Board Member Job Description

Title

Member of the Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre (WNC) Board of Management.

Objective 

To assist the Executive Director and the City of Toronto to operate and manage the overall administrative, maintenance and program aspects of Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre in accordance with City policy.

Qualifications

  1. Member in good standing with Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre.
  • Eligible to serve on City Council (i.e., at least 18 years of age, resident or own property in the City of Toronto, not a Municipal or Crown employee, not on any other board with a City agency, commission or corporation).
  • Knowledgeable about WNC’s mission, purpose and programs gained through active and current participation in WNC activities (such as a volunteer, participate in programs etc).
  • Representative in diversity, demographics and skills – there will be a balance of experienced and new Board Members at any one time.
  • Individual Board Members should possess one or more of the skill sets that is required by the Board for its successful operation and are representative of the community’s diversity as attached.

What are the Commitments?

  • Able to make an on-going time commitment to the Board.
  • Capable of defining and articulating relevant values, missions, visions and communicate to City Council and Committees by way of deputations, when necessary.
  • Able to make a commitment to ownership and possession of WNC Mission, Vision, Values and Strategic Direction outcomes.
  • Be results oriented, able to plan and monitor projects, willing and able to give constructive feedback and ability to evaluate results in light of mandates and goals and set timeframes.
  • Commitment to ensuring a personal high performance on the Board, including focus, engagement and time commitment to ensure Board success and positive outcomes.
  • Ability to be acquainted with WNC’s Operation (i.e. attendance at WNC functions/media events; active participation in WNC programs as a volunteer or participant; being prepared with a review of the Board package prior to attending meetings).
  • To actively contribute in creating and maintaining the long-range strategic plans for the Board and WNC.
  • A commitment to participate constructively in controversial discussions and debates without personalizing the discussion, being respectful of the debate or inputs and maintaining confidentially.
  • A team player that holds themselves and other members, accountable for committed performance and delivery of project results.
  • An independent self-starter and have the ability to follow through on Board commitments, Board actions and support WNC best interests.
  • Dedicated and caring with an honest desire to support and give back to the HCC community.

Responsibilities (to the Board as a whole):

Ultimately, the Board is responsible to the City of Toronto Council and the community for ensuring that WNC operates within its mission and mandate. Further, that the Board governs WNC and themselves according to all statutes and policies applicable to the Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre (i.e. the Municipal Act; City By-Law; Harassment Policy, Conflict of Interest Policy, etc.)

Responsibilities (of Individual Board Member):

  1. Attends/participates at all Board Meetings and comes prepared by prior reading of all provided background materials.
  2. Serve on at least one Board Standing or Ad Hoc Committee, where your experience will contribute to the success/support of this committee.
  3. Supports and participates in WNC fundraising activities.
  4. Help organize and attend WNC sponsored functions.
  5. Have the desire to familiarize yourself on all Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre policies and City of Toronto policies, laws and legislation. New Board Member orientation will be provided.

Orientation and Training

  • Board orientation Binder
  • Orientation session before the first official Board Meeting
  • A commitment from the Board and WNC staff to provide one-on-one support to new Board Members.
  • Specialized Board training sessions as identified by the individual, by the Board or by the City of Toronto and/or as required..

Time and Place

All Board and Committee meetings are held at Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre. Meetings dates are set at the first Board meeting of the new year in January but may change based on operational needs. These meetings are no less than 6 times a year for approximately 2 to 3 hours in the evening.

Time Commitment

  • Four year term and/or remaining term as appointed by Council.
    • One to two meetings per month (4 – 6 hours). Committee Chairperson’s may have additional time commitments.
  • Assist at WNC events and fundraisers- average 1-2 hours per month.

Supervision/Evaluation/Removal

  • The Board is in essence a self-supervisory committee, with the Chairperson as manager of Board Members, and the Board may be said to, in turn, manage the Chairperson.
  • From time-to-time Board Members are asked to complete a self-evaluation document; will record their volunteer hours with the WNC Volunteer Co-ordinator as required and will provide reference checks are required under WNC policies.
  • Board Members who are not able to perform fully (i.e. missing 2 or more meetings) or violating policies; will be asked to resign. Concerns about an individual Board Member’s performance will be brought to the Board as a whole and/or the individual will be contacted by the Chair to confirm his/her commitment to the Board and/or asked to resign.

Outcomes from Volunteering as a Board Member – Satisfaction!

  • Further development of skills in: fundraising, financial affairs, personal management
  • program development, public relations, and meeting procedure.
  • Increased knowledge of the community and its affairs.
  • Privilege of governing authority in the name of fellow residents, over a publicly-owned and financed community resource.
  • Satisfaction comes from working with and for your community, through the friendships and the camaraderie that develops, and the knowledge of doing vital work that has visible and meaningful consequences.

Frustrations

  • The community process is sometimes slow and may require a great deal of patience and perseverance.

Appendix A – Board Required Skill Set Required skills for all Board Members

  • Commitment and interest — they are available, invest time and resources to understand and advance the organization and are passionate about the organization’s success.
  • Objectivity and independent-mindedness — they form their own judgments and opinions,    and are not biased towards any particular interest or stakeholder.
  • Integrity — they have personal integrity, are trustworthy, and insist that the organization behave ethically.
  • Courage — they have the courage to ask tough questions and to voice their opinions. Their loyalty to the organization’s interests may demand that they express dissent and persist in requiring answers to their questions.
  • Informed judgment — they focus on the important issues and base their decisions and actions on sound principles and common sense.
  • Perspective — they have broad knowledge and experience that they apply to discussions and decisions.
  • Analytical — they have well-developed conceptual thinking and problem-solving skills, are quick studies, and can avoid “groupthink” and other decision biases.
  • Ability to present opinions — they are able to present their views clearly, frankly, constructively and persuasively.
  • Willingness and ability to listen — they listen attentively and respectfully and make sure they understand what they have heard.
  • Ability to ask questions — they know how to ask questions in a way that contributes positively to debate.
  • Flexibility — they are open to new ideas, are strategically agile and responsive to change.
  • Conflict resolution — they are oriented to resolve conflict, are resilient after it occurs, and support board decisions once made.
  • Dependability — they do their homework and attend and participate in meetings.

Specialized Skills required by individual Board Members.

The ideal composition of the Board Members that would include a mixture of the skills listed below.

  • Involvement with WNC programs
    • Project management/ Meeting management
    • Human Resources knowledge and experience
    • Finance/Audit (CA/CPA)
    • Computer and IT skills
    • Legal and Parliamentarian training
    • Conflict resolution
    • Fundraising experience
    • Communication training
    • Policy development experience

Application

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