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TWHBEA Annual Membership Meeting Disrupted by Action Taken Regarding Pat Stout



By Sharon Higginbotham

The Annual meeting of the THWBEA General Membership got underway at 9:10 a.m. today with less than 100 members in attendance. President Rob Cornelius thanked the Executive Committee for the honor of serving as president. Executive Director Tracy Boyd gave his report. The highlights of which included adopting a four-day work week, the amnesty period for registration and transfers yielding $30,000-$40,000 in revenue, and the new Sarah Lynn Bledsoe memorial, which was given by Denise Rowland and Dr. Linda Montgomery. Cornelius read the list of new directors to the International Board. The date of the next meeting was decided, May 24, 2014.

 

When it was realized that no committee reports were going to be given Kathy Zeis, member from Georgia, asked why not. Cornelius advised they had not been planned for today and would not be given until tomorrow. Zeis reminded him that questions are not addressed from the floor at that meeting. After a brief discussion it was decided that each vice president would give a two-three minute summary of his/her report. (All committee reports will be covered in a full story in the 12/16/13 issue of WHR.)



Committee reports were given with some comments from the floor. During the Enforcement Committee report Denise Bader-Keyser referred to Dee Dee Miller. Miller read the decision regarding Pat Stout for the executive committee. “To dismiss all charges and any further investigation because the poll was not endorsed nor reviewed by the Executive Committee prior to mailing.” This motion passed although not with a unanimous vote.  Bader-Keyser's committee was simply tasked with the investigation and fact-finding regarding Stout's actions and reported such to the executive committee, not to make a recommendation regarding any potential discipline.



There was much heated discussion from the floor regarding code of conduct infractions, whether this issue should have been addressed in executive session at all, and the use of the TWHBEA logo and mailing list for personal agendas. Speakers from the floor included Zeis, Celebration CEO Mike Inman, Virginia Stewart of Bell Buckle and others. This heated debate pointed out the division among the membership over HR 1518. It was difficult to get back on track for the remainder of the committee summaries. The meeting was adjourned at 12:50 p.m., with many of the topics having been rushed due to the need to be finished by 1:00 p.m.



Full coverage of today and tomorrow’s meetings will be available online as soon as possible.

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