Do you know your association officers and directors?Nancy Bolt, CMC, CRMSlegislative endeavors, member benefits, ethics of the association
Your officers and directors are dedicated to doing what is best
for the entire membership, and the entire industry. But as time
goes on, it becomes necessary to bring in new people, new ideas,
new strengths and new strategies. Existing officers and directors
often work for years as the stabilizing force—maintaining
continuity and retaining relationships that have been built and
strengthened over time. Together, the old and the new make for a
stronger association that may become more effective, especially in
legislative endeavors and member benefits.
As it nears that time of year again—time to consider and
select the coming year's slate of officers and directors—it
is prudent to consider officer and director qualifications. After
all, electing your board may be the most effective tool you have in
obtaining changes you believe would be beneficial. Yes, your choice
of elected officials is a very important responsibility, and you
should put some time and effort into making these decisions. The
people you choose will be, collectively, the spokespeople for your
chapter, state and national association, respectively, in
industry-related issues. High integrity and a good understanding of
the ethics of the association are usually taken for granted as
being true of every member, as are knowledge and experience in the
industry. Capability to lead and handle the board responsibilities
can often be measured by the persons past performance in their
business and other association and community activities.
Now that I have you thinking, here are a few more points to
•Is the candidate knowledgeable of the duties that the
•Does the candidate's experience complement or enhance those
•Is the candidate interested in doing a good job, or just
adding a title to his resume?
•Does the candidate anticipate having sufficient time to
properly execute the office?
•Does the candidate have health issues and, if so, does he
have an assistant?
•Is the candidate capable of working with association staff
•Is the candidate capable of dealing with the
publicity—positive or negative—of a high profile
position, particularly under duress, and handling possible
•Are the candidate's oral and written communication skills up
to the task?
•Will the candidate subordinate personal or business biases
for the good of all members?
•Will the candidate's personal conduct reflect favorably on
•Will the candidate's significant other be supportive of his
role and the time it takes to do the job effectively?
•Is the candidate a team player who recognizes the value of
the other officers and directors?
Many of these issues are addressed by the American Society of Association
Executives, should you wish to research them further.
Now that you have given it some thought, here is another point
to ponder: Your association has made great strides in educational
and legislative issues that have enabled you to work in this
wonderful industry and make a pretty decent income. As the
association has grown, there has been a greater workload and it is
much easier when that workload is shared with others who appreciate
what the association represents.
Maybe the time has come for you to serve. It need not be as an
officer or director if you are not certain you are up to the task.
Committee chairs are needed, as well as committee members. Review
the list below, choose something you are interested in and make a
decision to give it a try for at least one year. Your progress
during that time should be positive and rewarding enough to have
you looking for something more the next year. You will soon find
you have assets and capabilities the association needs to be even
better than it is already. So dont just sit around and wish
something more was being done—join in and do it!
And yes, I am speaking from experience. I started as a Florida Association of Mortgage
Brokers chapter treasurer in 1980, served as chapter president
twice, was drafted into the Legislative/Government Affairs
Committee in 1985 because of my contacts, and havent quit serving
in some capacity yet.
•Ethics and Grievance
•Foundation and Faculty
•Lenders and Affiliates
•Political Action Committee (PAC)
Some of these committees have sub-committees, such as:
Contact your local, state or national officers and offer to help
make a difference! It may be the best thing you have ever done.
Nancy Bolt, CMC, CRMS is president of Sun Mortgage of Southwest
Florida Inc. in Fort Myers, Fla. She has served as president of
FAMB and was named FAMB Statewide Broker of the Year in 1991. She
may be reached at (239) 437-2600 or e-mail [email protected]