What is the Board and why is it important?
Board members are volunteers that oversee the activities of PAN, and as a collective group, the board is the governing body of PAN. PAN board members set policy and also establish PAN’s strategic plan. Board members support the Executive Director and staff in ensuring PAN activities and initiatives follow our purpose, mission and strategic plan. Other roles include approving annual budgets and keeping the organization’s performance accountable to the membership, to our funders and other stakeholders. In essence, the PAN board makes sure that PAN fulfills its mission and ensures it does so responsibly, respectfully, and with ethical financial management.
Being a board member is a highly responsible and accountable governing role, and should not be entered into lightly. At PAN, it should also be noted that this role is not to carry forward the day-to-day work of the organization – the staff have that responsibility.
Please note that PAN is NOT a frontline organization – we are a network of such agencies – and our members are organizations/agencies (not individuals). So, if your passion aligns with the work of frontline groups, then our board may not be for you.
What are some of the qualifications and requirements for becoming a PAN board member?
First off, board applicants must have the sponsorship of an existing PAN member organization in the relevant region. Ideally, you have a minimum of two years’ experience working or volunteering in the field (i.e. HIV, hepatitis C, harm reduction, etc.) Past committee or board work experience is a plus, though not required – we also look for opportunities to build the skill set and capacity of all contributors at PAN, volunteers, staff and board members.
We look for self-motivated, enthusiastic and curious contributors who can step outside of their own individual stories or that of their organization, to see the “big picture”. Board members need to be able to think strategically and be comfortable with a governance role. Board members are expected to commit time and energy and stay engaged.
Because we are a provincial organization, board members and staff live and work across the province. The ability to work virtually is therefore a must. All board members must have a regular and timely access to emails and telecommunication (the majority of board communications are electronic and bi-monthly 120-minute board meetings are held via web or teleconference). Board members are also expected to attend day-long, face-to-face meetings 1 or 2 times a year (one of which typically coincides with PAN’s Annual Fall Conference).
Historically, PAN board members have been strong leaders within their own organizations – often occupying a senior paid or volunteer position; as well as powerful voices within their region – who were then ready to lend their perspective and talents to the provincial picture.
In detail, the requirements of each board member are to:
- Act as a steward on behalf of constituents, as outlined in the PAN’s Board Member Job Description
- Adhere to PAN’s Code of Conduct
- Adhere to PAN’s Code of Conduct related to Board of Directors
- Adhere to PAN’s Code of Ethics
- Qualify under the BC Societies Act
- Sign PAN’s Board Member Agreement and Confidentiality Agreement
Please note that the Board will be re-examining these documents and its recruitment and appointment policies in 2019, in line with recent governance changes.
How many seats are there?
(Bylaw 50) PAN has fourteen directors, elected by the members at a general meeting, in accordance with the following rules:
a. seven of fourteen directors shall be deemed to be associated and able to effectively represent each of the seven Health Authority regions of British Columbia: Northern; Interior; Fraser; Vancouver Coastal; Vancouver Island; and provincially, the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) and the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA); and
b. at least seven of fourteen directors shall be self-disclosed as a person living with HIV (PLHIV) and/or with lived experience of hepatitis C. Of these:
i. a minimum of one director shall be self-disclosed as a person living with HIV (PLHIV); and
ii. a minimum of one director shall be self-disclosed as with lived experience of hepatitis C.
How can I apply to join the Board?
There are two ways in which a person can join the board of directors. The first is by successfully running for election at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The second is by being appointed by the sitting board of directors to fill a vacant seat. Board terms are for two years. If appointed by the board during the year, that person must then run for election at the next AGM.
(Bylaws 52-57) Any person interested in joining the board must:
- fulfill all the Societies Act qualifications to be a director;
- be an authorized representative of a member of the society and have written confirmation of this, as well as the agency’s endorsement;
- submit a Board Application form – which includes a written statement (or CV/resume) summarizing such individual’s qualifications, experience, and involvement in the mission of the society;
- be nominated by the Nominating Committee. The Board will review applications and give initial feedback to applicants, including discussing any necessary supports needed. Not all applications received will necessarily be endorsed by the Board;
- Only endorsed Board applications will be provided in advance to the membership and subsequently brought forward at the AGM.
- consent to run for the Board of directors, and agree to act in the best interests of the society and in furtherance of its mission; and
- Applicants will run for election at the next AGM.
Send all documents (items 2,3) to Simon Goff at [email protected] by the deadline (typically 4-6 weeks before the AGM).
As a reminder, we do not accept nominations from the floor.