Guest Blog by Leslie Bailey and Stacy Bardo, co-chairs of the board of directors
Hi fellow NACA Members!
It’s hard to believe we’re halfway through this calendar year already! As NACA board co-chairs, we just wanted to do a quick check in and let you know what the Board has been up to these last few months. In November 2016, at NACA’s annual meeting, we welcomed newly elected board members Carolyn Coffey, Rich DuBois, Monique Olivier, and Ron Wilcox. Carolyn, Rich, Monique, and Ron quickly rolled up their sleeves at our year-end board meeting, where we preliminarily approved the 2017 budget, reviewed feedback from our member volunteer strategic planning committee, updated committee assignments, and examined the realities of making progress with NACA’s tax initiative project and other legislative priorities given the 2016 election outcome.
At the start of the new year, NACA staff rolled out our biennial membership survey. This member feedback is so important to help determine future programming and to ensure we address our community’s needs – thank you to everyone who took the time to respond! Your survey responses directly informed our discussions at the board’s May 2017 board retreat, held in Baltimore, Maryland after NACA’s extremely successful – and sold-out! – Fair Credit Reporting Act Conference.
During the retreat, the board worked in small groups and, over two days, engaged in nonprofit leadership training with Glenn Tecker and Carolyn Lugbill of Tecker International Consulting. After an in-depth board self-assessment, we were challenged to look anew at all aspects of NACA programming (everything from amicus briefs to “find an attorney” to volunteer leader opportunities). The Board also began laying out what will form the 2017–2020 NACA strategic plan. The current strategic plan, first developed with past board members and member volunteers in 2014, focused on (1) financial health, (2) communication, (3) member services and engagement, (4) internal structure and management, and (5) advocacy.
The next strategic plan will continue to prioritize those elements. But perhaps more importantly, it will force NACA to address (1) the changing and emerging needs of our members and our consumer clients, (2) the realities of our global and economic business climate, (3) technology changes, (4) fears about the courts and our legislatures, (5) ways to keep our members professionally competitive, and (6) what NACA can do to increase respect for the important role consumer lawyers play as champions of the public interest.
Keeping with the strategic plan and working to broaden our membership appeal, at the board’s next meeting on June 15, we expect to evaluate and vote on the membership expansion taskforce’s second phase of work, which includes a member code of conduct, an updated membership pledge and application process, and a written process for vetting applications. The board already approved revised membership criteria, which were proposed by the taskforce after its first phase of work. An incredible amount of work by dedicated member volunteers has gone into this process, which the board believes will vastly improve the membership application process for both applicants and NACA staff. We’ll get back in touch with more info before the new membership policies are rolled out.
We will also be working in the coming months to assist with a review and revision of NACA’s bylaws and continue to expand ways in which members can become more involved. As always, current volunteer opportunities are posted online, so stay tuned for announcements on how you can participate.
Lastly, with the updated NACA member portal, it’s easier than ever to stay informed of Board happenings. Board meetings are held once every other month and the agenda for and minutes from each meeting are posted online. If you have a question or would like additional information on something specific, feel free to give either or both of us a call or drop us an email.
Thanks for reading and for being part of our NACA community!