He needs to go.
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Date Posted: 13:29:34 03/26/14 Wed
December 27th 2013
To: Ken Nelson
From: Jim Berry
I hope this email finds you well. Over the Christmas holidays, I had the opportunity to sit down with Katie and discuss in detail the correspondences that have taken place between the two of you concerning her request for earned scholarship money, in order to pursue her MBA. I must be brutally honest Ken, and tell you that as a concerned father and a supporter of the Miss America Organization, your negative comments, skepticism, accusations, and misrepresentation of facts thoroughly disgust me and cause me to seriously question not only your ability to serve as the Executive Director of the Miss New York Organization, but most importantly, force me to question your moral compass, integrity, and overall character as a man.
In an effort to obtain her scholarship funds, Katie sent you numerous emails between October 22nd 2013 and November 5th 2013. You never replied to one of them. Others who were copied in on these emails did reply with their offer of assistance. Linda Carbo replied. Erin Kennedy replied. However, you never replied. Finally on November 6th 2013, you replied to Katie’s original email, never mentioning the additional emails that were subsequently sent to you.
You obviously put considerable time and thought into your response, saying that it took you two full days to research information for your reply. Ken, I take issue with just about everything you say in this email to my daughter and I am sickened by your obvious delight in telling her that her past earnings had been forfeited, highlighting this particular sentence in blue, bold print.
Furthermore, you include a complete and utter fabrication, a lie, telling Katie, “an incredibly heated phone conversation occurred between your father and Miss Gordon upon her refusal to issue a check in the full amount of $1,000 to him, due to the fact that he had made the decision to pay the balance of your loan in full.” Ken, where on earth did you get that story? I waited to send this reply until I had the opportunity to speak with Doreen Gordon directly. We had the chance to speak this morning and she agreed that this morning was the first conversation she ever had with me. In addition, I read this paragraph from your email to her and she was astonished and said that she didn’t understand why you would say such a thing. Why on earth would you speak such lies to my daughter?
Before discussing Katie’s scholarship money, you decided to chastise her over someone else’s social media picture, not Katie’s picture mind you, someone else’s. You go on to say that, “someone told you that this picture belonged to a friend of Katie’s.” You continue to berate her about “alleged remarks” which had been conveyed to you by someone else. These remarks, allegedly made, not by Katie, but by someone who allegedly is a friend of Katie’s. Really Ken? This sounds to me like the communication of a six-year-old boy, certainly not that of a 60-something year-old man. Is this the type of correspondence that an Executive Director of any organization should be sending out to an existing member of that organization? If you had a question or a concern about Katie’s involvement in anything, you should have done what any responsible director or person would do: pick up the phone and call her directly. Instead, you decided to place value in information that had been handed to you second and third hand, without any form of direct communication with my daughter. I have always told all my children, to make their own informed and fair judgments based on personal and direct communication with a person and certainly not, the heresy of others.
You then follow up this rant with an excerpt of an email to Ms. Shindle about those that wish to do the organization harm and you mention the “alleged recording.” You tone towards my daughter is incredibly accusatory and I don’t like it one bit.
Katie, my wife and I, along with my other two children Meghan and Jimmy, and our extended family love the Miss America Organization and have supported MAO ever since Katie was Miss New Jersey’s Outstanding Teen in 2005, taking numerous family vacations to Las Vegas during the years it was held at Planet Hollywood. Katie has held numerous local titles in both NJ and NY and year after year took pride in being an ambassador for MAO, Children’s Miracle Network, and her own personal platform of HIV/AIDS awareness. My son even participated in the Miss America Parade when it made its triumphant return to AC this past September. As for me personally, my company printed the state competition books for many years. When Katie first competed in Miss New Jersey, Sharon Pearce, a woman whom I have great respect for, and I came to the conclusion that I should relinquish my involvement with the manufacturing of the books in order to avoid any suspicion of impropriety. How dare you accuse my daughter of having anything at all to do with these recordings, other than the fact that she was the butt of a disgusting and defamatory comment made by individual in your “inner circle.”
After hearing the recording and the derogatory comments made about some of the contestants and a former Miss America, you could have reached out and offered these girls an apology, an olive branch, or have done something to ease their pain. You could have reassured them that the views of these individuals was no way a reflection of those involved in the Miss New York Organization, and that the time, energy, and money that they invested, whether win or lose, was valued. Instead, not only did you choose to do nothing, you decided to turn the tables on my daughter and accuse her of being partly responsible for this recording going public. Katie had nothing to gain from this going public and certainly, did not need other people hear her being ridiculed by your inner circle. Again, the fact that you in a position of power, could not reach out to Katie and reassure her that what was on the tape was not a reflection of the views of the Miss New York Organization proves to me that you are a coward and certainly, not fit to be the Executive Director of the Miss New York Organization.
The one thing that I do agree with in your email to Katie is when you state, “it is no surprise that the pageant world brings about the best and the worst among us.” I really couldn’t imagine a worst email going out to a 24-year-old lady by a 60-something year-old man than the one Katie received from you. Ken, do you have children? I don’t believe you do, so you can’t imagine the anguish and absolute anger that I felt reading that email. Like any father, you can’t protect your children forever, but I know that I can guard her from receiving an email like that from you ever again. If you want to respond, respond to me directly. Do not filter a response through my daughter and from today on, do not contact her for any reason whatsoever.
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