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FireflyFlanvention 2 Cancellation : Personal Statement from Booster Events’ Denise Adams
Saturday 16 December 2006, by Webmaster
Hopefully this doesn’t have stupid HTML formatting errors. Sorry guys! ETA: Just in case anyone is confused, btw, I’m not Denise :) She just emailed me. I’m merely a wannabe 09er that has news and apparently needs to try to get to Starfury’s Breakout as I doubt NN’s going to happen.
Denise emailed me the following statement and gave me permission to post it where ever I chose. This was originally a .PDF document and I took it out of .PDF just in case people had trouble accessing it. You are free to repost it, but the only thing I would say is that ,in order to be fair, it’s important to repost the entire message and not just sections. I apologize in advance for the formatting as I converted it from .PDF to Word and then posted using Semagic! Let me know if you want me to email you the .PDF file or want it uploaded somewhere.
I’ve spent a lot of time wanting to answer questions, but thought it was prohibited for me to do so under LLC law unless approved by my partners. According to the attorney whom I consulted yesterday, I can make a statement to people, as long as it’s the truth. That seems like a reasonable rider to me. I do want to preface all this by saying this is my personal statement. I am not speaking for my partners.
Here are some answers to some of the questions people have sent to me.
Flangate: What the hell happened?
Boosters struggled through 2006. As one of my partners, Vicki Fisher, has said, we had three poorly attended conventions prior to Flan. Yes, this impacted Flan. In need of working capital, we pursued several loans. Our major problem in a securing a traditional loan was our lack of inventory.
I pursued a second mortgage on my home, which was slated, according to the loan officer, to be funded on December 8th. Vicki applied for a merchant advance loan for Boosters, using her name as principal partner. After her initial contact with the loan company, I followed up, phoning them several times a day to hound them about the timeline for funding. I enlisted the help of my husband, who volunteered to do anything possible to make Flan a success. The loan was approved and was slated to fund on December 8th. My partner Vicki told me that if we added her husband, Rick, to the LLC at a future date, his credit would ensure we could get a larger loan, we could consolidate our debt and thus get things back on track. That sounded good to me and I advocated separate accounts for each convention, strict budgeting and pre-approval for all company purchases.
Suddenly, we hit a snag. It was our understanding that The Hilton wanted the money for the convention no later than December 8th. The hotel contacted us to inform us the payment had to be received 72 hours in advance of the event or the event would be cancelled. Since all funding was slated for Friday, the 8th, this was a major problem.
My husband spent hours working with The Hilton. We had two people willing to put the hotel expense on their credit cards. In return, we would refund that to them when we received our loans. I went to bed on the 4th thinking all was right with the world.
On the 5th, we all called The Hilton, expecting to pay the bill. At that time The Hilton told us they had expected either a cashier’s check or a wire transfer and were unable to accept payment via credit card. Frantic, we checked to see if the two people with credit cards could take cash advances and make bank transfers to The Hilton. The Hilton agreed to give us another day to pay the bill.
On the 5th, my partner Vicki, added her husband, Rick, to the company. I didn’t know and wasn’t informed he’d been added.
On the 6th, I discovered one of the people who had agreed to use their credit card for the bill was unable to obtain a cash advance. I also learned she would not be attending Flan, something which struck me as very odd. I was also unable to reach the other credit card holder by phone or by email, an occurrence which also struck me as odd and deeply disturbing. My husband once again spent a good deal of time on the phone with The Hilton. Our deadline came and went without hearing from the second credit card holder. After the deadline, the second credit card holder emailed to say she was unable to secure a cash advance and that something had come up, prohibiting her from attending Flan.
My husband received a phone call from The Hilton. It was his understanding and mine that The Hilton was canceling the event. I posted this on the BE board, but The Hilton called back shortly thereafter, clarified things and I posted that the cancellation announcement wasn’t accurate. The Hilton, from this point forward, was helpful and willing to work with us in any way they could. A friend of ours who was checked in at The Hilton agreed to help us with a short term loan if necessary and things were back on.
*I’d like to interject that we had also been working with actors and bookers throughout the week. Everyone was beyond helpful.*
Also on the 6th:
• Vicki signed the merchant advance loan, as did I, and faxed it to the lender. • Vicki cancelled merchant advance loan. I did not know this until the following morning. • People began calling me to tell me they had received text messages and phone calls informing them my husband and I hadn’t really been working on financing, that we were liars and that the event would be cancelled. This small group of people were advised to cancel reservations and flights. The text message was entitled: DENISE FRAUD. I will be pursuing this with an attorney, as I believe this message caused a panic of bad faith in the event and had specific and damaging repercussions for Flan. I WILL NOT be pursuing any action against people who disseminated this information after being contacted with this message. They believed they were acting on correct information, due to their trust in the people who told them this and because these were sources close to BE.
I have a text message informing me the information was given to one person the previous night, meaning this message began circulating on December 5th.
On December 7th Vicki contacted me to tell me Rick had worked out the figures, that BE could never repay the merchant loan and that Flan had to be cancelled because taking the merchant advance would be fraud, since, in Vicki’s and Rick’s opinion, the loan could not be repaid. I disagreed with this assessment, based on Booster’s past performance. Since Vicki was listed as principal partner on the loan, she would have been personally responsible for repaying the loan should BE not have been able to do so.
Also on the 7th:
• I learned the merchant advance loan had been cancelled. • I contacted the merchant advance lender and had myself listed as principal partner. • I requested Vicki to give control of BE to my husband and myself so we could have Flan and agreed BE would be responsible for paying off past debts to actors, hotel, vendors, etc. and that neither Vicki’s nor Rick’s names would be used on any loans for BE.
• We were unable to come to an agreement on the terms of transferring the company until it was too late for the merchant advance loan to fund on the 8th. At this point it was obvious Flan was doomed.
• My husband left Oregon and headed to Flan to talk to fans and to make sure no one blamed the hotel or the actors for the cancellation. My husband owns no portion of BE and spoke in an unofficial capacity. I did not go to Flan myself because I was unsure of the status of the company and of my ability to speak without my partner’s agreement. After Flan I approached my partner about taking over BE for the sole purpose of repaying fans, actors, the hotel, vendors, etc. Since our reputation was in tatters and we had almost no money in our account, I realized this would be a hard sell to fans and would most likely take a very long time. I figured with open books, separate bank accounts for each convention, a three month out cancellation policy, etc., it might be possible to restore public faith in BE. I wanted to hold one or possibly two events per year and use all profits to repay those owed money. I wanted to figure other, alternate ways to raise money, as well, to speed up the process.
Vicki thought this idea was perhaps workable, though she informed me she would need to get a regular job and wouldn’t have time to work on BE any more. I was fine with this, but we did not reach a mutual agreement on terms for the transfer of BE. That does not mean we won’t work out the terms for the transfer of the company, but as time goes by and people become angrier and angrier, I am more and more doubtful that fans would agree to this.
Where is my refund? When will I get my refund?
As is obvious from what I’ve written above, BE is not in a position to issue refunds for Flan at this time. This is not because anyone set about to defraud fans.
At this point, I can see two solutions, the plan I outlined above or bankruptcy.
WHY HASN’T ANYONE APOLOGIZED?
I believe my partners have apologized. As I said at the beginning of this, I have been uncertain about my ability to speak freely. I apologize from the bottom of my heart for everything. I love Firefly and Serenity and this entire thing makes me sick- sick because I’ve caused so much anger and pain and loss in this community.