More Information: Member-at-large

Question: What is a member-at-large?

Answer: For NAPNAP’s Executive Board, members-at-large do not have a specific list of duties. Rather they serve the board’s strategic needs as determined by the president at any given time. Members-at-large may have various responsibilities and projects – short or long-term – during their elected two-year term. For an example, a member-at-large may be tasked with serving as a liaison to a federal task force or assigned to a workgroup tackling a new project for NAPNAP. A member-at-large has the same responsibility to ensure the mission and success of the association just as a president, secretary or treasurer. A member-at-large is a full voting member of the Executive Board.

Question: Why and how did the board decide to have members-at-large?

Answer: The Executive Board convened a workgroup on optimal size and structure. This group spent over a year extensively studying association best practices, peer organization structures, etc. The Executive Board, over the course of several in-person meetings, discussed the workgroup’s findings and debated options. Ultimately, the Executive Board decided that the association was at a point in its evolution where it needed to focus on more strategic matters and leave the day-to-day operations to the staff, providing oversight as appropriate. To handle the versatile strategic needs of our growing association, the board decided to retire named (or more operational) positions in favor of members-at-large.

As a membership association, restructuring the board required a change in our bylaws. The recommendation was put forth to the membership in January 2014 and voted on in March 2014. The transition to an 11-person, all elected board began in July 2014.

Question: What does a member-at-large do?

Answer: A member-at-large’s duties will be specifically defined during his or her term on the board. These duties may include, but are not limited to, serving as a:

  • Board liaison to chapters or SIGs
  • Chair or active member of a Board-appointed workgroup
  • Representative on external panels, task forces, collaboratives, etc.
  • Spokesperson for NAPNAP
  • Board liaison to one or more committees
    • Communicate regularly with committee chair to stay up-to-date on committee projects and activities.
    • Contact the chair before each board meeting to become fully informed about relevant agenda items.
    • Present committee agenda items to the board.
    • Promptly notify the chair of pertinent board discussion or action.
    • Provide input to the president about current or past committee members who are chair candidates.
  • Interim committee chair should the committee chair step down
  • Mentor to committee chairs and committee members to expand their leadership roles in the association
  • Finance Committee member

Question: Why is the difference between a member-at-large and a committee chair?

Answer: A member-at-large is on the Executive Board and handles various tasks for the board. A committee chair is the leader of a national NAPNAP committee. The committee chair does not serve on the Executive Board but may interact with the board on a particular topic via written report, phone conference or in-person meeting, if needed. Each committee chair has unique duties relevant to the particular committee.

Currently, there are Executive Board members who serve dual roles as committee chairs (e.g. education chair on the board is chair of the conference planning and continuing education committees). However, as current members’ board terms expire, their dual roles will be retired from the board. Even though the roles are retired from the board, committee chairs are significantly important to the association and will continue to be a vital part of our national committee program.

More information about how committee chairs will be appointed will be available in the spring.

Question: When does the board start having members-at-large?

Answer: The board must restructure to have 11 members who are all elected. To achieve this, the non-officer positions (certification, communication, clinical practice, chapter, education, health policy, professional issues and research chairs) will be retired as current members’ board terms expire over next few years. NAPNAP will elect its first members-at-large in March 2015 to take their seats on the Executive Board beginning July 2015.