Category Archives: Governance

Term Limits for Board Members and Committee Chairs – Careful What You Wish For!

Maria Bianchi, CAE, Vice President of Client Service and Best Practice, Interel + AMG; Executive Vice President, American Ambulance Association (AAA)

About 10 years ago the American Ambulance Association (AAA) changed its Bylaws to implement term limits. There were a number of reasons for the change including little movement or change in leadership as well as a lack of candidates for AAA President (few were willing to go from committee member or Director to President-Elect).  » Read More

Association Reserves: Key Policy Components

By Denise Turner, Vice President Finance/Operations

Every association leader should periodically consider their organization’s reserves.

Association financial policies are very similar to your own personal financial policies. Tracking expenditures and income; carefully monitoring the flow in both directions and, hopefully, putting aside funds for a rainy day is important. But, unlike your personal finances (unless you are fortunate enough to employ a team of accountants), AMG’s client-associations benefit from our experienced finance department to stay on top of their revenue and expenditure items.  » Read More

Governance Strategies to Sustain your Association

By J. Bruce Wardle, CAE, AMG President/CEO

J. Bruce Wardle, CAE

Associations that fail to invest in governance strategies to build sustainability may risk losing momentum, influence, and possibly even members. Enlightened boards strategically navigate on two fronts: managing current issues or challenges and readying themselves and their associations for what could happen in the future.

To build a board culture that can successfully keep these two needs at the forefront simultaneously, adaptability, innovation, and resilience are essential.  » Read More

“Who Am I? Why Am I Here?”

By Greg Principato, President & CEO, National Association of State Aviation Officials / AMG Executive/p>

Greg Principato

Those words were the first uttered by Adm. James Bond Stockdale, former POW, War Hero and 1992 running mate of Ross Perot during that year’s vice presidential debate. Unfortunately for Adm. Stockdale, those were the most memorable words he spoke that night. But they also capture a sentiment that many of us in association management wrestle with on an ongoing basis.  » Read More

Innovation and the Road to Relevance

By Maria Bianchi, CAE, American Ambulance Association, AMG Vice President of Association Practices and EVP

Maria Bianchi, CAE

Recently the American Ambulance Association (AAA) embarked on a journey related to innovation with the purpose being the creation of new member benefits and revenue streams.

In years past, the AAA’s primary focus was Medicare and Regulatory issues as they relate to the industry, and while successful in achieving many of our goals, the number of actual member companies declined.  » Read More

Changing the Board Agenda: A Primer on How to Move from an Operating Board to a Strategic Thinking Board

By Maria Bianchi, CAE, Executive VP, American Ambulance Association and AMG Vice President, Client Services

Maria Bianchi, CAE

Board meetings usually get a bad rap.  Volunteer leaders complain about the lack of discussion, the amount of “paper,” the presentations and reports presented are boring and take up too much time.  Volunteers have less time to spend on their leadership role, making it even more important for the meetings to be structured so that those participating leave with a sense that their time was spent wisely.   » Read More

Generational Difference In Volunteer Leadership

By Maria Bianchi, CAE, AMG Vice President of Association Practices

Maria Bianchi

Gone are the days when white haired, retired men sat around a Board table discussing ways to help the profession, trade, industry that gave to them so much.  While a number of seats on Boards may be occupied by these leaders from days gone by, you are more likely to see women, minorities, and generation X, Y, and millennial, putting their collective heads together for the greater good of their respective profession, trade or industry.   » Read More

Be a Board Member Who Makes a Difference

By J. Bruce Wardle, CAE, AMG President & CEO

J. Bruce Wardle

Much has been written about the critical role boards play in overseeing a nonprofit’s mission, financial health, and strategic direction, but there are a few more things to address that can help you make a difference as you serve.

With more than 20 years of hands-on experience working with nonprofit boards, and serving on a few myself, I have an opinion about how a board member can best magnify his or her contribution and impact.  » Read More

Member, Volunteer and Leadership Loyalty – What I’ve Learned

By Maria Bianchi, CAE, AMG Vice President for Association Practices and EVP, American Ambulance Association

Maria Bianchi, CAE

After practicing association management for 25 years, I thought I had many of the answers that plagued younger colleagues of mine regarding the retention of an association’s members, workforce and leadership. I was wrong.

During the past five years, much of what I thought I knew was no longer working.   » Read More

Good Governance

by Maria Bianchi, CAE, Vice President, AMG and Executive VP, American Ambulance Association

Maria Bianchi, CAE

In more than 25 years in association management, working with nonprofit organizations, my transformation from believing that governance rules and procedures are obstacles to getting things done to my current thought that they are the chalice which holds an association’s values and defines its culture is complete. While many leaders and staff still struggle with the day- to -day trials of the inherent rules of engagement, the intention of insuring that the principles of good governance are integrated into the daily work of all who touch the association can be quite easy….once you understand the need for rules and procedures.  » Read More