I was recently asked by a new member, "Before I accept the nomination, can you tell me what does this board position with OCC entail?" I put some thought into it, and here's my initial stab. Obviously the bylaws define each position briefly, and any potential officer should look there first, but here's one board members expounded view on the position description for a position on the OCC Board.
In reality, I think the required commitment is minimum about 2 hours a month, plus at least 30+ minutes a week on e-mail/phone/etc in any given month you are not wheeling or participating in an event. When you are participating it means lending an additional hand, maybe showing up a little early, or bringing something, or calling the ranger station or off-road park a few days ahead of time, etc. And then about three times a year, likely for the summer party, the holiday party, and one other event you'll be putting in a few hours of time to buy food, get tables, coordinate a hall, find a vendor, etc.
As a board member you need to:
- Almost nothing.
- If you miss a lot of board meetings, board votes, don't answer e-mails, and don't wheel that much, or really get involved, but put in some minimal effort, etc., life goes on for the club. BUT, that's clearly not the point of accepting a commitment to be on the board of OCC. I just point out that there is little real "requirement" and even littler recourse for failure.
- and at any time when life explodes on you or gets too busy, we understand when you man-up and say "I can no longer meet my commitments and need to drop out." It has happened in the past, and we understand - it's a social club and a hobby, not a job or a career.
- make a majority of the meetings (most board members have missed one or two meetings, and the rest of us cover.) but expect to make 9 or 10 unless life happens or something big comes up in your life.
- Perform a few position specific tasks:
- For President: Set the agenda for the year, and for each meeting. Preside over membership meetings (monthly), and board meetings (as needed). Determine what and when the board needs to vote on things or make decisions, manage deliberation and then hold the vote. Coordinate who will lead in executing what events, etc.,
- Vice-President: Realize that you have no set duties other than to be ready to step in for the President, so find some way to pick up slack for one or more of the other busy board members, take on a major project, or otherwise help the board, the club, and its members.
- Member-at-Large (MAL): A busy man, the MAL is part Rush Chairman, part Web Master and part Master Trail master. The MAL is in charge of maintaining the website, controlling access to the Yahoo Groups Mailing List, managing the induction of new members, managing the Trail Boss Award, and anything else that has to do with members. I'm still not sure why the MAL has so many tasks and the other board positions don't.
- Treasurer: maintain the books, collect dues, pay bills, pay VA4WDA and other umbrella organization dues, maintain tax exempt records, keep receipts, manage the budget, keep us out of jail, etc.
- Secretary: take minutes (or arrange for them to be taken in your absence) and make sure they get posted, maintain the official records: roster of members, by-laws, maintain sign-in records and keep track of who has attended what, in order to answer if anyone has officially "met member requirements," etc.,
- Ex-President: Primary duty is to remind the president that the ex-president gets a vote, and the president does not. Usually given a lot of leeway to not do too much, but advise the president and board for continuity sake. The position ensures we don't get a brand new board and have no historical knowledge of even the previous year.
Kind of expected:
- Be an active participant in decisions of the club, voice your opinions and help guide where we should go. This also requires some amount of listening to members and determining what needs to be done, and what is in the best interest of the organization and/or its members.
- Be an active communicator, by e-mail, phone, face-to-face, SMS/text message, or whatever means, but be able and willing to communicate with and respond to the members and the rest of the board.
- Help out with making group things happen. Understand that OCC "does not do committees" and that effectively means the board is "the committee" for everything that must be done. Be willing to work on getting a liquor license for the year end party, or buying some food on your way to the summer picnic, etc. We can find members to volunteer to get things done, but the board must follow up and fill in when needed.
- If you suggest something new, or suggest or vote that we "should" do something, be willing to take at least a 1/6th share in making it happen or getting the ball rolling. Don't devote your life or all your free time to OCC, but don't sit there and expect others to pull all the weight.
- If you are failing to meet your OCC obligations because life/work/family is getting in the way for a majority of the year (this will happen for periods of time for all of us, but when it becomes the norm) - or worse OCC is getting in the way of life/work/family - then bow out respectfully mid-course.
(not required, especially new board members, but we kind of need 2-3 out of the 6 of us in this zone at any one time, and throughout the year, especially since life means at any one time there are 1-3 of us that can't be in this zone, in order to maintain the rest of our life in balance)
- Put some significant effort into at least one additional thing outside of your 'assigned' duties during the year. Take lead to organize and execute the 101/201 run, or put together a T-Shirt gear and sticker order, or work on getting sponsors for a huge raffle at the year end party, etc.
- Be the face of OCC to new/prospective members drawing in new energy and new blood to the club. Figure out some way to reach and attract new members and increase our rolls.
- Attend a lot of events (wheeling, wrenching, meetings, etc.), lend a helping hand, bring members together, get them wheeling and wrenching instead of bikering on e-mail, and focus on "value to the members" of the club, thus making it a better place, and in turn energizing the existing membership to be more active.
Extra / Super Cool / Super Human:
- Take something that needs to be completely overhauled and remake it or start it anew for OCC. For example, Ryan built a whole new web page in 2009. Well above expectations, but he wants to do it, and its a huge cool gift for the club. Or for another example: Barbara and the board in 2008 went through the legal work to get us official legal non-profit status, or the 2004 board went through the "legislative" process of a major by-laws update, rewrite, and approval process.
- Accomplish one or more key events for the club that don't need to be done but folks really appreciate. Examples might include going all out on the sponsorship drive and get the club a huge raffle, finding a sponsor who will provide us with some club gear (a field welder, a couple of pop-up awnings, free first aid / first responder bags, etc.), work with a news reporter or four wheeling magazine to get us featured in the press or a magazine article, or Keep track of pictures all year and put together a video for the year end party, or some other thing you like to do and what to do for the club.
Feel free to ask others their opinion as well, many members have served on the board, and many know what they think they want the board to do for them. Also, be aware, co-workers early on in my professional life and consistently throughout my career have identified that I have a way of making simple things sound complicated. I think its mostly a joy to be on the board, I feel good about helping out and making the organization better for its members, and for the most part I don't notice a lot of these things as "requirements" or "expectations." They just need to be done, and I have the opportunity to do it. I hope this helps you understand the board a little more.