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Board of Directors Election
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Final Slate of Candidates for the 2016 Board of Directors Election

For Information on proposed amendments to FAI's Bylaws click here

The election runs from Nov 8th to December 8th, closing at 11:59 PM Central Time.
All nominees are members in good standing, and are listed in alphabetical order.
Each has a brief biography and statement related to their candidacy.
Five Directors will be elected from this slate.

 

Michelle Conceison

Biography - Michelle Conceison runs Boston-based artist management and marketing company Market Monkeys. She manages Canadian songwriter Rose Cousins, and runs Cousins’ record label Old Farm Pony Records - most recently releasing Newfoundland duo Fortunate Ones’ debut album THE BLISS. Prior to music, Conceison led teams at advertising agencies in Boston, Chicago and San Francisco, working with brands including AT&T, Bank of America, and General Motors. Conceison has a MBA (focus: International Marketing & Music Management), and is a Professor of Music Industry at Northeastern University. She is the current Board President of FAI, and will remain in the role if re-elected.

Ballot Statement - It’s been an honor to serve on this board, and this year as President. I’m eager to continue the work! I’m proud of our ED, staff, and board. I want to help continued thoughtful expansion of FAI programming, services and membership – preserving our traditions while creating new ones together.

 

 

Ralph Jaccodine

Biography - Ralph has been an artist manager for 20+ years. He has worked with: Ellis Paul, Rebecca Loebe, Martin Sexton, Shun Ng and others. He runs Black Wolf Records and founded the Boston Manager's Group during this time. He serves on the Board of Club Passim, a beloved venue and music school for 10 years. He is a Faculty member of the Berklee College of Music where he teaches in the Music Business/Management Department and won the Dean's Award for Innovation and Service this year. He is an active speaker at industry events, schools and universities. Ralph lives in Cambridge Ma. 

Ballot Statement - I would like to continue my work on the FA Board which have been initiated over the course of my first term. My fellow board members and I have built a strong team of folk community advocates. My daily professional experience is a good match with our board's projects.

 

 

Sheri Jones

Biography - Sheri is an award-winning Canadian artist manager, has been active in the music business for 25 years, and is a driving force in her local, regional and national communities. She has developed long-term international careers with a talented roster of established and emerging artists. Sheri has risen to the challenge of the ever-evolving recording industry by starting and running efficient and effective artist owned labels for her roster. In addition to management, Sheri has worked with artists to launch a songwriting camp, recording studios, an indie distribution network, and, most recently, a retail space in Halifax NS.

Ballot Statement - I believe in creative thinking and maximizing opportunities. I think strategically and enjoy being part of a team. I have extensive experience with boards and would like to contribute to the important work that FA is doing to present, represent, and educate the folk community professionally and effectively.

 

 

John Kelley

Biography - John Kelley has spent the last 20 years working in the Musical Instrument Industry. He holds a degree in Guitar Performance from Vanderbilt University. Over his career he has held management positions at Gibson, Fender, and US Music and is currently General Manager of the MI division of SFM, a major Canadian distributor of musical instruments. John is a board member of the Guitar Accessories Manufacturing Association (GAMA) and serves on the Teaching Guitar Workshop committee which trains teachers in teaching classroom guitar. He contributes regularly to trade and consumer magazines relating to the music instrument industry and travels extensively.

Ballot Statement - I have spent my career providing musicians the tools they need to produce their product - music. I feel that experience would add an additional component currently not represented to the FA community. Access to and knowledge of that side of the business should be very valuable to our membership.

 

 

Deana McCloud

Biography - Deana McCloud is the Executive Director of the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa. She serves on the board of The Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers, the executive committee of the Tulsa Film, Music, Arts & Culture board, and the advisory board for the Woody Guthrie Journal. McCloud was a National Board Certified teacher for 14 years. For 17 years, she was a member of the Woody Guthrie Coalition, booking and producing concerts and programs for the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival. She now serves on the festival's advisory board.

Ballot Statement - I have always valued being a part of the Folk Alliance community and would appreciate the opportunity to bring my experience in education, festival production, and my knowledge of Woody Guthrie and his work to the board as we continue encouraging musicians who follow in his footsteps.

 

 

Tom Philion

Biography - Tom works at the crossroads of American music, alternating between his own pursuits as a musician, and professional career as a producer and arts administrator. Working in senior management positions with major orchestras across the country, his knowledge of pop and traditional music brought innovation and unusual collaborations with performers like Emmylou Harris, 10,000 Maniacs, Debbie Harry, Ani DiFranco, and many others. As head of ArtsGreensboro in central NC, he recently led the team which lured the National Folk Festival to Greensboro for a three-year residency, launching to great acclaim and more than 100,000 participants earlier this year.

Ballot Statement - Getting involved with FAI has been wonderful. I love the music, the people, the artists. If elected, I think that my professional experience in music management, fundraising, marketing -- plus a passion for the music itself, will lend itself to board work and the many opportunities facing FAI. Thanks!.
 

 

Lisa Schwartz

Biography - Lisa Schwartz has been President of the Philadelphia Folksong Society since June 2007. Under her direction, PFS is a more vibrant, inclusive organization, with increasing membership involvement and a clear focus on financial sustainability. Her dedication led the PFS Board to appoint her Festival Director for the Philadelphia Folk Festival. This hallmark event showcases the talents of superstars and rising stars across multiple musical genres. Lisa is honored to lead a legion of 2,600+ volunteers and three assistant directors. 

Lisa is privileged to serve as a Director and Secretary on the FAI Board, to support our membership and our mission.

Ballot Statement - I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such a passionate group of individuals dedicated to the mission of FAI; to serve our membership and to help build a musical community where shared values lead to shared vision and that shared vision leads to endless possibilities!

 

 

Matt the Electrician (Matt Sever)

Biography - Matt the Electrician is a quirky, sincere folk/pop singer songwriter based in Austin, TX. He has self-released 8 studio albums, and 2 live CDs since 1998. With his newest project, Matt gets by with a little help from his friends. Throughout 2015 and 2016, he's focusing on a string of 7-inch vinyl singles. Matt regularly tours all over the world, playing theaters, festivals, clubs and house concerts, and is a fixture in clubs of his hometown, Austin, TX.

Ballot Statement - I want to be a part of the Folk Alliance community in a more integral way because I’m curious, and that curiosity is what keeps me writing and performing and striving to figure out the way I can be of best service within the community.
 

 

Alka Sharma

Biography - Alka Sharma is the Executive Director of Folk Music Ontario, previously the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals (OCFF), based in Canada's national capital, Ottawa. In this role she oversees the operations, staffing and programming of Canada's largest folk music industry event. Prior to this role she worked as the Interim Executive Director at the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival coordinating the country's largest multicultural cinema event. Preceding that she served as the Senior Manager of Operations with the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree at Carleton University specializing in History and Political Science.

Ballot Statement - I feel that I am well qualified to run for the Folk Alliance Internaional Board of Directors by being the Executive Director of Folk Music Ontario. As well, I am on the Canadian Folk Music Awards Board and feel that I will be able to provide a Canadian perspective.

 

 

 

 

Bylaw Referendum Questions

In the past year, the Board has encountered two situations that require Bylaw changes. One deals with the fact that the Bylaws do not have instructions for what to do in the event of a tie in the election of Directors and the other clarifies an ambiguity in how to interpret the status of Directors elected to fill out the term of any elected Director who resigned prior to the end of their term.

#1) Motion to amend FAI Bylaw Article IV, Section Four (text below in bold and italics) from:

Size and Composition. The Board of Directors of this Corporation shall be comprised of no less than fifteen (15) and no more than twenty-one (21) members. All directors are elected at large, not representing any specific constituency. The voting membership shall elect up to fifteen (15) Directors as provided under Article IV, Section Five. The Directors may appoint additional Directors up to the maximum number of twenty-one (21) to make the board more representative or diverse, or to meet other needs.

to read:

Size and Composition. The Board of Directors of this Corporation shall be comprised of no less than fifteen (15) and no more than twenty-one (21) members. All directors are elected at large, not representing any specific constituency. The voting membership shall elect up to fifteen (15) Directors as directed under Article IV, Section Five with the exception noted. The Directors may appoint up to six additional Directors to make the board more representative or diverse, or to meet other needs.

Rationale for amendment: The solution to a tie proposed in motion 2 (Article IV, Section Five) would allow for an increase above the limit of 21. Motion 1 leaves the size capped at 21; however, it adds the “with exception noted” modification to Article IV, Section Five language to supersede the limit in that specific case. The removal of specific language on appointments for diversity referencing the 21 limit means the Board continues to have the flexibility to have up to 6 appointments “for need” in addition to the 15 (or more if there are ties) elected members.

 

#2) Motion to amend FAI Bylaw Article IV, Section Five (text in bold and italics) from:

A. Election Procedure and Term of Office. Annually, one third (1/3), of the elected positions on the board (i.e. five Directors) will be elected for three year terms by voting members registered with the corporation. (New text inserted here). The new board may at any time assess board needs and appoint up to six (6) board members to fill those needs. New Board members so appointed shall serve terms of no more than two years as specified in the motion of election and recorded in the Minutes. The terms of all Directors, elected and appointed, will expire at the end of the Annual General Membership Meeting of the designated year.

to read:

A. Election Procedure and Term of Office. Annually, one third (1/3), of the elected positions on the board (i.e. five Directors) will be elected for three year terms by voting members registered with the corporation. In the event of tie votes, the top five vote-getters plus individuals tied for the final elected slot, shall be considered elected. In such case, the size of the board will be increased to more than 15 elected members at a time, and may rise above the 21 member limit, until the tied members’ terms expire, at which time the board will revert to 15 elected members and up to 21 total members. The new board may at any time assess board needs and appoint up to six (6) board members to fill those needs. New Board members so appointed shall serve terms of no more than two years as specified in the motion of election and recorded in the Minutes. The terms of all Directors, elected and appointed, will expire at the end of the Annual General Membership Meeting of the designated year.

Rationale for amendment:Two years ago, the 5th and 6th place finishers were separated by 3 votes (a single small organization’s voting power), and last year we actually had a tie for 5th and 6th. The Board took the opinion then that a spirit of inclusion represented by seating all candidates who tied for 5th was better than either a run-off election or the Board arbitrarily voting to seat only one candidate. This change codifies that should there ever be ties again in the future.

 

#3) Motion to amend FAI Bylaw Article IV, Section Six

Vacancies. Any vacancy occurring in the Board of Directors may be filled by appointment by a majority of the remaining Board of Directors. The new Director appointed to fill the vacancy will serve for the un-expired term of the predecessor in the office.

to be followed by the addition of the following text:

Any member appointed to fill an elected Board member's unexpired term shall be considered an appointed member for purposes of Board counts of elected and appointed members.

Rationale for amendment: The Bylaws only allow elected Directors to serve as officers (excluding the Treasurer). In the spirit intended that officers (other than Treasurer) must have actually been elected by the members, this codifies the Board’s current interpretation that a member appointed to fill out an elected Director’s term does not qualify to be an officer of the Board (other than Treasurer).

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