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

2018 Election


At this time, nominations are open for all positions on the Board of Directors for the CGW, Inc., with the exception of Treasurer (a two year position elected on odd 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, Eileen Smolenski at This will enable CGW members to familiarize themselves with the candidates.  Nominations from the floor during the General Meeting October 6, 2018 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 2018- 2019 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 6, 2018. 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 2018. 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.

2018-2019 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 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, containing your ballot, inside a second 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 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 up for election this year 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 website 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 Eileen Smolenski, 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 2018-2019 Board of Directors Election:



My name is Mela Hoyt-Heydon and I am running for re-election as President of CGW.  I have been honored to have served as President the last two years but have learned that two years is not enough to accomplish all that I wished for the Guild. While we are now moving into the technological 21st C, have resolved the Sister Guild situation and have continued to broaden our outreach, I still want to work towards a transparent budget and larger membership participation.




My name is Gina Cowley and I am running for Vice-President of CGW. I have been a member of CGW and volunteering at Costume College for six years. After moving up the ranks on the Check-In Committee I became Head of Check-In last year and will continue this year. My day job is the second-in-command at a chain of retail stores where I make sure that everything that needs to get done gets done.  When I am not administrating, I make custom skating dresses, costume for local theater, and teach sewing classes, and I love all things costuming. It would give me great pleasure to use my skills and experience to contribute to the Guild as a member of the Board. Please consider me for your vote!


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:

I’m Heather Pritchett, running for Corresponding Secretary. I’m the person who brought you Squeals this year. By voting for me, you are agreeing to help me make Squeals. That means over the next year you should do one of these things: 1. Write an article for Squeals about costuming. 2. Send in a picture you took that is costuming related. 3. Send in a costuming event write up. 4. Help the editor find copyright free artwork. 5. Volunteer to proof-read an article or two. 6. Be a guest editor for an issue and help hunt down articles related to your theme. Squeals isn’t made in a vacuum. It’s a team effort. I need you to be part of that team. If you can’t do that, vote for the other person.




Colleen Crosby

Hello! As Director-at-Large in the 2017-2018 year, I had ad-hoc duties (such as assisting in getting CGW a new insurance policy), I advised the current board on why policies were set previously to help the other both members decide on what to keep and what to update, and I acted as a liaison between members and the board. (I got some fabulous feedback both in Facebook groups and at the board mixer that took 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 Danelle Garrison and I’m applying for the position of Director-At-Large. I am new to CGW, but I know I can contribute to the Board. At work, I do customer service for a major biomedical company – my communication skills would come in handy. I have been a docent and event committee member at Heritage Square Museum in Los Angeles for over a decade. If you have attended and loved an event there, I probably had a hand in it! I believe my combination of skills and experience make me a good fit for Director-At-Large. I hope you consider me!


My name is Geri Rex and I am running for Director at Large.

My first Costume College was in 2013.  I was so impressed with the event that I volunteered to be on the committee that following year.  I worked as the Gala assistant in 2014, Check-in assistant 2015 and 2016, and as Head of Check-In and Assistant of Social Media 2017.

Here at home I work alongside with my 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 the Renaissance Faire and a big fan of historical costuming.

At this moment in my life I feel I can give more of my time to help CGW and it’s committee.  I hope you will consider me.


Shawn Crosby

It has been my pleasure to serve the membership as Director at Large for CGW’s 2017-2018 year! 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 also 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!