Report From the October 2021 ESA Governing Board Meeting

November 10, 2021

The ESA Governing Board meets at least four times per year to discuss strategic initiatives, oversee the work of staff and volunteers, and advance new ideas to benefit the Society. A summary of activities is published after each meeting to inform members about board activities and decisions.

The Governing Board held a hybrid meeting on October 30 at Entomology 2021. During the meeting, the board took the following actions:

  • Approved a plan from the presidential line to solicit feedback from members on a series of Branch-related proposals;
  • Approved changes to the ESA Honorary Member program, including the adoption of a new rubric for the judging panel;
  • Approved a revised Arthropod Biodiversity Position Statement and a revised Endangered Insect Species Position Statement;
  • Moved to adopt a new ESA Ethics Statement and Policy to collectively replace the ESA Ethics Statement, Code of Conduct, Diversity and Inclusion Statement, and Policy Regarding Allegations of Ethical or Personal Misconduct by Honorees and Potential Honorees;
  • Approved the 2022 budget from the ESA Finance Committee;
  • Approved a one-time exemption of the Section funding ceiling to allow the SysEB Section to address a backlog of student research travel award funds that have yet to be disbursed due to pandemic-related delays;
  • Approved reports from the Branches, Sections, and a variety of committees and approved the May and September Governing Board minutes and the June and September Executive Committee minutes.

The Board also discussed the following topics:

  • Lewis-Burke Associates led a discussion about the Society’s advocacy in Washington, DC, noting 2021 highlights such as welcoming Senator Angus King (I-ME) for a 1-on-1 interview webinar and the inclusion of ESA’s language in the NSF Reauthorization Act.
  • Staff provided an update on strategic initiatives, including the Professional Advancement Career Training (PACT) Initiative and plans to keep the Grand Challenges Agenda for Entomology initiative operating virtually until the 2023 ESA Annual Meeting in Maryland.
  • The board discussed a report by the ESA Committee on Ethics and Rules, which was endorsed by the ESA Diversity and Inclusion Committee, that outlined the need for the Society to adopt a stronger code of ethics.
  • The board reviewed the year-to-date financial reports and discussed ESA’s budgeting philosophies, noting that ESA remains in a comfortable financial position as it closes out 2021.
  • Staff provided updates on a revenue diversification opportunity that the Society has been considering.
  • The board met in executive session to perform the annual review of the senior staff executive.
  • Updates on the Publications Department, Better Common Names Project, and Annual Meeting program were shared and discussed.
  • The board considered a number of updates to the Society’s Policies and Procedures Manual but opted to delay approval to allow more time for discussion.

Following this, the 2022 Board convened. The Board welcomed new members Don Weber and Todd Murray and congratulated Jennifer Henke on her new role as vice president-elect. Melissa Willrich-Siebert and Andrew Short were elected to the Executive Committee, and then the Board discussed the 2022 Annual Meeting.

The ESA Governing Board also convened as the ESA Certification Corporation Governing Board. Discussion topics included the pandemic’s impacts on the certification program, 2022 goals, and the launch of the certified IPM technician program. The board approved the ESA Certification Board slate, the 2022 budget, and the minutes from the June 2021 meeting.

The Board also held a brainstorming session on Monday, November 1, to discuss the ideal leadership structure of the ESA Governing Board. Topics included what programs and growth areas the Society should target in the coming years, what qualities individual members should have, and how to train or recruit ideal candidates.

Members with questions about the outcomes from the October 2021 Governing Board meeting can contact ESA Executive Director Chris Stelzig at

See past news and updates from the ESA Governing Board.

Minutes from past Governing Board meetings are available online following Governing Board approval.

For more info, visit the ESA Governing Board page.