NEA taking the past into the future


Every November, the membership is given the opportunity to choose who will sit on the Executive Board, per NEA By-laws, Section 5. We encourage all current NEA members to participate, either as a voter or a candidate, to help shape and grow our organization.  

A Nominating Committee is responsible for constructing a slate of candidates, through a mix of direct outreach and peer or self nominations.  The committee is chaired by the Immediate-Past President and its members are voted in by the Executive Board.  

The NEA election is typically held in early November via secure online ballot. The election is open to all members in good standing at the time the election opens. These members will receive a link to the online ballot system via email.  

Election winners are announced shortly after voting ends by on the NEAdiscuss listserv. New candidates are ushered in during the Executive Board meeting in March and entered into the minutes at the annual business meeting held in Spring.

How do I vote?
To be eligible to vote in November, make sure your membership is current and that your contact information, including email address, is up to date in the NEA membership database. Contact the Membership Secretary if you experience difficulty logging into the membership database.

How can I nominate myself or someone else for elected office?
Every summer the Nominating Committee calls for nominees via the NEAdiscuss listserv.  If you miss this email, email the current Nominating Committee chair.

2023 election

Vice president / President-Elect candidates

Jeanne Lowrey

Name and pronouns: Jeanne Lowrey, she/her
State/Region: Connecticut

Biographical and Service Statement:
I have been privileged to serve NEA in a variety of roles over the past few years. I chaired the Inclusion and Diversity Committee (IDC) from 2021-2022 after a year as vice-chair, working closely with leaders across NEA to develop the Racial Justice Honoraria Fund (RJHF). I also served on the Program Committee for the 2018 spring meeting and have participated in the mentorship circle as a mentee. Presently, I co-lead an NEA mentorship circle and am a reviewer for the Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies (JCAS).
Currently, I am the Associate University Archivist at Yale University. My previous professional positions include Archivist in the Office of the President at Yale and the Archivist of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford. At Yale, I serve on the Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Committee, the Standing Committee on Professional Awareness, the Sterling Memorial Library Exhibition Committee and the Web Archiving Working Group. I am active with the university’s LGBTQ affinity group, supporting community-building programming and advocating for improved LGBTQ and trans healthcare for the Yale and Greater New Haven community.

Candidate Questions:
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your archives career or study?
I am extremely proud of my work stewarding the Racial Justice Honoraria Fund from idea to proposal to implementation. Throughout the process, I wanted to make sure that we created a program that would be sustainable and have a tangible impact on people’s lives versus a performative display of solidarity. Although it was a long and thoughtful process, it was important to set the program up for success rather than risk rushing something through that may fizzle after the attention fades. I hope the extensive work performed by myself and many others will be an important piece of NEA’s ongoing commitment to address the systemic inequities in archives and adjacent fields.

What do you hope to contribute in your service to NEA?
My time as IDC chair gave me a broad view of the organization, allowing me to see firsthand the amazing work that goes on behind the scenes as well as the challenges facing the organization. As Vice-president/President-elect, I would continue to build on the work done by past and present NEA leadership to continue to make our organization more sustainable, adaptable, and responsive to an ever-changing world. I will bring an equity lens to all of our priorities and workflows so we can be more proactive in creating an inclusive and diverse archival community. This will also help NEA respond to the needs of our membership, particularly when advocating for archivists of color, archivists with disabilities, and contingently employed archivists. By embracing this shared responsibility as an organization, we reduce the burden on any one person or committee while also making our organization more accessible to a larger number of people.

How can we make NEA more sustainable as a volunteer-run organization, and how can we include more people?
As more and more archivists in our region work in contingent positions, have varying levels of institutional support, and continue to endure the impacts of a global pandemic, we also need to recognize that our traditional service models may no longer be sustainable. Even prior to the pandemic, NEA faced difficulties recruiting for the leadership positions, which limits what we can do as an organization. As NEA turns 50, we have the opportunity to think seriously about who we are and how we operate. Although strategic planning may look different in 2023 than it has in the past, we have the chance to clearly define our priorities and determine the most effective and efficient ways to achieve them. We can build on the feedback we received during the spring 2022 Unconference, and explore how we can best support our membership and foster connections and engagement across the organization.
By virtue of being a regional entity, we are all physically and organizationally spread out. Building on the work of previous leadership, we must continue creating and maintaining centralized documentation that clearly outlines timelines, activities across the organization, and organizational priorities. This will allow us to communicate more effectively, think more strategically as a whole, and pivot more easily.

Treasurer-Elect Candidates

Paige Lilly

Name and Pronouns: Paige Lilly, she/her
State/Region: Maine

Biographical and Service Statement:
Work history:
Lilly Archival, free lance, Blue Hill, Maine 1999-present
Curator, Castine Historical Society, Castine, Maine 2008-2021
Archivist, William S. Cohen Papers, Fogler Library, UMaine 2001-2008
Head, Research Library, Penobscot Marine Museum, Searsport, Maine 1990-1998
Archivist/Librarian, Shaker Museum, New Gloucester, Maine 1984-1990

Selected Service:
Maine State Archives Advisory Board 2020-present
Maine Archives and Museum, co-presenter online workshops 2022-2023
Maine National History Day regional judge
Maine Historical Records Advisory Board 1993-2008
Presenter, NEA spring meeting, 2002
Society of Maine Archivists co founder, presenter, and president 1989-1998

Candidate Questions:
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your archives career or study?
My reputation as a “user friendly” archivist and curator, providing respectful and patient access for researchers from all backgrounds. Whether onsite or remote, from grade school student classes to family historians and tenured professors, users need not know how accomplished I may be at appraisal, processing, ethics, DACS, EAD, or exhibit design. Consistently offering attentive, thorough access is key to the success of their projects.

What do you hope to contribute in your service to NEA?
Efficiently and creatively fulfill the requirements of the office and exceed expectations as a team player.

How can we make NEA more sustainable and how can we include more people?
In addition to maintaining and/or enhancing signature practices of the organization, I advocate:

  • Engaging the full board, and even members, in recruiting volunteers, nominees for office, and new or renewing members through personal, local relationships
  • Devising a two to three year, iterative planning document that guides the organization to sustain objectives it is uniquely positioned to achieve (a process that may lead to cutting some projects in order to strengthen others)

How would you like to see NEA grow or change in the next 5-10 years?
Given the recent crisis of identity and risk of dissolving the organization, NEA’s growth over the next several years depends on recruiting efforts and the ongoing success of selected projects. I support strengthening the ambitious, laudable projects and collaborations already underway. In 2027-28, I look forward to hearing, perhaps at another regional conference; “NEA continues to deliver timely and meaningful services to the field! Colleagues mention [insert unique NEA program] all the time.”

Daniel McCormack

Name: Daniel McCormack, CA
State: Massachusetts

Biographical and Service Statement:
Daniel McCormack has served as the archivist/records manager for the Town of Burlington (Massachusetts), since 2002. He is primarily responsible for the town’s public health, financial, personnel, and municipal business records. Prior to serving in Burlington he was a reference librarian at the Brockton (MA) Public Library and a journalist. He is a member of the Massachusetts State Historical Records Advisory Board and previously served on the NEDCC Advisory Board.

Service to New England Archivists:
Public Relations Coordinator, 1998-2003,
Nominating Committee, 2005, 2010,
Membership Committee, 2008-2017.

Service to the archives profession:
Member, SAA Privacy and Confidentiality Section Steering Committee, 2016-2017, 2019-2020. Vice-Chair/Chair Elect, 2017-2018, Chair, 2018-2019.
SAA Human Rights Archives Section, Steering Committee Member, 2017-2019. Member, SAA Foundation National Disaster Recovery Fund for Archives Grant Review Committee, 2014-present.

Candidate Questions:
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your archives career?
My best days are when I greet patrons who have exhausted all other resources, or who tell me that no one else could, or would, help them. The essence of my work in a municipality is service, and always provide the highest level of service for our town, its citizens, and those who use our resources. Every so often, for various reasons, there are requests that demand even more from us. I remember each of those, and how we gave everything we had in order to resolve something that was difficult or seemingly impossible. When a request means that much more to someone, it doesn’t matter how much effort it takes, or how uncomfortable it might be for us. That is why we do what we do.

What do you hope to contribute to your service to NEA?
From the time I took my first archives classes nearly 30 years ago, I was always taught that professional involvement was not optional. Being an archivist was always as much about what we gave as about the work we did. That is still true today. We need the involvement of all members to maintain this organization and to continually reinvigorate the larger profession as a whole. From a practical standpoint we know that NEA runs not just on effort, but on money. NEA needs responsible management of its financial assets in order to properly serve the needs of its members and the profession. As treasurer, I hope to use my demonstrated commitment to NEA and the greater archives community to maintain and grow our resources in order to keep the organization solvent and continue supporting the programs and awards that are essential to serving our colleagues throughout the region.

How can we make NEA more sustainable as a volunteer-run organization, and how can we include more people?
As treasurer I will be committed to the highest level of financial transparency to provide timely, accurate and actionable information. Doing so will help invest our members with the information they need to become more involved in NEA. In the ensuing years, I plan to emphasize support for functions and activities that bring our members together and generate involvement in the organization’s work. Crucial to our efforts will be providing funding for meetings, educational programs and membership activities. We need to find more ways to bring members together and to help them refine the skills they use every day. However, involvement in the organization is a two-way street. We need to emphasize that the opportunities we provide for members to be better archivists must be matched by everyone’s efforts and involvement.

How would you like to see NEA grow or change in the next 5-10 years?
Let’s first look at the past 5-10 years. In that time, the face of NEA has changed and acquired an identity that more clearly resembles more of the world beyond our vaults and shelves. That is good and necessary and helps maintain our relevance in the worlds we serve. At the same time, it’s clear that there is nowhere near the level of participation in the organization’s operations as in previous decades. When it comes to involvement in NEA, we need to create an investment mentality among members. For this organization to survive and thrive, members have to know that their success is directly tied to NEA’s success. Showing up is not enough. We will need everyone’s time, effort, and energies to write articles, staff committees, run roundtables, and plan meetings. All of these will also involve money. As treasurer, I will seek to manage our funds responsibly and prudently, while always being candid about our status.Involvement is an investment. We only get from this organization what we put into it. In the coming decades, we will need everyone’s involvement to make NEA the best investment for our members, our institutions and the profession.

Representative-at-Large Candidates

Thomas Lester

Name and pronouns: Thomas Lester (he/him/his)
State/Region: Massachusetts

Biographical and Service Statement:
I have been the Archivist, and now Director of the Archive & Library, for the Archdiocese of Boston since 2014. During this time, I have overseen the archive, research library and records management program for approximately 250 parishes, over 100 schools and central administrative offices.
My previous professional experience includes roles at the Tufts University School of Medicine, Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, and Massachusetts Historical Society, all of which took place while attending Simmons University, where I earned a MLS in Archive Management and MA in History.
My most notable service to NEA has been as a member of the Fall 2021 Conference Planning Committee. However, I will bring experience as a Board-member-at-large for the Association of Catholic Diocesan Archivists (ACDA), where I chair both the archive and endowment committees. The former oversaw the collection and processing of ACDA records, and the latter is in the process of creating an endowment to fund continuing education opportunities for our members.

Candidate Questions:
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your archives career or study?
I am proud of how the archive where I work has evolved over the course of my tenure. Starting as a lone arranger, and now with the help of a great team of two professional archivists, we have created/updated policies, improved our patron service standards, and managed acquisitions from dozens of different sites.

One of my most significant accomplishments in this role was partnering with the New England Historic Genealogical Society/ to digitize our sacramental records and make them available online; the first diocese to do so. They are available for free, and the over 10 million names have been transcribed rendering the collection searchable.
Once it comes to fruition, I would also add helping to establish an ACDA Endowment (see previous answer), it is something tangible that will benefit members by giving them the means to continue learning and advance their careers.

What do you hope to contribute in your service to NEA?
My belief is that leaders in a professional organization should aim to offer members the best value they can in return for their membership dues.
In this instance, it might mean ensuring there is a consistent offering of learning opportunities, making certain the topics are beneficial to members by filling in knowledge gaps or adding to their skill set. Also, encouraging applications for funding opportunities so they do not go unused and recruiting mentors so there are enough to help those seeking guidance.

Outside of those examples, I am happy to give my time, knowledge, and any abilities wherever they would be most beneficial.

How can we make NEA more sustainable as a volunteer-run organization, and how can we include more people?
For most of us, our daily responsibilities at home and work are more than enough to fill each day. Yet, it is my personal belief that volunteering time to the archive profession is, at the very least, an obligation, and hope we can motivate every member to be a leader, volunteer, or mentor at some point in their career.

We need to continue the great work of recent Executive Board members advertising leadership and volunteer opportunities. By providing an outline of responsibilities, anticipated time commitment, and other details members can determine if a position correlates with their time and interests.
One way which we might improve the response to these opportunities is by reconsidering the length of terms. A term of three or more years is not inconsequential and reducing it to a one- or two-year period might encourage participation by removing the pressure of a long-term commitment.
I would also encourage students and new graduates to participate. As someone who interviews and hires staff, participation in a professional organization is noteworthy on a CV. And regardless of where we are in our careers, it is the best way to network, not only for professional, but also for the social benefits.

How would you like to see NEA grow or change in the next 5-10 years?
Tying into the previous question, I worry about the lack of volunteers to keep NEA operating at full capacity. We need to devise a long-term strategy to increase member participation or scale back what NEA gives members in return for their dues.
What NEA does well is welcome diversity and create an inclusive environment where, I hope, all members feel they are able to attend conferences, participate in discussions, and network with their colleagues. This is a strength that I hope will continue to receive attention in the coming years.

Brantley Palmer

Name and pronouns: Brantley Palmer, he/him/his
State/Region: New Hampshire

Biographical and Service Statement:
I am currently the Technical Services Librarian and Archivist at Franklin Pierce University. I've been working in archives for close to ten years, first as the Assistant Archivist at Keene State College, then as the College Archivist at Colby-Sawyer College, and now in my current position at Franklin Pierce University. For the past seven years, I've served as the Treasurer of the New Hampshire Archives Group and just moved into the Vice President position. I currently also serve on the NEA Audio/Visual Award Committee.

Candidate Questions:
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your archives career or study?
There are many things I'm very proud of in my career but due to my background in film and television, the primary accomplishment I'd like to highlight is helping to coordinate the preservation of multiple films (some thought to be lost) with the Library of Congress. The LOC took the nitrate prints that had been brought to our archive and created safety stock prints and digital copies of these films, including an early Mary Pickford short (considered lost) and a film by Alice Guy Blache, the first woman director (also considered lost). I've had many opportunities to preserve material in my career but being able to make available material that was considered lost forever was especially unique.

What do you hope to contribute in your service to NEA?
I am hoping that my experience working with a state level archival organization (New Hampshire Archives Group) will help to coordinate NEA with other smaller state or regional archival associations. Hopefully, in strengthening these connections, we can build our membership. I am also hoping that my experience with NHAG will make me a strong candidate to serve as the Regional Archival Associations Consortium Representative.

How can we make NEA more sustainable as a volunteer-run organization, and how can we include more people?
I think there are a number of ways we can make NEA more sustainable. As stated above, strengthening connections with smaller state and regional archival organizations may help to attract more members. Membership in the organization is relatively inexpensive which is great but I think offering more travel stipends for members who are not a part of academic institutions (where broader service to the profession is not only expected but also often funded) may help to alleviate the financial burden of members. I understand there are already meeting and travel stipends available to individual members and student members but if there's a way to reappropriate funds to bolster the number we can provide will be helpful in gaining and maintaining members, particularly those under strict financial constraints.

How would you like to see NEA grow or change in the next 5-10 years?
I'd love to see NEA continue to grow through outreach to underrepresented repositories like schools, public libraries, historical societies, etc. Finding members within these institutions will help foster more well-rounded discussion and hopefully, help boost membership in the organization. Also, while there is partial virtual programming offered for the Spring Workshop, I'd love to see full workshops offered virtually as a means of being fully accessible to those who are unable to attend in person.

We welcome your feedback and questions.  If you are unsure whom to contact, any of our volunteers will be happy to help direct your question to the appropriate party.

Please visit NEA’s contact page for a full listing of NEA volunteers who are available to answer questions by subject. Contact information for specific Board members is also available by searching the membership directory.  An organizational chart of the roles within NEA is also available.

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