The Times they are a-Changin’

Wow, a lot has happened since my last blog post! We have been so busy with catching up on programs and relaunching initiatives, that September flew by. We have a financial hardship membership rate, our first webinar, rev 1-3 of our new newsletter, our website actually launching this month(!), and more programs on their way.

One big change during that time is the Board itself. Two members left, including our very diligent and hardworking co-chair, Bob Bates, who had devoted a number of years to Board service. This left a significant gap in the Board workforce, at a time that we had a huge backlog of work and Board members already stretched thin by the demands of a tough economy on their jobs, family, and their volunteer IGDA “job.”  We have elections in January and could look forward to five new volunteers joining Board service then, but that was not going to help with the immediate next few months when we need all hands on deck to get through what we all hope is the last of the economic storm. Although the by-laws allow for the Board to fill vacant elected seats, it was felt that these should remain open until the election. So we decided to utilize the appointed seats provided in the by-laws, and in September appointed three new members: Rodney Gibbs, Erin Hoffman, and Brian Robbins.

I have heard some questions about Appointed members, and what the purpose is for these in an organization. The reason By-laws allow for appointed members. is that in a primarily elected Board, it is assumed that the elections may leave gaps in the skills or perspectives. Every Board should do a skills assessment once yearly, and the Appointed members are there as a tool to strengthen the Board. When a Board feels that it is not as productive as it wants to be, the solution can be to make it either bigger (many hands make light work) or smaller (lean and agile).  In this case we went for more hands. And brains. (nom nom nom).

The “who” was also a difficult decision. Our organization is filled with dedicated and forward-thinking individuals, many of whom we hope to see join the Board themselves. In this case, based on an assessment of the Board strengths versus our three-pronged mission of Community, Professional development, and Advocacy, we decided the area in most need of strengthening was Advocacy. That still left some difficult choices. In the end we chose:

* Erin for her courageous advocacy of quality of life, ethics, and grassroots action.

* Brian for his advocacy of chapters and SIGs as impactful communities representing geographic and common interests

* Rodney for his advocacy of the industry to the rest of the world, building connections but still willing to take a stand

Both Brian and Rodney have founded independent studios, then worked for larger organizations, and most recently have had the economy impact their jobs, like many of our members. Erin has worked in a variety of studios of different sizes and personalities, as well as a freelancer. This breadth of industry experience will help the Board consider all perspectives of our very diverse membership.

So please join me in welcoming our new Board members, and thanking them for their willingness to step up and join the team during very challenging times, and add their energy and experience to help make change happen.

And remember … elections are only a few months away, at which we will elect FIVE new members. Do you think you could make a difference? Do you have experience that could bring the organization together and move it to the next level? Are you ready for a role that will really test your teamwork and leadership abilities? Then you might be just the person the IGDA needs to make these times change us for the better.

Tobi

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