It is also an excellent way to serve the member-owners of a resort and to actively participate in the decision making and strategic planning. The board members/volunteers play a critical role in the health and sustainability of a resort. But this job comes with many responsibilities, both to other board members and the resort owners. The role of a board member is not to be taken lightly as these individuals must be engaged in and committed to the oversight and improvement of the association.
The primary responsibilities of an association board are to do the following:
This is certainly not a comprehensive list, but broadly covers the regular items to be dealt with.
Within exercising these responsibilities, a certain set of fiduciary duties apply to board members that should be in the forefront of all decision making: the duty of care, the duty of loyalty, the duty of good faith, and the duty of obedience.
It is also helpful to remember, in all decisions and discussions inside and out of meetings, that a board member has the responsibility to protect owners’ confidentiality if information is provided in confidence to them regarding personal matters, regardless of whether they affect the association.
When new board members are elected, the onboarding process can shape their experience. Those with history and institutional knowledge of the association can provide a lot of insight– and not to mention, new board members can provide fresh ideas. It is important to keep in mind that both parties can learn from each other and to share the information at hand.
As new members are onboarded, it is beneficial to have a board retreat. Information can be disseminated for them to read and study on their own, but it is much more effective for the board to meet in person to discuss the items together and bring the new members up to speed. Some items to be discussed are:
In addition to providing a background that will let new board members get up to speed quickly and make informed decisions, this process will also familiarize new board members (and remind existing ones) of their larger responsibility.
Some states are requiring new board member education, but even in those that do not, there are resources for outside consultants, such as attorneys and accountants who serve the industry, to conduct training. This option may be a cost, but can provide invaluable information to all board members.
In order for a board to have productive and successful meetings where voices are heard and business gets done, meetings need to be organized and monitored to accomplish the tasks at hand. Ineffective meetings can decrease board member engagement and efficacy. Here are a few simple tips for conducting board business effectively and efficiently:
The decision to become a board member is not something that should be taken lightly, but it can provide a great forum for learning and engagement in a community. For those considering serving, some due diligence is in order to understand what will be expected and even required in service to a particular association.
Republished with permission from Resort Trades, copyright April 2020.