FNPS Chapter Board of Directors and Executive Committee

FNPS Chapter Board of Directors and Elections

Upon adoption of bylaws, FNPS Chapter organizers elect their initial officers and the FNPS Chapter Representative. For subsequent elections, Chapters vary as to when they hold elections; some Chapters use the calendar year, others hold elections at the beginning or end of a season or at the time of the FNPS annual conference.The Chapter bylaws can specify the composition of the nominating committee and how the membership will be notified of the docket, along with other procedures relating to the election. The Chapter business meeting where elections are held is typically considered the "annual meeting" of the membership, and other annual activities may occur as well.

At a minimum FNPS Chapter officers must include a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Officers may not hold more than one office. Their term of office—as well as term limits—are defined within the Chapter bylaws. As the FNPS Chapter grows it may have more board members and standing committees similar to the FNPS BOD and according to its needs. Officers may initially serve in other capacities, for example as newsletter editor, a committee chair, and/or field trip leader. It is extremely important, however, to delegate positions in order to develop a network of volunteers. As the Chapter grows, the responsibilities, duties and procedures for each position should be documented, from President to Hospitality Chair. This grid of roles and responsibilities developed by the Hernando Chapter may serve as a starting point.

Keeping the Society Informed

Each month, the FNPS Contractor for Consolidated Administrative Services sends a Chapter Information Form to the Chapter's membership chair that summarizes basic Chapter information, including the officers and contact information. It is very important that any changes are noted and communicated to the Society. Following elections, information should be updated as soon as new officers begin their terms.

Chapter Board Meetings

The executive committee officers (President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary), Chapter Representative, and standing committee chairs often meet right before the regular FNPS Chapter monthly meeting. This is an opportunity for the executive committee to discuss and prioritize the issues and events that will be brought to the FNPS Chapter membership for their consideration. Some Chapters hold their BOD meetings separately, at a different time and venue. In either case, the date and time of these board meetings should be publicized to the membership.

Proposals for community service projects and issues generated by the membership are directed to the Executive Committee. In some Chapters, the Executive Committee develops recommendations independently prior to discussion with the full board; in smaller Chapters the full board often works together to formulate the recommendation to be brought to the general membership. The President prepares the agenda for Board Meetings, and asks other Board members for input and additional items, usually via e-mail. As discussed in Chapter Finances, fiscal decisions are a key agenda item for the Board. The President presides at the Board Meeting and should attend to moving the meeting along and refocusing discussions with clarifying questions and summary statements. While it is common for each Board member to report on their activities, they should be reminded to report efficiently. Board minutes are recorded by the Secretary, distributed to the Board members. Minutes should be available to the general Chapter membership; this can be accomplished via hardcopy, posting to the Chapter website, or upon request.

FNPS Chapter Representatives

FNPS Chapter Representatives serve as a vital communication link between FNPS and the FNPS Chapter—the primary function of the FNPS Chapter Representative is to provide information to the Chapter about FNPS proceedings, and report Chapter items to the Society. Each Chapter must select a Representative that can serve as a member of the FNPS BOD and attend FNPS BOD meetings. Chapter Representatives are also historically expected to serve on an FNPS standing committee; this committee should be selected to reflect the interests of both the individual Chapter Rep and the Chapter as a whole.

The FNPS Chapter Representative has one vote on the Board of Directors; in the event that the Chapter Representative is unable to attend a FNPS BOD meeting, it is highly recommended that the Chapter send a substitute with a written proxy. In the event a Chapter is unrepresented, the FNPS Secretary documents this absence and reports it to the Chapter President. Chapter representatives are expected to report back to their Chapter following a FNPS Board meeting. In recent years, the FNPS Secretary provides a brief summary of key discussions and decisions to help them do so.

The first time anyone attends an FNPS Board meeting a lot is going on and it can be fairly disorienting. This Factsheet answers many questions about serving on the FNPS board as a Chapter Representative. We recommend that the Chapter download and print the pdf file and keep it for reference.