In December, a record 580 members of the Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter participated in the 2013 Executive Committee (ExCom) election. Over 350 of the ballots were submitted online. This was the first election that the Chapter implemented online balloting, allowing members to submit their choice through the Lone Star website while preserving the option to mail-in a ballot if members chose to do so.
Three seats were contested in this year’s election with four candidates vying for three-year terms on the Chapter’s governing committee. Allison Sliva, former Chair of the Matagorda County Conservation Coalition (formerly the No Coal Coalition), was among the winning candidates, making her the newest member to the Lone Star Chapter’s ExCom.
“The time is ripe to push forward on environmental concerns in our state — the ongoing drought has caught the attention of many who had turned a deaf ear for years to environmental concerns,” Sliva commented. “Some of the wax seems to have finally cleared out, so now that there’s real attention on water, we can push other issues while the audience is tuned-in. I look forward to working with this dynamic organization.”
ExCom members, Andy Balinsky and Evelyn Merz retained their seats on the governing board. Balinsky, has been a member of the Sierra Club since 1992 and in addition to his service on the Executive Committee, has also served as the Chair of both the Alamo Regional Group and the Austin Regional Group. He has focused his efforts on aquifer protection, water issues, sea turtle protection, and sustainable energy. Merz, a member of the Houston Regional Group, currently serves as the Chapter’s Conservation Chair and has worked with the Chapter on preserving the state’s parks and wildlife habitats.
Current ExCom member and Lifetime Sierra Club member, Judy Aronow, will not continue on the ExComm in 2014. Aronow, the founder of the Golden Triangle Regional Group in East Texas, has spent a great deal of her efforts in increasing membership, fundraising and infrastructure-building.
“Judy has been a stalwart member of the Sierra Club for decades. She is a great supporter of the Chapter not only with her time, but with her fundraising. We appreciate everything she has done in support of the environment in Texas, and look forward to continuing to work with her in the future,” said Lone Star Chapter Executive Director Scheleen Walker.