My name is Lee Martindale, and I’m running for South-Central Regional Director.
Let’s begin with the obvious. Reorganizations are tough. SFWA is in a state of transition. The Board of Directors that begins its term on July 1, 2010 will lead the organization through that transition, and be the bridge between SFWA as it is and SFWA as it will be.. A Board with as many members as possible with solid foundations in SFWA-specific experience is vital for a smooth transition. That’s why I’m a candidate for South-Central Regional Director.
Since joining SFWA as an Active member in 1999, I’ve been almost continuously involved in the nuts-and-bolts of the organization as it is. I served on the Election Committee for three years and chaired the Bylaws Committee for six years. I’m currently in my fifth year as the Mediation Specialist for the Grievance Committee, and my second year as SFWA Ombudsman. I was a member of the 2009 SFWA Commission that formulated the template for the proposed bylaws and reorganization. That’s a combination and depth of experience that will, I believe, serve the members well during this time.
A regional director should be a knowledgeable, active and accessible presence among both the constituency s/he serves and the SF&F community in general. S/he should function as a representative for SFWA to the community at large, a representative for the Board to the members of the region, and a representative for the members to the Board. Here in the South-Central Region, we haven’t had that for quite some time . There is no more important time for such than now.
I believe that, while recruitment is important, retention is vital. SFWA was built, is maintained, and continues to accomplish its mission because members gift it with time and talents. That need for member involvement won’t decrease under the proposed structure, and SFWA will still largely rely on experienced, willing members. I will, if elected, work to balance the attitudes and allocation of resources that have led far too many current and lapsed members to express the opinion that they no longer matter.
One last thing you probably should know; I am not a member of any “ticket” or “slate”. While I wholeheartedly and personally support many of the goals that have been set forth, I make decisions based on merit, supporting data, and with consideration of their long-term effects. If elected, that method, the input of the members I serve, and my knowledge of SFWA as it is and SFWA as it will be, will inform my vote. What SFWA does, and can do in the future, is too important to do it any other way.
Thank you for consideration and, I hope, your vote.