Wanted: A Few Good Board Members – Help Expand the KCC Board of Directors
The KCC Board of Directors requests your help to recruit new Board members.
The Board develops and oversees the “secular” policy and strategy side of KCC to help the organization nurture opportunities and address challenges to ensure KCC is a stable and viable organization to support people’s practice. The Board also cooperates with the Service Group Coordinators who manage day-to-day operations of KCC. And the Board cooperates with the Resident Lama and Program Council who manage KCC’s spiritual life.
At present the Board has six members: John Jennings (President), Doug Dunlap (Assistant President), John Rothermich (Secretary), Ryan Fitz (Treasurer), Jennifer Chang and Marci Roth. Although we are a capable and compatible group, there are simply not enough hands to do the work that needs to be done and not a sufficient cross-section of KCC. And John Jennings will be rotating off at the end of the year as his term limit is reached. Ideally, we hope to elect at least three new members over the next year.
We would like your help to identify and evaluate persons within the sangha who would be willing to serve in this way and who would bring to the Board the qualities and skills that we need. (See desired qualities and experience below). Board service is an opportunity to practice generosity and selflessness in serving the Dharma. As Lama Eric points out, such service is one way to increase merit.
An Overview of the Board
While the KCC By-Laws state that Board action is by majority vote (two-thirds on certain structural issues), they also encourage the Board “to listen to each person’s statements and take them into account, honoring diversity of opinion.” In practice, consensus is sought and almost always achieved.
Meetings are typically scheduled monthly on the third Sunday, 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm, and are presided over by the President and a rotating facilitator from among the other Board members.
Each Board member serves as a liaison to a particular Service Group or to the Program Council, and on Board committees as needed. Board committees are established ad hoc to work on issues that arise and bring options back to the full Board for action. The yearly KCC budget is prepared by the Finance Team and approved by the Board prior to each calendar year.
Board members serve three-year terms. A member may be elected to two such terms in succession and then (after six years of service) must leave for a two-year “hiatus” before being eligible for election to additional terms. The terms of Board members are ideally staggered such that roughly one-third complete a term each year.
What We Need from New Members
A Board member should expect to attend each monthly meeting, absent a strong reason. Second, the member should participate freely in discussion and decision-making at the meetings. Between meetings there is email traffic including, but not limited to, review of the minutes, review of documents related to an agenda topic, and formation of the next agenda. Much of the work of the Board is done not only by the standing committees, but also – as noted above – by small ad hoc groups who tackle particular issues between meetings. In general, a rough estimate would be three to six hours a week for Board service.
The Board is evolving toward a primary focus on policy and strategy for the organization. There are specific areas of knowledge and experience that are critical to the functioning of the Board. These include:
- Non-profit management
- Risk assessment
- Diversity and inclusion
- Decision-making process
- Conflict resolution
- Public relations
- Coaching and mentorship
A Board member should be able to bring one or more of the above skills to Board meetings and Board-related work. In addition, a Board member ideally has some background in and a strong commitment to Buddhist practice in the Kagyu tradition, several years as a member of the KCC sangha, a record of volunteer activity at KCC, and a collaborative spirit.
How We Recruit Board Members
The KCC Bylaws give us the following general framework for recruiting Board members
(excerpted from Article VI, Section 3):
The process shall be implemented approximately annually, and not more than fifteen months from the previous implementation of the process. The process shall culminate in the Board making the final decision about the selection of the new Board members. Selections shall require approval by the Resident Lama.
We invite any who are interested to attend special Board meetings at which, in addition to ordinary business, there will be a chance for them to ask questions about the Board and Board service.
We will be taking on strategic planning in 2022-23, so we need skills in decision-making process and communication. We also need young people on our Board and at least one “old hand” who knows our history.
We invite all members of the sangha to nominate individuals who meet the above criteria. You may nominate yourself if you feel you would be a good fit and are inspired to do so. Be sure to explain, in your email, what you or the another nominee would bring to the Board and what they have done in the way of service to KCC. Send your nominations to John Jennings, Board President, at email@example.com .
If there seems to be a good fit, the Board will schedule a mutual interview – the candidate interviewing the Board as much as vice versa.
Timeline for this Round of Board Recruitment
- Early November: Announce recruitment goal and timeline.
- November: Provide opportunities to answer Sangha questions about recruitment and Board service, at Sangha meetings and/or other gatherings.
- By mid-December: Take nominations for Board positions; gather and review nominations; hold interviews for top candidates.
- December Board meeting (third Sunday): Report back to Sangha on progress; make new call for nominations if necessary; forward to Resident Lama for approval; report back to Sangha.
- January Board meeting: Board votes on slate of candidates.
While this is an ideal schedule, some flexibility may occur if a candidate requests to begin service later in 2023. However, we need to fill some positions starting in January.