2023 was an election year for AGMA! AGMA is a democratic union governed by the AGMA Board of Governors, the primary decision-making body for the Union. The AGMA Board of Governors is made up of elected artists from around the world who are willing to volunteer their time, expertise, and talents to AGMA’s members and the betterment of the Union.
AGMA holds an election for its National Officers every four years. Approximately half of AGMA Governors are elected at the same time as the National Officers, while the other half of Governors are elected in off-year elections, held two years in between the National Officer elections. All Officers and Governors serve four-year terms.
This was the first Officer election under AGMA’s new constitution. Under the new constitution, every working group and geographic region now has a Vice President to ensure maximum representation of each and every AGMA member.
AGMA is happy to announce the Union’s new President, Officers, and Governors. The new leadership assumed their positions on June 1, 2023.
The following Officers were elected:
- President: Ned Hanlon
- Secretary-Treasurer: J. Austin Bitner
- Staging Staff Vice President: Brian August
- Choristers, Actors, and Staff Performers Vice President: Helena Brown
- Dancers Vice President: Antuan Byers
- Soloists Vice President: Eric Ferring
- Eastern and Southern Region Vice President: Andres Garcia
- New York Region Vice President: Katharine Goeldner
- Midwestern Region Vice President: Cameo Humes
- Western Region Vice President: Jennifer Wallace
President Hanlon joined AGMA in 2009, has been a chorister at the Metropolitan Opera since 2014, and the Met Negotiating Committee Chair since 2017. In 2021, he was elected to the AGMA Board of Governors and is a founding member of the AGMA Opera & Concert Choristers Caucus as well as Met Chorus Artists, inc., a nonprofit that raised nearly $750,000 for Artists in need during the pandemic.
“I am honored to take the helm as AGMA emerges from a critical period for the arts and artists,” said President Hanlon. “There is power in a Union that comes from its members. We must assert our place as a bulwark and advocate for all of our members, both current and future. With our incredible Officers, Governors, and staff, I’m very excited to put in the work to push for an opera, ballet, and concert industry we can be proud of; let’s all work together to show that many hands make strong labor!”
The full board roster can be viewed on our website. (To see the most-updated webpage, particularly the full Board listing, you may have to clear your cache.) The Union plans to prominently feature AGMA’s new leadership across our channels throughout the summer and looks forward to sharing more detailed information about them soon.
Background: The deadline for interested members to run in this National Election was March 1 at 5:00 p.m. ET. March 1 was also the deadline for members to return to good standing status in order to participate in the election. There were no contested races in this election. As a result, members did not receive ballots. As there were no contested races, each of the Candidates was deemed elected effective June 1, 2023.