Steve Locke Interview

HortonHorton Posts: 27,186 Administrator
edited March 2009 in Other Stuff
<p>
I spoke to Steve Locke this morning about a BallOfSpray interview. He sounds like he is ready for all subjects. I need your questions. As always be please be thoughtful. 
</p>
<p>
Also: the Karina Nowlen interview is on my desk and will be posted in a day or two.
</p>

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Comments

  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 4,059 Mega Baller
    "When's the last time you took a rip on a waterski ?"  "Have you ever skied the slalom course ?"  "What's the chance of pulling you over a jump ramp ?"  "Any experience on a Trick ski or Wakeboard ?"  "Do you think Dave Clarke will ever get the scoring system to use the latest versions of printers ?"
    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
  • ktm300ktm300 Posts: 399 Baller
    <p>
    Other than the fact that you have to be a member to ski tournaments, why would anybody join AWSA ?  Why did AWSA sit there and allow a patent dispute between two private speed control companies to create a situation where most of the tournament skiing public can't practice behind what they will ski behind in a tournament ?  How is requiring  tournament skiers to buy 40k boats so that ZO can sell them a 2k speed control helping "grow" the sport ? Why did AWSA not simply refuse to approve any speed control that won't work in our boats and leave it up to PP and ZO to figure out a solution ? Are you presently seeking other employment ?  Is smoking weed carbon neutral ?  Can you not sell ads on the AWSA website and ditch the magazine to save money ?  Has AWSA lent assistance to anybody in the USA to build a ski lake in the last decade ? If so, what was the assistance ? Has AWSA successfully helped anybody gain permiting or access to public water for a ski course or jump in the last decade ? 
    </p>
    <p>
     
    </p>
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,186 Administrator
    <p class="MsoNormal">
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000">Ok guys, I have already bounced two posts that were funny but not exactly respectful. I believe that Steve will address any serious question but I am not going to present him with juvenile sniping. <span> </span>Just be thoughtful and act your age.</font>
    </p>

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  • ktm300ktm300 Posts: 399 Baller
    <p>
    John, you were right to bounce out my previous post.  Total smart alec born from the frustration of watching the sport dry up like a prune.  However, with your diplomatic delivery, I respectfully suggest that some of the things I asked about are some of the things that need to be addressed by the guy running AWSA.   Many of the problems have nothing to do with Steve Locke and he should not get blamed for them.  However, he should be made aware of them.  I know that I am not rowing in the boat alone with the issues I raised.  The ZO debacle being a major one.  I dig the free market and am naturally inclined to buy the line that speed control was lost and won by two companies duking it out and that AWSA had nothing to do with it.  However, this argument is specious.  It is AWSA that approves boats for tournment use and by approving for tournment use only boats (year model) that can legally run ZO,  AWSA has entered the fray.  AWSA needs to exert some authority.  They also approve speed control and could have refused to approve ANY speed control that will not work in our boats.  Hand driving?  I doubt it.  My guess is that with AWSA taking the bull by the horns that the various private interests would have worked something out.  
    </p>
    <p>
    Of course, maybe ZO will light on some version and give PP a chance to try to emulate it.  PP wants to do this but, they are shooting at a constantly moving target.
    </p>
    <p>
     
    </p>
  • MrJonesMrJones Posts: 1,763 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    <p>
    For many years the US Open was held in conjunction with US Nationals. This was a great draw in that most people attending nationals had little chance of winning their division, but really enjoyed getting to ski and then see professionals do their thing on the weekend. Because the pro skiers were in attendance there was a great deal of activity in the tents where you could "rub elbows" with the elite skiers as they hung around their sponsor's booth's doing their job in pushing products. 
    </p>
    <p>
     
    </p>
    <p>
    For some reason the US Open was separated from Nationals in the mid '90s, in my opinion to the detriment of both. The US Open, which was one of the most important pro events, has disappeared entirely and the manufacturer presence in the "tents" has dwindled to a sad level. (Thanks to you who still set up by the way) 
    </p>
    <p>
     
    </p>
    <p>
    Has there been any discussion regarding returning the US Open to Nationals week? I believe that this would help make nats a more attractive trip for many skiers and would be an incentive for more sponsor involvement as their pro skiers would all be in attendance. If this is the case it would make the tournament more profitable for the host site and AWSA.
    </p>
    <p>
    Respectfully,
    </p>
    <p>
    Scot Jones 
    </p>
  • skidawgskidawg Posts: 3,260 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    <p>
    Why do you want the gov't to do for skiing what it has done for education.  We are in bad enough shape without having them involved. 
    </p>
    <p>
     
    </p>
    <p>
    Serious ?, not sarcastic.
    </p>
    Mr. Mom is Horton's favorite movie!
  • ScarletArrowScarletArrow Posts: 798 Crazy Baller
    <p>
    What are the issues that presently plague USAWS that you saw at USATriathlon?
    </p>
    <p>
    What, specifically, is your "5 year plan" for USAWS?
    </p>
    <p>
    Are the Olympics still an ambition for USAWS?
    </p>
    <p>
    It seems that there is certain disillusionment with USAWS.  Those who have anything to say are generally critical.  What are the positive things happening with USAWS today?  What steps are you taking to reach out to the community and restore the faith in your organization?
    </p>
    <p>
    American or import?
    </p>
    Anthony Warren
  • <p>
    Please explain how being part of the olympic commitee helps our sport?
    </p>
    <p>
     what are you doing to help our sport grow from an overall organizational level, i.e, beyond the bounds of usa waterski, promoting the people, the tournaments, webcasting, television, etc?
    </p>
    <p>
    on what level does it serve to be a member of usa waterski, other then a tournament related level?
    </p>
    <p>
    Where do you see this sport progressing to (take off of scarletarrows question) but, honestly, where is it going?  
    </p>
    <p>
    How do you combat the skyrocketing price of boats, equipment?
    </p>
    <p>
    How does usa waterski and in a sense your position, how do you view that as a benifit to our sport?
    </p>
    <p>
    if you had a magic wand, wave it and make one aspect of the barrier to entry to our sport go away, what is it?
    </p>
    <p>
    what does our sport need to move up a level into at least a niche sport on the national concience?
    </p>
    <p>
    governmental wise, explain what you are doing to help out local waterski orgs, people, to get on the water and explain that we aren't bad people.
    </p>
    <p>
    what came of your post about the surf expo, and expanding usa waterski to "really" incorporate wakeboarding into this world
    </p>
    <p>
    break down each indivudual discipline and explain what you are doing to make them better, more accesable, popular
    </p>
    <p>
    WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO SHARE A DRINK WITH THE CRB?
    </p>
    <p>
    cross over appeal of various atheletes?  What is being done by the organization to get our most recognizable and popular people into the mainstream?
    </p>
    <p>
    :)
    </p>
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,186 Administrator
    Good Stuff

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  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,186 Administrator
    Ok. Now that I am married I am back to work (BallOfSpray work). I will start writting my questions this week. Anyone else want to add  . . .

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  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 4,059 Mega Baller
    Is Steve Locke planning on attending the Masters ?  He could be a twitterer.
    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
  • MrJonesMrJones Posts: 1,763 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    <p>
    $250,000-$300,000 to put on the US Open? Prize money payout of what, 20-30K max. I have no actual info on what MC put out to put on a full tour last year, but I doubt it was to much off of those numbers for 8 stops.  At Nats you already have the site, boats, and more regular/senior judges (for slalom at least) than you can shake a stick at. I don't see this as a real answer.
    </p>
    <p>
    sj
    </p>
  • skibugskibug Posts: 2,027
    I may sound ignorant in asking this question; but, how does some guy who never skis in a slalom course, jumps, or tricks become the Executive Director of USA-WS.  I think that you would have to have some type of understanding or perspective in order to make adequate and fair decisions in governing a sport.
    Bob Grizzi
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,186 Administrator
    edited May 2009
    <p class="MsoNormal">
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000">I say we need a smart administrator and I do not care if he can drive a boat or run balls or not. </font>
    </p>
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000"></font>
    <p class="MsoNormal">
    <font size="3"><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman">I don’t think the interview was a soft ball and he seems to have been pretty straight with us. Lets be honest: I would not want that job and I do not think most of you would want it either. <span> </span></font></font></font>
    </p>

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  • skibugskibug Posts: 2,027
    Don't take it this the wrong way; but, I don't know his back ground or education or accomplishments.  I have no vested interest in USA-WS, nor am I a member.  So I guess I can't really make a fair evaluation; but, one thing that took me back was the fact that they don't have a 5 year plan.  That is sort of short sited for any company, corporation, or governing body.
    Bob Grizzi
  • BoneHeadBoneHead Posts: 6,028
    I was kind of surprised at the lack of a 5 year plan too.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • dislanddisland Posts: 1,290 Mega Baller
    <p>
    I think his position on nationals is naive. If there was no nationals just think what would happen to membership.
    </p>
    <p>
    They are very inflexible on  the contract agreement as it stands today. I looked at it, and as it stands its a massive amount or work for basically no return, if you can make money at all, unless you can line up a bunch of sponsors which in this market is not easy.
    </p>
    <p>
    I dont know the answer but pretending there isnt one wont get us there.
    </p>
    Dave Island- Princeton Lakes
  • skidawgskidawg Posts: 3,260 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    Having been on the tournament organization end with usa h2o, it is suprising to me that any lake owner or club deals with them.  They are ridiculously hard to deal with and take you for every penny they can. use you up and spit you out.  All work and no play, makes johnny a dull boy!
    Mr. Mom is Horton's favorite movie!
  • ScarletArrowScarletArrow Posts: 798 Crazy Baller
    <p>
    I would like him to clarify his answer about the 5 year plan.
    </p>
    <p>
    Is he saying...
    </p>
    <ul>
    <li> we have no plan at all</li>
    <li>we're working on our plan</li>
    <li>our plan does not fit within a 5 year timeframe</li>
    <li>it's in my head but not on paper</li>
    <li>something else</li>
    </ul>
    <p>
    If he...
    </p>
    <ul>
    <li>has no strategic plan...God help us all.</li>
    <li>is working on a plan with his team...how about leaking some ideas?</li>
    <li>does have a plan within the timeframe...how about some details?</li>
    <li>has something in mind...how about formalizing it?</li>
    </ul>
    <p>
    It would be crazy for him to state publicly he has no plan...I couldn't fee optimistic about any leader who said so.  No plan = failure.  That's leadership / business 101.
    </p>
    Anthony Warren
  • boarditupboarditup Posts: 584 Crazy Baller
    I have spoken with and exchanged many emails with Steve.  I find him to be intuitive and have the elements of a good leader.  He does have a very difficult position - caught between the traditionalists and the needs of the future organization.  There is a lot of friction within the organization - lots of competing personalities and groups.  I believe Steve is the right guy for the job - especially because the does not have the organizational background and can take a hard, honest look at things without a lot of baggage.  Give him a chance - I believe he will succeed.
    Karl DeLooff - Powered by the wind
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,186 Administrator
    I think Karl (BoardItUp) is wise in his thinking

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  • auskierauskier Posts: 450 Baller
    <p>
    this weeks report Locke brings up the BOS interview and the '5 year plan'...
    </p>
    <p>
    <a href="http://www.usawaterski.org/default.asp?Display=636">USAWS </a>
    </p>
    <p>
    yay for synchronised swimming 788k went their way. <img src="http://ballofspray.com/vanillaforum/js/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-yell.gif" border="0" alt="Yell" title="Yell" />
    </p>
    Toby
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,186 Administrator
    <p class="MsoNormal">
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000">I have to tell you I think Steve is a straight shooter. He is not afraid to tell us what we do not want to hear. I think that is cool. I totally relate to his answer about 5 year plans.</font>
    </p>

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  • ScarletArrowScarletArrow Posts: 798 Crazy Baller
    edited June 2009
    I can agree that "a 5 year plan" is somewhat of a generic term that gets thrown around and never used.

    But his statement below has flaws,

    "by the way, I am not a big believer in five-year plans. Most often they are reluctantly created, and after creation sit on a shelf gathering dust never to see the light of day. Besides, technology and trends seem to change on an almost daily basis and it is hard to predict what future approaches will be. Our five-, 10-, 20-, et cetera-year plans should all be based upon a basic premise of growing the sport, and developing athletes and coaches."

    Not to go corporate speak, but he's just lumping together an organization's mission, vision, values, goals and strategies - which are all distinct planning concepts - into one sound-bite "a 5 year plan".

    Of course, if he succeeds (which I hope he does), I'll just be another honk on a message board...but I think he'll improve his chances with clarity in his planning.

    All that said...I'm sure he's been around the block more times than I have, he does have a proven track record at USAT, and I've never met him personally so I can't be too critical.
    Anthony Warren
  • ScarletArrowScarletArrow Posts: 798 Crazy Baller
    not sure why my paragraphs don't show up?
    Anthony Warren
  • KelvinKelvin Posts: 1,138 Mega Baller
    edited June 2009
    <p>
    skibug Wrote "
    </p>
    <p>
    ". . . I have no vested interest in USA-WS, nor am I a member"
    </p>
    <p>
    USA-WS needs members to survive. As it stands now, I'm a member because I have to be a member to ski tournaments and I use their boat insurance (this year it was about $75 bucks less than Ski Safe, but it varies). Other than that, I find it difficult to understand why anyone would be a member of USA-WS. For the non-tournament skiers out there, what could USA-WS offer that would entice you to become a member?
    </p>
    Kelvin Kelm, Lakes of Katy, Katy Texas
  • skibugskibug Posts: 2,027
    edited June 2009
    Being a non-member, I am not quite sure.  I have a nice boat (plus 3 other boats to ski behind in our club), a private ski lake, a nice ski, 10-12 members to ski with,  I am not sure what would really entice me to join.  I have my insurance through my auto insurance company and I get a break for having all of my property with them.  I am not a tournament skier and probably never will be.  I am not good enough and I don't have any grand illusions that I will ever be.  I am not a defeatist, just a realist.  I will continue to chase bouys until I can't ski anymore; but, I am pretty sure I will never break into 39' off.  If I break into 38' off someday I will be elated.  So what does USA-WS have for me.  It seems it would be a one way street, me giving them money to help support the orginization and maybe.....and that is a BIG MAYBE....grow the sport.  Especially based on the "5-year plan" view point.  I totally disagree with their "5-year plan" perspective.  A five year plan is effective tool if you use it, revisit it, keep your eye on the direction it gives you.  It is a goal to shoot for; but, it is not set in stone, they can evolve and exist as dynamic plans.  For this reason alone, I would hesitate to join.
    Bob Grizzi
  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 4,059 Mega Baller
    edited June 2009
    Skibug - of the 10-12 people that you ski with, how many of them are members, and ski tournaments ? One of the biggest benefits of skiing tournaments is that you get to ski on other sites, and meet other people with a similar interest. Yes, it would be nice to run into 39', but I see alot of people having a great time at sanctioned events that don't get near to that line length. It's about having fun - no matter what the line length.
    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
  • skibugskibug Posts: 2,027
    <p>
    Richarddoane, I understand where you are coming from; but, my perspective is a little different.  I ski for fun with my buddies and wife.  I will preface this next statement by saying that I am very social person.  Why should I travel a couple of hours to take 2 or 3 sets and kill a whole day when I can travel 15 minutes and take as many sets as I want; without waiting for more than 1 or 2 others to take theirs?  It just doesn't work for me; that doesn't make me right or wrong, that is just the way I enjoy skiing.  I have been to (8) differnent sites for coaching and such; so I do get some exposure.  As for the 10 -12 members, 2 (both of them are my ski partners) ski or have skied in Big Dawg tournaments as well as other Class R tournaments and the ower of the site is a Big Dawg skier as well.  I would venture to say that they would not join USA-WS if it weren't for their involvement in tournaments.
    </p>
    <p>
     The point of it all is:  What does USA-WS have to offer to attract not only the hardcore tournament skier; but, your average wally like me.  I just don't see any benefit in joining.  Maybe I am in the minority on this one.  Maybe it makes me an ignoramous....but you know what they say....ignorance is bliss....
    </p>
    Bob Grizzi
  • boarditupboarditup Posts: 584 Crazy Baller
    USA WS is kind of like national defense or fire protection. Once someone has it, everyone around them has it as well.  You benefit from the rules, structure, marketing, government relations, and group identification as much as any member.  In economic terms, you are a freeloader.  Because USA WS is voluntary, that is your choice - most skiers are not member and are freeloaders on the system.  They get the secondary benefits without being a member.  Those of us who are members pay the freght and perform the heavy lifting of keeping the sport viable nationally and internationally. Steve did give a good explaination of the benefits of the organization.  It is up to you to determine if you want to join to participate in those benefits.  The only way USA WS can compel membership is by organized event participation.
    Karl DeLooff - Powered by the wind
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