Members of the Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA) elected a new slate of officers at the recently concluded Origins game show in Columbus, Ohio. The entire 'reform' slate including candidates for President (Don Perrin), Vice President (Doug Ferguson), Treasurer (Ryan Dancey), and Directors at Large (Will Niebling & Mark Mackinnon) triumphed. The reformers did not run a candidate against GAMA secretary Brian Dalrymple, who they characterized as 'an excellent secretary.'
The reformers ran on a five-point program, which included: (1) moving quickly to recruit a highly qualified Executive Director; (2) improving communication within the industry and making GAMA's Website a focal point of industry activity; (3) managing the organization's finances conservatively and creating an emergency 'rainy day' fund; (4) accepting opinions and feedback from all segments of the industry including manufacturers, distributors, retailers, industry pros, and consumers; (5) working to improve both the impact and public image of the Origins Awards.
Since taking over Origins GAMA has had a very full plate, and the industry organization has had its share of growing pains as it makes the transition from a volunteer-run entity to a trade association staffed by professionals. The reformers are interested in looking outside the industry if necessary to find the dynamic type of person they want to serve as Executive Director, and they want the GAMA Board of Directors to provide the overall strategic direction of the organization, while leaving the tactical decisions to the Executive Director. The reformers are also clearly interested in creating an emergency fund, which could tide the organization over during a lean year -- and 2005, when the Origins show is scheduled within weeks of the bigger and more well known GenCon, could see attendance drop at Origins, which could have a negative effect on GAMA's finances.