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Advice > Articles > How To Run A Successful Meeting (Examining A Board)

How To Run A Successful Meeting (Examining A Board)

Copyright © 2013 By Bobby Borg



Board of Directors: Who, What, AND Why?

Greg imlay. President, American Marketing Association – Los Angeles.


Greg Imlay is the Current President of the American Marketing Association in Los Angeles and the Communications and Product Manager at City National Bank. He has over 25 years of experience in marketing, PR, and communications at Bank of America, Transamerica, Intuit and a variety of smaller companies. In this interview Mr. Imlay discusses “boards in a nutshell” and comments on how they can be beneficial to artists in the music industry. 


Q: What is a board and why are boards formed?


G.I: A board is an elected group of people charged with overseeing an organization.  They are typically NOT employees of the organization, and so they’re more independent than employees would be.  For non-profit groups like the AMA or your local homeowners association, they typically each have certain responsibilities to manage (communications, membership, treasurer, etc.).  They report on significant developments in their areas at the board meetings. Boards are formed by the organization they represent, and usually their members serve 1-year terms and are then voted in for additional year terms if they choose.  Voting is by the members of the organization, or in the case of public for-profit companies, they are voted in by the shareholders (owners) of the company.


Q: How are board meetings scheduled? (Monthly? Bi- Monthly? How far in advance?)


G.I: Typically boards meet monthly or quarterly, depending upon how the organization operates.  They usually choose a specific time each month so that the members can plan ahead and be sure to attend.

Q: Why is it necessary to have a written agenda for board meetings and for everyone to read the agenda prior to the meeting?


G.I: An agenda ensures that the board stays focused on all areas of importance and doesn’t waste time during the meeting with long discussions when other matters need to be addressed.  Reading the agenda prior to the meeting allows the board members to be prepared to speak on topics or to prepare in advance by discussing issues with other board members prior to the meeting.


Q: What topics are discussed in board meetings? (Financials? Activities to do?)


G.I: The board addresses all the key questions of the organization, ensuring that the organization stays focused on its key mission and that all areas of managing the organization are moving forward.  Legally, non-profits must address and approve each month’s financials (profit and loss statement as well as a balance sheet, which is a “snapshot” of the balances in all deposit accounts minus outstanding liabilities). 


Q: How are agenda items discussed and agreed upon or disagreed upon in a board meeting (“moves” and “motions” to vote, etc....)?


G.I: Most boards operate in a democratic, orderly fashion that relies on Roberts Rules of Order ( to ensure fairness in discussion and voting on issues in an orderly way.  Majority rules, but nothing is voted upon until a member “moves” to have a vote and a second member “seconds” the motion to vote.  Then the vote occurs.  The agenda items are discussed one-by-one and the president of the board is in charge of keeping the board moving forward and not dwelling on an issue too long.


Q: What typically happens after a board meeting? Are items typed and emailed?


G.I: One of the officers on the board is a secretary who records the key points of the meeting and then types up “minutes” of the board meeting. In this way, the organization has a record of what the board has decided.  To ensure the accuracy of the minutes and to remind board members of what they approved previously, each month’s minutes are presented for review by the board members and they are asked to approve them by vote.  In this way, no one can say “hey, that’s not what we decided!”


Q: Do you think bands or young music industry professionals can use a board approach to increase their communication and productivity among members/partners?


G.I: I believe that the process of meeting like a board, using Roberts Rules of Order and voting would be an effective way for any group of people to operate in a businesslike way.  


— Bobby Borg


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