At the February 21, 2010 Shakespeare Oxford Society (SOS) board meeting, trustees named Joan Leon as an interim trustee to fill one of the positions left by the resignation of husband-and-wife board members Toni Downs and Stephen Downs.
“I have been a member of SOS since 1994 when I attended the conference in Carmel,” Leon said. “I went to that meeting because my husband, Ramon Jimenez, was fascinated with the topic and I wanted to share in it with him. I kept going because I loved the search for answers, enjoyed the people, and became convinced that Edward de Vere was Shakespeare.
“I have been involved in non-profit fundraising and program development my entire career and have kept seeing opportunities for the SOS to fundraise which weren’t being pursued. I look forward to doing so in the near future with the Board and the membership.”
SOS President John Hamill said Leon is valued for her fund-raising and public-relations expertise.
- Leon is director of fundraising for Ed Roberts Campus, a collaborative effort of seven disability organizations located in Berkeley, California.
- She works as a development consultant for the Center for Independent living and the World Institute on Disability on transition campaigns to raise funds for their move to the Ed Roberts Campus and she is developing a major donor campaign to raise $250,000 in unrestricted funds for each organization.
- Leon also advises Abilicorp, Inc. — a for-profit company — on the development of seed funding for a new business venture that it is pursuing with a nonprofit organization.
- And as a consultant for a consortium of cities in southern California, she wrote a successful proposal for $10-million for communications technology to benefit their police forces.
- She also acts as public relations consultant for her daughters’ — Ann Leon and Susan Leon Peterson – restaurant Leon Bistro in Chico, California.
“Joan has much experience in fundraising and obtaining grants, and her expertise will be a great asset to the SOS,” Hamill said. “She is also a new member of the membership and fundraising committee. Membership and fundraising will be priorities for the SOS. The board of trustees is looking at other potential candidates to fill the other interim board vacancy.”
Toni Downs and Stephen Downs resigned from the SOS board in late January 2010, according to SOS Public Relations Chairperson Matthew Cossolotto.
“Both deeply regretted their decision but they are simply too busy with other projects including writing and producing a musical on Broadway, and several other music and writing projects,” Cossolotto said. “They remain committed to the Oxford cause and hope to become more active again in the future when their schedules permit.”
According to SOS bylaws, the board may appoint an SOS member in good standing to fill any vacancy on the board of trustees created by the death, resignation, removal or inability of a trustee to serve until the next annual meeting of the membership — at which time the membership may elect a replacement to complete the remaining term of the vacancy.
Stephen Downs served from mid-2008 and Toni Downs joined the board a few months later in the fall of 2008. Both were serving three-year terms, ending in 2011. Joan Leon will serve as an interim trustee until the next SOS general meeting in September 2010.
Other members whose terms are up in 2010 are: Michael Pisapia, Virginia Hyde, and Brian Bechtold. SOS President John Hamill’s term ends in 2010. He will have served the maximum of nine years in succession on the board and will not be eligible for re-election until he has spent at least one year off the board.
Board members terms ending in 2011: Jim Sherwood, Susan Grimes Width, Toni Downs (Resigned 2010), Stephen Downs (Resigned 2010)
Board members terms ending in 2012: Matthew Cossolotto, Richard Joyrich, Richard Smiley
SOS Committee Chairpersons 2010
By-laws: Susan Grimes Width
Membership/Fundraising and Joint Conference: Richard Joyrich
Merchandising: Virginia Hyde
Nominations: Michael Pisapia
Publications/Public Relations and Library Task Force: Matthew Cossolotto
Youth Outreach Task Force: Brian Bechtold
To contact board members, send email to <mailto:email@example.com>
Joan Leon information resources:
Joan Leon: http://lib.berkeley.edu/~jlake/drilm/collection/items/leon.html
Ed Roberts Campus: http://www.edrobertscampus.org/
Leon Bistro: http://www.leonbistro.com/