January 28, 2016

Are Your Board Members Prepared?

Your installation dinner has most likely concluded and you have a new president and probably new board members, blended in with the established ones. Are those new board members ready to serve, meaning, are they ready to serve with full understanding of what the home builders association board's responsibilities entail? I would even go as far to say that maybe some of your existing board members may need a refresher on their role and responsibilities while serving. Even if your board is top notch, this National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) article can help in so many ways but, at the very least,as an orientation for your "freshman class." Our local HBAs are so important to our state HBAs and NAHB, as well as our overall industry. Why take a chance?

Board Readiness Assessment
This assessment is your opportunity to determine your board member's readiness to serve as a member of the association’s board of directors.
Answer “yes” or “no” to each statement. Circle the number of those which are “no.” It will help you identify the information your board member needs to acquire to be an effective trustee.
The outcome of this assessment should remain confidential. The executive officer and HBA president are the only people who will review it. To benefit from the information that can be gained, it is important that your board member be instructed to answer these statements as honestly as possible.
Legal Compliance
1.    I am familiar with the contents of the association’s bylaws.
2.    I know the association’s major policies and procedures (membership, budget allocation, personnel, etc.).
3.    I am fully aware of whether the association is carrying directors and officers insurance.
4.    I know what types of government reports need to be submitted by the association.
5.    I know how I am legally responsible for the association.
1.    I know the parameters of my role as a board member.
2.    I am aware of the elements which make up the association’s flow of authority.
3.    I understand the depth of my responsibility as a board member.
4.    I know the kinds of things the association should avoid to retain its good name.
5.    I know the parameters (if applicable) for approving or disapproving applications for membership.
1.    I have already set time aside each month on my calendar for the association’s board of directors and general membership meetings.
2.    I know how to evaluate our association’s strategic plan to ensure it is realistic and can be accomplished.
3.    I understand my role in the overall association planning process.
4.    I know who should be included in the planning process.
Operating Resources
1.    I know how to read and understand a budget balance sheet.
2.    I know how to evaluate the monthly financial reports.
3.    I know the standard reserves amount the association should strive to reach to be more secure in its operation.
4.    I know how to determine if resources should be allocated to fund a new association project.
1.    I know what the appropriate process is to acquire funds for new projects.
2.    I understand how policy is set in the association.
3.    I know why the board must read and approve committee reports.
4.    I know whether I am considered an association spokesperson and what that role means.
What top three issues should occupy the board’s time and attention during the coming year?

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