The 40th Reunion committee made up of Mike Mims, George Brown, Pam Perkins, Ken Taylor, Beverly Mims-Taylor, Pam Perkins formed in February 2016. I joined the group for the first time in March 2016. At the meeting at Cooper Hawk, Mims, Brown, Perkins, Taylor, Mims-Taylor, and myself attended. At this meeting, we chose officers. Because Mike Mims had done so much with putting together a budget and spreadsheet, we all just easily agreed for him to be the chairman. Pam volunteered to be secretary, all agreed. Nobody really wanted to be treasurer and George Brown convinced me to take the position. So I did, and all agreed. That is how this group began.
In April, some issues arose with the newly formed group and the one that had put on all previous reunions for the class of 1978. After some negotiating, we were able to merge the two committees. Those who desired to still be on a reunion committee joined us and we became one big family. Cecil Lucy, Richard Alexander, Unis Davis, Mike Peery all joined. Angela Foster also joined the committee. We met once a month.
At every meeting from March 2016 to February 2017, Mike Mims would tell us that he was handling getting a website built but there was this issue or that issue he was working thru. At the meeting in January 2017, he said there was some problem with getting it done. I volunteered to build one for the committee, at no cost to the committee, since I had a URL for one of my businesses that we were no longer using. He was happy to let me, the committee agreed, and that very night on January 8th, I built the website and started creating and posting the graphic posts that everyone could see.
One of the items that was needed was a document for those classmates who didn’t want to buy their tickets online, but preferred to mail in their tickets. Mike Mims created the form and sent it to me to post on the website. When I looked at it, it was generally good, but he used a script font that he italicized, so it was hard to read. There were two other fonts used and it made the whole document look like it was thrown together. The first time, I totally reformatted it differently and sent it back to him to look at. At the next meeting, he brought me printed copies of his original file with a few handwritten changes, and told me to just make the changes and post it exactly as he had given it to me and not edit it like I had done. We went back and forth about it. I wanted to make it look better so it would continue the standard of the other things we were posting to make it all look professional. He didn’t want me to change it, said to “treat me like I’m a client, and just do it like I said” we argued back and forth, but I had to leave, so I left.
I made his edits, but didn’t change it back to what he sent, because I felt it looked badly. We had a Facebook chat argument with him insisting that I do as he says and just post it. I finally got tired of the argument and said, “Let’s let the committee vote on which to post. If the committee tells me to post your version, I will.” So, I went to the committee chat group, posted both versions, and told the committee what the argument between Mims and I was, and asked them to vote. Although I am not sure who actually looked at both files, the general consensus of the group was, “Marsha is a professional graphic designer, everything she has done so far has been fine, if she says its good, then we trust her.” Mims started accusing me of “hijacking the committee” because the website technically belonged to me. The argument went back and forth for a while, but basically most committee members thought is it was a crazy argument in the first place, as I did.
From that incident forward, Mike Mims treated me horribly. In most of the committee conversations done in the FB chat, whenever I made a suggestion he would attack me. It got to a point where I didn’t want to make any suggestions, but we had a big task at hand in trying to get 500 people to buy tickets. I knew the messages we put out were generating great interest, and I needed the ideas from the whole committee to create these messages.
At the next meeting at the Taylor house, is where things got really ugly. There had been a discussion among some of the committee about the $175.00 that had been decided upon as a committee assessment. Some of us had the question that if we paid the $175, does that also cover our ticket to the reunion. Mims was adamant that it did not. But I debated that it should. I knew as committee members we each needed to “prime the pump” with putting in the money to pay for things until classmates started buying tickets. But over the past weeks, we each had approached class members and gotten them to buy tickets early which allowed us to pay the first installment at Tinley Park. It was my contention, and agreed to by others, that our “assessment” should now be different. That was the discussion.
I had been having some financial issues, so I had not yet paid my $175. However, I had gotten about 5 people to buy tickets early, which I felt, more than covered my assessment for the moment. During this discussion, Mike Mims decided to bust me out in front of the whole committee screaming at me, “And you are an officer! Why haven’ t you paid? JUST PAY IT!” I could be paraphrasing, as its now been a few months and I don’t remember. He brought me to tears with him screaming at me. The rest of the committee were appalled and urged me not to respond to his accusations. In tears, I told that I had been having unexpected issues that caused me to not pay, but that I had worked my ass off doing the website, the graphics, and getting people to buy tickets early so the money we needed was there. Everyone came to my defense, and admonished Mims for being so cold and unfeeling that he would so something so wrong. After everyone had their say to him about what he was saying was wrong, his response was, “Well, I’m sticking to what I said.” It didn’t phase him at all.
We tried to move on in the meeting. We further discussed this assessment. I made a suggestion that maybe everyone go online and purchase their tickets, then we could put the other assessed money in another “bucket” on the ticket pay site. All money going thru the ticket site, goes right into the bank account making it easier to get to when bills needed to be paid. As treasurer, it was easier for me to create my reports from that site which kept electronic records. Everyone started agreeing and thinking it was a good idea. At that point, Mims screamed, “No no no! You can’t do that!!!” He threw his agenda at me and shouted, “Why don’t you just sit down and shut up!” I was stunned!! So was the rest of the room. This having been Mims’ second outburst, the Taylors declared, “Meeting over!!!” And everyone wrapped up and started leaving.
After these events, every time I spoke in the chat box Mims jumped on me like I was a criminal. The next meeting after that one was scheduled to be at his house in Indianapolis. But after his behavior at the Taylor house, I didn’t want to go all the way to his house. However, it had been planned that at this meeting, the two officers would go with Mims to Chase bank to have our names added to the bank account. The three officers had attempted to get a bank account a few weeks prior but were unsuccessful due to issues at two banks. We agreed to let Mims open one in Indy and then add us later. It was agreed that we would do it before the meeting time in Indy.
As the date of that meeting approached, it was clear that only the two officers were actually traveling to Indianapolis. I was already uneasy about going to the house of a man who had treated me so rudely, but I was really unhappy having to go with only one other committee member being there. So, I asked in the FB chat, “Is only Pam and I going to Indy and everyone else attending by conference call?” That started Mims in a tirade about everyone knew the date of the meeting, and they should have rescheduled anything else to make the meeting, etc etc. Each member chimed in saying basically, “life happens” and they had very good reasons to not be able to come down, but intended to attend by conference call. We had all previously agreed that if a member could not attend in person to a meeting, attending by phone was just as acceptable. Mims never agreed with members wanting to choose to attend a meeting by phone. He felt all meetings should be in person, but he was outvoted on this.
Basically… everyone decided that this meeting should be by conference call instead of in person at Indy. The conversation went back and forth in the chat box about when and where it should be between several members. Several people needed the call to be at different times and were discussing it, but Mims would not get into the conversation because he was upset that we weren’t coming to Indianapolis. So after a long time of nobody saying anything, I stated: “Ok... so it is completely agreed that we are meeting via conference call tomorrow at 1:00pm CST (2:00 pm EST)” Mims finally responded, “No, it is not completely agreed that the meeting is at 1:00. The time schedule for the meeting is 3:00 Indy time which is 2:00 Chicago time. This is the time that had been set aside for the last month. You guys are completely out of line in making or attempting to institute a change without consulting me.” I responded, “Nobody is trying to make a change without consulting you Mike. You are a member of this chat group like all of us. We have been talking about this since yesterday. You have seen the messages but have not chosen to engage in the conversation. We are all just trying to solidify a way for us to have a meeting that is good for everyone. So in essence, you were being "consulted" by way of this conversation.”
Of course, an argument continued where I resigned from the committee in anger and frustration from being treated this way by Mims. The rest of the committee decided they would not accept my resignation since they knew it was out of frustration and they wanted us to settle the issue. But of course, Mims was happy to quickly accept my resignation and tell me to exit the chat. I had to rescind it to continue.
When we did have the meeting, via conference call, it was two hours of back and forth argument between Mims and I. Mims posted a two-page letter that had blazing lies about how I had been disrespectful and that my resignation should be taken up in a Special Committee that he called for. Everyone rejected that idea when he brought it up, saying there was no Special Committee that was needed and that the full committee rejected my resignation. At the point where it was obvious that we were getting nowhere. Someone suggested that maybe Mims and I meet and try to settle this one on one. I agreed to meet, but insisted that at least ONE other committee member be present. Everyone understood that I didn’t feel comfortable meeting with him one on one, so several volunteered to be the one person. I didn’t feel Mims would accurately account what happened at our meeting, and I also didn’t trust him after he screamed at me at the other meeting. Mims was angry that I would suggest we needed another person, and would not agree to meet.
At that point, Cecil made the motion that it was obvious that no agreement between he and I could be met. For the good of the committee, he made a motion that both Mims and I step down from our officer positions and just become members. I immediately agreed and relinquished my position. I stated that as long as I could still be a member and work for putting on the reunion, that was all that mattered. Mims then stated that since I stepped down, there was no need for him to. But the committee insisted he voluntarily step down. They almost begged him to do it voluntarily and not force the committee to vote him out. He refused, and hung up from the call. The committee then having no other choice, they voted him out as chairman. After asking a few members who declined, Sylvia agreed the nomination to become the new chairperson, and Unis was voted the new treasurer.
We shortly found out that Mims deleted himself from the chat group, and in short order started his own campaign to continue promoting the reunion. Because Mims signed the contract for Tinley under the name of the 1978 Reunion Committee, and his name only was on the bank account, and he set up the ticket selling account, he decided to steal it and take it away from the committee. We all thought there would be someone on the committee who has been friends with him for years, would be able to talk to him and calm him down and get him to come back to the group. But to date, this has not happened.
In trying to keep our “dirty laundry” to ourselves, the committee continued to function. We were forced to open a new bank account, this time with several officers on it as we should have at first, and a new ticket site, we have tried to keep going and do the work we came together for. But we continued to hope that Mims would see the damage he was doing to the class as a whole. However, we see that its not much hope of that.
At this point, it is just my desire for the class of 1978 to know the whole truth. I didn’t want anyone to think that Sylvia was being anything but a wonderful, gracious chairperson attempting to move forward with planning our 40th reunion. I took myself out of almost every CVS chat room because I could not bear to see the things Mims was posting, so I didn’t get to view the horrible exchange involving him. But I heard that the rest of our committee rallied to the defense.
I apologized to my committee members for any part I had in this, and I apologize to my class also. But you deserved to hear the truth.
Forever a Cavalier!
Hello Class of 1978. There has been a whole lot of stuff going around about the reunion committee. As a member of the Official committee, and smack dab in the middle of all the guff, I decided that anyone who was interested in the truth should read this. Yes, I know its a lot, and I know I'm long winded, but that's me!! Whoever really knows me, I will tell only the truth. I never have malice towards people, so I won't tell lies and make up things to make myself seem right. I know I'm not perfect. I know my own shortcomings, but those who know me, know I'm only about love and getting things done. But I am human. I am deeply deeply hurt from all this. But I am a person who feels that the truth should always win out. Some things may be paraphrased because I’m going from memory. Read this if you want...again, I know its long, but if you are interested in the truth and not all the reality show crap that goes on, you will read this and then know. This is written by ME, and is from ME, and NOT from the committee. I got tired of them being bashed by Mims and made the lone decision to put this out. I love you all! Your 78 Classmate ~ Marsha Johnson
Update - 1/17/18
Cavaliers! You deserve the truth!
Type your paragraph here.
Marsha Y. Johnson
Class of 1978
Hello Class of 1978. On January 4, 2018, several of the Official Reunion Committee members made a valiant effort to stop the madness between Mike Mims and the Committee members. After a conference call was had, it was obvious that he was not willing to bury the hatchet and stop this craziness.
I have also heard that he is telling MAJOR LIES about what happened between us all. I am a champion of the TRUTH so here is what you should know.
1. Mike Mims was NOT kicked off the committee. He and I were both requested to step DOWN from our positions to become committee members and no longer officers. HE MADE THE CHOICE to leave US, taking away with him contracts that he signed in the name of the committee. He could not stand to not be the chairman and just be a member.
2. We as a committee worked together for a year to get to the point where we had the contract with Tinley Park. Mike took it upon himself to do things without notifying the committee members until after he had done it. In an effort to not cause too much fusses, we just went along.
3. For a long time after Mike left, the members of the committee tried to not put out negative things about Mike and what was happening inside the committee. We thought after time passed, we could all heal this rift and get back to work planning the reunion.
However, when he left, Mike took the contract to Tinley (since he was the one who physically signed it as chairman. I was with him when we viewed the venue, several venues and brought back the recommendation to the committee that Tinley was a great place. ) and he stole the bank account (that myself as treasurer and our secretary were supposed to go with him to put our names on the account the weekend he was asked to step down from being chairman).
I don't know exactly what he has been telling people about what happened. I have him blocked on Facebook because I was so hurt I didn't want to see what he posted. But classmates. Don't believe lies. You can ask any other member of the ORIGINAL committee and they will tell you THE TRUTH. I have absolutely no reason to lie. I am too stunned and hurt that he would do this to us to try and make something up.
THE TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN FICTION!!!
Love you all!
Your 78 Classmate ~Marsha Johnson