Following the post BMB meeting of August 17, 1998, the following letter was sent to all Regional Brevet Administrators, as well as, a few well known US randonneurs.
Tuesday, August 18, 1998
Dear Regional Brevet Administrator,
Due to the positive response from you (22 of 24 letters returned; 20 of the 22 in favor of reform) to our May mailing, we forwarded the Proposal for Change to Mr. James Konski, Director of International Randonneurs (IR). We asked that he reply by August 1, 1998 and scheduled a post Boston-Montreal-Boston (BMB) meeting to deal with the response or lack thereof.
In the interim, we learned that IR was incorporated in the state of New York. We also learned that Mr. Konski and the five IR Board of Directors appointed by him, have never met since the incorporation in 1994. Discussions with fellow randonneurs in the legal profession convinced us that assuming responsibility for an existing corporation with no recorded annual board meetings was not a good idea.
Mr. Konski did not respond to the Proposal for Change. This included the formal proposal, as well as, copies of all the returned forms from Regional Brevet Administrators (RBAs) and their responses to the Proposal for Change.
Dick Seebode, former Ohio Regional Brevet Administrator and member of the IR Board of Directors, tried to set up a meeting of the IR Board, prior to the August 17th meeting, but was unsuccessful. However, the August 17, 1998 meeting after BMB did occur and included Mr. Konski. Those attending were:
- Jennifer Wise, Director BMB (RI)
- Johnny Bertrand, Bluegrass Cycling Club (KY)
- John Wagner, Seattle International Randonneurs (WA)
- Dave Jordan, Boston Brevet Series (MA)
- Bill Bryant, Davis Bike Club (CA)
- Charlie Henderson, Rocky Mountain Bike Club (CO)
- Sherry Reed, Ohio Regional Brevet Director (OH)
- David Buzzee, Former Alabama Regional Brevet Director (OH)
- Avery Juhring, France
- Rick LeBlanc, Randonneur, Attorney (MA)
- Dick Seebode, Former Ohio Regional Brevet Administrator, IR Board of Directors (OH)
- James Konski, Director IR (NY)
- Diane Past, Mr. Konski's Secretary (NY)
Avery Juhring from Paris served as a neutral secretary for the meeting.
Prior to Mr. Konski's arrival to the meeting, the group discussed options on how to proceed. After discussions, the group decided that the best course of action was not to try to assume responsibility for IR as a NY state corporation. Having had no board meeting, there was some question as to whether IR was in compliance with its charter of incorporation, etc.
When Mr. Konski arrived, introductions were made and discussion began. IR problems were discussed and Mr. Konski responded. He also passed out the current IR newsletter to those present. After approximately an hour was spent discussing the issues, Mr. Konski was asked if he was willing to relinquish control of IR and turn control over to a committee of those present and eventually to a committee elected by IR's members. Mr. Konski refused.
A motion was then made to form a new organization in the US to promote randonneuring. The motion carried. Jennifer Wise was named chair for the meeting. Mr. Konski was then offered the position of Life Member and an Honorary position in the new organization. He refused this offer. Since he was not willing to be a member of the new organization or help in its foundation, Mr. Konski left the meeting along with his secretary. Dick Seebode also left the meeting as a show of respect for Mr. Konski. Dick later returned.
The name selected by vote for the new organization is Randonneurs USA (RUSA). RUSA's primary goal will be to better serve US randonneurs.
Randonneurs USA will:
- promote Randonneuring in the USA
- promote and advertise PBP
- reinstate the 1-year PBP qualification rule for Americans
- submit USA Brevet Calendar to ACP each year
- submit USA Brevet Results to ACP each year
- process numbers and medals to Regional Administrators in a timely fashion
- represent a vote at the quadrennial RM meeting after PBP
- communicate via quarterly newsletter Randonneur information to members
- fulfill all other general administrative functions
- maintain and update the web site on a regular basis
- mail out and process all PBP entries
- publicize all American PBP results
- and hold a meeting and election every two years
An Executive Committee was elected to govern the organization for two years while a constitution and bylaws are written and an election of officers arranged. The Executive Committee elected include:
- President: Jennifer Wise
- Secretary: Johnny V. Bertrand
- Treasurer: Dave Jordan
- Membership Coordinator: Bill Bryant
- Advisory Members: John Wagner, Charlie Henderson, Sherry Reed
During the next two years a constitution and bylaws will be developed, proposed for review, voted on and accepted by the RUSA membership and Regional Brevet Administrators (RBAs). In the meantime, the Executive Committee share the following duties:
- process memberships, in a timely fashion
- process brevet dates and results
- respond to correspondence with RBAs, members, and the ACP,
- create and mail out the newsletter
- handle fund raising, dues and the bank account
- promote Randonneur Events in the USA
- promote and advertise Paris-Brest-Paris
- educate riders about the PBP experience.
In a post meeting telephone call, the Audax Club Parisien (ACP), organizer of PBP and certifying authority for Brevets of 200, 300, 400, 800, and 1000k, gave us verbal confirmation that they would recognize brevets results submitted by RUSA.
To firm up this ACP commitment we would like to request your support and allegiance to Randonneurs USA as a new National Organization for processing Brevets and PBP entries. We ask that you sign the accompanying form and return it to us in the postage-paid envelope by September 8. We will forward these documents to the ACP. The ACP will then send us a formal letter, acknowledging Randonneurs USA as a new national organization representing the ACP in the USA and grant us the authority to process Brevet Results and PBP entries.
We are in the process of drawing up bylaws, a guide to Randonneuring, a Randonneurs USA web site, a membership application, etc. However, we need your help to establish a mailing list. We ask that you include a list of all who registered for your Brevets on a floppy disk and include it in the enclosed postage-paid envelope. In return for your cooperation, we invite you to become a member of Randonneurs USA and we will waive your dues for the first year. (Dues are $20 per year.)
We are counting on your support and hope that we can come together to send more Americans to Paris-Brest-Paris 1999 and see them all finish!
Please fill out this form, sign it and return it to Jennifer Wise in the enclosed postage-paid envelope by September 8,1998. Thank you. Name: _________________________________________________ Address: _________________________________________________ City, State, Zip: _________________________________________________ Tel: _________________________________________________ Fax: _________________________________________________ E-mail: _________________________________________________ ___ I approve of Randonneurs USA as an official national organization to foster randonneuring in the USA. I will send my future Brevet results to Randonneurs USA. Enclosed is my Brevet registration mailing list on a Floppy disk in a __ Spreadsheet __ Database format. Using ___________________________________ Software. ___ I disapprove of Randonneurs USA and will not be sending you my Brevet results or Brevet mailing list. Signature: __________________________________ Date: ______________ If you have them, please list your 1999 Brevet Dates here: 200k ____________________________ 300k ____________________________ 400k ____________________________ 600k ____________________________