Information flow from EC to the people formerly known as members is less like water from a tap and more like pushing on a zit until it yields the white stuff. There is a great deal of information on the EC site, but finding it is an exercise in patience and perseverance. I know I’m not the only one who feels the urge to trawl the depths of the EC website (I owe thanks to several EC-obsessives for much of what I disclose on this blog). But I fear that the EC executive is achieving success in keeping information from as many as possible by simply making it onerous to get it.
It looks like everyone found the chocolate eggs more than enough to satisfy their cravings, if the lack of apparent interest in the EC egg hunt I mentioned on Good Friday is anything to go by.
And as the job posting I was referring to has now expired, the posting is now gone. Fortunately, I printed the job posting so that I had permanent evidence of the fascinating description of the job, whose title is Senior Officer, Executive Services. There was some truly fascinating text in the lengthy job description, including the following:
“You want to start each day not knowing what to expect…”?
“You want to be the right hand of the top executive?”
“The one who sees the boss as the visionary she is…”
I realize you may not believe that this last sentence could possibly have been in a job posting. I didn’t believe it myself at first. Here is a photo of the page I printed, just to prove that not only could I not have made this up, the person who wrote the job description really did.
Another jaw dropper in this job posting was the extreme imbalance between the demands made on the successful applicant, both in terms of education, experience and expectations of the job, and the proposed salary of “a maximum of $58,000”. I can’t wait to see who dares to step into this newly created position in EC. And then I can’t wait to see how long that person lasts, given the sudden exits of the organization’s two most senior managers reporting directly to the ‘visionary’.
There is now another job posting on the EC employment page, for ‘Director of Finance and Administration’. Presumably this is a replacement position for the CFO position vacated by Mike Arbour. Judging by the change in job title, it looks like the CEO wants to make sure there aren’t too many chiefs in the office. Since that one is still on line, I’ll let those of you who are curious go there for yourselves to read yet another stunningly demanding job description. There are ministers of finance in some provinces and US states and maybe even whole countries who couldn’t meet the expectations outlined in the job description. There are a couple of items of particular interest to me, including no fewer than five references to the CEO: ‘support’ (two times), ‘working with’, ‘business partner to’, and ‘counsel to’.
And speaking of the CEO, I noticed a few weeks ago that she has added ‘Secretary General’ to her job title. You can see that on the EC staff page if you don’t believe me. And don’t be surprised if you don’t recognize a lot of the names and faces on there. I found two brand new faces myself in the past couple of weeks.
One thing both of these management position postings have in common is an excess of verbiage, to the point of making no sense whatsoever – and occasionally displaying grievous grammatical errors. The following is from the Director of Finance posting:
“The Director will inspire their team to support and add value to all partnerships to which we are accountable and use the brand and image to ignite a shared passion for equestrian sport and the equine industry by Canadians.”
Singular/plural mixology aside, what does that sentence even mean?
I’d like to pop another pimple for you, one that I have received repeated questions about, and which has finally been resolved through an emailed request from the publisher of this blog to Eva Havaris. Contrary to popular belief, the names of EC’s 27 members HAVE been published somewhere, though the document is so successfully buried that the only way you might have reasonably expected to find them is if the ‘members’ had been fitted with metal collars and you had a metal detector. As a matter of fact, I cannot find the document titled ‘Director Election Procedures’, no matter where or how deeply I drill on the EC site. Knowing how much this information is wanted by those of you who care, I’ve copied and pasted the list from the PDF file that Eva forwarded in her emailed response (instead of sending a link that we could share with you).
Category A – Equestrian Sports
Craig Collins; Jon Garner; Michel Lapierre; Mike Lawrence; Maura Leahy; Terre O’Brennan; Karen Pavicic; Elizabeth Quigg; Cara Whitham – 9 votes (1 vote each)
Category B – PTSOs
Nicole Duplessis; Adrienne Smith; Geri Sweet; Claudia Wagner Wilson; Jean Szkotnicki; Mary Ann Olson; Gord McKenzie; Susan Harrison; Heather Findlay – 9 votes (1 vote each)
Category C – National Equine Affiliates
Jill Barton; David Brent; Tina Collins; Terry Johnson; Sue Ockendon; Dr. Wayne Burwash; Barb Blackwell; Gary Gushuliak; Muriel Burnley – 9 votes (1 vote each)
Total Votes – 27 votes
The list is woefully lacking in contextual information, such as anything whatsoever about what these 27 people bring to their role as the sole representatives of the entire equestrian industry in Canada. I, the journalist who has dedicated far more time to EC than anyone, ever (stubborn? stupid? probably both in liberal doses), recognize only 11 of the names at all. Talk about semi-transparency bordering on opacity. What provinces are represented in the PTSO section? What sport disciplines in Sport (there is no one from Eventing, but two from Dressage – that much I do know)? What criteria did the ‘industry’ representatives have to meet? At least one of them is a competition organizer. Doesn’t that fall under sport? Another has been involved in chef de mission duties at past major Games. Isn’t that sport too?
Also clear as mud is how these people came to be our voting representatives. Some of them were elected and others were appointed…
In a rare moment of actual transparency, EC published the names of the six recently elected Board members in a press release last week. Among the names (and at least I recognized most of them) was one stunner: Lisa Lazarus. I have considerable past experience with Lisa while she was legal counsel at the FEI . Why on earth would she want to be a board member of EC? And even more importantly, how did she manage to become a board member, given the fact that she is ineligible to sit on the EC board? According to her own letter of intent, she doesn’t live in Canada. Before moving to Singapore, where she lives now, she resided in Switzerland in her job at the FEI.
In the section on board member eligibility, the EC bylaws that came into effect last fall could not state it more plainly: an elibible nominee ‘is a resident of Canada’. I found Lisa on Facebook and sent her a message asking about her eligibility a few weeks ago, before the election took place. Being a lawyer and all, surely she would be aware that she wasn’t in fact eligible to run. She did not reply.
If you have made it this far in today’s post, congratulations for sticking with me through all this muck. And muck it is. One of the reasons I have taken so long to write this blog and post it is because I’m teetering on the brink of throwing my hands up and taking my time and energy elsewhere. Help me creep back from the precipice by letting me know I’m not the only person in Canada’s equestrian community who gives a s*#t about what’s happening to our organization.