In early March, the CEC Board of Directors approved recommendations put forward by the Governance Assessment Workgroup to implement a new leadership model for CEC. The new model revises the eligibility, selection process, size, and composition of the Board of Directors.
Workgroup members, who must have been a current member of the Board, or have been a member of the Board within the three years prior to the appointment of the workgroup, are: Jim Heiden (2015 President), Chair; Robin Brewer (2014 President); Christy Chambers Burke (2013 President); Maggie McLaughlin (2014 President); Denise Drinkwalter (2011-2013 Board Member-at-Large, Canada); Jane Quenneville (Board of Directors’ Representative). Then-President and President Elect Mikki Garcia and Laurie VanderPloeg respectively, were ex officio. With a combined board service of more than three decades, the members came with an in-depth understanding of CEC’s evolving board culture and governance operations. In addition, the workgroup engaged an expert consultant to facilitate dialogue, deliberation, and recommend evidence-based resources to examine.
Prior to making its initial recommendations, the workgroup provided more than a dozen opportunities over the course of nearly a year for targeted input from members, including unit and division leaders, committee chairs, past presidents, and board members.
Following board approval of the initial set of recommendations in November, there was a six-week comment period for member input. The revised recommendations presented to the board in March took into consideration the feedback received during the comment period and reflect the voice of the members while balancing the need for the organization to be driven by its strategic plan, the evolved realities of the association sector, and the need to efficiently and effectively serve its members.
Of the approved recommendations, CEC President Laurie VanderPloeg said “My mantra is ‘with change comes opportunity.’ With a comprehensive and inclusive process for nurturing volunteer leaders and developing a leadership pipeline, this new governance model provides the opportunity for the board and committees to be more impactful in advancing CEC’s mission and strategic direction.”
Highlights of the recommendations related to the Board of Directors include:
- Board members (not officers) will continue to be elected by the membership
- The board remains accountable to the members through the member election process
- President elect and treasurer must have CEC board experience and will be board-appointed
- Potential board members will participate in a leadership development program and will be well-prepared for service on day one of their term
- Board candidates will be drawn from a pool of candidates recruited, vetted and recommended by the Leadership Development Committee (LDC) based on established Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs)
- An updated and expanded definition of diversity
- The governance model aligns with and support the strategic direction of the organization
- Governance culture will focus on strategies and outcomes rather than structure and process
The board will appoint the Leadership Development Committee by April 30, 2018 and begin its work by June 1, 2018. By late summer of 2018, the candidates for board positions will be slated for election.