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Monday, June 20, 2016

Raleigh Council Considering Re-Appointing Board Member With Low Attendance Record

Posted by on Mon, Jun 20, 2016 at 4:01 PM

Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts - HTTP://WWW.DUKEENERGYCENTERRALEIGH.COM/
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  • Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
Serving on one of Raleigh's myriad boards or commissions can surely be thankless but board members play a crucial advisory role to the city council, and if you're appointed to serve, you are pretty much expected to show up to meetings just like at your real job. 

When considering whether to re-appoint members to the city's Convention and Performing Arts Centers Authority two weeks ago, Council member Dickie Thompson—the liaison to that board—noted that one member had a 57 percent attendance record and said he would like to talk with her to see what's going on before re-appointing her. 

"I want to find out if she has a continued problem attending the meetings," Thompson said. "There are other people that have indicated that they wanted to be on that commission that would be able to attend regularly."

"The reason why she misses meetings is because she travels internationally, but also the knowledge she brings back from those international travels is very valuable and that was one of the reasons we appointed her," said Council member Mary-Ann Baldwin.

Baldwin and former Council member Eugene Weeks nominated the member, Terri Lomax, two years ago. Baldwin and Lomax started the nonprofit Innovate Raleigh together in 2011, and Lomax has donated money to Baldwin's election campaigns including $250 in the last cycle.

During her time on the commission Lomax attended 15 of 26 meetings, while two other members who want to be considered for re-appointment—Betsy Buford and David Clegg—each attended 23. The council held off on re-appointing any of the members at the last meeting until, presumably, Thompson has a chance to speak with Lomax. (Thompson did not respond to the INDY's request for comment last week).

Lomax said she has "unfortunately had to miss several meetings over the past couple of years" due to a surgery and increased travel as she transitioned from her former job as a vice chancellor at N.C. State University—which she held when she was re-appointed to the board for her second term— to her new position as executive vice president at RTI International, which she started in December of 2014. At RTI, Lomax said she needs to travel "to acquaint myself with numerous U.S. and international offices."

"That should hopefully not be the case going forward," she wrote in an email. "In addition to attending standing meetings, there are many other ways that I participate and bring value to the Commission," which she listed as follows:
I played an integral role in the early business development for the Raleigh Convention Center as a key “Capitol City Connector,” promoting the venue in partnership with NC State and throughout relevant industries.

As Executive Vice President - Discovery, Science and Technology - at RTI International, I serve as an area ambassador throughout my national and international travels and carry the message that Raleigh is a desirable destination.

Concurrent in time with my move and new leadership position with RTI, I provided the concept for and volunteered to be the founding Chair for the organizing committee for the Convention Center’s first "home-grown" conference, Data4Decisions in 2015. That took many, many meetings and activities outside of the regular Commission meetings and has now become an annual event bringing visitors and revenue to Raleigh. 
The Raleigh Convention and Performing Arts Centers Authority is likely one of the better boards to serve on. If extra tickets to shows and events are available, board members can request them, though the city doesn't keep track of who receives free tickets to performances and events at any of the city-owned venues. 

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