Panning for Gold at the USPX Annual Members Meeting

July 17, 2012 in General

Left to right: Vin Cirulli, Jim McRitchie, Jack Ucciferri, Glyn Holton, John Chevedden, Steve Nieman.

Over July 13-15, USPX members descended on California’s gold country for our Second Annual Members Meeting. We rented a house near Placerville for the weekend. Friday afternoon was mostly socializing. Saturday was the business portion of the meeting. Sunday, we had fun exploring historical sites in the area. Vin Cirulli and Glyn Holton both got lessons in panning for gold. Thanks to the Park Service seeding the instruction area with small gold shavings, they both found some!

Members identified a number of initiatives for the next few months, including:

  • Write a history of individual shareowner activism. Individual shareowners have been doing this since the 1930s—long before anyone else. With an authoritative history to point to, maybe the media will start taking individual shareowners seriously, and stop calling us gadflies!
  • John Chevedden plans his next move.

    Develop a “Nuts & Bolts” section of the website to provide instruction in tasks such as submitting Rule 14a-8 proposals, corresponding via EDGAR and conducting an exempt solicitation.

  • Compile a “Top 10″ list of the challenges facing American Capitalism. One example might be the fact that the vast majority of corporations run uncontested board elections year after year. Another might be the near-monopoly Broadridge wields over the proxy system. The challenge of this project will be distinguishing symptoms from underlying causes.
  • Reach out to proxy advisors to promote the USPX Model Proxy Access proposal, which will be coming up for votes at Forest Labs ($FRX) and Medtronic ($MDT) soon.

We also plan a number of smaller tasks, such as updating the USPX bylaws, drafting recommendations for members interested in launching groups on the USPX website, and asking field agents to snap pictures of themselves at the meetings they attend.

Steve Nieman patches in Richard Foley via cell phone.

Hats off to Jim McRitchie for hosting this year’s meeting. He arranged the house rental, planned meals and generally kept things running smoothly.

Jim McRitchie arrived in a Prius sporting this license plate.










Last years meeting was on the east coast, so it was nice to host this one on the west coast. For now, our plan is to alternate the meeting location each year between east and west coast, to make it easy for members close to either coast to attend at least every other year.

Vin Cirulli panning for gold.

Thanks to all who participated. We have plenty of work to do on the initiatives we identified. Looking forward to seeing everyone again next year.

We met in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas.

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