When I wrote about many fine people at CAF doing wonderful work, you were the sort of person I was thinking of. However, nothing you have posted relates to the concerns raised in my review, and as I informed you in detail shortly after you posted this, you are wrong on most of your facts. It is difficult for me to just withdraw from the conversation while there is this level of misinformation posted at Guidestar.
In a nutshell, many people shared the vision of the San Francisco Chocolate Company providing permanent employment for our consumers and an ongoing source of revenue for our mission. One of the most enthusiastic was John Visbal, who was the point man for negotiations with its management and my most trusted advisor on it. I continued to trust in his integrity until I saw the documentary evidence that he had repeatedly lied to me and about me. At the time Visbal engineered my termination CAF was not financially 'broken', and your memory of 'family members donating millions of dollars' just demonstrates how far his stories diverged from the truth. Anyone interested in the truth is welcome to contact me on Facebook. I am writing about it.
Far from feeling ashamed, I am proud of my twenty-five year commitment to CAF, and can only hope that new leadership will restore its historic commitment to transparency and integrity.
@ Mr. Clay: Really? Is this your best recollection of the events that lead to your resignation form our organization? I have worked for CAF for 18 years and that is not quite how I remember things. Wasn't it you that lead us to the brink of bankruptcy because you lost focus of the mission and decided to "dump" every last penny into the chocolate factory? I remember family members donating millions of dollars and although we were financially unstable, in collections for unpaid accounts and obtaining a line of credit to make payroll you decided to continue to fund your PERSONAL mission of owing a chocolate company. We were left completely BROKEN by you. Thank GOD for the current CEO and the numerous hours that he VOLUNTEERED because we couldn't afford to pay him. It is because of him that we are still in operation today and able to support the many folks with developmental disabilities as we do. You should be ashamed of yourself. If you choose to comment in the future please make sure that you give accurate facts and not your delusional opinion. GOD Bless and move on!!
I've been conflicted about posting this, because I know there are many fine people in the California Autism Foundation, doing wonderful work. However, in the interest of transparency, I have three concerns with its current direction and leadership.
In order of ascending importance:
1. I personally lent the organization $250k, and when the present management took over, it took four years of very expensive litigation to get any of it back. Their attitude was “Let him pound sand.” Aside from the lousy ethics of this, it not a sustainable business practice in the long run.
2. They have shrunk their residential care mission from eight homes down to the three homes which happen to serve offspring of board members. The I.R.S. 990's posted on Guidestar indicate that revenues shrunk from $10.9m in 2007 to $6.3m in 2010. Despite this, the CEO took a 33% raise, to $175k, while he continued to manage his primary business, East Bay Logistics. (eastbaylogistics.com) Although adequate salaries are important to the retention of talented leadership, when services are being cut and the direct care workers barely make a living wage, I personally consider this excessive.
3. Apparently in their stated effort to become an “elite autism agency”, they have abandoned the California Autism Foundation's original mission of serving even the most challenging consumers, and making a commitment to their lifetime care.
With all that said, one wouldn't want to disparage the entire organization, where most of staff and board are no doubt honest, hardworking, and dedicated to the needs of the consumers.