Normally, the Director’s right hand person would be the natural successor. But in this case, the entire full-time staff walked en mass. There are so many moving pieces that make RAGBRAI go smoothly and there are so many questions yet to be answered.
* Is it even realistic to complete a candidate search and hire a new Director, who then needs to source, hire and onboard a brand new team?
* Do any of the remaining part-time staff have the experience to step into a leadership role and rebuild a team? Or are they most lower-level administrative folks?
* Is there anyone in an existing management capacity at the DMR who could step in, or would even want to? I would think most of the staff are journalists, and have no experience in the area of sporting event management.
* Is any part of the 2020 route locked down? Sounds like Iowa’s Ride is very close, so I assume TJ’s route will be the intended RAGBRAI route…in which case, RAGBRAI will have to start from scratch. Again, with time as a factor, how’s this going to work?
* If not, can the remnants of remaining part-time staff do all the recon work, community outreach and logistical planning to create a workable one?
* What about the myriad of other details (kybos, merchandise, Expo, jersey design, vendor management, campsites, ISL coverage, baggage transfer, vehicle routes, guiding and managing the overall effort, the announcement party planning in DSM, the registration process, the website, production and delivery of rider credentials, etc.)? Is there anyone who knows how to do this stuff?
* Since RAGBRAI relies heavily on volunteers, most of whom are experienced with a few RAGBRAI’s under their belts. I assume TJ and staff have carefully built & nurtured these relationships…so if many/most volunteers switch to Iowa’s Ride, how is RAGBRAI going to fill that void?
This can’t be done as a seat-of-the-pants effort by people with no real experience. This is a major event with extremely complex logistics. RAGBRAI 2020 has the potential to be an amateurish quagmire.