midman

AACA Museum & AACA, What is Going On

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We received a letter last week asking to donate again this year, not a chance till this is brought up to date.I do not like any sugar coated details,just the details,hopefully,all will turn out

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Both organizations are struggling in a existential situation, and need to be free to pursue the best strategy for each. However, to the extent that the museum continues to add value to the club’s mission, there is no reason to cease support for the museum, as the regions and joint members have been doing, and should/will continue to do so. Club action to withdraw support now seems to be a financial management decision based on Club board assessment of the prudent path forward given the current state of affairs.


Club members may appeal to their board members to reconsider, and make this issue pertinent to future elections. However, experienced members clearly understand that the AACA board is a club within, whose membership is largely determined by their own selection of board candidates, and who will not disclose results of board elections. Policy and practice of the AACA are stuck in the past, and are positioning the club at continued risk with regard to future growth. The claim, often repeated, that the Club is governed by elected board members is misleading in that the members at large are not participants in the candidate selection. The result is that the claim that action "is always in the best interests of the members" must be tempered with the understanding that that interpretation is made by a small number of board members who never have polled the general membership.

That being said, in my experience, there can be no doubt that Steve Moskowitz  and members of the board have contributed enormously of their time , knowledge, and wealth to the benefit of the membership. However, like Mr. Beck, I would like to see more transparency on Board policy, and the policy platforms of all candidates prior to elections.

Finally, absolutely my last word, I do trust the decisions made on this issue, wish the museum well, support the Board to use my funds wisely to expand and improve facilities and plan to enjoy my association with you all moving on.

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6 hours ago, old car fan said:

We received a letter last week asking to donate again this year, not a chance till this is brought up to date.I do not like any sugar coated details,just the details,hopefully,all will turn out

 

Old Car Fan,

make sure you read the back of the donation envelope that was enclosed and tell me that is not a little misleading!

 

Edited by John348 (see edit history)

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20 hours ago, Restorer32 said:

Hershey Trust and the state of PA


You mean the Commonwealth =-P

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Interesting situation here...

 

If the AACA is splitting with the museum, why in the world does the museum get to be "AACA Museum" by name if they are not affiliated?!?! Being unaffiliated, the very use of AACA in the name "AACA Museum" is flat-out misleading. And it's not as if the acronym "AACA" stands for anything other than Antique Automobile Club of America in this case. Honestly, it almost seems to me like the museum name should be modified to clearly differentiate between the museum and the club. I doubt that will happen, but if they are going to be independent and not under the AACA club umbrella, they should forge a new identify and, in turn, the club should move on. 

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For me the major issue is not so much the split but "what other surprises are in store ?" Now that the membership is focused on the museum, everything is going to be scrutinized. The biggest loss is that of trust and it will be very hard to regain.

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21 minutes ago, padgett said:

The biggest loss is that of trust and it will be very hard to regain.

 

Which is exactly why AACA management and board must be totally forthcoming with their promised report on the situation. The member's BS detector will be in a heightened state. Even a whiff of a cover up will be even more  damaging to the fabric of the club..................Bob

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)
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I just received AACA's "URGENT" missive in this afternoon's mail.  Unfortunately, the letter failed to elaborate on why the AACA membership had not been kept informed of the progress of this FOUR YEAR negotiation.  As I had attempted to make the point in my Post #132, I think that most of the upset on the part of the general AACA Membership is that we feel that we were effectively "blind-sided" by last week's announcement of the failure of the merger negotiations (that had been ongoing for 4 years).   As Padgett mentioned above: "What other surprises are in store?"

 

Cheers,

Grog

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4 hours ago, Scooter Guy said:

If the AACA is splitting with the museum, why in the world does the museum get to be "AACA Museum" by name if they are not affiliated?!?! Being unaffiliated, the very use of AACA in the name "AACA Museum" is flat-out misleading. And it's not as if the acronym "AACA" stands for anything other than Antique Automobile Club of America in this case. Honestly, it almost seems to me like the museum name should be modified to clearly differentiate between the museum and the club. I doubt that will happen, but if they are going to be independent and not under the AACA club umbrella, they should forge a new identify and, in turn, the club should move on. 

Gee guys, I don't spent much time on here anymore, but I see that not much has changed. Steve M covered everything we know at this point, but I will add a couple things once more. (Sorry, I may have to make multiple quoted posts.)

 

First Scooter, the word "splitting" indicates that we were at some point in time "combined", not true. That's what we, the AACA Board of Directors committee group, has been working on for some time now. All this fuss over being "together", "splitting", or the "sky is falling" mean NOTHING! The only thing that has changed is that the Antique Automobile Club of America is "discontinuing our relationship and financial support", just like the letter that my wife and I received today. We, the club needs a new facility to house a new Library and Headquarters. We need that support that we have provided the Museum to accomplish this. We were hoping to combine with the Museum and its property to accomplish this, but it did not work out. I want to say this again. The AACA Museum and the AACA Library and Club Headquarters are STILL just like they were before. I suggest that you support either or all, just like you have before. It that so hard to understand?

 

Now, the AACA name, the Museum was given the name AACA from the very beginning to promote what was begun as a Museum very closely associated with the Antique Automobile Club of American. It's an abbreviation, nothing more. I am sure it was meant to point to the AACA "Host" club, although, I guess, it could mean anything that they would like. If they want to modify it, that's up to them, not the rest of the world.

 

ok, moving on....................

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On 12/16/2016 at 9:01 AM, Dynaflash8 said:

AACA members worked, gave, donated for this museum with the understanding that eventually it would be part of AACA.  We did the same thing with the Library many years before, and the independent Library Board consolidated with AACA at a later date when the tax situation made that possible.  Those people were dedicated AACA members and antique automobile enthusiasts.  The Board of the Museum is a horse of a different color.  Evidently they have realized that the Museum, built in large part on the backs of AACA club members, is theirs to keep and control.  There is an old saying, "don't tell me what you did for me yesterday, what are you doing for me today."  Is there still a Regions Room upstairs in the Museum?  I've heard not.  My wife crocheted a large afghan in the old blue & yellow colors which she gave the Museum on indefinite loan.  It on the wall of that Region Room.  It was a massive work effort on her part.  I wrote the new curator and asked it be returned, and never got a reply...complete contempt in my opinion.  But that is a separate subject.  AACA club members made it possible for the land to be bought in the first place, but when AACA wanted a parcel to build a new office and library, there was no sale.  I'm happy that no more of my dues money is going to the Museum.  If they want to be separate, then they should take that AACA emblem off of the cupola on the building.  When it all started, I thought it was to represent the history of AACA, the oldest and largest antique automobile club....an organization which really made the antique automobile hobby what it is today.  But, I guess the Museum Board looks at one another and say in unison, "So What?"

Read this again folks.  By the way, we got our letter today.

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13 hours ago, Bhigdog said:

 

Which is exactly why AACA management and board must be totally forthcoming with their promised report on the situation. The member's BS detector will be in a heightened state. Even a whiff of a cover up will be even more  damaging to the fabric of the club..................Bob

 

Bob, you have known me long enough to know that I don't BS about anything. I tell it like it is, just as I have since my first post here in 2002. There is no cover up, since no firm decisions have been made until we realized that the merger was not going to happen. We let everyone know that as soon as possible. I know the letters were late arriving. (My wife and I got ours today) That darn Santa Claus fellow  messing up the mail system. 

 

Speaking of changes and surprises as Padgett mentioned. There WILL be changes, and you might not know about it until the "changes" are complete. That's just the way life works. There will be changes on the AACA Meet field, the AACA Tour circuit, the website scoring, newsletter scoring, clothing available for sale, award plaques, AA Magazine, and on and on, but these changes are for the better. As a matter of fact, I will change. After 3 years as the VP of National Activities there will be a new person in this position for 2017. I have done the best that I could for 3 years, but I'm not perfect, and I know for a fact that the person in this position will have new ideas, ideas I have never thought of. So, that will be a change. And the AACA membership may not know about these changes right away, because we have to do the best that we can, so it might take FOUR years before some of these changes take effect. I will guarantee you one thing. These changes will be the best that the AACA Board and its committee groups can do.

 

So, if you have any more questions, call me. Tom Cox, Steve M, and others have been fielding a bunch of calls. I have not had any. They are having all of the fun. 

 

The lines are now open! Call within the next 15 minutes for "free shipping"!!

 

Wayne

804-313-1983

 

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I still don't understand the constant use of the word "split" or "splitting" by folks here. You can't split things that have always been separate. Please read the letter again. The AACA Museum and Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) have always been two separate organizations. A long term attempt to merge the two organzations failed to accomplish a merger and AACA's board is now going to stop financial contributions towards the AACA Museum. Those funds will now be available for the use of AACA. It certainly appears that the need for additional space for the AACA Library (which is part of the AACA organization) impacted the board's decision that it was time to move on from the failed attempt to achieve a merger with the Museum. The fact that many people apparently never paid attention to the fact that the AACA Museum was a separate organization does not change anything... you can't correctly call it a split.

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On ‎12‎/‎17‎/‎2016 at 0:47 PM, Bhigdog said:

 

Thank you for poking your head up, Steve. I'm very much hoping the coming article is written in a forthright manner. I for one am not interested in assigning blame for past events but would be most interested in what exactly was  the rational for and the amount of funds the club "contributed" to the museum and an outline of what went wrong.

I'm guessing, at this point, the membership expects, and deserves, a factual post mortem rather than an amorphous  general info type article.

I've often been a critic of the club's seeming opaqueness. Prove me wrong..............Bob Beck

 

Bob, I think I have tried to prove you wrong many times over the years! :D  Not sure I won any of those battles but without airing dirty laundry or personal opinions I am hopeful that the board can outline things further.  Now, I am going home to sit down in my office and finish a project of cataloging my literature.  Tomorrow I need therapy in the garage and get my fingers dirty and maybe even bloody!!  Oops, I wrote this Friday and never hit the Submit button apparently.

 

Bob, I will be out for the next two days but call me Thursday or Friday and I will tell you or explain in detail whatever you want as I have many other people who called!  There is no cover up (what's to cover up?) as I explained earlier that there will be another article in our magazine and Hemmings has been digging into this and probably tomorrow will have more of the details.  We have responded to them fully and OCW has done a story too.  None of this helps the museum or the club.  I am sure we are far less "opaque" then many other clubs or institutions...certainly from my experience we are. 

 

Again, 2 years or so of trying to build a facility on the museum property was a non-story.  There was no reason to bring this up just as there would be no reason to bring up us trying to buy other property in town and getting turned down. Not discussing the museum issue when we were still at the negotiating table was the right thing to do...there was no answer and for most of the time we felt that we would in fact find a solution. Bringing all the discussions to light could have only made matters worse. 

 

The issue that both parties are at "fault" if that is the right word is that when everything was put together in the early years no one had the foresight to ask what will happen in the future and plan for it....that was done almost 20 years ago so I cannot really comment on it but as we sit here today their should have been provisions made for the possibility that the club would get its 501 C 3.

 

Time to leave the office and this time hit submit!

 

   

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Ok, you've taken major exception to my use of the word "splitting." You could substitute "discontinuing our relationship and financial support" (to use your words) for my choice of word: "splitting." By "splitting" I meant that the two entities are going their separate ways and that the relationship, whatever it was, has been discontinued. I understand that the club and museum were always separate entities legally and in operation, but when a "relationship" and "financial support" is discontinued after a period of years, that can move can be construed as "splitting" which is what I said. I don't really think it's a stretch to get "splitting" out of what's going on, but clearly we disagree on that point.  

 

If you go back and re-read what I posted, you'll see that I was not critical of the decision itself, of the AACA board, the AACA Museum board, or of the club at a whole. I made no comment on any of those topics. My post was to point out that I think having the AACA name attached to a non-affiliated, separate entity (meaning the museum) is misleading NOW considering the turn of events. Further I suggested that a name change for the museum would clarify the difference between the two, the museum and the club. I personally DO think it is misleading for the museum to be the AACA Museum if there is no connection, financial or otherwise, to the AACA club. That is just my opinion. I understand the origin of the name; that wasn't the point of my posting at all. Do I really think it will change? No, I don't. 

 

I understand the need and desire to expand AACA's facility and library. That's fine, too. I also made no comment on that whatsoever. I get that the funds previously directed to the museum can be redirected to that project. Makes sense. Again, my posting was only addressing "AACA" being used within the museum's name when it is clearly the acronym of the club. 

 

I guess that all of this is to say that I stand by my original statement and I don't really think that the dressing down I got here was warranted at all. 

 

I had not logged in here since September. Like you said, nothing changes. I clearly haven't missed much. 

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Sorry to pick on you Scooter, but I had seen enough of the blame game going on here. Changes nothing. The background on the name AACA has been explained. I guess someone needs to call the Museum for more information.

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Scooterguy,

 

You may want to closely read all of the previous 160+ posts in this discussion. That post was not directed at any one individual. There have been many people who have complained that the club and the museum had "split". Despite multiple attempts to explain that the two have always been two distinct organizations, the complaints have continued to be repeated. 

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46 minutes ago, Steve Moskowitz said:

Bob, I will be out for the next two days but call me Thursday or Friday and I will tell you or explain in detail whatever you want as I have many other people who called!  There is no cover up (what's to cover up?) as I explained earlier that there will be another article in our magazine and Hemmings has been digging into this and probably tomorrow will have more of the details.  We have responded to them fully and OCW has done a story too.  None of this helps the museum or the club.  I am sure we are far less "opaque" then many other clubs or institutions...certainly from my experience we are. 

 

Thanks for the invite to call you, Steve, But I have the feeling you are pretty busy and I had a very nice conversation with Marty Roth a couple of days ago.

As I said in earlier posts I believed the club directors were doing the best they could to further both the clubs and the "hobbies" interests. I still do believe that. I also would not be surprised to learn that some of the decisions made were ill advised and/or did not work out as hoped. That happens.

The main thrust of my posts has been to urge AACA management to trust the membership to be understanding of any decisions made in good faith even if they turned sour.

I also never suggested there was a cover up, nor do I now, I was only counciling against giving even the appearance of one.

Again, my only concern at this point is a full and frank accounting of the chronology, decisions made , and monies disbursed. I'm of the opinion that will eliminate the drip, drip, drip of the sometimes divisive and uninformed opinions and comments.

Then we can all move on.............Robert Beck 

 

 

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)

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10 hours ago, Scooter Guy said:

Ok, you've taken major exception to my use of the word "splitting." You could substitute "discontinuing our relationship and financial support" (to use your words) for my choice of word: "splitting." By "splitting" I meant that the two entities are going their separate ways and that the relationship, whatever it was, has been discontinued. I understand that the club and museum were always separate entities legally and in operation, but when a "relationship" and "financial support" is discontinued after a period of years, that can move can be construed as "splitting" which is what I said. I don't really think it's a stretch to get "splitting" out of what's going on, but clearly we disagree on that point.  

 

If you go back and re-read what I posted, you'll see that I was not critical of the decision itself, of the AACA board, the AACA Museum board, or of the club at a whole. I made no comment on any of those topics. My post was to point out that I think having the AACA name attached to a non-affiliated, separate entity (meaning the museum) is misleading NOW considering the turn of events. Further I suggested that a name change for the museum would clarify the difference between the two, the museum and the club. I personally DO think it is misleading for the museum to be the AACA Museum if there is no connection, financial or otherwise, to the AACA club. That is just my opinion. I understand the origin of the name; that wasn't the point of my posting at all. Do I really think it will change? No, I don't. 

 

I understand the need and desire to expand AACA's facility and library. That's fine, too. I also made no comment on that whatsoever. I get that the funds previously directed to the museum can be redirected to that project. Makes sense. Again, my posting was only addressing "AACA" being used within the museum's name when it is clearly the acronym of the club. 

 

I guess that all of this is to say that I stand by my original statement and I don't really think that the dressing down I got here was warranted at all. 

 

I had not logged in here since September. Like you said, nothing changes. I clearly haven't missed much. 

I can't remember if there was an official MOU ("Memorandum of Understanding") with the museum when they were allowed to use the letters "AACA" back in 2002.  I was VP Regions at the time.  I'm sure there probably was.  If not, there should have been.  That said, the people who had the largest hand in getting this museum off of the ground were in unpaid, volunteer positions with the Club, and some have since passed away.  All of those who worked on the museum project, beginning about 1994, saw this as exactly the same way to solve the tax situation as did those who started the AACA Library years before.  Some of these people were the same people who actually built, contracted for and/or had a large part in paying for the Library addition onto the headquarters building on W. Governor Road.  Many regular members joined them by selling bricks and buying bricks to raise additional money to pay for the addition .  Some of these same people who helped get the museum project off of the ground, donated very large sums of money to the museum project.  Others of us coaxed Region clubs into donating money.  We circulated at National Meet banquets selling raffle tickets.  We donated to the auction at the Philadelphia meeting and bought bricks and so on.  AACA club leaders dating back into the 90's found the land and facilitated the purchase of that land.  I can remember, years ago, discussion whereby the building had been designed in such a manner so that an addition could be built to house the library and headquarters sometime after the museum was paid for. Nobody ever conceived of or expected the organization we thought they were creating and feeding back in the beginning, would some day turn and bite the hand that fed them.  Obviously none of those people or other old-timers like me ever even conceived of the notion that people would someday take over the museum and decide their needs were greater than the organization that fathered them.  As a result it now comes to this.  I'm long off of the Board after proudly serving without any compensation for 15 years, so I don't know all of the in's and out's of the current situation.  However, the current Board, I assume, came to a point where they all said, "enough is enough", and there was no more time left to negotiate for property they thought was at least partly theirs already, since for the most part they thought the club had already bought and paid for.  So now the club starts all over to acquire a property and build, or revamp an available building to house headquarters and the library.  I also understand there are one or more large literature collections waiting for the library to have room to accept them as donations.  I also understand the headquarters building, which is very old, is also quickly becoming severally outdated.  Perhaps there will be a sudden turnaround, and I hope so, but barring that let's move on.  The Club is now a 501(c3) tax exempt organization as approved by the IRS.  So, if there has to be this next move, the Club  must take all legal steps to make sure there will be no more assumptions of good will,

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
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Just a quick question(s): Are the initials "AACA" as used as a logo or affiliation identifier copyrightable*? If so have they been copyrighted*? If they have been copyrighted* is the museum using them under license?  Is a royalty being paid for that use?  .................Bob

* Copyright as used is incorrect. It should read registered trademark. The questions remain as asked........Bob

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)

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Wondered that myself. Turns out there are quite a few.

 

Need to go to http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=searchss&state=4803:goj807.1.1 and enter AACA in the search term box.

 

Current Search:

  (AACA )[COMB] docs: 16 occ: 39    

  Serial Number Reg. Number Word Mark Check Status Live/Dead
1 87145483   AACA TSDR LIVE
2 85763568 4360680 AACA MUSEUM A WORLD CLASS AUTOMOTIVE EXPERIENCE CARS BUSES MOTORCYCLES & MORE AND DESIGN TSDR LIVE
3 85763500 4360676 AACA MUSEUM A WORLD CLASS AUTOMOTIVE EXPERIENCE CARS BUSES MOTORCYCLES & MORE AND DESIGN TSDR LIVE
4 85365392   AACA SENTIMENTAL TOUR TSDR DEAD
5 85365386   AACA DIVISIONAL TOUR TSDR DEAD
6 85365377   AACA VINTAGE TOUR TSDR DEAD
7 85365312   AACA FOUNDERS TOUR TSDR DEAD
8 85365297   AACA RELIABILITY TOUR TSDR DEAD
9 85283819   AACA TSDR DEAD
10 76405961   AACA CAMPUS TSDR DEAD
11 76171234 2506511 AACA MUSEUM, INC. TSDR DEAD
12 76106301   AFRICIAN AMERICAN COLLEGE ALLIANCE TSDR DEAD
13 76106300   AACA TSDR DEAD
14 75434983   AACA TSDR DEAD
15 73473747 1355852 AACA LIBRARY & RESEARCH CENTER ANTIQUE AUTOMOBILE CLUB OF AMERICA HERSHEY, PENNSYLVANIA U.S.A. FOUNDED 1981 DURYEA TSDR LIVE
16 73666351 1475497 AACA TSDR DEAD

 

None of which are the club itself. OTOH if you give it ANTIQUE AUTOMOBILE CLUB OF AMERICA   you get:

 

Current Search:

  (ANTIQUE AUTOMOBILE CLUB OF AMERICA )[COMB] docs: 6 occ: 50    

  Serial Number Reg. Number Word Mark Check Status Live/Dead
1 85365392   AACA SENTIMENTAL TOUR TSDR DEAD
2 85365386   AACA DIVISIONAL TOUR TSDR DEAD
3 85365377   AACA VINTAGE TOUR TSDR DEAD
4 76171234 2506511 AACA MUSEUM, INC. TSDR DEAD
5 73473747 1355852 AACA LIBRARY & RESEARCH CENTER ANTIQUE AUTOMOBILE CLUB OF AMERICA HERSHEY, PENNSYLVANIA U.S.A. FOUNDED 1981 DURYEA TSDR LIVE
6 73301641 1204096 ANTIQUE AUTOMOBILE CLUB OF AMERICA FOUNDED NOV. 1935 DURYEA TSDR LIVE

 

So AACA the club has never registered AACA, only the full name while I guess the museum can afford better lawyers.

 

Interesting thing is that AACA the club was the original registrant of AACA the Museum but allowed that to be cancelled in 2009.

Edited by padgett (see edit history)

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Thanks Padgett. I'll edit my previous post for clarity..............Bob

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So from the above Word Mark listing it appears the museum owns the trade mark "AACA Museum". Say it isn't so...............Bob

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BigDog:  I am not sure your assumption is correct.  I leave that to the legal beagles.  I'm just a high school graduate.

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