From The Blog

Committee Makes Board Service Accessible

This year, the KICA board of directors made changes to the former Nominating Committee. In previous years, that committee vetted candidates who were considering board service and made
recommendations to the membership. While the committee was formed in good faith and served an important purpose, members reached out to the board of directors, expressing unhappiness with the process. The restructured committee, now the Board Outreach and Education Committee, will work to encourage members to run for board service and provide information on how board service works.

KICA’s board created the Nominating Committee in 2014 to address a particular issue that they felt was problematic: as in many other community associations, it was difficult to find candidates willing or able to commit to board service. To fill the upcoming vacancies, board members were reaching out to their friends and neighbors – often people in the same demographic segment. The Nominating Committee was meant to create a process that reached members in a broader way, working to connect with property owners who might have interest in running for the board and recruit them.

The committee also received information from the board on skillsets or demographics that were under or overrepresented, and worked to encourage candidates who might meet those needs to apply. The committee conducted interviews with each candidate, received written statements that were then publicized to the community and finally, made recommendations on which candidates, based on their metrics, were qualified.

The committee, while a common practice among community associations, was not without its detractors. However, most of those questioned the vetting and recommending of candidates, rather
than the outreach and information gathering.

At KICA’s 2020 Annual Meeting, then-chair Diana Mezzanotte introduced a change in direction for the Nominating Committee in response to these
member concerns, which the board decided at their strategic planning session. Diana announced a board task force, composed of Brad McIlvain, Sue Schaffer and Townsend Clarkson, which would
“be examining all aspects of the NC from top to bottom. Our board’s only prerequisite (because we
have been listening) is that the committee will no longer recommend or not recommend candidates.” The task force later committed to restructuring the committee entirely at their July 13 board meeting.

Now called the Board Outreach and Education Committee (BOEC), the committee will not, as Diana made clear, make recommendations. It has also ceased vetting candidates in any way and stepped up its outreach efforts. The information gathering, including biographies and video interviews, that members find so helpful is also a major focus of the new committee.

The 2020 committee is made up of chair Sue Schaffer, Cynthia Riesenberg, Paul Hilstad, Will Lehder and Kelly Bragg. In October, the BOEC steps up its efforts to reach out to members whomight wish to run for the KICA board. Applications will open on Thursday, Oct. 8 and prior to that, the BOEC will hold a Board Service Open House. At this virtual meeting, hear from past board members, as well as members of the committee who will walk you through how the KICA board works. If you can’t attend the first open house on Thursday, Oct. 8 at4 p.m., there is a second on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 1 p.m.

At these sessions, learn about KICA’s policy governance model, as well as some essential skills for board members. These include broader soft skills, like consensus-building, and more specific hard skills. The current board is looking for members with finance skills to expand their financial expertise. In2021, both Sue Schaffer and Diana Mezzanotte will end their terms, leaving no women directors on the board. The BOEC would like to particularly encourage this demographic to consider applying for 2021-2023 directorships.

If you are considering board service, remember that any KICA member in good-standing is welcome to run for the board of directors. Reach out to the BOEC by emailing [email protected] where your email will be passed along to the committee chair.


Oct. 8 | 4 p.m. | Board Service Open House
Oct. 8 | Applications Open
Oct. 28 | 1 p.m. | Board Service Open House
Nov. 20 | Applications Close
Jan. 5 | Meet the Candidates
Jan. 6 | Vote Opens
Feb. 5 | Vote Closes