Joe Fournier

Joe Fournier

Friday, June 14, 2013

My Story Part TWO - insider blows the whistle on the United Inventors Association


Initially, when I started the membership director position there was NO voting. It was simply a company would want to join, they would pay their dues and they were added to the website and blog pages. After the Jan 2013 (annual) board meeting the process changed.  There are 5 members of the executive committee Mark Reyland (also the executive Director) Trevor Lambert, Ken Bloemer, Warren Tuttle (president), and Bill McHenry. Generally speaking I would do basic research on a company and send it over for a vote; the only NO vote I recall ever getting was from Bill McHenry. McHenry or Warren (I cannot remember which) initiated a conference call to discuss the company. After Bill presented his evidence as to why this company should not be allowed into the UIA, it was sent back out for vote, the votes came in 4 YES and 1 NO (the no was still Bill McHenry). It was a “majority wins” voting system, and once I had 3 YES votes I could send them (the new member) a link to make payment.

 I received an email from a previous corporate sponsor who with their permission I will include their story where she says that their references were never even checked, The Company was promised a bunch of things that they never received, and feels taken advantage of as a corporate sponsor. The original letter is also on my blog. 
 Here is the Quoted Email from this previous “Certified Pros’” letter to me , it seems as even when they had the Certified Pro label for what they now call sponsors, nothing was different, they were not doing all the checks they had promised the UIA community they promised they were doing anyway.  Maybe that explains the “so what” attitude, I guess nothing really changed but the name, they were never doing any actual research back then either.

“Dear Joe!

Thank you for your candor! I appreciate your honesty and boldness to step forward and "blow the whistle". I was actually offered your position by Mark Reyland almost a year ago and when I queried him on the outrageous requirements of the job position I never received an answer. I can validate your claim as I paid $5000.00 for a Platinum Membership and was never researched nor were my references called. A fact I found terribly disturbing given the level of "approval" i was supposed to be subjected to. I was promised that I would be invited to be a guest speaker at trade shows, attend VIP dinners where conferences were held and never received an invitation. I was fleeced for $5000.00 and couldn't even access the membership directory after paying. I could go on and on.

If you would like to discuss this with me further or need any fodder to substantiate your claims please feel free to call me!! I was left out to dry by the UIA at the Platinum Level and lost all hope in my invention and company.

I am SO appreciative you stepped out and brought this situation into the light!!

With gratitude,

Identity hidden intentionally.

So I have to wonder now with the UIA, was it ever about the actual Inventor, or was it about the money, I think we all know the answer to that. I cant even count the times I was told that the amount of money coming in didn’t cover the “nut”  I also know several weeks ago I was told directly by Mark Reyland that the UIA account had a over 700.00 negative balance,  that is what he said.

While I didn’t know about any actual perks involved with the tradeshow sponsors. The only thing I found odd, is InventionHome was always a sponsor of trade shows, I don’t know if that is wrong, just thought that they were just hand in hand with the UIA. I do not know what or if they paid for sponsorships, as trade shows were not my department; it just always struck me as odd.

As far as my job with the UIA goes, I was never written up for anything, I was never reprimanded, I was never in any sort of trouble None!  In reviewing emails I see a lot of praises for my hard work. I was terminated when I asked Mark to call me, related to being compensated for work I had completed 2 weeks prior in a text message which turned into a “back and forth” text argument that resulted in “the UIA will no longer require your services.” I was asked to take over, because I was told by Mark Reyland that Roger Brown who had been answering the email was forced to quit doing the job, or face consequences greater than a few day suspensions he received from his workplace Edison Nation, and Roger Brown was to write an apology letter to John Young.  SO I took over that Job and was promised 500.00 per month, at the end of April I sent a report of how many questions came in, I submitted the required information at the end of the month.  I expected to be paid, when 2 weeks went by I sent mark a text message that said something like, Hey Bud, sorry for your loss, but when you have time I really need to talk to you about compensation on the inventing question thing.  Mark sent back a nasty message I sent a nasty message, this went back and forth and then I received the UIA will no longer require your services, in a text message

Its interesting reflecting back and now that as I have talked to 2 other people who were offered this position, they were offered a higher pay structure than I was, example being, a full platinum membership costs 5000.00 and commission on the 2 other contracts were 1000 commission, but I was only paid 750.00 for the same thing, I wonder now looking at Mark Reyland told me they were never offered 1000, was Mr Reyland been pocketing 250.00 of each sale I made?  I requested the procedures for hiring and firing and have not gotten a reply.  Also wouldn’t the pay involved in any position be something that would have been voted on by the board? Or does this just another example where Mark Reyland is the board and makes all the decisions on his own?  Why would my pay be different than someone else’s?  I can see where as I had no experience in the beginning, to make a smaller amount, but I had proven my abilities many times over.  I was also told that I would make a base pay of 500.00 per month, when QVC pulled their deal out I was told that I would no longer be getting a base pay,  there were times where I worked all month and if a sale didn’t come in, I spent the entire month and made absolutely NOTHING.

I was accused of hacking into the UIA computer systems, when the fact is I simply logged in with the credentials given to me by Mark. I found it actually refreshing that in Warren’s message to the members he admits to what I had told everyone; they did indeed change the certification to (just) sponsorship, but he did not address why the UIA failed to inform the UIA community of this change.

I truly do not understand; even before all this there are tons of stories of how unethical Mark is and how he is giving the UIA a bad name, to the point I was told directly by Mark, that the negativity around him cost the UIA some $200,000 per year on a 3-year deal with QVC.  And I was told by Mark that Bill McHenry had asked for Mark’s resignation at some point to the board or maybe directly to Warren. Why the President of the organization would allow this I really have no clue.

If I could Make a recommendation to anyone it would be research,  Not just the UIA, but any company, find out who you are dealing with, find out who is in the company research those people as well,  I actually Have a few ideas on how to create an organization better than what the UIA is offering.


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