07 Nov National Board of Directors Hold Landmark In-Person Meeting
The Guild National Board and candidates met in North Carolina October 24-25, 2019 for a notable in-person annual meeting. The Guild started operating as a trade association when new governing documents were voted in by membership last year, but this was the first annual Board meeting to take place after elections were completed under our new Constitution and Bylaws. That meant that, for the first time, our Regional Reps voted in our new ExComm At Large Directors. We welcomed a new crew to Guild leadership: three new regional reps, two new associate reps, and two new ExComm At Large Directors. The infusion of new leadership gave the meeting fresh energy and excitement, and resulted in one of our most productive board meetings.
The past year has seen progress made on several Guild initiatives, including:
Guild Branding: Communications Chair Todd LeMieux developed branding guidelines which are being utilized for Regional communications and Guild social media. The result has been bright, fresh, distinctive graphics that reinforce the Guild’s messaging of “Advocacy. Community. Business Resources.”
Graphic Arts Today: The Guild formed an alliance with Aggregage resulting in a weekly newsletter that gathers articles on a wide variety of topics of interest to graphic artists. Look for Graphic Arts Today in your inbox or visit the website: Graphic Arts Today.
Guild Member Grievance Assistance: The grievance process for Guild members was relaunched this year. Guild members are invited to send in client grievances for peer review, advice, and, when appropriate, intervention from the Guild in the form of letters sent to the client. Typical grievances the Guild will address include issues such as failure to pay or non- return of artwork.
Guild Handbook: Work on the 16th edition of the Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing and Ethical Guidelines is well underway. The survey process for the book’s pricing tables has been revamped, and the cover art was presented to the board.
The CASE Act: Advocacy Liaison Rebecca Blake reported on the CASE Act which passed in the House only two days earlier, on October 22, 2019. Several board members had followed the voting on the Bill in real time, so the Advocacy Report served more as a celebration than an announcement.
Advocacy Update: In addition to an update on the CASE Act – the House version of the bill had passed only a few days earlier – Rebecca Blake reported on two amicus briefs the Guild signed onto in cases on sovereign domain and the copyright infringement by state entities. One of the cases will be heard by the Supreme Court. She also reported on copyright modernization roundtable talks conducted by Senator Tillis’ office, which the Guild is participating in.
Full house: The National Board meeting in progress.
Whatever Todd said, it made the board laugh.
National President Lara lists the board’s action items..
Southern Region: George, Camille, Tammy, and Crisy.
Guild BFF Ed runs a strategy session with Crisy, Simone, Rebecca, and Lara.
Every board meeting ends with examining sketchbooks.
Guild Spouse Michael documented the proceedings.
Ambitious Plans for 2020
After the reports on initiatives started or worked on in 2019, the meeting was devoted to plans for the upcoming year. With fresh blood, the regions envision ambitious programs for 2020, including personalized member outreach, regional events, presence at trade events and design weeks, Instagram take-overs, and virtual meetups. Board members also discussed planning for membership initiatives, webinar topics, and social media outreach.
The meeting concluded with a vote by the regional reps for the ExComm At Large Directors: new ExComm At Large Directors Rose Lowry and Yanique DaCosta, and returning national Excomm members Rebecca Blake, Todd LeMieux, and Dawn Mitchell. This was the first time Regional Reps voted for ExComm At Large Directors, as mandated by the new Constitution and Bylaws. It seemed fitting to conclude a landmark in-person meeting with such a milestone accomplishment. (See our article on the new Regional Reps as well as the new National Executive Committee board members.)
Photo of Guild sketchbooks and Michael © 2019 Rebecca Blake. All other photos © 2019 Michael Asirvadem.