Martin C. Barry
During a decisive annual general meeting of the governing board of the Chomedey Soccer Club held on Nov. 29, the CSC membership voted in a substantially new board of directors.
A fresh start
As announced by newly-elected president Alex Bisbikos,the new board’s members are Wassim Abou-Rjaili (vice-president), Tom Athanasios (director of communications and secretary), Mark Chadakhtzian(treasurer), Bobby Paschalidis (director of events and financing), Billy Katsifolis (director for competition categories) and Bisbikos (president).
Two members of the previous board who had been elected to two-year terms last year remain as board members. However, a third member, Benoit Pigeon, who was also elected to a two-year term last year, tendered his resignation at the Nov. 29 meeting.
Lori Benjafield joins board
Ina message e-mailed to the CSC membership, Bisbikos said that due to the resignation of Pigeon, a resolution was passed to nominate Lori Benjafield to fill the vacancy on the board of directors.
“Lori joins the board with a great deal of experience, having previously been a board member as well as director for recreational categories,” he wrote, adding that she sits on the board once more with the same responsibility.
Although the previous board’s president and the board members who were up forre-election were defeated, Bisbikos and the new board expressed thanks toformer president Sam Topalian and the former board members for their service.
No. 1 is supporting the kids
Asked by the Laval News what the new board will be dealing with in its first priorities, Bisbikos said, “Our primary objective is to focus all our efforts towards supporting the kids. That will always be our number one goal.
“We also want to build trust with the parents and coaches,” he added, “increase the technical and administrative support for all our three divisions, increase the number of registrations, repair our club’s image within the community and secure additional funding to support the club. Those are our top priorities.”
A case of dysfunction
While some may have been surprised by the outcome of the annual general meeting, Bisbikos suggested that others saw it coming. “There was a general kind of sense, I guess, of disappointment with the CA,” he said. “Unfortunately, a dysfunction with the previous CA had a negative impact on the club and its members. I think they were looking for change and this was an opportunity for them to bring in change.
“There was clear and evident dysfunction with the existing CA and we saw that during the meeting as well,” he continued. “The CA was split. There were two separate groups with conflicting visions for the club. I think there was perhaps a question of mistrust.
A need for transparency
“All of which ultimately trickled down to the services that were being provided to the parents and kids. Ultimately there was a lack of transparency. A lot of questions were being asked by parents about coaches and it was very difficult to get responses.”
Bisbikos maintained that the new members of the board succeeded in being elected“because of just basic grassroots campaigning. We went to the people, we met over 350 parents.
“We spoke to them, we heard what their main points were and frustrations. At the same time we were able to share with them a vision that I think inspired them and brought them to the meeting to support change.”
Questions over services
While the previous board claimed to have significantly rebalanced the CSC’s financial situation after several years of precarious operation, Bisbikos agreed this may have been achieved through significant cuts to services.
“We’re just starting to get into the numbers now to get a better understanding, but I can definitely tell you that was the impression,” he said. Bisbikos did no trule out the possibility that one of the members of the CSC’s new board, who is a corporate financial officer, may open the books for a fresh audit.