Spring has often been called the season of renewal, and we’ve always thought it’s as good of a time as any to recalibrate and reorganize. To that end, each March, before we file our yearly report with the Secretary of State’s office, our board holds its annual meeting. The principal business of this meeting is the election of NPI’s directors (for terms of two years) and officers (for terms of one years).
NPI’s 2014 annual meeting was held earlier today. At that meeting, we reelected three of our current board members (Gael Tarleton, Ralph Gorin, Kathleen Reynolds), honored two departing board members (Martin Chaney and Rob Dolin), and elected a new member of the board (Kim Allen, who readers from NPI’s hometown know well as one of our seven city councilmembers).
We also chose our officers for the coming year. For the first time in many years, NPI has a new president: Robert Cruickshank.
Robert is currently a senior campaign manager for Democracy For America, the permanent people-powered campaign that Howard Dean founded ten years ago at the end of his bid for the U.S. presidency. Prior to that, he was a senior communications adviser to former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn.
Robert is well-versed in the politics of America’s Left Coast, having lived and traveled extensively in both Washington and California.
He grew up in Orange County and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in History in 2000. He received his PhC in History from the University of Washington after attending graduate school there during the 2000s. He returned to California and was for several years the Public Policy Director for the Courage Campaign, one of the Golden State’s leading progressive organizations. He and his wife Rose now make their home in Seattle with their son Ian.
Robert exemplifies the qualities that we value in our board and staff members. He understands the importance of thinking critically and thinking long-term, beyond the next election cycle. As a history major, he knows that we are doomed to repeat our mistakes as a movement unless we learn from them. He appreciates the need for reframing and teaching reframing skills. And he has provided steadfast encouragement over the years as NPI has taken on Tim Eyman’s initiative factory. I’m glad to be able to have the opportunity to work with him.
Robert succeeds State Representative Gael Tarleton, who is our new Secretary.
Gael has been a tremendously effective leader for NPI since assuming the presidency in 2011, and I deeply appreciate all of the guidance and counsel she has provided to myself and to NPI’s staff and contributors. I look forward to continuing to advance the common good with her as NPI’s Secretary, and I am also very grateful to Ralph Gorin for faithfully discharging the duties of that office for so many years.
Kathleen Reynolds, who has been with NPI since 2007, is continuing as Treasurer. Kathleen brings a very strong work ethic to the causes that she is involved in, and we are incredibly fortunate to have her as a board member and as an officer.
I also want to recognize our departing boardmembers Rob Dolin and Martin Chaney for their service. Rob became a father only a week ago, and we are happy for him and his wife Hillary as they begin an exciting new chapter in their lives.
As one of NPI’s founding board members, Rob has been instrumental in helping improve the organization’s governance and operations. Rob has a keen interest in new technologies and is a dependable problem-solver. We have all benefited from his cheerful disposition and his constructive ideas.
Martin has been with us since 2012, and has repeatedly stepped up to keep NPI on track and running smoothly, from hosting board retreats to supplying needed audiovisual equipment when we needed it. Martin contributed a great deal to the success of our events during his service as a boardmember, particularly last year’s Spring Fundraising Gala and Tenth Anniversary Picnic.
We have Martin to thank for conceiving and organizing the gala’s successful Dessert Dash, which has become an annual tradition.
(If you weren’t there last year, make sure you experience the Dash this year by buying a ticket to our 2014 Spring Fundraising Gala!)
I am very pleased that both Martin and Rob will continue to be involved with NPI in the coming years through our Advisory Council, which we created last year to help guide the work of our staff and board. Rob and Martin were appointed to terms on the Council today, along with retired founding board member Steve Zemke and State Representative Luis Moscoso. In the ensuing weeks, we’ll be announcing several more appointments to the Council, so stay tuned for that.
Building a nonprofit is difficult, challenging work, and it can’t be done by one person. That’s why I’m grateful every day to work with a team of people who are equally committed to revolutionizing grassroots politics, so that our government, our laws, and our communities reflect the values that our nation was founded upon.