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On June 1, 2013, during the annual leadership retreat in Philadelphia, AIGA will hold an
open meeting of regular members to ratify several actions by the national board. The meeting will take place in the Sheraton Society Hill Hotel, 1 Dock Street,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 9:30 a.m.
Consistent with AIGA’s bylaws, only “regular” members are permitted to vote, which
means members at the Sustaining, Design Leader and Trustee levels. The meeting will involve more than 250 board members from chapters and is open to
any qualified member interested in attending.
The purpose of this membership
meeting is to vote on amendments to the national bylaws intended to bring AIGA’s
governance into alignment with recent changes in AIGA practices, the current
business environment and applicable New York State laws governing not-for-profit
The proposed amendments have been considered carefully by the executive
committee of the national board and the full national board of directors, as well as legal counsel.
The original bylaws were drafted when AIGA was a small club centered in New York; now, AIGA is a global organization with more than 23,000 members spread across the
country and the world. The intent is to assure that AIGA is open and transparent, and
has the mechanisms for members to participate in AIGA’s governance and
We recently reviewed our bylaws and discovered there were two provisions that
stood in the way of greater member participation:
One was a provision which stated that proxies for voting were prohibited. Eliminating
this simply clarifies that members who are eligible to vote and are attending a
meeting are voting for themselves.
The second is an ambiguity about the permissibility of electronic voting in issues
requiring a membership vote, including the election of boards. We had changed the
bylaws to permit electronic voting in the 1990s when it first seemed appropriate
and prior to a clarification of this issue, and we have used it to encourage greater
participation for more than a decade. It now appears that the New York State laws on
nonprofits may not permit it, requiring instead that voting occur in meetings or by
signed mail ballots.
As a result, we are taking two actions in this membership meeting on June 1: First, members will be asked to vote on changes to the AIGA bylaws, including amendments to allow electronic and internet balloting when it becomes legal, and to allow the use of mail ballots that must be returned with a signature for valid member participation until electronic balloting is made legal. The proposed amendments are outlined in AIGA bylaws: Proposed revisions, and the intent of the changes are described in AIGA bylaws: About the proposed changes. Second, AIGA will call for a vote to validate the election of the current board and the incoming board, both of which were elected by electronic ballot. These actions, along with several other initiatives, will help get all of the institutional programs updated as we enter AIGA’s second century.
If you have any questions concerning the language, content or intent of the bylaws
or the changes, please do not hesitate to contact me
Richard GreféExecutive director and secretaryAIGA, the professional association for design
AIGA’s 15-member board is elected by the entire professional membership
and plays a crucial role in determining the mission of AIGA.
Section: About AIGA -
AIGA chapters fulfill AIGA’s mission at the local level, supporting members through organizing projects and events to educate, inform and connect designers.
Section: About AIGA
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