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Old 02-26-2007, 01:22 PM   #1
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Great Lakes Barbecue Association

As Michael mentioned in his post today, we are in the process of forming the Great Lakes Barbecue Association. This group will encompass the State of Michigan and any state bordering on a Great Lake and Ontario, CA.

We have had two organizational meetings so far, the latest being this past Saturday, and from the attendance at the two meetings plus feedback that we have gotten from folks from other states it looks like we should start out with an initial membership of between 45 and 50 people. Our association will not only promote the craft of barbecue but all outdoor cooking in general.

We have adopted a set of By-Laws and we are in the process of filing our Articles of Incorporation with the State of Michigan and then our application to become a 501(c)((3) organization. I have had help from many folks including our very own Jim Minion, and Thom Emery has given us a contact or two.

Michael has secured a domain name for us for a future web site and he has also engaged the services of a graphic artist who is in the process of designing a logo for the association.

So that's where we are right now, if anyone would like further information, or would like an application to look over, just e-mail me and I will forward it on to you and to Michael, to get you on our mailing list.
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Old 02-26-2007, 01:24 PM   #2
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Will you be one of the very few organizations that develop your own rules like the FBA or will you just use the KCBS rules like many others do?
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Old 02-26-2007, 01:32 PM   #3
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Bruce,

How will the association be making money? Is it your goal to sanction contests like the KCBS or will most of the revenue be coming from dues paying members? Has the association adopted a definition of BBQ?
Will you be competing with the KCBS or do you consider the organization to be a regional division of it?

Thanks in advance for the answers to these questions.
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Old 02-26-2007, 01:52 PM   #4
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Greg and Kloset,

Our goal is not to make money, we are going to be a charitable organization.

I see where you guys are heading with this. We haven't even opened up a bank account yet so, our days of sponsoring a comp are a ways off yet, however, if and when we ever do, it would follow KCBS rules. We have not adopted a definition of barbecue yet and I don't see us doing that. If we were to sponsor a comp, it would follow KCBS rules in effect at that time, sanctioned or not. If we were to sponsor a Back-Yard comp, we might very well follow KCBS rules regarding what meats to cook and garnish, but perhaps not all, or perhaps all. We're not close to that yet though.

For now we intend to raise money through membership dues, fees paid by participants at events, i.e. cooking classes, judging classes, cooking demo's, etc. and donations to the extent allowed by law.

What would we compete with the KCBS for, no more or less than any other BBQ Association competes with them for membership, e.g. California, Wisconsin, Pacific Northwest, Western, Arizona, Iowa, etc.
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Old 02-26-2007, 02:05 PM   #5
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Bruce, I understand you are in just the beginning stages here...but why not make up your own rules? Is it just easier to use ones that are already established through the KCBS or is there just no interest in making your own up?

Please read this as me being serious and not ball busting...I am re-reading it and it seems to be smart-assed but it isn't supposed to be meant that way.
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Old 02-26-2007, 02:20 PM   #6
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Building a good scoring system (program) runs a few thousand dollars to do it right. As an example the PNWBA has a program that sucks (I'm being nice here). The FBA has done a better job, but it does cost money.

Hope everything goes well, Bruce knows I will help if I can.

Jim
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Old 02-26-2007, 02:22 PM   #7
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I hear what you're saying Greg, the problem you run into then, is that if you don't follow their rules, and if you want to sponsor a comp sometime in the future, they won't sanction it and then you'll have problems drawing enough teams to compete. I know the FBA does well, but they have been around a long time.

I'm sure if and when we get to that point we will look at our options.
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Old 02-26-2007, 03:41 PM   #8
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Bruce, don't take what I'm about to say the wrong way, I'm just trying to figure out what the purpose of all these regional BBQ associations are and what the benefits are for joining such a group.

Just thinking out loud here but I've heard talk about the possibility of regional representation within KCBS. Has any thought been given at the KCBS level and at the regional level to perhaps combining these regional groups within the KCBS? It would be kind of like when the AFL and ABA merged with the NFL and NBA except that in this case the regional associations would work as part of KCBS (like diviisions or subsidiaries of a corporation) instead of in competition with KCBS . In other words the regional groups would retain a regional identity and work to promote BBQ in their respective regions but with the cooperation and support of KCBS.

Kansas City, Memphis, North Carolina, and Texas definitely have a unique style of BBQ associated with them and I can understand the differences between them. I'm not sure that Ohio, Michigan, and Canada have a unique style or flavor or for that matter a tradition to them. Again not intended as a criticism just as a fact.

What would the selling point be of joining such an organization be as opposed to joining KCBS or in addition to KCBS. I kind of like the idea of Regional guys working together but within a larger more established group such as the KCBS. Again I'm not sure if the KCBS would be agreeable to such an idea or for that matter any of the regional groups that have all sprung up but it does seem to me that most of the regional groups (New England, California, Great Lakes, Iowa) have members whose BBQ is more identified with KC barbecue than with any of the other styles of BBQ.

I would be excited about joining a group whose goal was to promote BBQ withn the region but along the same format or as part of KCBS. There is definitely an opportunity to grow Barbecue and BBQ contests within Ohio. It's hard to believe that with a state as large as Ohio that the only contest is in Nelsonville (and I love that contest) but you would think that the state could support contests in the Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, and Toledo areas. What do you guys think (Bruce, Jim). Any chance of something like this happening?
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Old 02-26-2007, 04:03 PM   #9
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Sorry for the lengthy rant here.

I think having different BBQ Associations throughout the country is a good thing. It gives people in that State or that region an organization where they can associate with people from there state who have a common interest; BBQ and/or outdoor cooking. It doesn't always have to be a competition setting, it can be fun cooks, family get togethers, cooking demos, judging classes, or other outdoor cooking techniques, i.e. dutch oven, wild game, etc.

I for one wish the KCBS had regional divisions where perhaps the Northeast Division promoted comps in the Northeast and Mid West and Southeast, and so on and so on; so that people would be able to compete more in their region and not have to drive half-way across the country for a comp.

I think Michigan, the Great Lakes and Canada, do have certain obstacles when it comes to BBQ and outdoor cooking, weather being the biggest. But that's one thing that can unite us and we can celebrate that aspect of it. An association to promote BBQ and outdoor cooking in this region is long overdue. Most people don't even think that BBQ even exists in this region, until you start loooking around and find just how many people there are that participate and they need to find each other and they need to grow this sport, past-time, hobby, art, science, whatever you want to call it.

The selling point is just that, regional people working together to promote BBQ and outdoor cooking while supporting charities and giving back to the communities and groups, participating in Senior Q Month, Kookers Kare, or feeding troops on any of the several bases our states house. We're not breaking from KCBS, we're just looking to get together have some some fun, eat some good food, and maybe do a little good for some people. That ain't all bad.

If you really want to push the envelope, I think it would be great if there was an Ohio Chapter of the Great Lakes BBQ Association and an Indiana Chapter and an Illinois Chapter, that would be great, but people in those states have to step up and get things going.

I'm in it for the ride to see where it takes me.
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Old 02-26-2007, 04:24 PM   #10
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Bruce, not trying to be divisive here and I'm curious to hear what KCBS might think of this idea. My idea would be to keep the identity of the chapters or regional associations while promoting the KC style of barbecue that the large percentage of the population identifies with (at least in the Midwest when they think of BBQ). I would agree that the majority of people in this area don't know what real BBQ is. KCBS wishes to grow as an organization and the best places to grow are in areas where there is a large base of potential consumers but very little representation. We would all love to see Barbecue grow in this area so we don't have to drive 500-600 miles for a competition. I think having two many competitive BBQ organizations make it tough for the new groups to become established. Keeping a regional identity (Great Lakes in this example) is a good idea in that if we wish to see Barbecue flourish in our own backyards, it will be ultimately be dependent on those in our areas to try and make it happen.

Again I would be curious to see if the regionals as well as KCBS would be interested in seeing if this is a possibility. To me it seems to be a win for both groups while promoting the KC style of barbecue in new areas.

I'd love to hear feedback from both KCBS and the regionals as to why this would not be a good idea and whether it could work for both groups.
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