New SVBLA Board of Directors elected
September 3, 2013

New SVBLA Board of Directors elected

A new board was elected last Thursday at the 71st Annual General Meeting of the St Vincent Building and Loan Association (SVBLA).{{more}}

Despite requests by some members for a postponement of the election, accountant Jeremy Jackson, businesswoman Camille Crichton, engineer Fidel Neverson, executive director Allison Thomas and retail manager Joseph Ince were elected to chart the way forward for the distressed building society.

Fewer than half of the 287 persons in attendance at the meeting cast ballots, and some members told SEARCHLIGHT that they did not vote as a form of protest.

There were also shouts of lack of transparency and dictatorship by some members, who said they were displeased with the new voting procedures instituted by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Among the new procedures was the requirement that members vote before entering the meeting room. Members opined that, at the very least, the nominees should have been introduced to the meeting before the start of voting.

Some members also claimed that the time given for the nomination of persons to be elected to the board was too short; they called for a postponement of the elections to allow for additional persons to be nominated. A few vocal members even claimed that they were not aware that a call for nominations had been published in the three local newspapers.

The FSA, which assumed management and control of the SVBLA on February 1, 2013, however said that at a meeting with members on July 29, the new voting procedures were outlined. Executive Director of the FSA Sharda Bollers and her deputy Eleanor Astaphan said the deadline for nominations of persons to sit on the board was also given at that meeting, with the call for nominations being published on the SVBLA website and in the newspapers.

Astaphan and Bollers said eight persons had been nominated by the August 14 deadline, but two nominees withdrew, because of conflicts of interest.

In response to claims that the nominees should have been introduced to the meeting prior to the commencement of voting, the FSA representatives said the names of all eligible nominees were published and their resumés made available for scrutiny prior to the meeting.

Of the 287 people in attendance, 110 cast ballots. Jeremy Jackson received 85 votes; Camille Crichton, 79; Fidel Neverson, 74; Allison Thomas, 55; Joseph Ince, 49 and Dannol Charles, 39.

During the first meeting of the Board, a president will be elected from among those elected.