March 2016

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March 2016

News From Mark Shanda, USITT President

Of Change and Vice-Presidencies

Mark Shanda USITT President

Part of the excitement of working with a volunteer organization the size and scope of USITT is our organization’s continual evolution intersecting with the regular career changes of our members. I often joke that our Policies and Procedures Compendium is much like the Gaudi Cathedral which was begun in 1882 in Barcelona and has been a work in progress since. Many doubt whether the full structure will ever be completed.

Markéta Fantová

A recent career change has caused one of our Vice-Presidents to submit her resignation. VP International Activities Markéta Fantová informed me early in January of her desire to resign effective March 15. Her decision is not based on her recent relocation from the United States to the Czech Republic, for the Institute has historic precedent for an officer to live outside the U.S. Rather, Markéta made this hard choice because of her remarkable opportunity to serve as the head of the 2019 Prague Quadrennial (PQ)!

Recognizing that USITT’s involvement in the U.S. exhibit to the PQ could result in a conflict of interest, Markéta felt the Institute would be best served with a new Vice-President for International Activities. Markéta has been an outstanding colleague, providing significant leadership for the USITT PQ USA ’15 entry and continuing to build strong links with many international partners. Her VP service will be missed, but she plans to stay active with the International Activities Committee and will remain a valued member of the Institute.

Our by-laws provide a very clear method to address a vacancy of any officer or board member, and our Nominating Committee is currently seeking input to make a recommendation to the Board for someone to serve out the final year and three months of Markéta’s term. The Board looks forward to receiving that recommendation and taking action at our meeting on March 15, and we hope to be able to announce the new Vice-President to our members at the Institute’s general meeting the next day.

The Board recently took action to formally change the titles of two other Vice-Presidential positions. The Vice-President for Special Operations has been renamed Vice-President of Exhibitions. This change more accurately describes the primary focus of that role, given that much of the contract and logistical work is now covered by staff. Vice-President for Exhibitions Eric Rouse is hard at work bringing to life this new vision for this important position.

The other VP title change is shifting the Vice-President of Programming, who historically coordinated National Conference & Stage Expo scheduling, to a more accurate title of Vice-President for Education & Training. With the Institute’s expanded commitment to year-round and lifelong learning for all of our members, this new title is much more accurate. Vice-President for Education & Training Kasey Allee-Foreman is fully committed to seeing the Institute be a valuable 12-month resource for all.

Change is constant in all we do, but be assured that the one thing that won’t change during these transitions is our commitment as a Board to bring our very best to each and every one of you.

Mark Shanda

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