Why I'm standing as a Trustee for The Vegan Society

If you are a member of The Vegan Society, you should have already received details on how to vote at the 2018 AGM - either in person on the day, or via the Electoral Reform Services website. And you may have seen that I'm standing as a candidate in the election of Trustees to The Vegan Society's Council.

This decision comes following my extensive involvement with the society, my previous post about how vegans could "Act now to set the direction of The Vegan Society", and discussions with members of the society and other vegans - particularly those who are members of under-represented groups.

I have included a copy of my candidate statement below. So, if you agree with what I'm trying to achieve, I would very much appreciate your vote. (And whether you're a member or not, I'd appreciate a Tweet in support.)

It is also my pleasure and my privilege both to second and to be seconded by Ali Ryland. You might like to consider giving Ali your vote too.

Robb Masters

Proposed by Vicky Jeffery. Seconded by Ali Ryland.

During more than two decades of both veganism and membership of The Vegan Society, I have interacted with the organisation in almost every way possible – as a new vegan, a volunteer, a donor, a Local Contact, a customer, a supplier, a job applicant, an employee of a Vegan Society trademark holder, and even a member of staff (Technical Director for three years on a consultancy basis).

In this time, I have worked to improve membership engagement by seeking and proposing candidates for Council, speaking to members of under-represented groups about achieving better representation, and establishing a Vegan Society discussion group on Facebook – a much-needed forum for members to discuss society policy and activity amongst themselves, with trustees, and with other vegans.

This year, I have proposed two resolutions that would further reinforce the society’s democratic values:

  1. To oblige Council to put all valid member proposals to a vote at any General Meeting.
  2. To extend the protection of the Appeals Committee to all members.

Despite my long-term support, I have never been afraid to challenge the society, nor to ask difficult questions. And as a Trustee, I would continue to ensure that Council is mindful of its accountability to the membership that it has been elected to represent – as well as to the wider vegan community, and to nonhuman animals.

Furthermore, I’d encourage policies and activities to increase that membership. Over the last six years, I have grown London Vegan Meetup from just 750 to well over 7,500 members (even more than The Vegan Society) and engaged with vegans from around the world. With only 1% of the British population being vegan, and only 1% of those vegans being members of The Vegan Society, I believe that there is significant potential for growth both at home and internationally – and in terms of veganism, membership, and engagement. This would better enable us to advocate for nonhuman animals to be free from human exploitation – which I believe should be at the core of our work.

In addition to my extensive involvement with The Vegan Society and London Vegan Meetup, I lead a Special Interest Group on animal rights for Mensa, I have previously volunteered for other nonhuman animal advocacy organisations, and I have spoken at various events on effective vegan advocacy, community building, and veganism.

With 25 years of management experience, including various board-level positions, I am also familiar with the responsibilities of the Trustee role. As well as more general training on leadership and building cohesive teams, I have proactively undertaken specific training with organisations such as NCVO on setting-up charities, Trustee roles and responsibilities, charity finance, charity strategy, managing change, and improving the effectiveness of charity boards.

Therefore, I believe that the combination of my professional and vegan advocacy experience would be of considerable benefit to The Vegan Society.

Any members who have any questions about my qualifications or candidacy are welcome to contact me at agm@robbmasters.com. I would be very happy to be hear from you

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