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IGDA Board of Directors Election - 2017
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The next election for the IGDA Board of Directors concluded on 22 February 2017. The election reached the required quorum of eligible voting members, and as a result, the winning candidates were Rene Gittins and Lucien Parsons! The new directors will take office on 1 April 2017.

Board members whose terms extend beyond April 2017 consist of the following individuals: Ellie Ross Crawley (2019), Dr. Farhad Javidi (2018), Lucy Morris (2019), Trent Oster (2018), Vesa Raudasoja (2019), and David Stelzer (2019).

Two seats were up for election this year. View the 2017 IGDA Election Policies and Procedures Manual (PDF, 120KB) for complete details on the IGDA election process.

2017 IGDA Board of Directors Election Schedule:

  • 28 November 2016: Begin call for nominations.
  • 21 December: End call for nominations; all nominations must be received by this date.
    All voting eligible members of record as of this date may vote.
  • 21 - 30 December: All submitted candidates are reviewed by the Executive Director to confirm they meet the requirements.
  • 2 January 2017: The Nomination Committee begins review process of candidates to recommend final slate.
  • 30 January: Final recommended slate provided to the Board by the Nomination committee for ratification.
  • 30 January: Board approves final slate of candidates to present to membership for voting.
  • 1 February: Election announced. Voting open. Election materials are emailed to all voting eligible members on record as of 21 December 2016.
  • 1-22 February: Voting period.
  • 22 February: End of voting; e-ballots are counted.
  • 23 February: Board meets and either certifies election results or appoints directors if quorum is not met.
  • 27 February: Election results are announced and Board orientation of new members begins.
  • 1 April: Newly elected Directors take their seats.

To be eligible to vote in the 2017 election, you must have been a voting eligible member by close of nominations on 21 December 2016. All members eligible to vote received an email with voting instructions starting 1 February 2017. Please note student members are not eligible to vote.

  

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Candidate Information (in alphabetical order by last name)

Renee Gittins
The IGDA is a wonderful resource for professional and aspiring game developers. Scholarship programs benefit students. Networking events, insurance, forums, and webinars benefit novice and indie developers. And Special Interest Groups, the Developer Satisfaction Survey, and IGDA advocacy benefit even the most seasoned industry veterans. While the organization’s work reaches to the far corners of the development community, I believe that we can do even more to support our members and affiliates, especially established developers and studios.

As a director, I would strive to increase the benefits the IGDA provides to all its members throughout the industry by:

  • Reviving the webinar program to share useful knowledge with the community and give experienced developers a platform to practice their speaking skills.
  • Promoting educational gaming and supporting integration of games and game development into public school programs.
  • Working with developers to identify and devise solutions to common industry problems, such as the reselling of games and keys.

I also want to foster a greater sense of community among our members by promoting and creating more national and local events. Establishing new partners and programs would further increase the benefits of IGDA membership.

I have always been a passionate advocate and facilitator for developers throughout the games industry, as well as an outspoken advocate of diversity and representation. As a board member of IGDA Seattle, I organize game-jams, panels, job fairs and other developer events. I also have a deep understanding of the struggles faced by indie developers and students. I serve as a mentor to game development students at Foundry10, and I currently run my own indie studio, Stumbling Cat. Our first project, Potion: A Curious Tale, was recently the recipient of a successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. Additionally, my work as a Marketing Coordinator on the Xbox's Games with Gold program has given me an understanding of the industry from a publisher and platform holder perspective. As a multi-disciplinary leader with experience across the industry, I have the technical, rhetorical, and people skills to connect with our diverse membership and the greater games industry at large.

By leveraging my diverse background and experience fostering development communities, I believe that I can work to improve IGDA with fresh ideas and approaches, while supporting our current roles and responsibilities.

IGDA Credits:

  • IGDA Seattle Chapter Board Member (2015 -- Present)

 

Hendrik Lesser
I’m running for the board because the IGDA’s mission is very much in line with the personal mission I centered my entire career around.

Since I started my company remote control productions in 2005, connecting creative minds from all across our industry has been at the heart of my professional endeavors. Rcp seeks to guide and grow young development studios much like a traditional incubator would do. Instead of short-term gains though, we value long-term sustainability. This philosophy has allowed rcp to become Europe’s biggest developer family, representing over a dozen studios - one of them being Chimera Entertainment, a studio I co-founded and still support as Executive Producer. It’s best known for the globally successful Angry Birds Epic RPG and a prime example for a small team growing quickly as part of a strong community. With more than 50 clients over the last 10+ years, our network extends to all levels of the industry.

Looking beyond my own business there are much larger communities we all need to connect with. Telling the story of our industry on a local, national and international level is crucial. I'm doing my part as founding member of the advocacy group “Games Bavaria Munich” (GBM), as lifetime member of the German association of developers, “GAME”, and as President of the “European Games Developer Federation” (EGDF). While these organizations are platforms for discourse within the games industry, they also engage with policy-makers and society in general. From humble beginnings, they’ve come a long way: today, the GBM consists of over a dozen Bavarian studios, GAME represents more than 100 companies throughout Germany and the EGDF coordinates over 1,500 businesses from all across Europe.

However, games are more than a business – only in engaging with games as art, can their value truly be appreciated. That’s why I’m an executive board member of the non-profit association "Videospielekultur". It organizes public events centered around the experience of videogames and the discussion of their impact on culture. What started as an enthusiast gathering in my living room many years ago has become one of the leading-edge societies of its kind in Germany.

In a nutshell, this is what I will strive for as an IGDA board member. I will leverage the expertise acquired throughout my career to foster our shared vision, to grow the IGDA network across Europe, to improve working conditions and to make our collective voice heard.

 

Lucien Parsons
Why IGDA? I joined the IGDA in 2004, the year I got my first job in the industry. As a member, I’ve been involved in multiple SIGs, mentored more than a dozen developers, and spoken at the original IGDA Leadership Conference, GDC, and other industry events.

Like many of us, in order to join the industry, I took a sharp pay cut. Totally worth it. The games industry is a place for passion and creativity, and I love being a part of that.

But, it’s also a major industry now. As such, we need an organization that is efficient and effective, able to support and advance the careers of game developers in their companies, the industry and society at large. The IGDA is well placed to do this, but needs board members with both a passion for games and also a deep understanding of the business of games.

Why Me? I’ve led fantastic teams of developers at multiple companies, including being a founder of Zenimax Online Games. I’ve hired 100s of people and been responsible for the general management and financial planning of a major studio. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing, though. I’ve been laid off and seen dreams die as studios close, and have worked on tiny teams as well as large. I understand the importance of great talent—and great employment opportunities—in this industry and will work hard to ensure that as the industry grows, its people thrive.

I’ve served on other Boards of Directors, and on the Advisory Boards for SMU’s Guildhall and George Mason University’s game program. I’ve spoken to members of Congress about the massive potential for games as a force of change and participated in the first White House Game Jam. I look forward to bringing that experience to the Board of the IGDA.

Where Next? I’ve gotten so much from the IGDA, I want to ensure it’s there for others. In an industry that’s moving as fast as this one, it’s essential that we keep ahead of the curve. We need a stronger community and greater access to technical and business training. We’ve got to strengthen and build our connections. The IGDA plays a crucial role, I’d like to make it even better.

Thank you for your membership and your vote.

 

Jamison Selby
Hello, I’m Jamison Selby, VP of Games at b spot and onetime TV game show writer who followed a path of trivia questions into the game industry and never turned back.

When I originally dove headfirst into the professional world of games the IGDA gave me a place to land. It gave me an instant community of passionate creatives looking to make things, to tell stories, to make a life for themselves in games and have fun doing it. It introduced me to a whirlwind of game makers from all over the world. They became the foundation of the global network of friends and colleagues I’ve worked with ever since. In time I got more involved and worked with an amazing crew to relaunch IGDA Los Angeles back in 2010. It was not easy. There were a lot of hardworking people with a lot of conflicting good ideas. But we rallied together and got it done. Over the years I served as Chair, Vice-Chair and Treasurer of that chapter. I devoted many hours to its successful development into a home base for game developers of all stripes. It was worth the effort. And it still is.

The game industry faces a long list of challenges and opportunities in the years to come. Tackling that list will require a global effort. I’ve worked with game developers from all over the world, from huge companies to one-dev indies. I’ve earned a lot of frequent flyer miles, and spent time with developers from many countries, all incredibly different, yet all telling stories and making games for others to play. The IGDA can be a home base for this far-flung community. It can be an amplifier for new stories and new ideas to be heard. It needs to be. I think I can help rally our disparate crew to common goals and so I’m asking for your support on my bid for election to the IGDA board.

IGDA Credits:

  • IGDA Lifetime Member (Member since 2007)
  • Founder, Chair, IGDA Real Money Gaming SIG 2014 - current
  • Chair, IGDA Los Angeles 2010-2013
  • Vice-Chair, IGDA Los Angeles 2009-2010
  • Treasurer, IGDA Los Angeles 2013-2014

 

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