July 7, 2019
Recently, we have been informed of a communication that is circulating within our professional rodeo community. First and foremost, this is not an official form of communication from any member of the WPRA Board of Directors. It is interesting that this information is being shared without direct ownership.
These statements are intended to hurt the current standing of the WPRA Board of Directors, our President/CEO and Executive Secretary/Chief Operating Officer, by calling into question our abilities, financial and legal obligations, and the integrity and honesty of our leadership.
We want to address this communication, so you know that this is a serious matter that impacts our broad base of professional WPRA members.
Regarding the PRCA Settlement Agreement:
- The current WPRA and PRCA agreement expires on 12/31/2019.
- The PRCA and Las Vegas Events negotiated a ten (10) year NFR contract that includes a WPRA sanctioned barrel race that expires in 2024.
- Starting in 2017, the WPRA has been in dialog with the PRCA regarding a new agreement.
- In 2018, the PRCA experienced a management change. During that time, with new management in place, both organizations focused on building a good, solid working relationship.
- Discussions in 2019 have been very active since January of this year.
- Throughout this process, WPRA President/CEO, Doreen Wintermute, has kept the Board informed of all meetings or calls with the PRCA regarding an agreement.
- We are now at the point where the WPRA Business Committee is involved with creating options for key points.
Regarding the appointed Presidency timeline:
- On 3/18/2018 a quorum of WPRA Board members present voted to approve creation of an appointed President/CEO position. They agreed that a three (3) year executive contract should be created.
- On 3/19/2018 information was posted on the WPRA website regarding the appointed President/CEO position, as well as the formation of several committees to help the Board work more efficiently.
- At the next Board meeting on 4/23/2018, the Board reviewed and approved the necessary bylaw changes and approved a three (3) year executive contract.
- On 4/30/2018 an email was distributed to all WPRA members sharing with them that an expanded committee structure was being formed, and that several of the committee meetings would start in May. In addition, it was shared that they had voted to amend the language in the WPRA bylaws that allowed for the appointed President/CEO position; they also approved an executive contract that would be in effect for three (3) years starting June 1.
Regarding fraud allegations made against Executive Secretary & Chief Operating Officer, Janet Cropper:
- These allegations of fraud are false.
- There was a petition from Great Lakes members regarding a list of concerns about their circuit director (Ms. Margo Ransom), and specific inquiries the WPRA office received about her handling of awards money.
- Ms. Cropper discussed and suggested to the Business Committee a process whereby the WPRA office/staff accountant could gather Ms. Ransom’s circuit awards banking statements and supporting materials for review.
- Ms. Cropper also requested that an independent 3rd party CPA be authorized to review all the information gathered. The Business Committee agreed and approved this approach.
- Based on receipts and documents gathered from Ms. Ransom, the office identified that an $1,835 double payment had been made. While only one $1,835 payment should have been made by Ms. Ransom, the amount that she would owe was more than offset by other unreimbursed circuit expenses.
- These findings were shared with the Business Committee and the Board.
- All materials were turned over to the independent 3rd party CPA for their review based on the agreed upon procedures. In the materials provided, the office also pointed out that Ms. Ransom had other unreimbursed circuit expenses that appeared to more than offset what she owed.
- Please click here for the independent 3rd party CPA report.
- On 4/29/2019 the report was provided to the Board along with a note saying that the independent 3rd party CPA was available to speak with them.
- Payments to directors are for director use and are intended for circuit awards and added money for Divisional Circuit events; they are to be used at their discretion for this business purpose.
- Once a payment is made, it is no longer under the ownership or control of the WPRA. A circuit director is asked to provide documentation to explain how the funds were used.
Regarding WPRA meeting minutes:
- Colorado law does not require publication of Board meeting minutes.
- In accordance with Colorado law, the WPRA must keep copies of all meeting minutes at its office in Colorado Springs.
- The WPRA goes above and beyond, providing meeting minutes on the WPRA website as a courtesy to the members so they are informed and can talk with their circuit directors.
- The majority of 2019 minutes are on the WPRA website. Please click here to see available 2019 minutes.
- Additional minutes are always in process and being reviewed for approval.
- Colorado law does not stipulate a time frame for publishing minutes.
The Board will be investigating the sources of these statements which are clearly intended to damage the WPRA Board of Directors, its officers and your association. These statements are unacceptable and aim to compromise future growth of the WPRA.
The WPRA is a thriving and financially strong organization, with 3,000 members. It is important to remember that this organization continues to break records in terms of membership and that our financial audits continue to be very strong as we serve a wide-range of needs.
In order to continue this record-setting growth, our member’s voices are at the center of what we do through our circuit directors who collaborate to find the common good for the organization.
Due to these recent statements aimed at hurting our organization, sadly we must redirect the Board’s focus to deal with these issues. The kinds of statements circulating do not help further the professionalism of our sport, culture or lifestyle; in fact, it polarizes us.
Thank you for your continued support of the WPRA. Every challenge presents an opportunity to grow through two-way communication, collaboration and support of one another. We, the Board of Directors, work collectively in the best interest of our members to serve the WPRA, rodeo committees and producers, sponsors, industry partners and fans of the sport.
For the latest updates, please reach out to your circuit directors, stay tuned to the WPRA website and follow us on social media. We are committed to sharing consistent updates with you.
WPRA Board of Directors