Task Force to Identify New Voices for Board Leadership

As we work toward inclusion, access, and equity at VocalEssence, we are finding ways to include new voices for board leadership. The Board Affairs Committee, which nominates people to join the board of directors, was looking for guidance on the best way to identify future leaders for the organization. Led by Board Affairs Chair Dorene Wernke, the committee decided to bring together a task force of diverse community members to offer insights into the current board requirements and also assist in brainstorming potential board members.

The Task Force had their first meeting on Wednesday, February 6 with eight community members attending. At the meeting, members discussed the current list of board roles and responsibilities and talked about ways to make the document more welcoming to all people. Below are their recommendations:

  • Be open to gifts from board members from a variety of levels
  • Make the wording of the document welcoming – something that invites conversation
  • Include more information about the VocalEssence gala and the cost of a ticket
  • Explore moving the quarterly board meetings to various times throughout the day to accommodate people with different schedules
  • Include cultural ambassadors when meeting with prospective board members, so that everyone feels comfortable in the meeting

The next meeting of the Task Force will take place this spring. VocalEssence plans to have the Task Force review the changes to the board roles and responsibilities based on this meeting, and also brainstorm potential future board members. If you have any suggestions for board members for VocalEssence, please contact Executive Director Mary Ann Aufderheide at maryann@vocalessence.org.

Attendees from the Community

Stanley Brown
Carolina Gustafson
Valton Henderson
Sam Ingram
Novelli Jurado
Craig Shulstad
Dorene Wernke
Chris Widdess