Historic board election complete

Catholic United Financial > Company > Media Release > Historic board election complete

Delegates participate in first remote election of Directors. Participation higher than expected.

Catholic United Financial announces the reelection of incumbents Jean Hart, Robert Krattenmaker and Marty Seifert to three-year terms to the Board of Directors. The election was held remotely from Aug. 1 to Aug. 23, 2019. 

The Catholic United Board of Directors is a rotating group of seven individuals (in addition to the two appointed officers of the company) who serve three-year terms staggered in such a way to require an annual election. The delegates of the 135th Annual Convention in 2018 voted to change the format of the delegate business meeting to once every three years.

With no annual meeting in which to conduct elections until 2021, Catholic United staff and leadership needed to institute a new method of holding elections. They are happy to report that the first election of this kind has been completed successfully.  

The plan to hold a remote election through a combination of online and vote-by-mail ballots was first announced to the membership back in the January/February issue of Our Catholic Journey magazine. During the year, Assistant Senior Vice President Deborah Gephart and employees from the IT, Member Engagement and Marketing departments created the process by which the Board vote would occur. 

Gephart says she’s more than happy with the end result. “I think it was hugely successful,” Gephart says. “We had 73 percent of delegates vote, which is way beyond our first-year expectations.”

An external auditing firm, Strom Ballweg, LLP in Middleton, WI tabulated the votes to ensure an independent, non-partisan process.

A voting packet was sent to all delegates  in August, 2019. (These members retain their delegate status until the Triennial Business Conference in 2021. At that time, this rule may change if the delegates so decide through a ballot initiative.) The packet included bios of each candidate, instructions for voting online, and a paper ballot with a return envelope addressed to the vote tabulators at the Strohm Ballweg firm.

For the online voting, delegates signed into the Secure Member Portal at my.catholicunitedfinancial.org where they had exclusive access to a “Board Election” section. Delegates had the chance to review text and video biographies of each Board candidate, then submitted an online ballot for up to three candidates. The secure voting process ensured that once a vote was cast online a delegate could not attempt to vote again. A system of unique numbers were used on the ballots to stop duplicate votes in both processes and ensure the anonymity of the ballots.

The next iteration of this Board Election voting process will occur in the summer of 2020. Gephart said some minor improvements are already being planned.

Thank you to the delegates for participating in this new, historic process of voting. If you have feedback or questions about this process, please email info@catholicunited.org.