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WestfordCAT members elected a Board of Directors on April 16 to replace six directors who had either resigned a few weeks ago or whose terms had expired.
Presiding over the meeting was outgoing board Vice President Nancy Burns, who introduced the slate of candidates and stressed the importance of the tiny powerhouse television station on Groton Road.
“Above all else, these are unprecedented times. WestfordCAT has never been more crucial,” said Burns. “Getting the news out, keeping us informed, giving us important information about the impact in the communities and measures being taken to take care of ourselves and each other. Hugely important now more than ever.”
The new directors are Kristi Bates, Marilyn Katler, Robert Jefferies, Susan McNeill Spuhler, Jack Wang, and Diane Wood.
The slate of candidates was approved by 38 voters who signed onto their computers and voted remotely. The top six out of eight candidates were decided by 36 voters. Terms will be staggered between one and two years.
While the directors provide direction for the executive director, members pay a nominal fee to produce content using WestfordCAT’s studio and equipment.
Through a virtual meeting, WestfordCAT voting members registered their preferences by using webinar technology to raise their hands when they wished to speak. When taking a vote, they were presented with a list of names to click on. The integrity of the votes was managed by Mike Wells, Westford’s director of technology.
This was the first virtual annual meeting involving electronic voting that has taken place in Westford, noted Marketing Outreach Director Sarah Fletcher.
“That feat was remarkable. There was an enormous amount of work that went into it,” she said, referring to the computer technology that made the meeting possible while a global pandemic rages. The shadow of COVID-19 did not deter the meeting even though Massachusetts is in a state of emergency that is requiring most residents to stay home.
The new directors represent a group of members who appear to be dedicated to the growth and future of WestfordCAT.
Among the most crucial responsibilities they’ll face first is the hiring of an executive director to fill the position which has been open since December.
Burns praised the staff of five employees for continuing to produce both video and written content even without guidance. Besides Fletcher, the team includes Technical Coordinator Steve Edwards, Production Coordinator Patty Stocker, Production Technician Nick Woodbury, and News Director Joyce Pellino Crane.
“It’s clear they’re very much in synch, working hard to do the right things,” Burns said.