Sunday, June 10, 2007

Another Great Board Meeting

The Board of Directors of Amor met last week for another outstanding meeting. As normal we commenced on Friday night at 6pm in San Diego. One of the highlights of the board meeting was having our Director of Operations, Ryan Perkio, present the Operations Report in person. At each board meeting one of our Directors is asked to attend a board meeting and personally share their report. Its a real high point of each meeting since the respective director and the board get to see each other first hand. Its always a great time of getting to know each other better and a perfect time for the board to ask insightful questions. Of great interest to the board was the status of camp properties, relations with Mexican community leaders, and filling of open team member positions.

I thought it might be interesting for you to hear a little about the transitions that have taken place over the last few years. I would like to share several key elements that the board has instituted that have make significant developments in the effectiveness of our board. One of the true challenges that a board for a non-profit faces is continuing to function and develop in a manner that is appropriate to the development and progress of the organization they are responsible for governing. These are just some of the ways the Amor Board and its Committees are meeting these challenges!

From its founding days in 1980 board members were elected to unlimited lengths of term. This was very appropriate and necessary in the early years of the ministry since potential board members were more scarce and the demands on the organization to run the day to day operations of the ministry was the highest priority. Just three years ago the Board of Directors instituted maximum 6 year terms for Amor Board members. After a sixth consecutive year of term a board member must take minimum of one year of before being re-instated on the board.

For nearly 24 years the Board of Directors met three times a year for a Saturday meeting.
The Board continues to meet three times a year but now meets for 2 days. This is a direct result of the growth to the ministry and the increased amount of issues the board needs to discuss. The Friday evening agenda varies meeting to meeting from having a guest speaker to educate the board of critical issues that are important to the ministry or hearing the ministry reports. The following day, Saturday, the board continues meeting usually discussing reports and dealing with new business issues.

Several years ago the Board felt that it was important for board members to have a board meeting each year at a different ministry location. Based on the overall availability of board members schedules the Board endeavors to hold one board meeting a year at a different location. This November the entire Board will again be meeting in El Paso, Texas and spending a significant part of their meeting time personally seeing our ministry in Juarez, Mexico.

As the ministry has grown from four mission trips group in 1981 to some 600 in 2006 the need for active board advisory committees has grown. For most of the first 15 years of the ministry Amor did not have any committees. Once Amor became a member of the Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability the ministry was required to create a Finance/Audit Advisory Committee. Since that time the Board has created and maintains some 5 different advisory committees. Currently they are comprised of both current Amor board members, past board members, and non-board members.

Here is a list of Amor's current active "advisory committees":
  • Board Governance Advisory Committee
  • Camp Advisory Committee
  • Finance Advisory Committee
  • Fundraising Advisory Committee
  • National Advisory Board

Expansion of the Board of Directors and all the Advisory Committees have required advanced tools to facilitate the ongoing management and leadership of the Amor Board and its respective Advisory Committees. To help facilitate this, Amor has maintained a secure, password protected Board and Committee Web Site that contains such tools as a board calendar, document folders for the board and each committee, discussion boards, voting polls, and more. Its an extremely valuable tool for the board and Amor Ministries in general.

Its really exciting to see how the Amor Board and its Advisory Committees have continued to develop and expand over the years. They are a huge, often unseen asset of Amor Ministries. We are all very grateful for the time, expertise, and passion they each put into enabling Amor to change the world through Christ's example.

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