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Worldmark BOD campaign letter Oct 3 2017

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 PostPosted: Wed 04 Oct 2017 9:23 am   

Joined: Thu 12 Nov 2015 8:08 am
Posts: 3
From the Desk of John Henley:
Vote for strong leadership.

Serving on the WorldMark, The Club Board of Directors is a true privilege. Each member of the Board understands and appreciates our responsibility to keep costs down, represent the needs and interests of current and future owners, maintain a unique WorldMark® ownership experience, and position the Club for continued growth. It’s important to ensure that the Board continues to have well-qualified, proven leaders who are passionate about WorldMark, which is why your participation in the election is so crucial.

Electing strong leadership to the Board helps our Club continue to thrive. The current Board has successfully expanded your vacation options by adding new dots to the map all over the world, and has focused on enhancing the overall accommodations you've come to enjoy at our spectacular resorts.

This year you have the opportunity to elect a candidate for the Members-Only and At-Large positions respectively. When voting for the Members-Only seat, I encourage you to consider my fellow Board member M. Cecilia Cuevas — she is a true advocate for all WorldMark owners, and I’m confident she will remain focused on enhancing the vacation experiences you enjoy with WorldMark. To learn more about Cecilia and all of the Board candidates running this year, visit worldmarktheclub.com or read the 2017 Annual Meeting Voter Booklet.

As we count down the days until the 2017 Annual Owner Meeting in Sacramento, California, on Tuesday, Oct. 17, I’m looking forward to seeing many of you and providing you with updates about all things WorldMark. For those of you attending in person, I hope you’re excited to experience the meeting in a brand-new destination. If you cannot travel to Sacramento, we’ll be streaming the meeting live on worldmarktheclub.com — you don’t want to miss it!

Thank you for your passion for WorldMark and your commitment to selecting strong candidates to lead us forward. If you haven’t voted in the election yet, it’s not too late. Visit worldmarktheclub.com to learn how you can participate.

I hope to see you in Sacramento!

Sincerely,

John Henley
WorldMark, The Club Board President


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 PostPosted: Wed 04 Oct 2017 9:27 am   

Joined: Thu 12 Nov 2015 8:08 am
Posts: 3
[these messages always annoy me and I don't write as well when annoyed. I sent a note to the board at the "contact the board" page on the WM website:]

I got the Board's campaign pitch, likely funded by WM today.

You know in the real world, it is illegal to use tax money to fund campaigns, but evidently no such ethics apply for Worldmark.

I get annoyed every time I hear from the board. Your politicking makes me suspect ulterior motives. The only motives I've seen out of the leadership team have not been in my interest as an owner, but in the interests of milking me as chattel of the corporation.

How can I not conclude that this communication isn't more of the same?

My list of grievances is quite long, but here are three you can work on if you really care about owners.
- quit selling in Washington when you are not adding properties in Washington. This exacerbates the already excessive demand for few properties. It is unethical to buy cheap properties elsewhere and to keep selling here.
- ditch expensive image upgrades in favor of keeping our dues low. Dues currently are almost high enough to rent my own condo each year.
- no wi-fi? Really? a coffee shop can provide wifi, but I pay over $600 in fees and you still can't afford wifi? You are scamming. Paying for a host of above-cost "green" product and PR nonsense, but a basic utility like WiFi is charged at an absurd rate?

Anybody you recommend who will help you continue to put the corporation ahead of the owners is certainly someone I oppose.


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 PostPosted: Wed 04 Oct 2017 10:59 am   

Joined: Thu 12 Nov 2015 8:08 am
Posts: 3
The reply I got:

Hello Jami,

Thank you for taking the time to contact the WorldMark Board of Directors, we appreciate you taking the time to reach out to us. In my position with Owner Care I work closely with the Board and have been asked to respond to your concerns. The Board of Directors positions are voluntary and, as such, Board members are unable to personally respond to the vast number of emails received.

I apologize for your frustration regarding the Election process but we appreciate you taking the time to make us aware of these concerns. Please be advised that neither the corporate Bylaws nor California nonprofit statutes restrict the WorldMark Board from communicating with owners, including the advocacy of the election of candidates.California statutes expressly permit and encourage this communication. Furthermore, the Board has a fiduciary responsibility and obligation to encourage and advocate for the most qualified people to be elected to the Board.

As with all vacation clubs or timeshare companies in this industry, we are carefully regulated by the Dept of Real Estate to ensure that we are not oversold. Essentially overselling is when a developer sells more than 52 weeks of timeshare in one or more units (in our case, the equivalent in credits) which is unethical and illegal. With that being said, depending on the specific resort location and desired time of year, availability can be challenging. This isn’t a result of overselling, but is a result of over saturation, where the demand for a specific resort is greater than the supply of inventory. As Washington owners travel to other states and locations on vacation, discriminating against a potential customer based on their state of residence would not be possible.

I apologize for your frustration regarding the lack of complimentary wireless internet however please understand that all the costs incurred in managing the not-for-profit status of WorldMark, The Club are inevitably paid for in some way by dues-paying owners. This would include the cost of providing complimentary Internet service at our resorts. While I understand that many hotels now list WiFi access as a free service, I also realize that this service is ultimately paid for as part of the cost of the stay, whether or not it is used. Instead of asking owners to subsidize a service which they may not use through an increase in dues, we felt that it would be fair for each owner to be charged only for the WiFi services which they choose to use. This effort to maintain low costs for our owners is why we charge for WiFi use on an individual basis.

The portion of the registration process where you are asked how many devices you would prefer to use is a survey, to help us improve our service by gathering information about owner preferences. I am truly sorry for the confusion caused by this survey. To help eliminate this confusion, we do provide a placard in each unit which lists the pricing plans for our WiFi service. This placard states that “pricing plans allow for up to 2 devices”, to provide full disclosure before owners begin using our WiFi service.

I hope you find this information helpful and we appreciate your being a part of Worldmark since 2005 however if you feel that the Club no longer meets your vacation needs, I would encourage you to contact the Ovation department for more information regarding Wyndham’s exit strategy. This program provides assistance to WorldMark the Club owners whose lifestyle or vacation preferences have changed and are seeking safe and viable options to transition out of their ownership. Offers available are relative to unique owner needs and qualifications, and may also vary based upon specific program objectives. Because on that, we will need to speak with you directly about these offers. Please be advised that Ovation by Wyndham can be contacted at 855-312-9041 and is available Mon-Fri 9 am to 5 pm PST.

If you have any further questions or concerns that we should be aware of, please do not hesitate to contact Owner Care at 800-457-0103, or by email at ownersupport@worldmarktheclub.com. We are available Mon-Fri 8 am to 7 pm, Sat-Sun 8 am to 5 pm PST.

Best regards,

Colby Hillson
Case Specialist
Owner Care Division

My thoughts: Ugh. So much hooey. Selling in Birch Bay because I might drive to Texas is BS and still damages my interests by overselling the properties--oops, "oversaturating" --which they are clearly doing.


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 PostPosted: Thu 05 Oct 2017 6:24 pm   
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Joined: Wed 21 Jul 2004 4:51 pm
Posts: 16055
Location: California
They are still using the same old "not everyone may use the wi-fi" argument they've used for years.

Not everyone uses the toaster, or the coffee pot or the can opener, or the pool or the gym, either. I cannot think of another timeshare into which I have exchanged where I had to pay for wifi.

_________________
WM Owner since 1999


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 PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct 2017 7:48 pm   
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Joined: Sat 20 Nov 2010 6:34 am
Posts: 1479
Location: Carson City, NV
JamiLund wrote:
You know in the real world, it is illegal to use tax money to fund campaigns, but evidently no such ethics apply for Worldmark.

It is not a question of ethics; it is a question of legalities, as you note. WorldMark is a California Non-Profit Corporation. The Codes governing CA Non-Profits have this at Section 7526:

"Without authorization of the board, no corporation funds may be expended to support a nominee for director after there are more people nominated for director than can be elected."


Apparently, the CA legislature thinks Boards of Directors authorizing funds to support certain candidates is entirely legitimate.

Myle Hammond's specially funded email went out to all the owners on the email list last year. John Henley's email went out to all the owners on this year's email list. I do not think these emails influence the election much one way or the other. It certainly did not last year.

The WM Board of Directors is not supporting any of the At-Large candidates. That race is wide open. An Independent Candidate will be elected for the At-Large position. Why isn't anyone who supports an Independent Candidate for the WM Board talking about the possibilities for electing any one of the Independent At-Large Candidates?

_________________
-2Shy


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 PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct 2017 8:45 pm   
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Joined: Sat 20 Nov 2010 6:34 am
Posts: 1479
Location: Carson City, NV
JamiLund wrote:
Anybody you recommend who will help you continue to put the corporation ahead of the owners is certainly someone I oppose.

Rather than take a negative approach to the election and fight a losing battle for the Members-Only seat, which of the At-Large Independent Candidates best represents your ideal for the Club's future? That would be the best choice for your votes. Maybe others could be convinced to join you.

_________________
-2Shy


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 PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct 2017 10:56 pm   
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Joined: Tue 11 Nov 2008 1:20 pm
Posts: 4584
Location: San Antonio, TX
JamiLund wrote:
You know in the real world, it is illegal to use tax money to fund campaigns, but evidently no such ethics apply for Worldmark.

Unfortunately such ethics are not illegal in corporate elections. Corporate elections allow incumbent BoD's to spend money to fund campaigns. Activist shareholders have to find common cause that resonates with the majority of members and be willing to spend the money to affect change. There is no free lunch like there is in governmental elections.

JamiLund wrote:
My list of grievances is quite long, but here are three you can work on if you really care about owners.
- quit selling in Washington when you are not adding properties in Washington. This exacerbates the already excessive demand for few properties. It is unethical to buy cheap properties elsewhere and to keep selling here.

How effective do you really think this would be? The flaw is that credits are not tied to a resort wth some form of Advanced Reservation Priority. Which is ironic since that was promoted as a "benefit" of this type of vacation club. If credits were sold with ARP at a specific resort (or group of resorts), we would not have this problem. Resale prices at the most attractive resort would likely be higher, and it would be easier to book where you own. But that is not what anyone of us bought.

JamiLund wrote:
- ditch expensive image upgrades in favor of keeping our dues low. Dues currently are almost high enough to rent my own condo each year.

When this become true for me, I will be renting out my points to owners that can use them and rent my own condo. We have a diverse membership and the Club needs to evolve as people's taste change and meet the needs of that diverse membership. What is funny is that upscale units at some properties tend to book up first. There is a reason they have 28 flavors of ice cream. Not everyone wants vanilla.

JamiLund wrote:
- no wi-fi? Really? a coffee shop can provide wifi, but I pay over $600 in fees and you still can't afford wifi? You are scamming. Paying for a host of above-cost "green" product and PR nonsense, but a basic utility like WiFi is charged at an absurd rate?

There is no free lunch. WM could easily provide free wi-fi at all resorts. That comes with a cost that increases our dues. I would agree that we should provide it, but dont assume it would be cheap. Currently this is not an expense to the Club, it will likely be so in the future.

_________________
Eric


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