midman

AACA Museum & AACA, What is Going On

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Any proposal, comment, difference of opinion, ego trip, power trip, ownership debate, monetary consideration, of either Board, that does not further the preservation of history and the cars that we all enjoy, nor the fellowship of the hobby that brings us together, is wasted effort.

 

And, sad. To a very large degree, but possibly not the nth....

 

The common goal seems to have been lost in all the dollars and sense....oh, cents... 

 

Seriously, it doesn't affect me, personally, one way or the other.  But, if the Museum fails, that reflects on the Club.  You can tell me all you want that they're "separate", but when the headline states "The AACA Museum is Closing",  you think it won't affect membership?

 

I love this hobby.  It's brought me experiences and friends that I never would have had without it.....and I really appreciate that.  But this is just so stupid....the son (Museum) telling the father (club) that this doesn't work, see ya later...that sucks...

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1 hour ago, Bhigdog said:

I've spoken to two officials of the AACA at length. There is no reason to go into our conversations chapter and verse but here is my take away.                

 

The AACA feels it has done it's best but admits things could have been handled better.

The Club and Museum rupture is a done deal.

We will be getting the Clubs position on this only from the clubs view point.

 

Here is my opinion on the subject:

On one hand the monies and efforts provided to the Museum is just plain gone. On the other hand it has produced a world class car museum.

Egos and personalities have played a noticeable role in the situation and continue to do so. (no surprise there)

Unless we were a fly on the wall we will never know the real and full story uncolored by bias and opinion. (except for our own)

We will be getting the Clubs version via magazine article. Believe it in whole or part as you wish.

In the whole scheme of things this is just another garden variety tempest in a tea pot.

It's time to  just say "the Hell with it" and move on.

My hope is that this whole debacle will serve as a learning lesson to the AACA that timely disclosure of AACA policy or changes  can only be the best policy.

Another member suggested the publication of a synopsis of the board meetings should be initiated, Sounds good to me................Bob Beck

 

 

 

I have to say I agree with Bob, it's time to move on.  I do find the whole string of posts, and string of events, to be interesting, but don't see it resolving things. Not much more to be said about it. Time to stop the Blame Game, what ever happens next won't really change the good things we all get out of being Members of the Club. The Museum isn't going to suffer much from it either, which is OK as far as I'm concerned, and the Club will get a New HQ, Library and Research Center bigger and better, no doubt about it. Everything else is water under the bridge. It's a new day.

Edited by Doug Novak (see edit history)
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In earlier years when the museum was started, it probably did not seem that unusual for a lot of the details to simply be "understood" and essentially a gentleman's agreement among friends in the hobby. With hindsight we can see that some ironclad contracts, would have been a better idea.

 

As has been said, It is "water under the bridge". Unfortunate that it turned out this way and clearly it will be a while before the "family" will totally recover from the "family quarrel" but I have faith that the club will survive and thrive. Hopefully the museum will as well. Maybe down the road, the relationship will be mended but for now, folks are going to see a bit of a frosty relationship "around the table". I have been to a few family holiday dinners like that before and the family survived.

 

Maybe the timing is appropriate for us to think about the prospect of peace on earth and goodwill to all men.

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1 hour ago, jwsamuel said:

A question: Will the museum have to change its name or will it continue to use AACA in its name?

 

Jim Samuel

Langhorne, PA

 

I don't know whether anyone knows that for sure, yet.

Back in Posting #169 (and a few following it), "Dynaflash8"

was pondering that point too.  He's a former national

President of the AACA.

 

It might boil down to what is trademarked, and how;

and how conciliatory the two parties are regarding the name.

Maybe someone can tell more.

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25 minutes ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

 

I don't know whether anyone knows that for sure, yet.

Back in Posting #169 (and a few following it), "Dynaflash8"

was pondering that point too.  He's a former national

President of the AACA.

 

It might boil down to what is trademarked, and how;

and how conciliatory the two parties are regarding the name.

Maybe someone can tell more.

 

Just opening another can of worms we don't need right now, nor would it accomplish anything other then broadening the distance between the Club and Museum. We all get that we a two separate entities regardless, but the General Public would not understand why we would demand a name change. The Museum exists because of the Club and should be thought of as our Museum regardless of who's running it. Leave our name on it.

Edited by Doug Novak (see edit history)
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12 minutes ago, Doug Novak said:

 

Just opening another can of worms we don't need right now, nor would it accomplish anything other then broadening the distance between the Club and Museum. We all get that we a two separate entities regardless, but the General Public would not understand why we would demand a name change. The Museum exists because of the Club and should be thought of as our Museum regardless of who's running it. Leave our name on it.

 

Excellent response, Doug.

 

Wish folks would just relax a bit, take a deep breath and see how things work out in the New Year.  To worry about name changing and such certainly serves no purpose.  Almost like leaving a wake then going through the deceased person's  possessions all in one day.  It is just not right at this time.

 

Personally I believe things will work out in the long haul.

 

Regards,

 

Peter J.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Doug Novak said:

 

Just opening another can of worms we don't need right now, nor would it accomplish anything other then broadening the distance between the Club and Museum. We all get that we a two separate entities regardless, but the General Public would not understand why we would demand a name change. The Museum exists because of the Club and should be thought of as our Museum regardless of who's running it. Leave our name on it.

 

Sorry, but I disagree. As I mentioned in my first post, one of the reasons I joined AACA was because I thought that the club and museum were part of the same organization and the inclusion of AACA in the museum name was one of the reasons I thought that. Keeping the AACA name on the museum would continue to confuse people who are not familiar with the situation.

 

Secondly, if the AACA owns the trademark to AACA, allowing someone else to use the trademark could lead to the loss of the trademark.

 

But the trademark is a secondary concern to me. My real concern is that as a new member, I feel as if I was misled into thinking that the two organizations were one and the same. Continuing a name that would only mislead additional people does not make me feel any better about wither the club or the museum. In fact, it increases my negative feeling about both organizations.

 

So you may think that it is okay to leave the name on but to me it is an attempt to mislead people and a reason not to trust either group.

 

Jim Samuel

Langhorne, PA

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Someone mentioned earlier about the local radio host (RJ Harris right?) calling it the Antique Car Museum at Hershey. That's a fine name. Frankly I don't think the general public cares what it's called or even why, so it does go back to the purpose of the club (and museum) to cater to the preservation and activity with old cars. Legal considerations as a secondary, what's best? IMO I agree that forcing a name change would make a future reconciliation less likely and I'm not sure what it accomplishes. Perhaps the AACA should attempt a Smithsonian like partnership with many museums that meet it's standards. I think there are lots of positive future subthreads to come from this one long generally negative one, but I'm also quite glad it's been responsibly contained to this one point of conversation.

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1 hour ago, Peter J.Heizmann said:

To worry about name changing and such certainly serves no purpose.

 

 

Sorry, but I believe it does serve a purpose. I am just finishing up my first year of membership in AACA and saw nothing to indicate that the museum was not part of the AACA. It was one of the reasons I joined.

 

I feel as if the two organizations deliberately misled people into thinking they were the same. As a result of finding out that I was misled, my level of trust in both organizations has diminished. If the two separate themselves even more, as has been indicated, yet they continue to share the name, I perceive that as a continued effort to mislead people and my level of trust in both organizations would go to zero.

 

I would have liked to have known about the situation before I renewed my membership two or three weeks ago. Had I known then, I would probably have still renewed but now, I am sorry I did renew my membership as I do not trust either group. My inclination now is to just go through 2017 and then let the membership lapse unless the organization does something to regain my trust.

 

 I want to know if they are going to continue to mislead people or if they will tell the truth. That is why raising the issue does serve a purpose. 

 

As I said earlier, I know that some of you will say that you are longtime members and I am a newcomer and should not raise these issues. If that's the case, I will happily go away and leave AACA. But to stay, I need a reason to trust the people running the club.

 

Jim Samuel

Langhorne, Pa.

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7 minutes ago, Frantz said:

 IMO I agree that forcing a name change would make a future reconciliation less likely and I'm not sure what it accomplishes. 

 

It comes down to trust. Right now, I do not trust either organization and the more I read people defending the decision to mislead new members such as myself, the more sorry I am that I renewed my membership for 2017. 

 

Jim Samuel

Langhorne, Pa.

 

Edited by jwsamuel (see edit history)

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5 minutes ago, jwsamuel said:

As I said earlier, I know that some of you will say that you are longtime members and I am a newcomer and should not raise these issues. If that's the case, I will happily go away and leave AACA. But to stay, I need a reason to trust the people running the club.

 

 

I'm not sure how familiar you are with "clubs" of any sort JW but I can tell you from experience that in most any club, that involves humans, there is going to be clashes of egos, infighting, and shading of facts. The best way to approach membership in the AACA is to understand it has it's share of warts but they are not of the fatal sort. Membership does afford benefits and you have to ask if the benefits count more than your need for a more perfect organization.

I too have had, and have, disagreements with AACA management over the years but I also realize that it's a net benefit to be a member. Besides, by being a member of the club it gives you the right to bitch and moan about it and just maybe affect some change. ................Bob

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15 minutes ago, jwsamuel said:

 

It comes down to trust. Right now, I do not trust either organization and the more I read people defending the decision to mislead new members such as myself, the more sorry I am that I renewed my membership for 2017. 

 

Jim Samuel

Langhorne, Pa.

 

Jim,

 

As a longtime AACA member, I will attempt to explain why I think most others feel differently. The primary reason that many people are upset about the fact that the merger attempt failed is that most members realize that the club (AACA) formally and informally raised most if not all of the money that got the museum started. It was set up as a separate organization but the two organizations have always worked together as partners. The museum has enjoyed many years of cooperative funraising with the club. The museum IS the AACA Museum. Many members never even paid attention to the fact that the club and museum were two separate organizations. The interests of the club and the interests of the museum have in the past appeared to be in total agreement. It is a shock to many that this appears to no longer be the case. Most AACA Members don't live close enough to enjoy the museum on a regular basis. Many of us visit once a year when we go to Hershey for the Fall Meet. Those members who live closer to the museum may have an opportunity to visit the museum more often. The average AACA member's experience of the club is receiving a magazine, many join a local region, and a smaller group of them participate in AACA Meets and/or Tours. The museum is not the primary reason that most members join the club.

 

I think that there is a real opportunity for the two organizations to work through the current situation and probably once again find a way to work together, although perhaps not quite as closely as before. In any case, after this, most AACA members will at least now notice that the museum and club are two separate organizations. They were parent and child. Maybe in the future they will become siblings. Perhaps a marriage (merger) may come up again in the future but for now the relationship is seriously strained. I don't think that any effort to force the museum to change its name would be counterproductive to the hope that the two organizations can move from this point back to the point that they are working cooperatively in the interest of the antique car hobby.  

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Bob,

 

I am familiar with clubs and non-profit organizations and understand the role that egos can play in creating conflicts, particularly when people serve as volunteers.

 

That said, my primary issue with what is going on is one of trust.

 

When I joined AACA last year, and as recently as last month when I renewed, the club and club were portrayed as one and the same. They both shared the AACA name, reinforcing the belief that they were the same organization. Free admission to the museum was listed as a benefit of membership, again reinforcing the perception that they were the same organization.

 

Now, two weeks after my renewal check cleared the bank, I get a letter that informed me that the museum and club were not the same organization and that they would, in fact, be separating even more.

 

I do find it a bit hard to believe that no one on the AACA board knew what was likely to happen and that the board could not have informed us prior to membership renewals. It would not surprise me if the board did not intentionally delay the announcement so that it would not have a negative effect on renewals. 

 

So it is all trust. If I knew a month ago what I know now, I would not have renewed. As it is, I have renewed but I feel as if I was duped.

 

Jim Samuel

Langhorne, Pa.

 

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9 minutes ago, MCHinson said:

Most AACA Members don't live close enough to enjoy the museum on a regular basis.

 

Thanks for the explanation. 

 

I can be at the museum within about two hours and that's why it was a prime reason for me to join AACA. To me, the cost of membership is the equivalent of three paid visits to the museum so that is why it was such a big factor in my decision to join AACA.

 

Jim Samuel

Langhorne, Pa.

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And at least for now, the Museum says it will still honor the free admission for AACA Members, so you still get the benefit of that as an AACA Member.

 

I think that shows that the Museum does acknowledge that the suppport of AACA members has been important to the museum's success and hopes to see that support continue. I am hopeful that the relationship between the two organizations still has the potential to return to something like it has been in the past again in the future. There is no reason to burn the bridge to that possible future.

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18 minutes ago, jwsamuel said:

 

Thanks for the explanation. 

 

I can be at the museum within about two hours and that's why it was a prime reason for me to join AACA. To me, the cost of membership is the equivalent of three paid visits to the museum so that is why it was such a big factor in my decision to join AACA.

 

Jim Samuel

Langhorne, Pa.

Hi Jim,  it's buried in this long thread, but from the museum site"....the Museum will continue to honor our policy of providing complimentary admission for AACA Club members, regardless of this decision. "

Chuck

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As a non member perhaps I should have no opinion but I will give one. Moderators you don't need it  but you have my permission to delete this post if you wish. :)First off I think you should ALL take two weeks vacation from this thread. Relax, make some new year resolutions and come back next year.  You are all just going around in circles right now.:)

I only belonged to the AACA for two years.  I am too far away to use the museum and the magazine was not what I was expecting.  However I knew that there were three (club, library and museum) separate entities before I sent in my first money.  I asked and my question was answered.  If anyone who was/is a member didn't/dosen't know this it is their own fault, not the fault of any of the boards or their executives.  I have been on boards of several library's, museums and international service clubs.  ALL of the difficulties that we had on ANY of these boards were caused by assumptions made either by outside parties or the board themselves. 

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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What concerns me most at this point is why the Museum Board kicked Tom Cox off the board.  I feel sure that Tom tried to do his best for the museum just as he has done his best for the club and I don't see how responsible museum board members could take that action against him.  Perhaps Tom can explain why he was kicked off the museum board.  I suspect it was only because he was on the club board.  That seems a very sorry excuse for such action.

 

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7 hours ago, Tinindian said:

As a non member perhaps I should have no opinion but I will give one. Moderators you don't need it  but you have my permission to delete this post if you wish. :)First off I think you should ALL take two weeks vacation from this thread. Relax, make some new year resolutions and come back next year.  You are all just going around in circles right now.:)

I only belonged to the AACA for two years.  I am too far away to use the museum and the magazine was not what I was expecting.  However I knew that there were three (club, library and museum) separate entities before I sent in my first money.  I asked and my question was answered.  If anyone who was/is a member didn't/dosen't know this it is their own fault, not the fault of any of the boards or their executives.  I have been on boards of several library's, museums and international service clubs.  ALL of the difficulties that we had on ANY of these boards were caused by assumptions made either by outside parties or the board themselves. 

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

 

Just curious. You say the magazine was not what you expected. What did you expect?

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On 12/21/2016 at 6:06 PM, hursst said:

How was it that these two entities started out separately to begin with?  The museum should have always been under the AACA's control from day 1.  Obviously there's a lot that I don't understand about the relationship, but it seems strange to me that they would ever be separate.  Once again, egos and hubris are ruining a good time for all.  We're all on the same team!

It was because of the IRS tax laws.  In the beginning the AACA was not a 501(C3) tax exempt organization.  They needed to start the Museum as a 501(c3) so they could accept tax deductible donations.  Since that time, AACA has finally qualified for a 501(c3).  Back in the 1940s or early 1950s the Club was incorporated as a 501(c5) tax exmept organization.  That is defined as a "tax exempt social organization."  The 501(c5) did not allow for tax deductible contributions or donations.  So that is why things were done as they were.  It was very difficult to qualify the Club for 501(c3) but this was finally accomplished early in the new century.  All of the old-timers who started the museum expected if that ever happened, the two would willingly wish to consolidate into the "AACA family", as eventually did the AACA Library.  Something went awry with that when the museum apparently realized they did not want to pursue that arrangement.  I'm no longer involved, so I don't know all of the details, and I'm certainly not a lawyer either.  This same plan was used some number of years before when the Library was formed, and it is now part of the "AACA family".  Sometimes things are not always as they seem or are expected to turn out.

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
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I don't want to beat this to death but technically the museum did start out under AACA as evidenced by some of the documents I posted.  However, when it was officially incorporated as a charitable non profit that is when the legal separation occurred.  Still, officers and staff from AACA were the ones doing yeoman's work from marketing, fund raising, accounting, etc.  The club's executive director was involved day to day with getting the museum up and running.

 

John, I answered the issue about Tom earlier.  Sometimes people just want to shoot the messenger!  Tom, is no shrinking violet and stood up for our members and our club to attempt to get us a deal we could live with. 

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8 hours ago, Tinindian said:

 

I only belonged to the AACA for two years.  I am too far away to use the museum and the magazine was not what I was expecting. 

 

Just curious, How long ago were you a member? If you would be willing to give it a try again, I think you might find today's magazine alone worth the cost of the annual dues. Send me your address by PM and I would be happy to mail you some copies of recent magazines to let you see if you agree.

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14 hours ago, trimacar said:

Seriously, it doesn't affect me, personally, one way or the other.  But, if the Museum fails, that reflects on the Club.  You can tell me all you want that they're "separate", but when the headline states "The AACA Museum is Closing",  you think it won't affect membership?

I wonder if the Club is not really better off.  This way, if the museum goes down as many of them do, they won't bankrupt the Club and the Club will go on.  I can remember, many of the original leaders and founders in Club leadership who were behind the founding of a museum often expressed worry that this could happen.  So, I wonder, is the Club maybe not better off without the saddle of the museum around its neck?  Saddles can become millstones. Just thinking.  Just saying.

 

For those interested in how this all began, I posted at the bottom of page 13 of this thread.

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)

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1 hour ago, Dynaflash8 said:

I wonder if the Club is not really better off.  This way, if the museum goes down as many of them do, they won't bankrupt the Club and the Club will go on.  I can remember, many of the original leaders and founders in Club leadership who were behind the founding of a museum often expressed worry that this could happen.  So, I wonder, is the Club maybe not better off without the saddle of the museum around its neck?  Saddles can become millstones. Just thinking.  Just saying.

 

For those interested in how this all began, I posted at the bottom of page 13 of this thread.

 

Technically the Club is not now in danger of being dragged down with the Museum if it should fail. Realistically, I seriously doubt that the continued success of both the Club and Museum are in any kind of danger. The worst thing that the Museum could suffer from would be if "Hershey Attractions" went belly up, and that's not going to happen. Millions of people and families come to the Hershey Amusement Park , Chocolate World,  Giant Stadium, and many other venues for vacation driven entertainment and the Museum attracts visitors looking for other things to do. Events such as The Fall East Coast Nation Meet, The Elegance, The Porsche Club Swap Meet, and many other Car Clubs, use the Museum for Shows and as a  place to gather for the start of Touring events.  Hershey is a perfect location for the AACA Museum. 

 

I do agree with what I think you're feeling,  and think I'd interpret it as meaning the Clubs desire to a Merger has become counter productive in our moving on in the direction we need to go right now.

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