In the first quarter of the new year, many community associations have either just elected new Boards of Directors and appointed new association officers, or are preparing to do so. As we frequently receive questions during this time regarding the roles, responsibilities, duties and obligations of the association officers, we have prepared a series of blog posts exploring the roles of the President, Secretary and Treasurer. In our following first blog post in this series, we will discuss the role of the Board President.
The President serves as its chief executive officer and generally has all of the powers and duties of any president of any other corporation organized under the Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code. These powers generally include, but are not limited to, appointing committees, calling special meetings of the association members, establishing agendas for all association and board meetings, and presiding over those meetings.
At the beginning of his or her term, the President should help the board define the association’s goals and establish a plan for achieving each of those goals, including periodic reviews during the year of goals and progress made toward meeting them.
To achieve the board’s goals, it is also important to establish procedures for conducting the business of the board of directors. At the beginning of each year, the President should schedule regular board meetings for that year, accommodating member schedules as much as possible. In addition, the President should lead the board in establishing a master calendar for the association that will include such items as board and regular association meeting dates and timelines for sending any required notices therefore, budget planning and approval time periods, vendor contract renewal dates, newsletter publishing dates, and dates for community walk-throughs.
The President is responsible for the efficient operation of board and association meetings. As presiding officer, the President is required to:
- Call meetings to order on time and adjourn meetings at the appropriate time
- Announce business according to the prescribed order of business
- Recognize members who are entitled to speak
- State and put to vote all questions that are legitimately raised, and announce the results of all votes
- Maintain order through the meeting and rule on points of order
- Conduct the meeting expeditiously and in a fair manner
To ensure effective board meetings, the President should prepare an agenda and distribute it to the board in advance of the meeting. This will permit each director time to review it and ask questions or obtain additional information before the meeting. Relevant information and documents should be distributed with the agenda to allow directors to study issues and make informed decisions by the business judgment rule on matters handled at meetings.
While the board of directors ultimately operates the association, the President has a big job. With an understanding of the President’s role and proper planning, the President can have a lasting impact on his or her community association’s success.