What are Board Meetings?
Board meetings are held so members of a board of directors can make decisions regarding the direction of a company. In most cases, the board is comprised, at the very least, of a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. There may be additional officers present at these meetings, or advisors to the board.
Often, board meetings must be held publicly, though frequently only the board members attend. Board members vote on decisions regarding the company and there normally must be a quorum in order for the meeting to be considered legal. A quorum, unless otherwise defined by the board represents at least half of the board members.
During these meetings, the secretary records all discussion and actions taken by the board, called the minutes. The secretary will then type up the minutes, which usually must be filed and kept in case there is any government investigation of the board at a later date. Minutes also may need to be presented to the public should there be a request for such from the public.
The first topic of most board meetings is reading of the minutes. The secretary will briefly summarize the minutes of the previous meeting. Next is resolution of old business. Anything that was unresolved in the previous meeting will perhaps be resolved at the current meeting or be postponed for a future meeting.
In some cases, the next presentation is a financial report. This may take place after old business is concluded, or may take place later in the meeting. People then tend to discuss new business, which involve any new concerns or issues raised by the board.
If additional comments or issues are raised in board meetings for which more information must be provided, the board will usually decide not to vote on an issue until the next meeting. Thus some new business may become the next meeting’s old business.
New business will include voting on any current issues, and the board may also listen to presentations by non-board members to help them make decisions. Sometimes the head or CEO of a company, who is not a part of the board, makes a presentation.
Usually board meetings conclude with someone suggesting the meeting be closed, and another person seconding this suggestion. Unless other people have material to present, the meeting is usually considered finished at this point and the secretary can cease recording.
Tape record the minutes. That's what they did at the nonprofit I worked at in NYC did. Then, the executive secretary would type it up and present it to the Secretary to sign off on.
@bagley79 - I don't envy you that task. Being the secretary of a board has always seemed like the most thankless task to me. You have to be on top of everything, all the time. I'm sure it's very good experience, but I'd never be able to get the minutes straight and I think I'd always be losing track of who said what.
@anon301288 - In my experience the problem can be too much communication. My mother is a school principal and so she has to go to school board meetings all the time. She thinks the main problem they face is getting anything done, because the people of the board all get on and tend to gossip through the meeting.
She says it's really important to get a good person in charge, who will direct the meeting, or nothing will get done.
I have served as secretary on the board of directors for a non-profit organization in my community. Some people think this is an easy job, but it can be more challenging than you think.
During meetings I have to pay very close attention to all the details. I also have to make sure I accurately record everything and keep my records in good order.
It does get a little easier the longer I do it, but I remember being kind of uncertain about it at first. I was afraid I would forget to write down important information. It does help if you are organized and good at taking notes.
When my son was in high school he was able to sit in on some nonprofit board meetings for a local theater company. This was a company that was started for kids to learn how to act and put on performances. Since my son was very involved with this whole process, he was asked to come to the board meetings.
Even though he didn't hold an office, this gave him some valuable experience. He was able to see how board meetings operate and it gave him a good overall view of the whole business.
Would a business meeting for a church be considered the same thing as a board meeting?
Once a year our church has a business meeting where we elect new elders. We have to have a quorum of members in order for the meeting to be held. Every member has to sign in when they arrive and they are given a handout on the previous meeting minutes and an update on all the different departments. During this meeting the new elders are voted on, and certain decisions regarding the church are also voted on as a congregation.
@anon301288 -- Board meetings are very important for accomplishing certain tasks. My husband has served as an officer for our motorcycle association for many years. He has held every position except for that of secretary.
He has been to a lot of board meetings and they try to get their business taken care of without taking up too much time. All of the members are welcome to attend the meetings, but usually only the officers are the ones who do.
Once a year when we elect new officers we have a formal meeting where all eligible voters can cast their vote. Sometimes we have to refresh our memory on how to correctly follow the rules or order, but we always get the job done.
Board meetings are very important for making precious and important decisions. And also it is important to communicate to with other members of the company, also.
@musicshaman -- I know at my company they use some kind of board meeting software to keep track of the minutes -- maybe that could help you out.
What are some good ways for taking the minutes of a board meeting?
I'm working on starting a small graphic design business, and it seems like every time we meet the minutes are either not taken properly, or are taken in a way that we have no idea what they mean afterwards.
Does anybody have any good board meeting minutes-taking tips?
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