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Call for candidates for CPAWS National Board

  • Published on Jun 21 2010 |
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Deadline: July 9, 2010

CPAWS is looking for potential nominees to its national Board of Trustees. The Board has ultimate responsibility for ensuring that CPAWS, as a federally-incorporated not-for-profit charitable organization, is financially sound, onside with relevant laws, and has the policies, plans and programs it needs to accomplish its conservation objectives. The Board can have up to 16 members, generally elected for three-year terms beginning after the Annual General Meeting each fall.

The Governance Committee has responsibility for nominating a slate of trustee candidates each year. It follows policies which ensure that the Board has a combination of relevant skills, experience at the chapter level, and geographic balance. In most cases, trustees are limited to two consecutive terms.

The terms of four current trustees are expiring this fall. All four are eligible for re-election under the term limits policy. Alan Appleby has decided not to stand for re-election because of other commitments in his local community. The other three are all willing to stand for re-election and, given their responsibilities, are likely to be re-nominated. They are: Tim Gray, Chair of the Conservation Committee of the Board; Oliver Kent, President; Dave Wright, Secretary of the Board and Co-chair of the Major Donor Campaign.

Assuming that all three are re-nominated, there is only one vacancy for a new member in 2010. There are likely to be more vacancies in 2011, given that the terms of seven current trustees will expire.

Candidates need to be willing and able to undertake a full trustee workload, including attending all National Board meetings, reading material in advance, participating in committees, and specific tasks assigned between meetings. Experience in governance responsibilities, preferably including at the national level, such as strategic planning, policy development, financial oversight and accountability, and fund development would be valuable. This experience could have been acquired through involvement in a chapter board, the board of another organization, or work responsibilities.
This year, we are particularly interested in identifying candidates who meet one or more of the following priorities: Location - residents of the Atlantic, the North, or Quebec; Expertise - financial management expertise, connection with indigenous peoples, or fund-raising.

The reasons for these priorities are as follows: Geographic Balance - Assuming that the trustees standing for re-election are successful, the Board will have 5 members from Ontario, 4 from the Prairies, 3 from BC and only one from each of the Atlantic, the North, and Quebec.
Expertise - Varied skills are needed for a balanced board to meet its responsibilities in guiding the organization. The Board currently has a range of conservation expertise and legal capabilities. Additional expertise in financial management, donor development, or connection with indigenous peoples would complement the Board’s existing strengths.

In addition, CPAWS seeks to have a range of trustees who are broadly representative of the Canadian public, for example in terms of gender and age.

Please provide us with the names of potential candidates, contact information (telephone and e-mail), and a brief outline of their relevant background and skills (a paragraph or two is sufficient). It is not necessary to have the nominee sign a nomination form, or formally agree to stand for office. The Governance Committee will contact candidates and inquire as to their interest and willingness. When we interview them, we will request a more detailed CV and information to meet Canada Revenue Agency requirements.

The slate of trustees recommended by the Governance Committee will be sent to members at least 60 days prior to the Annual General Meeting (AGM). While the Committee makes every effort to put together the best slate, our by-laws allow any member who feels that the slate falls short of the needs of CPAWS to submit alternative candidates. This may result in a mail-in election, which can be costly in terms of time and the money donated by members. To ensure that donation money is not used wastefully, a by-law change will be proposed at the fall AGM to require that any additional candidates be supported by the signatures of 25 people who were members of CPAWS at the time of the call for candidates. In the spirit of this proposal, we will be asking any non-slate nominations to comply with this change.

Please forward your suggestions for candidates to CPAWS as soon as possible but by July 9, 2010 at the latest, to the e-mail below.

Sherri Watson
Chair, CPAWS Governance Committee