Article originally posted on ChoralNet.org by Sundra Flansburg.
A poll of Central and North Central Regions membership on a potential merger of the two regions closed on Thursday with a supermajority of voters from each region approving a merger, thus moving the process on to a national vote in January 2020 on the required constitutional change. The results:
North Central Region
67% approved the merger; 33% opposed.
72% approved the merger; 28% opposed.
As stated in the poll, ACDA will now move to hold a vote in January 2020 on the Constitutional change that would be required to create one new region – to be named by the current two regions. If the poll had indicated that either or both of the regions polled were NOT in agreement with this proposed merger (at the supermajority mark), the discussion would have ceased.
ACDA was formed in 1959 with six “divisions” that originally served as administrative arms of the national office. In 1980, it was decided that the Central Division would split into the North Central (North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin) and Central (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio). Both regions have recently experienced successes as well as some serious financial difficulties prior to 2017.
Due to these difficulties, it was decided in 2015 that the conferences of both regions would be combined and take place in Chicago. The conference was not without its challenges but was a very successful event celebrating musicians from both regions and produced healthy revenue as well. It was agreed that we would hold another joint conference in 2020 in Milwaukee.
You may or may not be aware of the challenges facing the regions. Central is the smallest in number of states (4). For comparison’s sake, Southern Region has 11 states and Eastern, 13. Central is also one of the smallest regions in overall membership, with 1,769 members. Compare that to the 3,428 members Southern Region has. Both Central and North Central have had very lean financial years in the past 10 years along with a few good financial years. Of all the 7 ACDA regions these 2 are the weakest financially.
We are aware there are many things to consider in regard to this decision. Therefore, we sought the valuable input in from Central and North Central leadership, both present and past, before moving forward with the recent poll of the membership in those regions. Change is never easy, but sometimes in order to provide the best experiences for our membership and secure a healthy and prosperous environment for our association, change needs to be considered.
As ACDA continues to grow and develop to meet the abundant and diverse needs of its membership, we very much appreciate hearing from the voters in each region, and will now move ahead in the direction that the strong majority of Central and North Central Region voters has indicated with their votes.
ACDA Executive Committee:
Lynne Gackle, National President
Tom Shelton, National Past President
Mary Hopper, Chair, Past Presidents Advisory Council
Andre Thomas, National Vice President
David Fryling, National President-Elect
Tom Merrill, National Secretary-Treasurer
Tim Sharp, Ex Officio