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Tutorial plan gains traction at board level

New committee members would receive orientation

By Greg Ellison
Staff Writer

(Jan. 2, 2020) After gaining traction with the OPA Board of Directors during its meeting on Dec. 4, the OPA Communications Committee at its Dec. 19 session revisited discussions of creating a protocol tutorial for new advisory committee chairs or members.
Jenny Cropper Rines, communications committee chairwoman, said during the meeting that the concept has been considered previously by different association leadership but failed to resonate.
“It didn’t go anywhere at all,” she said.

Jenny Cropper Rines, right, reviews a revamped orientation for new committee members, with board liaison Dr. Colette Horn last month.

Unlike the past cold reception, this time the proposal found a receptive audience, Rines said.
“This year at the Executive Council, it came up again [about] how many chairs and committee members aren’t aware of the resolutions and their actual purpose,” she said.
Rines said OPA President Doug Parks, board member Tom Janasek and committee liaison Dr. Colette Horn have expressed interest in participating to develop the training curriculum.
“To me that sounds like a task force,” she said.
Horn said based on the board discussion earlier this month, it was determined the process would be ongoing once content decisions were reached.
“My thought has been that boards change more radically and quickly than membership of committees,” she said. “This is exactly the kind of thing that the communications committee could take on as a long-term task that they do for the board.”
Horn concurred that the yet to be formed task force should be comprised of members from both the communications committee and board of directors.
Horn also noted the importance of advisory committee board liaisons obtaining sufficient foundational knowledge of OPA governing guidelines.
Rines said in some instances a lack of knowledge by board liaisons has been noted.
“Over the years, there are liaisons who have never participated in committees who are now board members,” she said.
Horn said when the issue was talked about by the board earlier this month, the directors concluded that committee chairs and board liaisons should be oriented together.
“Doug [Parks] sees it as a recruitment tool,” she said.
Through revamping orientation efforts, the hope is to encourage those previously hesitant to consider running for the board of directors.
“There are people that I’ve [asked] ‘would you run for the board’ [and] they don’t want to have anything to do with it,” she said. “There are people on committees who are very happy being on committees, but they don’t want to run for the board.”
Horn said what will have to happen is that people must be willing to “do their homework.”
“That’s a cultural issue in our governance, making sure that everybody brings their best game,” she said.
Horn volunteered to chair a related task force that would likely be established in January.