Major Milestone Reached
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Important Message from the President
I am writing to inform you, the members of the East Coast Trail Association, that the Board of Directors of the East Coast Trail Association reached a major milestone at our meeting on Monday, December 14th, 2009, and marked a solid end to a very good year for the East Coast Trail.
The governance of the Association has been a major topic discussed by the Board over the past three months. The goal of the Board is to lay down a solid organizational foundation capable of meeting the short and long-term needs of the Association. Good governance is a critical success factor and a strategic issue that must be managed well. Your new Board has focused on how best to deal with the following issues:
* Our success has increased the overall volume and complexity of our work.
* We are a volunteer-based organization trying to keep pace with a real-time business.
* The demands placed on our volunteers is significant and growing.
* Our ability to recruit and retain volunteers is impacted by the workload.
* The existing governance foundation is not sufficiently defined and documented.
* Our long-term funding will depend on good governance as we look to the corporate world.
* The accountability of the Board and the Executive Committee is critical and must be measured.
We began by examining the role of the Board versus the management of the Association. We decided that the Board should focus on the business of the Board (strategic direction and overseeing the activities of the Association), and the Executive Committee should focus on the management and operation of the Association. This will achieve the desired separation of duties while establishing the basis for the accountability of both the Board and the Executive Committee. In the next step we reviewed the role of the President and decided, based on the goal of accountability, that the role of the Board Chair and the Chief Executive Officer should be separated as well. This decision also addressed the need to reduce the workload on the President to a more manageable level.
On Monday, December 14th, the Board passed a resolution to formally separate the role of Board Chair from the role of the President, establishing the new position of Board Chair. Kate O’Brien was nominated for the Board Chair position, and Kate’s nomination was approved. Kate will be responsible for chairing Board meetings, organizing and managing the business of the Board, will be an ex-officio member of all Board committees, and will chair the annual general meeting of the Association. Kate is a partner with the law firm O’Brien and Anthony, and joined our Board in July 2009, having served as a core member of our Land and Legal Committee for several years.
Please join me in congratulating Kate and thanking her for accepting the nomination, wishing her well in her new role as Board Chair, and offering Kate our pledge of support. Thank you Kate … much appreciated.
Kate will formally assume her role as Board Chair at our January 2010 meeting. Kate will be the third Chair since our beginning in 1994. Peter Gard was our first President and Board Chair for the period 1994 to April 1996. I have served as President and Board Chair from May 1996 to December 2009. I will continue as President, and the President’s position will continue to be the Chief Executive Officer for the East Coast Trail Association and its spokesperson.
The following is a list of the current Board members and the positions they hold:
* Kate O’Brien, Board Chair
* Bill Luby, Director
* Robert Sexty, Director
* Craig Murrin, Director
* Lucy O’Drisscoll, Director
* Wayne King, Director
* Isa Bernardy-Whalen, Director
* Bruce Schelswell, Director, Chair of the Project Management Committee for Trail Development
* Geoff Emberly, Director, VP Trail Maintenance and Development
* Adrian Tanner, Director, VP Land and Legal
* Randy Murphy, Director, President
The following four Board position are vacant and need to be filled as soon as possible. Please contact me immediately if you, or someone you know, is interested in supporting anyone of these positions. We have an urgent need to the fill the VP Finance and VP Revenue positions.
* Vacant, Director
* Vacant, Director, VP Finance and Administration
* Vacant, Director, VP Revenue
* Vacant, Director, VP Marketing and Communication
Thank you all for your support and commitment to the Association throughout the past year. I look forward to continuing to work with you and the Board in my capacity as President. Please call me if you have any questions (754-1953).
Happy New Year and all the best in 2010.
President, East Coast Trail Association