Members to discuss firing of director at closed-door meeting
By MITCH LIES
The Oregon Wheat Growers League has called a Sept. 30 board meeting in Boardman, Ore., to discuss the executive team's firing of former executive director Tammy Dennee.
Beyond that, Darren Padget, president of the league, wouldn't say what was on the meeting's agenda.
Padget described the closed-door meeting as "just a get-together with the board."
Dennee, who was ousted Sept. 13, served as executive director of the wheat league for just short of nine years. Dennee had been director of member services for OWGL, as well as administrator of the Oregon Grains Commission.
Before joining OWGL, she was with the Oregon Wheat Commission in Portland, where she served as associate administrator and then as acting administrator.
Board and league members said they hope to learn at the meeting why the executive committee removed Dennee, and why it did so without consulting the full board.
Padget, Craig Reeder, Tyson Raymond and Jeff Newtson make up the board's executive committee.
Several league members have said they believe the executive committee acted irresponsibly when it fired Dennee without first consulting the full board.
"At the end of the day, I don't know the issue of the dispute they had with Tammy," said Jerry Rietmann, a former board member whose wife, Lisa, now serves on the 19-member board.
"I worked with Tammy in the past," Rietmann said. "She was a hard worker and dedicated to the grower. She deserved better treatment. I'm disappointed in the way (the executive team) handled it, and it seems very unprofessional."
Rietmann said the executive committee's action severely limits the league's ability to handle several issues of importance now confronting wheat growers, including fixing a technical reporting error that puts in jeopardy some federal disaster payments.
"I feel there is not a lot of forward thinking on the executive committee's part," Rietmann said. "I feel like they don't have a plan to deal with all the issues the league is working on right now.
"All I've heard is they were going to advertise and find a new executive," Rietmann said. "Well, that's not a transition plan, that's just simply being reactionary."
Padget said the league's office staff is handling the day-to-day activities of the league and the executive committee is positioned to make decisions on larger issues.
Padget wouldn't comment when asked what plans the executive committee has to replace Dennee.
"That's a decision for the full board of directors," he said.
Oregon Wheat Growers League: www.owgl.org