Ep. 126: Ask Me Anything – Governance: Recruitment and Engagement

May 29, 2024 |

Jennifer answers Dr. Amanda and Elizabeth's questions about governance as they endeavor to strengthen their Board of Directors.

In this episode of Senior Living Visionaries, host Jennifer Drago welcomes Dr. Amanda Young and Elizabeth Weglein from The Wesley at Home. Jennifer, a seasoned strategy and governance consultant, introduces her guests and answers their questions about governance as they endeavor to strengthen their Board of Directors.

Overview of The Wesley at Home [02:44]
Dr. Amanda Young provides an introduction to The Wesley at Home, a program with a rich history dating back to 1867. Originally serving Civil War widows, the organization has evolved significantly. Amanda shares that they received their Certificate of Registration in July 2022 and are now focusing on educating the public about their innovative Continuing Care at Home (CCAH) program. She announces the upcoming rebranding of The Wesley at Home to Wesley Secure Care, set to launch in June 2024, which aims to better convey their mission and services.

Elizabeth Weglein’s Role and Contributions [04:31]
Elizabeth Weglein, CEO of Elizabeth Cooney Personnel Agency and Vice Chair of The Wesley at Home, discusses her involvement with the board and the development of The Wesley at Home. Elizabeth highlights the organization's transformative vision and its commitment to addressing gaps in the senior living marketplace. She emphasizes the collaborative efforts to recruit top experts and create a unique, impactful program.

Unique Positioning and Partnerships [06:09]
Jennifer Drago points out that Wesley Secure Care is distinct from many CCAH programs as it is not connected to a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). This allows them to partner with various senior living organizations and extend their mission. Amanda Young elaborates on their strategic partnerships, such as with Edenwald, to provide a wide range of services without requiring significant investments in new infrastructure. These collaborations enable Wesley Secure Care to pivot quickly and offer innovative solutions in the senior living sector.

Governance and Board Development [08:06]
The conversation shifts to governance and board development, with Amanda Young discussing the challenges of expanding their board and finding members with the right expertise and diversity. Jennifer Drago introduces the Strategic Board Composition Matrix from BoardSource, a valuable tool for evaluating and identifying gaps in board composition. The discussion highlights the importance of leveraging professional networks and being intentional about diversity in board recruitment.

Engaging Board Members [12:33]
Elizabeth Weglein raises a crucial question about keeping board members engaged. Jennifer Drago emphasizes the role of thorough orientation, ongoing education, and mentorship in building confidence and involvement among board members. She suggests structuring board meetings to prioritize strategic discussions and maintaining high energy levels to foster engagement. Elizabeth adds the importance of setting clear expectations for board members’ time commitments beyond meetings.

Consent Agendas [27:10]
Amanda Young inquires about the use of consent agendas to streamline meetings and create more time for discussion. Jennifer Drago explains that consent agendas are ideal for routine items such as minutes, committee reports, and operational dashboards. She advises against including financials and executive reports in the consent agenda, especially for newer organizations like Wesley Secure Care that may need in-depth discussions on these topics.

Presenting Board Candidates [32:19]
The process of presenting board candidates to the rest of the board is discussed. Jennifer suggests that the governance committee should provide detailed information about candidates, including their resumes and a summary of their qualifications. This ensures transparency and allows the board to make informed decisions. Elizabeth adds the value of standardized interview questions to evaluate candidates consistently.

Keeping Potential Board Members Engaged [35:37]
Elizabeth asks about maintaining engagement with potential board members who may not join immediately. Jennifer recommends involving them in committees or keeping them informed through newsletters and events. This approach helps maintain their interest and prepares them for future board positions. Elizabeth also suggests the concept of advisory boards, which can include retiring board members and potential new members, providing them with a platform to contribute and stay connected.

Conclusion [39:48]
Jennifer Drago concludes the episode by applauding the strategic and intentional efforts of Amanda and Elizabeth in strengthening governance and investing in the ongoing development of their board. She emphasizes that a strong board is a competitive advantage for any nonprofit organization. Jennifer expresses her appreciation for their openness and participation in the discussion, encouraging listeners to reach out with additional insights or questions.

***Maximize your board's potential! Grab a copy of Nonprofit Governance Self-Assessment workbook to identify areas where your board excels and where it can improve. ➡️ https://www.peaktoprofit.com/f/board ***

About Our Guest:

Amanda Young serves as the Executive Director of The Wesley at Home (soon to be Wesley Secure Care). She is an experienced gerontologist and specializes in launching and operating Continuing Care at Home (CCaH) programs.

Elizabeth Weglein serves as the CEO of Elizabeth Cooney Personnel Agency and Vice Chair of The Wesley at Home Board of Directors

About the Show:

Subscribe to be notified of new episodes of Senior Living Visionaries as they are published! Subscribe to Senior Living Visionaries.
Know someone who would make a great guest on the Senior Living Visionaries podcast? Apply here: Podcast Guest Application Form.

Categories: : Growth, Leadership, Mindset, Strategy