SLA Board Names de Stricker, Shamel Interim Executives

Pair Will Serve as ‘Change Agents’ to Keep SLA Moving Forward

Alexandria, Virginia, 13 January 2015—The SLA Board of Directors has tapped two longtime association members with extensive experience in strategic consulting to serve as interim executives and help keep SLA moving forward until a permanent executive is hired.

Cindy Shamel, head of Shamel Information Services in Poway, California, will serve as interim executive director. Ulla de Stricker, president of de Stricker Associates in Toronto, will serve as interim strategic director.

Cindy and Ulla, who have collaborated on several consulting projects in the past, were selected from among five individuals and teams that expressed interest in working with the SLA Board and staff to develop and implement ideas to maximize benefits to members. They will report regularly to the SLA Board and the Executive Committee on their progress in identifying opportunities in the areas of marketplace positioning and viability, membership and revenue growth, organizational structure, and conference modeling.

The agreement with de Stricker and Shamel is for one year, though the SLA Board has the option to extend the contract if it believes that doing so would be in the association’s best interests.

“We are excited about the opportunities, but cognizant that we are only in the beginning stage of a transformation that will require concerted and lasting effort,” the two consultants said. “We look forward to working with the SLA staff to serve the association and its members.”

The two will attend the SLA Leadership Summit in Baltimore later this month. After the Summit, they will visit SLA headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, which is close to Baltimore.

Cindy and Ulla were recommended to the SLA Board by a Transition Committee assembled in 2014 by then-SLA President Kate Arnold. The committee was formed to help ensure a smooth progression to new operational leadership beginning in 2015. The committee members are Jill Strand, SLA’s president; John DiGilio, SLA’s treasurer; Tara Murray, past division cabinet chair on the SLA Board; Debbie Schachter, a former member of the SLA Board; and Bill Noorlander, a member of SLA’s Finance Committee.

With the hiring of de Stricker and Shamel, the Transition Committee will now turn its attention to fulfilling its other responsibilities, as follows:

  • To prepare a plan for hiring a new executive officer, including a recommendation on the charge for a Search Committee;
  • To develop a draft compensation and executive officer review policy; and
  • To develop a communications plan in collaboration with SLA staff.

“There is still much work to do during this transition period, but I am excited that we now have two people with a track record of consulting success to act as change agents and help the board continue moving SLA forward,” Jill Strand said. “The Transition Committee and the SLA Board are confident that Cindy and Ulla will have a positive and long-lasting impact on our operations.”

About SLA
The Special Libraries Association (SLA) is a nonprofit international organization for innovative information professionals and their strategic partners. SLA serves information professionals in more than 60 countries and in a range of working environments, including business, academia and government agencies. SLA promotes and strengthens its members through learning, advocacy and networking initiatives. For more information, visit

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