April 23, 2022
The SweetWater Music Festival held its Annual General Meeting once again virtually on April 21. Beyond the usual election of Board Directors and Board Officers, there was a lot of good news and successes to talk about from the past 12 months.
"As I reflect over the last year, one word stands out.... COMMITMENT! On all fronts the SweetWater family had demonstrated committment," noted Board Chair Lynda Montgomery in her report. "Our Board, General Manager, and Artistic Director have shown courage and dedication to provide live music to an audience taht was also committed to attend and appreciate these experiences."
She has special praise for Artistic Director Edwin Huizinga and his willingness to think creatively and finding ways to bring live music to SweetWater Audiences. Lynda thanked longtime Board Member Jackie Mersich for her service as she leaves the Board and also thanked Mary Gray for her two years of service on the Board. She noted the recent news that General Manager Paul Eichhorn will be leaving in June and he will be greatly missed. She added SweetWater will be celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2023.
Edwin Huizinga emphasized what an incredible year it had been for SweetWater and was thrilled with what was accomplished.
"It has been a truly remarkable year, especially still dealing with so many pandemic-related pivots, health awareness, comfort, safety... the list goes on!"
Treasurer Jill Willington presented the financials from the past fiscal year. She emphasized SweetWater today is in a much stronger financial position overall than it was prior to 2020. In part, this is a result of increased funding revenue from various grants.
General Manager Paul Eichhorn in his final report prior to his departure presented a timeline from the past year noting the many challenges posted by the pandemic but SweetWater found a way to make music happen again. He emphasized this year was the most ambitious year of programming ever and the first time SweetWater presented programming every month over the past year. He concluded by noting he will remember his years at SweetWater fondly.
Reports were also presented by chairs of SweetWater's standing committees including Resource Development, Education Outreach, Audience Development, and Board Development.
The Board officially welcomed three new Directors for the upcoming year, Gail Gallant, Gywnne Potter, and Cynthia Lemon. Mike Vair-Haley was also elected for second term.
The SweetWater Board will be headed by a new Chair, Vivian McCaffrey. She will be joined by Gwynne Potter as Treasurer and Jill Willington as Secretary.
During the AGM, four amendments to the SweetWater Constitution were also approved by the membership . These updates were recommended by a Board Committee and the General Manager to ensure the organization's bylaws reflect how SweetWater operates in 2022. Many areas have remained unchanged since the Constitution was drafted in 2007. A key amendment was changing the term for a Board Director from two to three years. Previously, Directors served for two-year terms.