What Does the Nominating Committee Do?
Thursday, April 6, 2017
The role of the Nominating Committee is to provide the membership of the North Carolina American Water Works Association – Water Environment Federation with a slate of nominees who are capable and willing to serve as officers if elected. “We are looking for volunteers to lead our organization as we continue the transformation of our education programs to better support the needs of our members,” says Nominating Committee Chair Chris Belk.
“Dedication, passion, and creativity are ideal characteristics for prospective board members who will guide our organization as we adapt our educational programming to the needs of today’s water and wastewater operators, maintenance technicians, collection and distribution system personnel, professional engineers, and utility managers.”
Unlike other NC AWWA-WEA committees for which joining is as simple as contacting the chair, the Nominating Committee has six appointed positions. The past chair and the past, past chair of the board of trustees are both automatically on the committee with the later serving as chair of the Nominating Committee. The other four members are appointed to staggered two-year terms. All Nominating Committee members must sign a conflict of interest declaration and commit to recusing themselves from any part of the process, as necessary.
Up until four years ago the chair of the committee was an elected position, but in order to support the critical selection process of new leaders for our organization the position is now always the responsibility of the Past Past Chair. It is important to note none of the members of the Nominating Committee can themselves be nominated to serve on the board, and all nominating committee members come with leadership experience in the industry and/or NC AWWA-WEA.
The Nominating Committee looks for members who have a good knowledge of NC AWWA-WEA and of those people in the industry who are committed and can provide good leadership. The committee takes a proactive approach. A “Willingness to Serve” form goes out to the general membership every spring. At the same time, nominating committee members are encouraged to seek out those who would make good candidates for the board. All of those with interest are strongly encouraged to submit a Willingness to Serve form as it is truly a rewarding opportunity to serve the NC AWWA-WEA and its members.
Candidates are selected based on five criteria: 1) Commitment, 2) Leadership, 3) Knowledge, 4) Employer Support, and 5) Diversity.
With regard to the commitment criterion the Nominating Committee reviews each candidate’s level of involvement, past service on committees, and connectedness to others in NC AWWA-WEA.
With regard to leadership the Nominating Committee looks at whether the applicant has served as vice chair or chair on more than one committee. Active participation in NC AWWA-WEA and experience in the water industry are important criteria as well as a demonstrated ability to balance work, personal life, and NC AWWA-WEA commitments.
The knowledge criterion weighs the candidates’ knowledge and understanding of the organization, its structure, and the role of a board member within it.
A key criterion is the support of the employer. Board members participate in meetings and NC AWWA-WEA functions that take place during normal working hours, with some multi-day events. Employer support is critical to a successful Board term therefore the Willingness to Serve includes a letter of acknowledgement and support from the employer.
With regard to the diversity criterion the Nominating Committee takes into account type of employment, geographic representation, gender or ethnicity, and professional experience. NC AWWA-WEA is made-up of a diverse group of dedicated professionals with knowledge and experience that represents all parts of our industry. The ideal Board includes a mix of operations staff, utility leaders, engineers, supervisors, and suppliers to the industry so there is a diverse perspective reflected from the various parts of the organization. Further, with the increased rate of generational change occurring societally and in the industry, the Nominating Committee also seeks candidates who can bring cultural, ethnic, and generational diversity to the Board.
The Nominating Committee meets twice a year, once in the spring to launch the process and again in the summer to go through the positions that need to be filled and review the willingness-to-serve forms. The focus is finding and selecting the best candidates to represent our organization and who can continue to chart our organization’s path forward to meet the needs of our members.
This year, there will be seven positions to fill, including two trustees, American Water Works Association director-elect, the professional water operations representative, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.
After nine years of being connected with the NC AWWA-WEA board, in one capacity or another, Chris Belk continues to volunteer. He is currently a member of the NC Safewater Endowment Committee. He has made a lifetimes worth of commitment to the water industry and never ceases to promote the benefit of becoming a volunteer leader for NC AWWA-WEA. “Serving on the Board and being a NC AWWA-WEA volunteer is a truly rewarding experience. I developed a much broader understanding of the water and wastewater industry as a whole, and benefited in my work and career from the differing perspectives and frank discussions with my fellow board members. I also made some new friends both on the board and across the country as we worked with other state associations as well as our parent organizations. I highly encourage my colleagues and peers in the industry to volunteer to serve on the Board, to share their skills and expertise with our membership, and help us continue to be the leading resource for water and wastewater education in North Carolina.” concludes Mr. Belk.
To nominate yourself or someone else, complete the 2017-2018 Willingness to Serve form and return it to Nominating Committee Chair, Chris Belk by July 7, 2017. Form should be emailed to Chris at email@example.com.
To learn more about NC AWWA-WEA's nomination and election process, as well as the roles and responsibilities of Board of Trustee's members, refer to the following documents.