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Double whammy: Pair of Annual Business Meetings slated for 2020

BY BETH BALES

In a year full of changes, the SVS Annual Business Meeting is changing, too, with two separate virtual meetings scheduled for 2020 instead of one live event.

The sessions are set for 2 to 3 p.m. CDT, on Monday, June 15, and Saturday, June 20. All members are invited. Only Active and Senior members in good standing may vote.

At the June 15 meeting, members will vote on bylaw amendments that have been proposed, and are strongly supported by, the SVS Executive Board and Strategic Board of Directors (SBOD). Developed with the intent of enfranchising all qualified members to have a vote in their governance, the bylaw amendments would permit officer elections via online voting and institute the standard of offering voting members a choice of candidates for each open position.

Following the vote on the amendments, the SVS Nominating Committee will introduce vetted candidates for vice president and treasurer, two for each position. That, too, is a modification from years in which one candidate per position was typically presented. Online voting by itself “would be a hollow act if members were not given a choice of candidates to vote for,” said Kim Hodgson, MD, the SVS president.

Information about the candidates, including a picture and written responses to questions from the Nominating Committee, will be made available to the membership to guide them in their subsequent voting. Time to consider the candidate information is built into the election timeline.

The bylaw amendments will need to be approved by a two-thirds majority of members present at the June 15 meeting. If ratified, they will become effective immediately.

Once the bylaw amendments are approved, all Active and Senior members will be able to vote electronically in a secured voting system for vice president and treasurer. This will occur over the following five days. Results will then be announced at the June 20 meeting.

In the very unlikely event that the amendments are not approved, the election of officers will be held in accordance with existing bylaws on June 20. This vote would be restricted to those both eligible to vote and present at the meeting on June 20.

These proposed changes reflect one of Hodgson’s first initiatives as president. “My belief is that we need to enfranchise all SVS members to vote in our elections, whether they can be present at the Annual Business Meeting or not, by allowing online voting,” he said.

Both the Executive Board and the SBOD enthusiastically embraced the initiative, as did members, who made it a top 10 priority in a poll in January. The original plan was to vote on the bylaw changes in 2020 and implement the new process in 2021, Hodgson said. “Then came COVID-19 and the need to pivot.”

Hodgson—along with members of the Executive Board and SBOD—believes members will champion having an enhanced voice in officer selections. “This is a new and exciting chapter of the SVS’ future,” said Hodgson.

Going forward, online voting will be held prior to the Vascular Annual Meeting (VAM), with the winners to be announced at the Annual Business Meeting during VAM.