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Second Edition Staffing Update

by Ross Fertel, Second Edition Brand Manager

7th November 2018

There has been a change in staffing for Second Edition Design.

Right before my tenure as Second Edition Brand Manager, John Corbett pitched a new way to design sets in Second Edition. The process involved significant changes to the way Design was structured and run and he was allowed to test out this experimental structure. He was given a year to do so. At some point, that became three sets.  In a typical calendar year, there are three full sized sets produced, so these were considered roughly equivalent.  There were no plans for him to do any work in this capacity beyond that. Not only did he supervise three full sets, but four smaller boutique sets were created under his tenure.

With the set coming this December, the third full set is complete and I decided to conclude his time in this position.  At that point, there were several issues I had with him as design director. I discussed the situation with Chairman Charlie Plaine and Vice-Chair Maggie Geppert prior to a recent Board Meeting.  

I reached out to John by phone to inform him of the situation along with my reasons for changing leadership.  The call itself wasn’t that long and I was willing to be on that call as long as it took.  Immediately after that call ended, I posted a thread in the staff and playtesting boards informing them of the change.  Charlie and I would conclude work on Donar, the last set approved by John, and we would find a replacement.

The main issue that I can share with you was recruitment and training of new staff.  He was not able to recruit new designers and playtesters as quickly and efficiently as he promised.  On multiple occasions, he has neglected to train new staff that he did recruit correctly. In fact, he specifically requested that another staff member do this in his stead.  I did not feel that it was appropriate for him to delegate his authority in this way. There are others reasons that I have discussed with John, but he has asked that they not be made public.

One unintended consequence was the unfortunate timing with the Texas Chainsaw Masters event.  There was no intention to ruin that event in the slightest. I have nothing but the best hopes for that event's success and this was not meant to hurt him or that event in the slightest.  I do event planning in my ‘day’ job and the last thing I would want is an event to fail, especially one that runs on a volunteer organization such as ours.

Another unintended consequence was that his access to the design forum was removed.  I had sent word to the programming team to remove access to things that he should not as a member if design, but unbeknownst to me, they went too far.  As soon as I heard, I restored his access to the design forum. His total time off was less than an hour. Not only am I am fan of cards John designs, several others on the Continuing Committee are as well.  He is a talented designer and we look forward to him designing more cards in the future.

Looking back, he shouldn’t have been removed in this manner.  It wasn’t as though he was leaving suddenly; he should have had enough time to train his replacement.  He should have been allowed to conclude all projects that he began, approved and was in the midst of managing to help with the transition process.  Rather than removing him abruptly, he should have finished his work on Donar, completed the projects he already approved and then trained his replacement.  I fully and freely apologize to the community for how I mishandled this and other parts of this staffing change.

Edit: I would like to clarify a point here. The timeline laid out here means that John will retain the title and duties of Design Director until the end of 2019.

Speaking of a replacement, I am pleased to announce that Nathan “Gooeychewie” Miracle has been brought in as interim design director.  An accomplished designer in his own right, he will be undergoing training as described above and then designing a set on his own. All these sets will be designed using the design methodology that John brought as design director.  When that is complete, I will decide if he remains in that position.

Again, I apologize for mishandling the changeover of the Design Director leadership. I look forward to the community putting this incident in the past and us enjoying new cards in the future together.

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