Dear San Diego and SoCal Pet Con exhibitors.
I am writing to give you information and to also ask for your help.
I have not peronally spoken with many of you in San Diego, as the day that Del Mar Fair breached the contract, I ended up hopitlaized for five days. I tell you this not for sympathy, but to explain why I have not been involved in San Diego-related communication until today.
This is also going to be the most unprofessional, drama filled letter I have ever written, but I am out of ideas as to how to explain what we’ve experienced. It all seems surreal and I’m aware it sounds as if there’s no way it could be true, so I am including some things here I would not normally share.
You already know, I am sure, that we have produced 210 Pet Expos nationwide in the last ten years. And you know that we hired an accountant last year (actually, I hired her, so I get to live with that decision for a long time) that was mentally ill, sabotaged our business and caused show cancellations and other issues, primarily because of our contingent of LGBTQ staff members and the fact she believed I was the anti-Christ. This is why we had to move these events from sping to fall in the first place. Overall, we felt we were recovering ok from this. We held every show this year as planned, and seemed like we were on the path to regaining our reputation and some dignity. We are a lot like a lot of you. We are mostly family. We are small. We have children, grandchildren and employees that depend on our business. So we have fought and fought. We have been trashed by the media, lied about, threatened, harassed, all of it. But we have fought. Did we screw up? Yes. I made a bad hire. I should have been more thorough. I should have listened to my wife, who was against the hire of this particular CPA. But we had grown from five shows in 2011 to 33 in 2016, and I felt we needed an in-house CFO. I certainly did not think the hire was a bad move, that it would have long-lasting consequences not only for us but for each of you as well. But we have hung on and felt the ship was righting.
Then Del Mar happened.
I am going to ask you to listen to a recording. It is long, but I ask you humor me and listen to the whole thing.
It is one of my conversations with the National Orange Show yesterday. It is a mind-boggling call.
Here is the link to the audio – https://clyp.it/5rmrglnd
Now that you have heard that, I have one more. It is only a minute long.
Here is that link – https://clyp.it/4tamguej
As you can hear, Del Mar contacted the Orange Show, and did or said something that has caused the cancellation of the SoCal show. The Orange Show, as you heard, has our final expenses were wrong, they would not correct them, they were sent to us late, and we were told to bring CASH from Missouri to San Bernardino because they bank with a small bank and it takes days to get the wire there. In the second audio, you can hear that I called the “small” Pacific Western Bank and they clearly do same day wires. Whatever was said, it was intentionally done to cause harm.
So as it stands, the SoCal event has been cancelled, and every attempt we have made to contact their “CEO” has been futile. They do not appear, as a state owned venue, to have a CEO, but whoever is in charge, we cannot reach them.
All we can ask for at this point is your help.
We have tried to approach this in acceptable “public relations” terms, but we think it is beyond that. The Del Mar Fairgrounds cancelled our show at 3PM on the Thursday before setup. They stated we had not paid a deposit, that we had not provided insurance. None of that is true. Yes, we have proof, but the damage is beyond done. And we had been there for FIVE years. Imagine spending literally $60,000 with a company over five years and just getting tossed out.
We have a group of people that seem to hate us for having to cancel Chicago last year, when our former accountant did all her fun activities. And they probably did or said something to Del Mar, and rather than remember we have been their client for five years, they just dropped the show. I know it sounds insane, but you must understand the ferocity of the people that just live for this. They call, and call, and call our venues. Our sponsors get emails from them regularly. They never stop.
We know who they are, and have sent cease and desist letters, but they ignore them. If you would like to know who they are, as me, and I will share that with you. But I do not think I should do it on this page.
As you heard in the recording, Del mar went so far as to call and interfere with the SoCal event and it is clear it has been made impossible for us to hold the event. It is insanity, and we are almost unable to comprehend this. Del Mar told the media we never paid a “red cent” on our contract. Here is a link to the cancelled check for our first deposit: https://ibb.co/fWzbQ0
https://ibb.co/ip6edL They claim we did not have our insurance for this show. Here is a link to the policy. https://ibb.co/mUqxCf
So here is my request, and I ask that you take all of the facts into account. And if you would like more facts, documents, emails, etc. please ask me for them.
We are asking that you give us an opportunity to save the expos, protect ourselves and most importantly benefit your business.
How will we do that?
- We will work with our two attorneys, plus a California attorney, to file restraining orders against all of these people contacting venues, posting online, etc. . We will also push the police here in St. Louis to find our former CFO and ensure she is prosecuted. She cannot have vanished from the earth.
- We will work with our two attorneys, plus a California attorney, to file suit against both the Del Mar Fairgrounds and the National Orange Show for breach of contract, tortious interference with contract, libel and slander.
- We will be asking you, our exhibitors, to participate in discussing and selecting a new venue for both the San Diego and SoCal events, so that we can have them booked and scheduled for January or February of 2019.
- We will be working with you to utilize our massive amount of marketing resources to drive revenue to your business in the interim. We have over 100,000 legitimate Facebook fans that are all pet owners, we have 9 years’ worth of attendee data with close to 300,000 marketable contacts. We own radio time, television time, have voiceover and video production capacities, design and graphic resources and we will work with each of youto create and drive traffic and revenue. This is all at no charge of course, and simply in exchange for your patience.
If you want to wash your hands of us entirely, I understand. But please, if you opt for a refund, do not do a chargeback or credit card dispute. Just talk to me so I can coordinate it. If we lose our ability to process credit cards due to disputes, we will be unable to function. That would be catastrophic. So please contact me first.
If you would like to see our criminal complaint and restraining order and other information regarding our former CFO, please ask and I will send it to you.
If you would like to see contracts, policies, documents, screenshots or ANY item that you feel is needed to substantiate anything I have stated above, please ask me.
I am no longer holding anything back. I know it’s unprofessional, it’s drama, it goes against everything I have ever been taught, but this is just beyond anything I have ever dealt with. I am sorry if it is uncomfortable. I just do not have a lot of options to get the truth out there.
But I am asking you to stick with us, because no fight can be won alone. Just give us a chance to prove it.
If not, I understand as well.
I think I have said all I can say at this point.
I will look forward to hearing from you, and I am sorry that my decisions have ultimately led to this and the effect it is having on you.