Vote Today for the AGO Leaders of Tomorrow

The governance of the AGO is vested in our National Council, a small cohort of volunteer Guild members elected by their peers. The Council consists of eight voting members including four officers (president, vice president/councillor for competitions and new music, secretary/councillor for communications, and treasurer/councillor for finance and development), three councillors with portfolio (education, membership, and conventions), and the chair of the Board of Regional Councillors (ex officio). With the exception of the chair of the BRC, all of the national councillors are elected by a vote of the general membership. The executive director of the AGO also serves on the National Council, ex officio, with voice but no vote.

Leadership of the Guild’s seven regions is the responsibility of the seven members of the Board of Regional Councillors. The voting members of each region elect their regional councillor.

All councillors serve two-year terms. Each councillor may serve up to five consecutive terms but can hold the same position for no more than three consecutive terms.

The candidates who have been nominated to the National Council represent a diverse and experienced group. Fourteen candidates (ten men and four women) are running for the seven National Council positions that will be elected by the membership. (The chair of the Board of Regional Councillors is chosen by a vote of the BRC.) These 14 candidates hail from 11 different states. Four are from upstate New York. Seven of these candidates have earned Guild certification: one SPC, two CAGO, two AAGO, one AAGO, ChM, and one FAGO. All of the incumbent members of the National Council are eligible to serve for the 2018–20 term, and all have been renominated. In addition to the seven incumbent national councillors, three other nominees have served on Council in past years.

The 14 candidates running for the seven regional councillor positions include eight men and six women. They represent 13 states as both candidates for the North Central Region are from Iowa. Five of the candidates have earned Guild certification—two CAGO, two AAGO, and one FAGO.

Among the current members of the Board of Regional Councillors, all eligible incumbents have been renominated to serve another term. They represent four of the AGO’s seven regions. We extend our sincere thanks to the three retiring regional councillors. Each has served the Guild and their region with distinction for three two-year terms: Cheryl Duerr (Northeast, who additionally completed E Lary Grossman’s partial term on the National Council); Glenn Rodgers (Mid-Atlantic); and Marilyn Schempp (North Central).

The men and women you elect in April will establish and uphold the governance policies of the Guild. They will also make important decisions about the AGO’s future, establishing long-term goals, quantifiable objectives, strategies, tactics, and implementation plans to grow the Guild and ensure the longterm vitality of our organization. Please read the biographical sketches and statements of the candidates published in the April issue of TAO beginning on page 9. All successful candidates will be installed at the Annual Meeting in Kansas City on July 4 and serve for two years thereafter.

In keeping with our custom, the quickest and easiest way to vote will be by electronic ballot. If we have your email address on file, you will receive an email that will give you access to a special website established by Intelliscan, our election management firm, at which you will be able to cast your ballot. The ballot is available at the following election website: You may also vote using the ballot bound into the April 2018 issue of TAO.

The six volunteer members of the National Nominating Committee and 35 volunteer members of the seven Regional Nominating Committees have invested countless hours interviewing and selecting 28 candidates who are eminently qualified to serve the Guild in a leadership capacity for the next two years. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the Nominating Committee members for their conscientious and productive efforts and to all of the nominees for answering the call to serve as leaders of the American Guild of Organists.

The biennial election of National Council members and Regional Councillors takes place in April of even-numbered years, so the time to choose the future leaders of the Guild is now upon us. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for you to participate in the AGO’s election process.

Every vote counts. Please vote.

James Thomashower
Executive Director


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