G.A.S. Protest Vote - WarmGlass.com

G.A.S. Protest Vote

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Cheryl
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G.A.S. Protest Vote

Postby Cheryl » Sun May 04, 2003 8:54 pm

I received my Glass Arts Society ballot a day or so ago. There are no warm glass candidates. I am torn between returning the ballot with a note saying I am not voting, in protest; and writing in a candidate such as our own Brad Walker. Any thoughts, any other GAS members out there tired of it being all hot glass all the time? :!:

Dani
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Postby Dani » Sun May 04, 2003 8:58 pm

How are nominees chosen? Is there a nominating committee that solicits interested parties far enough in advance for warmglass to have made a selection? Can we have more info so we can think up a good action plan.... for this year as well as future years? :idea:

Marty
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Postby Marty » Sun May 04, 2003 9:06 pm

I wrote in Brad.

Brad Walker
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Postby Brad Walker » Sun May 04, 2003 9:38 pm

Dani wrote:How are nominees chosen? Is there a nominating committee that solicits interested parties far enough in advance for warmglass to have made a selection? Can we have more info so we can think up a good action plan.... for this year as well as future years? :idea:


Yes, there is a nominating committee that selects the persons who appear on the ballot. My name was sent to the nominating committee by Pete VanderLaan (I was also asked to join GAS as part of the nomination process), but I did not make it out of committee and onto the ballot. I believe that Lani McGregor of BE was also suggested to the committee, but evidently Lani didn't make it onto the ballot either. I was told that there were lots of people nominated, but wasn't given any information about how the committee selected the persons they did or why I wasn't selected.

Given the large number of nominees, I did find it surprising that the members are asked to vote for four persons and there are only four names on the ballot. I guess the trick is making it onto the ballot.

Barb
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Postby Barb » Sun May 04, 2003 11:08 pm

I love truly democratic elections!

Barb

Lynne Chappell
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Postby Lynne Chappell » Mon May 05, 2003 1:48 am

Sounds like the kind of committees that used to rule the Soviet Union.

Dani
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Postby Dani » Mon May 05, 2003 10:57 am

Hmmm. Maybe a separate warmglass society? It might take a few years to ooze into GAS, the way this sounds.

Cheryl
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insight into the nominating process...

Postby Cheryl » Mon May 05, 2003 4:53 pm

Gee, most orgs I know are begging for folks, so to have possibly two warmglassers turned down seems odd, as does the 4 people for 4 slots.
I wonder if Pete could/would give us the benefit of his insider's perspective on the nominating process? :?:

Brian and Jenny Blanthorn
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Re: insight into the nominating process...

Postby Brian and Jenny Blanthorn » Tue May 06, 2003 3:56 am

Cheryl wrote:Gee, most orgs I know are begging for folks, so to have possibly two warmglassers turned down seems odd, as does the 4 people for 4 slots.
I wonder if Pete could/would give us the benefit of his insider's perspective on the nominating process? :?:


He hangs out over craftweb

Pete is / has tryed 2 up the profile of warm stuff within GAS
Image

Lani McGregor
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Postby Lani McGregor » Tue May 06, 2003 11:36 am

GAS is a great organization. I am in awe of their managing to coordinate a conference that will likely draw 2000 people this year. But there are probably just too many sectors in glass for each to be covered in any depth (well, except maybe blowing :( )

Which is why we are running our own conference in August. It will be small, but focused.

Lani

And next year we'll probably run screaming and humbled back to the GAS fold.

Cheryl
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Point well taken, but...

Postby Cheryl » Tue May 06, 2003 1:30 pm

Lani, point well taken. But it seems to me that there are 3, possibly 4, major divisions in glass:

cold (has its own assn)
blown
torch
kiln-formed

Seems like it's not too much to ask to have those 3 well-represented. :evil:

Pete VanderLaan
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Postby Pete VanderLaan » Tue May 06, 2003 2:08 pm

Well in point of fact, Kirstie from Australia is a kilnformer, our vice president, Anna Boothe is a kilnformer. There are two flameworkers, four university educators, three hot glass blowers, two fundraising types and three that mix and match. I nominated Brad and it is coming up again later in the year but it is true he did not make it past first ballot. Neither did seventeen other people. Lani in fact declined to be nominated. It is extremely rare to be elected on the first ballot. I know of people who have been nominated unsuccessfully for five years. I have in fact asked Brad to write a column for the GAS Newsletter and he is doing that currently. Bert Weiss will in fact be making a presentation in New Orleans on building a fusing kiln. The other proposal for New Orleans from the warmglass community did not make the final cut but neither did about 80 percent of the other submissions.

There was a time when lampworkers were neglected completely but now have a very vital presence at GAS That took time. This will take time. Lani is correct, it is a big organization and genuinely makes the best effort it can to see glass from as many facets as it can. Pete VanderLaan

Dani
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Postby Dani » Tue May 06, 2003 4:03 pm

When organizations are begging for folks, it's often because they are really bad organizations, Cheryl! If G.A.S. has people begging to be in key positions and more nominations than they know what to do with, that bodes well for them. It's something to consider. On the flip side of my own argument, it might be worth the wait and the continued trying to have a stronger voice in G.A.S.

Cheryl
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impatient? moi?

Postby Cheryl » Tue May 06, 2003 6:23 pm

certainly not willing to wait for 5 years!

Barb
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Postby Barb » Tue May 06, 2003 6:47 pm

Hi Pete

Can you tell us the logic behind having 4 candidates for an election of 4 positions please?

Barb

gone

Postby gone » Tue May 06, 2003 8:40 pm

Barb wrote:Hi Pete

Can you tell us the logic behind having 4 candidates for an election of 4 positions please?

Barb


I didn't get my ballot, but it doesn't sound like it matters very much! :?

Pam Hrycyk
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Postby Pam Hrycyk » Tue May 06, 2003 9:35 pm

Barb wrote:Hi Pete

Can you tell us the logic behind having 4 candidates for an election of 4 positions please?

Barb


I'm sure Pete will answer for himself but having some experience with boards I thought I might have something to add. The entire board is not being replaced - only 4 positions are being filled. As Pete mentioned -"Kirstie from Australia is a kilnformer and the vice president, Anna Boothe is a kilnformer", kilnforming is currently represented on the board. A typical practice in the election of board members is the presentation of the slate of candidates recommended by the board. The nominating committee's job is to research the backgrounds and try to find the perfect people for the job. They then present their choices for a vote. Members can choose to vote with the board or not - that would be the purpose of a write-in nomination. Personally, I feel that Brad would be an excellent choice for the board and I'm sure that in time we will see him there.

I am not currently a member of GAS but I do recognize that they are trying to increase the profile of kilnforming in the association and I applaud their efforts on our behalf.

Pam

Dani
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Postby Dani » Tue May 06, 2003 10:07 pm

Most of us know how boards and nominating committees work. It's also quite usual to have more than one candidate for each position presented to the voting body, particularly in thriving organizations with involved members. Am I to understand that there is only one candidate for each position? (I misunderstood that there were four candidates for each position.) Why are you bothering to have a formal vote... isn't that an unnecessary expense and use of time? I'm certain I'm missing something here, because it doesn't make sense to me. Can someone explain?

Pete VanderLaan
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Postby Pete VanderLaan » Wed May 07, 2003 10:25 am

The nominating process is such that there is a committee of the board which considers candidates for the board. The candidates are nominated by the general membership as well as by board members themselves. In the last round of nominations, there were I believe seventeen candidates for three positions. One position was opened up as well by a board member who resigned for personal reasons. The term of this board member will be three years. A member may serve two terms only unless in their second term they have been nominated to the vice presidency or the presidency of the organization in which case they may serve an additional two years.

So obviously the nominating committee is a powerful one in terms of extending the character of the board. Currently the president of the board ( an academic), a flameworker, a kilnformer, and a fundraiser serve on nominations. There are no hotglass workerss on nominations. They are charged with the responsibility of seeing that the board remain balanced both by avocation as well as geographical location.

As an example, I was chosen because I was a multi-tasker. I own a gallery, I have blown glass for 35 years, I work in cold glass, I cast, I have ties to the old school, I am a glass color chemist, I would be the sole representative in the Southwest, I can write and I have extensive knowledge of glass as a technical material and I run an information board and I am exceptionally difficult to deal with. I did go thru on the first ballot.

There really aren't that many multi taskers. Lani certainly was one and I was very disappointed that she declined the nomination. I would certainly have welcomed her to the board. Brad candidly is an unknown to the board and they wanted to see him somewhat more involved in GAS at a contributing level before any committments were made. Please note that Brad is writing a column on fusing at my request for the newsletter. I would not have mentioned either Brad or Lani at all because I felt it was a private matter. They, however have opened that door by posting on the subject well before I would have said a word.

Now I think it is reasonable to rail against the nominating process as being terribly undemocratic but I would ask you to stop and think about that for a second: I would submit that if we had four nominees for each position and one came from one of the four disciplines outlined earlier, I would guarantee you that we would have a board made up entirely of Academics and glassblowers and that it would fester and sicken. Right now, the board is balanced by design and the arguments can be very intense as to what we are doing and where we do it. GAS, like it or not is an organization that puts on conferences about glass. It's second most important function is the newsletter or at least that is what the members say. We try to present balanced conferences but can only do so based on the quality of the presentation proposals that are submitted. Normally, I run the technical section of the conferences and the submissions were so piss poor in that section that I recommended suspending a tech resource center for New Orleans. Bert Weiss had the only tech proposal relating to kiln work for New Orleans and his still has the problem of needing a buyer for the kiln he wants to build. GAS doesn't want that responsibility and Bert needs to get that done, or the demo won't happen. SO the lack of venue items for the kiln group becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. We have tons of proposals and turn down many as being self serving infomercials, or possibly just in poor taste. There are lots of reasons. We do not accept proposals simply based on demographics. We base them on quality. Our intent is to welcome all in the organization but at the same time to keep the bar high when we consider the quality of what will be presented.

So clearly GAS is not a perfect democratic organization and never will be. It does try to put on a good show each year and it does try to put out a good newsletter. It does lots of other things too, but I think I have given out enough cannon fodder to allow those of you who are sufficiently indignant about our failings to respond. Pete VanderLaan

Lani McGregor
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Postby Lani McGregor » Wed May 07, 2003 11:00 am

All of Peter’s points are excellent and give us lots to think (and no doubt argue) about. Meanwhile…

1) Lest anyone think I declined a GAS nomination because of any gripes with GAS: not so. I would have loved to work with GAS on that level, but had other major commitments this year. Not the least of which is our own teaching conference: BECon… which leads me to….

2) Addressing our own issues within this community before we expect GAS to validate us by including kiln-forming in a larger way within its conference program. At WGW last fall the biggest problem I heard about was the poor quality of instruction that is rampant in our midst. Learning to fuse one weekend and teaching the next isn’t going to build us the kind of reputation for quality work that is demanded by professional organizations such as GAS.

GAS can’t legitimize us, only we can.
….and their nominating process is not the problem.

Lani


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