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Director of Membership Candidates
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2017 Director of Membership Candidates

Please read the Statements of Intent for each of the 9 candidates for Director of Membership. Read them carefully - you're voting for the people you want to represent YOU on the Board of Directors. 

We need to fill two Director of Membership positions on the Board. Therefore, you will choose TWO candidates when you vote. 

Nine candidates. This is unprecedented! This just might be a record. So, again, read each statement carefully.

**Due to the high number of candidates, we may have a second round of voting to determine our new Directors. 

Mary Buchanan

I have been active in GCLS as a volunteer and now wish to serve GCLS as a Director of Membership?

I am a hard worker and will give my all to the position. Also, I have worked in several other organizations and have experience in assisting members with questions and problems.

As a Director of Membership, I hope to assist members in getting the most from their membership in GCLS. To do this I will be available to the membership during the year and at the Con in Las Vegas. 

 

 

 

 

 

Suzie Carr

The first time I remember feeling comfortable in the writing community was the moment I walked into the Con Virgins meeting at the GCLS conference in Washington DC, 2016. Immediately, the Directors of Membership put me at great ease with their welcoming spirit. As the conference continued, I became friends with so many of my fellow Con Virgins. I’ve never felt as comfortable in my skin as when I was in the company of my new sisters. These friendships live on and continue to thrive.

That experience made me wonder how many others have felt the same way - fearful to attend a conference. GCLS offers so many opportunities to learn and grow. I regret the years I didn’t participate. I feel I missed so much by not embracing this great organization and its people sooner than I did.

I would love the opportunity to give to others that friendship and comfort others have given to me. This is why I want to serve as one of the Directors of Membership, and why I believe I’d be well-suited for the position.

GCLS has taught me so many valuable lessons, personally and professionally. I’ve learned that when we open up to new experiences we find true treasures in the form of friendship and valuable guidance. As members, we are fortunate to be surrounded with an incredible group of talented people who love to share their insights. Let’s face it, we’re a fun group of people who love a good laugh, great dance, and hearty karaoke ensembles!

Sometimes we just need that little nudge from a friendly face to embrace our gifts as readers, writers, and friends. My parents have taught me many valuable things in life. They’ve especially taught me the importance of loving people and taking the time to make them feel happy and proud of who they are.

If elected as a Director of Membership, I promise to be that nudge and that friend to help all feel welcomed, comfortable, and special.


Kimberly Cooper Griffin

On Sunday night, mere hours after saying goodbye to my newest friends whom I had just met at my first GCLS Conference, I logged onto my laptop and was faced with a quieter FaceBook feed, a fuller heart, and a head spinning with a gazillion ideas spawned from the classes, the connections, and the inspiration I had feasted upon in Chicago. It was a bittersweet thing. I’d just had a life-changing experience, but I was now suffering from major withdrawal. It pained me to know that I had to wait until next year for another dose of my newest addiction.

The days passed and I had some relief from my yearning through talking with my new friends on-line and planning a trip to Women’s week in October. My craving started to morph into a desire to be more active in the GCLS. I started to wonder how I could put my desire to contribute to this awesome organization to use. Not only did I want to absorb more of the awesome energy I’d experienced during the conference, but I wanted to help expand it and share it.

When I received an email asking for nominations for the Director of Membership, a notion started to form in my mind that I could satisfy my hunger by becoming an active member, working with members to continue to grow the soul-nourishing energy that is already the heart of the GCLS. I want to help build and retain membership and I want to identify new ways to inspire and engage existing members, but most of all, I want to nurture and feed the warmth and connectedness that I found when I was embraced by the GCLS.

In addition to being an author, my resume includes a career in program management, which has honed my abilities to work with people in ways that accomplish Big Things. And I believe the GCLS is a Big Thing. It is my forte to motivate and inspire people, to make them happy and satisfied, all the while accomplishing common goals and celebrating our accomplishments. It makes me truly happy when I am surrounded by a group of happy people committed to a wonderful thing and knowing that I have had a role in it.

With this in mind, I request your vote to allow me to serve you. 

  

Anne Geary

Since the age of ten, I've been an advocate for women's equality.  That passion for equality has manifested into my recent role as the Global Lead for the LGBTQ employee resource group for a 19 billion dollar company and winning the HRC Corporate Equality Award for 2017.  One of my greatest skills is connecting people across all areas of my life to advance and promote all things LGBTQ and related activities.

As part of my coming out process in the late 1980’s, I started reading lesbian literature and spending hours scanning the shelves for my next great read at Giovanni’s Room, an LGBT bookstore in Philadelphia, PA.

In addition to my life-long love for reading and being an advocate of inclusion & diversity, my passion lies in supporting the arts, sports and various organizations through volunteerism, organizational membership and philanthropy. 

It is my goal to blend my passion for reading, volunteerism and philanthropy to support and grow GCLS!  My time spent volunteering at the GCLS Con’s and Women's Fest events over the last two years has only served to further ignite my passion for connecting with these talented, creative and amazing women who are passionate about lesbian literature.

I'm currently working as a project manager for a treasury consulting company while planning a move to Philadelphia, PA so I can spend more time with my family and visiting the beaches in South Jersey and Rehoboth, DE

  

Sallyanne Monti

Once upon a time there were two moms (me being one of them), who raised four kids, a foster kid (for awhile), a bunch of furry pets, and each other, into what they hoped was respectable maturity.

On their journey, they had more than half a dozen business careers between them, overcame many obstacles, traveled all around the world, lived in different countries for various amounts of time, and now have homes in Palm Springs, CA and Sedona, AZ.

The two women appreciated the accumulated knowledge they gained as they walked through the many phases of life. Eager to share it, they soon learned not everyone was eager to receive it.

Undeterred, off they went on their separate quests, one to give back to the homeless and less fortunate (that would be my wife), and the other (that would be me), off to share the many resources and relationships garnered over the past three decades within our Lesbian Community.

This author and editor—wife to Mickey—Mom to Alyssa, Christine, Frank and Stephanie—and Nana to Kennedy, Peyton and our soon to be named grandson due in January 2018, believes wholeheartedly in giving back and giving back large.

In the last two decades, in my business career as a consultant and grant writer, I’ve secured over $18M in state funding for over 800 California small businesses, many of them LGBT owned, enabling the training of over 100,000 of their employees. 

In the past, I’ve successfully held the role of various Board of Director positions, for non-profit and for-profit organizations, leaving documented advancements in my wake.

As Board Director of Membership, for Coco Animal Rescue and Education (CARE), an animal rescue organization founded eight years prior to my board participation, I created the first ever paying dues membership launching with approximately 200 members, resulting in a steady income stream to offset non-profit operating expenses. My wife & I personally raised over $10,000.

As Board Vice President of Marketing & PR for Bay Area Community of Women (BACW), a primarily lesbian membership of 6,000, I increased membership by 10% and revenue by 5% per year, through creative PR and marketing campaigns. I built close working relationships with high profile individuals and organizations, branding BACW as the premiere lesbian non-profit to work with. We produced a giant wedding reception for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and 4,000 same-sex couples married by his staff in an act of civil disobedience on the journey to marriage equality. Produced a red carpet event attended by thousands for Showtime Networks at The Castro Theatre featuring the casts of Queer as Folk and The L Word. Produced annual sold-out lesbian only New Year’s Eve Parties, attended by over 1,000 women each year.

As Board Member for Costa Rica Global Association of Realtors, I facilitated executive coaching and strategic planning initiatives for the Board, resulting in membership growth of 7% a year.

As Board of Director/Secretary for three different HOAs, I implemented financial metrics for expense/revenue management, secured upgraded insurance coverage to address high risk areas, created CC&Rs for a new HOA, and created and implemented
accounting and operational procedures to meet internal and external audit criteria.

Having spent my 56 years amassing a collection of relevant expertise, information and relationships, it would be a shameful waste, to not share these, with all of you towards the advancement of your creative aspirations and for the betterment of GCLS and our Lesbian Literary Community.

I am Sallyanne Monti, author and editor. I bring to GCLS an abundance of experience and resources that I can and will share with all of you as one of your Directors of Membership. I believe in giving back in every aspect of my life. I will help anyone at
anytime, anyway I can. I’ve lived my personal and business life with this core value. 

When one of us succeeds, we all succeed. Whether you vote for me or not, consider sharing the many talents, resources, relationships and accumulated wisdom you’ve collected on your journey. These are the things that we’ve worked so hard to achieve
and the things that can live on well beyond our mortality.

If you believe that we are better together, combining all the things we bring to the organization and to each other, then vote for me.

If elected, I hope to grow our sense of community, our commitment to each other, and our membership roster. 

 

Criselda Perez-Soria

Hello, my name is Cris Perez-Soria. I am running for Director of Membership. I have been a member of GCLS for five years. I started as a fan of lesfic and jumped at the chance to meet some of the authors whose books I had read. I remember what it was like being a ConVirgin and not knowing anyone or knowing the procedures at the events. It was a little overwhelming because as some know, I can be rather shy (on occasion). Really, it was a lot to take in at the first meeting. With the help of the board members I was quickly able to find my focus and harass – I mean meet authors and other Congoers. Through this conference and the people who helped me, I have been able to forge many long-lasting friendships. I want to be able to do that for someone else. For example, if someone needs to know where a panel is or needs help meeting an author they admire; I want them to be able to come ask me and know I will do my best to get them what they need. On a larger scale, I believe that by creating an environment that is organized, welcoming, safe, and inclusive for people to attend, we will make GCLS and its’ events the leader in bringing authors and fans together. With more authors and fans, the membership will grow and we can make a bigger impact on the literacy world. In my opinion, The Director of Membership position impacts these areas.

At my daily job, I am the designated go-to person for coworkers for answers to questions. Having been a trainer for my job has also allowed me the opportunity to gain experience in creating an environment that is welcoming, safe, and inclusive.

I want to give back to the organization that has given me so much. I hope after reading this, you will consider voting for me as a Director of Membership.

 

Michele Reynolds

GCLS is a phenomenal organization that I would love to dedicate my time serving.  When I first joined two years ago, the membership committee warmly greeted me.  The way I was treated, by people I didn’t know at that time, is one of the reasons why I am so committed to the GCLS. I’m impressed with the current Board of Directors, the Writing Academy and the events and have benefited from every part of my GCLS membership.  At this time, I want to give back by helping ensure the continued growth of the GCLS by serving as Director of Membership.

I am responsive, organized, creative and goal-driven. I know Con Virgins, Con Virgins-once-or-twice-removed and veterans and they all find me approachable. I work hard at anything to which I commit and I understand the importance of constructive feedback. Having gone to Cons and completed the Academy, I’ll have a lot of information to offer Con Virgins in 2018 and beyond.

It is my goal to build upon and continue all the great work completed by the current directors and to cultivate the connections made after this year’s conference.  I will work closely with the Director of Inclusion and the Marketing/PR Director to grow and sustain our membership.  It is important to ensure that each member’s experience is positive and tailored towards her/his/their needs.

After informally polling this year’s Con Virgins, I learned that many of them discovered GCLS from an author’s social media site. It is important to encourage more writers to mention the GCLS in their books and on social media sites so GCLS casts a wider membership net.

Last, I’m not afraid of going door to door (okay, more like site to site) to connect with other LGBTQ writers and educate non-authors about the GCLS.  It is imperative that GCLS continues its mission to diversify its membership at all levels and if elected to the Board, I will also make diversification my mission, too.

In sum: I am a huge fan of GCLS, a team player and promise to represent you well. 

 

Karen Richard

Hello everyone. I am running for one of the open positions as a Director of Membership for the Golden Crown Literary Society. I have gained so much through my association with the GCLS, friendships as well as information on becoming a published author, improving my writing and recommendations on new books. I know how important it is that we continue to expand our membership and reach people that would otherwise not know about us. You should vote for me because not only will I continue the great work of the current officeholders in making our Con Virgins feel welcome and a part of the group but also work to identify how to reach the audiences we seem to miss. I would hope to move in this direction by surveying our new members to determine how they found out about GCLS and work on strengthening the outreach that is already working as well as find other methods to reach people that want to know about us but just don’t know it yet! I would like to study the feasibility of discounted first year memberships to demonstrate what GCLS has to offer and take into account the economic realities that many of us face. Getting us to demonstrate what we have to offer in this fashion may allow us to increase participation and perhaps get on-going commitments from new members who wouldn’t otherwise join. I would also like to explore the feasibility of getting folks from the local community (who are not members) our next conference more involved. We have a great ground crew of people that know about us but perhaps we can try more outreach to get local non-member participation in the Con. I look forward to brainstorming new ideas with the new and old, um current and future, (I am not calling anyone old) to see what we can do to spread the love of books and GCLS. If elected I will work to sustain what our incumbents have accomplished and continue to build on that success. You should also vote for me because I have not now nor will I (or any members of my campaign staff) ever have any meetings with representatives or associates of foreign governments to obtain opposition research, pinky swear!

 

Nicki Wachner

Hello my name is Nicki and I’m running for the Director of Membership position. I wish to serve as I want to help. I think it is important to give back to the people who have helped me, and that is by helping any member, new or old, who needs it. I hope to be a bridge between the members and the board at large. I would like to be able to help the GCLS grow and do that through the membership. I have been a member of the GCLS since the second year. I’ve been attending conventions since the first one in Atlanta. Since that first experience I’ve had a long relationship with the GCLS that has seen me grow from a shy reader to a two time published author. I hope to be able to use my experience to show new, and current members, what the GCLS has to offer. 


 

 

 

 

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2017 Goldie Winners

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