Burning Man 2017 Financial Analysis, Decommodification and Flysalen [UPDATE]

Every year we bring you a look at Burning Man’s financial performance.

This year we’re also going to take a deeper look at their major assets Fly Ranch and Decommodification, LLC.

Burners.Me Previous Financial Coverage: 2012201320142015, 2016

2017 Burning Man IRS Form 990

2017 Burning Man Annual Report

Some highlights:

  • Revenue from Burning Man event $42.8 million, up over $5 million from 2016
  • Annual Surplus (Revenue less Expenses): $3,733,876
  • Donations received almost $1 million
  • salaries (including contractors) increased $2.1 million
  • Cash and receivables: $11.75 million, up from $9.5 million in 2016
  • Total assets: $27.8 million

Sales of inventory was $1,605,516. That’s a lot of ice and coffee. Ice cost $596,177.

Medical expenses were $649,000.

Their stock donation program seems to be working, with a donation of $26,517 in marketable securities.

Most of the key personnel got pay rises in 2017, though some went down:

Overall payroll including contractors is $18,703,754 = 42% of revenues.

Grants as a % of revenues = 3.8% . Note this includes the cost of building The Man, the base structure, and partial funding of Playa art projects including the Temple.

The list of grant recipients contains many familiar names.

Burners Without Borders made 4 grants, totalling $4,900. [* this is for grants outside the US and has been disputed by BWB director Breedlove. See comments. I have asked him to provide the correct information, I will add it to the post – Ed.]

The annual Artumnal gathering took in $629,404 in 2017. About $100,000 of this went to pay for the use of the facility:

2017 Fundraising Event

This is a substantial increase on 2016:

2016 Fundraising Event

Commentary

A huge thank you to A Balanced Perspective, DS and Anonymous Burner for their contributions and thoughts.

  • Artists receive less than 2% of the budget (approx $800,000)
  • Regionals receive about 4% of the budget ($1,717,766)
  • About 9% of the budget gets piled up in the bank account as cash.

Anonymous Burner says:

The art funding is constantly presented as a central tenant of the event, but is actually getting funded like an afterthought.  Artists are the face and the creativity of the core of the event, but have to carry their art on their own backs while others claim credit for making things so great for them

What does an organization trying to “make the world a better place” through art need with so much cash, into the tens of millions of dollars? Why do they spend such a tiny amount of the money given to them by Burners every year on art? Why do the ticket revenues increase 10% a year but the art budget seems to keep proportionally shrinking?

How can they justify spending $1 million a year on insurance without providing insurance for the 10,000 or so workers on site building the city, art installations and camps? Would it really kill their vision to make $3.5 million a year instead of $3.9 million, and look after their workers better?

Why does the main “charitable” organization have to spend more on the Regional Events than they give out on grants? It’s about double the art budget. Is the purpose of Burning Man to spread Burner culture around the world through art, or is it to expand their inefficient bureaucracy? Can’t the Regional events support themselves?


Population Summary (note: includes 2018)

The number of paid participants according to calculations in the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office report was 69,493.

I filed a FOIA request to get the 2017 vendor list: 84 companies selling things other than ice and coffee.

DS has also been filing FOIA requests for information about Burning Man. He was able to get this heavily redacted information for 2017, the calculations used to pay the Bureau of Land Management’s 3% fee.

Why the need for such secrecy?

The bulk of the $4,349,723 in Permits, Taxes and Fees appears to be the 9% Nevada Live Entertainment Tax. [* see comments – Ed.]


Decommodification

One of the interesting things in the 990 is the listing of “related entities”. It includes Decommodification LLC, but the share of end of year assets is $0.

Decommodification LLC is the organization that was created at the same time as the non-profit Burning Man Project, to hold all the intellectual property. As far as we can tell, it gets paid $75,000 per year in royalties from the Burning Man Project for use of their trademarks. We have no information on what other royalties it earns, for example from sales of the documentary “Spark” or the “lines around the block” Smithsonian exhibit. Google recently commissioned Burning Man to design a $2 million art installation for their campus: where does this money go? Five lucky artists will get a share, most likely the “big names” who appear in the grants list on a regular basis. Is there a royalty component to deals like this?

Decommodification LLC made two filings to the California Secretary of State on January 16, 2019. One was that “nothing has changed”, and another one requested that the company registration be canceled. It seems strange to me to file “no change” and “cancellation” notices on the same date, if anyone has knowledge of how this process works please leave a comment.

The current state of the company shows “cancelled” at the S.O.S. web site.

According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, the trademarks were transferred from Decommodification LLC back to the Burning Man Project on 28 April 2018 – the day Larry Harvey passed away.

The “nunc pro tunc” is a retroactive assignment to correct an earlier ruling. Was this something to do with Larry’s estate?

What happened to the rest of the intellectual property, including the rights to future royalty streams?

Were the trademarks assigned back to the Burning Man Project for free, Decommodification LLC dissolved, and the accumulated cash of 6-7 years of royalties distributed to the members? Or was some of that $12 million cash hoard used to purchase them?

These transactions occurred in 2018, so perhaps will get covered in next year’s IRS Form 990. There is no mention of them on the Burning Man web site, despite this being perhaps the most significant thing BMorg have done since spinning off their non-profit in 2012. BMorg like to claim they’re a “leader in radical transparency”, but Decommodification Inc has always been a mysterious black box.

The 2017 Form 990 values the Burning Man Project’s intangible assets at $4.23 million, but this was before the trademark transfer. This amount first appeared on the books in 2014. We believe it represents goodwill on the acquisition of Black Rock City, LLC from the Founders.

For a good read related to Intellectual Property and Burning Man, see Culture, Capital and Copycats in a Globalizing Burnerverse by Ian Rowen, which was the keynote address at the 2018 Australia and New Zealand Burner Leadership Summit.

The “Burner Look” is not trademarked, so anyone can put an art car in a desert and appropriate our culture for “cool factor” and financial gain

Flysalen

In 2016 BMorg bought a 3800 acre parcel of land known as “Fly Ranch” with big donations and paid $6.5 million. This is why the 2016 donations were more than $8 million.

Around 42:30 in the above video, they start talking about “community ownership of land”. The communist social justice component of this vision is that “living off the land is a version of Universal Basic Income”.

Five minutes into the video, they reveal that the land has been sub-divided into 53 different parcels.

Who gets a permanent Burning Man lot? Presumably the 6 5 Founders and the millionaires who put up the $6.5 million. Will the rest be auctioned off to the highest bidder, or handed out to the most favored staff, artists, and camps? I’m tipping Dancetronauts are not on the short list.

This reminds me of an earlier post, Get Your Timeshare Slot in the Sultan. There, I postulated that the “ironic timeshare sales” brochures being handed out from a booth at the Man base was actually Burning Man’s way of bringing that in as a future reality.

The Occidental Oasis “ironic” timeshare sale was going on at the same time as very real hotel sales on Billionaire’s Row

The same thing happened with hotels, where BMorg director Chris Weitz opened an “ironic hotel” at Ashram Galactica, which paved the way for the proliferation of luxury Plug-N-Play hotel camps today.

Petit Ermitage, a boutique hotel in West Hollywood, were still advertising the pop-up Burning Man hotel they created with Cirque Gitane long after the event
People now pay up to $20,000 for hotel rooms at Burning Man with flushing porcelain toilets
Photo: Lost Hotel/Facebook

Fly Vision

Some information about the original intention for Fly Ranch is available thanks to the Wayback Machine

You can see from the plan above that the property is adjacent to another playa. Hualapai Flat is land administered by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.

Image: americansouthwest.net

The Bureau of Land Management is planning to dispose of some of its lands.

Source: BLM Winnemucca District Program Overview 2017, Page 7

From the January 2018 report, it looks like this deal is close to being done:

Source: BLM Winnemucca District Program Overview 2018, Page 6

Who else would want empty desert playa?


The original vision for the Fly Ranch site was a sustainable community of one acre lots for employees and affiliates, with its own airstrip. This plan talks about 9 parcels of 5 acres, each with their own access roads; and 73 parcels of 1 acre each.

Village and Residential sites

The two communities are based on Burning Man’s Ten Principles, and this will be it’s first year-round expression. Employees and affiliates may build on a ‘Homestead’ basis, or rent or buy into the Village community at the project’s north end. For others, one acre lots may be bought for home construction in the project’s central development (and separate H.O.A). These areas will be allowed to grow incrementally, with roads and utilities phased as required. Geo- thermal electricity will serve all the lighting and cooling needs of residents (and possibly the valley’s ranchers as well), and hot water will provide all heating.

Organic vegetable farming will be developed as an economic base for the village community. Geo-thermally heated greenhouse organic farming will be operated for local needs, and for transport and sale. This can supply Reno with organic vegetables throughout the year, while creating a wholly independent economy for the community.

Source: willroger.org, via Wayback Machine

Land Conservancy

Even with limited use, the grassy banks of the vernal pools are being sloughed in by bathers, the pools gradually churned into shallow mud holes. Bathers also leave tanning lotions, insect repellants, and
other contaminants behind to ill effect. The pond waters contain a species of pupfish which are isolated by the underground source and terminal outflow.

A nature preserve requires control and enforcement, accordingly this area must be properly fenced to admit access only to indigenous animals, but excluding horses or cattle which trample wetlands. Human access must be highly regulated, with trespass, hunting and public use of existing pools and hot springs banned.

Anticipating the utter destruction of too much love, together with the projected costs of controlling and insuring against increasing liability, it is suggested that a Land Conservancy that is affiliated with Burning Man be created to manage the Geyser and wetland area.

Source: willroger.org, via Wayback Machine

Restaurant, Lodge and Conference Center

Fly Lodge and Conference Center

This will epitomize the style of Fly Ranch, and become a beacon for the greater community. A restaurant, rooms and services will be available. Fly Lodge will be available for public and corporate use, while also serving as World Headquarters for Burning Man’s Regional organizations around the globe.

Source: willroger.org, via Wayback Machine

Burning Man Board Member Chip Conley’s experience with luxury boutique hotels and AirBNB would come in handy for a plan like this.


How Much For That Oasis In The Desert?

Burning Man’s balance sheet shows land, buildings and equipment of $11.9 million; net of depreciation, $9.9 million. Schedule D, Part VI lists the value of land as $7,233,545 and buildings at $979,870. In 2015, before the Fly Ranch purchase, land was $198,000 and buildings $979,780.

According to Nevada property records, Fly Ranch only cost about $2.6M. The Washoe sales records record two transactions for $2.377M and $0.240M. The water rights came under two different transactions and appear to not have specific value attached to them. The water rights transactions gave the prior owner only about 64 acre feet of water for livestock.

There were four transactions in 2016:

1)      sale of 3,381 acres that was the majority of FR,

2)      another 276 acres that was part of the FR with the geyser

These sold the mineral rights but not the water but referred to other linked sales of water rights.

3) transfer of water rights with a carve out for the prior owner for item 1).

4) transfer of water rights with a carve out for the prior owner for item 2).

Water rights in California and Nevada are fresh on my mind after all the research I did for my last podcast episode, CryptoBeast #17 – Fire, Water, Trains, Space Lasers: California Burning. It’s an arcane subject, but if you’re interested there’s a good overview here: History of Water Rights in Nevada and the Western States. This particular statement seems to be key:

Surface water rights initiated by applying water to beneficial use prior to March 1, 1905, and which have been perpetuated or continuously used through the years are known as vested water rights

The main water rights for the hot springs, Cottonwood Creek and Little Cottonwood Creek are the rare and highly coveted “vested water rights”, granted before 1905.

My source tells me that the Burning Man event draws 12 million gallons of water per year from this property (27 acre feet).


Setting Boundaries

We recently published discussion from the Washoe County Commissioner’s meeting about the possibility of redrawing district boundaries so that Burning Man would be part of Washoe County (which gets the economic benefits from event-related tourism) instead of Pershing County (which gets a massive spike in crime rates with no economic benefits).

Fly Ranch is next to Hualapai Flat. Burning Man was held at this location once, in 1997. Hualapai Flat is where Pershing, Washoe, and Humboldt Counties meet. Fly Geyser is in Washoe County.

Is the proposed Washoe Boundary move related to long-standing plans to purchase Hualapai Flat? Is BMorg sitting on $4 million from the Fly Ranch donations to acquire this land?

I guess time will tell.


[Update Feb 7, 2019 2:11pm]

The plot thickens, with this post saying that Burning Man was under contract to purchase Fly Ranch in 2009, and real estate developer Build SF helped organize their corporate restructuring to provide “personal financial security” for the 6 Burning Man founders.

In 2009, the BUILD partners were introduced to Larry Harvey and his partners at the Burning Man Organization. Burning Man was in contract to acquire a 4,000-acre ranch in the Nevada desert on which they planned to move the annual Burning Man event as well as develop a desert art center. 

BUILD facilitated a transaction that allowed Burning Man to adjust its corporate structure, manage tax requirements, protect trademarks, establish a permanent office, and provide personal financial security for the six Burning Man partners. Real estate provided an elegant solution for these complex, multi-dimensional challenges, while preserving and honoring the basic precepts of Burning Man. We are proud of the part we played as advisors to Burning Man in establishing a clear path and solid foundation for everyone’s long-term benefit, including the event itself.

I have another trusted source who drew the “intellectual property in a separate company” structure on a napkin for CEO Maid Marian. I will ask their opinion on this.

[Update Feb 13. 2019 4:06pm]

Breedlove head of BWB has updated us with some more detail:

It’s interesting to see the difference between Part III 4c & Schedule F Part 1. I don’t quite understand how they split the difference between those two sections.

What I can provide you with is that we gave 4 grants through our Civic Ignition Process coming out at 4,900$ and 21 grants through our Annual Community Micro-Grant Program coming out at 18,800$. Between the two programs that totaled $23,700.
(https://www.burnerswithoutborders.org/projects/bwb-community-grant-winners-2017)

We also provided grants for Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief at $21,317.12

There was also a series of Fiscal Sponsor funds that were raised and given out. One of those being the $30,363 for the Camp Epic Santa Rosa Fire Relief (which is in one of your screenshots above)— but I don’t have the ability to pull up all those numbers at this time.

I’m also realizing while going through my data that it isn’t the easiest to find some of this stuff unless you know where to look. So taking a note on improving our reporting systems for the future– I appreciate the opportunity to look at how we can do better at reporting in a more transparent and better to find way.

2017 Black Rock City Official Numbers (via BLM)

We received this heavily redacted document from a trusted source today

Official tickets sold: 76,580

Official ticket revenue: $41,825,941

BLM fee: $1,254,778

Paid Participants: 69,596

Peak Population: 79,638

Staff/Workers/Volunteers: 10,042

 

We are waiting for the official IRS Form 990 for 2017, which will reveal more financial details.

Defense Department/Navy Specialist in Organized Crime and Drugs to Run Burning Man

He will be responsible for the largest event on public land in the US as the new Winnemucca District manager for the Bureau of Land Management, the agency within the Department of the Interior that manages the annual Burning Man event. He replaces Gene Seidlitz, who was abruptly shunted out of his position during the Chocotacogate debacle.

From the Reno-Gazette Journal (emphasis ours):

drewjustin-nnb-people-121916The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has hired a former U.S. Department of Defense official as the new Winnemucca District manager.

The position will certainly provide a change of scenery for Justin Drew, who will begin his new role in February. Drew formerly dealt with illicit drug and weapon trafficking networks in the Caribbean, Central America and South America as the managing director of the U.S. Navy’s Counter Transnational Organized Crime Division for the Southern Command.

As the director of the Winnemucca office, he will manage 8.4 million acres of BLM-administered high desert throughout Northern Nevada, including the Black Rock-High Rock National Conservation Area, two field offices and eighty-three full-time employees.

He also will be responsible for issuing Burning Man’s $3 million to $4 million special recreation permit, the largest in the country…

One of the BLM’s greatest tasks in overseeing Burning Man is providing law enforcement resources to ensure that security protocol are followed during the weeks before, during and after the event. Burning Man executives have taken issue with some law enforcement procedures, such as the use of K9 units, the increase in traffic violations and overall , in recent years, cited in the arts nonprofit’s $2.8 million lawsuit against the BLM filed in July. The BLM also is responsible for environmental, health and safety standards at the annual, weeklong event.

Drew’s predecessor, Gene Seidlitz, was reassigned to the BLM state office in 2015 after the BLM came under fire for its unprecedented request that year for a VIP compound at Burning Man, information revealed in a Reno Gazette-Journal investigation in June 2015. Since Seidlitz’s reassignment, the BLM has enlisted several acting officials to oversee the Winnemucca office, including Kenneth Collum, William Mack and Robert Towne.

Drew has little to no experience in land management or geology, but has held various management positions in the U.S. Navy throughout his career. He served as the executive officer for the U.S. Navy’s Southern Command Joint Intelligence Operation Center as well as an Intel officer and an enlisted aviation electronics technician.

Drew received a bachelor’s degree in aeronautics from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, graduating Summa Cum Laude. In April, he also received a master’s degree in criminal justice from Boston University. In addition, Drew volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity and the Humane Society. He also trains dogs for general obedience and to work as service animals for veterans.

[Source]

Read the full story at the Reno Gazette-Journal.

The position required a Q Security Clearance from the Department of Energy, the highest level – equivalent to TOP SECRET/Sensitive Compartmentalized Information in the military. That would have been no problem for this career Naval Intelligence officer who managed hundreds of personnel in inter-agency teams with the CIA, DIA, DEA, NSA, FBI, BATF, Treasury and others.

Does he seem a little overqualified to manage a desert rave?

Has he been to Burning Man? Did he partake of the sacrament? Do you think he knows there are people on drugs there? Hopefully his interest in animal welfare will encourage him to stop the torture of Police K9s in these abominably dusty and dry conditions, just to entrap a few $1000+ citations to fill the Pershing County coffers while ruining the lives of innocent psychedelic enthusiast Burners.

He is a Freemason, which will not be surprising to anyone following my Shadow History series. He is also Alpha Phi Sigma.

Interestingly, his rank is not revealed.

“I will be reporting to my next “duty station” in February 2017″…sounds more like he was assigned this post, rather than spontaneously deciding on a career change. It is curious that his resumé says he’s been in the role since February 2016.

His former boss, head of SOUTHCOM General John F Kelly, has just been named by President Donald Trump as the new head of the Department of Homeland Security, taking over from Jeh Johnson.


From his public LinkedIn profile:

• Increasing degree of responsibility and technical expertise over tenure with United States Navy
• Responsible for the comprehensive supervision and administrative oversight of multiple programs & projects within the global intelligence community / operational & managerial oversight, and assessment of processes and policies
• Facilitated the development and implementation of improvement plans and development of policies and procedures designed to increase efficiency, streamline processes and ensure quality
• Skilled in all aspects of Human Resource Management / supervision & training / scheduling / interviewing / assessment / documentation & compliance / supervised 300+ direct reports
• Innate ability to collaborate and communicate with stakeholders across all departmental, and organizational levels on global scale / advanced interpersonal abilities
• Fostered open communication in cross-functional teams to drive progress while balancing a high volume of competing demands and deadlines / goal driven project management
• Acted as liaison between projects & directives and leadership in the dissemination of highly sensitive intelligence information
• Prepared and presented extensive reporting & documentation to leadership regarding analytical assessments of policies, procedures, and outcomes / prepared & presented briefings to military and other government agency officials / dignitaries both foreign and US
• Aligned training and procedural efforts to goals and increased multi-departmental efficiency and productivity through the implementation of best practice policies & protocol
• Expertise in budget development & strategic planning / asset allocation & prioritization

Experience

District Manager

Bureau of Land Management

February 2016 – Present (11 months)Winnemucca, Nevada

I will be reporting to my next “duty station” in February 2017. I couldn’t be more excited about starting a new career in such a fantastic organization surrounded by natures beauty.

…[snip]

Managing Director

US Navy

February 2013 – July 2015 (2 years 6 months)Miami/Fort Lauderdale Area

Managed new team created to accomplish USSOUTHCOM Commander’s (4-Star) highest priority of combating transnational organized crime. Applied my knowledge, subject matter expertise, tradecraft, and technical competency to formulate a new product line utilizing link analysis charts and current information that directly supports interagency partners such as, but not limited too: Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, Customs and Border Patrol, Drug Enforcement Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, National Security Agency, and Treasury Department), and other 3 letter strategic-level consumers. This ultimately led to the seizure of millions of dollars in assets.

Making tough decisions, created an environment for effective prioritization of work that increased productivity by 300%. Openness to team members led to increased collaboration with peers, interagency partners and seniors alike. Encouraged a skilled set of team members within a high OPTEMPO environment to participate in problem solving to enhance productivity. Delegating priorities and providing clear written and oral communication led to his team leading the organization in productivity and setting a organizational standard of 100% completion rate of all required tasks.

Meticulous Organizational skills; with exceptional attention to detail, created and prioritized the counter transnational organized crime branch’s fiscal year 2014 Budget of $1.2 million. Expertly managed all administrative aspects of his team to include being the certifying official and releaser of $153,625.49 of travel funds. As a mentor and leader, facilitated teams 400% increase in production and 600% increase in evaluations of daily information reports. During this production surge, quality daily information briefs and information assessments continued to receive praise throughout highest levels of leadership. Leadership skills are beyond reproach.

Joint Intelligence Operation Center Executive Officer

US Navy

February 2012 – February 2013 (1 year 1 month)Miami/Fort Lauderdale Area

Ran operation center with 5 divisions consisting of a total of 322 personnel from all branches of department of defense armed forces, contractors, army civilians, and defense civilian personnel system employees. Ensured unity of effort through effective oral and written communication, which resulted in all requirements being completed on time and at or under budget. I am a senior executive product review guru; as the Microsoft Office and staff product subject mater expert, I provided solutions and mentoring as needed in order to ensure all staff and informational products were of the highest standards and complied with all applicable guidelines; this kept USSOUTHCOM senior executive leadership with clear situational awareness to make informed decisions for future planning. Maintaining superior situational awareness, I led senior executive working group in prioritizing $750,000 in travel authorization funds. Prioritized and developed 84 travel plans, authorized as certifying official $240,000 worth of travel funds, and provided oversight to the remaining travel funds with zero accounting discrepancies resulting in resources being maximized and all critical travel properly allocated and resourced.

Project Director

US Navy

March 2011 – January 2012 (11 months)Miami/Fort Lauderdale Area

Managed 4-star General’s number one priority team. Led multiservice team of Department of Defense, Government Service, and Contractors in successfully collaboration with interagency partners to include Federal Bureau of Investigation, Defense Agency, Central Agency, Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, Drug Enforcement Agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, National Security Agency, and US Treasury in combating global priority per POTUS directive. Shows particular aptitude for supervising civilians, Department of Defense contractors, and collaborating with senior officers in a joint, interagency senior executive staff environment. Effectively used creative thinking to leverage limited resources and established a new tracking database which provides an exponentially greater monitoring and tracking capability; result was teams’ productivity level was increased 400%. Created a new bibliography product line used to nominate individuals to the Extraterritorial Criminal travel Strike Force to get global prioritization for limited and critically needed assets into USSOUTHCOM’s area of responsibility.

Held title and executed duties of division training officer ensuring all programs and requirements were met with resounding success. Top mentor in peer group; provided motivation and insight in continued educational programs resulting in three sailors and two soldiers meeting their academic goals. Liaised with National “I” University to get the first ever-video teleconferencing education program at USSOUTHCOM. These efforts have led to multiple degrees being obtained at both the Bachelors and Masters level for many fellow associates.

Project Manager

US Navy

March 2010 – February 2011 (1 year)Bahrain

Provide all source Indication and Warning and informational products in support of fleet operations. Served as Naval Information Officer for El Basrah Oil Terminal in support of Command Task Group-Iraqi Maritime Forces. Developed numerous threat briefings and informational reports, supporting Operation New Dawn. Led five-person regional analysis division providing indications and warning on over 20 countries and provided all-source analysis for over 30 theater security engagement events. Voluntarily reorganized Naval Central Command’s “I” Directorate’s data entry operating procedures for the Defense Readiness reporting System; resulting in a more accurate reflection of the operational readiness of the N2 directorate’s operational readiness; briefed at the highest senior executive service level.

Department Manager

US Navy

February 2008 – February 2010 (2 years 1 month)Jacksonville, Florida Area

Developed and executed over 15 operational briefs to increase executive awareness and readiness for upcoming events. Established the command’s classified material program including accepting, cataloging, and tracking over 160 pieces of classified material. Managed intricate details in formulating a 3-day training exercise focusing on specific target acquisition and weapon execution procedures. Planned and developed a multi-country problem integrating multiple assets and real time informational injects with 15 sorties and 30 mishap free flight hours. As the command security manager, supervised the flawless transition of over 200 pieces of classified material during a transition to a new hangar. Supervised the initial installation of all SIPR access for the squadron ensuring security protocols were met, security standards met or exceeded, and over $10M in assets accounted for with zero discrepancies.

Student Researcher

US Navy

April 2007 – February 2008 (11 months)Florida

Attended Officer Training Command Pensacola’s Officer Candidate program which develops civilians, enlisted and newly commissioned personnel morally, mentally, physically and imbues them with the highest ideals of honor, courage and commitment for service as Naval Officers.

Also attended 21-week Naval “I” Officer Basic Course that I satisfactorily completed. I was an active and enthusiastic participant during this course, and consistently demonstrated a strong desire to learn the vast amount of information presented.

Human Resources Training Manager

US Navy

November 2006 – April 2007 (6 months)Jacksonville, Florida Area

Maximized resources and expeditiously reduced AIMD’s Training program discrepancies by 50 percent per last conducted Quality Assurance audit. Assisted in the verifying of command Enlisted Distribution and Verification Report on Naval Enlisted Classification qualifications, consequently updating 38 personnel with correct Naval Enlisted Classfication’s for assigned command billets. Efforts resulted in the alignment of billets at command for greater productivity. Utilized knowledge and experience in assisting personnel in preparing Officer Candidate School and Seaman to Admiral packages and preparations for the boards giving outstanding insight to peers and subordinates alike. Revamped the Safety, NAVOSH, General Maintenance Training, and in-rate training requirements for over 800 personnel through proactive Monthly Training Plans, spot-audits, and flexibility in meeting immediate needs of the command. Developed and implemented a new electronic training jacket program reducing man-hours needed to log training by 500 hours quarterly.

Department Manager

US Navy

April 2005 – November 2006 (1 year 8 months)Jacksonville, Florida Area

Managed three teams of personnel consisting of a total of 47 people in the diagnosis and repair of circuit cards at the micro/min level and fabrication of electronic cable bundles consisting of upwards of 1,000 wires on a regular basis with zero discrepancies. Proactively implemented a cross training curriculum that led to the qualification of six new collateral duty inspectors, a 40% increase in total personal qualified and increased productivity within all three teams. Mentored and contributed to the professional success of peers and subordinates by providing training and instruction that improved in-rate advancement by 60 percent.

Team Manager

US Navy

April 2004 – April 2005 (1 year 1 month)Kauai Hawaii

Supervised 7 personnel in the completion of scheduled and unscheduled maintenance of five UH-3H aircraft. Secondary duties included Avionics Collateral Duty Inspector, Electrostatic Discharge Petty Officer, and Supply Petty Officer. A recognized expert of the UH-3H aircraft avionics systems; one of only six Non-Pilot Turn Qualified maintainers performed the task of starting the aircraft so maintenance could be performed over 150 times. Trained three coworkers to perform Non-Pilot Turn Qualification, a task paramount to the support of aircraft maintenance and troubleshooting. Ensured the continued success of the Avionics Department by motivating work center personnel to accomplish a goal of zero avionic discrepancies on every aircraft. This leadership directly impacted mission readiness enabling PMRF to execute all critical Pacific Fleet training missions.

Duties: Repaired over 276 aircraft discrepancies, completed 77 non-pilot engine turns, and was a key player in the removal and replacement of 3 UH-3H main gearboxes. His exceptional knowledge of the Naval Aviation Maintenance Program maintenance procedures as well as his meticulous attention to detail were crucial in the completion of six work center audits as well as twelve program audits, ensuring all programs were compliant with all applicable regulations and up to date with documentation. Obtained Electronic Mechanic Journeyman certification through US Department of Labor via US Military Apprenticeship Program.

QA Manager

US Navy

April 2003 – April 2004 (1 year 1 month)Kauai Hawaii

Perform audits on seven work centers consisting of 200+ personnel performing scheduled and unscheduled maintenance on six UH-3H aircraft. A proven technical expert and team player in the Quality Assurance Team. Demonstrated outstanding trouble-shooting skills from day one. Onboard less than a month, I repaired three major avionic discrepancies and three wire connector repairs consisting of over 50 wires each; restoring two aircraft to fully mission capable status and enhancing overall mission readiness. Achieved exceptional results in Quality assurance, which culminated in Pacific Missile Range Facility’s safe execution of 568 missions, over 800 mishap free flight hours in support of a myriad of exercises and two ballistic missile test launches. As a true team player, assisted Airframe shop in the fabrication of a full set of “rig pins,” allowing rapid test and evaluation of aircraft flight control systems and savings of $2500 to the command.

Other duties included Compass calibrator, explosive egress program monitor, and electro-static discharge program manager.

Avionics Technician

US Navy

September 1998 – March 2003 (4 years 7 months)Jacksonville, Florida Area

Managed and lead team of 8 associates who performed scheduled and unscheduled maintenance on commination, navigation, and computer systems on 8 aircraft. Recognized expert on all avionics systems whose knowledge of complex avionics and ability to troubleshoot and repair difficult discrepancies resulted in intensive repairs on 3 computers, 8 radar systems, and 4 communication improvement program modifications. These repairs were instrumental in restoring aircraft to full mission capable status. Personally selected to repair 3 elusive avionics discrepancies with over 100 man-hours of repair time already invested. All 3 repairs were personally diagnosed and repaired within 24 hours. Poised professional whose dedication to the command and ability to motivate subordinates had an immediate and positive impact on the command’s morale and readiness. Conducted numerous training sessions for junior personnel, resulting in an increase in work center personnel qualifications. Contributes to work center production, maintenance safety, and program compliance.

Other duties included: Support equipment petty officer, electro-static discharge petty officer, training petty officer, and moral welfare and recreation petty officer. Completed tasks in a timely manner with minimal supervision. Repaired numerous avionic system repairs reduced workload by 30% for Avionics work shop. During critical manpower shortages in the work center, recognized by leadership for going above and beyond to ensure all requirements were met.

Education

Boston University

Master’s Degree, Criminal Justice, 3.64

2016

MET CJ650 TERRORISM B
MET CJ725 FOREN BEHAV ANL A-
MET CJ702 ANALYTIC METHDS A
MET CJ602 CRIMINOLOGY B
MET CJ625 VICTIMOLOGY A-
MET CJ631 YTH CRIME PRBLM A
MET CJ632 WHITE CLR CRIME A-
MET CJ703 RESEARCH METHDS A-
MET CJ710 DIGTL INVSTIGTN A

Activities and Societies: Alpha Phi Sigma – Criminal Justice Honor Society

(Open)1 organization

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

BS 3.9/4, Professional Aeronautics

2003 – 2007

Bachelors degree, Professional Aeronautics, Graduated Summa Cum Laude

Activities and Societies: I was an active duty service member in the US Navy working full time while attending classes.

[snip]

 

Volunteer Experience & Causes

Shelter Manager

US Navy

April 2003 – November 2005 (2 years 8 months)

I was certified by the Red Cross.

Judge

JROTC Foundation

August 2011 – Present (5 years 5 months)Children

Judge competitions and provide mentorship to high-school level cadets.

Food Preparation

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida

March 2008 – Present (8 years 10 months)Poverty Alleviation

Prepare and serve meals on a quarterly basis along side my fellow Masonic Lodge members.

Supervisor

Habitat for Humanity International

July 2004 Poverty Alleviation

Organized and led a group of volunteers to renovate a community building used to host non-profit group meetings to include AA, NA, and other civic minded groups. Renovation took 4 days and over 200 man hours. Renovation included new roof and screens installation. Re-painting and pressure cleaning was also done of this 1250 square foot building.

Big Brother

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

March 2011 – February 2013 (2 years)Children

Provide mentoring and of an at risk

Causes Justin cares about:

  • Animal Welfare
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Disaster and Humanitarian Relief

Organizations Justin supports:

Certifications

OSHA 30

OSHA-Training.com

Starting July 2015

2M Microminiature Technician

Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), License TRMA 6570

Starting March 2006

A Crash Course in Data Science(Link)

Coursera Course Certificates, License CHD72DPC3TSY

Starting November 2015

Building a Data Science Team(Link)

Coursera Course Certificates, License T7R5Q79NJWHM

Starting November 2015

Managing Data Analysis(Link)

Coursera Course Certificates, License QMAKHJUWD32F

Starting December 2015

Organizations

Mason

Senior Warden

Starting September 2007

Veterans of Foreign Wars

Lifetime Member

Alpha Phi Sigma – Criminal Justice Honor Society

Life Member

Starting March 2016


This RAND Corporation document describes the relationship between the Department of Defense, the Southern Command, and the other agencies tasked with the “War on Drugs” – aka CTOC (Counter-Transnational Organized Crime):

https://www.dropbox.com/s/fj2lbsuoct7gcsx/Screenshot%202016-12-15%2017.04.47.png?dl=0

 

 

Why We Burn: Jungle, Mayor of Kostume Kult

(Youth is wasted on the young, but is the playa wasted on the seasoned? Not according to Jungle. One of the most visible, Falstaffian leaders of Kostume Kult, I was honored to speak to him about Kamp Konstruction, Leadership at Kostume Kult, and how the playa has changed since his first Burn in 2007. Interview by Terry Gotham and music by David Kiss)

Jungle1

1. Favorite Burning Man Memory?
There are lots of them. I’ve spent the better part of my time at Burning Man MC’ing where Kostume Kult gifts the gazillions of costumes to the fine citizenry of Black Rock City. That gifting (and helping build the KK community) is the primary driving force for me attending. I get to live out all of the 10 principles, I get to see people transform into themselves v2.0, I get to see smiles a lot and get to interact with lots of folks. I see lots of folks who are friends from NY, from elsewhere & folks I’ve met while MC’ing in prior years. Out of all of the experiences there, the one that is burned into my conscience is as follows:

I pester folks (tourists) to get them to participate, not just watch. One year, there was this guy on a bike. I guess he forgot what he was doing, because he wasn’t wearing any clothing. so I started ‘pestering’. I suggested that he get a costume, perhaps even merely get something to ‘accessorize’ his dick. After a little bit of time with no movement on his part, I began to deal with others. A short time later, however, I noticed him walking down the runway with a smile, wearing a necklace and a top hat. When he got off the runway, I thanked him for participating; he said that he wanted to thank me for ‘encouraging’ him to participate, as he had Parkinson’s and was very self conscious about his shaking; hence, he never gets off his bike. He said that my pestering motivated him to do it, and that he didn’t shake at all walking down the runway. I really don’t recall anything else about Burning Man that year. There are lots of snapshots like that at our runway.

Continue reading

BMOrg vs BLM: You Took Too Much

Sally Ho from the Associated Press reports that the Burning Man Project are disputing their $2.8 million bill from the Bureau of Land Management.

From the Washington Post:

Burning Man organizers are disputing their $2.8 million bill from the federal government…The festival takes issue with the Bureau of Land Management’s discretion over the weeklong counterculture celebration, claiming that the authority has been overstaffing and overcharging without fully explaining the tab…“If they can’t explain all of it, than we’re asking for all of it back,” said Ray Allen

…the case also pulls back the curtain on the logistical hurdles and an evolving backstage power struggle behind an event once considered an extreme camping experience that has now achieved widespread popularity with millions in revenue.

The BLM said Burning Man officials were provided with a detailed summary of costs with receipts and that “(f)ederal government agencies are obligated to recover the full cost of providing a special benefit…”

The Court case is likely to take more than a year:

The festival is taking the issue to the Interior Department’s internal appeals court, where an administrative law judge will decide on the case. This arbitration process, which could last more than a year, is commonly used for challenges related to grazing or mining uses and fees.

We get an official number for BLM cops in 2015, 84. Plus Pershing etc.

BLM contends that Burning Man demands year-round planning and an unparalleled response to protect the public lands given its scope and nature. The 2015 event required 84 law enforcement officers

BMOrg thinks that’s too many cops, and wonders what they’re all doing:

The festival argues that that many officers aren’t necessary given that more than a thousand Burning Man volunteers also patrol the event and that it has a clean record of taking care of the land. Burning Man said in its appeal that more than half the BLM bill was to pay for labor costs, but that the paperwork lacked specific information about the duties they actually performed.

Ray Allen, the lawyer, seems to be working off a different set of books than the After Burn accounts:

In recent years, a more openly adversarial partnership has surfaced between the festival and the increasing number of local authorities assigned to oversee it. Allen said Burning Man has been stomaching dramatically increasing costs since 2011, when its permit was $730,000.

2011 Afterburn: $1,552,000

It’s not all bad news, things are running pretty smoothly. BLM is going down. Let’s hope this doesn’t throw a spanner in the works:

Both the federal authority and Burning Man organizers said planning for the 2016 festival has been going smoothly. The new state director John Ruhs said BLM staffing numbers are expected to go down this year because communication between both sides are now much improved.

Read the full story  at the Washington Post.

Chocotacos were too much, cops were too much, and now BMOrg are asking the Federales to explain exactly what the money was spent on. Or, to be specific, just what all those cops were doing. Maybe now they will release the arrest information like they used to in the Transparency 1.0 era.

Recent revelations in the Reno Gazette Journal have featured both Commissioner Vaughn Hartung and  Sheriff Chuck Allen taking their families on joyrides important police RAVEN missions to extravagant 18 course meals on the Playa. Sponsored by Krug, perhaps. Most definitely sponsored by First Camp, and their wealthy patrons at the Burning Man Project.

There’s no spectators, unless you’re the cops or the media, then come on in! Look at the freaks! Have some air-lifted lobster.

raven washoe 5155

Now they can cut costs and fly in on the Burner airline. 3% of the revenue from that presumably goes to the BLM too, so in the future we might get lucky enough to see how well that little sideline monopoly is doing, through the magic of FOIA.

The BLM did accede to Burning Man’s demands to increase the population size from 50,000 including everyone to 70,000 paying plus 10-15,000 volunteers or workers.This has seen revenues go from $13.5 million in 2010 to at least $37 million this year. BLM fees have increased from $1.9 million in 2012, to $2.8 million. This is about what Burning Man’s entire payroll was in 2010. To me, it doesn’t seem all that unreasonable.

This Federal take is about the same as the estimated State windfall from the 9% Live Entertainment Tax. This was imposed on all outdoor festivals. BMOrg passed it straight onto Burners. The money sits in their bank account for half a year or more earning interest, before they have to hand it over to the Government. Not to mention all kinds of weirdness with the “9% of $3 of the $7 handling fee” or whatever all that was.

Do the hundreds of BLM workers involved with Burning Man take their frustration about this complaint out on any BMOrg personnel, who are dealing through lawyers and media spokespeople? Or do they take it out on DPW and Burners, trying to make their budgets instead of getting their hours cut…with sniffer dogs and citations?

Maybe they should just let the government take their share, the same way we do when we accept the ever-increasing  ticket prices. It’s the Government’s land, in the same way that it’s Decommodification LLC’s brand. You wanna use it, you pay rent.

“Transparent” Burning Man should provide their own figures, since they are demanding the Government do the same. We want to know where the money goes too. It’s us that are funding the whole thing, on both sides. At least, it was until Flysalen…now we have very little idea where the money’s actually coming from.

Why things are so tight, when ticket prices and demand are so high, and they no longer have to pay any tax?

If only the money and energy that they put into lawyers and accountants went into waste management, reduced carbon footprint, and reforestation.

rainforest

Wickermanlarge

Image: Rescendent CC BY_SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons