Frequently Asked Questions
What board positions must be filled this year?
The call for nominations will open in October 2023 for 2024–2026 board candidates.
Who is the ideal board candidate?
There is no "ideal" board candidate. Instead, Association Forum wants its board to include individuals with diverse work, life, social and educational backgrounds so that it can make well-rounded decisions that reflect its entire membership. Association Forum seeks diversity—in terms of age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, industry, location, and work roles—for its board.
What criteria will the Nominating Committee use to select board candidates?
The only requirement of board candidates is that they are a member of Association Forum with leadership and management experience. Assuming they meet membership requirements, the Nominating Committee will evaluate board candidates based on their background, including their credentials, past leadership experience, and association industry tenure; their Association Forum experience, including their past involvement in Association Forum committees and programs; and their personal characteristics, including their communication skills, leadership style, and commitment to diversity.
Because potential candidates don't always know what the committee looks for in a board member, the Nominating Committee has made its selection criteria very clear. There are five items:
- Background: What kind of organization do you serve? Do you have previous board experience? Do you have a CAE?
- Association Forum experience: How long have you been a member and what activities have you been involved in?
- Personal characteristics: Are you easy to approach? Are you visionary and strategic? Are you ethical? Because part of your responsibility as a board member is to be a role model, leadership qualities critical.
- Board diversity: The Association Forum is dedicated to diversity—gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, experience level, and even type, size, and kind of organization—and that’s something we look at carefully. What will you bring to the board's composition?
- Your commitment to active leadership: In addition to three annual board meetings, will you attend Holiday Showcase, Honor's Gala, Women's Executive Forum, and other programming events throughout the year?
To see a complete list of criteria, click here.
What do board volunteers do?
You think. You plan. You evaluate. You build the foundation for the needs of professionals across the association-industry space to be successful in their roles. Volunteers bring a variety of viewpoints and knowledge which, when blended with the knowledge and skill of Association Forum’s team, are essential to the organization's continued success.
What do board volunteers get in return for their service?
Previous Association Forum Board members have attested to the tremendous value of board service. In addition to impressive line items for their resumes, they have reported significant professional and personal benefits, including the opportunity to meet, work with and learn from industry leaders; the chance to share their own knowledge, expertise, and training with others; professional recognition that elevates their stature within their own organizations and within the association community at large; valuable work experience that opens the door to new career opportunities; and relationships with new friends and lifelong mentors.
How much time does board service require?
Although board members must be willing to invest time in preparing for and thoughtfully participating in board meetings, the time commitment is not onerous. The Association Forum Board meets three times a year. Board members are expected to attend Honor's Gala, Holiday Showcase, serve as a board liaison to a committee or working group, and miscellaneous other educational programs and activities.
How do I nominate a candidate?
If you know of an individual who meets the Nominating Committee's criteria, and who might be willing to serve on the Association Forum Board, please complete the online nomination form. Association Forum will then contact the candidate with the link to the board application.
Can I nominate myself?
Yes. Association Forum members may nominate themselves for board service by following the same procedures they would use in order to nominate someone else.
What if I’m nominated, but not elected?
There is always next year! And there are always myriad volunteer opportunities within the Association Forum. The Nominating Committee will provide feedback to applicants who were not slated for the board so they can improve their applications and their future chances of being slated.
When are board applications due?
The call for nominations for 2024–2026 Board candidates will open in October 2023. Applications are due by December 3, 2023, 11:59pm Central Time.
Who can answer other questions that I have?
For more information about the nominating process, or about nominating criteria, contact Caryn Adolph at (312) 924-7073 or firstname.lastname@example.org.