Resolution #2 Discussion

Resolution #2 – To Amend The CALLERLAB Bylaws, ARTICLE IV BOARD OF GOVERNORS, Section 1. Number of Governors.

This resolution was presented by the Board of Governors for consideration by the membership.

All voting members received an email with the resolution and a link to provide feedback.

Discussion for Resolution #2 is now closed.  The Pro  and Con summaries are below.  The most recent comments appear at the top.

If you have any questions, please contact the Home Office.


Pro Comments

Richard R. Delgado (“Rich”) – Princeton, New Jersey United States

The reduction in the size of the committee should result in lower costs for the organization.    I support the reduction in size because I believe it will make it easier and more efficient to conduct executive committee meetings.  The committee will remain large enough to represent a variety of views.


The documentation explaining the reason for this change makes perfect sense.    I agree the reduction of BOG members is reasonable.

Elmer Sheffield – Tallahassee, FL United States

I totally agree with reducing the number of board of governors

Jim Wass  – Riverdale, Maryland United States

I support passage of the the proposed Amendment 2. I personally could support an even smaller board of governors that the proposed 18.    While a contraction might seem a surrender to our decline, it is important for an association to be rationally organized. My local association in the last 20 years reduced the size of its board of directors.    I’ve one very small concern. It occurs to me that the number of 25 ensured that a vote of the entire board would never end in a tie. This can probably be addressed adequately should it ever be a significant issue.    In the event we contract again, I recommend 13 board members.

Ed Foote – Wexford, PA United States

It is very logical to reduce the size of the BOG.  The number 25 was an arbitrary number picked when Callerlab was founded.  There was no scientific basis for it, it merely sounded good.  Corporations with billions in assets often have a Board of only 8 or 9 people.  A company hired by Callerlab to review our structure said it was illogical for us to have such a large Board with our being such a small corporation.    The transition from 25 to 18 will go very slowly and smoothly over a period of years.     As people retire from our Board, they will not be replaced.  Those on the Board who wish to continue to run can continue to do so.  Only when someone retires will the number decrease.    The idea that “We’ve always done it this way so let’s keep doing it” is never a logical argument.  This is not about saving money — it’s about having our corporation structured in a modern fashion.    Some people say that 25 people will generate more ideas than 18.  Fine, then let’s have the Board be 50 people, or 75.  In actual fact, the amount of ideas generated by 18 people will be the same as 25.  On any given topic, the discussion always revolves around 4 or 5 ideas or thoughts.  That’s it.    I hope the membership will have the wisdom to bring our corporation into the modern world by approving this logical and slow transition of the BOG to 18 members.

Kip Garvey – Ione, CA United States

Having served two terms on the Board, I believe our organization is better off at this time with fewer Board members. The current requirement for 25 Board members is pure overkill for the size of our organization. Fewer Board members will increase efficiencies of time in determination of future direction the organization takes and in coordination of effort in development of future and ongoing initiatives. The work load of the organization is carried and shared by both Board and mostly non-Board members alike, which means operations are not negatively impacted by reduction in the size of the Board. The major decisions regarding implementation of member decisions can be more easily achieved with fewer Board members. ‘Member representation’ is a red herring in my opinion because our Board members are not and never have been a representative collection. Rather, they’ve been based on name recognition more than anything else. I do recommend the total number of Board members be an odd number rather than 18 in order to avoid decision congestion due to tie voting.  As an aside, we need a better way to determine capabilities of Board candidates prior to Board elections. The current ‘popularity contests’ that are occurring do not necessarily enhance or assure that the right candidates are winning the elections.

Ron Giuliana – North Huntingdon Township, PA United States

I support this resolution to reduce the size of the board. I believe that the number was set at 25, because that was how many callers were in attendance at the first planning meeting. I have been on several boards outside of CALLERLAB.  My last was on the local school board. We had a body of 9, responsible fo 4000 students, 350 staff and a budget of $63 million. It is nice to have input, but we can have a slimmer board and it can be just as effective. Members can still sippy input and there suggestions, comments an concerns to ant board member. Other corporate boards run with about 9 members as well, so 25 is too large. I don’t think the reason to reduce the board is limit input or because of the reduction of callers or the activity. It is just to streamline it.   Thanks for the opportunity to voice my opinion.

Richard Otis – Reston, Virginia United States

The resolution is well thought out and justifiable. Strongly concur.

Glenn Wilson – Bracken Ridge, QLD Australia

Less governance is usually better.  It also means less attendees are required for a quorum and therefore business is more likely to get done.  As membership decreases, less BOG is required, it can always ramp up again if needed. I support the resolution.

Wade Driver – Spring, TX United States

Having been on the board a couple of times I am firmly in favor of this resolution for more than one reason.  Primarily, I think a smaller group can get more accomplished simply due to the reduction of discussion time and the stating of opinion time.  Secondly, I think this will cause a more uniform turn over in board members allowing a wider base of our membership to participate.  Hopefully, we will be represented by a constituency of callers with a more current approach to the activity.

Ken Ritucci – West springfield, MA United States

I want everyone to know that the process of reducing the Board is by attrition, to reduce the Board by 7 members will take several years. A well thought out process has been developed. We are not just cutting seven positions.  Existing Board members will not be hurt, it will be phased in as people voluntarily leave the Board and not be replaced.  We paid an outside firm for their review and recommendation. That based on the size of our Organization, it is not necessary to have 25 members on the Board.  Multi Million dollar companies do not have Boards the size of our.  I am in favor of this Resolution.

Dan & Kathy Koft – York, PA United States

In this case I am truly neutral.  I’m OK with 18 but am not tied to any particular number.  It would have been nice to know what the current number is set to.

Rick Hampton – Visalia, CA United States

SD, Callerlab and others are all smaller- This historical reason for the size of the BOG really is not relevant anymore, so 18 seems ok but a number that could cause ties, if we care?

Masaharu Hiraga – 4-8-34, Honjo, Saitama 日本

I believe there should be the way to evaluate the candidates. Examples: Outcomes of the Committees or other activities  each candidate chaired in the past. In order to keep the level of capability to handle the important issues, I agree to make the numbers of the BOG in proportion to   the membership.

Buddy Weaver – San Marcos, CA United States

I support the idea of a smaller board to represent a smaller membership.

Jerry Gilbreath – Albuquerque, nm United States

I agree the board needs to be reduced.

Geoff Clarke – Carleton Place, Ontario Canada

This resolution makes perfect sense – making the adjustment of the number of BOG members ration to align in 2025 with what we had in 2003 (or closer to it).    As our overall membership numbers decline, it only follows that we should adjust the representation accordingly.

Dennis Farrar – Sun City West, AZ United States

I’m okay with this resolution.

Tim Crawford – Burlington, ON Canada

This seems like a reasonable move. will help reduce overall costs as well.

Al Frazier – Georgetown, TX United States

I don’ think we need all those on the board.

Stephen Cole – Kirkland, WA United States

Given the size of the square dancing population, a Board of Governors of 25 is much too large.     Language in the motion arguing for reduction uses math to display representation.   Based on attrition levels, by 2025 it is expected that a BOG of 18 callers will represent 74 callers per BOG member.    However, there doesn’t seem to be a reference to distribution, geographically.      I would argue that, based on the number of callers in a geographic area, it would be best to ensure that their voices are being heard.  (The Americas, Asia, Europe, Australia/NZ should all have a voice at the table.)    Can the motion be updated to reflect the composition of the BOG or should that be separate?

Bobby Keefe – RAIFORD, FL United States

This goes to the old adage of having more chiefs than indians.  We do not need that situation.

Victor Diller – Apple Valley, MN United States

I agree that there should be more people on the board.

Steven blankinship – Fairfield, Tx United States


Con Comments

Richard Tobin – Northwood, NH United States

I feel knowledge and diversity is important in covering the the subjects that CallerLab takes on. . . As such, I feel reducing the numbers could reduce quality.

John Cook – Allendale, Michigan United States

I advise against this Resolution.  When voting for BOG representation, I have looked at the location of those willing to serve with an eye toward including regional geographical representation of all areas of our activity.  I’m mostly considering regional representation within North America, and including global representation for other continents.    Reducing the number of available BOG openings could potentially reduce the number of Non-North American callers being elected. I would like to make sure that we don’t overlook considerations that might be important when we are  making decisions.  Without input from  someone either from or familiar with every region of the square dance activity, we might not be aware of how our decisions could impact them.    I believe that global geographic representation needs to be factored in to each member’s consideration when voting. Shrinking the BOG could unintentionally reduce the potential for diversity of input and variety of representation.  I urge a no vote on this resolution.

Bill Harrison – Cheltenham, Maryland United States

Having 25 assures the opportunity for the members that do not have an a huge popularity have a chance to be elected.  In the past and present there have been many that have not had name recognition who have been elected who have done ton’s of work for the organization serving on the BOG.  It is very possible that these elected members may not have had the chance with a smaller amount of elected BOG members.      Second if for example we have 25 BOG members and let’s say 10 are not really working that would leave 15 BOG members basically working for the membership, but if we had 18 BOG as the limit and let’s say we have 10 BOG members that are not working we would have 8 BOG members carrying the load.    I understand both sides and maybe once we see what happens out of the pandemic as to our membership and where we stand as an organization is it feesable to cut back?  It may.

Bear Miller – DENVER, CO United States

I do NOT support this motion! Our current numbers allow for a pretty diverse group of leaders. Not only National travelling callers, but many of us who are in the front line, knowing the real battle of recruiting, educating & retaining dancers. A decrease in the size of the Board would affect those dynamics. There is no cost saving, so to me it doesn’t make sense. Thanks for listening.

Ted Lizotte – Manchester, NH United States

Q: HOW WILL THE BOG REDUCTION AFFECT CALLERLAB’s COSTS? – – – A: It doesn’t.  BOG Members are responsible for all costs associated to their service.  There is NO savings to the CALLERLAB organization by reducing the number of BOG members

Doren McBroom – Manchester, MD United States

I speak against the motion. As has been stated by others, my primary objection is that election to the BOG is, in part, a popularity contest, so limiting the seats on the Board will make it more difficult for local and regional callers to be elected. There are numerous examples of callers, who are unknown outside their area, becoming exceptional BOG members; let us not deny ourselves the benefit of their service. The cost to CALLERLAB of having an additional seven members is minimal; a few meals is all it costs us.

Lanny Weaklend – Omaha, Nebraska United States

I can see both sides of the issue, but I’m not sure a smaller BOG is the right move for us.  Perhaps we should look at term limits instead.  After two or three 3-year terms, a member would “sit out” for 3 years before running again.   That would ensure we continue to see “fresh” faces on the BOG, while allowing for experienced members to come back and serve again.

Tom Rainer – Ocean View, DE United States

I vote no to this resolution. I recommend that we take this opportunity to keep the number at 25, and reserve 7 seats on the BOG to be filled by International members. By doing this we can ensure a greater participation in our leadership from our International members, which should add value to CALLERLAB.

Jack Pladdys – Indian Springs, OH United States

So I’ll make this a two part response.  One considering “Reducing the Number of Governors” and the second “Limiting the number….”    1.  REDUCING – I feel to reduce the numbers of the BOG based on reduced numbers of membership is the first step to demise.  We need to stand strong during the lean times and not give in to tough times.  We all have busy lives and reducing the BOG will only add more responsibility and stress to those who remain.  A governing body needs to represent the majority, but less BOG members only reduce our demographic representation.    2.  LIMITING – By limiting we lose being flexible to add new candidates with updated, vibrant new ideas.  We have several awesome “incumbents” that will remain on the BOG as long as they want, but we need to have the alternate views to keep our organization fresh.

Jerry Reed – Rockledge, FL United States

I believe reducing the number of BOG Members is NOT a good idea. Having said that, reducing to an EVEN number of Members is MORE of a mistake. Having an odd number makes it less likely for issues to end in a tie vote.    I believe there are a number of BOG Members run for the office simply  to add “BOG Member” to their resume. They do not participate nor do they add to helpful discussion of issues.    I strongly support NO CHANGE to the number of BOG Members.

Dottie Welch – Halifax area, Nova Scotia Canada

We first discussed this issue because we were finding it difficult to fill 25 board seats and thought the reason was the decline in membership. However, the realization that being elected no longer depends on being well-known seems to have encouraged more willing-worker members to consider running. That is resulting in a more diverse representation, which is certainly desirable. Having 25 board members, also provides a sufficient number of willing candidates to fill the Executive Committee. At this time, my vote will be to maintain a 25 member board and recognize that we must continue to encourage a diverse range of candidates.

Mary Gingell – Sunnyvale, CA United States

I’ve been involved in volunteer-led non-profit organizations, working with boards of over 100 down to five, for many years. Board size relative to “membership” varies widely. Success does not depend on board size. Organizations that are most effective are filled with people passionate about their mission, and the board needs to reflect that passion. I’m always impressed with the number of lesser-known callers on my BOG ballot offering their service to CALLERLAB. We should be thrilled at this level of enthusiasm and encourage those members to serve, not limit their chances for election. It was mentioned that an attrition-based reduction will not hurt those already on the board. I respect the experience and knowledge of long-time board members, but we also need to leave room for newer, lesser-known callers to serve. Reducing the size of our board based on expected membership decline is a defeatist and self-fulfilling prophecy. We need our board members to promote square dancing and CALLERLAB, to be cheerleaders for us. We also need new ideas. This kind of outreach and idea generation is already limited with only 25 members – each person already has too much to do. Reducing the size of the board to 18 will limit these good results even further. I’ve seen no compelling arguments for reducing the size of the board. We need to leave room for some new voices to help our current management resuscitate and grow our organization. I urge a NO vote on this resolution.

Wendy VanderMeulen – St-Albert (Ottawa), Ontario Canada

I am against this move.  I agree with all the arguments already posted.

Ray Brendzy – Burnaby, BC Canada

I feel strongly that we should not reduce the number of board members.  Reducing the number of members would limit the diversity of knowledge coming to the board from a range of backgrounds and experiences.  Having a smaller group would not be a cost saving method, which might be the only reason for supporting this change.  We are all volunteers, and limiting the number of people of the board also limits voices from being heard.  From my perspective, it is important for callers to have this experience as it makes them more willing to volunteer in other areas of Callerlab.  Having a larger group increases the knowledge base of members, opening up discussions, and allowing members to see how positive change can happen.

Bill Eyler – Cathedral City, California United States

Although our numbers as callers around the world have been greatly reduced in my 37 years of calling, the diversity created by having a larger number of representatives on the BOG seems to be appropriate, rather than it shrinking to another Good Old Boys club.   I am against this proposal.

Joe Dehn – Sunnyvale, California United States

Calling our current structure “illogical” is not, in my view, a very persuasive argument for changing it, and citing the opinion of some unnamed “company” is no better, without more details. (1) Who is this company? (2) What instructions were they given? (3) To what other kinds of organizations did they compare us? (4) What exactly was the chain of “logic” which led them to the stated conclusion? (5) Can we see their report — and if not, why not?  It is important to understand that different kinds of organizations can have VERY different kinds of structure, for many different reasons — and the size of their boards is not something that can be meaningfully compared without knowing how else they differ. Yes, a multi-billion-dollar corporation with millions of customers might have a 9-member board. But they may also have thousands of paid employees, including many in management, supervisory, and planning positions, all working on the kinds of things that in our organization are done by volunteers. Our organization is structured completely differently. We have only a handful of paid employees, with most work of all kinds, including “upper management”, being done by volunteers. An extensive network of committees overseen by a large board is how we organize those volunteers. So a large board can be perfectly “logical” for OUR situation, for that reason, even though other board sizes might also be logical for other kinds of organizations.

Tony Oxendine – Charlotte, NC United States

I speak against the Resolution.  Lowering the number of seats would adversely affect the chances of new callers getting on the BOG.  There is a wealth of knowledge out there within our ranks that needs to be nourished into leadership.   Having these additional seven seats is one step towards this nourishment.  There is virtually no cost to the membership for the additional seven seats, and to me, the benefits far outweigh any perceived drawbacks.      Each BOG member represents the entire membership, not just 78.  This BOG is a diverse group of individuals that accurately reflect the make-up of our membership.   I believe that there is little to be gained by approving this resolution.

Jon Jones – Arlington, TX United States

At our first convention, in 1974, the Board was formed with 25 members representing a large area. This is what our forefathers recommended and wanted.  At that time, we had approximately 100 members. So the ratio was very different from today. However, it worked very well and has for 47 years.  If we reduce the Board by 7 members, that will possibility keep a very good caller from donating their time and working for CALLERLAB. It may also keep from having a representative from some country other than the US. There is NO reason to reduce the number. They all serve at their own expense.  DO NOT REDUCE THE NUMBER OF BOARD MEMBERS!!!  Jon Jones

Clark Baker – Belmont, MA United States

From the 25 members of the board, the board picks 5 members to be on the executive committee — a chairman, a vice chairman, and 3 EC members.  Those 5, plus the executive director and assistant ED (if there is one) are the real workforce of Callerlab (along with some committee chairman).    The EC meets twice a year, evaluates the recent convention, plans the next convention, assures the committees are doing their work, and handles a bunch of other business.    Not all board members are willing to serve on the EC, perhaps only 1/3 of them.  We need a large enough board that we have a sufficient number and selection of members to elect a viable EC.

Joe Dehn – Sunnyvale, California United States

The argument for this proposal consists of little more than a series of statements like “Whereas: Total membership for the year ending March 2003 was 1955 so there was one BOG Member for each 78 members.”  Why is the number of BOG members per member significant? Why does a change in this ratio mean that the size of the board needs to be changed?    Nobody on the BOG is “representing” any specific 78 or any other number of members — their job is to represent all of us, collectively, in all the ways that CALLERLAB may be relevant to the activity of square dancing. So it seems to me that it is the variations in our activity, rather than the number of callers, that should be the more important consideration in determining how many representatives are enough.    The number of countries in which square dancing is done has not gone down over the past couple of decades (if anything it has gone up). The number of programs managed by CALLERLAB has not declined (in fact it has gone up, first with the addition of C-3A and now with the likely approval of SSD as an official program).    There does not seem to have been any shortage of candidates to serve on the BOG in the last several annual elections.    Since no actual explanation has been provided for why this change is needed, and I can see reasons why it might be detrimental, I would suggest a ‘no’ vote on this resolution.

Vernon Jones – Springtown, Texas United States

I am speaking against this motion. It has no monetary value to CALLERLAB by reducing the Board members.  They pay the same amount that every members pays including dues, fees, convention and hotel costs. They do not receive a free ride! The most important reason is the make up of the Board. Most elections are won by the “names” of the calling world. The rest of the folks that win a seat on the board receive the next level of votes. Just enough in order to be elected. These people are not necessarily the most popular and the most well known but they do represent the regular everyday caller and in most cases do the most and best work for the members of CL while serving on the Board. Should the number of Board members be reduced it will be more unlikely that these people will be elected thus reducing the local and regular caller representation on the Board and that is not a good thing. I urge the members to vote against this measure.

Ted Lizotte – Manchester, NH United States

As a member of the Board, I voted against this resolution, and my opinion hasn’t changed.    The Board has a diverse representation of callers on it.  It consists of callers that teach from Basic to Challenge, caller who work at calling both Full and Part Time, Regional and International callers, as well as local and traveling callers, are all represented.    Reducing the number of BOG participants could dilute that diversity in the future, which could leave the board without the varied input it has maintained for years.    Additionally there is no monetary savings for CALLERLAB gained by this resolution.      Every BOG member is responsible for all expenses related to their participation.  At most, this reduction could save the price of a few meals once a year during the BOG Meetings before and after CALLERLAB.    Throughout it’s history the BOG has continued to work together and make decisions with it’s 25 members in place; there’s no reason to believe it would not continue to do so going forward.    CALLERLAB is blessed with more callers running for seats on the BOG then it currently has the capacity to grant. This gives our members choice when they vote, and it gives our board diversity in its representation and decisions. Why limit either of those with a reduction of BOG members?    If there were monetary savings to be gained that would help streamline CALLERLAB finances, then I could be in favor of this resolution.  But since the impact there is statistically negligible at best, I see no advantage to be had.    I’m voting against this resolution and would ask you to do the same.     Thank you.

Mike Sikorsky – Apache Junction, Arizona United States

I strongly feel reducing the number of Board of Governor members from 25 to 18 is very damaging to YOU, the caller/voter, by artificially reducing your representation from 1 representing 53 to 1 representing 74.  This is not good for you or CALLERLAB!   Not long ago, the BOG discussed how wonderful it would be to have non US callers on the BOG.  I feel this BOG reduction from 25 to 18 will severely damage the hopes of any non US caller ever again being elected to the BOG.  It also greatly reduces any US caller’s hopes of being elected.  VOTE NO!!!