Apparently, the above Tweet has led some to believe that I am angry with LEVA. I assure you that I am not. You see, I build bridges, I don't burn them.
Unfortunately, all things come to an end, and frankly I feel I've given all I can give for LEVA...physically, emotionally, and financially.
From day one of my LEVA membership I have volunteered to support LEVA's mission. I have even risked my job & my career for LEVA, quite literally. So please pardon my arrogance when I say with unwavering confidence that I have done & risked more than most have or likely ever will for LEVA. I've also done it for far less than some, in fact, most of it I've done for free (some have literally made hundreds of thousands of dollars, in contrast).
I'm digressing, my apologies. Although I am not angry, I am at times still very emotional about LEVA, as I've invested an awful lot over the years. The sad truth though is that the primary issue I saw with LEVA on day 1 of my membership (along with many others), remains my primary concern today; transparency.
Since my resignation from the instruction staff last Fall, a new complaint process and Ethics & Compliance Committee have been put in place, and for the first time in the 17+ years of my involvement, they finally released an annual financial statement to the membership (as legally required).
To-date, however, they still have not held a membership vote about anything (not required by law). Board members are appointed by the board, and several of those have resigned over the years. The Instruction Team, assistants, and all committees are appointed the same way, which as crass as it sounds, simply equates to the buddy system. In the early days of transitioning LEVA from a production organization to a predominantly forensic one, this may have been necessary. It hasn't been necessary for well over 15 years.
I have fought hard on a lot of issues for LEVA, such as instructor diversity, curriculum development, accreditation, and more. I have not fought alone. I have worked hand-in-hand with founding members, board members, and instructors.
I have, however, been persecuted alone by LEVA on multiple occasions. I was appointed as Primary Instructor of Level 2, received rave reviews, and then had it taken away because I wanted a curriculum development meeting with all instructors (which took a couple more years to get). Last year I was "given a break" from my paid teaching for LEVA, as someone...somewhere...had some complaint with one of my personal blog posts. I don't know who. I don't know the complaint. I don't know which post. I was just "given a break" and was fine with that, until I was informed that it was being done as a punitive measure approved by the board.
You see, that last straw simply broke the camel's back. For 30 years I have been one of the most accessible people in business. I've had a published cellular phone since 1988, a published email address since 1995, multiple web sites, publish my direct home and office#'s, etc. Yet nobody at LEVA ever spoke to me about this concern or any "complaint", and they still haven't given any details. At this point, it is moot.
With a revolving board, even without the resignations that go unpublished, progress always gets made, then rolled back, and the next board ends up dealing with many of the same issues again. We have made progress, a lot of progress. For me, however, I can no longer afford the cost of that progress.
I will miss LEVA, but I will not be back. I'm quite happy to let the facts and my personal reputation speak for themselves.
For those that have been asking, I hope this brings you some closure on the topic. I wish LEVA, and all of those involved, all the very best going forward, and always have. Thank you to all of those who were concerned for me, it means a lot.
BTW, that bridge is still there as far as I know, I just don't plan on traveling that way again.