It’s almost Halloween, and that means CSEG election nominations time. By the time this column reaches press, the slate of candidates will have been finalized and the electoral process will have begun in earnest. One of my roles as CSEG President is to assist in the nomination process by actively (some might say aggressively) soliciting from the CSEG membership to run for the various positions. My role in this process ensures that the incoming President is not put in a position to make up his or her own Executive, thereby avoiding any potential conflict of interest, perceived or otherwise. The system has appeared to work exceptionally well over the years.
In the past, elections have often been run with multiple contenders running for the various positions on the Executive. The positions to fill include the President’s role (automatically filled this year by the Vice-President, Rob Kendall), Vice President, Finance, Membership Services, Communications and Educational Services. It is difficult to find enough volunteers willing to commit their time and energy towards these positions, and nearly impossible to find two people per position. We are within our association bylaws to have only one nominee for each position, and over time the Executive has come to realize over time that we do not necessarily require multiple “contenders” to have a solid Executive. This year, a nominations subcommittee, upon receiving no external nominations for the electorate, has selected a small group of key volunteers to be nominated, one for each position other than for VP. If no nominations are received by close of Nomination, the nominees will be appointed to these positions at election time. The VP position, because it leads directly into the Presidential role the following year, will continue to be an elected position, and, at this time, the nominations committee has two strong candidates for the membership to vote on.
It is a rather daunting task, and I now appreciate what John Townsley (last year’s CSEG President) said was the hardest job he did all year. To find a roster with a suitable mix of gender, background, age and experience and then ask them to volunteer has been a monumental task. I can personally attest to the variety and strengths that the 2012 nominees bring to the Executive positions and I look forward to working with all of the appointees and the successfully elected members next year.
If you would like to run for a CSEG Executive Council position in the future, I encourage you to talk to one of the council members to get an idea of the workload and time commitment, and go for it. You can submit nominations for yourself or for another person before the Close of Nominations, our CSEG office staff would be happy to help you through the process. It is a rewarding experience, which is challenging and at the same time gratifying, and you meet the most interesting people.
On the week end of October 29th, 17 senior staff and executive members of the three societies – CSEG, CSPG and CWLS – along with JACC (Joint Annual Convention Committee) volunteers and current and past Convention General Chairs met behind closed doors to brainstorm on the future of our joint convention and inter-society relationships. While I can’t disclose the content of our discussions until the conclusions of the session have been ratified by each of the Societies, I can say that great progress was made in understanding mutual challenges faced by each of the participating societies as well as those issues faced by the “boots on the ground” folks who run the convention. At the conclusion of the enclave, a set of Guiding Principles were established to guide discussions and negotiations in looking forward to future conventions. These Guiding Principles will be put before each of the Society Executives and Boards to be ratified and adopted. I hope to report more in the near future on these important steps towards solidifying our future convention relationships with the other societies.