Letter: STARS board needs to resolve problems with transparency
My name is Don Godshaw. I was injured in a skiing accident 14 years ago and am paraplegic. I own a condo in Steamboat and have been a client and a casual volunteer at STARS.
As the CEO of an international business and being involved with the boards of two charities that serve the disabled community, I have skin in the game. I understand leadership, and as a paraplegic, I personally understand the importance of STARS. Three years ago, I was told that STARS was in need of housing for their disabled clients. I purchased an accessible condominium at Trailhead Lodge, sight unseen, which we donated to STARS for housing.
I am concerned by the recent articles and editorials in the Steamboat Pilot & Today. The actions of the executive director and the organization as a whole are the responsibility of the board of directors. It seems to me the board of directors and their leadership were negligent in the performance of their oversight of the organization and the client community.
The recent resignation of the executive director after being paid a large bonus and annual compensation increase highlights the disconnect between the board and performance. When an organization has these types of issues, they need an open dialogue with their staff, volunteers and the community.
The recent letter we received from STARS doesn’t acknowledge the past problems that were brought to the community’s attention by disabled vets, volunteers and donors. This must be resolved with transparency and the willingness to communicate.
For that to take effect, new board of director members are needed to refresh the leadership. If the board does not act to rescind the letters barring volunteers and threatening them with the penalty of trespassing violations then they have not learned from their past mistakes. The board must invite all the volunteers that were banished from the program for caring and asking questions to once again participate.
If there’s not a change in leadership of the board of directors, my wife and I unfortunately will be among the donors that stop supporting the organization. It’s my hope that the letters and the voice of the community at large are listened to by the board. The job of this organization is to serve the community of disabled individuals and veterans not to enhance the images of the board members.
Don and Jan Godshaw
Franklin Park, Illinois
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