The Area 5 Board had their winter board meeting via Zoom on Saturday, January 23rd, 2021. The board is excited about the possibilities 2022 brings for ringing but is also concerned about COVID-19 and the toll it has taken on our membership.

The Nominating Committee has been working hard since last fall to secure candidates for the offices of Chair-Elect, Secretary and Treasurer. Despite their best efforts, we do not have a full slate of nominees for the 2021-2023 ballot. The cycle of electing officers ensures that adequate training and experience is in place as responsibilities are transferred to new leadership. The cancellation of our two festivals scheduled for 2021 would short new officers the valuable time to acclimate to the processes utilized by the board for those events and our day to day work.

After several lengthy discussions, the current board decided to continue serving Area 5 through our next 2 events (Cleveland and Mackinac) in 2022, thus extending their term for 1 year. This also postpones our election for 1 year. It is the board’s hope that the world as we know it will begin to move forward from the pandemic, ringing will begin again, involvement in HMA will resume and we will be in a position to vote for new officers in the spring of 2022.

In 2022, we will hold a “special election”, with the purpose of electing the following officers for a modified term length:

Chair-Elect – 3 year term
Treasurer – 1 year term
Secretary – 1 year term

Modifying the term length for the special election in 2022 will allow Area 5 to resume our regular election cycle with normal term lengths on the odd years, beginning in 2023. This will also allow us to proceed without changing the Area 5 Bylaws.

I want to thank the current board for their dedication and commitment to Area 5. The generous gift of an extra year of service conveys their love of handbells and commitment to excellence in the programming provided to our membership.

If you are interested in serving on the board of Area 5, please feel free to reach out to me (Rhonda Blacklock) or Connie Nicholson to express your interest. We would be happy to help you connect and be a part of the Area 5 leadership team!

Radiantly Ringing,

Rhonda Blacklock
Area 5 Handbell Musicians of America