Committee Chair Tools

Committee Chair Tools

Thank you for your time and dedication to helping the La Crosse Area Chamber reach new heights through your work as a committee chairperson. To make your job easier, we are providing this resource page for you with many of the dates, contacts, etc. provided during your orientation. While it is not strategically available from the drop-down on our website, you can find it by searching for “committee chairs” or also by remembering this easy link: lacrossechamber.com/CommitteeChairs .

Committee Chair Description

The chairperson of our Chamber Committees are enthusiastic leaders who work with volunteers and the Chamber staff to turn ideas and strategies into action. The chair works with staff to develops the agenda for each meeting and facilitates interaction during each meeting ensuring desired action steps get acted on. It is strongly encouraged that each standing committees consists of a chair and vice-chair for a smooth annual transition. Chairs and vice chairs must be approved by the Chair of the Chamber Board of Directors.

Qualities of a Committee Chairperson

A successful chairperson will:

  • Lead, commanding attention and loyalty
  • Communicate clearly and concisely
  • Listen and encourage ideas and opinions
  • Understand objectives of the task assigned
  • Give the time and energy necessary to carrying out the committee assignments
  • Respect the staffs’ role.
  • Understand that Chamber staff serves in many capacities and that assignment of duties is directed by the staff’s supervisor.

Duties of the Chairperson:

  • The chairperson studies the task, clarifies any points not thoroughly understood in cooperation with the Chamber staff. The chairperson helps to recruit individuals for his/her committee whose skills will help and are needed. He/she charts the course of action within the Chamber’s strategic plan.
    • The Chairperson creates the agenda items, sending them to staff for distribution preferably no later than one week prior to the meeting.
    • Along with the committee, understands, reviews and updates the committee’s charter, goals, objectives and metrics annually for submission to the Executive Committee in time for January approval.
    • Develop goals and objective based on strategic plan and monitor metrics and submits to Executive Committee for approval in December for next calendar year
    • Orientates new members of committee
    • Request on additional members
      • Request from external
      • Chair to ask to draft
    • Suggest changes to Board strategies by August for the board’s annual Strategic Planning retreat.
  • Conducts meetings. The committee meets only to utilize its members in accomplishing a goal. Meetings are to be held as needed, start and end on time, and provide opportunities for members to report, suggest and participate. The Chair keeps his/her eye on the objective and the goals of the committee and keeps the discussion pertinent to the goal.
  • Gets action. The chair guides and stimulates the group to produce.
  • Our members and leaders want and need to know your good work. Reporting out engages the members. To ensure this communication a chair:
    • Delivers a report at monthly Board Meetings directly (YP, Business Outreach & Ambassador Chairs) or through a board member on the committee on your metrics
    • Prepares a one-paragraph report on activities to the every-other month newsletter (can be by delegation and also can be the same report-out for the board)
  • The chairperson must constantly evaluate his or her work and procedures and the progress of the committee and its members.
  • Succession Plans. Identifies successor(s) and communicates this to the Executive Committee
    • Recommendations for the following year’s chairperson are due by October for the following year.

Authority of Chairperson

The chairperson has the authority to add members as needed and release others as their function is finished. The chair does not have the authority to commit the Chamber financially to any project. This includes committing staff time or Chamber resources without approval from the Chamber chairman of the board and executive director. The committee shall have only as much authority as prescribed by the Board of Directors.

Committee Members

Committee members work toward the fulfillment of the committee’s objectives. Many committees are open to the full membership. However, a select few committees require membership appointment by the Chairperson of the Chamber Board or through an application process. Committee members must be a member in good standing of the Chamber. At times it may be appropriate to bring a guest or speaker who is not a member.

Specific responsibilities include:

  •  Attend committee meetings
  • Carry out individual assignments made by the committee chair
  • Participate in committee discussions and decisions
  • Attend appropriate Chamber functions and events

Staff Members

Chamber staff members work with committee chairs to develop goals and timelines for programs and projects. They oversee the actions of the committee and make sure that all Chamber policies and procedures are followed. Staff members send out the meeting notices prior to the committee meeting and reserve meeting space. Staff members maintain notes from meetings.

A staff representative will attend each meeting. Staff should provide direction to the volunteers based on professional judgment and Chamber policies and procedures. Chamber staff is ultimately responsible for the outcome of the work of the committee.

Staff will welcome new committee members and connect committee chairs via email as soon as they express interest in joining.

2017 Deadlines

Post-Orientation

  • Every Committee has a clear understanding of it responsibilities, goals and objectives

With April Meetings

  • Chairs lead meetings
  • Agendas have clear meeting goals and outcomes (otherwise why meet?). Send agenda items to Jami Redenbaugh
  • Agendas have assignments at the end of the meeting.
  • Chamber will provide a template.
  • Reports at Board meetings (yourself or liaison) vs. through Executive director). These will include an option to reuse the report (or write a member-focused one) for use in the newsletter that is printed every-other-month.
  • Chamber will provide a template

May

  • Creation of your committee’s goals that align with the Chamber’s Strategic Plan

June

  • Charter (description and responsibilities) for your committee
  • Every Committee has succession

Key Annual  Dates

January 1

Start of New Chair

 By August 15

Suggestion of strategic plan changes/updates to Exec Committee

September/October

Review final board strategies after their retreat

October

Next chairperson identified

November

Review current committee for additions/subtractions

November/December

New chair orientation by outgoing chair

By December 15

Charter, Goals, Metrics for next year approved by Exec

Resources

  Please use our system:  

  • Sends emails to your group at the click of a button
  • Automates ensuring new people/info changes are incorporated
  • Automates who RSVPs
  • Ensures our Chamber is kept in the loop of handouts, meetings changes, etc.

Leadership Decision Deadlines

  • Exec Committee (guidance type feedback vs. official vote): Third Monday/month at 7:30 AM
  • Board Meetings Fourth Tuesday/month at 4:00 PM

Publication Deadlines

Every Friday

  FOR eNEWSLETTER: For inclusion in the eNewsletter (emailed on Tuesdays)  

10th of the Month*

  • Newsletter submissions due (for next month)
  • *Deadlines are
    • December (for January/February
    • February (for March/April)
    • April (for May/June)
    • June (for July/August)
    • August (September/October)
    • October (for November/December)

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