Serving on a Theta Board: "Rewarding, Fulfilling, and Enjoyable"
Are you looking for an opportunity that will help you “further develop and hone your leadership skills, bring people with opposing viewpoints together, and learn to strategize” (Kathy Bennett Tonkel, Eta/Michigan), gain “the confidence to go outside your comfort zone” (Lisa Sombart Street, Alpha Mu/Missouri), and build “a wider circle of dear, dear Theta sisters from all over North America of all ages” (Jill Pedicord Peterson, Beta Gamma/Colorado State)?
We recently asked some former board members to reflect on their Theta board service and these are just a few things they identified having gained. There are three board level opportunities across the Theta enterprise. Because each Theta entity has a unique purpose and mission, each board requires different work.
- Grand Council serves as the governing body of the Fraternity, exercising general supervision over the business and affairs of Kappa Alpha Theta and determining long-term vision and strategy for the Theta enterprise.
- FHC Directors serve the Fraternity Housing Corporation (FHC), which oversees all housing for Kappa Alpha Theta.
- Foundation Trustees manage the affairs of Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation in order to fulfill the mission to secure and manage resources for the educational, leadership, and philanthropic programs of the Fraternity and for the scholastic, professional, and service pursuits of its members to help them reach their fullest potential and make a difference in the world.
While individual strengths and background may make a candidate better suited for one board over another, it seems everyone is initially drawn to board service for a different reason, whether it was simply “a desire to make a difference and contribute” (Zita Enloe, Gamma Phi/Texas Tech), “curiosity about how Theta worked on a national level” (Elizabeth Prosser, Alpha Omicron/Oklahoma), a “love of Theta” (Lisa Street), an eagerness to “experience Theta governance and oversight on a national level” (Kathy Tonkel), or seizing the “right opportunity at the right time after not being able to have a full four-year experience while in college” (Lyn Stewart Simensen, Gamma Gamma/Rollins).
No matter what drew them to a Theta board, “rewarding, fulfilling, and enjoyable” were just some of the words used to describe their experiences. Some board members serve only one or two terms, while others have served several terms across multiple boards.
If you are interested in serving Theta in a board capacity, these former board members have the following advice to offer:
“Keep an open mind and think outside the box when looking toward the future. For it will only be by being forward thinking that our organization will remain relevant for future generations of women.” Lyn Simensen
“Make sure you serve for the right reasons. Don’t serve with your own personal agenda, and ensure your intentions are altruistic.” Zita Enloe
“Be prepared to extend yourself in many ways. Give it your all!” Lisa Street
“We never stop learning! What a privilege it was to share my professional expertise while learning more from others! Theta encompasses extraordinary leaders! Continual growth both personally and professionally.” Jill Peterson
“Do it! What you will learn and benefit from as an individual and in your life experience—the challenges, the exposure to various situations and various individuals--far outweighs any negatives. And you will have been involved in determining the direction of a wonderful organization! I would have not traded it for anything!” Kathy Tonkel
Are you interested in board service or do you know a Theta who would be a great candidate? Please nominate yourself or a Theta sister for any of the three board service opportunities during the 2018-2020 biennium. Nominations must be submitted by March 1, 2018. Interest Indicators will be available February 7, 2018.