SMISA committee election 2017
Members had until Sunday 9 April to put themselves forward for election to the SMISA committee. In the end, only four people applied for the seven places, meaning there will be no formal election.
Instead, an affirmative ballot will be held at the AGM where members will be asked to approve the election of the four.
They include one current committee member applying for re-election - Barry Mitchell – plus three who have been involved in various capacities in the past year standing for formal election for the first time - Kenny Docherty, Kenny Morrison and Alan Quinn.
Two long-standing committee members - Jim Crawford and Tony Dorris - have reached the end of their elected term and chose not to stand again, although both have offered to continue to help the committee in future.
Both have made a big contribution to SMISA over the years and the rest of the committee would like to publicly thank them for all their efforts and hard work.
This of course means there are spare seats on the committee going forward - any other members who feel they have skills and experience which could help the running of SMISA are welcome to get in touch via our contact page.
Having joined the SMISA board in 2015 I took great pride last year in being part of the #BuyTheBuds launch and feel my contributions were worthwhile and essential to the success of the bid. I now hope to continue in my position and be there as we move towards bringing St Mirren FC into the hands of the fans.
I joined the SMISA board as I was keen to support the Club and felt my experience would lend itself well to the supporters trust. Since joining the committee I’ve pushed it to embrace new ideas and methods to widen our reach and stay relevant.
My background is fairly varied in that I have experience in finance, admin, photography and design.
I’m also keen on volunteering and have helped MoneySense and Unite in the last year in addition to my Trust activities.
I’ve applied those skills and experience to my work in the Trust in numerous ways and have taken the lead on our design/social output, membership admin, and our finance activities.
Projects I am involved in included developing our payment support with GoCardless and PayPal so we could reach members from beyond the UK and allow them to play a part in helping SMISA grow.
Use of Election Runner has meant our large membership can make their voice heard in easy to use secure ballots.
Behind the scenes I introduced project management tools to help make the committee’s workload more manageable
I also redesigned the trust’s design identity and created the new #BuyTheBuds logo you will recognise.
My personal highlight of the last year was updating our site membership counter everyday during the bid.
What would normally be a laboriously manual task every night instead turned out to be a privilege as I kept the fanbase up-to-date with our member numbers.
Seeing the our inbox fill each day with more and more people wanting to join was an amazing backdrop to my day.
Going forward this year I want to make our membership database even better, my next project would be to begin moving our register of membership over to a more functional database that can be updated by members and allow more engagement.
It would be privilege to serve the membership again and hope you would vote for me so I can continue to advance the Trust, allow it it's membership to grow and be in a healthy and prosperous position when we do indeed bring the Club under majority fan ownership.
It’s my own fault. When I contacted SMiSA last year to say that I would prefer to pay my membership fees in a lump sum rather than by monthly direct debit I was initially told that they were in the early days of setting up systems and could only handle direct debit payments at that time.
As a retired Chartered Accountant with over 30 years in various senior Finance roles in a local whisky company, with experience of internal audit, compliance, major systems implementations, process transformation and business integrations, this was a challenge I couldn’t ignore! So I offered to help the committee on the accounting and systems side, as it was obvious that an increase from less than 200 to over 1300 members, and the increased revenue from their subscriptions, would involve a huge increase in workload and a need for more robust systems and controls than had previously sufficed.
A few months later, after having implemented a cloud based accounting system and starting to deliver regular monthly financial updates to the committee, I found myself being co-opted on to the committee. This wasn’t something I had anticipated when I initially offered to help, but I have enjoyed being at the heart of such a worthwhile project to help secure the future of the club which I have followed and supported through all the ups and downs since my father took me to my first game many many years ago.
So as a co-opted board member I now must stand for formal election by the members in order to remain on the committee. I am keen to continue the work we are doing on the administration side of things, as there is still much we can do to reduce the workload involved in maintaining the membership records, and to make it easier for members to interact with the Society.
And of course we need to ensure that members’ subscription funds continue to be properly safeguarded until the “big day”, whilst ensuring compliance with all statutory and constitutional requirements, including the legal agreements regarding the purchase of the majority shareholding in St Mirren FC Ltd.
I may not have the contacts or interest in the wider aspects of football that other candidates will bring to the board. All I really care about is that St Mirren continues to exist, under the fan ownership model that is now being pursued. But by keeping on top of the accounting and administration workload I can help new and existing board members to move SMiSA forwards by allowing them to focus on their own areas of expertise and interest.
Having stood in the Saint Mirren Director election, I was invited to attend SMISA committee meetings in an advisory role. As a lifelong supporter of the club, I naturally accepted the offer and have been working with the committee since November 2016. The greatest challenges since November involved understanding how the deal works and looking to push forward member engagement as SMISA grew well beyond previous levels.
The activities have been very much along the lines of those previously undertaken with MYFC/Ebbsfleet United. I was voted on to the club board as a society representative there and took on the ownership of some of the tougher issues. The peculiarities of the overall model had made some of these issues impossible to resolve, but the understanding still required to be passed on and the challenge made. The SMISA responsibilities are really no different to working for Scottish Water, previously being a lecturer or my time as a wrestling promoter. Contributing to a plan has always been a main focus and I am used to meetings, supporting staff or being the public face of an organisation. I’m very much used to making decisions where necessary and then explaining those later.
My time as a lecturer required me to be a good communicator, as has my time in project management. I’ve delivered training courses, led project teams and been a team leader when building and implementing new business work streams. I have experience of writing press releases and being interviewed for radio or television. I’m also used to contract management, budget control and dealing with health and safety.
When involved at Ebbsfleet I looked to develop a “Float the Fleet” fundraising campaign, which would have seen various incentives offered to members. I also looked to push community projects such as working with students and the wider associated community benefits like free tickets or fan involvement within the club.
My skills and previous experience aside, I’m looking to stand for the SMISA Trust Director position as it will allow me to further the work I’ve begun to date. I would hope to work alongside the club and local footballing community to bring greater links and engagement via SMISA. I am also keen to provide a match day presence, within the 1877 Club, and do work around capturing the views of members and bringing those to the SMISA Trust Board for consideration and discussion. That will be key to bringing votes to the members and ensuring they feel part of this journey as we move towards fan ownership of the club.
I have also developed relationships with the current Board and members of staff within the club itself. Those relationships will be important during any discussions I have, be that challenging the business as usual, looking to develop aspects of the club or initiating discussions around new practices or aspects of work.
I believe the unique experience of having had previous involvement in and around a fan owned football club makes me a good candidate.
I have been a St Mirren supporter since my dad first lifted me over the turnstiles in the mid 1960's. Since then I have become an avid St Mirren fan. I have managed to get my two daughters and my son to become avid fans. They started watching seriously during the Tom Hendrie era and since then both my daughters along with myself have been season ticket holders since 2001. My son can't get along every week due to work commitments but he goes when he can and became a SMiSA member by signing up for #buy the buds. He has also started taking his son and daughter to games. When you consider that my son in law is also a season ticket holder and a member of SMiSA then you get an idea of what a St Mirren daft family I have!
I have recently retired after working 41 years in the rail industry as an engineer. I worked in a senior management position for 20 years and as a company director for 2 and a half years. I have gained huge business experience during my time and I would love to bring the experience that I gained to help St Mirren be successful both off and on the park.
Some examples of my experience are that during my time as a director in the rail business I helped ScotRail win rail business of the year, rail operator of the year, achieve the Investors in People Gold award and deliver a train service for the Commwealth Games and Ryder Cup which was seen as huge success.
I have spent the last 6 months as part of the SMiSA volunteer group cleaning the stadium and doing other volunteer work as required by the club. I loved working with the volunteers and just knowing that I was part of a small group that was helping the club was really fulfilling for me.
I have also attended a few SMiSA weekly meetings and worked with the team in developing plans for the year 2017-2018 and beyond.
As stated previously I believe that I have a lot of experience and business skills that I would like to share with SMiSA that will help them successfully complete their bid to become the major shareholder of St Mirren football club.
If members vote for me and I am lucky enough to be elected onto the SMiSA board then I can promise that I'll work hard and do everything I can to help make SMiSA a Trust that all members and supporters are proud to be part of.