Tanya Zanish-Belcher Elected Vice President Tanya Zanish-Belcher, director of special collections and archives at Wake Forest University, has been elected SAA vice president/president-elect for 2016-2017. She begins her one-year term this August following the Annual Meeting and will serve as the seventy-third president in 2017-2018. Current Vice President Nancy McGovern will assume the 2016-2017 presidency in August. A Fellow of SAA and co-editor with Anke Voss of Perspectives on Women's Archives (Society of American Archivists, 2013), Zanish-Belcher will continue to focus SAA's efforts and resources on issues of advocacy for archives and archivists. "Advocacy is an essential goal for our Society—it is vital that we collaborate with other allied groups to increase our voice and participation in the public policy arena, but we need to also focus our efforts on the local, state and regional communities whom we serve," Zanish-Belcher wrote in her candidate statement. Alongside advocacy, Zanish-Belcher highlighted many of the broader issues concerning the profession, such as what role SAA should play in the careers of its members, whether they are beginning, mid-career, or heading to retirement; how to best mentor younger generations of archivists; how we define the cultural role of records and how that relates to diversity, believing that "it is better to achieve some goals imperfectly, as opposed to delaying our efforts in the quest for perfection and achieving nothing." Zanish-Belcher will focus on how the organization, comprised of committed volunteers and staff, communicates and effectively listens. "I will be calling on every individual and organizational SAA member to help me as we discover who we want to be as a Society in the twenty-first century. . . . If we prioritize our efforts and harness our many talents, we can succeed in not only making SAA better, but advancing our profession and consequently, improving the world as well," Zanish-Belcher wrote. Courtney Chartier, Erin Lawrimore, Bertram Lyons, Michelle Light to Join the SAA Council Courtney Chartier (Emory University), Erin Lawrimore (University of North Carolina at Greensboro), and Bertram Lyons (AVPreserve) have been elected to the Council for three-year terms (2016–2019) and Michelle Light (University of California) has been re-elected to the Council for a one-year term (2016–2017). In their candidate statements, the newly elected explained how they would utilize their skills and experience to help SAA thrive in an environment that expects communication, collaboration, and demonstrated action. Courtney Chartier “One of my great pleasures as president of the Society of Georgia Archivists was to start a Strategic Planning Task Force. SGA had never had one before, and while the organization remained strong, our growth was not strategic, and not necessarily based on what members needed, but on what the board identified as such . . . . Responsiveness is a two-way street. . . . It does little to post pending decisions, send surveys, and request comments when only a slim margin of your membership is willing to contribute their responses. It should be an ongoing goal for Council to find new ways to get member responses in every possible medium. Most of all, Council should cultivate an environment in which members feel both comfortable in contributing in a variety of ways, as well as compelled to do so.” Erin Lawrimore “I would like to see SAA leaders on all levels participate in ‘town hall’ discussions with membership. At the 2014 Annual Meeting, I was excited to organize a town hall discussion with SAA leadership (then incoming President Kathleen Roe and Executive Director Nancy Beaumont). Members asked great questions, and Kathleen and Nancy provided excellent responses that really helped illuminate the work of the organization. In the vein of AMA (Ask Me Anything) conversations on Reddit, I want to see a regularly scheduled online discussion with many of the current SAA leaders to discuss the work being done by their particular groups. Taking the town hall concept online not only broadens the audience, but it allows for a more timely discussion of key issues affecting the membership.” Bertram Lyons “Of particular interest to me is continued support for archivists transitioning into new responsibilities for electronic records and digital collections—not to the detriment of longstanding archival methodologies, but as a method to broaden the roles archivists play in society as organizations, individuals, and governments embrace digital technologies. As associate lecturer with the University of Wisconsin–Madison SLIS, I combine hands-on technical training with an understanding of the diversity of the archives profession so that students understand the history and variety of the archives landscape while simultaneously acquiring technical skills that will be desired by future employers.” Michelle Light “First, I would encourage the Council to continue to publicize opportunities for member feedback in multiple venues to ensure we reach and listen to diverse perspectives. Second, I would work closely with leadership of sections, roundtables, and other groups to gather their representative opinions and to coach them on engaging their members effectively. Third, I would help groups understand how they might identify and craft issues of concern to bring forward to the Council. Finally, I would look for opportunities to cultivate new leaders to help spread engagement across the organization.” SAA Nominating Committee Welcomes Melissa Gonzales, T-Kay Sangwand, and Holly Smith The 2017 Nominating Committee will comprise Melissa Gonzales (Witte Museum), T-Kay Sangwand (University of California, Los Angeles), Holly Smith (Spelman College), and two third-year Council members selected by the Council at its May 2016 meeting. Smith will serve as chair of the Nominating Committee. The committee begins its service immediately and works through the fall in preparing a slate of candidates for the 2017 election. The new members of the Nominating Committee defined their criteria for choosing a slate of nominees in their candidate statements. Melissa Gonzales “There is a vast pool of untapped leadership within SAA and beyond that would broaden diversity within the organization, but these individuals may feel they lack the experience or funding necessary to take on roles. If we established a way to emphasize that leadership within SAA does not have to involve travel or extensive training and experience, we could broaden where we discover our future leaders. Collaborating with other groups within SAA to identify and connect with potential candidates who represent under-served communities would be the first step. As a Nominating Committee member, I will strive to find a successful and extensible solution that would encourage those who feel they have little to offer to step forward and represent their groups within the organization, and in turn, also advocate for the profession as a role model within their communities.” T-Kay Sangwand “SAA has made concerted efforts to cultivate diversity in its membership and across the profession. I recognize that these efforts resulted from the dedication of members across the organization who pushed SAA leadership to move forward on these initiatives and further developed as leaders themselves in the process. As a member of the Nominating Committee, I will aim to identify a) a candidate slate that not only reflects the various aspects of SAA’s broad definition of diversity and b) candidates who work towards diversifying archives and archivists as a core responsibility within our profession, and not a niche concern.” Holly Smith “I will collaborate with SAA leadership as well as colleagues from different affinity groups, committees, and the general SAA membership to identify a variety of candidates to serve as leaders and advocates for SAA and the archival profession. It is critical to have individuals who are active (or are interested in being more active) in SAA, keep up with emerging trends and technology in the field, and are interested in fostering collaborative relationships across and beyond the profession. Having a dynamic group of individuals invested in maintaining a diverse, collaborative professional organization is vital to the long-term sustainability of SAA.”
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