2020 National Election Results


President: Michael Bedford, AAGO, ChM
Vice President/Councillor for Competitions and New Music: Jonathan Ryan, FAGO, ChM
Secretary/Councillor for Communications: Leslie Wolf Robb, CAGO
Treasurer/Councillor for Finance and Development: John S. Dixon, CAGO
Councillor for Education: Vincent Carr, AAGO, ChM
Councillor for Membership: Vicki J. Schaeffer
Councillor for Conventions: Nicole Marane
Councillor for Young Organists: Jillian Gardner


Great Lakes Region: Caron Farmer, AAGO
Mid-Atlantic Region: Wayne L. Wold, AAGO
North Central Region: Karen Black
Northeast Region: Leslie C. Smith, CAGO
Southeast Region: Sue Mitchell-Wallace, FAGO
Southwest Region: Sheryl Sebo, AAGO
West Region: Skye Hart

The newly elected 2020–22 National Council will look very different from the 2018–20 Council, as a majority of the members will be serving their first terms in positions they have never previously held. Only two of the eight nationally elected members of the 2018–20 AGO National Council were eligible to be renominated. AGO President Michael Bedford, reelected to serve a third term, is the only incumbent returning to the same office.

Vice President/Councillor for Competitions Eileen Hunt, who had served for four years with distinction, was narrowly defeated by Jonathan Ryan. Also newly elected to the Council are Councillor for Conventions Nicole Marane, Councillor of Education Vincent Carr, and Treasurer/Councillor for Finance and Development John Dixon. Leslie Wolf Robb, who was elected Secretary/Councillor for Communications, rejoins the National Council, having previously served on it as Regional Councillor for the Far West Region (2010–14) and as Convener of the Regional Councillors (2012–14). Vicki Schaeffer, who served on the National Council as Chair of the Board of Regional Councillors (BRC) in 2018–20 during her third and final term as Southwest RC, continues on the National Council as the new Councillor for Membership.

The AGO membership overwhelmingly approved a bylaws amendment to appoint an AGOYO member to the National Council as Councillor for Young Organists, increasing the number of voting members on Council to nine. Jillian Gardner, who served as a nonvoting AGOYO representative to both the NC and the BRC this past term, was elected to the new position and will now serve with both voice and vote.

The 2020–22 Council will be complete when the 2020–22 Board of Regional Councillors elects one of its own members to serve as its chair. That person will then serve on the Council with voice and vote.

In addition to Eileen Hunt, we extend our sincere thanks to the other retiring members of the National Council: Secretary/Councillor for Communications Mary Stutz, Treasurer/Councillor for Finance and Development Barbara Adler, Councillor for Education Don Cook, Councillor for Membership David Lamb, and Councillor for Conventions Michael Velting.

Two of the seven incumbent Regional Councillors completed three terms (six years) of service and will be rotating off the Board of Regional Councillors. For their exceptional service, we extend our heartfelt thanks to retiring RCs Karl Bruhn (Great Lakes) and Matthew Burt (West). We warmly welcome to the BRC three newly elected RCs: Caron Farmer (Great Lakes), Skye Hart (West), and Sheryl Sebo (Southwest). We are delighted to welcome back to the BRC the four incumbents who were eligible to serve another term and were all reelected: Leslie Smith (Northeast), Wayne Wold (Mid-Atlantic), Karen Black (North Central), and Sue Mitchell-Wallace (Southeast).

Congratulations to all of the newly elected National Council members and Regional Councillors. We also extend our heartfelt thanks to the 14 other candidates who agreed to have their names placed in nomination in this election. Through their willingness to serve the membership for two years if they had been elected, they, too, demonstrated their unwavering dedication to the AGO.

Total vote counts and election statistics will be published in the July issue of The American Organist.


  1. Roberta Rowland-Raybold says:

    Thanks for notifying us of these results.

    • James Thomashower says:

      You’re welcome, Roberta. We have added a summary of the results at the top of the page.

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