By Guild Staff
The results are in for the Motion Picture Editors Guild 2024 Board of Directors election – and it was an unqualified victory when it came to member participation.
Thanks to the adoption of electronic voting, the Guild experienced an extraordinary surge in voter participation. The participation rate was a staggering 32%, a substantial leap from the 14-19% range observed in previous years.
Beginning in 2024, five newcomers will join the eight incumbents who ran this year as part of the 56-person MPEG Board of Directors.
First-time board members will be Lillian Benson, Kate Brokaw, Jenny Jordan, Bill Meadows, and Staci Vice.
Returning to the board will be Stephanie Brown, Shannon Baker Davis, Mary DeChambres, Frank Delgado (who previously served on the Board and is returning), Scott A. Jacobs, Aziza Ngozi, Stephanie Lowry, Stephen Rivkin, and Sean Thompson.
Exiting from the board will be Katie Cornblath (Assistant Editor), Dody Dorn (Picture Editor), Margret Guinee (Assistant Editor), and Ivonne Loyola (Eastern Rep Alternative). Kate Brokaw was elected to the seat currently held by Incumbent Tom Fleischman, who will now serve as the Eastern Region Alternate.
For the first time in the Editors Guild’s 86-year history, the vote was conducted electronically, in this case by the online election provider Election Buddy.
Coupled with reminder texts, post cards, plus a “Get Out the Vote” video produced by Guild members, these elections were the most widely promoted ever. In addition, the electronic voting saved the guild more than $20,000 in mailing and printing costs.
In 2022, despite the introduction of candidate campaign videos and an increase of member sponsored grass-roots events, participation was at disappointing 16%. Many members believed electronic voting could help boost turnout.
“Because our bylaws required elections to be conducted by paper ballot, it was necessary to change them,” said Election Committee Chair Molly Shock.
This was not a quick or easy process. According to the Board’s Sergeant at Arms, Bill Elias, the last time the bylaws were changed was in 2006-2007. After more than a year of MPEG committee work, approval by IATSE President Matt Loeb, and a membership vote this past summer, electronic voting was finally in place in time to be implemented for the 2024 Board election.
Within the first 24 hours of the 2024 election going live, there was a wave of involvement that nearly exceeded the total votes cast during the previous year’s election period (1,246 compared to 1,434). In total 2,811 ballots were returned, out of 8,791 mailed out, to make the 32% participation rate.
“The impact of this increase cannot be overstated,“ said Shock. “It has not only streamlined the election process but has also empowered a broader spectrum of our members to actively participate in shaping the future of our Guild.”
“On behalf of the Election Committee, I want to thank every member who voted, who encouraged other members to vote, and every candidate who chose to run. At our core, we all want the same thing; to make our union stronger for our members.”
For those members who wish to serve the Guild, but feel a board seat may be too much of a commitment, please note that next year’s Board election will be coupled with the quadrennial election of delegates who represent MPEG at IATSE conventions.
These conventions offer important opportunities for delegates to meet with other locals and IATSE leadership. It was at the 2023 District 2 convention in June that Shock lobbied IATSE President Matt Loeb to approve the bylaw changes (which had already been proposed) so that electronic balloting could proceed. President Loeb made note of the request and approved the changes shortly after his return to New York.
“It’s a good example of the way one member can make an impact for the good of the whole,” Shock said.
Here are vote returns by category (winners denoted with *):
ASSISTANT EDITOR (5 SEATS AVAILABLE).
*Scott A. Jacobs, Incumbent
*Aziza Ngozi, Incumbent
*Sean Thompson, Incumbent
Tom Fleischman, Incumbent
PICTURE EDITOR (4 SEATS AVAILABLE)
*Shannon Baker Davis, Incumbent
*Mary DeChambres, Incumbent
*Stephen Rivkin, Incumbent
David Ian Salter
*Stephanie Lowry, Incumbent
*Stephanie Brown, Incumbent
2024 ELECTION COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Molly Shock; Chair
Bill Elias; Sergeant at Arms