A Recap – Hometown Talks: Engaging Your Board While Navigating COVID-19

Thank you for tuning into our latest COVID-19 related webinar, "Engaging Your Board While Navigating COVID-19." Special thanks to our wonderful moderator and panelists:


Elizabeth Wilson

Senior Director of Development - Team Lead



Mari Bosker
Director of Board Governance and Communications

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston



Ronnie Hagerty

Associate Vice President of Community Relations

United Way of Greater Houston



Josh Plumley, CFRE

 Senior Director of Development

 Children At Heart Ministries


As promised, we put together a blog recapping the webinar. Here are some of the key notes from the session:

 Tell us a little more about where exactly the Board’s role should be in confronting crisis? Where should they step up? Where should boundaries be set?

  •  Ronnie: Boards tend to step up in crisis, especially since they focus on risk management in their own jobs.
  •  Mari: Open communication with the Board helps them identify where they could use their expertise to help. For example, a Human Resources skilled Board member can look at reopening plans.
  •  Josh: We had to ask ourselves, “What are the things the Board can do that the staff can’t do?”

  Do you think we should be meeting more or less with our Board during this time? Have you found any of your Board members have checked out? Is this a year where we should grant more grace to checked out Board members?

  •  Josh: This is a time to revisit expectations. If you can balance those and Board member’s personal situations, you can ensure the Board Chair and President stay in sync.
  •  Mari: My Board isn’t meeting less and members are not checked out. Board recruitment is even continuing. Not all Board members can attend everything, but they all want to stay informed.
  •  Ronnie: Groups I work with found higher attendance among Board members. Boards with heavy oil and gas presence may cause a step back, but that’s also understandable.

 Were you impressed by any Board member who took the lead on something you were not expecting?

  •  Ronnie: Board members are the United Way of Greater Houston immediately started working with the Greater Houston Community Foundation to implement the COVID-19 Recovery Fund.
  •  Mari: Board members who are bankers helped with the PPP Loan and Board members who were in human resources helped with reopening plans and policies.
  •  Josh: New Board members have been the most enthusiastic and willing to dive in wherever needed. As organization leaders, we should do our best to harness the energy of our newest Board members.

 COVID-19 has brought on Board conversations about very sensitive issues. Do you have any advice about ensuring Board members want to have those conversations?

  •  Mari: Every organization needs to learn the best practices in minute-taking. Minutes are subject to be subpoenaed in legal disputes, so make sure your taking legal minutes of Board meetings, but not over-recording Board discussions.


Once again, thank you to our presenters - and for all those who tuned in. If you have feedback on this session or ideas for future COVID-19 related content, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Chapter Administrator at [email protected]

Members Only

Members can access the recording here. You must be logged into the site to view this page and the recording