don't want to do that." Later I urged them to begin the process, to at least have some candidates in the pipeline. Schultz' response? "We can't advertise in the Wall Street Journal or New York Times until it appears in Chess Life." This stalling, fully supported by Fanueil, guaranteed that no one would be hired until early 1997 at the earliest, even after my repeated warnings had finally alerted everyone--even Fanueil--to the "growing list of time-consuming crises [Hit Letter, p.1, last paragraph]."
According to Fanueil [Hit Letter, p. 2, second paragraph], you could easily get the false impression that the first time I suggested placing an ad was on October 9-10. This chronology is wrong, because Schultz had already posted a copy of the Chess Life ad and its publication schedule in his "President's Letter #2", which was dated and released September 23!
Hiring of Scholastic Director. Fanueil reports "This was handled reasonably well with the full involvement of the Scholastic Committee. As in the case of the ED, it appears that Beatrice [sic] Marinello was an excellent choice for the job."
The facts, unfortunately, completely contradict Fanueil's disingenuous account. Not only was it not "handled reasonably well," but this sordid episode dramatized for all sentient observers the manifest weaknesses of the Schultz Board. We developed four candidates for the job. The leading candidate was Duif Calvin of Jade River Designs, who had impressed all with her superb website and knowledgeable postings about scholastic issues. Schultz set about to recruit her, and, as usual, botched the job horribly. I told him several times he should let me intervene to save the situation, but for five weeks in a row he "couldn't find" her phone number when I was with him. Without having the integrity to say so, it became clear that he did not want me to intervene to save the situation. Eventually, she withdrew from consideration and refused to come to the interviews.
I asked Schultz how this could happen, and he told me it was all Filippone's fault. "Filippone kept changing the job description on her."
Another candidate was Ms. Marinello. Schultz dismissed her out of hand ("Her ex-husband works here, it wouldn't work out."), and would not even schedule an interview during the Board's time in New Windsor. That left two remaining candidates, Roz Katz of New Jersey and a Life Master who has extensive experience teaching chess. The interview panel consisted of the three members of the Transition Subcommittee of the Board (Fanueil, Dorsch, and Schultz). I convinced Eade to join us because of his extensive background and training in management, and Goichberg dropped in because he lives in the area. Robert Ferguson, liaison to the scholastics committee, and Rachel Lieberman were not invited to participate.
The Life Master interviewed first, and impressed all of us with his enthusiasm. At Schultz' invitation, Filippone led the questioning, followed by questions from each of the other panelists. When Roz Katz came in, to face the six males in the room, the same procedure was followed, except that Schultz opened things up by saying, "You have a reputation for being a female Steve Doyle!" With Schultz' well-known dislike for Steve Doyle, this comment came across as a lead balloon, and set the tone for a hostile interview. It soon became apparent that Roz Katz was one of the many Federation members with whom Filippone had had a hostile exchange, apparently related to the Federation's failure to stock one of her books. Filippone would not let the subject go, would not relinquish the floor, and would not let Ms. Katz (a woman of formidable intellect and elocution) defend herself. It was a fiasco, the worst-conducted examination of a job prospect that I have ever seen.
Picking up the shattered remains, Filippone was instructed to contact each of the two applicants and obtain their bottom-line salary requirements. As with almost every instruction he received, he never followed up. The consensus of the Board was that the Life Master should be hired, but then came a hysterical memo from Ferguson complaining that Schultz had intentionally excluded him from the meeting even though the matter under consideration was his particular area of expertise. He then threw in the clincher that the Life Master had a criminal record and was utterly unsuitable for the job. It later turned out that he was completely wrong and irresponsible in making this charge in his memo, and the Life Master had no criminal past at all. Of course Ferguson makes charges like this routinely, and never has any evidence to substantiate any of them. But he succeeded in spooking Schultz.
Unwilling to hire Roz Katz because Filippone wouldn't work with her, unwilling to hire the Life Master because of Ferguson's false charges, Schultz reverted to his IBM instincts--he delegated the responsibility. He asked the Scholastic Committee to select a Scholastic Director. Ferguson quickly chose the one person Schultz had dismissed out of hand, Beatriz Marinello. By all subsequent accounts, Beatriz is a superb employee who has been a great asset to the office, underlining one more time just how bad Schultz' judgment in these matters has been--with his worst instincts routinely reinforced by Fanueil.
The whole fiasco illustrates well how fractured and haphazard decision-making has been on the Schultz Board. "This was handled reasonably well" [Hit Letter, p. 2]. What do you think?
The Financial Crisis. Fanueil is right that we started to show losses immediately, and he is right that much of the blame rightly belongs to those "mindless zombies" who in May, 1996, voted 7-0 to approve a budget that didn't even add up in several areas. But he fails to recognize that the same mindless zombies, with the addition of Schultz (who had been on the Board from 1992-1995), remained ignorant of the problems even after prudence would have dictated restraint. Despite my warning that first quarter losses created the potential of an annualized loss of $1 million if corrective action was not taken [Hit Letter, p. D1, N¼ 3], it proved impossible to rouse the mindless zombies. Fanueil met every projection with the same response, "Let's see what George says." George never had anything to say.
Starting with the first negative monthly data report (MDR), I asked the office to reformulate the budget to a break-even point, and stressed that a record deficit was an unacceptable planning budget. The office never produced a thing. Leading up to the November meeting, I was assured over and over by Schultz and Fanueil that Filippone would present a response at that meeting, and that I should just be patient. Instead, he not only failed to produce a workable budget, he presented a report projecting a deficit of over $200K! No matter how much I railed that "planning" for a deficit of over $200K was utterly unacceptable, it was impossible to get Schultz or Fanueil to make a rational decision about the predicament. On the contrary, Schultz was buzzing along happily racking up record expenses, over $10K in his first six months, a record for any USCF president. That this record joyride on the expenses account came in the midst of the most serious USCF budget crisis in history was particularly frustrating, and it is my repeated objections to him about the appearance and propriety of these excesses that provided the real motive for his 12/23 motion to limit the treasurer's access to information--he put his best friend, Fanueil, in charge of reviewing expenses, secure in the knowledge that Fanueil would, as usual, put personal loyalty above what was best for the organization. The office never produced a revised financial plan for the year.
To gauge accurately whether either Fanueil or Schultz understood the financial crisis, you need only read the kaleidoscopic explanations offered by Schultz in his President's letters (all posted on the USCF website, except for #8, which was withdrawn). Over a period of six months, every time he tried to explain the causes for the financial crisis, each explanation was new and different. He was alternately sure that we were in the worst financial crisis in USCF history, or that all fears were exaggerated. Schultz was eager to attribute low morale to prior administrations or to Internet postings. In fact, it was the obvious failure of Fanueil or Schultz to understand or come to grips with the crisis that undermined the confidence of everyone, including members of the Policy Board and professional staff.
The language and emphasis are exactly as they appear in the original, unedited and uncorrected:
August 20, 1996: [No mention of a financial crisis] "We have a marvelous professional staff including the very capable Deputy Director George Filippone who has been named as the Acting Executive Director. Staff will see to it that the changes in leadership and the simultaneous departure of Executive Director Lawrence will not effect in any way any membership services [sic]."
September 23, 1996: Due to a large financial settlement with former Executive Director Al Lawrence, stiff legal bills resulting from several extraordinary matters such as For Profit Corporation considerations and the departure of Lawrence and Assistant Director Brian Bugbee, USCF simultaneously became financially constrained and understaffed. " At first glance, the departure of Lawrence and Bugbee appear transparent. Staff has not missed a beat in carrying out the business of the Federation."
November 3, 1996: We have a real financial problem. Sloppy management and inadequate control systems, overly optimistic projections, failure to adequately document commitments, excessive professional service expenses, etc., etc., have given USCF the worst financial quarterly loss in the history of the US Chess Federation. My saying this is not simply to lay all our current woes at the feet of the prior administration; it is simply calling a spade a spade. Furthermore, I am not pointing fingers at any individual, least of all Acting Executive Director George Filippone.
November 22, 1996: This past quarter, the USCF lost more money than in any quarter in its history. A USCF account of $200,000 owed by the USCF to a foreign supplier was transferred into operations by the prior administration. The last administration also sold off Life Member assets and transferred into operations substantial capital gains resulting from these sales. Late billing of professional services and governance expenses contributed to making a poor quarter look even worse. No wonder there is so much concern by officers, members, and staff.
December 23, 1996: ABOUT USCF FINANCES. It's bad but not as bad as some have reported. A basic problem is a 13-month straight-line decline in regular adult members. Another is the failure to convert scholastic members to regular members as they grow older. Under consideration is a multi-year promotional membership at bargain rates that would be available at the time of membership expiration. Regular member retention rate is only about 50%."
On the expense side, we expect to postpone filling some lower level positions that are currently open. The employee medical coverage costs are rising dramatically and we are looking at alternative plans For a short period some cuts will be necessary in Chess Life.
A more rational explanation of our financial reversals appears in Finance Chair Jim Pechac's report:
Excessively optimistic revenue projections for Memberships, Books and Equipment, and the Website, combined with unplanned settlements with two top managers were partially offset by spirited recovery efforts initiated by new management in the latter part of the fiscal year.
Where was Fanueil, with his self-proclaimed business expertise? After all, he replaced the Treasurer as liaison to Finance for almost ninety days after the 12/23 motion (and also became responsible for reviewing Schultz' expenses). It's revealing that at our January meeting (to interview ED candidates), I mentioned (in response to a question from an interviewee) that revenue was actually up slightly in '95-'96 from the previous year, and that all of our problems were on the Expense side of the ledger. Fan loudly interrupted, and made some caustic remark about how little the Treasurer knows. Then he flipped through his papers, refreshed his recollection, and interrupted again to apologize. After almost two years on the Board, his understanding of our financial affairs was so superficial that he didn't even grasp the fundamental reason why we were not making money!
Internet Presence. While it is true that "a breakdown in relations" led to a "sharp deterioration of our website," it is also true that Fanueil and Schultz permitted this to happen. It was crystal clear to Jim Eade and me what was happening, and it was not a last-minute development. Alarms were going off all over the place, and Fanueil, even more than Schultz, was adamant about disregarding them. Apparently, as Fanueil tells it, there had been some problems establishing a website at Seirawan's GMT company, and before Fanueil resigned from their Board he became convinced that the problems were insoluble, an attitude that he brought to bear with disastrous consequences in our USCF discussions.
As early as August, before we were seated on the Board, Eade and I engineered a motion from the Delegates forbidding a degradation in our website presence. Fanueil treats these messages from the Delegates with aristocratic disdain. There is no question that a firm policy directive from the Board would have salvaged our USCF website before it was allowed to collapse. Leadership of almost any kind would have had a functional website with a catalog and on-line ordering well before Christmas, and it absolutely criminal that, with a year to prepare, we could not sell a single book or a single membership on-line during the Kasparov-Deeper Blue match in May. Regressive management decisions, attributable primarily to Fanueil, may literally have cost us the opportunity of a lifetime. When again will we see a chessplayer on the cover of Time and Newsweek in the same week?
The Interplay relationship is another bone of contention. Sure, they provide important sponsorship. When Fanueil took over the ACF, he abruptly terminated a fifty-year-old policy whereby the ACT sponsored the US Championship, cutting off funds that the USCF desperately needed. Lawrence was forced to look elsewhere to take up the slack, and developed important corporate sponsorship. Interplay is the latest one to sponsor the prize fund. Unfortunately, Fanueil has consistently failed to understand that none of this has anything to do with our web presence, which is not spelled out in any of our agreements.
I flew to Florida for the November, 1995, PB meeting to explain the problems with the Interplay contract to Fanueil and the others. I brought it up several times since then. And I hammered over and over after I became a Board member that there are no guarantees of any kind in the Interplay agreement that would protect the USCF. As with so many other warnings, it was again talking to "mindless zombies." Now, two years into his term, Fanueil is wont to say the Interplay contract "is too vague [Hit Letter, p.3]," and that "the office was not equipped to deal with these issues [ibid.]." Does anyone really feel that these excuses (which represent at least some evolution from his earlier position that Interplay was doing everything right) justify doing nothing?
Modernize Telephone and Computer Systems. Again Fan arrives at the end of the day ready to acknowledge the existence of a problem. If he had been paying attention, this problem would have poked him in the eye two years ago. "Clearly we cannot adequately service our membership or sales program."[Hit Letter, p.3]." What kind of manager would tolerate this situation for two years without undertaking a single initiative of any kind to remedy it? If the inventiveness that he brings to making excuses had been applied to the problem instead, we would already have solutions.
Performance of the PB. Fanueil "believes that all PB members recognized the urgency of the problems discussed above," however, they are "not in a position to do much." That is simply preposterous rationalizing. If Filippone had ever received a clear directive from the PB, he would have scrambled to comply. Adams never had the guts to give a clear direction, and instead the office foundered. Nothing got done, because there was a failure of leadership on the office level protected by a failure of leadership on the Policy Board level. Schultz is ultimately responsible, but he relied on Fanueil for business decisions, and Fanueil made bad decisions. Jim Eade and I were right all along. Fanueil says we were not listened to because of our tactics, but the facts are that we adopted those tactics because we were not listened to. We drove the process to right the things that were wrong. We literally drug Fanueil and Schultz, kicking and screaming, to abandon their indolence and face the facts. And in every case, history has proven that we were right.
There is nobody around today who will attempt to mount the type of elaborate but flawed defense of office management that routinely flowed from Fanueil's lips in the first quarter. His revisionist history is that he knew about the problems all along, but could not do anything about them. How self-serving, how at variance with the facts that is! Simply put, Fanueil was wrong about the direction the USCF needed to take, he saw the problems only after we beat him over the head with them, and he is still ignorant of important initiatives such as the Internet.
A review of Fanueil's performance on the Board confirms that he indeed did not "do much." And there is nothing in the record to substantiate that he ever recognized or attempted to deal with the problems we faced. Fanueil's view is that he and the others did what they could in spite of the "endless and vicious attacks" of Dorsch and Eade. The facts are that it was only the repeated representations from Dorsch and Eade that identified these problems and educated the others about them. Rather than accept the obligation to investigate the issues and take corrective action, Fanueil and Schultz fell into recrimination, and blamed the messengers instead of heeding the message. It is hypocritical in the extreme for Fanueil to advert to an out-of-context quote, like calling a colleague's decision "stupid," as a pretext for his failures as a Board member. Remember, this is the "Martyr of Moscow," whose dramatic resignation from an earlier tough situation was followed by a letter calling the entire Policy Board "mindless"!
It was by any standard an uphill fight, but Dorsch and Eade won to the extent that ultimately even our severest critics, like Fanueil, now claim credit for recognizing the problems we identified and brought to the attention of the Board. To their discredit, the unwillingness of Fanueil (and Schultz and those who followed them) to apply responsible management delayed the search for solutions to these problems and resulted in a loss of opportunities for the Federation. Some of these opportunities may have been lost forever.
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