Stillman removes six from board

Neil Stillman, president of the Federation of Government Information Processing Councils (FGIPC), last week succeeded in his attempt to remove six FGIPC board members who opposed his recent moves against the Industry Advisory Council (IAC), setting the stage for a potentially rancorous FGIPC annual meeting this week in Vail, Colo.

Stillman's resolution described the six board members as "the only remaining obstacle to establishment/maintenance of mutually supportive relations between the FGIPC and the IAC" and stated that they "are openly acting to incite a crisis where none exists."

The resolution also accused the six members of "acting in an unprofessional manner" and "persisting in a pattern of destructive behavior."

A letter last week from the six board members to the FGIPC council presidents said Stillman informed them he had cancelled their hotel reservations for the organization's Vail meeting. The letter also said Stillman might sue them if they attempt to travel to Vail with airline tickets bought by FGIPC.

The board members wrote that they planned to attend the conference anyway.

Although an agreement between the differing parties was reached in a dispute over IAC's finances [FCW, April 29], and principals from both sides have attempted to downplay the disagreement and return the organizations to their normal activities, the dispute left a residue of rancor and ill feeling that had factions within FGIPC attempting to oust each other.

Stillman said last week that he acted in retaliation to repeated attempts by the six members to censure him. "The action to remove them was purely defensive," he said.

The six board members reacted last week with a letter of their own to council presidents, asking the presidents to consider their side of the story before voting with Stillman.

Kurt Eleam, one of the six targeted board members, said last week that he and the other FGIPC officials have been seeking a reconciliation with Stillman in recent weeks. They agreed last week to strike from their resolution the two points that would have called on Stillman to publicly apologize to FGIPC and IAC members, he said.

Eleam said Stillman has ignored all attempts by the six members to discuss their differences.

"We have had numerous efforts to hold teleconference meetings with the entire board with [up to] a week's notice, and Stillman has managed to be unavailable at every occasion," Eleam said.

Stillman said he planned to form a committee in Vail this week to elicit nominees to fill the vacated positions and hoped to hold elections to replace the board members later this year.

IAC is also anticipating possible changes in leadership as the organization announced last week that it would hold elections in June.

Mark Amtower, president of Amtower & Co. and co-chairman of IAC's nominating committee, said he will strive for "the most open elections possible."

IAC members may nominate themselves or another member for any of the six positions that are up for grabs, according to Amtower.

As of late last week, Amtower said, two members had announced their intention to run for chairman, one member had been nominated for national vice chairman, and a fourth candidate had not specified an office.

The Nominating Committee will hold a candidates' forum June 4 to give members "the opportunity to hear the vision of each candidate," Amtower said. Ballots will be due by June 19.

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