Committee Guidelines and Orientation
Download Committee Guidelines
Greater Burlington shall be a growing center of commerce, industry, education, health care, entertainment and culture providing a great place to live, work and operate a business.
Vision – Identify, Evaluate and Act upon relevant Opportunities
Integrity – Honest, Trustworthy and Truthful in all Actions
Partnership – Joining Forces to Achieve Success
Courage – Act with Strength and Conviction, even in the Face of Adversity
Excellence – Exceed Member, Investor and Partner Expectations
Fiscal Responsibility – Steward of Resources Provided to Conduct Mission
Leadership – Boldness in Championing Ideas and Initiatives
Staff Expectations of Volunteers
Prepare plans and guidelines for volunteers so they can react to specific tasks.
Staff should provide leadership and not allow volunteers to load them down with “busy work.”
Staff should communicate with volunteers clearly and in a timely fashion, before all meetings.
Staff should expect and receive courtesy and politeness at all times.
Ensure all contact with volunteers is professional and productive.
Volunteers Expectations of Staff
Their time should be used wisely, not wasted on tasks that could be delegated.
Volunteers should expect staff to provide necessary background to make decisions.
Volunteers should expect to be told bad news or problems and should be involved in problem-solving.
Volunteers should be given options and recommendations, not “what should we do about this?” or “we should be doing that.”
Volunteers should expect politeness at all times, and firm pressure from staff to achieve objectives according to an agreed upon plan.
Volunteers should expect staff to adhere to points of view that the staff believes is professionally correct, but staff should be flexible and respect volunteer’s opinions.
Volunteers should view the staff as a valued professional, not someone to be dictated to or in contrast, unapproachable.
Volunteers should be encouraged to treat staff members as colleagues and vice versa.
Volunteers should be treated as valued colleagues and usual inter-office courtesy and conduct should be adhered to.
All committees are created to perform the work of the organization either on a long term or short term basis. Committees serve at the direction of the Board of Directors. Committee membership and leadership is to be reviewed annually prior to the beginning of the New Year and the installation of new officers.
The following constitute criteria for membership on committees serving the Partnership entity:
- Chamber of Commerce – Active, Multiple Location or Lifetime member of the Chamber of Commerce
- Economic Development – Chamber of Commerce Active, Multiple Location or Lifetime member and/or investor in Partnering for Future Campaign
- Greater Burlington Convention and Visitors Bureau – Public official of taxing body or person with interest in or expertise in tourism
- Downtown Partners – Resides or has a business located in the SSMID district, public official or person with proven interest and commitment to downtown development.
Committee Chairs shall be selected prior to the start of the program/fiscal year with input from the current chair, the chair elect and staff.
The Board will not conduct committee work at board meetings.
Each committee should have a defined mission and a program of work for the year. The committee’s program of work should originate from the organizational strategic plan.
Ad hoc committees and/or task forces may be appointed by the Chairman of the Board of Directors or Executive Committee and shall be disbanded upon the completion of their assignment.
Board members are encouraged to participate in committees. Staff members will be assigned by the President and CEO to serve as a liaison to and participate in committees. Staff is present to lend input and provide administrative support.
Committee members have no authority to sign contracts or incur debt. Committees are not authorized to speak without authorization of the Board Chair or the President and CEO. Committee members are not authorized to have Partnership stationery, notepads or business cards implying that they speak for the organization.
All products developed by Partnership committees are the property of the organization and shall not be deemed to be the property of the committee or its members.
Prior to each meeting of the Board of Directors, a report shall be sent to each officer and director describing the activities of the committees. Division chairs will make verbal reports at Board meetings of the activities within their area. For the most part, these reports are to supplement or elaborate upon the written reports.
Understands and communicates the vision of the organization
Understands the C mission and role in the community
Willing to make decisions
Able to communicate the meaning and the value of its programs
Represents the Partnership professionally
A good role model
Conducts oneself in a professional manner, is respectful and non confrontational.
Accepts praise graciously and gives praise fairly and appropriately to deserving volunteers
Understands group dynamics and motivation of fellow volunteers
Works Well With Staff
Ease of accessibility, either in person or electronically
Fulfills commitments within agreed upon deadlines
Has loyalty and confidentiality
Gives support to controversial matters
Candid appraisal of events and programs and assistance in improvement
Listens to the professional advice of staff
Sensitive to the resources and limitations, both physically and financially
Understands and respects the difference between staff administration duties and those of the volunteer.
Knowledge of the Partnership
Understands the Partnership structure
Wears “business hat” when attending meetings
Willing to commit financial and time resources to support programs.
Willing to consider new programs and to drop programs, committees and task forces when appropriate.
Frequently Asked Questions about Committee Involvement
Does the staff of the Chairperson prepare the agenda? The staff is more than willing to prepare the agenda with the help of the chairperson. If the chairperson prefers to develop the agenda it needs to be provided to the staff 24 hours prior to the meeting notice so that the agenda and reference materials can be emailed.
Who sends out the meeting notices? The staff will send out the meeting notices 5-10 days prior to the meeting.
Is it necessary to be at all committee meetings? Yes, we require that staff be in attendance at any official meeting regarding a project or event.
Is there an attendance policy for committee members? Staff will keep the chairperson informed of any attendance problems. It is very helpful if the chairperson contacts the individual to see if they can help solve the attendance problem.
How long should a meeting last? Most meetings, unless otherwise noted, should be completed within an hour. It is important for meetings to begin on time and to keep non-pertinent discussions to a minimum. Chairpersons should not bring latecomers “up to speed” on what has been discussed until after the meeting is adjourned.
Can non-members be solicited for sponsorships or gifts for events? It is the preference of the Partnership to only solicit members for events and activities. If something is donated from a non-member they will not receive any promotion for the item. It is the Partnerships preference to do business with members only.
How does the committee work with the budget? Typically the staff member will prepare a budget request to be forwarded to the Board for approval in December. Committees are expected to generate the revenues that they proposed and keep within the expense line that they submitted. If it is anticipated that the revenues will be less than expected, then expenses will need to be cut accordingly. If the committee exceeds the projected net revenue for a particular project event, that doesn’t mean they have “extra” to spend in another area. Funds do not carry over from one program year to another. Committees cannot commit to spending money on behalf of the Partnership. Any significant project (printing, plaques, shirts, etc.) must be sent out to bid to appropriate member firms.
Who develops press releases for the event/programs? All press releases must be sent out from the Partnership office. If a committee member writes the press release it should be emailed to the staff so that it can be placed on chamber letterhead. At no time should a press release be sent from a committee member’s office.
How can we use the newsletter/website to promote our program/project? The newsletter and website are meant to be very informative and proactive means of communications to our members on programs, events and issues. If a committee wants to submit an article, they must provide it to the staff by the 20th of the month pre- ceding the month that they want the article to appear in the newsletter. Information on the website can be dealt with at any time. Unfortunately, due to space limitations, we cannot give a committee a “standing article” or secured space each and every month.
Who speaks to the media? The Chairman of the Board and the Partnership President are the spokesperson for the organization. At times a staff member may refer a media call to you for the comments but will inform you of these situations. If you get a media call you should contact the Partnership to verify what information is appropriate to share with the media.