You’re receiving this email because our records show you are a member of TOGA in good standing. As you know, the 2021 TOGA Reunion was cancelled. An important part of that event has always been the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Association where we elect Directors and act on other business of the Association. Only members like you, those in good standing, are eligible to vote on these matters.
We will conduct the AGM on Saturday, October 30th at 10AM Eastern on a virtual platform.
This email contains everything you need to know about how to log in with your computer or tablet to be a part of the meeting. We need you to review this carefully so you can participate in the meeting and so we can avoid problems when we execute the AGM on October 30th. Pay particular attention to the two sections below that outline “Here’s what we need you to do…”
We’ll be using two well-known and well tested virtual platforms to conduct the meeting. Those are Microsoft Teams and Simply Voting.
MS Teams is the application where you’ll login to the meeting. You’ll be able to see and hear everyone who attends. MS Teams allows you to click on a link to “Raise Hand” so that you can be recognized to speak. MS Teams allows our meeting manager to control your camera and microphone. Our meeting manager will unmute and then mute persons who have been recognized to speak. For anyone having difficulty speaking, they can post typed messages in the “Chat” function.
Simply Voting is the platform you’ll use to vote on matters that come before the membership like approving the last AGM minutes, electing Directors, and voting on By Laws changes. It allows us to create ballots to vote during the board member election and Yes/No options to vote on the other questions. This application provides us a way to clearly present questions or nominees to members and accurately count your votes.
We’ll be voting on at least four things at different times during the meeting. These are:
- Approval of the 2019 AGM Minutes
- Approval of two proposed By Laws amendments
- Election of Directors
Simply Voting tabulates the votes. TOGA has zero access to that process. Results will be available for all to see before the end of the meeting.
As I write this note, we have five vacancies and seven people running for election as board members. We will also have an opportunity to accept nominations from the floor. (Nominations from the floor must confirm that the nominee is willing to serve, if elected.) Each
nominee will be offered the opportunity to speak on camera for two minutes. You will be asked to vote for up to 5 people on the ballot.
Here’s what we need you to do in order to participate in the meeting:
- Very shortly, you will receive an email inviting you to preregister for the AGM. This email will come from The Old Guard Association and be titled Register for the 2021 AGM. Follow the directions to register. This step will help to eliminate problems on the day of the AGM.
- We will send you a calendar invite in MS TEAMS. This invite will come from Jeff Stitzel (email@example.com) and be entitled TOGA Annual Meeting. Ensure you fill out the information exactly the same way you did when you registered.
- Log in to the meeting using that link on 30 October 15-20 minutes ahead of the 10am start time. This will allow us to assist anyone having problems logging in. You must login prior to 10am or you will not get access to the meeting.
- If you can, use Microsoft Edge as the browser to join the meeting. The application will work with other browsers but you may not have full functionality. MS Teams will work with laptops, desktops, Macs and notebooks.
- Find the icon of a “hand”. Use this during the meeting to request to be recognized to speak. The meeting manager will turn on your camera and mic when you are recognized.
- Find the icon for “chat”. Use this to send a message that everyone will see. You can use the chat function at any time during the meeting to ask a question or make a statement. We will monitor the chat room throughout the meeting.
- If you are concerned about your ability to log in successfully, let us know as soon as you can or recruit a friend or family member to help you.
Here’s what we need you to do in order to vote during the meeting:
- Be ready to access this separate website while keeping MS Teams open.
- We will send you a link to access Simply Voting. This email will come from firstname.lastname@example.org and be titled “TOGA AGM 2021 – Vote 1 of X ”. Please note, there will be more than 1 vote and we will let you know from the meeting which vote is “up” at the time.
- Do not forward the email with the Simply Voting link to another email. This will prevent you from being able to access the voting function. We’re doing this to ensure that only those authorized to vote can do so.
- On October 30th, use the link in the email to open the Simply Voting application. Ensure that you open this application without closing the MS Teams application.
- Keep the Simply Voting site open after the first vote. All you have to do is refresh the site when you vote the second, third, and fourth time.
- If you mistakenly close the Simply Voting site after one of the votes, reopen the site using the link in the original email sent to you.
We’ve worked hard to balance the requirements to conduct the meeting virtually, enabling all members in good standing to participate, keeping any discussion organized, conducting the voting in a manner that eliminates any question about the credibility of the results, and limiting the cost of executing the meeting. Although many of us have become accustomed to conducting personal and professional business virtually over the past 18 months, there are some specific things the board and our members have to do to execute this meeting. The bottom line is that for you to participate and vote, you will have to do what we indicate above. We’re here to assist, but we need your help.
I’m looking forward to a great Annual Meeting and to “seeing” everyone who attends. I hope this format will be of interest to those who cannot normally attend the Reunion in person. Stay safe.
Flip Godfrey, President