Well, it looks like they couldn’t even be bothered to sweep things under the rug, everybody’s least favorite sexual harassing gun toting workplace labor law violating town council threatening party with minors throwing piece of human refuse Tony Norman just gave out excellence for MS at worlds. And he was introduced as the president and CEO of VEX Robotics, so that whole “retirement” thing was a lie too.
Did Tony not present during the VRC or VEX U events? If not, it almost seems like a PR move. Tony only present at the events where (many of) the students are too young to understand the severity of his misconduct. Yuck.
Yeah, I was half expecting him to come up to the stage during the VRC event, but they probably knew there would’ve been a riot.
Vex and IFI and disgusting.
Hypothetically, I suppose they could still be looking for a new CEO and just listed him as the interim CEO to make it simpler (since he had been the CEO until then), but I don’t know whether a company would do that.
dunno… Tony Norman has a ton of control over IFI, and the only way he’s getting replaced is if he wants to. Since he doesn’t seem to realize that it’s a bad idea to show up on stage during worlds, I don’t think he’s gonna be particularly keen on replacing himself.
Just a question, but is Bob Mimlich also one of the “bad guys”? Just wondering, because I talked to him last year.
In my own professional opinion, at this point if someone is affiliated with VEX and doesn’t have a CEO title, they aren’t a “bad guy”.
Bob is a sweetheart.
Maybe this is a weird analogy but I’m going to make it. Animal rights activists have recently gotten several large companies to stop selling fur. VICTORIES | Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade A company only drops fur if the CEO wants to drop fur, and yet this relatively small group of activists has gotten some huge corporations to drop fur in a very short amount of time. How did they do it?
- They educated the public. There’s no real reason that fur is worse than leather (or cashmere or down etc.) but there is a reason the public is much more strongly against fur, and that reason is education. Animal rights activists have publicized images and videos of animals being turned into fur coats in the most horrible ways imaginable. People see them and realize how awful fur is.
- They demonstrated aggressively with a clear demand. CAFT protests are very loud and intense, and they make the lives of the corporate executives unpleasant. The executives know that if they dropp fur, the activists will go away, and if not, they will have to deal with the social pressure (and noise!) of the protests. So, they all give in.
Let’s think about how we could apply the same steps to this problem:
- Educating the public. Most of us on G2M know about Tony Norman’s misconduct, but most people in Vex do not. People should make a linktree with a QR code. The linnktree should link to all the forum posts where Tony is accused of misconduct. Then the QR code should be put on fliers all over the convention center, handed out to teams individually, etc. People need to know that Tony is bad, and that’s never gonna happen digitally now that the forums are so tightly controlled.
- Demonstrating aggressively with a clear demand. Every time Tony speaks at Vex Worlds, what if everyone started chanting “Tony Norman, Step Down”? What if he was booed every time he was introduced. Sure he has the power to stay there, but why would he? What possible benefit could he get from standing in front of a stadium full of people that hate him, saying things they don’t want to hear?
If we follow these steps, I sincerely believe we can push Tony to step down from CEO and never present at worlds.
The difference with companies dropping fur and this is that those CEOs made business decisions to drop fur, in this case, you’re expecting an egotistical CEO to get rid of himself with no significant threat to business.
I agree, it would be helpful to bring more publicity to this, but at the same time, the community that cares about this isn’t massive.
yeah that would’ve happened if he went on stage during HS/VEXU finals, but the only thing that would chang is that Tony wouldn’t be on stage during those finals- which happened this year (refer to OP).
There’s nothing that’s stopping Tony from shutting up, not doing anything public, yet still wrecking havoc internally at IFI while making tons of money.
I have a relatively pessimistic view of this, so more likely than not there will be some significant internal and external protest if he doesn’t leave.
Bob from when I have talked to him, and listened to his speeches, he seems like the kind of person who would love to sit down on a porch swing and share his life story.
Pretty much just a happy guy.
My one, AND ONLY, complaint about Bob Mimlitch is that he sometimes dreams too big.
Normally, this is an excellent character trait.
But when you dream to big and run a company, sometimes that sets up people for failure when it comes to hitting deadlines.
Oof that’s sometimes me.
I almost met Bob Mimlitch at the last Luisville Worlds. He was standing surrounded by a middle school team who wanted to take a picture with him. He asked them “what does your robot do?”. The kids lit up for getting the attention and said something generic like “our robot picks up this and scores that”.
I figured he’ll give them the standard “OK little kid, bye bye now.” treatment and that will be my perfect timing to get in and get a selfie with him. But that’s not what he did. He answered “Wow, that sounds so exciting. Do you mind taking me to your booth, I would really love to see what you came up with!”.
I don’t know the man nor I have any idea how he runs his business but that moment I saw a humble man, a mentor and a spark of genuine interest and kindness.
Yeah I was lucky enough to meet him last year at the VIP meet and greet. I can’t remember much of what we talked about, but he seemed pretty nice. I was also wondering: was anyone else here at that event? (I think you would remember if you were).
My story with meeting him is we talked to him, and gave him a leg (We 3D print these legs and give them out). He put it in his shirt button hole (Near the collar of his shirt) and then started telling us about his hats. He is an interesting and fun guy.
Anyone surprised here? PR thing goes like this oh well kids have short memories they will go back to there robots and all will be fine……Adults need to show some leadership here I think and in particular it is time for RECF to take a stand and communicate a clear view forward including getting it’s board in order and independent….but I have been around to long and become to cynical in that respect …. it is sad but what does it say about Girl Power….