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

2017 Election


Membership Voter Information 2017

Annual Meeting of the Membership




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 with elections every other year) 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 to the current Guild President, Mela Hoyt-Heydon, or the CGW Parliamentarian, Eileen Smolenski. This will enable other members to write you in on their Ballot. We will also be accepting nomination from the floor during the General Meeting October 7, 2017.

Uncontested Votes and Write-In Candidates

During the vote counting, the counters 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 following Ballot with you to the annual meeting or mail it to the CGW Parliamentarian (directions follow). The first column on the Ballot indicates the position up for election. The second column indicates candidates who have already declared their intent to run for office prior to August 10, 2017. The third column indicates your decision to vote for the printed candidate. Please indicate your choice with either a “Yes” or “No” in this column. The final column is for write-in candidates, including anyone who is nominated from the floor of the annual meeting. A name written into this column indicates your “Yes” vote. Please print and bring your Ballot to the annual meeting to cast your vote. This is your only official Ballot.

Absentee Ballot Instructions

By reading and following these simple 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 website.

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 inside the envelope addressed to the Parliamentarian. , Eileen Smolenski, P.O. Box 1636 Running Springs, CA 92382

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 23 **


The Parliamentarian will hold the Absentee Ballots in their outer, mailing envelopes and bring them to the 2017 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 is 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.


Official 2017-18 Ballot


Candidates’ Statements – CGW Board 2017-18

There are only three Costumer’s Guild West members who have volunteered to run for various positions on the 2017-2018 Board of Directors. There are still many blanks on the ballot for this year’s annual election.  You can still signal your intent to run by sending a candidate statement and current photo to Eileen Smolenski so it can be posted on the CGW web site.

President – President is a two-year position. It is not up for election in the 217-2018 year.


Vice President – 1 candidate (choose 1)

Cynthia Aronin

I’m Cynthia Aronin and I am again running for the position of Vice President.  I was Vice President last year and I think we were able to have some great workshops and GoesTos.  There are more to come this year and I would like the opportunity to be able to coordinate more CGW events.  I have more 18th Century workshops, teas and hopefully a tutu workshop. I would be honored by the privilege to continue to be the Vice President of CGW.



Treasurer – 2 candidates (choose 1)

Sarah Pierce – no statement.

Gina (Virginia) Cowley

I am Gina (Virginia) Cowley and I would like to run for the position of Treasurer of the Costumer’s Guild West board for 2017-2018. I have been a member of CGW for four years, the Co-chair of the Check-In committee for costume college for two years and I will be continuing as chair this year. By day I am the General Manager/Accountant for a chain of retail stores which I helped create from the ground up. By night I am into all things costuming: I costume for Braverplayers, a teen theater company;  teach sewing classes at Atelier Mela;  and make custom skate, dance and cosplay costumes. If it involves lights or rhinestones I’m in! I would be honored if you would allow me to combine two things I love, accounting and costumes, and I will do my utmost to keep track of every penny so CGW can continue running smoothly.


Recording Secretary – 1 candidate (choose 1)

Cheryl Avirom – No statement


Corresponding Secretary – 1 candidate (choose 1)

Heather Pritchett

Howdy. I’m Heather Pritchett. I’ve been a member of CGW and Costume College for over 12 years. I am completely committed to CGW having spent four years on the costume college committee helping with programing and the last two years as Director at Large helping to guide our guild while also filling the positions of Assistant Dean in 2016 and Dean of Costume College for 2017. This year I hope you’ll consider me for the position of Recording Secretary and trust me to write the Board Meeting Minutes which are published in Squeals after every meeting.


Directors-at-Large – 4 candidates (choose up to four)

Patti Buckley

I, Patti Buckley, would like to apply for a Director-at-Large position on the CGW Board for 2017-18.  Having thoroughly enjoyed two previous terms served in the position of Director-at-Large, I have also written multiple articles for Squeals, been CoCo Gala Mistress twice and  Tea co-mistress in 2016. However, a recent move to the San Francisco Bay area has left me feeling out of the loop. I miss the creativity and energy of all the members of CGW. I would very much like to be involved in the direction the CGW Board is taking in bringing in new members who specialize in Cosplay and Anime, as well as those who bring fresh perspectives on all types of historical costuming. This is a very exciting time for CGW and costumers in general. There is so much to investigate and learn, with such renewed interest in historical and fantasy costuming from a “makers” point of view. Please be advised that I will be telecommuting to most meetings from my home in Marin. How awesome that computers and phones will allow CGW members from anywhere in the world, to play an expanding role in the workings of this great organization! Thank you for your consideration.


Colleen Crosby

I am Colleen Crosby, and I would like to run for a position as Director-At-Large on the Costumer’s Guild West Board of Directors. I have seven years of previous experience on the CGW Board (2007-2014), as well as having been the Costume College Dean in 2010, and held chair positions at Costume college and appointed positions for CGW. I intend to keep working on the scholarship committee, and I intend to liaise for more events, if we have room! I hope that if I am elected, members feel free to come to me with any concerns or suggestions they might have to make our guild a better place.


Shawn Crosby – No statement

Valerie LaBore

Greetings! I’m Valarie LaBore. I’ve been a member of CGW for 14 years and have been attending, volunteering, & teaching at Costume College just as long. I’m also a past President of the San Diego Costume Guild, and member of Orange County Costume Guild. As the future Dean of Costume College 2018, I want to keep in touch with our CGW members and other Board members to help me in this tremendous vote of confidence they all have for me in doing this. Please consider me for the Director at Large position, as it will help me keep everyone up to date on how our next College is going.