Board of Directors - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the function of the Board of Directors?
A: The basic responsibilities of the Board are to:
- Define and uphold the mission and vision of the association
- Work collaboratively with the Chief Executive Officer
- Develop and implement the Strategic Plan
- Ensure advancement of AADE’s Vision for the future
- Monitor and strengthen programs and services
- Provide oversight of the association’s assets and resources
Q: What are some of the volunteer experiences that could qualify me for service on the Board of Directors?
A: AADE Board members have come from a variety of different paths:
- LNG participation and involvement
- CB leadership and engagement
- COI involvement or leadership
- Member Affiliates Council service
- Contributions to AADE’s programs, resources, publications, and annual conference
- Service on AADE national committees – e.g., Advocacy Committee, Annual Meeting Planning Committee, Awards Committee, Content Oversight Committee, Continuing Education Reviewers Group, Credentialing Oversight Committee, DANA Editorial Board, Favorably Reviewed Committee, Professional Practice Committee, Research Committee, Technology Committee.
Experience in any one or more of these paths can help prepare you for leadership on the Board.
Q: What else can I do to prepare for leadership on the Board?
A: Members can prepare for leadership by doing any of the following:
- Read AADE Journals for research, application, activities
- Participate in AADE-sponsored meetings, webinars, and MY AADE NETWORK groups and activities
- Stay up to date on current standards of practice and research in the field of diabetes and diabetes education
- Work experience as a diabetes educator
- Attend other organizations’ meetings
- Serve in other organizations
- ADA local, national activities
- AND affiliate groups state or practice groups
- Diabetes and non-diabetes non-profit leadership or involvement
Q: What knowledge should potential Board members have?
A: No one person possesses all of the knowledge that is important for effective service on the Board. The Nominating Committee typically looks for any combination of the following when considering applications to the Board:
- Knowledge of current, future treatments, practice guidelines and care
- Broad perspective on emerging trends / innovative means to deliver diabetes care and education, related technology
- Understanding of advocacy, government agencies and programs related to diabetes
- Connections with related organizations, industry partners, or peer support communities
Q: What skills should potential Board members have?
A: Again, no one person possesses all of the skills that are important for effective service on the Board. The Nominating Committee typically looks for any combination of the following when considering applications to the Board:
- Strategic and critical thinking
- Effective communication / ability to maintain a welcoming environment for creative ideas and generative discussions, even when perspectives differ from your own
- Ability to oversee and monitor the management of resources
- Ability to prioritize AADE’s opportunities
- Ability to lead a small group
Q: What is the time commitment for service on the Board?
A: The Board of Directors participate in:
- 4 Board Meetings Annually
- January (Friday - Sunday)
- April (Friday - Sunday)
- August (Wednesday - Monday / in conjunction with Annual Meeting)
- November (Thursday or Friday - Sunday)
- 1 Board Conference Call in December – budget approval
- 4 Committee Meetings – held in conjunction with Board meetings
- 4 Committee Conference Calls – scheduled between Board meetings
- Board members will also be invited to participate in AADE’s annual Public Policy Forum – 2 days in May.
Preparation for each meeting/event will vary depending on the amount of materials to be covered. In general, you should plan to set aside two full days to prepare for each Board meeting, and one day to prepare for each conference call.
Q: If elected to the Board, are my expenses covered for travel to the Board meetings?
A: Yes. Flights to Board events are booked through AADE’s corporate travel partner and are charged directly to AADE. Housing expenses are also charged directly to AADE. All other travel-related expenses will be reimbursed to Board members in accordance with AADE’s Volunteer Expense Reimbursement Policy.
Q: What am I expected to do at the Annual Meeting? What expenses are covered for the Annual Meeting?
A: When serving on the Board, your primary role at the Annual Meeting is to represent the Board of Directors. In addition to attending each General Session, you will be expected to attend a number of meetings and receptions (i.e., IAC meeting, Annual Business Meeting, Volunteer Reception, President’s Reception, etc.). It is recommended that members of the Board not commit to any external meetings or non-AADE speaking engagements until the final Board schedule is distributed, approximately two weeks before the conference.
During your tenure on the Board (beginning January 1 following the election), you will receive complimentary registration to the Annual Meeting. AADE will secure your room reservation at the host hotel, which will be billed directly to AADE. Flights booked through AADE’s corporate travel partner will also be charged directly to AADE. All other travel-related expenses will be reimbursed to Board members in accordance with AADE’s Volunteer Expense Reimbursement Policy.
Q: If I’m elected to the Board, how will I know which committee I will be assigned to?
A: When elected to the Board, the President-Elect will assign you to one of the governing committees based on your interests and background. The governing committees are:
- Planning and Development Committee (PDC) – Responsible for designing and overseeing the association’s strategic planning processes and budget cycle.
- Performance Oversight and Monitoring Committee (POMC) - Responsible for designing programmatic and financial performance measures and utilizing them to review and monitor the performance of all the association’s programs and administrative functions; reviewing and recommending revisions to established Board policies, and creating Board policies as needed.
- Stakeholder/Member Relations Committee (SMRC) – Responsible for designing the association’s desired image in the eyes of members and key stakeholders; for overseeing the formulation of strategies that will promote that image; and for maintaining effective communication and working relationships with members, key association governing bodies, and important stakeholder organizations. The Member Affiliates Liaison is permanently assigned to the SMRC.
Ideally, Board members will rotate between these three committees during their three-year Board term.
The fourth governing committee is the Governance Committee. It is comprised of the President, President-Elect, Immediate Past President, Treasurer, Corporate Secretary, and the Chairs of the PDC, POMC, and SMRC. It serves as the committee for management and coordination of the Board of Directors.
Q: How many years do I have to be a member before I can run for the Board?
A: An applicant for the Board, including Member Affiliates Liaison, must be a member in good standing at the time of application, election, and throughout his/her term of service. Candidates must maintain Active membership (as defined by AADE Bylaws) for a minimum of three years before applying for an elected position.
Q: I don’t have the CDE credential. Can I run for the Board?
A: Many diabetes educators are not eligible for the CDE credential for various reasons. The CDE credential is valuable, but it is not a requirement for service on the AADE Board of Directors.
Q: Can I run for the Board if I work for a pharmaceutical or device company?
A: Per AADE’s Bylaws:
“Active members who are employed by a company that is in the business of sales or marketing of diabetes pharmaceuticals, supplies or equipment shall not be eligible to stand for national elective office or a directorship position.”
Q: I’ve never been a CB or COI leader. Can I run for the Board?
A: Engagement with Coordinating Bodies and Communities of Interest is an excellent way to learn about AADE’s programs, products, services, vision and strategies. Having an understanding of CB and COI operations is important, but serving as a CB or COI leader is not a requirement for the Board of Directors.
Q: Can I run for the Board if I don’t have experience on one of AADE’s national work groups or committees?
A: Similar to engagement with CBs and COIs, participation in one of AADE’s national committees helps members gain valuable insight to the association’s current initiatives. The knowledge gained from service on any of the national groups can certainly help prepare you for the Board. However, it is not a requirement for Board service.
Q: What’s the difference between a Director and a Member Affiliates Liaison?
A: The Member Affiliates Liaison (MAL) is an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors, with all of the responsibilities expected of a Director. In addition to his/her Director responsibilities, the MAL plays a significant and visible role in AADE’s annual Leadership Forum, Member Affiliates Council calls, and CB & LNG briefings. There is also an expectation for the MAL to be engaged with the Volunteer Leadership Forum on MY AADE NETWORK. When slating the ballot for the Member Affiliates Liaison position, the Nominating Committee will typically look for candidates who have demonstrated engagement with their local CB.
Q: As a member of the Board of Directors, what is my role with the AADE Education and Research Foundation?
A: In 2015, the AADE Board of Directors and the AADE Foundation Board of Trustees approved a recommendation to designate the AADE Board of Directors as the Foundation’s Board of Trustees (“overlapping Boards”). It is important to note that although the AADE Foundation bears the name of the professional association, it is a completely separate, independently governed organization. The time commitment for service as a Foundation Trustee is minimal, and the work is included as part of your preparation for AADE Board meetings.
Q: The application states that members of the Board are expected to either raise or donate $500 each year for the AADE Foundation. Why is that important?
A: Boards have a fiduciary duty to help organizations raise funds and use those funds responsibly in service to its mission. Studies by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative (NRC) show that personal giving by Board members works in at least three ways:
- Board member giving is a public commitment to the organization’s work.
- Board members pay increased attention to the organization’s mission and financial health when they have made a personal donation.
- Many other donors and institutional funders will not give to organizations that don’t have 100% Board giving participation.
Although, personal giving is valuable to the AADE Foundation, a member’s personal financial situation should not preclude anyone from applying to serve on the Board. There are several ways that a member can raise or get credit for the donation:
- In-kind donation of services – members can ask for speaker honorariums to be sent directly to the AADE Foundation for credit toward their annual personal giving goal.
- Corporate gift matching – many companies offer to match their employees’ charitable contributions, usually dollar-for-dollar. Contact your company’s benefits administrator to see if your donation to the Foundation would qualify.
- Expense reimbursement offsets – following each Board meeting, many Board members direct their travel-related expense reimbursements to the Foundation, which is applied toward their annual personal giving goal.
Q: Will I have a mentor to help me navigate my service on the Board?
A: Each new Board member is matched with a Board mentor to answer questions and to guide them through the onboarding process. AADE’s Officers and Executive staff are also committed to your success on the Board and are happy to assist you throughout your term.
Q: What is the leadership pathway to becoming an Officer (President-elect, Treasurer)?
A: Only a current member of the Board of Directors or a previous member of the Board who has been off the Board for no more than one year is eligible to be a candidate for an officer position. This limits the pool from which Officers can be elected. For that reason, it is important that all applicants for the Board of Directors consider running for an Officer position at the end of his/her term as Director.
Q: What happens if I can’t attend a Board meeting? A committee meeting?
A: As an elected member of the Board, it is expected that you will attend all scheduled meetings and conference calls. Although unexpected emergencies can arise, repeated absences could lead to actions that may limit your service on the Board.
Q: What is the biggest difference between being a CB leader and being on the national Board of Directors?
A: Service on the national Board of Directors exposes you to issues, policies, and processes that often transcend locality or area of specialty. While CB leaders are more often engaged in task-oriented duties in support of AADE’s mission and vision, Board members are called upon to be more visionary, think strategically, and examine the issues we face both today and in the future.
Q: How do I approach my employer to gain support for my serving on the Board of Directors?
A: Share your intentions to run for a national position with AADE. Include AADE’s mission, vision, strategic plan, and national status as a leader in diabetes education. Emphasize the link between the benefits of service on the Board and the positive impact you will bring to your current position – e.g., national exposure, benchmarking, and best practices that you can bring back to the organization.
As a Board member, your employer’s name is often included in profiles, introductions, and publications, thereby bringing your employer into the national spotlight.
Operationally, share the travel schedule and potential hours away from work that are involved, and any need or ability for paid time off (vacation days), community benefit hours or education hours.
Q: How will service on the Board of Directors help to develop my leadership skills and/or advance my career?
A: Leadership on the national level provides a broad and enlightened view of the national landscape of diabetes education, care and management. Being involved in national discussions about policy, best practices, healthcare reform and changes with a group of peers and leaders from many backgrounds and specialties increases your knowledge and deepens understanding around opportunities and barriers to improved healthcare. As you participate in Board committees, events, and meetings, your skills as a leader develop further over time, which can open up new opportunities that can benefit you for years beyond your AADE Board participation.