Authored by Domenica G. Pappas, CRA
SRAI At-Large Board Member
“You should just do it”, “you would be great”, “you’re going to do what!!??” Those are some of the things I heard when I decided to submit my nomination to become a SRAI at-large Board member. I ran because I wanted to get more involved in SRAI. Some of my colleagues said, “more involved????…but you’re already soooo involved!” I have been involved in the Section level for years, and have what I call “dabbled” at the International level. I decided it was time for me to expand my horizons.
I’ve been a SRAI member for over 20 years. I’ve held various leadership positions at the Section level and have working on various committees at the International level. My primary volunteering has always been with program committees, membership, and newcomers. I thought that I knew a lot about SRAI and its structure, its inner workings and all there is to know. I was wrong.
I’ve been on the SRAI Board for almost a year. I have learned so much about what it really takes to run our organization, that it amazes me! Before I became a Board member, I never really thought about the structure of the organization. I thought, it can’t be that much work, right? We have a few thousand members, they pay their dues, we run awesome educational programs, we have staff at “headquarters”, and everyone does a great job. Done!
While that is true, it’s a little more complex than that. Each Board member has a role and a responsibility, which is clearly defined in the Board Handbook. The Board “shall be the governing body of the Society and shall promote its mission, determine its Policies, and direct and control the affairs of the Society”. We couldn’t do this without our staff at headquarters who handle the “business” end of the society, i.e., the website, the database, contract negotiation, etc.
I have been reminded of Roberts Rules of Order, received training on our financial statements, had discussions on current projects, policies, and practices, but most of all had the opportunity to contribute to the development of the future of our organization. I work with people that I probably would not have had the chance to work with directly.
In one of my earlier Board meetings, I felt like I was new to the Society. I knew the language of our businesses, but the words seemed foreign. Everything felt like it was moving so fast. As I followed along throughout the day, I found myself intrigued by all the work that was completed. All of the “seasoned” Board members have helped me along the way. At the end of our meeting, I felt both exhausted and exhilarated.
As a Board member, I communicate with my Board member colleagues throughout the year. I receive financial reports and executive committee reports and read through those reports, presenting any questions to the appropriate individuals. Sections prepare and present their Board reports and we, the Board, know what is going on at each section, answering questions as they arise.
All of this reminded me of how important our section and annual business meetings are. While they may seem boring, they are the voice of our Society. Our business meetings occasionally require us to place a vote. I can’t imagine placing a vote on an issue that I had no knowledge about.
I’m so excited to be on the Board. While we each have our own role, one cannot work without the other. We, as a group, are working towards the future of our Society. Board meetings are open. Come watch us at work.#Catalyst#June2019#ViewfromtheTop