July 9, 2015
Reports, discussions, and action items during the June 24 meeting of the Educational Theatre Association Board of Directors at the Thespian Festival:
- Director of Finance Doug Sandor reported that the financial results for the five months ending May 31 were strong, with a net operating surplus that exceeded budget by $131,000.
- The board approved, on the recommendation of Sandor and the finance committee, a new set of investment policy guidelines for EdTA funds.
- The board approved a staff request to use funds from long-term investments for a major capital project, the development of new event registration software, at a projected cost of around $79,000 for national events, in the first phase.
- The board approved revised language—edited for clarity but substantively unchanged—for the section of EdTA’s Board of Directors Policy Manual covering governing style.
- In a routine conflict of interest review of new board member John Prignano, the board determined that any conflict arising from Prignano’s position as senior operations officer for Music Theatre International would be acceptably manageable.
- The board reviewed a suggestion by President Jay Seller that it should consider revising its term limits policy, and agreed to discuss the issue further.
- The board heard from Sandor on various options for insuring national and state chapter events, and asked for more information to consider at its next meeting.
- Director of Chapters and Communities Diane Carr reported on plans for the annual EdTA Leadership Summit, to be held in Atlanta July 23-25. Carr said the Summit programming will focus on providing chapter directors with tools to help them operate as the chief executive officers of their state organizations.
- Elise Lammers, an American theatre educator who is assisting with the development of theatre education programming in China, and Denis Ding, newly appointed EdTA chapter director for China, reported on work to build an EdTA chapter and establish Thespian troupes in Chinese schools. Dipont Education Management Group, EdTA’s Chinese partner, has already held two small theatre festivals for Chinese students.
- Executive Director Julie Cohen Theobald reported to the board on the hiring of Douglas Berlon, a veteran executive with broad experience in marketing and communications, for the newly created position of deputy director for education and content. Berlon will join the staff in late July.