RWA President Diane Kelly appointed Farrah Rochon and Damon Suede to fill the two Director-at-Large positions on the Board of Directors that were vacant due to Director Renee Ryan being elected as Secretary and Jodi Thomas's resignation.
A note from President Kelly to address questions about the appointments to the RWA Board of Directors:
The Bylaws set out the procedures for filling vacancies on the Board of Directors.
Section 7.4. Vacancies. Except as described below regarding the office of President, any vacated Director position shall be filled by appointment by the President, subject to the affirmative vote of the Board of Directors, as promptly as reasonably possible.
7.4.1. Eligibility. Candidates eligible for appointment to a vacant position shall be General members who otherwise meet the position requirements as defined in these Bylaws.
As you can see, the Bylaws allow quite a bit of flexibility in making appointments.
There were several options for filling the vacant spots, including appointing the candidates with the next highest number of votes [in the election]. Retaining an experienced outgoing board member or bringing back a former board member was also an option, as was appointing members who have experience serving RWA in other capacities. When I considered all of the alternatives and the Board's commitment to serve all RWA members to the best of our ability, I determined that the best option was to appoint two longstanding RWA members who not only have experience in publishing and in serving RWA, but can also bring some diverse perspectives to the board. RWA can best fulfill its mission when a variety of experiences and viewpoints are represented at the board table.
The first meeting of the new Board is coming up next week, and all members seem eager to get to work. I'm excited to be stepping into my new role, and am looking forward to a productive and progressive year!