SEJ News: Board Election Draws Many Candidates, Record Votes

January 15, 2010

By CAROLYN WHETZEL

SEJ members have elected four new board members and re-elected five incumbents.

The 2009 election on Oct. 9 saw the highest number of available seats since the first board election in 1991. The greatest number of candidates since the 2000 election — 14 — sought votes for eight Active seats and one Associate seat, according to Director of Programs and Operations Chris Rigel.

Of the 11 candidates running for the eight Active seats, Christy George, Robert McClure, Jim Bruggers, Sharon Oosthoek, and Jeff Burnside garnered the most votes, each winning a three-year term on the board. Don Hopey and Rob Davis tied for the remaining seat with a three-year term. By a vote of the board, Hopey took the three year seat and Davis filled the seat for a two-year term previously held by Mark Schleifstein, who had resigned from the board. Douglas Fischer won the slot for a one-year term once held by Chris Bowman, who earlier in the year moved to the associate membership category.

Heather King won a three-year term as the board representative for associate members by a slim margin over incumbent Rebecca Daugherty.

SEJ members also approved two proposed bylaws amendments, Rigel reported. Article VI (Committees), Section 2 (Executive Committee) of the bylaws now requires the SEJ Board Executive Committee to report any action it takes on behalf of the full board outside of ordinary board meetings at the next regular meeting and allows the full board to review and, if necessary, rescind the action.

Members further approved Article VIII (Miscellaneous Provisions), Section 2 (Notice) outlining SEJ procedures for the delivery of notices required by the bylaws or other policies. Specifically, the revision states such notices shall be given in writing to a director, member, committee member or officer at his or her postal or electronic address as it appears in SEJ's records. The updated provision also states that the notices may be sent via email or deposited in the U.S. mail or other delivery service.

Final Tally for Bylaws Amendments: Yes, 247; No, 15.

Rigel noted that judging from the number of votes cast on the bylaws questions, SEJ had twice as many members vote this year than last year. This is possibly because of the electronic ballot, she added.

The board elected Christy George as president; Carolyn Whetzel, first vice president (Programs); Peter Fairley, second vice president (Membership); Don Hopey, treasurer; and Peter Thomson, secretary.

Carolyn Whetzel is staff correspondent for BNA Inc. and is programs committee chair and first vice president of SEJ's board of directors.

** From SEJ's quarterly newsletter SEJournal, Winter 2009-10 issue