Room rates for the Kissimmee, Florida NCBA/CBB 2011 summer conference (August 1 – 4) are $187 per night plus a 15% tax ($215 per night). The beef checkoff will be footing the bill for anyone who’s there on beef checkoff business. That’s a long list that includes CBB members (there are 106) as well as state beef council representatives, NCBA Federation representatives and CBB staff; NCBA staff, too, since a high percentage of NCBA staff is allocated to the checkoff. Coincidentally, many of these folks are also NCBA members who will probably be participating in NCBA meetings since the whole joint event is held under one roof. If all 106 members of the CBB were to attend for five nights, the lodging alone for CBB members would amount to more than $100,000. This doesn’t include airfare or other transportation, meals and other expenses. Lodging alone for CBB members is certainly just the tip of the expense iceberg but it’s a hint of what the total bill to the checkoff will be for the Kissimmee meeting. Below is the section of the Beef Board By-Laws that spells out all the allowable expenses, including transportation, all meals and incidentals (by-laws are available on the internet).
Beef Board By-Laws – Meetings
Board members, committee and subcommittee consultants or designated agents when acting on authorized business, shall be reimbursed for expenses necessarily incurred by them in the performance of their duties. The members of the Board shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for their actual expenses incurred when acting on Board business.
Section 2. Each person filing a claim for reimbursement shall be responsible for supplying the necessary receipts and/or a reasonable explanation of various expenses incurred. A standard expense voucher will be supplied by the Board for use in filing claims. All such claims for reimbursement shall be filed in accordance with the rules established by the Board within 30 days following the date on which the last expense item for a specific trip or other matter is incurred. Reimbursable expenses shall include the following: (a) mileage for auto travel at a rate to be determined by the Board; (b) transportation charges of a common carrier (when available, coach service should be utilized on plane flights or daytime railroad trips); (c) bridge tolls, tips, parking, or other charges incidental to transportation, but excluding fuel, oil, auto repair or service; (d) all meals while engaged in Board business; (e) hotel or motel room charges when Board business requires the claimant to be away from his place of residence overnight; and (f) incidental expenses which are incurred in the performance of Board business, all such expenses to be adequately explained and/or verified. Claims for travel reimbursement must be accompanied by adequate verification and shall be paid only for the time claimant is engaged on behalf of authorized Board affairs.
Why does the CBB always hold its summer and winter meetings with NCBA you ask? Good question, because the Beef Board’s by-laws suggest only that it hold its meetings “in conjunction with meetings of established, national, non-profit, industry-governed organizations to ensure that as many industry members (checkoff paying producers) as possible may participate.” How many “industry members” paying their own way are going to be able to attend and participate at $215 bucks a night for a hotel, plus a plane ticket and meals? Any guesses?
Beef Board By-Laws – Meetings
Section 1. A meeting of the Board shall be held annually, within 150 days following the end of each fiscal year. Such meeting shall be held at the offices of the Board unless otherwise ordered by the Board or the Chair. To ensure efficiency and coordination, the Board shall, to the extent possible, hold its meetings in conjunction with meetings of established national, non-profit, industry-governed organizations to ensure that as many industry members as possible may participate in the annual meeting of the Board.
Section 2. Additional meetings of the Board may be held whenever called by the Chair, or by the Vice Chair acting as Chair, or by 35% or more members of the Board, and any and all business coming before the Board may be transacted at such meetings. Such additional meetings shall, to the extent practicable, be held in conjunction with the meetings of other established national, non-profit, industry-governed organizations. Should any meeting of the Board not be held in conjunction with an established national, non-profit, industry-governed organization, then such meeting must be specifically approved by two-thirds (2/3rds) of the members present and voting.