Posted on Leave a comment

RFTW BoD Town Hall Zoom II – Video Recording Now Available

Greetings from Texas!

Last Thursday’s RFTW Board of Directors Town Hall Zoom Call proceeded without a hitch, mostly due to the outstanding technical support and hosting of Denise “Zoom” Murray who provided all the background logistics that made it seem easy.  Supporting her was Mike “Bonehead” Kyzer who provided backup and also coordinated the drawing for our end of meeting door prizes.  BIG THANK YOU to both of you!

We started the meeting with a brief welcome from the Board President, John “Turkey” Staub followed by a couple of announcements regarding the induction of the RFTW Founder, James “Gunny” Gregory into the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame and for the Celebration of Life for Karoni Forrester’s father, Capt Ronald Forrester, USMC who is finally coming home after being shot down and “unaccounted for” over 50 years ago.  More info on both these items is available on the RFTW Facebook page.  Next, the 4 RC’s each presented a discussion of their individual Routes to give all participants an idea of how the various Routes execute the Mission.  Finally, I provided a presentation of current Registration Data, as well as a walk through of the Registration process including the Day Rider Registration process that will come online in two days on 01 February.  We wrapped up with a prize drawing by selecting 3 participants on the call to win items from RFTW Merchandise.

The video recording for the Town Hall meeting is now available for viewing.  It will be soon loaded onto our server so that it will remain available but until then I want to get it out quickly as possible for those who may have missed the meeting:

RFTW BoD Town Hall Zoom Call Recording

Thursday, 25 JAN 2024 @ 7pm Central
CLICK HERE

Feedback has again been overwhelmingly positive for this second Town Hall event.  And again, your participation and interest made that meeting a success – just like it’s your efforts that make our Run a success.  As always, it’s the Board’s job to make it available, but it’s your job to make it happen!  Is it May yet?

Sincerely,

Billie "Bugs" DunlapBillie “Bugs” Dunlap
Run For The Wall
Vice-President & Chairman of the Board
RFTW XXXII SandBox Route Coordinator
RFTW XXXI Southern Route Coordinator
vice.president@rftw.us
billie.dunlap@rftw.us
TOGETHER WE RIDE!

 

Posted on Leave a comment

RFTW BoD Town Hall Zoom Call – Focus on Registration

99 RFTW Participants – registered or not!

RFTW Registration is going well, and we are within 1% of the number registered at this time last year.  Early Bird Registration ends in just 14 days after which the regular fee structure will go into place.  If you are planning to join the Run for 1 leg, 1 day or all the way, you should register now to to take advantage of the reduced fee and to help ensure the State Coordinators early planning numbers are accurate.

We would like to offer another Town Hall Zoom Call before that changeover with a focus on current registration status, the registration process and to answer your questions about the process.  At this meeting I will present current info and data analysis on our participant demographics, with comparison to 2022 and 2023’s data along with a very detailed rundown of the registration and check-in processes.  I’d also like to hear your comments and suggestions about the registration process as we continuously try to make it more user friendly and efficient.   Our Director of Risk Management (and Registration), Lance “Batman” Wheeler wrote a very informative newsletter about the Day Rider Registration Process (linked here) – the details of that process will also be presented.  Finally, we’ll talk about participant check-in for Ontario and on the road.  Below is a snapshot showing some of the data we’ll be covering:

If you’ve ridden only one Route, how much do you know about the great Mission contributions made across the others?  As an added bonus for this Town Hall Zoom Call, the Route Coordinators for each Route will present some interesting info about their Routes that you may not know.  Together, all the Routes broadcast, amplify and promote across the country our Mission of honor to our Missing, support for MIA/KIA families, care for our Veterans, loyalty to our current Service Members.  One Family, One Heart, One Mission, Four Routes.

Here are the details for the date, time, and place for this RFTW Board of Directors Town Hall Zoom Call…

RFTW BoD Town Hall Zoom Call
Thursday, 25 January 2024
8pm Eastern / 7pm Central / 6pm Mountain / 5pm Pacific
ZOOM Meeting Link:  CLICK HERE

The Meeting will start promptly on time and is expected to run about 90 minutes.  We are all looking forward to a very positive meeting with good discussions on how we can all work together to make RFTW XXXIV the best Run ever!  I hope to see you all online for the call!

Sincerely,

Billie "Bugs" DunlapBillie “Bugs” Dunlap
Run For The Wall
Vice-President & Chairman of the Board
RFTW XXXII SandBox Route Coordinator
RFTW XXXI Southern Route Coordinator
vice.president@rftw.us
billie.dunlap@rftw.us
TOGETHER WE RIDE!

 

Posted on Leave a comment

RFTW BoD Town Hall Zoom – Video Recording Now Available

Greetings from Texas – again!

The RFTW Board of Directors Town Hall Zoom Call attendance had as many as 117 unique sign-ins with many more people in attendance.  We had a brief participant limit glitch that unfortunately prevented some people from logging in – I sincerely apologize for that and hope that you’ll watch the video.  Overall, the meeting was a great success with very direct presentations and discussions, followed by some very pointed questions.  If your question wasn’t addressed or you would like more info, PLEASE write directly to one or more of the Board members and they will write you back.  You can find the full list of BoD members along with their e-mail addresses here.  We’re already looking forward to do another Town Hall sometime after the first of the year to keep you all informed on current preparation and planning.

The video recording for the Town Hall meeting is now available for viewing.  It will be soon loaded onto our server so that it will remain available but until then I want to get it out quickly as possible for those who may have missed the meeting:

RFTW BoD Town Hall Zoom Call Recording
CLICK HERE

Feed back received so far has been overwhelmingly positive for the event.  Your participation and interest is what made that meeting a success – just like it’s your efforts that make our Run a success.  As was mentioned at the meeting, it’s the Board’s job to make it available, but it’s your job to to make it happen!  Is it May yet?

Sincerely,

Billie "Bugs" DunlapBillie “Bugs” Dunlap
Run For The Wall
Vice-President & Chairman of the Board
RFTW XXXII SandBox Route Coordinator
RFTW XXXI Southern Route Coordinator
vice.president@rftw.us
billie.dunlap@rftw.us
TOGETHER WE RIDE!

 

Posted on 2 Comments

RFTW BoD Town Hall Zoom Call – the Details

Greetings from Texas – again!

The RFTW Board of Directors Town Hall Zoom Call is just a few days away and folks have been asking for the details – here they are…

RFTW BoD Town Hall Zoom Call
Thursday, 02 November 2023
8pm Eastern / 7pm Central / 6pm Mountain / 5pm Pacific
ZOOM Meeting Link:  CLICK HERE

The Meeting will start promptly on time and is expected to run about 90 minutes.  We are all looking forward to a very positive meeting with good discussions on where we are, where we’re going and how we can all work together to get there.  I hope to see you all on line for the call!

Sincerely,

Billie "Bugs" DunlapBillie “Bugs” Dunlap
Run For The Wall
Vice-President & Chairman of the Board
RFTW XXXII SandBox Route Coordinator
RFTW XXXI Southern Route Coordinator
vice.president@rftw.us
billie.dunlap@rftw.us
TOGETHER WE RIDE!

 

Posted on 5 Comments

A letter from the Chairman – Communication is the Key!

Greetings from Texas!

Recent social media posts have highlighted some carryover communication shortfalls that this RFTW Board of Directors is enthusiastic about changing.  Many of those posts listed drastically incorrect information, presented as fact, leading others to make more assumptions that eventually spiraled further and further from truth.  Others apparently hold serious grudges against the current Board of Directors for incidents they found personally harmful but occurred over 10 years before any of the current members were seated.  While we can’t change the past, we are all firmly committed to doing the best job possible for the future of this Run and the Mission.

Just as a reminder, the Board of Directors is made up of Riders from all Routes.  They are all dedicated and caring individuals who selflessly donate 1000’s of hours annually in support of RFTW Mission and Objectives.  The Board of Director’s key focus is Strategic, in that the actions considered, and decisions made are intended to support and preserve the long-term success of RFTW as a whole.  However, consideration of all the things important to the Riders, to the Run and to the Mission as well as the near-term impacts go into those actions and decisions.  Sometimes those decisions are unpopular (e.g., loss of the Forum) but I can assure you they are not made without the due diligence of research, consultation with experts and consideration of available alternatives.  (Call in to the Town Hall Zoom meeting on 02 NOV for further details on the Forum issue).

As a lead-in to the Town Hall Zoom Meeting next week, I respectfully submit the following.  This list of inquiries was sent to me indirectly by an undisclosed requestor.  Rather than send this info into the unknown, I thought to publish the unedited questions as I received them and the responses for each.  Hopefully the unknown sender is tied into RFTW info streams well enough to see these, but I will ensure the intermediary that sent them to me informs them on where to find these answers.

Here we go…

– The board ask and begs for AAR but why are there not any replies to them? 

  • The After-Action Report is a valuable tool for feedback to the Board and to the RCs for specific Routes.  Every AAR is seen, read, and seriously considered by every Board member and automatically forwarded to the RC of a Route if specified in the AAR.  We see hundreds of AAR’s – each one is greatly appreciated and very many of them receive specific and direct replies.  It is presumptive to assume that “not any” of them receive replies.  Just as the AAR’s are not published nor attributed to their author, neither are the replies.

– CB radios becoming obsolete? 

  • CB Radios are actually not “becoming obsolete.”  However, the mobile, hands-free and motorcycle versions are not as easy to find and expensive to install.  The Board and the RCs are feeling the strain of this trend and are considering ways to mitigate the issue.  The Central Route has taken the lead to conduct a trial run of an alternate radio system this coming year (May 2024) and we all look forward to hearing of their results.

– When I was researching for another website 1 year ago. Whom am I. I compared it with rftw.us. the site was hosted in another country. Why? 

  • Not sure what you looked at but a review of whois.com for ownership of rftw.us clearly indicates it is owned by Run For The Wall, Inc administered by our Director of Public Affairs out of Arizona, USA.

– Volunteers will do a lot for a little if they believe in the organization and ask for little or nothing in return. With rftw lots of individual cost; gas hotels food, to and from the run, plus cash donations. Why can hats and patches not be provided. Ie now I have heard outreach hats if used are route or individual. Ie I do sight visits and over night to some place, twice a year, 250 miles 1 way from my house. Yet was asked to use a prior year hat and then didn’t request a state coordinator hat. 

  • It’s hard to pick out a question there, but I will address the issue of Hats.  RFTW has been spending thousands of dollars each year on a new hat for everyone in a leadership position.  Every year I hear people talk about how many hats they have and never wear as they revert to wearing the one they already had because it is comfortable and they prefer it.  We have recently realized cost savings by making the positional hats the same across all Routes with no year or Run number embroidery – thus allowing us to use any excess purchases for the next Run.  The next step of the new process is that the RC assesses the need for new and replacement hats for their respective leadership teams – including State Coordinators.  We then purchase only those needed in excess of current stock as coordinated by the RC’s.

– Within the nonprofit world. Donated funds are asked for and give for certain reasons. Ie per route, gas, schools, etc. Designated Funds. If not used for that reason. The funds should be held for that purpose, returned to donor or ask the funder for permission to redirect funds. Why does the board transfer any funds over a certain amount from routes to the board. Upwards of multiple 10s of thousands of dollars. 

  • All Designated Donations made directly to Run For The Wall are absolutely used as directed.  The majority of Designated Donations are to support a specific Fuel Stop on a specific Route and that is where those dollars are spent.  All other non-designated funds are used to provide for operations and expenses that support the overall Mission and to keep all Routes active, protected and on the road.  To be clear, Run For The Wall is a single operating 501(c)(3) and 100% of the money received is for direct and indirect support of advancing the Mission.  Funds remaining at the end of the Run become seed money for next year’s Run and year-round expenses with designated amounts applied to further seed each Route.

– Have board meeting cost gotten out of control?

  • Actually, it’s just the opposite.  The Board of Directors meets upwards of 2 to 3 times per month year-round – that’s approaching 40 times per year.  Almost all of those meetings whether in General Session with the RC’s or in Executive Session with Directors only are conducted on Zoom.  In years past, the BoD would hold a semi-annual face-to-face meeting that covered two days of intense meetings spanning 8-10 hours per day at a site central to the geographic spread of directors’ locations.  Contrary to some peoples’ characterization, these meetings are not a vacation – that is unless those people like to spend their vacations locked into a windowless conference room discussing the intricate details of logistics and planning for a massive cross country motorcycle event involving people from all over the world.  Nor does the BoD pay for spouses or guests to travel to the event – some choose to come along for the weekend, but at their own expense.  Finally, as an additional control to rising costs of travel, the Board has decided that the winter face-to-face meeting will this year be conducted via Zoom.  That means the same length of time spent in the meetings, but those 8-10 hours will be looking into a small screen rather than the faces of the decision makers planning the final stages of our annual event.  It will likely be much less effective than in person but should be an acceptable alternative in light of the cost savings.

– How does giving from one non-profit to another (ie the house project) help the mission of rftw? 

  • Occasionally, RFTW receives donations that are designated for specific charities or organizations that directly support Run For The Wall or have a Mission similar to ours.  Those donations are provided through RFTW by the original donor to show gratitude for their actions in support of the Run and its Mission, e.g. Homes For Our Troops.  The regulations governing 501(c)(3) giving stipulate who we can donate to and for what purpose we can donate.  A non-profit that is struggling in its mission to support a veteran or educational cause that meets our mission scope is within the allowable donations.  To that end, RFTW has made donations to many AM Vets, American Legions, VFWs, and other likeminded organizations that are working very hard to support our mission.  In accordance with those 501(c)(3) regulations, the individual Route RC’s will often provide donations from their undesignated funds in support of organizations along their Routes that support them, the Mission or specifically support veterans or veterans’ families, all in alignment with the RFTW Mission statement.

– Why does rftw not provide an annual report to donors, volunteers and the public?

  • As a non-profit 501(c)(3) with no actual members, membership requirements or stockholders, there is no actual obligation or requirement for a formal Annual Report.  Honestly, the time, cost and effort needed to create and distribute such a report is outside the scope and bandwidth of the volunteer Board already donating 1000’s of hours in support the organization and the Mission.  Instead, the Board President provides regular newsletters reporting on the event and issues of interest to the regular participant.  All activities of the Board and the annual event are conducted in accordance with IRS and other regulations governing non-profit charitable organizations.  Each year, RFTW submits IRS Form 990 detailing the operations of the organization and its financial interactions – please note, it can take over a year after filing before the latest Form 990 is available online.  Also, no Director or RC realizes any profit or financial gain from any of the activities of the Board or any Board approved activity.

– Why is the rftw rating 45 out of 100 on Giving.org or charity now.org?

  • There are several Charitable organization rating websites out there and we cannot govern the diligence with which they seek to ensure their information is current and accurate.  That being said, we have in the past several months been working with Charity Navigator to update and correct their old and incorrect info (they still showed our website as rftw.org).  When we get that one straightened out, we will turn our attention to some of the others as we find them (thanks for pointing out those two).

For more information on some of these topics as well as many other ongoing issues, please join the RFTW Board of Directors for a Zoom Town Hall Meeting at 7pm Central, on Thursday, 02 NOV 2023.  There will be a question-and-answer session following presentations and comments from the Directors.  I’ll look forward to seeing you there!

Sincerely,

Billie "Bugs" DunlapBillie “Bugs” Dunlap
Run For The Wall
Vice-President & Chairman of the Board
RFTW XXXII SandBox Route Coordinator
RFTW XXXI Southern Route Coordinator
vice.president@rftw.us
billie.dunlap@rftw.us
TOGETHER WE RIDE!