Sunday, March 31, 2013

Ten Simple Questions

When we decided to run for the Board of the Columbia Club we promised to run a positive campaign. We said we would not attack our challengers, but we would respond if need be to set the record straight.   It is time to set the record straight.

An e-mail was recently sent out implying our candidacies are detrimental to the progress the Club is making.  If our candidacies are supposedly detrimental to the Club’s progress, then ask yourself these questions.
  1. Why did we lose 25% of our members between 2008 and 2012?
  2. Two of the “slated" candidates have been on the Board for the past four years as membership declined.  Shouldn't  they be held accountable by having to stand for re-election?
  3. If challenging the “slated" candidates is bad, why did the Board amend the By-Laws to allow challenges by members who obtain signatures from 10% of the membership? 
  4.  Why did 200 members (nearly 15% of the Club’s membership) sign those petitions?
  5.  Why did 10 of the 12 Past Presidents-including one who championed the change to the current process--sign those petitions calling for member elections?
  6. Is a "slated" member nominated by a committee automatically more qualified or dedicated than one who does the leg work to actively solicit the support of other members to get on the ballot?
  7. Do you feel the Executive Committee is fully accountable to the Board and members?
    Even the Board of Directors last month passed a motion asking for transparency and accountability from the Executive Committee which meets every week. 
  8. Do you feel your voice is being heard in the current process? 
  9. Who do you feel best represents your interests: “slated” candidates that you did not choose  or candidates  who clearly demonstrate they have member support to be on the Board? 
  10. Do you feel you would get better value out of your Club with “slated” candidates hand-picked by a committee or with ones who went out and worked diligently to get members' signatures? 

Ask yourself these questions.  And if you reach the same answers as we did then vote for change; Bruce Stauffer,  Joe Ferrara and Abdul-Hakim Shabazz on April 11th.* Membership should have its privileges and it will be a privilege to serve you on the Board of Directors.

*Remember you can vote absentee by mail or in person between now and April 10.  

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Vote Early, Just Not Often

Dear Supporters,

We found out today that you can vote early at the Club prior to the April 11th elections.  All you have to do is go to Kelly Campbell's office (which is located right past the front desk in the lobby) and fill out an absentee ballot request form.  Once you fill it out, she will hand you a ballot which you can complete there. 

We strongly encourage all of you to vote early so that way you won't have to worry about anything on Election Day.

If you have any questions, just give Kelly a call at either 317-767-1361 (the main number) or e-mail her at

As she is very busy helping run the Club so as a courtesy any advance notice that you could give her letting her know you'll be coming down to vote would be great.

Thanks again for your support.  We have the momentum to take this all the way to finish line with your help!

Have a great Easter Weekend.

Click Here for a link to download an absentee ballot.

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Letter of Support

Friends and Colleagues,

As you all know, on April 11th we will be selecting new members to the Columbia Club Board of Directors. The Columbia Club has become a place for all of us to enjoy each other's company and create the relationships that we have today. I think we all understand in times like we are in today, when financially we are finding more and more people who are struggling, we need outstanding leadership for a prestigious club such as this.

That is why I am asking you all to vote for Bruce Stauffer, Abdul-Hakim Shabazz and Joe Ferrara. With their leadership and guidance, there is no doubt in my mind the Columbia Club will continue to flourish, and remain the most prestigious club in Downtown Indianapolis!

The voting process will take two very important steps on your part. First, you must request an absentee ballot from the Columbia Club. I have made this step that much easier for you, as the request is attached to this e-mail. Once you have filled out the form, you can return the form in person to the Columbia Club, mail in the form, or fax the completed form to the number included on the request form. You CANNOT e-mail the completed form as an attachment! A short response confirming your interest in the absentee ballot process would be greatly appreciated! Once you receive your absentee ballot you will have until April 11th at noon to vote! I will continue to remind you, and e-mail you as we get closer to the election deadline.

Once again, the Columbia Club continues to play an important part in all of our work and social lives. We all continue to want what is best for the club moving forward, and I believe with the leadership of these three individuals the Columbia Club will be in good hands for years to come.

Your Friend,

Rod Ratcliff

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Candidate Night

Don't forget this Thursday night (3/21)  is Meet the Candidate  night at the Club.  It's your opportunity to come see the candidates for the Board in person and ask questions about our positions.

The event begins at 6 :00 p.m. in the Crystal Terrace on the third floor.  There will be complimentary hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar at 5:30 p.m.

The way it has been explained to us is that each candidate will get 2-3 minutes for an opening statement (going in alphabetical order) and then we will answer questions.  We will draw numbers to see who goes first.

We think it will be a great evening and a chance for us to share our ideas with you.   Don't forget, the election is April 11 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  And if you can't make it you can request an absentee ballot.  One is embedded in the post below.

We look forward to seeing you and taking your questions. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Your Absentee Ballot

To make life easier for those of you who want to vote absentee on April 11th, we've embedded a copy of the absentee ballot request form here so you can print it off and send it in. 

Remember, pursuant to Club rules:  The absentee ballot request may be delivered to the Club via fax, United States Postal Service, commercial carrier in-person, etc.  No e-mails

We appreciate your vote and support. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Club Rules

The Columbia Club has just released the rules for the upcoming April 11 election.  We're posting them here to help keep you up to speed.   Here are some of the key points you should be aware of ...

  1. The Election is on April 11 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the 10th floor of the ballroom foyer.  There will be a complimentary lunch for members between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  2. You must be a member in good standing to vote.
  3. You can vote absentee, but you MUST request it in writing.  You can drop off your request in person or fax it to (317) 634-6550.
  4. There is a copy of standard absentee ballot request form embedded in the PDF below.
  5. Absentee ballots cannot be faxed or copied and they must be received by noon April 11 via the postal service or some other commercial carrier.
  6. Candidates are allowed to have election observers, pursuant to the by-laws.
  7. The winners will be announced at 7 p.m.
As always, we appreciate your support, and more importantly your vote.  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Little Background Info

So, who are these guys running for the Board and what do they bring to the table, we're glad you asked.  With the Election coming up on April 11, we figured you'd might want to know that.  You can also meet us in person at candidates night on March 21 at the Club.

Joseph F. Ferrara

Joe and his wife Karen have been members of the Columbia Club since July, 2002. Joe has served on the Entertainment, House, and Finance Committees, and has strongly supported club activities throughout the years.

Joe has served on the Columbia Club Foundation for the past six (6) years, and is currently Vice President; he has been involved in numerous, successful fundraisers and in 2011, Joe was instrumental in securing a $25,000 grant from the Indiana Historical Society to repair the front fa├žade of the Clubhouse. 

Joe received his undergraduate degree from The College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, MA), his MBA from Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, NC), and his Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute.  Joe is self-employed where he and Karen make their home in downtown Indianapolis.

Abdul-Hakim Shabazz

Abdul-Hakim Shabazz has been a member of The Columbia Club since 2006.   During that time he has served on both the Membership and Fitness Committees.  He has served as the Club's Master of Ceremonies for the annual Beefsteak Dinner as well as other Club events.

If you don't see Abdul at the Club, you can find him on television as a contributing panelist on "Indianapolis This Week" on RTV Channel 6 or as a panelist on "Inside Indiana Business" with Gerry Dick.  You can also hear him Fridays debating the issues of the day  from 1-3 p.m. on “Amos & Abdul” on AM 1310.

Additionally, Abdul is a contributing columnist for the Indianapolis Star, NUVO and the   His foremost writing vocation is the editor and publisher of IndyPolitics.Org, a website that covers Indiana state and local politics.

Just to top it off, Abdul is happily married, an attorney, college instructor at the University of Indianapolis and  Ivy Tech Community College, an  actor and stand-up comedian. 

Bruce Stauffer

Bruce has been a member of the Columbia Club since 2002 when he and his wife Terri moved downtown.  He has been active at the Club through participation in the Entertainment Committee and the Silent /Live Auction Committee. 

Bruce and Terri currently co-chair the Entertainment Committee and Bruce was recently appointed to the Long Range Planning Committee.  He is retired after 40 years in the construction management industry and is active in the Indianapolis community as a member of the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission and a longtime supporter of St. Mary’s Child Center.