Bros & Bras?
Let’s see what we have done, what we’ve become and what’s next.
What We’ve Done.
We have made new friendships. People have connected that may have never met prior to the beginning of this group. Achievements have been gained. You, as a group has encouraged each other to start walking, complete your first 5K, attempt up to and beyond 50Ks. We have travelled as a group all around the country. We have raced together in Jefferson county, Washington D.C, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, and in many other locations. The logo has been recognized across the country at races and even in airports when Bros is travelling.
We have inspired other communities to start their own versions of running clubs based on the model we have. We produced ten 5K races, moved in with a running guru with Dr. Mark and established ourselves a resource of healthy living in the community.
To me, it is absolutely AMAZING what this has turned into. We were just going to be a running group that went out and did some 5Ks together with matching t-shirts.
Seeing the momentum of the group, I believed that we could influence local business and promote economic growth. I believed that we could develop additional programming for varying populations. I knew that I could not do it on our own. I thought that maybe we could become a non-profit and apply for grants to help fund the programming concepts.
What We Have Become
Foolishly I pursued the non-profit path without understanding the responsibilities of what the new business structure would entail. I didn’t realize how responsibilities of a board of directors and executive director might get muddled and confusing.
The establishment of the non-profit was predominantly back end business and not out in front of the group. I had a vision of working with Parks and Rec and other entities to build SOMETHING in the community that gave back and utilized the motivation of such a large and influential group.
I recruited the best people I had at my disposal to form a board. I intended on working with the board and the community to deliver races, fitness events, and anything we could come up with. What I didn’t foresee, was an increase in my personal businesses that would take me away from leading the non-profit and the club. With the increase in my travel business, I established and exit strategy the opened the door for a new leader to step up.
This was all happening behind closed doors. My intention was to use the energy of Bros to do MORE for the community. The group itself was still growing. There were still fun events happening. Runs were fun, socials were fun. I never wanted the business side of Bros to impact the front end and disrupt the fun.
The club itself, the non-business end absolutely excelled. Incredibly, you continue to push each other, encourage each other support each other. New leaders have stepped up and taken a roll to make the club exactly what they want it to be. And remember, there really is no one in charge. We are just trying to get more fit and we enjoy a cup of coffee or a beer or burrito after an event.
Fast forward one and a half years and we find that there is no longer an initiative be an active non-profit. Leadership’s priorities, like mine, have changed. Board members have moved, gotten busier at work, gotten busy with family obligations, whatever the case, life changes and one’s abilities to volunteer can change. The board has decided that since the non-profit is not actively doing anything for the community and simply exists to pay a few bills, then it was time to disband the non-profit and release the board of it’s obligations and liabilities. This all makes sense to me.
AGAIN, this doesn’t seriously affect the main body of the group. A good analogy is this. The board is the parents and the Bros & Bras are the kids. The parents are refinancing the house. It’s a pretty big deal especially to the parents, but it doesn’t affect the kids much at all. That’s all we have done. High level decisions were made.
I know communication has been murky or non-existent. I know rumors are circulating.
Well, I’m here to tell you anything you want to know. You can call me, email me, text me or just talk to me in person and ask whatever you want to ask. I’m here for you with all the answers.
THE BROS & BRAS GROUP/CLUB IS NOT GOING ANYWHERE!
The dissolving of the non-profit is not super easy. There is paperwork and filings that have to happen. The board has to make a bunch of decisions that are set by the state and federal government. Bros & Bras also has commitments to entities around the county.
I, Kevin Brackens, will be taking all of the commitments that we had. I will produce the WV Day 5K and the Rotary Run New Year Day event. I, like Bros, am available to race consultation for groups looking to produce a 5K. You will most likely see the Soaring into Summer 5K which I am producing for Jefferson Parks and Rec celebrating their ribbon cutting for the new AMP. Live music, food and adult beverages will make this a great event for the community and is right in line with Bros and Bras type events.
I will also be taking over the social media again. It was Jennie carrying the posts as Bro Brackens. I know this can be confusing. Bro Brackens is you. It’s me. It’s everyone. BRO BRACKENS does not really exist. It is simply a way to tag and connect with each other.
I know there is a Bros and Bras HQ business page on facebook. That will go away. If they let me delete it, I will. You should download photos that you want, if any from the page. The board, as one of the last decisions they made was to start a group. Having a group, allows numerous things to be posted. When a bro who is a member of the group post something, everyone sees it (unlike the business page). The events that get posted on the group, are automatically share to anyone in the area with similar interests. As for the group calendar, I may set that up in one of my business page so if anyone needs to see an online calendar, it will be available.
There are a ton of leaders out there running and walking every day. You know who they are. Thank them. Follow them. They are the true leaders of this group.
You will see me setting up races, some socials, and some special events. We just aren’t a non-profit anymore.
Couple of housekeeping notes
Bros and Bras is JAG and JAG is Bros and Bras. So everything I’ve mentioned above also pertains to the Jefferson Activities Group.
I KNOW, we have not had a birthday party. Its coming. Its nearly impossible to iron out a date that works for EVERYONE. Some of you, (JACK) is literally racing every weekend. AND frankly , anyone of you could have said, “Screw it, Brackens. We are going to have the party without you!”
Last thing. I know no one asked me to start Bros & Bras. No one asked me to make it a non-profit. The concept was mine and the decisions were mine. The recruitment of the board was all me. The failure of the non-profit concept inevitably falls on me. I believe I made decisions based on experience and guesswork. I made decision that were right and some that were wrong. I was rough on my board. I appreciate all of their efforts and hard work.
Every time the sting of failure wells up. Every time I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut. Every time I feel like a failure, I go to a Bro event. And every time I’m there, I realize almost none of what was happening was affecting the good nature of the group and I feel better.
Thank you for that!