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Meet the Candidates 2024

January 16, 2024 2:44 PM | OhioSMART (Administrator)

This thread contains the questions asked of the candidates, their responses, and the voting section of our by-laws.

Each applicant answered the following questions:

  1. Are you interested in running for an Officer position, an At Large Board Member Position, or both/either?
  2. List your history in the BDSM Community, including participation/leadership in special interest groups, volunteering experience, etc. Be sure to note any current BDSM leadership positions held.
  3. List any other experience you have with non-profit organizations.
  4. List any other leadership experience, in any setting.
  5. List the top three areas you would like to devote your time and energy to in order to improve OhioSMART.
  6. What specific goals do you have for your time in OhioSMART leadership?

NymphBella or just Bella

  1. Officer Position
  2. I have been in the BDSM scene since 2015. I began volunteering early on for large events like KDM and fetish flea, and eventually took over the TNG sig in 2019. During the pandemic I was approached to join the board, as a board member was leaving and have served as a board member since then and currently am the Chair.
  3. N/A
  4. In my day to day job I am in charge of direct management of staff and daily planning. I ran the Smart TNG group for SMART and have been on this board for a few years as well.
  5. This year I would really like to focus on consent based safety initiatives in the space/bringing back consent liasons, new ideas for volunteer incentives/volunteer coordination, and community engagement ideas with our SIG groups.
  6. I would like to spend my last year on the board helping create lasting protocols to keep SMART the consent based ecducational space it is but also finding new ways to bring in lasting educational opportunities for our membership to grow in their journeys. I would also like to bring back consent liasons and work through our consent policies to make them more thorough and also open and accesible to the community and those with concerns that need to be addressed.


  1. Officer position
  2. I've been an OhioSMART member for approximately 9 years, and if elected, this will be my third calendar year serving this organization. Prior to my appointment to the board, I volunteered regularly at the space, and ran the kitchen for several years for the Flea.
  3. I have volunteer experience in special interest committee for a professional organization I belong to, and a many hours of science and women's health outreach volunteering experience under my belt.
  4. In my professional life, I have been a long-term executive chef, a chef de cuisine, a team lead, lab coordinator, and manager. I have managed teams of up to 15 individuals.
  5. I think the next big frontier for OhioSMART is focusing on growth, so the thre areas I am interested in working on this year are:
  • Expanding membership, including increasing accessibility and inclusivity.
  • Continuing the trend of innovative education for the membership.
  • Increassing the number of events to keep the community involved.
  1. Using the three objectives above, my main goal during my tenure would be to continue to help provide the local community with a safe and welcoming place to learn and grow.


  1. Officer position
  2. I have been attending BDSM events for over 10 years. I have primarily attended OhioSMART but have also attended larger events such as Winter Wickedness, Southeast Leather Fest, Power Exchange Summit, and more. I have been on the board for SMART in 2022 as well as a prior year of which I don't quite recall. I served in an At Large position both times. I am also the coleader of the SMART Queers SIG
  3. I have been on the board of directors for OhioSMART
  4. I was part of a planning committee that developed a large first-year event which continued for at least the following 2 years which I also helped to plan. I have been both an assistant instructor and full Black Belt instructor at a martial arts school in which I was in charge of leading classes for a variety of ages and skill levels. I have been on the OhioSMART board of directors twice prior.
    • I would like to see party attendance grow
  • I would like to do more community outreach.
  • I would like to help minimize volunteer/board burn-out"
  1. I would like to help our organization continue to grow and develop. I want it to continue to be a safe place where people can have fun, feel safe, learn new things, and feel welcome.


  1. At-Large position
  2. Starting problematic at 19, doing unsafe things with partners and finding fetlife as more of a dating platform till I was spooked off for a while. Them internet doms of the 2010s aint it lol I was telling Kai about how at like 20, I saw yall at akron's pride one year and it really was the first spark of: "wow, theres a community outside of gay leather men/pups?". Mind blown! However, I wasn't not fully comfortable to explore that yet. At 22, I had alot of life changes that included caring more about myself. I started to learn more about the community and how to engage with it. Grad school took me out of the game till 26, where I dropped out and started to live a real life. I went to a few munches and smart's new space celebrations after covid lock downs. I think I attended one of the last first-timers and space tours we had at smart in like march of 2021? Ever since then, I've been attending at Smart and only recently tried a very crowded afa event after their "vendor con". So far, I've only ever been an attendee at kink events.
  3. Honestly, I don't have a ton of nonprofit exp. Much of my work was done in a graduate student capacity at for profit research orgs or in tandem with non-profits. That in-tandem work though was a partnership where I either asked them to give folks my study to do or for teaching engagements to the community. The most impact I had was in Cleveland and Akron for my master's thesis. Unfortunately, the ivory tower isn't as community or justice oriented as I thought it was with a high slant towards capitalist neo-liberal companies and for profit charities that only help people if they can prove their need. Then I needed to grind to pay for my student debt and this wedding at the same time, so my overall ability to volunteer in the last 3 yrs has been def limited. With one out of the way and the search for a new job, things are looking up and free-er than before for me ;)
    I've volunteered at conventions like colossalcon and psych conferences along with organizing support and focus groups before. Much of that was help with set up/take down of rooms and membership/ticket verification. I've taught STI info sessions with testing in partnership with UH and CC at assisted living and group home settings for older adults and at akron/cle's lgbt centers. But thats about it. This next year I really want to change that! I've been looking into not only this, but also volunteering at places like food not bombs.
  4. My life and career was pretty stagnated by grad school, since I didn't have the bandwidth to do a ton of outside org work; unless, being a dungeon master counts lol I def regret a lot of my unpaid school education and find I have less leadership exp or I am behind what folks my age would be expected to have done. Many of the things I do have exp in include leadership skills without an title or prestige attached to it. In my psych research, I've managed teams of 5 to 7 folks with consistent updates as a principle investigator (grad) and coordinator (undergrad). We met plenty of university and outside org imposed deadlines for publications, grants, and conferences. In addition, I always took on the book-keeping and expense report requirements imposed by grants/uni funding. At work, I've had a couple of supervisory roles at less fun places like Marc's and Viaquest (my least favorite mental health type job. Its why I'm at a trucking co now). Viaquest was a smaller team of 4 folks including myself and my manager. I ensured the notes/medical coding was accurate per our company standards and folks were showing up/leaving to their shifts on time. It was basically a BS position without a pay raise or title given to me because I volunteered to help more with an overworked manager. On my current resume, it was a BIG legit deal lol Currently, I am not a supervisor at my job. However, I independently manage a variety of client's and terminal's accounts as a operation accounts payable/settlements at my current job. I frequently have virtual meetings/calls with folks across the us about their quarterly statements, payroll for drivers, and changes from regulatory bodies at the fed and state level. I audit, create, and reconcile or dispute invoices that can be either 3rd party billed or taken from the terminal's profits (all made in house by me). Generally, I prefer a blend of hands on updates that don't waste folks time without micromanaging. I trust folks to get their work done and will check in at weekly intervals via email, text, or a 5 to 15 min phone/zoom call. People are capable and hired for a reason, so I feel like micromanaging harms folk's moral and makes them hate you. Therefore, a more interactive feedback system with an open door policy for questions or concerns is better for me. I know its not ideal for everyone, so actively asking folks preferences and needs is important! With bigger meetings, the can serve as check ins for monthly goals and for big milestones or when serious problems arise. It works better in my exp to have weekly tangible goals than to tell someone to get a whole project done by June. Not everyone is good at hands off management, so if daily tasks are needed then its an easy pivot to make. My constant goal at work is to reduce the amount of meetings that could be emails. The best approach in my opinion is honesty and owning up to your strengths along with faults/errors.
  5. I notice a ton of folks come to hangout, which is nice. Community and connection is so important. However, folks are paying to come and play or learn at the space. There's a ton of factors that stop folks from playing together but I think the biggest ones are alot of people are either afraid of rejection or don't know the socially appropriate 'rules' of negotiating with folks you know or have watched before but aren't in a dynamic. either revamping previously used ways of getting folks together or doing a round table with members for feedback of ways to improve/wanted things would be a great starting place.
  • Participation and engagement at events;
  • Potentially the TNG group as I was told that needs more help there;
  • expanding the courses taught and networking for guest speakers.

Plus, I absolutely adored the folks coming in from Cincy to talk to us. I think a lot more of events like that along with some marketing can bring more folks in. "
I'd love to use my networking skills to boost membership and participation; in addition to bringing more folks in for teaching engagements at smart this year. After I get my job and ensure there isn't any morality clause BS in there, then do another role like treasurer for 2025.
6. I'd love to use my networking skills to boost membership and participation; in addition to bringing more folks in for teaching engagements at smart this year. After I get my job and ensure there isn't any morality clause BS in there, then do another role like treasurer for 2025.


  1. Both/Either
  2. I started at OhioSMART in 2018. Throughout that time, I volunteered as a PSM, at Fetish Flea, and assisted in opening and closing at the old dungeon. Prior to COVID-19 I assisted in a Board Alternate role and came back in 2022 as the Munch Coordinator after the position became vacant. During this past year I have assisted OhioSMART with their marketing, planning for Fetish Flea, and taught two educational classes at the new space. Outside of OhioSMART, I attend Dark Odyssey Summer Camp (2021 – 2023) and Fusion (2023) events. When attending, I stay with a group called The Compound and remain socially engaged with the group throughout the year. When at camp, I tend to act as a runner for supplies and generally volunteer when my skills and time align with group need. Finally, when individuals from other orgs need a hand and reach out, I will work with them on mini projects. For example, I just completed a small marketing insert for Titans of the Midwest.
  3. I have professionally worked with and in nonprofits for over 14+ years. In addition, I have a Masters in Nonprofit Administration with an emphasis on a Leadership in Nonprofits. I have planned events for over 2,000+ individuals and delt in annual budgets over $100,000+ in my roles. As far as staff and vendors, I have led staffs of over 30+ and have vetted vendors from start to completion in all my roles post grad school. I have experience handling professional debit/credit cards and with reconciling budget lines with accounting. Finally, I have volunteering for nonprofits in some capacity since high school. Outside of kink, I currently am volunteering with Flaming River Con (which I hope you all came to the recent Panel OhioSMART hosted with them!).
  4. At work the sole administrator of several systems, so I lead multiple projects on those systems throughout our company. As a project lead, I am often heading up multiple plans in other departments that involve the system I work in (In addition to my own system projects). In my previous field, I was a mentor to younger professionals in the field and sat on a nonprofit leadership council in a strategic role which was responsible for a membership of over 6,000 individuals.
  5. Disclaimer: These areas are not listed in order of importance, but just listed.
    My first area would be outreach and education. I would really like to get OhioSMART back out to presenting at local CONS. Prior to COVID-19, we were presenting at Flaming River Con, Con on the Cob, etc. and I would like to see OhioSMART get back to that.
    My second area would be education. I would like to see presenters coming in with a diverse range of topics from all over that are interesting to our membership.
    My third area would be garnering feedback from membership. I think there are a wide range of topics which need to be readdressed and reassessed in the new space: educational opportunities, accessibility, volunteering, SIGS, etc. But we can’t do that without membership feedback. "
  6. Specific goals which align with the areas mentioned above, if you have additional questions, please ask, I can get more in depth: Have a specific feedback form for individuals to fill out to garner feedback on topics pertaining to OhioSMART, then have an Open House to address, assess and vote on possible outcomes from feedback. Get us back to hosting panels on consent and basic BDSM principles at Cons, starting with Cleveland Concoction in March (if we are accepted). Outline classes for the year, starting in earlier and months in advance to help us pinpoint who can come and teach to budget and get presenters in on time.


2. Current at-large board member of Ohio SMART
3. Treasurer of CLE local body of OTO (fraternal org) for 9+ years, facilitator of Our Proud & Pagan SIG at CLE LGBT Center
4. -
5. Business operations, POS workflow, Outreach through adjacent groups
6. Keep this bird flying

Each Active, Founding and Emeritus Member shall have one vote in the election of the Board of Directors. Such votes may be conducted during the annual meeting of the membership as permitted by resolution of the Board of Directors.

No member may vote whose annual membership dues are unpaid. Membership must be current as of the Monday of the week voting occurs.

All members in attendance will first have an opportunity to ask questions of any of the candidates on the ballot, though members are encouraged to ask questions via the online forums ahead of the meeting time.

Members will first receive a ballot to elect up to 3 individuals from the Officer ballot. If someone attempts to elect more than 3 individuals, that ballot will be invalid and not counted in the final results.

Once the Officers are announced, voting will then commence for the At-Large ballot. If a candidate is listed on both the Officer and At-Large ballot, but is elected on the Officer ballot, they are no longer eligible for an At-Large position. Members may vote for up to 2 individuals on the At-Large ballot. If someone attempts to elect more than 2 individuals, that ballot will be invalid and not counted in the final results.

Post questions to the candidates below, reach out to us on FetLife or email at for questions about the meeting itself, and we hope to see you on Saturday, 1/20/24!

Contact Us!


☎  440.732.8317

OhioSMART is a 501c(7) non-profit organization.

Mailing Address:
PO Box 602643
Cleveland, OH 44102

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