If the longevity of an organization is a sign of its success, then 23 years spent on its board of directors is a sign of a good board member. Roberta Post has been on the Skills Centre board since 1999, and she’s retiring from the board this spring ready to hand the work over to someone new.
“The board members have always been interesting, each with different life experiences, and we don’t always know what those life experiences are, which can be good,” Roberta says of her time in the volunteer position.
“It’s a well-run board, which doesn’t always happen in all organizations. I’ve been on other boards that weren’t as interesting, and never for as long as I’ve been on the Skills Centre board, which says a lot,” she says.
Roberta has been vice-president, president, and is the current past-president. When Lila Cresswell steps down as president in June, she’ll take on the mantle of past-president, and Roberta sees this as a good time to step down herself and let someone new join the board.
She says that she felt fully supported and appreciated in her various roles on the board. That the Skills Centre is still going strong after 25 years is significant and really shows its value in the community, she adds.
Different perspectives build a good a board
Roberta was asked to join the Skills Centre board of directors in its infancy. She worked at the hospital and brought a healthcare perspective to help the organization’s mandate of building skills and job opportunities in Trail and the surrounding communities. After she retired from her job, she and her husband opened a business, so she brought in a small business perspective as well.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with some great people—staff members, board members—really smart, good people.”
“I appreciated working with people with great values; otherwise they wouldn’t be working here or on the Board. Values are very important to me. The Skills Centre supports the community in any way it can. It’s had two excellent executive directors; they wouldn’t be in that role if they weren’t excellent people.”
The opportunities for the board members and the staff to interact at planning sessions are among the highlights she notes of her years contributing to the Skills Centre’s success.
“It gave me a sense of involvement in the community that I wouldn’t have otherwise. It gave me an ability to speak and be heard and have my opinion valued, have my involvement valued.”
Her advice for people thinking about volunteering and what they can contribute as well as what they get out of the experience for themselves also hinges on values and being valued. It’s clear she has both fondness and respect for her time with the Skills Centre.
“It’s really important that anyone coming on the board understands what the Skills Centre represents. New members need to be interested in the community.”
“I have been proud to be on the board with other caring, community-minded, empathetic people,” Roberta says as we wrap up our conversation, and she is confident that new board members will have a similar experience.
Do you want to make a difference in your community?
Are you interested in helping Trail and area communities solve employment, skills training and poverty issues? The Skills Centre is looking for two new board members this spring. If this sounds like you, give us a call.
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