CGW is a club for amateurs and professionals who like to make historical, science fiction, or fantasy costumes.



At this time, nominations are open for all positions on the Board of Directors for the CGW, Inc., with the exception of President (a two year position elected in even numbered years). You can let people know you are interested in a position on the CGW Board by sending a candidate’s statement of approximately 100 words and a photo of yourself to the current Guild President, Mela Hoyt-Heydon at, or the CGW Parliamentarian, Diane Yoshitomi at This will enable CGW members to familiarize themselves with the candidates.  Nominations from the floor during the General Meeting October 5, 2019 will also be accepted.

Uncontested Votes and Write-In Candidates

During the vote counting, the “tellers” will check all Ballots for write-in candidates. In an uncontested office, if there is one vote for that candidate, he or she is automatically elected. In the interest of time-saving at our meeting, not all votes for an uncontested office will be counted at the meeting. The final, complete count will be tabulated and published in the next issue of Squeals and on our website.

Casting your Vote

Print and bring the 2019- 2020 CGW Board of Directors Ballot (PDF) with you to the annual meeting, or mail it to the CGW Parliamentarian (directions follow). Additional copies of the “most up to date” ballot will be available at the Annual Meeting, October 5, 2019. The first column on the Ballot indicates the position the candidate is running for. The second column indicates candidates who have already declared their intent to run for office prior to the Annual Meeting or who are nominated from the floor during that meeting. The third column indicates your decision to vote for the printed candidate. Please indicate your choice with an “X” in the box to the immediate right of the candidate of your choice.  The fourth column is for write-in candidates (principally for the use for Absentee Ballots). You may write in the name of any Costumer’s Guild West, Inc. member, who is in good standing and over the age of 18, as your choice for any of the 8 Board Positions being elected in 2019. Please ensure, beforehand, that the write-in candidate is willing to accept the position if elected. The last column please place a “X” next to the name you have written in as your official vote for the write-in candidate.

2019-2020 CGW Board of Directors Ballot (PDF download)

Absentee Ballot Instructions

By reading and following these instructions, you can ensure the confidentiality of your absentee vote. The procedure set forth below is streamlined from Robert’s Rules of Order, Section XIII, §44. If you would like to read the complete instructions, we have provided a link on the CGW Bylaws and Stand Rules page.

1.  Following the instructions above, Vote for the candidates of your choice.  No signature is required on the Ballot.

2.  Fold the Ballot and place it in a blank envelope. Seal it.

3.  Place the blank envelope, containing your ballot, inside a second envelope addressed to the Parliamentarian:  Diane Yoshitomi, 27025 Silver Moon Lane, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

4.  Print your legal name and return address in the upper left hand corner

5.  Seal the envelope and sign your name across the flap. Your name must be on this outer envelope for us to validate your Absentee Ballot without violating your confidentiality.

** Mail early enough to arrive by September 25 **

The Parliamentarian will hold the Absentee Ballots in their outer, mailing envelopes and bring them to the 2019 CGW Annual Meeting and Election unopened.  Prior to the start of the annual meeting, the designated Ballot counters will verify the Absentee Ballots, by the following procedure:

a.  The name & signature on the outer envelope will be checked against the list of qualified voters.

b.  The inner envelope will be removed from the outer one and placed, still sealed, into a receptacle.

c.  After all envelopes have been validated, the inner envelopes will be opened and held, unread, to be counted with all other Ballots.

In order to serve on the CGW Board of Directors, a candidate must be a member in good standing and at least 18 years of age. They must also be prepared to attend most, if not all, of the Board Meetings throughout the year. There are six Board Meetings and the Annual Meeting in October.  These meetings are held in a variety of locations around Southern California. It is possible for Board members to participate in meetings via conference phone calls when travel distances create difficulties.

Here is a list of the CGW Board positions and a brief description of their responsibilities. Additional information, as well as an in-depth description of Board Member Duties are available in Article X of the CGW By-Laws found on our CGW Bylaws and Standing Rules page under the member’s only link.

President: Presides at all meeting of the organization and Board of Directors, has day-to day general and active management over the affairs of CGW, Inc. and supervises the conduction of its business, act as an ex-officio member of all committees, with Board approval, appoints chairpersons for any special or standing committees as well as Parliamentarian. This is a two year commitment and voted into office on even numbered years.

Vice President:  Performs the duties of the President in the absence of that individual and Coordinates CGW events recruiting assistants as needed to facilitate them.

Treasurer: With the assistance of an appointed bookkeeper, has the responsibility of maintaining the financial assets of CGW and keeping accurate records of the Guild’s membership. This is a two year commitment and voted into office on odd numbered years.

Recording Secretary: Takes and records accurate minutes of the proceedings of all meetings. Maintains a historical file of all documents relating to the organization, as well as continually updating the log of all Resolutions enacted by the Board.

Corresponding Secretary:  Conducts the correspondence of the organization, and takes responsibility for editing and publishing the organization’s newsletter, Squeals. The Corresponding Secretary may select an assistant editor with the approval of the Board of Directors.

Director-at-Large: Acts as a conduit of information and communication between the membership and Board of Directors. Serves on committees and in other such capacities as assigned by the President and/or the Board of Directors.

If you are interested in finding out more information regarding the various duties of the individual Board positions we all welcome your questions.  Contact information for each of the CGW Board Members can be found in the back pages of Squeals and on the CGW web-site under the “About Us” link. Any CGW member, in good standing, aged 18 or older, who is interested in serving our Costume Guild, should submit a statement of candidacy of 100 words or less before August 10, the sooner the better, to Diane Yoshitomi, CGW Parliamentarian at, or any current Board member in order to be added to the ballot.

Costumer’s Guild West, Inc. Candidate Statements for the 2019-2020 Board of Directors Election:



I am Danelle Garrison and I am running for Vice President.  I served one term as Director at Large this past year and I’d like to do more this year to help Costumer’s Guild West.  In my regular life I work at an open-air living history museum, so costuming is part of my career!  I love sharing my costumes and love of costuming with others, and CGW definitely is a large part of that.  I’m so excited by the prospect of helping CGW and looking forward to another year on the Board if you will have me.  Thank you!



Hi, my name is Eileen Smolenski and I would appreciate your vote for the position of Treasurer of Costumer’s Guild West, Inc.  I have previously served on the Board of Directors in the elected positions of Corresponding Secretary/Squeals Editor, Director at Large, and President, and in the appointed positions of Parliamentarian as well as Facilities Manager and Operations Chair.




Recording Secretary:

My name is Cheryl Avirom. I am currently Recording Secretary and would like to serve again.  I enjoy setting up the meetings, working on agendas and taking minutes.  I contribute ideas and have done projects for the Board.   I have represented CGW at the Redlands Assistance League, Los Con, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and judged costumes for the L.A. County Fair.  I have written several articles for Squeals.  I love learning about clothing and textile history, and costume techniques.  I did theater and ballet costumes professionally as a stitcher and shopper.


Corresponding Secretary:

Ann Ware

As a long term fan of our zine, I’m hoping to join the CGW board as your Corresponding Secretary. I have a variety of experience with different programs and am I quick study for those that I don’t know. I feel this could be the ideal place for me to serve CGW. I look forward to helping you tell your costuming dreams, stories and helping our members keep in touch with the latest news via Squeals.




Colleen Crosby

Hello! As Director-at-Large in the past two years I fulfilled ad-hoc duties such as assisting in getting CGW a new insurance policy; advising the Board on why policies were set previously in order to help them decide on what to keep and what to update; and I acted as liaison between Guild members and the Board.  I have received some fabulous feedback both in Facebook groups and at the Board mixer that takes place on Sunday evening at Costume College!  If you would like me to continue in this capacity in the coming year, please re-elect me to a position as Director-at-Large.


I am Shawn Crosby.  It has been my pleasure to serve the CGW membership for the past two years as Director at Large.  Taking on a technical role, I’ve been administrating our many web domains (now consolidated into one renewal) and our site hosting, as well as various duties regarding our technology and storage.  I was honored to serve as part of our LA County Fair ambassadorial team, and to share similar duties in selecting scholarship winners and representing CGW on-site at various Sci-Fi conventions.  I even found some opportunities to wear a few costumes!  It would be my joy to continue in this position on the Board of Directors.  Please consider me for your vote!


My name in Geri Rex and I am running for Director at Large.  My first Costume College was in 2013.  I was so impressed by the event that I volunteered to be on the committee that following year.  I worked as Gala assistant in 2014, Check-in assistant 2015 and 2016, and as head of Check-in and Assistant of Social Media 2017.  I was Assistant Dean for 2019, and will serve as Dean for 2020.  Here at home I work alongside by husband at our aerospace business.  I also started a craft beer educational group for women in Ventura County in 2016.  I am very experienced in record keeping, dealing with deadlines, and creating events.  I have been involved in Renaissance Faire and am a big fan of historical costuming.  At this time in my life I feel I can give more of it to help CGW and its Board.  I hope you will consider me.


I am Gina Cowley and I am running for Director at Large.  I have had the pleasure of serving as Vice President this past year, but as I will be stepping into the role of Asst. Dean of Costume College for next year and Dean the year after, I do not think I can do both jobs and stay sane.  I would like to continue to serve on the Board as Director at Large where I can contribute at meetings, listen to what our membership wants to see done, act as liaison between members and the Board, and put my experience to good use.  I have 14 years of  experience in behind-the-scenes admin of a retail business; teach costume design and sewing; and costume for theatre, dance and skating.  I would be honored if you elect me as a Director at Large.