LITIGATION UPDATE PART 2

 

UKnight is pleased to report the on-going litigation between UKnight and Supreme is over.  After reviewing nearly three weeks of evidence and testimony, the jury found that KofC did contract with UKnight to be your designated preferred vendor, and that Supreme did breach our contract.  Here is a quick summary of what happened. 

As the jury learned, our original business plan was much the same as the member management software company, Wild Apricot. Our plan was not to focus solely on KofC, but to generate thousands of different clients among associations, clubs and non-profits.  Wild Apricot started just a few years before we did and now has over 25,000 separate customers.  This is why we incorporated as List Interactive and not UKnight Interactive.  Our work with KofC councils and agents represented just one of what was to be many different clients.  

But once KofC offered to make UKnight its designated preferred vendor in September 2011 we scrapped our business plan. We believed the offer from KofC represented the highest and best application of our technology, which was to help build Knights of Columbus councils and agencies, and through these councils and agents, help hundreds of thousands to millions of men live better, more fulfilling and faith-filled lives.

So we dropped all plans to solicit other business, and focused 100% on developing the specific technologies, programs and tools that would best help the Knights of Columbus alone.

Interestingly, we learned that KofC asked Wild Apricot to submit a plan to replace UKnight, but they declined. They said that having to provide the same level of customization would “derail their business plan”, proving that UKnight did what Wild Apricot was unwilling to do - focus on how we could best serve KofC rather than how we could best build List Interactive. 

Our contract required UKnight to accomplish certain things, which we did. For example, we were required to change UKnight’s entire graphic interface. The way your websites look now was dictated by KofC and designed by graphic artists KofC hired. Once we fulfilled our obligations, KofC committed to fulfill its end of the bargain by announcing UKnight as the Designated Preferred Vendor at the 2013 State Deputy meeting in Quebec.

UKnight prepared for this announcement, but it never happened. Afterward, UKnight continued to cooperate and wait patiently through delay after delay, but eventually had to file the lawsuit.

During the trial the jury reviewed hundreds of emails and documents, and heard testimony from UKnight’s partners, Supreme officers, council leaders, general agents and experts. The graphic artists hired by KofC to redesign UKnight testified, as did the technology consultant KofC hired to review the UKnight platform, and who supported KofC’s decision to designate UKnight as their preferred provider.  We also got to see the survey Supreme sent to council officers and agents. The results showed that over 92.5% of agents would recommend UKnight to other agents, and 96.8% of Grand Knights would recommend UKnight to other councils.   

Pope Francis says that, “Accountable and trustworthy persons are those who honor their commitments . . . they never betray a trust.”  

Of course, none of us is perfect; we all make mistakes. And when we do, people of integrity own up to them, admit our error, and then do the right thing – we right the wrong that was committed.  This is a foundational characteristic of the Christian example, which is why we’ve always believed that in the end, when the truth came out, the Knights of Columbus whose stated purpose is to “form its members in Catholic faith and virtue”, could be relied upon to make the right decision in accordance with Catholic values.  

Even the closest families can have disagreements, and ours has been a long, highly-publicized fight. A lot of hurtful things were said on both sides, and there was testimony probably best left in the courtroom. So just imagine our witness to the world if even after such a bitter dispute, the Knights of Columbus and UKnight do the unthinkable: put our disagreements behind us, forgive each other, and work together for the betterment of the order.

Since Supreme’s commitment to UKnight was affirmed, wouldn’t it be tremendous if the Knights of Columbus – Carl Anderson together with the Supreme Officers and Directors – chose to do the right thing and honor their commitment so UKnight and KofC could work together again to serve all councils, activate their members, and build their membership?  We think so, and are extremely hopeful, and prayerful, that Supreme agrees.

Meanwhile, we’ve continued adding new programs and improvements to the list of features offered through your UKnight subscription, but we were prohibited from making any changes to the graphic look and feel of our site while the litigation was on-going.  With that now behind us, we will redouble our efforts to help councils build their membership and increase their fundraising success, and look forward to making updates to the UKnight home page and others.

Currently, 1,040 councils subscribe to UKnight.  Clearly this represents the positive relationship between UKnight and its subscribers, and reflects the tremendous support for the UKnight system which we have built, together, with input from councils and agents over the last eight years.  We appreciate this continued support, and will keep you posted as developments continue to occur. 

If you have any questions or comments we would like to hear from you.  Please reply to this email and we will respond ASAP.  

With appreciation,

 
 

Leonard Labriola
UKnight Interactive
gcc@uknight.org

 
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