Call Participants: Beth Babcock, Stanford Thompson, Ben Fuller, Katie Wyatt, Richard Mukamal, Aurelia Rocha, Alicia Stevenson, Camille Kolles, Steven Liu, Laura Jekel, Mark Churchill, Joe Hamm, Rey Ramirez, Mark Sarich, Albert Oppenheimer, Liz Youker, Louise Ghandhi
Board Nomination Process for the National Alliance
Beth Babcock: Only Active Program Members may nominate to the Board—all Active Programs have received nomination form and instructions. Anyone can make a recommendation to an active program to nominate someone.
Individuals that can be nominated don’t have to be involved with an active program or on a board of an active program, but individuals motivated by the mission of the national alliance.
Nominations can include endorsements for the candidates. Anyone who knows a person being nominated can add an endorsement or recommendation.
January 25 is the nomination deadline. After that all the nomination postings will be on the NA website for review and the voting will take place between Jan 31 and Feb 3.
Active Programs will be sent a notice that it’s time to vote. Each active program has 3 votes to distribute as they wish.
Katie Wyatt: The process is clear, thank you. Fundraising for board members? If we were to nominate program directors from across the country, how do they deal with fundraising for their own organization versus the National Alliance? Is there an expectation for significant individual gifts for board members of the Alliance?
Beth: It is clear that the N.A. will be raising money to support its own work. It is unclear what steps the board will take to prevent conflicts of interest. I have been on the board of several partner alliances made up of partner organizations where this conflict could arise, and it is up to the board to make clear decisions and rules that differentiate fundraising. How the board and the Alliance decide how to deal with this issue is really going to depend on the elected leaders. It’s important that board members can make wise and careful decisions about balances that need to be struck. No rules in place right now, up to the board to develop them. Pick nominees who will make these decisions with nuance and savvy.
There is no implied gift level for board participation in the national alliance. They explicitly did not create expectation or requirement for giving. There is no expectation that a person be wealthy to be nominated.
Camille: Are the priorities laid out in the Implementation Plan and Cumulative Decisions document still relevant?
Beth: Those documents are about as clear a statement of priorities, other than the bylaws themselves, that we have. Priorities: strength and ability to leverage each other’s knowledge, sharing of knowledge and expertise and coming together in joint purpose. Anyone who has experience sharing knowledge and pedagogy would be the skills we will need early on, as well as leadership and program development skills.
Albert: Point of clarification of process: we have been approached by outside constituents who want to be on the board but aren’t active programs. We only get one nomination? But we get 3 votes?
Beth: Yes, one nomination. You can endorse as many people as you want. And then 3 votes. If you think you have more than one person who would be competent, you should still recommend them or let the NA know. We could forward that name on to another organization who didn’t have anyone to nominate. And feel free to share those ideas with other organizations.
Mark Churchill: Who needs to sign off on the nomination?
Beth: Every active program member there is an individual on file who is the voting representative of the organization. They have the right to submit the nomination. if it’s submitted for someone who is not the voting representative themselves, then the registrar will confirm with the nominee that they are willing to be nominated. If I were to nominate myself, then that kind of confirmation would not be needed. If you know of a good potential nominee, you would look at the list of active programs and find the program you want to nominate the individual. You could contact Ben, Stan or myself to give that name.
Richard Mukamul: How many seats are on the board?
Beth: We haven’t received any nominations yet. 13 positions are available to be filled. Then that board can elect another 4. The bylaws do not require thirteen so there could be fewer elected. Each of the 38 active programs are allowed to nominate.
Camille: Board members/staff members . What’s the timeline for hiring staff?
Beth: Board already has a budget they can start to deploy for paid staff. Calls for the board to immediately to start working on how they want to bring on paid staff for fundraising. There is money to start hiring right away. It will be up to the board to determine how that happens.
Louise: Would you agree to serve on the board?
Beth: No. It’s not appropriate for me to serve on the board, but I will serve as an unpaid advisor to the board and to the Alliance. I would like to be supportive to the board, I do not wish to be paid for any of that work. I do not think it’s appropriate for me to be elected to the board.
Laura Jekel: If I am nominating someone, the questions about the candidate and their connection with El Sistema, do I write that or do they write that and give it to me?
Beth: That would be a logical way to make it happen if they were willing to write that themselves. You would have the right to edit it or change it yourself, or write it yourself. Some people are shy about bragging about themselves and might write a modest short essay that you can expand and sing their praises.
Joe Hamm: Lot of ideas, looking forward to contributing somehow. Thank you.
Beth: Once the board is up and going, it is going to be creating committees which will include non-board members. So everyone in the broad El Sistema community will be helping the board to its work effectively.
Aurelia Rocha: I want clarification , is it the core directors that are elected first?
Beth: This is the confusing aspect of the bylaws. What they call for is a situation where its desirable to have representatives from each of the five areas. when the election happens, the active program members have a vote for someone in their region.
The regions are delineated on the website clearly and posted.
Beth: Thanks for all your input, it’s crucial to create a board with motivated competent individuals. It will be great to see the board get up and get started. Please say your name as you sign off.