From The Shadows Emerges An Invitation To My Readers To Consider Questions Regarding The NIGP by Jon Hansen

Posted on May 8, 2015


I received the following e-mail moments ago and will share it with you, unedited and in its entirety:

Based on the exposure of Tom Blaine, whether legitimate or not, the provider of this information does not feel they can trust you. But, they feel you are the only chance for a complete story. I am not affiliated at all with NIGP, Rick Grimm, Tom Blaine, the State of Missouri, Periscope, Perfect Commerce, or even Arizona and Jean Clark. I have no personal knowledge or involvement in #codegate. 

Questions to ask yourself or your followers:

The 990 says NIGP has a whistleblower policy. And this is listed where on the NIGP website? If there is a policy, do the whistleblower signals/emails go straight to the CEO?  

The Marriott contract was mentioned in one of the initial #codegate posts. Is there another affiliation with Marriott? Are there other employees that are being wined and dined by Marriott? Is there a personal connection between the two? What should we make of this? Just what does that contract consist of?

Was the sudden increase in bottom line in 2010 due to layoffs? The market turn in September of 2008 would have taken two years to affect NIGP’s bottom line. Is this considered a turn-around worthy of higher compensation?

A previous #codegate post listed only the directors of NIGP and not the officers. Usually it’s the officers of nonprofits that determine CEO compensation.  

What happened to the accreditation program that was supposed to start in January? 

Follow the money, but keep it on point.

For those interested in knowing more about the Tom Blaine situation, you can read about it in both my April 27th post The Deep Throat 2015 – Perfect Commerce Connection, and April 29th post Perfect Commerce Weighs In On The Deep Throat Connection Post.

In the meantime, it appears that this individual (a deep, deep throat), who has chosen to communicate through a third party, has raised a number of interesting questions, and has invited you as my readers, to ponder them.  I would of course invite you to do so.

In reading the above e-mail, there could be a number of possible reasons for it being sent to me at this time.

My initial instinct is that there may be concern that the expansion of my coverage in recent days to include procurement associations in general, is viewed as being a distraction from the situation at the NIGP.  As a result, there is likely a desire on the part of the sender to shift the focus back onto the NIGP, and in particular Rick Grimm.  Fair enough, as my most recent posts will certainly take at least some of the heat off Grimm regarding his compensation.

This said, the whistle-blower policy reference would seem to suggest that Grimm has a very tight control on the NIGP. This would obviously make it very difficult for someone to feel that they could come forward with important information without the fear of repercussions.  I understand this sentiment. After all, I am not likely to receive any requests to speak at too many association conferences in the near future.  In fact, I might hazard a guess that my coverage – while being widely read – is likely to put a number of people’s noses out of joint.

The nature of the Marriott connection, which had been mentioned in passing in an earlier post, is certainly becoming more specific in terms of possible wrongdoing – especially with the intimation of a “personal connection”.  Maybe I will give Marriott a call and see what they have to say? Based on the lack of response from the NIGP’s Tina Borger regarding my request for expense clarification, I am not likely to get too much information regarding the Marriott relationship from that end.

The reference to the fact that I only named the NIGP Directors and not the Officers is also interesting. So in the spirit of fairness, here are the names of the NIGP’s Officers (by the way, Rick Grimm is also listed as an Officer); Donald G. Buffum, CPPO, Paul J. Brennan, CPPO, Keith K. Glatz, CPPO, FCPM, FCPA, Marcheta E. Gillespie, CPPO, CPPB, C.P.M., CPM

However, and rather than just listing their names, I decided to contact each of the above officers directly by telephone this afternoon – actually just moments ago.

Here is the response I received from each individual when I asked the question “what role did you play in terms of approving Rick Grimm’s compensation?


Don Buffum – “Given what I have read in your coverage, I would rather not respond at this time.”

Keith Glatz

Keith Glatz – “Uhm not at that particular time” . . . when I then asked what do you mean not at that particular time, he said; “I would rather not comment.”

Marcheta G

Marcheta Gillespie – “Who are you?” . . . “All I can tell you is that I have been on the board since 2007, and terming out on June 30th” . . . “the board does have a role in determining the CEO’s salary” . . . as for my role, “I have nothing to offer.”

Paul Brennan

Paul Brennan – “Uhm . . . I can’t talk right now – I am just heading into a meeting . . . why don’t you give me your number I will call you back either later today or first thing Monday morning.”

All but one suggested that I send them an e-mail so that they can think about my question, and get back to me with an answer.

While not unexpected, the uneasiness of their responses was somewhat surprising given that it was a simple question “what role did you play in terms of approving Rick Grimm’s compensation?”

As for the accreditation program, this is a new piece of information that may be more for you to consider than a suggestion for me to investigate. I will of course look into it, and share with you my findings.

All in all, a very interesting end to a very busy and revealing week.

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