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2023 Suri Network Election

Welcome to the online information center for the 2023 Suri Network Board of Trustees Election! Here you will find information on each of the candidates running for election, as well as an outline of the electronic voting process.  Below the Trustee Job Description, you will find this year's Trustee Candidate Statements. More information on how and when to vote will also be emailed directly to each member by Simply Voting, the organization managing our election process.

This year we have 5 candidates running for 2 Suri Network Board of Trustee positions each with 3 year terms.  Karen Ball, Randy Brealey, Nikki Griffith, Beth Sheets, and Liz Vahlkamp,  will be returning to the Board.   The terms of Michelle Pressler and Laurel Shouvlin are ending. The 2023 candidates for the Board election are Jason Brehm, Bob Figular, Candy McMahan, Leslie Rebtoy, and Laurel Shouvlin.

Scroll down to view the 2023 Suri Network Board Trustee Candidates' statements. Members will be notified when the electronic vote opens at the end of May. Links to vote will be included in that email. Usually votes must be cast within 2 weeks of the start of the vote.  Results will be tabulated and announced shortly after the voting period is completed. Please watch for the upcoming election email.

Suri Network Board of Trustees – Trustee Job Description

The Suri Network, is a 501(c)(5) organization, governed by a seven member Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees has legal responsibility for all activities of the organization. Responsibilities of Board members include, but are not limited to:

  • Understand and make financial decisions for the organization.
  • Provide consideration of and decision-making concerning proposed policies and activities.
  • Prepare budgets for specific areas of responsibilities.
  • Assume coordination of specific projects, which could include:
    Planning and implementing the annual Suri Network Symposium and Fleece Show
    b. Serving as editor for PurelySuri magazine, including solicitation of articles, editing, and layout and recruitment/coordination of advertising volunteers
    Planning and coordinating fundraising eventsd.Planning and conducting the annual membership drive
    Ensuring that promotional materials are current and available
    f. Maintaining the Suri Network website
    Planning and coordinating Suri Network educational webinars
    Preparing Suri Network membership newsletters, news briefs, and email blasts
    i. Serving as liaison with the Suri Network Product Development Committee
    j. Coordinating and leading Suri Network Rallies at various alpaca shows
    Ensuring that the Suri Network Members Facebook Group and Suri Network Facebook page are active and up to date
    I. Soliciting donations for Suri Network auctions and events
    m. Serving as liaison with the Suri Herd Improvement Program committee
    n. Serving as liaison with the Branding Committee
    o. Managing Suri Network Intellectual Property
  •  Assist in implementation of above stated projects.
  • Represent the Suri Network to members and non-members.

    The following skills and
    abilities are desired:
  • leadership skills
  • strong and positive communication skills
  • decision making skills
  • computer literacy
  • social networking
  • marketing skills
  • ability to relate in a constructive way with a wide variety of people

    The estimated time commitment for members of the Board is approximately 15-20 hours per month. In addition, the Board holds regular monthly meetings via conference call. Potential Board members should be aware that there is and will be no financial remuneration for their work on the Board.

2023 Suri Network Boaard of Trustees Candidates' Statements

The Trustee Candidates were asked the following questions:

1. What do you feel you bring to the Suri Network Board that would enhance and strengthen the Suri Network's support of Suri breeders?

2. If you had one sentence to summarize your potential contribution to the Suri Network, what would it be?

3. What would you like the Suri Network to look like in 3 years and how will you help it get there?

4. What is one strength of the Suri Network that you feel should be built upon and how can you help do that?

5. What is one challenge that the Suri Network faces and how do you believe you can help to address it?


1-I feel that I have the business experience and mind set to help move the Suri Network forward. 

2-My point of view as a breeder and a business owner can bring more to the table and help Suri breeders focus on the goals and vision for the future of Suri Network and the membership. 

3-In 3 years I want to see Suri Network advertising more in the high end clothing magazines and wedding magazines. Also the membership needs to grow, with new growth comes new opportunity.

4-Suri Network needs to appeal to all Suri breeders… The want and need are there but the education for the breeders is what is lacking. More education in breeding choices, fiber guilty and consistency. These are all items that appeal to a Suri breeder and need to be capitalized on.

5- answered above in question 4.

Bob Figular

1. As a small business owner with 35+ years of experience, I bring an analytical approach to problem-solving, a mastery of digital marketing and sales, and the ability to communicate effectively with people from various backgrounds.

2. Help advance the Suri Network’s reach in a digital world.

3. Enjoying Financially stable with predictable growth – I have extensive experience growing brands and maximizing financial opportunities while building their customer base. I can help take the Suri Network to the next level by identifying potential opportunities and developing and implementing a strategic plan.

4. Brand awareness – The Suri Network is currently doing many things right! However, with a fresh set of eyes focusing on our digital footprint, I see continued growth opportunities. One area of focus could be an educational series that would concentrate on new farms and breeders. By repurposing current collateral materials, building an online solution to grow our email list, and making people more aware of the Suri brand, we could grow our network of alpaca farms and create additional demand for their products.

5. Effective Digital Communication – I believe people should do what they do best, and technology should be used where it is best suited. Let me explain – From a digital viewpoint utilizing automation makes ongoing communication effortless. Whether it is an automated email membership campaign, following up on an informational web series, or distributing marketing materials on a predetermined schedule. Current technology allows you to build out these solutions once, and they can work 24/7 in the background, freeing up people and resources. By utilizing digital analytics, you can quickly determine who opened the email, if they clicked on any provided links, demographics, interests, and what device they are using. This information can be used to make the Suri Network more effective in all future engagements. I can help turn this vision into reality.

Candy McMahan

1. Over the 16 years we have been in the industry we have met folks with different visions and ideas about their alpaca ownership journey. From developing a seed stock herd to simply owning their suri herd to enjoy the beauty. We should be open to learn and embrace all aspects of suri alpaca ownership. I am open minded and a team player with a strong work ethic and committed to exceling at the task at hand.

2. Seeing the glass half full as opposed to half empty.

3. Boost membership. Try to build on and refresh what past board members have established in hopes of increasing our SN membership numbers. I feel offering educational opportunities would be a way to
entice new members and encourage existing member to renew annually. Get the fiber out of storage
and into production in some form or fashion.

4. Education and marketing. We have a very forward thinking community. Keep the wheels turning.
Expounding and improving what we have in place via online speakers, especially would like to see virtual
fiber arts demos. Get the fiber into production!

5. Enticing those suri breeders that are not members of the SN to join and encouraging current members to renew. I am sure this has been discussed in depth over the years. Perhaps a committee to divide and conquer the list of those that have dropped out. Again, try to continue the good work previous board members have laid out. Also reiterate to current members regarding the free annual membership to any farm that purchases their first suri as well as “GET THE WORD OUT” program. I look at it as a team (suri owners), “team work makes dreams work”!

Leslie Rebtoy

1. Time is the most precious commodity we have.  It is finite.  When someone gives you their time that is a gift without measure as they cannot recoup that. I had listened to a talk recently about this and about giving back without any thought of personal reward as the reward is in the giving.  It spoke to me about all of the wonderful people I have met in this incredible journey of owning alpacas and that it is now time for me to give back.  I feel that becoming engaged and helping others to also is a place to start.

2.  I am an enthusiast and am not afraid of challenges.

3.  I would like to see a well rounded, robust organization that has taken the breed to the next level.  More education on many levels (fiber, the livestock model, breeding and husbandry) as showing is a small fraction of what we are. 

4. All of the work that was put into getting the trademark sets us apart.  Now we need to utilize it and grow it.  Suris are a fleece animal first and foremost so that is where I would place my attention.  

5. It is not just the SURI Network but the industry as a whole.  We need to develop and engage new people.  Get them involved through support and education.  There are many avenues here through the fiber end, the youth end and the livestock model.  I feel the beginning of a new era in the fleece with the trademark SURI Simply Stunning and in all aspects of our daily lives we have opportunities that arise where we can share this with fiber artists, textile enthusiasts and others. 

Laurel Shouvlin

1.  Most important is my enthusiasm and interest in advancing the alpaca industry. I am a hard and committed worker who is willing to hear and consider different perspectives. I enjoy working with others to build consensus and bring positive ideas and concepts forward. I am not afraid to share my perspective but am always courteous in doing so.

I have been a Suri breeder who has been involved in all levels of the alpaca industry over the past 26 years.  As a mentor I hear the needs and concerns of smaller breeders and owners who have alpacas for fun. As a former AOA Board Director, I understand the challenges facing the industry nationally. As a fiber artist, I possess first-hand appreciation for the ways that Suri fiber can be utilized. As a certified AOA Judge, I bring the knowledge of proper conformation and advanced fiber traits along with the appreciation for the show ring and its importance to the industry.

For the last 3 years I have been part of 3 great Suri Network Board of Trustees teams. As Treasurer, I revamped the financials to improve clarity of our financial activities. I updated the website to enhance access to the organization’s works. With a fantastic team I have helped ensure the continued success of our fleece show, and with the incredible commitment and hard work of Dale Davis, I have helped continue the success of our flagship publication, Purely Suri.

 2.  I play well with others and have worked hard for the Suri Network over the last 3 years.

 3. I think the key to survival for all alpaca associations is to make ourselves relevant to as many alpaca owners as possible, especially those who are currently detached from the various alpaca organizations. I believe providing educational resources is vital to creating relevance and building membership rolls. Saying that, I would like to see the Suri Network build on its educational opportunities. This would not only assist fellow Suri owners, but possibly increase new Suri ownership. Engaging youth is also essential, but I feel this might be better left to AOA with the Suri Network implementing and assisting with ideas and innitiatives that National brings forward. It is important not to bite off more than our board and association can chew.

 4.  We have been blessed with great Boards and volunteers who have made The Suri Network forward thinking and incredibly innovative. I think it is critical to keep building on that creativity and energy. The Breed Standard, SHIP program, Suri Simply Stunning program, and the new videos our Fiber Committee created are excellent examples of that. Again, educational opportunities and material as have been offered in the recent past are wonderful and should be expanded.

5.  In a single word “Membership”. Membership drives an organization as a source for volunteers, new ideas, different perspectives, and, of course, dollars. I am hoping that by assisting with the development of educational opportunities and continuing that strong tradition of thinking outside the box, we can increase membership, Suri ownership, and begin an upward spiral to build the Suri Network.

Suri Network
Phone: (970) 586-5876
Fax: (970) 591-0007

P.O. Box 1984

Estes Park, Colorado

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Suri Network

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