Saturday, May 2, 2009

Answer to Question on Missouri Resolution to Disassociate

How did you make this decision without everyone’s vote? Assuming not every member attended the state convention.

Also, what were the arguments for/against?

Thanks for keeping us informed.

I wanted to answer the above comment on Missouri Passes Resolution to Disassociate from BPW/USA.

Our Missouri Federation kept members well informed of the upcoming merger and released information as it came available to them. The state sent questionnaires to Missouri members to get a feel for how they planed to vote on the merger. Several question requested our input as to whether we wanted the state to remain with national or break away. Based on the answers, the state proposed the resolution.

One reason the vote took place at our state conference is if we did not make the decision during the conference, we would be faced with licensing fees if the merger went through and we had not acted. At that point, some of the locals would have dissolved or broken away from both state and national rather than pay the fees.

Many of the locals had already discussed the merger and the possibility of the state disassociating with national. Everyone knew this was probably the most important conference we had ever held in Missouri next to the one in St. Louis ninety years ago when BPW began. People that really wanted to vote were at the meeting.

Arguments against disassociation were few. One lady didn’t think the $40 license fee was a big deal and we should continue to stay a part of national. Mostly, the ones opposed were people who were not well informed of the situation.

Arguments for disassociation are included in many of the comments on this blog. Missouri has a strong federation and is fiscally responsible. BPW wasn’t started by meek and mild women satisfied with the status quo and now it was time to us to show we are strong women with leadership qualities. We no longer want to remain in limbo waiting to implode when members oppose the license fee. The high national dues ($60) is part of the reason our membership numbers are declining. We chose to embrace the changes and move forward. BPW as we have always known it no longer exists at the national level.

Our district rep emailed some of our questions to Barb Henton. One former state president asked the question: If the CEO really brought in more money than her salary, what is her salary and how much did she bring in? Another member wanted to know why BPW had only gotten the trademark on “BPW” and several of the programs in January of 2009.

Instead of answering our questions, we got a promo on BPW/USA. As the state board member said, “I’m disappointed in Barb’s response. She didn’t answer our questions, she only gave us fluff.”

We stood up for the vote, overwhelming in favor of the resolution. Only five women were opposed to the resolution to disassociate.

The state is still encouraging us to vote for the merger so that states that choose to remain with BPW can do so. Personally, I voted against the merger because I think it is only delaying the inevitable and allowing BPW/USA to hold our name hostage. I refuse to vote for something that is totally against my principals. (For more on this visit my personal blog at and read "Stand Up and Be Counted.")

Whether you are for or against the merger, please vote! The more who vote, the better our voices will be heard.

Linda Fisher
Membership Chair
Sedalia BPW

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You really should talk to an attorney to verify the validity of the national's "ownership" of a BPW mark. Since they have done very little to exert that ownership over the years - and since all of your individual organizations have been using the name and mark - you may be able to challenge this through simple filings at the USPTO.