IRWA Governance Task Force Minutes August 28, 2019

    IRWA Governance Task Force Minutes August 28, 2019

    by Carrol McCracken

    1. Welcome and Call to Order: Meeting was called to Order at 9:04 a.m., PST by President Elect, Sharon Slauenwhite.
    2. Roll Call: There was a roll call of all members at the meeting. They included: Region 1 Representative Ray Mehler, Region 1 Secretary/Treasurer

    Region 2 Representative Kim Hiebert, International Director 2-year, Chapter 36 Region 3 Representative Carrol McCracken, Region 3 Secretary/Treasurer Region 4, Representative Ross Greene, President Chapter 52

    Region 5 Representative Pat Petitto, Past Int. Pres. & Advisory Council Region 6 Representative Matt Harris, Region 6 Vice-Chair

    Region 7 Representative David Whitlock, Chapter 45, PDC Chair Region 8 Representative James Hardy, Region 8 Vice-Chair

    Region 9 Representative, Lee Hamre, Past Int. Pres. & Advisory Council Region 10 Representative, Jenna Wood, Region 10 Chair

    International Executive Committee/International Staff:

    Sharon Slauenwhite, IEC President-Elect, IEC Liaison/Chair James Olschewski, IEC Treasurer

    Daniel Stekol, IRWA Interim CEO

    1. Agenda: Agenda had been emailed out yesterday by Sharon and there were no corrections.
    2. Approval of Minutes: The minutes of the August 14, 2019, meeting were emailed out yesterday by Sharon. There were two small corrections pointed out by James O., and Carrol emailed the corrected minutes out this morning prior to our call. There was a motion to approve the amended minutes by David, seconded by Lee. Motion carried. Sharon will post them on the Member Network along with the agenda after the meeting.
    3. Feedback from Regions:

    Sharon went through a roll call for each Region since it has been two weeks since our last call and there has been some communications with the Regions:

    Region 1, Ray – Nothing new

    Region 2, Kim – Nothing new besides the survey results from their individual Region survey have been forwarded on to James H. for inclusion with our report

    Region 3, Carrol – Nothing new

    Region 4, Ross – Nothing additional to report

    Region 5, Pat – Nothing new

    Region 6, Matt – Nothing new

    Region 7, David – Nothing new, except for one email exchange on the Member Network Region 8, James H. – Not on the call at this point.


       Region 9, Lee – She didn’t have a lot of time to review the many comments in the minutes from the last meeting. She did mention the bylaw amendment proposed giving existing past presidents a lifetime vote on the Advisory Council and new Past Presidents getting a 5-year term for voting. It was acceptable to her as a fair compromise and thought it would be acceptable to Region 9.

    Region 10, Jenna – Not on the call at this point.

    1. Other Communications: No other communications
    2. Discussion Topics:

    Regions Spring Forum Summary Report

    James has received information from all of the Regions, and it is now all in a single document. He is working on pulling out some highlights and revising some charts. He is nearly complete, but not quite.

    Member Survey

    Ray said the response level has been great with over 1,000 responses, and on the way to receive about a 12% for a response rate. It should be a good representation of opinions from the majority of our members.

    Sharon discussed closing the survey today so IRWA HQ has time to generate the results this week so she and Ray can review the information since it is a significant amount of data and so we can have it for our call next week. It was mentioned there was a handful of members in Region 5 did not receive the survey, but their information received by email, not Survey Monkey, will still be included. Daniel agreed HQ can shut it down today and try to get some work schedules rearranged to get the information sent on or before Friday if this is the decision of the group.

    There was a motion to close the survey today to allow HQ to generate and transmit the results to Ray and Sharon by or prior to Friday by Sharon. There was a second by Ray. The motion carried.

    Sharon asked how the group felt the communication process worked?

    − Pleased it went well, especially with it being summer and vacation time.

    − Had a couple questions from Regions 2 and 5

    − A few members didn’t receive the survey question, one had it go into their SPAM filter − Sharon’s Chapter President included the two previous sets of GTF minutes with the

    survey so their Chapter would be more informed.


      Task Force Report - Section 3 – Future Recommendations: Competency-Based Leadership Discussion:

    We have the following questions from our previous report discussion:

    #6. What competencies do we believe our leaders need to have, along with the skill sets? #7. How do we coach, teach, train to encourage and buld those skills in our leaders?

    #8. Do we believe our international directors adequately understand their role and


    #9. Are they engaged throughout the year, and do they come to the BOD meeting informed

    and well prepared?

    #10 How do we create a ladder for leadership that will address all levels of governance

    (member leader/chapter leader/region leader/international leader)?

    We had a document prepared that will be attached which was compiled from our previous discussions and commentary in our June meeting in Portland including key competencies we agreed upon.

    Competency-Based Leadership

    Thoughts, feedback, and discussion on basic education for leaders, some being new member leaders:

    − Well captured thoughts in the document with no changes necessary

    − We would want modules developed for the training

    − New members would have to be familiarized with our basic governing documents, the association structure, committee and COP structures, election procedures, staff and headquarters organization along with basic training. The documents would have to be living documents requiring regular updates.

    − There was a question if this training is a requirement or could be optional? There were varying opinions.

    − This training could be an activity at Region forums. Region 1 has had some success doing this as a leadership initiative at their Fall Forums.

    − Could tie this into a lower cost canned program which provides meaningful value along with giving value to an employer/employee

    − Used to have the Leadership Institute present at some past forums. Good for all leaders to have access to modules on their own, but also nice to have them presented by the Region Chairs at the Forums.

    Ongoing Training for Established Leaders

    Thoughts and discussion:

    Chapter Level/Chapter Executive Level:

    − Training is at a new level, with learning to influence others.

    − New ways to recognize volunteers

    − Need structured training

    − Work with headquarters to provide place for training materials

    − Must have some budgeted training

    − Succession planning is important

    − Round table discussions on lessons learned can be beneficial for incoming leaders

    − A calendar with dates and deadlines would be useful.

    − It is helpful for Chapters to review their projects regularly

    − What do we have for existing resources and where they are to identify gaps?

    o Must have an easy way to access in one place

    o They must be consistent

    o Field staff can be helpful with transitions and information o May not currently have one repository

    − Training items and resources components can be found on the website, broken out similar to what we have here. Not sure if it is complete.

    o In spring outgoing president should meet with the incoming president and go over the checklist of duties. This hasn’t been done consistently and failure to do so causes breakdowns at Chapters. Some presidents may have also disregarded them.

    o Should it be made as a mandatory task through a webinar to create a failsafe? Mandatory has not been received well in the past. At a minimum it should be highly recommended.

    o This could be a task we could ask Region Chairs to follow up with their Chapter Presidents for this training.

    − Past videos are missing that had some leadership information and tips.

    − Region 1 has mandatory training for leadership at their spring forum

    − Support Region leader accountability

    − It must be reinforced regularly rather than just doing the education once.

    International and Region Leaders including Committees and COP’s

    − There was a discussion on International budgeting funds for this training

    − Investment is important, but numbers are hard to determine at this time. Members

    and the organization could both fund part of it.

    − Hard to put a number to it, but we need to make investments in our leaders to meet

    our goals.

    − Investment in a training program is important

    Senior Leaders:

    − Formalizing this training for mentors and mentees is critical to transfer leadership

    qualities and how they approach and work in the positions

    − Having past leaders train new leaders does two things, it helps them see how both

    the mentor and mentee think, helps them think on their own and makes them better prepared to do a good job. We need to figure out how to do something that doesn’t exist to move forward with the uniform training for the organization at all levels.

    − Consistency is a keyword. Some chapters have Past Presidents with roles in their Chapters, others do not. People work better with past leader assistance.

    − Should there be a fee for the members, or could IGC find a way to budget for the


    o Paying out of their own pockets can discourage volunteers

    o Should it provide CEU’s for attendees?

    o One comment was: Leadership volunteers pay in one form or another by

    going to meetings, forums, conferences, etc. Gets the idea of skin in the game, but maybe there is a way to incorporate fees into the cost of the meeting? Doesn’t agree with a pay to play concept. This would again help with consistent training and a consistent communications model.

    o Consistent manner and training like Mind Gym where you would know the cost per person

    o Some like the idea of incorporating the cost of the training into an event, whether it is at a Chapter or Region level

    o Suggested training at Region meetings

    o It was pointed out that when a Chapter has had presentations where there

    was a payment required, turnout was good. People see a presentation has more value when there is a cost versus free training.

    How to Find Volunteers:

    − Can there be a volunteer Bank so we don’t always end up going back to the same

    leaders for assistance?

    o This could be done with an online resume form with consistent fields for

    completion with work experience, competencies, etc. for any level of


    o Could also be a place for the IEC and the Education Foundation to review

    scholarship recipients

    o Group felt pursuing this type of resource would be wise for the Association o Some of this could already be in place with the COP and Committee


    o Could there be a way to place some additional fields in the member list

    database on the IRWA website? Maybe there could also have a way to

    upload a resume.

    o It was mentioned a member must fulfill their responsibilities and not just

    take the seat Existing Leadership Materials:

    − − −

    There must be a review that will determine if we can keep some of what existed and update out of date information.

    One GTF member told of how their Chapter viewed the video on “How the IRWA Works”, and it is good to review occasionally.

    Another suggested Chapter and Region leaders should watch past training videos during their meetings for training.

    Building and Improving Effective Communication Skills:

    − A need was expressed to continue communicating messages 3 times with 3 different methods.

    1. Previous Meeting:

    The question was asked if anything needed to be added to the discussion on competency-based leadership to be taken to the IGC?

    − James O. mentioned he liked the direction we were going and said there is a line item for this type of training in the IGC/IEC budget which we will leave there. It will just depend on the financial amounts. Sharon added there would need to be a discussion with staff on what is feasible.

    1. For Next Meeting:
    2. The draft document will be placed on Box
    3. Next meeting will be working on filling in any gaps in the report
    4. If anyone has any questions or comments, please email them to Sharon.

    10.Next meeting: Video Conference Call on September 4, 2019 (9:00-10:30 PST).

    11.Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 10:20 a.m., PST



    April 24, 2019 MInutes

    IRWA Governance Task Force Minutes April 24, 2019

    by Carrol McCracken

    1. Welcome and Call to Order: Meeting was called to Order at 9:05 a.m., PST by IGC Vice President, Sharon Slauenwhite, presiding. Agenda, and discussion documents have been emailed out along with link for the call.

    2. Roll Call: There was a roll call /introduction of all members on the conference call. They included:

      Region 1 Representative Yoli Matranga was proxy for Ray Mehler Region 1 Secretary/Treasurer
      Region 2 Representative Kim Hiebert, International Director 2 year, Chapter 36 Region 3 Representative Carrol McCracken, Region 3 Secretary/Treasurer Region 4, Ross Greene, President Chapter 52

      Region 5 Representative Pat Petitto, Past Int. Pres. & Advisory Council and Beth Smith Region 6 Representative Matt Harris, Region 6 Secretary/Treasurer
      Region 7 Representative David Whitlock, Chapter 45, PDC Chair
      Region 8 Representative James Hardy, Region 8 Vice Chair

      Region 9 Representative, Lee Hamre, Past Int. Pres. & Advisory Council Region 10 Representative, Jenna Wood, Region 10 Chair

      International Executive Committee:
      Sharon Slauenwhite, Vice President, IEC Liaison/Chair Mark Rieck, CEO
      James Olschewski, Secretary

    3. Agenda

    4. Approval of Minutes: Carrol McCracken reported the March 27, 2019 minutes were emailed out and there were no corrections from members on the call. There was a motion by Lee to approve the minutes and a second by Matt. Motion carried

    5. Communications/Feedback from Regions:
      Feedback from any of the regions about the GTF project:

      R1- Yoli. Their spring forum was in Reno and Ray did a presentation on the status. On the question whether we should be governing the association or governing the profession. They felt the word governing was the wrong word. Ray is on updating everyone on history on the project.

      R2 -Kim. They had a joint forum with Region 9 last week and Lee and Kim did a presentation. They will coordinate an email survey with Chapter leaders. They may also have some leadership calls. They are planning a fall breakout session. Lee added they will also be doing an email with the questions as they didn’t have enough time for input during their joint forum.


    R3 – Carrol. Their forum will be starting April 29, so he can report afterwards.
    R4 – Ross. They had their forum last weekend and he reported our progress. They had “crickets” for responses. Jeff Jones and Ana Rausch were there. Some people voiced thoughts after the meeting with some thinking the GTF will “blow up the system” and others think the GTF won’t do anything to change the current system.
    R5 – Pat. Their forum will be this upcoming weekend. Their Region Chair, Beth will present at the forum as Pat cannot attend. Their Vice Chair has promised to take good notes.
    R6-Matt. As he reported before, they had their form on March 16. He had sent the information to their Chapter and Region leadership and had discussions. Their question right now is if the Governance Task Force will make recommendations? His answer was yes.
    R7 – David. As previously reported, their forum was on March 8, and they had a lively discussion. There was good feedback and agreed we will provide a recommendation for action but won’t be rushed.
    R8 -James. Their forum will be this weekend. No feedback since our last call.
    R9 – Lee. See report for R2.
    R10 – Jenna. Their forum was April 13 and was well attended. They discussed project perception is heading backwards because they were on board with how governance project was going. They feel well informed. She shared that not all of the task force was involved before or as well informed.

    Lee: There is some frustration and a lack of confidence in how the process moved forward because there appeared to be a goal in place prior to collection of information, but it has morphed in an unexpected direction. We need to move forward with a plan or look at other ideas.
    Sharon: The mandate from the Edmonton was to stop the process, gather information, review information and her feeling is we are to do two things: Report on process and provide recommendation going forward. She doesn’t believe one singular model will be presented, but it will have to be more inclusive, improve communications, and what needs to be fixed to do it.
    Ray: Concurred with Sharon’s assessment.
    Pat: Will we go over the models brought forward along with other models?
    Sharon: We may have some solutions from models as there are some common elements that were positively received which will make things better. Right now, the committees don’t have a voice and International Chapters don’t have a voice on a region level.

    • -  In response to Lee: We went into a process without trying to steer towards one model. Piece Lee has seen is cut in directors, and no change mode.

    • -  Lee mentioned how a large number of directors were cut in the models which was a concern. As a past IEC member, she understands that it can be frustrating to feel like good ideas have been thwarted because of too many members, but she does not think that the answer is to greatly reduce the number of Directors just to enable ideas to be pushed through more easily.

    • -  Sharon mentioned in director meetings, they found many people to be sworn in (approximately 20%) were proxies who weren’t up to speed on the issues to be


    discussed and voted on.
    Jenna: Feels the breakdown was in how models were presented in Edmonton. There wasn’t an intent to pick one of the models. Status quo was also an option, but it wasn’t conveyed there in writing. After the model presentation a lot of people were upset and didn’t hear that verbally people had said our existing model was an option.
    Lee and Pat: They don’t recall ever hearing that keeping our existing model was an option.
    Yoli: Asked if a white paper had been developed by Task Force? She feels that moving forward will be a better use of time.
    Sharon and Mark: We are almost there.
    Mark: We need to remember a strategic plan was developed. Questions on the forum presentation document to members are critical to the organization. We should have training for 200 plus directors.
    Matt: Hearing people were given a product without any idea on where it came from. Can we do a demonstration at the Annual Conference of what the task force has done and get more feedback?
    Sharon: Could we give a short update on the GTF at the Annual Conference Leadership Session? Mark said this could be done.

    6. IRWA Remodeling Discussion (Report from the June 27, 2018, Session):

    Sharon mentioned this document came from round table discussions held in Edmonton. The list of advantages and disadvantages (pros and cons) were transcribed from handwriting in that session. In some cases, items on the list had numbers behind them which indicated they heard comments multiple times. The list was uploaded last October on the International Directors Member Network site.

    The process was stopped except for the member survey because of the strong response at Edmonton. Survey results will be the topic of next month’s discussion. There were only 39 or 40 responses, so it is a small group sampling. This was the last piece compiled by Tecker. If the models would have been positively received, it would have moved ahead over the next year for discussions with the IGC and Regions on how to implementation one of the new models and then to Portland for a vote.

    Thoughts on the model presentations document?

    • -  Aimee and Sharon had some emails talking about how are we coming along with forming and presenting recommendations to the IGC?

    • -  Sharon: Can we set a goal for to provide IGC a recommendation for their meeting in September? Depending on how possible this is, a new mandate from the ICG could be given to this or another group. Next month we should finish our historical document review. In May, can we set up a subcommittee for forum feedback and have that feedback available for our June meeting. At that June meeting, we may be able to break down recommendations into 5 or 6 topics or categories such as bylaws, communications, org chart, future needs, etc. That will give us


    July or August to get more feedback.

    • -  Matt: Yes

    • -  Lee: Region 2 and 9 feedback will come after May, because Region 2 is a large part of membership.

    • -  Sharon: With the information we have gathered and shared, it shouldn’t be a surprise to Regions as they have been a part of this and have gotten the information.

    • -  James: A goal is good, and a deadline is good. He will volunteer for subcommittee since he cannot attend the Annual Conference.

    • -  James Olschewski asked if we should have a motion for Aimee/the IEC?

    • -  Sharon: Not sure at this point.

      1. In July there will be an IEC meeting. It will be on the agenda. We need to ensure we are not pushing a choice but are keeping people informed and looking at options. At the September IGC meeting we may have a recommendation on how this will take shape.

      2. Shows we are still committed. Done 18 moths of review to date, which has been important and necessary.

      3. As mentioned before, there may be some subheadings for recommendations: Bylaws, strategic planning, etc.

      7. Other Items:
      Monday or Tuesday. Someone will send out a Doodle Poll with a few slots. It is important for us to meet in person.


    Mark said he has some information he will pass along for some governance changes done by the American Society of Farm Managers. He had shared this with the IEC, but no one else. He will pass this information along to us. It doesn’t mean we have to do what they did, but it is good information.

    Sharon asked if there was anyone else who should be invited to participate in our next call. No one was suggested.

    Yoli asked if the leadership training session at the conference is mandatory and if invitations will be sent to new chapter leadership? She has seen a lot of International Directors not attend last year. Mark said it isn’t mandatory, but invitations will be sent, and it is already mentioned in last month’s Leader’s Edge. Sharon added it doesn’t hurt for experienced leaders to also attend.

    Next Meeting: Survey results post Edmonton Conference of Current Governance Model Pros and Cons.

    Next meeting is May 22, 2019, 9:00 a.m. PST
    Email Sharon with any questions or items for the agenda.

    Adjournment: The meeting concluded at 10:10 a.m., PST