Why a Board of Advisors?
The Chamber's success as a leader in organized business and as a force of good in the region depends not only on the services it provides to its dues-paying members, but also on its sound governance, the quality and effectiveness of its programs, its innovative solutions and its value-added investments in the different communities it serves.
As a proactive organization engaged in a wide range of activities, the Chamber requires outside expert advice in order to benefit from a diversity of experiences, gain greater contact with different communities, and have an external sounding board on the effectiveness of its programs and services.
In order to achieve the above objectives, the Board of Directors authorized the formation of a Board of Advisors in the Fall of 2009 that would meet the following criteria:
- Create an open Forum. An independent forum brings forth pertinent discussions about Chamber business-its needs, strengths, challenges, risks and opportunities-with experienced business and community leaders who come from diverse business and non-profit backgrounds;
- Expand network of contacts. Advisors are appointed to the Board because they are highly experienced, have extensive business and/or community contacts and are recognized leaders in their own communities;
- Provide input to the President/CEO and the Board of Directors. It is important to learn from Advisors their understanding of how prospective members and the community at large may perceive the Chamber, how well its programs are working, how it manages unforeseen events, and when caution or bold action by the Chamber is required;
- Help evaluate programs. The Chamber has been diligent in differentiating itself from other chambers in terms of the range of services it offers: educational and networking opportunities, access to new markets, international trade, emphasizing regional solutions, being good neighbors, representing members before councils of government, and advocating for economic, workforce and community development.
- Some key questions the Board of Advisors may consider are: Do these programs meet the needs of the membership? Do they enhance the image of the Chamber in the community? Is the Chamber effective in influencing the regulatory business climate? How is the Chamber being perceived in the community at large?
Benefits of an Advisory Board
An independent Board of Advisors that is representative of a cross-section of the business and civic communities throughout the region provides the chamber with significant advantages:
- An unbiased outside perspective;
- Increased corporate transparency, accountability and operational discipline;
- Enhanced effectiveness of President/CEO and management team;
- Greater credibility with members, partners, and business, government and community leaders;
- Experienced counsel to help avoid costly mistakes;
- Skills and expertise in areas the Chamber's current management team needs to strengthen;
- A sounding board for evaluating new ideas and opportunities;
- Key introductions to business leaders and prospective corporate sponsors;
- Improved marketing results and effectiveness;
- Strategic planning assistance and input;
- Expand community and public relations;
- Help anticipating market changes and business trends; and,
- Provide advice during crisis management and transition leadership.