[Global_chapter_committee] Issue with new leader

Richard Greenberg richard.greenberg at owasp.org
Sat Apr 27 06:45:15 UTC 2013

My understanding is that there is a renewed effort to take action regarding
ineffective and almost non-existent leadership at OWASP Orange County.  The
current leaders do not uphold the minimum activity requirement of holding 4
meetings a year as stated in the Chapter Leader Handbook, and should be
removed. This is not a new issue, and in fact, I have sent several emails
previously about this disturbing subject.

I wanted to remind all of you about the previous attempts that I have made
to try to influence the OC Chapter to at least have regularly
scheduled meetings and communicate effectively with the many in OC who have
an interest in OWASP.

I wanted to also remind the Committee that the OC Chapter is in an
incredibly dense populated area, one with a very large
IT corporate presence. The lack of leadership and direction since Neil
Matatall stepped down as leader is extremely harmful to the OWASP mission.
We really are not in a position to allow this to continue. As you can see,
from previous attempts I had made to effect change, included below, this
has been going on for several years.

I encourage you to take action, as recommended by Neil, and refresh your
memories of this situation by referring to my missives below. There are
many qualified individuals who are very happy to step up and
volunteer their e time and energy to reinvigorate the OC Chapter. They have
no interest in working with the current leaders.

Richard Greenberg, CISSP
President, OWASP Los Angeles, www.owaspla.org <http://www.appsecusa.org/>
ISSA Fellow
Board of Directors, ISSA Los Angeles, www.issa-la.org<http://www.appsecusa.org/>
LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/richardagreenberg
(424) 261-8111

Richard Greenberg <richard.greenberg at owasp.org>
 to Tom, Josh, Neil, Sarah, Kelly

Thanks for joining in. Below is the initial e-mail from Neil on the
subject. When I heard of Neil's departure, I immediately tried to help.
Neil had tried to jumpstart the OC Chapter and held a sucessful event
on January 28th, 2011. Since then, there has been virtually no activity
form this chapter. I tried reaching out to Shong, both vis e-mails and
phone calls, and his response time of a week left me very surprised. Tin
had expressed to me that previously he had a similar experience on another
matter in which he had trouble getting responses from Shong.

The Wiki lists Shong Chong and Rob LaViolette* as Orange County Co-President

When we finally spoke, I told Shong that I know of dedicated and passionate
people ready and willing to step up and help, and that we in LA would be
willing to help, as well. He said thanks, but that he wanted to assess the
situation and look at where they should be going, now that Neil had left.
Curiously, if they were all "Co-presidents, shouldn't they already know
this? If not, then they really weren't really co-presidents, which is my

The last OWASP OC twitter was Aug 31st.

Bottom line: no activity in almost a year and bad communication habits,
unsuitable for a Chapter lead. There also has been no apparent planning,
and I was a bit shocked at his lack of enthusiasm and willingness to jump
on my offer of help and getting new potential Board members.

His company, Hireright, is listed a s a sponsor on the Wiki.

Speaking of the Wiki, Neil is still listed as a leader, and he is the only
one whose e-mail is listed. Thus, there is no apparent way for anyone to
contact anyone at OWASP OC since Neil departed.

I can assume that you, like me, who I know is passionate about OWASP, find
all of this at the very least highly disappointing.

On Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 1:47 PM, Richard Greenberg <
richard.greenberg at owasp.org> wrote:

> I have had a similar experience. Clearly this current individual is
> unqualified and inappropriate as a chapter leader, or even
> a board Member.
> I have assured this person that we have quaified and very interested
> people willing to step in and cotinue Neil's wqork on building an active
> and enthusiastic chapter. However, he has no interest.
> I suggest the Chapter Committee appoints a temporary Board, and elections
> are held pretty soon. Wqe in LA have always been willing to help in
> whatever way we can,m until an official board is established.
> On Wednesday, November 9, 2011, Neil Matatall <neil.matatall at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Hello Chapters committee,
> > I recently gave up my duties as the Orange County, CA chapter lead.
>  When I left, I declared that the chapter should be merged with the LA
> chapter because I felt there were no adequate replacements for me in OC.
>  After the announcement, an individual stepped up.  While I did not believe
> in him, I wanted to give him a chance.
> > This was clearly a mistake.  Many people have already come to me seeing
> what I can do to help them work with said individual.  He is not a bad
> person, he is just not right as the Orange County chapter lead.  His
> communication skills alone have made this incredibly frustrating and it is,
> to be frank, going to officially drive the chapter into the ground.
> > I have had many unreturned calls and emails and that is just
> unacceptable.
> > What is your guidance?  We have others willing to step up?
> >
> > --
> >
> > Neil
> >
> >
> >
> --
> Richard Greenberg, CISSP
> Board of Directors, OWASP Los Angeles, www.owaspla.org<http://www.appsecusa.org/>
> Board of Directors, ISSA Los Angeles, www.issa-la.org<http://www.appsecusa.org/>
> OWASP Global Conference Committee
> LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/richardagreenberg
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