St. Louis, MO
Posted - 02/02/2011 : 1:07 PM
While CA site owners wait, M$F makes separate deals?
Remember how M$F told the site owners that they would hear in a month whether or not M$F will work with them next year? The official date when the site owners are supposed to hear is actually Dec. 1.
So while CA site owners nervously wait to hear whether or not they will be CMSP sub contractors, M$F has been busy.
Take the Safety Center, Inc., a private contractor located in Sacramento, CA. Dwight McBride, owner, had three sites: 2 in Sac and 1 in San Jose. The one at Lee High School in San Jose was run by site manager Gerard Hopwood.
Now Dwight McBride had been M$F's poster boy in CA since they took over from Crane and Associates. McBride's Sac sites, for example, held all the CA instructor updates. McBride has been no trouble, no problem and been supportive of M$F during the past two years. So our paranoid site owners would've thought any one was safe from M$F's heavy hand, it would've been McBride and his sites.
Not so. Before I go on, let me state clearly: I did not first hear what I'm about to tell you from McBride nor any employee at the Safety Center, Inc in Sac. I did not hear about this directly from Hopwood. But I did hear about it:
About two weeks ago, as he was patiently waiting to get his contract with M$F, McBride, got an e-mail from his site manager Gerard Hopwood in San Jose. Or I should say *former* site manager.
The e-mail informed McBride that Hopwood had made a separate deal and had an agreement with M$F and was taking the San Jose site over and that was effective immediately.
McBride's business was immediately, without forewarning, cut by one third. Does McBride hear that he's losing a significant portion of his business from M$F? No. He hears about it from his renegade employee who has, so to speak, done this bloodless coup.
And, sure enough, my source was correct. If you call Hopwood, the recorded message greets callers with Bike Smart Motorcycle Training and there's an invitation to leave a message or send an e mail.
I called Safety Centers, Inc and asked about classes in San Jose and was referred to McBride. I did not reveal who I was nor did he ask nor did I ask him how this went down. He spoke to me as if I was a prospective student and told me he was no longer offering training in San Jose and that Hopwood had taken over that site. He was very nice and supportive about it, too.
I asked him if he would have any sites closer to San Jose than Sac and it sounded as if he thought he'd pick up a new site closer to Sac.
Which, of course, made me wonder about the site owners between San Jose and Sacdo YOU know what is going to happen to your sites?
I do not know if M$F approached Hopwood or Hopwood approached M$F. But I do know this
Gerard Hopwood is on the QAV field team.
Ya know, for some reason - I can't think why - David Crouch springs to mind here. You know David - his wife is Sherry Williams' assistant and, oddly enough, after Allison was hired and David trained Sherry to ride, their co-owned site was chosen not only for one of the Discovery Project sites but David became one of the top QAV field operatives - and the two of them received another site in Oceanside.
Is it just coincidental that M$F gives sites - despite existing contracts - to QAV personnel?
What every site owner in CA and rider educators and SMRO activists everywhere should realize from this is:
1) No attempt was made by the M$F to contact, warn, or negotiate with this current sub contractor in good standing about a site he owned and operated.
2) As far as I am aware, M$F ended an existing contract with Safety Centers, Inc even though there was no valid reason by the policies and procedures.
3) M$F then did not notify the site owner of their actions that came from the new site owner.
Given this incident, I wonder what's happening behind the scenes elsewhere in the state?
If I were a site owner with independent contractors, I'd be wondering just what communication is flowing back and forth between them and Irvine.
I guess this is Tim's idea of how to win friends and influence instructors. . .
This may only be an isolated case, but given M$F's attitude and actions of the past year towards other site owners, it looks as though there may be a coup going on beneath the surface that will only be revealed after Dec. 1 in all its effects.