AGO Elects 2016-2018 National Council and Regional Councilors

On July 1, 2016, four newly elected officers, three national councillors with portfolio, and seven regional councillors begin their two-year term of leadership on the National Council and Board of Regional Councillors of the American Guild of Organists (AGO). Election results were reported and councillors were installed on Wednesday, June 22, during the AGO Annual Meeting held in conjunction with the AGO National Convention in Houston, TX. In addition, in accordance with AGO Bylaws, AGO Past President John Walker will remain on the Council as a non-voting member for a period of one year. The non-voting AGO Executive Director also serves as an ex officio member of Council. Election results follow:

National Council

President: Michael Bedford, AAGO, ChM (Tulsa, OK)

Vice President/Councillor for Competitions and New Music: Eileen Hunt, AAGO (Salem, MA)

Secretary/Councillor for Communications: Mary V. Stutz (Williamsburg, VA)

Treasurer/Councillor for Finance and Development: Barbara Adler, SPC (Ithaca, NY)

Councillor for Conventions: Michael Velting (Nashville, TN)

Councillor for Education: Don Cook, AAGO (Provo, Utah)

Councillor for Membership: David K. Lamb, CAGO (Clarksville, IN)

 Non-Voting (Ex officio) Members of the AGO National Council

AGO Past President: John Walker, FAGO (Baltimore, MD)

AGO Executive Director: James E. Thomashower, CAE (New York, NY)

“I have been a member of the American Guild of Organists since my student days at Texas Christian University some 45 years ago,” declared Michael Bedford. “I can think of no greater honor than serving as president of an organization that has meant so much to me throughout my professional life.”

Seven regional councillors were also elected during the national election. In accordance with the Guild’s new organizational structure, the regional councillors will be represented on the National Council through the Chair of the Board of Regional Councillors. During the AGO National Convention in Houston, Matthew Burt (West Regional Councillor) was elected to serve in this capacity.

Board of Regional Councillors

Northeast Region: Cheryl Duerr, AAGO (Attleboro, Mass.)

Mid-Atlantic Region: Glenn L. Rodgers, AAGO (Delran, N.J.)

Southeast Region: Homer Ferguson III (Pinehurst, N.C.)

Great Lakes Region: Karl Bruhn (Batavia, Ill.)

North Central Region: Marilyn Schempp, SPC (Sioux Falls, S.Dak.)

Southwest Region: Vicki Schaeffer (Norman, Okla.)

West Region: Matthew Burt, SPC (Palo Alto, Calif.)

 “The process of nominating 14 candidates to serve on the National Council and an equal number of candidates for the seven Regional Councillor positions is a major undertaking,” reported AGO Executive Director James Thomashower. “It requires a conscientious effort among seven Regional Nominating Committees and the AGO’s National Nominating Committee. More than 40 volunteers are involved in finding two highly qualified nominees for each office. We thank all of the nominees for their willingness to serve in these volunteer positions.”

The election was held from April 1–30 and managed by Intelliscan Inc., an independent election management firm engaged by the AGO to administer the election, receive the ballots, and tabulate the results. The total number of ballots cast was 5,514, representing responses from approximately 35% of the Guild’s membership. “The ability to vote and elect the Guild’s leaders is both a benefit and a responsibility of membership,” added Thomashower. “With so many outstanding candidates, members were faced with many hard choices. As is often the case, some of the races were not decided until the final ballots were cast. I extend my sincere thanks to all members who took part in the election. Our organization’s future will be shaped by the leaders you have selected.”

Detailed election results can be found in the July issue of The American Organist Magazine, page 7.


Newly elected officers and National Councillors (back row); newly elected Regional Councillors (front row).

Photo credit: Joseph Routon

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