Frequently Asked Questions
To help you better understand the process and more actively participate in it, Association Forum has compiled answers to members' most common nominating queries:
What board positions must be filled this year?
There are four vacancies on the 2020-2021 Board of Directors. Association Forum is seeking nominations for one officer position — Secretary-Treasurer — two association professional seats and one supplier partner seat.
Who is the ideal board candidate?
There is no "ideal" board candidate. Instead, Association Forum wants its board to include individuals with diverse work, life, social and educational backgrounds so that it can make well-rounded decisions that reflect its entire membership. Association Forum seeks true diversity — in terms of age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, industry, location and work roles — in its board.
What criteria will the Nominating Committee use to select board candidates?
The only requirement of board candidates is that they are a member of Association Forum with sufficient leadership and management experience. Assuming they meet membership requirements, the Nominating Committee will evaluate board candidates based on their background, including their credentials, past leadership experience and association industry tenure; their Association Forum experience, including their past involvement in Association Forum committees and programs; and their personal characteristics, including their communication skills, leadership style and commitment to diversity.
Because potential candidates don't always know what the committee looks for in a board member, the Nominating Committee has made its selection criteria very clear. There are five items:
- Background: What kind of association do you serve? Do you have previous board experience? Do you have a CAE?
- Association Forum experience: How long have you been a member and what activities have you been involved in?
- Personal characteristics: Are you easy to approach? Are you visionary and strategic? Are you ethical? Because part of your responsibility as a board member is to be a role model, we want to see that you have leadership qualities.
- Board diversity: The Association Forum is dedicated to diversity in all its flavors — gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, experience level and even type, size and kind of organization — and that’s something we look at carefully. What will you bring to our board composition?
- Your commitment to active leadership: In addition to our two annual board meetings, will you attend the Annual Meeting, Holiday Showcase, education sessions and other events throughout the year? Not everyone is prepared to be the kind of visible leader the Association Forum needs them to be.
To see a complete list of criteria, click here.
What do board volunteers do?
You think. You plan. You evaluate. You build the foundation for the needs of professionals across the metropolitan area to be successful in their careers. Volunteers bring viewpoints and knowledge which, when blended with the knowledge and skill of Association Forum’s great and motivated staff, are essential to the organization's continued success.
What do board volunteers get in return for their service?
Previous Association Forum Board members have attested to the tremendous value of board service. In addition to impressive line items for their resumes, they have reported significant professional and personal benefits, including: the opportunity to meet, work with and learn from industry leaders; the chance to share their own knowledge, expertise and training with others; professional recognition that elevates their stature within their own associations and within the association community at large; valuable work experience that opens the door to new career opportunities; and relationships with new friends and lifelong mentors.
How much time does board service require?
Although board members must be willing to invest time in preparing for and thoughtfully participating in board meetings, the time commitment is not onerous. The Association Forum Board meets two times a year for no more than a full day and has a retreat each fall that lasts no more than a day and a half. Board members are expected to attend Association Forum’s Forum Forward, Honor's Gala, Holiday Showcase, serve as a board liaison to a committee or working group and miscellaneous other educational programs and activities.
How do I nominate a candidate?
If you know of an individual who meets the Nominating Committee's criteria, and who might be willing to serve on the Association Forum Board, please complete the online nomination form. Association Forum will then contact the candidate with the link to the board application.
Can I nominate myself?
Yes. Association Forum members may nominate themselves for board service by following the same procedures they would use in order to nominate someone else.
What if I’m nominated, but not elected?
There is always next year! And there are always myriad volunteer opportunities within the Association Forum. The Nominating Committee will provide feedback to applicants who were not slated for the board so they can improve their applications and their future chances of being slated.
When are nominations and board applications due?
Nominations are due by 11:59 p.m. CT on Wednesday, November 6, 2019. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. CT on Friday, November 22, 2019.
Who can answer other questions that I have?
For more information about the nominating process, or about nominating criteria, contact Caryn Adolph at (312) 924-7073 or firstname.lastname@example.org.