Wednesday, December 07, 2005

ABA Sales Still Sucks!

OK, since a lot of people have asked about it, here is part of an article from the July/August issue of the ABA newsletter, Winging It, that describes the changes at ABA Sales (please excuse the weird formatting in this post):

By the end of this summer 2005, the ABA will have embarked on a new working
relationship with Common Ground Distributors, a large and well-established enterprise
founded in 1985 with broad experience in the natural history field and specific knowledge of
the needs and preferences of the birding community.

We anticipate a seamless transition into this new collaboration, particularly as our talented and dedicated Director of ABA Sales, Terry O’Nele, will be moving over to the staff of Common Ground.

These are big changes and exciting ones, and every one of them will be positive for the ABA and
the membership. There will be lower prices on many items and a wider selection of product
choices for you. A new and more user-friendly website will be available for those who choose to
shop online.

Just as importantly, of course, there are many things that will not change. ABA
members will continue to receive outstanding service from customer service representatives,
and many items will be available at special member discounts. Telephone orders
will still be accepted by helpful, knowledgeable staff members at 800/634-7736. Complete, informative product catalogues will continue to appear in your mailbox, and you will still be able to shop in our birding store at ABA conventions.
The way that was written, doesn't it sound like they were *expecting* problems? BTW, the "new" ABA online store, which the web site says would appear "around Thanksgiving," has yet to materialize. But hey, that's not a major issue, who buys gifts "around Thanksgiving" anyway?
The excerpt above was written by Steve Runnels, the (former?) CEO/President of the ABA. The ABA website states that they are now taking applications for the position of President/Chief Executive Officer, so Runnels must have left???? If anyone has the scoop on this, please let me know; I couldn't find a press release or anything on the ABA website, and an extensive Google search came up empty as well. I think it might have been mentioned in the latest issue of Winging It, but I don't have that issue handy.


birdchaser said...

Runnels was asked to resign. Don't have all the details, but word from the ABA board is that he's definitely gone...

Birding is NOT a crime!!!! said...

C'mon, I know that someone out there has to have the real scoop on what happened here.

Having your CEO leave is a pretty significant event for any corporation, especially a non-profit (?) that has only had one CEO in its history.

As an ABA Member, I want to know --in fact, I think I have a right to know -- exactly what happened. If this was simply a case of someone wanting to move on to other opportunites, that's fine, but if there was something more then the best thing to do would be to be open and forthcoming about it.

I want to emphasize that I don't have any "inside information" (at least not yet) about why Runnerls left, but I am starting to get more and more curious...

Anonymous said...

Sorry you had a bad time with ABA Sales, but I just got my books in 4 days. I guess they don't always suck. No, this is not someone from ABA Sales.