First, I want to compliment you on what I experienced as the high quality of this Leading Edge class. The members I had the privilege of interviewing all presented themselves as informed, compassionate individuals who possess the maturity to recognize that none of us gets where we are by ourselves, and in turn, want to make themselves available to help others get where they are going or need to be going. My only regret is that it won’t be possible for me to bring all five into the organization I represent! I don’t know if this is a result of referral, selection or training, but you’re doing something right.

Secondly, I want to affirm what I think is LFW’s creative approach to board member selection and service. The ‘shadowing’ approach is something we have adopted at Clayton YES! It just makes so much sense to invite prospective candidates to sit in on a few board meetings to truly learn about the organization and observe how this particular board actually functions. The candidate is in a much better position to assess what his or her unique contribution might be, as well as decide whether or not the organization captures the passion he or she wants to invest in the community.

Another way that this approach has worked for us is the ability to strike while the iron is hot. If I meet someone in February who expresses an interest and who I think has the potential to be a contributing board member, I don’t really want to tell them I’ll get back to them in September when we form our Nominating Committee. In my experience, most BOD Bylaws specify a nominating process, but most also allow for filling vacancies at any time. The number of members specified is usually a range, and boards are not usually at their maximum, so there is usually room to fill ‘vacancies.’ I would encourage any organization to give this approach a try; what’s to lose?

Finally thank you for your dedication to LFW and the role you have played in bringing the original vision to fruition. I couldn’t begin to count the number of leaders in the community who experienced LFW, and I’m certain that the program enhanced their effectiveness in the community. Additionally, there are also scores of us who have benefited from the suburban programs modeled after LFW.

Thank you again for the opportunity to participate in Speed Boarding; it matters to our organization.


Nancy Kirkland
President, Clayton YES! BOD