Avalanche Center Home Join the Team - Board Members

[Paid Staff]

Board of Directors

Status: We are always open to new board members. There is no maximum so any requests or nominations will be taken under consideration by the current board. We need either a secretary or treasurer at this time.

Board Structure: The CSAC functions with at least three voting board members. Additional "unofficial" or "advisory" members sometimes offer support and advice. The functions of officers are no longer carried out by the Board of Directors - President, Treasurer and Secretary are separate functions.

Location: We originally had a board which was entirely based in Corvallis, Oregon where our main office is. While this worked extremely well at first and allowed the board to meet on a regular basis as well as directly manage the initial growth period of the organization. The initial board members were not professionals, they were hands-on local climbers, skiers and gear-heads.

The organization has now matured to the point where we need a strong and committed board which will provide oversight and occasional support as required. We are always looking for experienced professionals who are outstanding in their fields and also have some background in snow avalanches. Since we no longer rely on the board for day-to-day tasks and can communicate via e-mail and the web it is possible for Board members to be located anywhere.

Duration: The by-laws provide for an indefinite term - until resignation, death or incapacitating illness/injury, or removal by a vote of the other board members.

Time Commitment: Minimal, but not zero. Board members should plan to participate in approximately one board meeting per month (which is held by e-mail except in rare extenuating circumstances which require significant discussion) and to spend whatever time they find necessary to carry out their duties, which are primarily oversight. (Carrying out ones duties may require a few phone calls, requesting and reviewing records from the office as they deem necessary, etc.)

Compensation: Essentially none. Board members are eligible for all pro-purchase deals available to the CSAC. Actual expenses incurred can be reimbursed as long as they are documented. That is about it. Serving on the board of a 501c3 non-profit is generally not something one does for a tangible return but because they support the mission and the efforts of the organization.

Responsibilities: The following is from "A Guide to Nonprofit Board Service in Oregon" by the Office of the Attorney General -

"The board is not expected to manage the day-to-day activities of the charity. It is their role to hire [or appoint, since the CSAC has insufficient funds to hire] the officers and to oversee those people. A related function of the board is to set the compensation of the officers. Every board member should know what the officers are paid." [For the CSAC the executive director / President is paid for ten hours per month at minimum wage. Other officers are unpaid.]

"The principal role of the board members is stewardship. They are ultimately responsible for the management of the affairs of the charity. They must insure that the organization is operated for a charitable/public purpose and not for private benefit."

"One of the most important functions of the board is keeping the resources and efforts focused on the charity's mission. This requires the board to have an adequate understanding of the organizations programs, people and resources available. As a starting point, every board member should be familiar with the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws." [These documents are online on the CSAC Website.]

In the interest of fulfilling their stewardship duties any board member may request a copy of any document filed in the main office at any time. They may also make information requests of any of the officers at any time.

Legal Duties and Liabilities: Federal and State Laws both offer a great deal of protection for individuals serving voluntarily on the board of a nonprofit as long as they meet the following duties -

  • Duty of due care (reasonable inquiry, basically making it a point to know what's going on)
  • Duty of loyalty (avoiding conflicts of interest)
  • Duty of obedience (to the governing documents, federal and state laws, and the organizations mission and procedures)
  • Other misc duties (ensuring adequate records and financial controls)

Officers Roles

The officers are more hands-on and ultimately answer to the board. Their duties are as follows -

President - Chairs monthly (e-mail) board meetings. The President primarily serves to keep the project running by doing whatever is necessary, and supervises staff and volunteers.

Secretary - Responsible for preparing e-mail board meetings using summaries and reviews obtained from board members, officers and employees; providing the meeting for review by board members via e-mail; making any changes necessary for approval by all board members; and providing a final copy to the office for posting in the web archive. (Ideally Board Meetings are monthly, in reality they happen when we can make the time. When we have a Secretary this should go smoother than when we don't. Keeps all organization non-financial records. Prepares official correspondence in some situations. Maintains the organizations mailing lists for press contacts and outdoor industry contacts or works with volunteer help to do this.

Treasurer - Responsible for maintaining financial records.

Contact: snow@csac.org

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