midman

AACA Museum & AACA, What is Going On

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Can someone in the know clue us into what is going on with the disagreement between the club & museum?

There was a merger in the works which apparently now is on the skids and both entities are going their separate ways.

I don't see how this could be good for either one.

 

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Unfortunately, the press put this story out without talking to the appropriate person.  However, the story is basically true. A letter has been sent to all members and an article will be in the next issue of Antique Automobile.  In the end the museum board had to make a decision they felt was in their best interest and the club had to do as well.  AACA will be moving forward with a new library, national headquarters and hopefully more ideas to help our membership.   

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Please, please do not do anything like building another museum.  I am a member of the National Assoc. of Watch & Clock Collectors in addition to numerous car clubs.  These museums are giant cash sucking machines with huge infrastructures.  The NAWCC museum in Columbia, PA is bankrupting the NAWCC.  Yet they keep on funding a museum that does nothing to promote the hobby.  Also demographics are against all of us.  Go back to the negotiating table and patch up your differences!

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Steve,  "A letter has been sent to all members..."

 

     Why wait for snail mail?  Why not post the letter here? 

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21 minutes ago, adamross said:

Please, please do not do anything like building another museum.  These museums are giant cash sucking machines with huge infrastructures.  Also demographics are against all of us.  Go back to the negotiating table and patch up your differences!

 

Hear, hear, I also encourage decision makers on both sides to get together and figure it out.  If both entities are to be sustained for the next 10-20+ years I think they need the savings of working together.  I cannot imagine accepting the waste and inefficiency of operating separately just because some one or group is fighting a little turf war.  IMO we cannot afford that kind of egos and fiefdoms if that is the problem, Todd C 

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What a shame. Is it egos or money? It's always one or the other. My money says there is a clash of egos.

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Wow. I have donated stuff to the museum, because it was a part of AACA. Wonder what happens to that stuff now? Can you imagine how people who donated entire cars must feel? Hope everything works out ok. 

 

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Reads to me like the AACA home office wanted to gobble up a tremendously valuable piece of Hershey real estate for pennies on the dollar.

 

I see no problem here.  The fact they are separate entities has never been a secret.  Another way to look at it is it secures the interests of both organizations.  In saying that AACA members are getting screwed, that takes nothing into account for those who have donated generously to the Museum knowing it is a separate entity.  The Museum took the high road in continuing to honor AACA club member's memberships.  Read the last sentence and tell me what club members have lost.

 

 

 

 

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The Hemmings page is a Peugeot.

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Sorry the link did not work, Google Hemmings Daily and view the article

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The pennies on the dollar grab of real estate doesn't seem to make sense. These are both non profits working for a common cause and the museum was born of the AACA. 

Hopefully we will get honest forthright answers to what happened but as stated before it is hard to see how either the museum or the club ( another words the members) will come out ahead here, what a shame.

Edited by midman (see edit history)
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According to the article, the club started the museum, but since the club didn't have the proper tax status to accept donations, they created a separate entity which had the correct status and could therefore operate the museum. The plan was always to merge the two and now that the club has proper tax status to operate such a museum, a merger seemed appropriate. But for some reason museum management decided they didn't want to do that. What do they know that we don't?

 

In addition, the former museum director left rather unexpectedly a few weeks ago. I'm reminded of the nonsense that went on here in Cleveland with the Crawford Museum when new management took over and decided that rather than having cars on display, they would prefer to sell the cars and put some cash in the bank instead, you know, to pay for raises for the museum managers for doing such a good job at raising cash--they practically looted the place. Was the old museum director an insider or an outsider to what's going on now?

 

This stinks in more ways than one. First the Nationwide insurance sell-out and now this? From the outside, this looks pretty bad and shakes my faith in the AACA. Is there an outside auditor watching where the money is going?

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Steve, would it be possible to clue us in as to what the situation is. I also was under the assumption that the AACA, the AACA Museum and the AACA Library was one happy family. 

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11 minutes ago, midman said:

The pennies on the dollar grab of real estate doesn't seem to make sense.

 

 

5 hours ago, Steve Moskowitz said:

AACA will be moving forward with a new library, national headquarters and hopefully more ideas to help our membership.   

 

I would say quite the contrary. The museum as an outstanding existing facility not to mention real estate for expansion. Moskowitz's

comment in itself implies National headquarters is looking to add brick and mortar, something the museum already has.

 

Two questions that I think would reveal some insight to this whole thing:

1. Which party made the approach about the merger?

2. Who made the motion in the AACA meeting to withdraw making a contribution to the museum?

 

Interesting that Thomas Cox is both the Exec. VP of AACA and a board member of the AACA Museum.

 

The AACA Museum has a new Exec. Director, maybe it's time for AACA to get a new Exec. Director and with both entities having new/fresh ideas this could be amicably resolved.

What do you say Thomas Cox?

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

This stinks in more ways than one. First the Nationwide insurance sell-out and now this? From the outside, this looks pretty bad and shakes my faith in the AACA. Is there an outside auditor watching where the money is going?

 

Hmmm...Could this be counted as the 2nd strike?

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I just received an explanation of the situation in the mail from the AACA. What a mess! Sadly I don't think the museum can continue without support from the AACA. As some have mentioned Museums are closing every day. Can't people get together and iron out the issues.

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Well, bless their hearts....I'm surely uneducated in the structure of the AACA, as the fact that the club and museum aren't joined at the hip sure is a shock.

 

I sure bet the Cammack brothers thought they were giving their Tucker collection to the club, as did many contributors...now, as mentioned, it's up for grabs if the museum directors decide to go another direction.

 

And, it could no longer be called the "AACA Museum", could it?

 

I know someone who is very liberal and hates people who have a lot of money, CEO's and any rich person period.  Recently, he did a deal on selling a car to someone, and was bragging about how he screwed the little old lady, from price of the new car to poor financing for her, but high interest rate so great for his cut.  He commented "It's all about the money!", not realizing the irony of his statement. 

 

That's what this is, it's not about what's best for the hobby, it's about the money........so sad....

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I have attached the letter that was sent out today.  Sorry I have not been able to get to this sooner.  There are a lot of things being said here that I know are being said out of strong emotions.  If you think for one second the AACA National Board made this decision lightly you are completely wrong.  All of this issue has transpired over a 4 1/2 year period where the club tried to build a new facility on the museum property and failed to get approval.  Then the museum came to us and asked about a merger. We believed it was the best thing for our members to reunite the museum with AACA in some form or fashion.  The Library at one time was a separate entity and we merged them with AACA some years back with great success.  The library has never been stronger.  In the end this was a business deal that could not be settled between the parties.

 

Going in, AACA knew we could not justify giving out our members money to a separate organization when in fact we had need to expand our library and modernize our headquarters.  That was the financial side.  We had no desire to run the museum nor take any assets from them and in fact we offered to INCREASE our donation to the museum if we could find a way to give our members SOME equity in the museum.  Fortunately, every AACA board meeting is taped and I can say with 100% confidence that at no time did any board member talk about the need to go after museum assets or that we wished to run the museum.

 

There have been years of discussions and people on both sides tried to find a way to make this work.  It simply did not.  It would take a book to explain all that has gone on.  I am sure that no one is happy, least of all our board members or the museum's board members.  In the end AACA had to make a decision solely in the best interest of our members and did so after a lot of sole searching.  Most of our board members have personally contributed to the museum or raised significant funds for the benefit of the museum.  I have as well.

 

David, the vast majority of our members have felt that we were one organization based upon the actions of AACA and the Museum as well.  It was not meant maliciously as people felt someday we would truly be one as those discussion have been ongoing in some for or fashion for years.  The Cammack family is represented on the museum board and they and their attorneys were well aware of the legal situation.

 

As to the person calling for my head.  All I can say is for 13 years I have given everything I can to this club and those that know me and have seen how many changes for the good have happened thanks to the team I helped assemble are very appreciated of the job we have done here.  Most of you know me from the forums and I have tried my best to respond and be straight with you.  Not everyone is going to agree with me or the club in their actions but if you think the club needs a new person in this office exercise your rights as members and contact our board members.

 

 

Letter to Members.pdf

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8 minutes ago, Steve Moskowitz said:

In the end this was a business deal that could not be settled between the parties.

Steve, I would never "call for your head", and the person saying that probably has no idea of the stress and demands of your job.

 

But, this should all be about the hobby.  I can understand that "business deals" don't always work out.  Those of us who work on early cars, and restore them either for fun or for a living, know that the "business" of antique cars is a quicksand swamp, and it doesn't take much to put you under that swampy water. 

 

But, there are the money guys, and the hobby guys, and this news is probably upsetting to both.  I'm an AACA member, pay my dues, and honestly believed that the Museum and the Club were, if not the same, inseparable........I feel so sad for those great cars, trucks, and buses, and the families attached to them, to know that their gift to the museum is in peril.  Gene Becker, drove his Model 66 Pierce to EVERY Pierce Arrow meet for 30 years, his widow donates that irreplaceable car, and another Pierce, to the Museum, thinking that it's a gift to the hobbyists...but now, it's very possibly up for grabs since the "business deal" can't be made?  That was NOT the intent of the gift.  I know, I know, museums can deaccession certain gifts, but to put Tuckers and other cars at risk...because, of course, it's best to deaccession high value things, and keep the, ummm, less expensive things..the public doesn't know any better, right?

 

I realize that I don't know all the ins and outs of keeping AACA and the museum functional, but to hear this on the forum, today, right now, when, as you say, the negotiations have been going on for YEARS?  I just can't understand that...

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Hey Steve, thanks for posting the letter here and for all your work with the club over the years.  I appreciate that you are so often here on the site interacting with us and even though you and I have not met personally your TV and magazine appearances and comments here have always made me think you are a stand-up guy.  This whole thing must be a legal tangle that I can't grasp from the outside and it certainly makes for an awkward looking situation.  Good luck to you, Todd C    

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