Board service is an opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and push your industry and profession forward, says ASAE Board Chair Lynda Bouchard Patterson, FASAE, CAE, as part of a Q&A published in the Association Now Board Brief.
Q: What motivates you personally to participate as a volunteer leader for ASAE?
A: My passion for the work of associations and the people in them motivates me to effect change and focus on the third pillar of ASAE’s Destination 2026 strategy, which is all about elevating associations. We want to amplify associations within our community and externally to policymakers, other industries, and the future workforce so people will no longer ask what association management is. I envision associations providing a career path that people no longer fall into but actively seek out.
Q: How do you balance the demands of board service with your own CEO role and other responsibilities?
A: Balancing my own company, AMPED Association Management, along with being CEO of the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis and ASAE chair, is all about recognizing that it’s a team effort. My staff are super excited and supportive of me being chair and share my passion for what we do. It’s also a team effort on the ASAE staff side: I meet weekly with ASAE President and CEO Michelle Mason, and her team is extremely prepared and accessible. It also helps to work with other board officers who are just as committed and responsive.
Q: What skills should a board member cultivate to be successful in the role?
A: A willingness to understand and learn about the association industry outside of your own company or organization. In addition, you want to develop your financial acumen, as well as skills in goal-setting, strategic thinking, engagement, communication, and awareness around important issues such as DEI and the impact of public policy on your industry. To effectively cultivate these skills, you want to be prepared and ask good questions.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is coming into a board role for the first time?
A: Come in with an open mind. Though you’re already a member of the organization and you have some knowledge of how to run your own company, try to set that aside as a new board member. Ask questions and meet one on one with other board members, past members, the CEO, and staff. Learn about the culture of the organization and board, how decisions are made, and your own role. It’s also important to be adaptable to make changes when things don’t go as planned.
Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your board service?
A: It is a privilege and honor to serve as ASAE chair and represent our profession not only within our membership but also with legislators and related organizations. I’m proud of the working relationships I’ve built over the years and that, even after three decades, I’m always learning something new from my peers, those who came before me, and the next generation.
Lynda Bouchard Patterson, FASAE, CAE, is president and owner of AMPED Association Management and also serves as CEO of Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis. Email: lpatterson@ manageassociations.com