Elections for 2019 & 2020
Positions on the Ballot at the end of an even year ...
Officers assume their positions on the 1st of January.
AGS Officers and Board Members hold offices for 2 years and one-half of the offices are elected/re-elected every year. The biennial elections of the American Gourd Society in 2018 reflect changes in our board since the last installation of officers. Our President and Treasurer both resigned for personal reasons, necessitating the reassignments of two board members.
Presidential Candidate: Raymond Konan, FL
Although not himself a gourd artist, having completed only a handful of gourd projects, Raymond Konan is interested in gourds as a research topic and an excuse to travel. He lives in Orlando, Florida, and with not much provocation will evangelize that gourds are the most important plant in human history. He is such a fan that if he could get fast food establishments to use gourds in lieu of styrofoam, you’d get your fries in a cannonball and your burger in a canteen.
His priority project is to promote “best practices,” which he defines as maximizing participation in AGS. Raymond also plans to look for opportunities to speak, at garden clubs, library groups, and schools to promote increased involvement with gourd chapters and patches.
1st Vice Presidential Candidate: Reagan Bitler, PA
Reagan is an accomplished gourd artist and is the President of the Pennsylvania Gourd Society, first elected in 2014. He is the primary organizer of the Pennsylvania Gourd Festival in Lebanon, PA, which hosted the AGS Meeting in June, 2018. He has taught History to eighth grade students since 1993.
He was introduced to gourd art in 2008, when exploring what his post-teaching path might be. Since then, he has traveled and taught at a variety of festivals, workshops and retreats in the East, from New York to Florida. He will be a presenter at the Special Topics Weekend in April 2019 at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN. He was also recruited to teach gourd art by the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, WV.
Corresponding Secretarial Candidate: Larry Sherman, CO
Larry is the incumbent AGS Secretary, and past President of the Ohio Gourd Society, of which he is still a member. He has been a gourder since 1973, both growing and crafting until he relocated to Fort Collins, CO. Now he only grows gourds that can be sustained in a 5 gallon bucket! Retired from the faculty of Miami University of Ohio where he taught in the Educational Psychology Department, he now has time for bird watching, travel and making kettle gourd Berimbau. This is a single-string, percussion instrument is played using a striking stick and a stone on the string(s) to adjust the tone produced. Larry is a certified AGS judge who has served in that capacity at several festivals. He is focused on maintaining the continuity of this organization in its role as a support group for people who congregate to work on gourds.
Director 2 Candidate: Bonnie Gibson, AZ
Bonnie has been involved with gourds since 1996. She has served several times as an AGS director, was part of the original committee to formulate judging standards for the AGS, coordinates the quarterly crafting contest for the AGS Gourd magazine, and was the founder of the AGS Artistry Award. In addition, she has served as President and Vice President of the Gamma chapter (Arizona) and currently serves as Treasurer of the Old Pueblo Gourd Patch in Tucson, AZ.
Bonnie is the author of the popular and useful gourd art reference, “Gourds with Southwestern Motifs,” which has recently been expanded and rereleased. Bonnie conducts classes at festivals, retreats and gatherings throughout the West. She is an AGS Certified Judge and Judge Instructor, and publishes an online newsletter via her ArizonaGourds.com website that informs on techniques, products and tools
Director 3 Candidate: Kristy Dial, NV
Kristy Dial has served on the AGS Board since 2015, and is currently an AGS Director. She has served for 5 years on the board of the Nevada Artists Association, and co-founded the Nevada Gourd Society in 2016. Kristy is co-chair of the Silver State Art Festival, which features gourds. Her credentials also include being an AGS-certified gourd art judge and instructor. Kristy served as the Senior Judge at the 2018 AZ Gourd Art Competition at the Wuertz Festival in Casa Grande, AZ. She travels to and teaches in Idaho, California, Texas and Arizona.
Director 4 Candidate: Vickie Echols, CA
Vickie has just relocated from Texas to California, which may be irrelevant, as she is rarely home — traveling continuously to share her gourding skills! She was first introduced to gourds at a farmers’ market in 1999, then visited the Welburn Gourd Festival in Temecula, CA in 2000. Vickie joined the Fallbrook Area Patch (later, San Diego County Gourd Artists) almost immediately thereafter. At the time Vickie was making her living in the financial field, and worked with gourds to de-stress. As her skills and reputation grew, Vickie spent more time sharing her knowledge, until gourding became her fulltime calling in 2012. Now Vickie travels 6 months of the year to festivals, retreats and private classes, sharing gourd crafting techniques as a teacher and staying in touch with AGS members’ concerns and gathering their suggestions for our organization as an AGS Director since January 2017.
How to Vote:
Terry Noxel, NY
Lollie Yancey, AZ
Diana Pearcy, CA
Terry Noxel, NY
Dallas Lunsford, IN
Positions that will be on the 2019 Ballot
2nd Vice President
3rd Vice President