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Leadership Restructuring
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Leadership History & Restructure

When the Association was chartered in 1976, it was governed by a Board of Directors consisting of regional representatives and officers. In addition to the Board of Directors, many other volunteers assumed leadership positions in order to further the work of the Association. Editors for the various NODA publications, regional coordinators, and other appointed positions work closely with the Board to plan and implement activities and services. National and regional networks address areas of special interests to the membership.

In August of 2007 the Association realized one of its long term goals, the establishment of a permanent association office and the hiring of its first Executive Director. These two milestone events have positively impacted the operational management of the business of the Association. With the addition of paid Association staff and the utilization of member volunteers to conduct the work of the Association, the board now focuses less on the operations of the Association and more on larger policy issues and the strategic vision of the Association. Acknowledging that this type of governance culture may change the current composition and structure of the board, an ad hoc committee was formed to begin to examine the role of the board and the role of the association office in the management and governance of the Association. Based on the work of this first ad hoc committee, on March 18, 2010 the NODA Board of Directors voted to move from a "working board” to a "policy (strategic) board” and to create a second ad hoc "Implementation Committee" to facilitate this transition.

The Implementation Committee used the Guiding Principles document provided by the Ad-Hoc Committee on Leadership Restructuring as a guide rather than a blueprint for their exploration and discussions. Given the dynamic nature of our organization, and the lapsed time since the creation of the document, it is understood that adjustments needed to be considered and made to meet the changing needs of our organization.
The Implementation Committee considered the financial, administrative, reputational, and cultural impacts on the Association, as well as, the role/relationship of the Association Staff when discussing the merits, challenges, and implementation of each recommendation.

Using this information, the Implementation Committee was left with the following charge:

  • Suggest and define specific positions on the strategic board
  • Recommend terms of appointments and/or elections (e.g. term lengths, election cycles & processes)
  • Recommend board committee-structure – suitable for a policy board
  • Recommend frequency of board meetings
  • Develop a transition plan and appropriate timeline to move towards the newly proposed structure

An initial report was submitted to the NODA Board of Directors prior to their spring board meeting in March 2011. Recommendations from that report were accepted, and the committee was asked to provide additional details about certain items.

At the fall 2011 Board of Directors Meeting, the board approved the final recommendations of the Implementation Committee on Leadership Restructuring.

Summary of Key Recommendations

  1. Reduce the size of the Board of Directors to 16, to be comprised of four officers and 12 general members. Move from the current board structure of regionally elected representatives to electing all board members from the association membership at-large
  2. Change the composition of the Executive Committee to include the newly defined officers of the association (current President, President-Elect, Past-President, Secretary/Treasurer) and 2 general board members. Elect Association Officers by vote of the entire Association Membership
  3. Form a Nominations Committee to seek qualified candidates for the Board of Directors, to coordinate elections, and to eventually focus on leadership development of the board
  4. Increase the frequency of Board of Directors meetings. Use technology options to supplement in-person meetings and continue board work and connection between meetings
  5. Create new Board/Association committee structure to involve more association members and ensure association staff and appropriate board member involvement in committee work. This change would allow the Board of Directors to focus on strategic planning and policy issues
If you would like more information about the NODA Leadership Restructuring, please contact the Association Office at
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