LightNOW ‘s editor, Suelynn Shiller, recently interviewed Katherine Stekr, Associate Director of HLB and Women In Lighting & Design (WILD) Board Member, about the experience of being on the WILD board and the current campaign to nominate new directors.

Shiller:  Katherine, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions about WILD’s call for board nominations. What is your role with WILD?

Stekr:  Currently, I’m serving as Vice President nationally.

Shiller: We noticed social media posts calling for nominations to the WILD board of directors. How many Board seats are open?

Stekr: We have 6 total seats open for nominations: President-elect, Secretary, Marketing Director, Outreach Director, Membership Director, and Chapter Director.

Shiller: Who is eligible to become a Board Member?

Stekr: Anyone who is a WILD member is eligible!  And being a WILD member just means joining a chapter or getting on our mailing list.

Shiller: What are the responsibilities of a WILD board member?

Stekr: Depends on the role, but we have clearly defined roles set forth for each position we are looking to fill so that everyone has a purpose and no volunteer is wasting their time.  We welcome anyone to expand their role as they see fit.

Shiller: What is the average expected monthly time commitment?

Stekr: Depending on the role, and the time of year, 2-10 hours.

Shiller: How long are the board terms?

Stekr: President-elect will be a 4-year term; the rest of the terms are 2 years.

Shiller: What is WILD planning for 2023? And for the longer term?

Stekr: Well, WILD is just rolling off the last 12 months spent incorporating as a non-profit.  We have been busy setting up the framework for how WILD will function in years to come.  In 2023, our focus will be more on our initiatives (Lamplighter, DIER, Parenting) and getting more Chapters formed.  Long term, WILD is looking to have many more chapters created in cities across the US and Canada, as well as expanding as needed into other countries.

We’re looking forward to providing larger virtual events every quarter and continuing to tackle tough issues like our Lamplighter Coalition was created to do.

Editors Note: We reported on the Lamplighter Coalition’s work on August 12.

Shiller: What are the details of the election? Does the board vote for new members, or does membership? When will it occur?

Stekr: Right now, we are accepting nominations, you can nominate yourself or a fellow WILD member.  The Nominations committee will review and confirm everyone nominated wants to run and has the capacity to volunteer.  Then for the elections, every WILD member is eligible to vote and should!  The election will be held this fall, Oct 17-28.  Voting will be done via Google Forms sent through email.

Shiller: Who are you looking for in the lighting industry? Lighting designers? People in sales and or marketing? Engineers? Rep agency folks?

Stekr: WILD wants all those; if you are a woman, identify as a woman, or just care about women, we welcome you to join us!  Its not limited to lighting designers as we know that successful projects get completed by a lot of people being involved from start to finish.

Shiller: Why should someone self-nominate or nominate someone else?

Stekr:  I’m a firm believer in self-nomination.  I appreciate it when someone is brave enough to say, “yes, I want to do this; look how lucky your organization would be to have me.”  WILD thrives on those voices.  Those who step up to get things done while passionately caring about WILD and all things that affect women in our industry.  The more voices that sit at our table, the better we can represent the industry and hopefully work toward better diversity in the industry as well!

Shiller: Katherine, why are you a WILD board member?

Stekr: I’m a board member because I’ve seen first-hand how a local WILD chapter can create a really strong network of women who support other women.  We’re breaking the cycle of women not supporting peers/competition and are finding out that we thrive when we are connected.  I want our WILD National group to be able to have the resources to bring this to any city/group that wants to form a WILD chapter.  Women are powerful, and it’s time we start using our collective voices to create change.

Shiller: Is there anything else that you would like to share about the experience of being a WILD board member?

Stekr:  I’ve enjoyed getting to know the other women on the BOD personally, as in other settings, I would likely never have had a reason to meet with them.  They are smart, compassionate, kind, and tough.  WILD is not afraid to have open and honest conversations about really tough issues, and I am so in awe when we have hard conversations, at the care everyone takes to hear multiple sides of the conversation.  We’re practicing having hard conversations and are hopefully creating safe spaces for others to dare to have hard conversations. We all learn when we talk to those who think differently. Our Board has had a lot of work this year, from forming a non-profit to discussing in-depth how we respond to issues like Roe v Wade.  It’s a great group of people, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for WILD.

To nominate yourself or someone else for a spot on the WILD Board of Directors, fill out the form at this link. To learn more about WILD, visit their website.