As Chair of the Mental Health America’s Nominating and Board Development Committee, I would like to ask for your help in finding outstanding candidates to serve on the Mental Health America Board and its committees.
We have the opportunity to propose several new nominees to the Board of Directors for the term beginning in 2016. We need your help to find candidates who can support our business plan, financial objectives. Having a passion for the mission of Mental Health America as demonstrated by lived experience, professional experience or other motivator is essential not only to attract Board members, but to retain them over time.
To strengthen the Board of Directors to better support the organization and its mission, members of the Board and the nominating committee have shared recommendations related to the characteristics sought in new candidates. Those criteria include the following:
- Cultural Diversity including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, people living with a disability, etc.
- Geographic Diversity to draw nominees from states & regions that are not currently represented on the Board of Directors
- Affiliate Experience as an executive or board member
- Lived Experience with mental illness as a consumer or family member
- Financial Means to cover costs to attend meetings
- Financial Contributions through individual donation and/or the ability to get a gift for MHA
Candidates chosen for the board will serve a three-year term beginning in June of 2015, and are eligible to be elected for a second three-year term. The board meets four times a year; three meetings are held at the Mental Health America offices in Alexandria, VA and one is held at the Annual Conference site. Board members are expected to attend at least one meeting in person and to serve on one or more of Mental Health America’s Board Committees, which meet in conjunction with the Board meetings and via conference calls throughout the year. Financial limitations should not deter individuals from nomination as special arrangements can be made to cover Board travel-related expenses for those whose circumstances prevent them from covering it themselves. At the same time, however, it is also expected that Board members will annually either personally make or help us to identify some level of financial contribution to Mental Health America.
Getting candidates who fit several of the categories listed above will be challenging, so we are making the nominating process easier for you. All the nominating committee is asking is that you give us the name of the individual, what you think they can contribute to the Board, and contact information including email and/or phone number. The committee will take it from there.
The nominating committee will contact the individual via letter, email or phone, to let them know that you have nominated them and to invite them to complete an application if they are interested in being considered for the MHA Board of Directors. Committee members serve one-year terms with no term limitations. The Chair of the Board appoints Committee members but takes the recommendations of the Nominating Committee into account when doing so.
The enclosed nomination form solicits information about the kind of experience and expertise that a candidate has to offer Mental Health America. Self-nominations are welcome. Additionally, we have attached a list of expectations for Board and Committee members.
Nominations are not due until January 15th, 2016, but may be returned early. If you know someone who would be interested in serving on the Mental Health America Board of Directors, please pass this information on. Additionally, please forward any names of candidates to Theresa Nguyen, who will coordinate the outreach efforts. Anyone with questions can call Theresa Nguyen at (703) 838-7536 or e-mail her at email@example.com.
Thank you for your assistance in this very important work.
Nominating and Board Development Committee Chair