At least year’s annual meeting, an important step toward ensuring the longterm continuity of the ECCC was debuted: A nascent but formal Board of Trustees. As discussed, this year we’re adding two representatives to that board via an election across all of the membership.
Like most such structures, the ECCC Board of Trustees has two key objectives:
- Provide independent strategic guidance, oversight, and decision making;
- Ensure long term continuity and survival.
Historically most of the overarching, major operational and strategic decision making about budgets, hiring, significant initiatives, etc., have ultimately resided with the conference director. Over time the board will assume oversight of much of this, particularly as/if the conference continues to develop a larger paid staff. One major goal is better sanity checking via peer review, and formal procedures discouraging ad hoc practices. However, the board also makes this decision making institutional rather than individual, able to be made—and hopefully made well—absent any particular person. In that vein, the board also acts as a knowledge repository, capturing lessons learned and institutional experience even as individuals come and go.
These things take time to develop and there are many well entrenched practices and people even as the conference has to continue to operate at full speed with limited human capacity, so the board is still maturing, settling on activities and responsibilities. However, it has been meeting periodically over the past year to discuss a number of topics. Prominent among these, as an example, is taking public input from the discussion at last year’s annual meeting and settling on final criteria and procedures for the first representatives election. As another example of the kinds of topics addressed by the Board of Trustees, a major topic for the near future and our incoming representatives is a developing proposal that’s been under intermittent discussion for some time to open ECCC racing to all youth, not just full-time students.
As currently architected, the ECCC board consists of nine volunteer members in two components:
- Seven trustees appointed and confirmed by the board itself and serving indefinitely;
- Two representatives elected from and by the full membership and serving for two years.
The current trustees are all longstanding leaders of the ECCC community:
- Emma Bast: Former Mt Holyoke rider, collegiate road national champion, and USAC Collegiate committee athlete representative; currently outside Burlington, VT.
- Christina Birch: Former MIT rider, collegiate cyclocross national champion, and general rockstar; in Boston, MA.
- Shane Ferro: Former Columbia rider, team leader, and race director; in New York, NY.
- Joseph Kopena: Former Drexel rider, team leader, race director, official, and conference director; in Philadelphia, PA.
- Michael Rea: Former Dartmouth and UVM rider, team leader, race director, longstanding conference advisor, and former NEBRA collegiate liason; officially in Washington, DC but often Hanover, NH.
- Rob Rowan: Former Columbia coach, race director, official, and longstanding conference advisor; in New York, NY.
- Ian Sullivan: Former UVM and Vermont Law rider, team leader, race director, official, and assistant conference director; currently splitting time between Pittsfield, MA and Rutland, VT.
The two slots for representatives are to be filled for the first time by this election.
As a whole the board is formally committed to maintaining gender parity in its structure. There is thus a representative for women and another for men, according to competition gender. However, all current members (currently defined as full-time high school and college students with at least one ECCC scholastic start this year) will vote on both positions.
The other eligibility criteria for the representatives are:
- Must have 4 starts in any discipline or category in a scholastic field at an ECCC event within the past year, i.e., was an active collegiate or high school racer this year;
- Must be at least 18 years of age at the time general voting closes;
- Must be approved by the trustees, with significant cause to be given otherwise.
Note that the representatives need not necessarily be full-time students at the time of the election or afterward. Racers that just graduated, are taking a break, etc., all have much to contribute. However, especially for this first year we strongly encourage nominees and votes for representatives that will be active racers in the coming year such that they may be more easily acquainted with how the conference works behind the scenes.
Participation in the Board of Trustees is explicitly and critically not intended to be an overwhelming commitment. It is a significant, serious commitment but not on the critical path for ongoing operations. Expectations include:
- Attending the annual fall conference meeting if possible;
- Attending some ECCC race or races annually;
- Quarterly voice or video call with trustees;
- Ongoing but light/bursty email discussion;
- Taking lead on a particular area or project of special interest.
Once elected, the representatives will each serve 2 year terms. They need not be active racers throughout, nor even be committed to staying in the geographic region.
The timeline for our inaugural representatives election is:
- October 21: Call for nominees (this post!)
- October 28: Nominations close at noon (to provide time for collation & board review)
- October 29: General voting opens
- November 12: Voting closes at 11:59pm
- November 14: Representatives announced and introduced at the annual meeting
Nominations are to be made by the candidates themselves via this form:
If there are any questions about eligibility, the election process, or any other issues, please contact Joe Kopena.