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Board breaking at GAMA, karate not involved

July 30th, 2004: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Board breaking at GAMA, karate not involved

The new GAMA Board of Directors has hit rough waters already, after being appointed a month ago, and has lost two members. According to the press release sent yesterday (see below), Ryan Dancey has resigned as Treasurer of GAMA after revealing that he had been reading private emails from the GAMA Board of Directors email list for months before running for office. Confidence in the rest of the new board is severely lacking right now, as most of the new appointees were perceived to have run alongside Dancey, who could have provided inside information.

As if to add fuel to rumors already being flung, another press release arrived this afternoon, stating that Chris Watson, GAMA Managing Director since late last year, has been “laid off due to a reorganization of GAMA.” And yet, the position is still deemed necessary, as “Anthony Gallela, GAMA’s Operations Director has been appointed Interim Managing Director until the board of directors can hire a new Executive Director.” Curiouser and curiouser.

[EDIT: As of August 3, Steve Nicewarmer has now resigned from the GAMA Board of Directors as well, issuing this statement (reprinted here) explaining his resignation:

Greetings,

In the three weeks since their election, the GAMA Officers or Directors have been presented with multiple cases of ethical misconduct. In two of those cases GAMA's legal counsel has expressed an opinion that there was tortuous [sic] interference in an essential GAMA business relationship, or actual illegal conduct. In each case, the GAMA Board declined to take effective action to proscribe and punish the unethical behavior — in effect condoning the unethical activities.

I can no longer serve on a Board of Directors with that kind of ethical flexibility. Accordingly I am resigning as Retail Division Chairman effective July 31. The Retail Division is in the process of scheduling a meeting to determine my permanent successor. Until that meeting, Rob Placer, the GRD Vice-Chairman, will serve as acting GRD Chairman.

Postscript (July 29): At the request of several members of the GAMA Board, I have delayed submitting my resignation until the week of July 28. In that week, the GAMA Board has begun to address one of the issues I mentioned in my resignation. (And to be fair, that issue was the new issue facing the Board). It is my hope that the issue will be resolved shortly.

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GAMA press release #1:

Dancey Resigns as GAMA Treasurer

(SEATTLE, WA) – Ryan Dancey tendered his resignation as Treasurer of the Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA), Thursday. Dancey, who was elected at the Annual Membership Meeting a month ago, disclosed to the board shortly after his election that he had penetrated the GAMA Board of Directors e-mail list and had been reading board e-mails for some time. He certified to the board that no one else knew about this breach and that information gleaned from the action was not disseminated to any third party.

Last week, the board of directors informed members of the former board. Wednesday, the board informed the Full-Voting Membership at large. In the wake of discussion on the FVM e-mail list, Dancey decided it was best to resign.

“Over the past several weeks it has become obvious to me that the important work the Board was elected to undertake has taken a back seat to dealing with the issue of my access to GAMA’s internal communications prior to the election,” he wrote in his letter of resignation. “As I am aware of the number and nature of the immediate issues confronting the Board, and as I believe that the Board needs to address those issues as fast as possible, I believe that my continued service as GAMA Treasurer has become an impediment to that work, which must be removed.”

“I hope that Ryan’s resignation will aid us in moving forward,” GAMA President Don Perrin said.

Dancey’s resignation became effective at midnight PDT on the 29th. A successor has not yet been selected. Perrin indicated that further information on that subject would be forthcoming soon.

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GAMA press release #2:

Public Statement
From: The Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA)
RE: Chris Watson

The Game Manufacturers Association confirms that Managing Director Chris Watson is no longer with the firm. Mr. Watson was laid off due to a reorganization of GAMA.

Mr. Watson served as Retail Division Chair in 2001 and 2002. He joined GAMA’s staff as Finance Director in 2002. In late 2003, he was made Managing Director of the Association. GAMA thanks Mr. Watson for his service to the organization.

Anthony Gallela, GAMA’s Operations Director has been appointed Interim Managing Director until the board of directors can hire a new Executive Director.

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