With elections coming up for the Board of Directors, it’s an ideal time to explore how SSP is governed and the role of the Board and Executive Committee. Every non-profit organization is managed a bit differently and the specifics for each organization are typically defined in the organization’s bylaws. This is true for SSP—our bylaws are available on the SSP website.
The Board of Directors is the governing body of the Society and directs the affairs of SSP, its committees, publications, meetings, policies, procedures, and legal and financial matters.
Per our bylaws, the SSP Board of Directors consists of the Past President, President, the President-Elect, Secretary-Treasurer and nine voting members elected from the Society’s membership. In addition, the SSP Executive Director is an ex-officio, or non-voting, member of the Board. Directors are elected by the members from a slate of candidates put forth by the Nominating Committee, and serve a term of three years. Three directors are elected each year.
In our governance structure, SSP has four officer positions which include Past President, President, President-Elect, and Secretary-Treasurer. These officers, along with one at-large member of the Board, who is elected by the Board, make up the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee acts for the Board at times when decisions need to be made quickly and is responsible for oversight and evaluation of the Executive Director and the association management firm.
The President-Elect is elected by the membership and automatically succeeds to the Presidency. The President automatically succeeds to the Past Presidency. The Secretary-Treasurer is also an elected position and serves a three-year term. This is the only position that is eligible for immediate re-election for one additional three-year term.
Governance is the process of providing strategic leadership. It entails the functions of setting direction, making policy and strategy decisions, overseeing and monitoring organizational performance, and ensuring overall accountability.
As with many non-profit organizations, SSP has hired staff and retained an association management firm to handle the day-to-day administrative aspects of the Society, thereby delegating some of its responsibility. And, of course, there are many volunteers that assist with carrying out SSP’s numerous programs and activities. Nonetheless, it is the Board that ultimately is accountable for all acts undertaken in the name of the organization, whether or not those acts are formally approved or implemented by the Board itself. The Board has certain legally enforceable duties and obligations by virtue of their membership on the board.
It is the Board’s responsibility to:
- Determine and articulate the organization’s mission, vision, and goals.
- Recruit, select, and evaluate the organization’s executive director.
- Ensure that SSP engages in planning for its future.
- Determine and monitor the performance of the programs that the organization will deliver to accomplish its goals.
- Ensure that the organization has resources adequate to implement its plans.
- Ensure the effective management and use of the organization’s financial and other resources.
- Ensure organizational integrity and accountability.
Now that you have a bit of background on the role and composition of the Board of Directors, we encourage you to cast your vote in the upcoming election. Watch your inbox and RE:member for more details. Your membership must be current in order to vote, so if you haven’t renewed or joined yet, now it the prefect time to ensure your vote counts!