ARLIS/NA President's Message – Transitional Executive Board Structure

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
– Confucius

Dear ARLIS/NA Members,

To those of you who are not yet out on a gondola in Venice, perusing the marketplaces of Greece, or simply lost in a racy art mystery by a pool, I can, at least, bring you exciting news to salute over your next summer glass of wine about our Society making first steps toward updating the configuration of our organization!

While the Executive Board continues to gather the committee, division, section and roundtable reports with your feedback about the Assessment Task Force Recommendations, we have had our own discussions about the recommendations for the structure of the board. Based on those discussions, the Executive Board voted to adopt the configuration as proposed by the Assessment Task Force in hybrid form with the current structure, for the next couple of years.

By combining elements of the traditional structure with a new and developing structure, we will have the opportunity to explore the new board positions while preserving continuity with the current positions. Certainly, this does make for slightly more demanding appointments, but this seemed to be the most appropriate approach to managing the transition and for allowing time to work through shaping the new board positions.

As we begin to implement the additional roles Cate Cooney, Eastern Regional Representative, will serve as Chapter Coordinator and work with the chapter officers to devise membership guidelines; Sue Koskinen, West Regional Representative, will become our Communications Officer and will begin to search for a technology advisor; Marilyn Nasserden, Canadian Regional Representative, will serve as Development Coordinator and has joined the Development Committee to work on sponsorship strategies; Elizabeth Schaub, South Regional Representative, will serve as the Education Coordinator and become Co-chair of the Mentor Committee (when that forms); and Amy Trendler, our Midwest Regional Representative, will serve as Conference Coordinator, and has recently joined the Denver and Indianapolis Conference Planning Advisory Committee discussions.

We will all be learning more about how these roles will serve our Society as we go. I think the change offers much potential for us. Outlined below please find an abbreviated version of the new transitional structure of the Executive Board. You’ll notice that the most significant changes come with the regional representatives. Your feedback, throughout the year, to help us shape these positions will be welcome. Please revisit the original ARLIS/NA Organizational Assessment, too, for more details at

More updates to come. Remember to visit the News & Events section of the website for news headlines and messages from your Executive Board.

Deborah K. Ultan Boudewyns, President, ARLIS/NA

Transitional Executive Board Structure – Highlights of most significant changes

President- Deborah K. Ultan Boudewyns

  • As proposed – no significant changes

Past President- Ann Whiteside

  • Implement the recommended direct reports to alleviate some responsibilities on the regional reps (this way the reps will have time to serve in their elected roles as well as adopt some aspects of the proposed functional roles during this trial/hybrid year.)
  • Direct Reports: Standards Com, Cat Advis Com, instead of liaison to Society Liaisons (leave to Pres) pick up Public Policy, continue as IRC liaison, continue with SEI implementation as Co-liaison with Education Officer.

Vice-President/President Elect – Ken Soehner

  • As proposed – some reporting changes

Treasurer- Fran Scott

  • As proposed – no significant changes

Secretary- Rebecca Price

  • Co-liaison to Membership Committee w/current liaison
  • Co-liaison to Headquarters with President
  • Examine necessity/value of local chapter sec taking minutes at mid-yr and conferences
  • Develop minutes guidelines if alternative sec is used and/or for future secretaries

Chapters Coordinator- Cate Cooney

  • Coordinate funding requests for chapters
  • Work with other reg reps on their specific issues and/or discussions (to exercise ‘coordinator’ concept)
  • Work with reg reps and chapters on Bylaw changes or issues
  • Facilitate Chapter Officer discussions as needed
  • Work with Marilyn and the Canadian Chapters (help determine whether we best continue the Canadian Rep or find out if it may not be necessary)
  • Continue as Eastern Regional Rep

Development/Marketing- Marilyn Nasserden

  • Become Co-liaison to the Development Committee – advise conference planners and Development Committee on fundraising and assist with fundraising activities as appointed
  • Co-liaison to Membership Committee with Secretary
  • Continue as Canadian Regional Rep

Education Coordinator- Elizabeth Schaub

  • Continue as Professional Development Committee Liaison
  • Co-chair Mentor Sub-Committee
  • Co-liaison of Education Task Force with President
  • SEI Implementation Co-liaison with VP
  • Continue as South Regional Rep

Communication- Sue Koskinen

  • Continue as Publications Liaison
  • Technology Special Appointment – develop idea and help implement
  • Continue as West Regional Rep

Conference Planning- Amy Trendler

  • Serve as Co-Chair of CPAC with Pres
  • Serve as Liaison (mediator) between CPAC and Conference Manager – eliminate excessive email/communications
  • Oversee CPAC deadlines
  • Go to CPAC – (and use this experience to begin to mold officer role for next year)
  • Continue as Midwest Regional Rep


  1. Actually, on a serious note, this is something folks should really respond to here, express anxieties, support whatever. What I can’t figure out is the whole Canadian anxiety that they aren’t covered by this. Any Canadians out there with thoughts?

  2. I think when Karen McKenzie wrote about the “inevitable loss of Canadian members’ unique voice and needs” she was concerned over the flattening of the organization.

    Although this is a hybrid setup for a year, I think the move in this direction frightens our Canadian members.

    Specifically, in the original structure, each regional rep had a chance to have their concerns aired directly to the board. In the proposed structure, the regional reps become functional officers and only ONE officer [i.e. Chapters Coordinator] reports the concerns of the chapters. Furthermore, instead of having a unified voice that comes from the specific needs of that region, all voices from each chapter’s chair get rolled up into the message that the Chapters Coordinator brings to the board.

    I think what troubles McKenzie et al. is that with the compression of information there comes loss–what messages rise to the top & what messages become “noise”. This becomes problematic for chapters who wish to influence the society in some way (I do not say this negatively). It is a very valid concern. However, I think that if the board sets up clear lines of communication across the organization (vertically & horizontally) in an easily cognitive structure then we’ll have a minimum loss of concerns/voices/etc.

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