Recruiting new board members should be an ongoing effort for your club. When considering who to recruit for leadership, we start with membership. If we have any new members, we immediately encourage them to get involved by joining a committee. Then, throughout the year, their involvement demonstrates how interested they are in taking on new leadership roles.
However, this isn’t always the case. Much of the time, members have never been in a leadership role, and they need to be asked. We have found that members new to leadership actually flourish into great leaders down the line.
One selling tool to recruit new leaders is that it is an opportunity to demonstrate professional growth and that it tends to expedite promotions in their employment. People who become board members in AAF tend to get promoted quicker at their jobs because it shows they can handle responsibility and take on new operations.
Another selling point is that the board member positions give you exposure to skills that you would not have at your job. Being a board member also allows you to work with a diverse group of professionals that you don’t normally engage within your job. Accounts people work with creative people, journalists work with entrepreneurs, etcetera.
It gives you a unique perspective and an overall competitive advantage when it comes to problem-solving.
Leadership development at AAF-Birmingham is a process that evolves throughout the year. Board members have grown as leaders in their own roles by making appropriate goals and plans at the beginning of the year and following through on them with committee members, club members, and board members. Taking the initiative to delegate specific tasks to others helps to mold them as leaders and potential board members down the line. Having delegated a nominating committee for our 2021-22 Board of Directors, we will encourage new board members to develop their own committees moving forward. This provides additional assistance in their efforts as well as the discovery of new talent for continued leadership potential. Once presented and approved, our new board of leaders is set to be inducted on June 23, 2021.
AAF Birmingham membership remains in good standing. Our VP of membership is in springtime recruiting mode, working with our fundraising director for a May rooftop mixer to hit a double for new member engagement and fundraising. Membership is also working with our programs director to include a job-sharing board on our new website design in the works. This will give AAB Birmingham paid members the exclusive option to post job opportunities, resumes, and portfolios for increased engagement, adding additional incentives and value to their membership.
As we are looking towards wrapping up this year and starting anew in July, we are beginning to discuss our recruiting plan for the 2021-2023 board nominations as well as our leadership cycle that has proven to provide guidance and experience to incoming Executive Committee members. During our March board meeting, our most recent past-president spoke to the process for recruiting. We are reaching out to our local agencies and vendors for nominations this month so that we are able to announce the slate during our April luncheon. We will then call for a vote from our current members in May.
We’ve found that reaching out early to previous board members is also a good way to start our agency contacts thinking about potential nominees. We rely on their expertise and experience on the board and in the industry to keep the board full of a diverse group of leaders. And with our club leaders, we look towards our Executive Committee to guide the club towards new goals and engage with potential and current board members early.
Our Executive Committee consists of three leaders who have been nominated and voted on by their peers to take on these roles and work with our president throughout the year. Our club places specific responsibilities on the EC to assist in their learning about the club and to guide them towards their own presidency. Typically, EC members will have served at least 2 years on the board to gain experience before taking on more ownership over a committee. In past years, the 1st Vice President has resided over Club Achievement books and newsletters, the 2nd Vice President has presided over the American Advertising Awards as Chair, and the 3rd Vice President contributes to EC meetings and decisions as their role will grow in the upcoming years and this helps prepare them for more duties and accountability within the board. We are excited for a new year but also want to learn from this year and what it has brought us. And with that, we’ll be hosting an end-of-year recap/planning session that will also serve to guide and build our agenda for our new year retreat. We are hoping to have it in person this year!
AAF Mobile Bay wrapped up the American Advertising Awards in late February. We hosted the awards virtually and then posted the virtual show on our social platforms for all to view.
On March 18th we are hosting a free luncheon/webinar with Alfonso Cuesta on talking us through how well-guided brainstorming is the first key step for any creative team.
We are also now accepting nominations for our Silver Medal Award, American Advertising Federations’ highest honor. This award will be awarded at our summer in-person social. AAF Mobile Bay is also planning our past presidents’ happy hour for the near future as well. We hope to host in-person meetings in the next couple of months.
We have termed this next year “The Do Over.” At the end of March, we will determine which Board members are willing to commit to another term. Immediately after, we will do a mass mailing call for nominations for new board members and new member enrollment. We have already reached out to some businesses that won American Advertising Awards this year and have shown an interest in being more involved, which includes both new and established companies. We have spent time, working on systems to make certain tasks easier such as adding apps to enroll new members and store member data. Last year, our board retreat was virtual, but we are hopeful when our new board is in place enough people will have been vaccinated and we can meet in person.
AAF Tuscaloosa has a nominating committee to select/recruit board members. We look for strong leadership “doer” traits, club involvement & diversity of talent/businesses represented. We reach out directly with a phone call and invite potential members to serve on the board, let them know any specific duties, and discuss the best role for that person.
In order to establish continuity in these roles, most are two-term positions, many with co-VP options. With our staggered terms, this gives each person a year to grow into the role with someone who has already been performing it for the past year, then take the reigns the following year and teach the next newbie. This not only ensures things run smoothly but also takes the burden off of a single person.
Our committees are a great way of finding future leaders, as often there is someone who organically steps up to lead a fundraising event or public service task.
We do have board term limits, so we are constantly on the lookout for members with increased engagement and leadership.