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ACCREDITATION
SaVoa Founder: Ex-Members 'Tried
To Hijack
SaVoa Board And Failed'

April 23, 2012

By John Florian
VoiceOverXtra

In the wake of a near total resignation of the SaVoa Executive Board last week, SaVoa founder Ed Gambill says the ex-members "tried to hijack the board and failed in their attempt.

"Their actions (are being taken) to malign SaVoa," he tells VOXtra. "They are mad at me because I stood up to it."

Nevertheless, Gambill wishes them well as they plan a new non-profit voice over accrediting organization. "I hope now that both groups will go forward happily," he says.

Gambill also announced that a new website is being created - SaVoaVoices.com - and that "we are trying to put together a new Board of qualified folks who meet the requirements of the bylaws."

WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT ...

SaVoa - the Society of Accredited Voice Over Artists - was founded in 2007 as an accrediting organization for the voice over community, and to support continuing education for voice over artists.

As VOXtra reported on April 22, all but one member of the SaVoa Executive Board recently quit the organization, stating in an online post that "the existing corporate structure, foundation and framework that is in place is an obstacle preventing growth and the organization's stated goals."

Former president Rowell Gorman also complained that "internally, we seemed constantly bogged down, with control of key group resources - like member database, website access, email accounts and such - kept centralized and withheld from anyone else who could actually take on the work."

ED GAMBILL REPLIES ...

Gambill disputes those claims.

He declined a VOXtra offer to contribute a bylined article or comments in writing. But in a phone interview today, which Gambill also recorded, Gambill says, "There's a whole lot of things being said without being forthright and without understanding." And he labels the comments about his leadership as "inappropriate and backstabbing."

Key issues in the dispute were transparency of actions, and the nature of the charter in North Carolina, under which SaVoa was created.

"I don't believe that we ever didn't have transparency," Gambill says. Yet he adds, "There are certain things a board does that does not go into the purview of everyone."

DISPUTES OBSTRUCTION CHARGE

Concerning obstruction of progress, he says "The only obstruction I had was the fact that they (ex-Board members) operated contrary to North Carolina law."

Gambill further claims that Gorman, as president - as well as others - did have access to the membership database, and that "There has been no misappropriation of any funds."

And he's peeved that the former members posted an Open Letter on a Facebook group page that bears the SaVoa logo, for which he has a service mark. Using that forum when they were no longer SaVoa members was "maligning," he says.

NEW ACCREDITATION GROUP

Meanwhile, voice actors who resigned from the SaVoa Board are expressing relief that an exhausting dispute is nearing an end.

"This was perhaps one of the most frustrating experiences of my life," says former Board member Dan Lenard.

Adds former Board member Robert Sciglimpaglia: "It's been the longest 30 days of my life!"

Yet there is also optimism as they move forward with plans to create a new organization.

"The SaVoa vision was sound, but its implementation was a classic fail," says former Board member Dave Courvoisier.

"But rather than look back, I'm surging ahead with several passionate and highly competent ex-officers of that organization to build a fully transparent, member-driven, by-the-book, non-profit VO accrediting agency," he says.

"We're excited to invite people in to help us break new ground."
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Comments (8)
Mark
5/7/2012 at 11:02 PM
One way to instill trust would be to be available. Emails to Ed Gambill at his Savoa and Hotmail email addresses, and via the form on his jotm.org website (which launches an email), go unanswered. I'm posting here, in a public form, because it is the only way to prompt Mr. Gambill to respond to me. He left no alternatives.
Dan Lenard
4/24/2012 at 8:18 AM
Unlike Mr. Gambill, Kat.

Look, yeah it's dirty laundry, but consider this. This is a perfect sample of one individual exploiting the needs and desires of the entire community. He did it to benefit himself and continued to perpetuate this ruse by deception, stonewalling, and is now making the perpetrator the victim.

The incoming Board, having all certificate holders interest in mind, sought to end this ruse and make the organization of a benefit to the VO community. Mr. Gambill, as you can see, created a pattern of maintaining control of everything. This was a public, not for profit organization, not Mr. Gambill's private property.

We're sorry this is creating a foul taste in everyone's mouth regarding joining an organization that works in their interest. This was set up that way and then hijacked by one person skilled at deception. The resigning Board, all respected members of our community, seek to right this wrong and create something that will be transparent, and run by actual members, elected by members. You're skepticism is healthy. Let the actions of this dedicated group earn your trust, your valuable participation and your involvement.
Steve Royal
4/24/2012 at 5:37 AM
Ed,
You have my support.
Steve
Jerry McClellan
4/24/2012 at 1:27 AM
Whenever I would see the SaVoa shield, I wondered why there was such a low membership. It would seem that out of thousands of very qualified professional voice artists a much larger membership would be on board by now. The Board was certainly comprised of top-tier pros and the concept was/is sound but it never quite caught the attention or necessity of other working voice actors.

So, perhaps it is time to offer something fresh while retaining the foundational goverance of SaVoa and welcome those who meet sound qualification criteria into a member-driven accrediting society.
And, while at it, have fun being part of such an organization.
Dustin Ebaugh
4/24/2012 at 12:59 AM
The SaVoa group on Facebook does not, nor has it ever, show the service marked SaVoa logo or any SaVoa logo. I'm the creator and admin of that soon-to-be-defunct page and it has never utilized any logo. Therefore, this is wholly inaccurate:

"And he's peeved that the former members posted an Open Letter on a Facebook group page that bears the SaVoa logo, for which he has a service mark. Using that forum when they were no longer SaVoa members was "maligning," he says."
Paul Payton
4/24/2012 at 12:22 AM
My accreditation is 24 years in the VO business, 22 without a back-up job, working with great clients including many who bring me repeat business. If a certificate works for someone, great; for me, every check I cash is an accreditation. Color me grateful. (Just my opinion; others may vary.)
Sophia
4/24/2012 at 12:18 AM
Airing all of this in open forums is unprofessional and unseemly no matter what the internal problems. Which is ironic given the mission of SaVOA.
Kathleen Keesling
4/24/2012 at 12:07 AM
I am one of the original Founding Board members of SaVoa and I am rip-roaring mad that Ed has the audacity to besmirch the names of quality individuals and implying that they had poor intentions. I am now risking my own reputation with Ed once more, but now I'm doing it because I must.

I resigned because after a long absence, and a number of upset members not getting replies to their emails, Ed presented to the Board the bylaws that were rewritten without us.

When I resigned, I did not make a public dispute as I felt all of the members' reputations were on the line, and since Ed brought on some top names in to positions of authority, I hoped they would hold him in check and uphold the goals and ambitions of SaVoa.

This was back in 2009. That is not transparency.

This is not the only example I have. I can only imagine the examples the resigning board had.

If you are interested in staying on or signing on with SaVoa, check everything. Call people. Call me. Speak openly on boards.

I was very wrong to remain quiet as it is clear that Ed Gambill makes use of others' good reputations to his own end.

The folks that left have my deepest respect. A few of them have worked their tails off on the HearTheBill project, and I have never had a cross word with any of them nor heard of any other question on their reputations. They are true working professionals and I am forever in debt for they had the bravery I didn't have back when I resigned.

Anyway, if you want proof of more? Just ask me. I'm easy to find. Google KatsVoice.

As for Ed Gambill, the onus of proof is on you to support your claims that the Board attempted to hijack SaVoa. The onus of proof is on you to disprove what I wrote.

Fair warning before you try it: I save everything.
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