Frank Tait - Reform candidate for NRA Board of Directors

January 17, 2020

by: Frank Tait

This message is for all NRA voting members (life members and 5+year annual members)  Ballots for the NRA Board of Directors started coming out today.  They will be in the February issue of your NRA magazine, if you get it mailed to you.  If you get the online magazine - call NRA membership at 800.672.3888 to make sure they have the correct address to mail your ballot. 

If you want to get elected - you gotta make your case - here goes :

I'm the Benefactor Life member and NRA Training Counselor that stood up at the NRA Annual Meeting last year and put my name of the resolution calling out the improprieties that are not being addressed by the board and expressing No Confidence in the Audit, Executive and Finance committees of the board for their oversight and governance of the organization.  I picked up the mantle that Adam Kraut carried for the past 3 years.

I recently retired from 37 years in the education technology field.  I have 20 years of success in board of directors and senior management roles setting policy for For-Profit and Non-Profit organizations and leadership roles as Board Chairman, Board President, Moderator, Secretary, Treasurer and Committee Chair.

I've attended the last 2 NRA Board of Directors meetings and multiple committee meetings.  There are several areas that need focused attention where I will advocate for change:

  1. Succession Planning - the excessively long tenure of senior management and board leadership is detrimental to our Association's long term success.  While we need to respect the traditions and experience in the organization, we need to position our Association for the next decade by implementing a succession plan.
  2. Governance and Strategic Planning - The Board seems to operate more like a House of Representatives due to the 76 person board. From what I was able to see and hear in open sessions, the focus of the Board in these meetings has been operational with a time horizon of the current year. It is Management's job to operate in the present, Boards need to be focused on the future and how we are guiding our Association for growth and long term success.  We need a board size that is more manageable to make this happen.
  3. Board Oversight - The Association is making significant improvements in internal controls under the safe harbor provisions of the New York non-profit law and discussions were limited due to the politically motivated investigations by the New York Governor and Attorney General, but the board must exercise oversight of these controls and hold management accountable and apply appropriate consequences for failure to abide by the controls. 
  4. Membership Focus - While Members are at the top of the organization chart, they do not appear to be at the center of our Associations operations.  We have silos that need to be broken down to better serve our members. We need a member centric perspective on the member life-cycle from when someone joins the Association and throughout their life.  Each Committee and department serve their individual  constituency, without considering all of the other ways that a member has interactions with the Association.  The One NRA initiatives from the new Digital marketing team are a great example of how to do this.  We need to extend that mindset across our Association. 

That covers what I plan to do if you elect me to the Board.  I also make these commitments:

  1. Transparency and Accountability -  I will be visible to the members attending events like Friends of NRA and NRA events and gun club meetings around the country.  I will continue to advocate for our rights at the federal, state and local level. I will be an advocate for the members to the board.  The lines of communication will always be open for NRA members.  I will keep members informed.  
  2. Term Limits and Attendance -  I will walk the talk of the Save the Second movement on term limits and even if term limits are not implemented, I commit to serving no more than 3 terms on the board of directors and to attending every board and assigned committee meeting.  Boards need new blood and 3 terms is enough to make an impact.  
  3. On My Dime - The NRA is a non-profit.  I will provide financial support to the organization as one of my top 3 charities each year. I will not take any money from the organization.  I will pay my own expenses.  Our members' money needs to be focused on programs and defending our rights.
  4. Nomination by petition of the membersI will ALWAYS run by petition, look members in the eye & meet them in person at events all over the nation. I will stay as long as I am of use to the members up to my term limit. 

To make an impact, I ask NRA voting members to consider bullet voting for me as outlined in this great article by Jeff Knox of the Firearms Coalition (who has endorsed me).  

Additional endorsements from Firearms Owners Against Crime  and Trigger Pressers Union.

I am on Facebook and am happy to transparently address questions there.