Open meeting: Considering the future of The Society


UPDATE

The SND Business Meeting will be held Thursday, February 25 at 12 p.m. CT. For more details and to register, click here.

To attend the meeting, you must have an active account with our membership system, Membership Works. On Feb, 4, 2021, SND sent messages to all current and expired members as to their membership status.

If you need to confirm your membership status, please sign into your account here.

If you don’t remember the email your account was created with or your password, please contact us at [email protected] and we will assist you.


Normally, at the beginning of a new year, The Society and its board would face a fresh new cycle of tasks and an equally refreshed calendar of events. We would largely be in touch to ceremonially thank the past president and congratulate the rising officers. Today, we write to summarize our position in a time of intense change and significant challenge for the Society and our entire industry.

We face an unprecedented moment in the 42-year history of the Society. As Members, we want you to be informed about SND. This summary is an attempt to bring a number of updates together and share conversations with you about the next steps as an organization. 

Leadership will hold a virtual SND Business meeting in February that will be open to all current members to discuss much of what we have outlined below, as well as the future of the organization. We will update you on the time and date for the SND business meeting and how you can attend in the next week or two.

SAD DEPARTURES

We are deeply saddened that we lost two board members in recent days: Region 13 director and SNDS president Flemming Hvidtfeldt and executive director Tiffany Shackelford both died unexpectedly in the final days of 2020.

Tiffany had been at the helm for just one year. She’d been working hard to get her hands around the status of the Society, its finances, challenges and opportunities. In fact, she’d delivered an aggressive HQ report at the last board meeting just last month, that we feel still holds the blueprint to some of the plans we want to pursue. 

SND BOARD AND OFFICER RESIGNATIONS

Prior to that Dec. 19 board meeting, both SND Vice President Cris Edwards and Region 12 Director Gustavo Lo Valvo resigned independently. 

Due to this decision to not perform the remaining functions of his officer’s role, the Executive Committee council has enacted ARTICLE VI SECTION 7 (below) of the Society’s bylaws and Joe Greco will act as Vice President – designate, until elections can be held. 

Section 7. Replacement of Board Members. In case of death, inability to perform the functions of a Board Member, or disqualification from the Board, the President shall appoint a new Board Member. The appointment of the Board Member-designate shall be of such length as to fill the remainder of the unfulfilled Board term.

SND ELECTION

SND was poised to announce the SND 2021 election ballot — with Edwards as the lone presidential candidate (as has been the Society’s past practice of the leadership ladder) — mere days after that meeting. However, due to the vacancy, the election will be delayed so we can solicit additional officer candidates.

WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE US?

SND Leadership

According to the bylaws, Aly Morris remains President until a successor is elected (Article VII Section 1) and Joe Greco will act as Vice President – designate, as mentioned earlier. As Immediate Past President, Paige Connor’s term expired at the end of the calendar year since that role is not an elected officer position. 

We are already working to get our hands around continuity and maintenance of Society business functions in the absence of an Executive Director. These range from basic administration and communication, and include things like access to accounts, bill payment and paperwork, to emails and promotion of programs (ie: competitions and elections, etc.).

During this time, the Executive Committee has agreed to operate as a Leadership Council, with a higher degree of oversight and shared decision-making on the group’s functions that would normally be handled routinely by the Executive Director. The Interim Executive Director reports to the entire Leadership Council instead of solely the president as in the past.

Interim Executive-Director

Given the current status of SND, the Leadership Council has appointed Paige Connor as temporary Interim Executive Director. She is charged solely with current administrative maintenance and support issues while leadership determines the best path forward for the organization. As temporary Interim E.D. she will report to the previously mentioned Executive Committee leadership council.

Competitions

Thankfully the SND Competition efforts have already been well prepared for a fully remote season under the guidance of Ryan Sparrow and Greg Mees. The SND Digital competition opened for submissions on Monday, Jan. 11 and the print competition will open soon. You can find the most up-to-date information about the competitions on SND.org and following us on social media. 

FUTURE VIABILITY OF SND

SND is facing a very tumultuous time. As many know, over the years, the decline of the industry has impacted many organizations, and SND has not been exempt from that. We have seen a declining number of entries into our contests and a steeply downward trend in membership renewals. 

And of course, the global pandemic continues to impact SND and our members. During this time, we are not able to gather together for many of our three largest events, which impacts the organization financially for a second year in a row.  

As leaders of this Society, we must be realistic and responsible and discuss openly the viability of the organization during this time.

As mentioned, SND will host a virtual SND Business Meeting to discuss with members this topic openly. To attend this meeting and receive information about this meeting, you must be a current paying member of SND (per the bylaws, and as has been past practice). Current member status is determined by an active account through MembershipWorks, our member management system. To check your membership status, please click here

If you feel the MembershipWorks information is incorrect, or you have trouble accessing your account, please reach out to SND at [email protected]

Respectfully signed, 

SND Executive Committee leadership council

Aly Morris, President

Joe Greco, Vice President – designate

Ryan Sparrow, at large

Steve Dorsey, at large

Paige Connor, Interim Executive Director

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