Your conclusion of your editorial of today that “Round-Up Leadership Takes All Kinds” brings out some great thoughts but has also missed a very important point and contains misrepresented facts that could lead to altered history, a history that is very important to the success of the Pendleton Round-Up.
More people did not attend the 2018 Round-Up; that record, 58,998, still stands from Round-Up 2010. Folks in 2018 just paid more for a ticket — a ticket that quite honestly is still a great deal, to an event that is beyond compare in the rodeo world.
This quote “Not all are willing to give up the old ways, where a few decades of sweat equity was a primary requirement for a seat on the board” is a misguided thought that is a misleading representation of the discussion at the recent stockholder meeting. Decades have never been discussed as a requirement.
As represented by the amended bylaws and the discussion that I heard at the stockholders meeting, there are stockholders that want the 1,700-plus volunteers to be considered first as the competent and dedicated pool of candidates for directorship where there is no doubt many that have the knowledge, skills and abilities of all kinds to be a dedicated director — a pool that should receive consideration before going beyond. The amended bylaws even provide this in that if an appropriate volunteer with represented years in service is not the choice, the board simply needs to make it a unanimous selection before offering the individual to the stockholders for consideration. Noting this, the stockholders understand the importance of who sits at the board table. A paradox in its own right, the board did not and by history has seldom brought a unanimous decision for a director to the stockholders. You see, even the board has its own ideas on a qualified director, so please do not lay volunteerism as a needed quality solely on the stockholders.
It is my view that your editorial has done an injustice to many of the 1,700-plus volunteers, some of the 60 or so past directors who are a part of 500 active stockholders, and even the current directors where spirited conversation that results in a defined direction of The Round-Up Association is characterized as an element of not moving forward. The history of the Round-Up is filled with these discussions by true, passionate and knowledgeable folks that have in fact moved the Round-Up forward each and every year and will continue to do so into the next 100 years — guidance an editorial like yours attempts to, if not discredit, underplay. Traditions and history have made it a success to today and will for the future.
Carl Culham, Athena