Between You and Me

Between You and Me

By Deana Foster
I wish there was a way for me to speak directly to you more often. I would really like to get to know so many things about you, like… How long you have been riding and what kind of bike do you ride and why did you choose that specific one? Do you have a specific riding jacket that fits you just right? What about that fancy helmet on your head? Why did you choose that? Boots? Unfortunately, I don’t get the opportunity to speak to very many of you and thus it is hard for me to know what you like and why… that is unless you go to the Ride-In™ or we have sat and chatted at the Croozapalooza or maybe we have friended each other on Facebook.

This past year I was provided with more opportunities to chat with several new and old members on the phone. I must admit that it was probably pretty strange to be getting a phone call from me just out of the blue, but it was very nice to talk and find out a little about you. I would love to do that more often as I have learned a lot. I’ve talked to people that have some amazing ideas on what we can do as an organization both nationally and on a local level.

One of the comments recently received was that we ask people to run for a position on the Board, but our members don’t know what we do. In my humble opinion that is both a good thing and a bad thing. GOOD because it means that the Board doesn’t get in your way. They run the business, keeping our tank full (pay the bills, so to speak), and we go riding merrily down the road without a sputter in our motors… BAD because it means when we need you to do something, you don’t have a clue what that “something” could be.

Maybe you will find the information below with my added comments helpful. I’ve also asked our wonderful Magazine Editor Janis to include in this edition a list of committees with job descriptions. If you see a committee you might be interested in contributing to, please let us know. We can always use fresh eyes and new ideas.
• Attend all board and committee meetings and functions, such as special events. (This includes three board meetings, one being held at the Ride-In™)
• Be prepared to provide e-mail communication support several times per week. (I try to check mine every day.)
• Be informed about the organization’s mission, services, policies, and programs. (See our Mission Statement; Handbook; Policies & Procedures and Committee Lists.)
• Review agenda and supporting materials prior to board and committee meetings. (Reports and more Reports.)
• Serve on committees and offer to take on special assignments. (The Fun Stuff!)
• Inform others about the organization. (You are already doing that, right?)
• Suggest possible nominees to the board who can make significant contributions to the work of the board and the organization.
• Follow conflict of interest and confidentiality policies.
• Assist the board in carrying out its fiduciary responsibilities, such as reviewing the organization’s annual financial statements.
• Ability to listen, analyze, think clearly and creatively, and work well with people individually and in a group. (I think we learned this in Kindergarten, right?)
• Willing to prepare for and attend board and committee meetings, ask questions, take responsibility and follow through on a given assignment, open doors in the community, evaluate oneself. (Basic things you learned at your first job.)
• Develop certain skills if you do not already possess them, such as to cultivate and recruit board members and other volunteers, read and understand financial statements, learn more about the program area of the organization. (Stepping out of your comfort zone is a GOOD THING!)
• Possess honesty, sensitivity to and tolerance of differing views, a friendly, responsive, and patient approach, community-building skills, personal integrity, a developed sense of values, concern for your organization’s development, and a sense of humor. (Love they neighbor…)

As of the writing of this article, we still have a one (1) year term available due to the resignation of Trustee Diann King. Diann wasn’t on the Board long, but she was always willing to take on new tasks. She was diligent and thoughtful and embodied all of the characteristics as listed above. She will be missed. If you are interested in stepping in for this year, please let me know. We would love to have you!

In addition to the above, I would like to announce that Karen Baetsen from Cross Plains, Wisconsin, has accepted an appointment of a three year term to begin January, 2016 through 2018. Karen will bring many skills and much needed experience to the Board and we can’t thank her enough for agreeing to step into the available position. Thank you Karen and I look forward to working with you for the next three years.

I would also like to encourage you to read through the Committees listed in this magazine on page 29. Even if you can’t join us on the Board this year, you can still volunteer for one of the committees, but if you can’t do that right now either, at least you will be informed and when I call you next time, you won’t say… I don’t even know what you do!
See more on Page 4…