Board Nominees and the nomination process

27 February 2012

I am very happy to announce that the 4 candidates up for election to the IGDA’s Board of Directors this year are (in alphabetical order):

  • Kate Edwards
  • Ed Fries
  • James Kosta
  • Sheri Rubin

The election will kick off this Friday March 2nd, and all professional members as of February 29th will be eligible to vote. We have 2 seats up for election, and voting is done on an approval basis. That is, members will be able to vote for as many, or as few, of the candidates as they would like. All members should receive an email from the IGDA, this Friday with further instructions on how to vote.

One of the most important changes to the IGDA’s Board of Directors election this year, was the introduction of the Nominating Committee. This committee was tasked with vetting all nominees and providing their recommendation for a final slate of candidates, comprising no more than double the number of seats open for election (since we have 2 seats up for election, the committee was to recommend no more than 4 people).

The board decided that this nominating committee should be comprised solely of former board members, and ideally former chairpeople. These are people who, as a group, are most educated in the attributes that make for a strong board member. Further, we decided that this committee should not have any currently sitting board members, and that the current board would provide some direction in terms of letting the Nominating Committee know the biggest issues we are currently facing, and the things we think are most critical right now. The specific details of the process and procedures were left to the nominating committee, giving them the flexibility to find a process that worked best for them.

The Nominating Committee provided their recommendation to the board last week, and their recommendation was subsequently confirmed.

I have asked Jen MacLean, the chair of the Nominating Committee, to provide additional insight into the process they followed to arrive at their final recommendation. Here’s what she had to say:

Early this year, current Chair Brian Robbins asked the former IGDA Board Chairpeople for feedback on proposed changes to the nomination and election process, as well as support in evaluating this year’s candidates. Brian received detailed feedback from many former Chairpeople, which helped shape the overall process. Additionally, Kathy Astromoff (Schoback), Matt Toschlog, Annie Van Bebber and I volunteered to form the first Nominating Committee. Annie, Matt, Kathy and I took this responsibility very seriously. We met to discuss how we would approach and evaluate the candidates, and we agreed that the best approach would be for each member of the Committee to individually interview all of the prospective candidates. Topics for those interviews would include, but not be limited to:

  • Understanding of Board responsibilities and duties
  • Candidate background and fit with Board responsibilities and needs
  • Understanding of and willingness to honor time commitment
  • Experience with the IGDA, including work as a member and advocate
  • Experience with group dynamics and conflict
  • Other relevant volunteer experience
  • Opinions on what makes a good (and bad) board member
  • Views on current vision, programs, and services and how candidates would support the IGDA mission

We also agreed on the following timeline, and shared both the interview topics and procedural details with candidates on February 2.

  • Feb 2: Committee met to review process, criteria
  • Feb 2: Jen sent out an introductory email to candidates introducing nominating committee, process, and timeline
  • Feb 3-17: Nominating Committee conducted interviews
  • Feb 20: Nominating Committee discussed candidates and recommendations
  • Feb 21: Nominating Committee returned recommendation to IGDA Board of Directors

Over the next two weeks, the Committee members reached out to every potential candidate, individually compiled notes on the interviews and made recommendations for the final slate. We then shared our work, discussed our assessments, and proposed a recommended slate of candidates, which was delivered to the IGDA Board on the morning of February 22. While we did miss our deadline by 12 hours, we believe that the amount of effort we spent in speaking with the candidates, carefully considering their qualifications, and coming to a final conclusion was worth the delay.

The potential Board candidates were wonderful participants in the process, and we hope you’ll respect their efforts by voting in the upcoming election.

I would like to thank Jen, Kathy, Matt and Annie for sharing their time, energy and expertise throughout this process. I’d also like to thank all of the candidates who participated in the interviews. Finally I’d like to wish the 4 candidates, the best of luck in the coming election.

Brian Robbins
Chair, IGDA Board of Directors