One of the most critical positions we have on the National Board, is the Liaison between the Board and the Regional Leadership, specifically the Regional Vice Presidents. This year, the Board appointed former Region 7 Vice President Edwin Moure Negron to the role and tasked him with revamping the position and rewriting the role definition.
For background, when the Board was 100% elected and had fairly high turnover of Directors, the RVPs were part of the Board. While that served us well as we were growing as an organization and finding our place in the nation, that approach was very tactical forcing the Board to be consumed with the day-to-day management of the organization. As a result, the long-term strategic thinking needed for the growth and financial stability of the organization was difficult to achieve.
To fix this, we changed the nature of the Board from a tactical one, managing the organization’s daily activities, to a strategic one, focused on the long-term direction of the organization and its financial stability. By appointing a CEO and staff team to manage the organization and freeing the Board to make longer term strategic choices, our organization has evolved into a very stable one with a solid financial position and breaking all kinds of membership, growth, and impact records year-over-year.
Because RVPs are part of operations, as managers of the individual regions, they moved from the Board into Operations. However, they also represent the pulse of the organization, something needed for the Board to make sure they don’t get isolated from the membership. So, at the time we made the Board change, we appointed a Board Director to be the Liaison to the RVPs, with information and perspective flowing back and forth to maintain that connection.
The RVPs are in an unique position to sit at the confluence of strategy and operations as they can feed into strategy what is happening in the organization, what works and what doesn’t, but at the same time they are executing the direction of the organization into their regions and insuring we stay on track. This is a unique and very valuable job that must be well connected to the Board.
For the past year, I joined the RVP team to get a feel for what was and was not working and got very valuable insight on our membership and, in particular, the undercurrents shaping our actions. This past year’s RVP team collaborated in all major issues being addressed by the Board and had significant input in the organization’s actions, from logo design to how to respond to social unrest.
This illustrated to me, and the rest of the Board, how critical the position of Liaison is to the managing of the organization and ensuring the Board is connected to the membership.
On July 1st, I appointed Edwin as the new Liaison to the RVPs, with the express objective of redesigning the role to meet both the RVPs and the Board’s needs. At the September Board meeting, we approved the new role description. This will increase collaboration and efficiency for both the Board as well as Regional Management.
The next few months, as we deploy the new model, will be a learning period intended to result in a well-integrated management team. My commitment is to work each and every issue as it arises with Edwin and the current RVP team, so the position becomes effective and our integration seamless.
Our future remains bright, and our potential as an organization continues to grow by leaps and bounds, more so as our management models mature.
Chair, Board of Directors