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August 2004 Contents

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Why would anyone want to be on the UPA Board of Directors?

Richard Bellaver

UPA Vice President and Nominations Committee Chair

What do would you get out of it?

Most individuals who already serve on a nonprofit board need no outside justification for being a board member: They know perfectly well what they are doing and why they want to continue doing it. However, there are others who are - maybe - too shy to join a board or who need someone else to tell them why it makes sense. Here are some reasons why people join nonprofit boards:

  • They know their skills are needed.
  • A nonprofit is going to be better and benefit from their contributions.
  • There is a possibility to effect change in an organization.
  • They will feel good by doing good.
  • They enjoy collaborating with interesting people who have the same interests
    and values as they do.
  • They want to learn new skills.
  • They enjoy being recognized for their efforts.
  • They want to give back to the community.
  • They have found a new reason to live productively.
  • They want to have an impact.
  • It can be fun.


I lifted most of the above from the Board Source web site www.boardsource.org. It sets the tone for my plea for more people to run for election to the UPA Board of Directors. I hope it helps me to convince you to think about being a Board member. Let me give you some facts and ask some rhetorical questions.

What does the UPA board do?

The board has overall management of the organization with the help of Solutions for Associations, our professional management company. If you read further in Board Source you will see that the board determines the organization's mission and purpose, selects the officers, provides proper financial oversight, ensures legal and ethical integrity, maintains accountability, and enhances the organization's public standing. Besides these general responsibilities, individual board members might be involved with professional development, membership and sponsors, chapters, International, publications or outreach.

Why do we need you now?

UPA is now a teenaged organization. We have experienced a great learning process in our 12 years. We have seen growth in membership, a leveling, and a slight reduction during the recent downturn of the economy. Lately we have seen a rise in membership and also conference attendance. What will happen next? It is the board’s job to try to figure that out and prepare for the future. We have started to take some steps to prepare. Besides getting ready to adopt a Code of Conduct we are looking at a update of the Mission Statement. But there are several questions. We have seen the number of chapters grow are a rapid rate. Many of the chapters are International. Do we properly recognize and take best advantage of our chapter and International relationships? We need to establish the body of knowledge for usability professionals. We need to identify the kinds of experience and education that allow us to provide the best possible usability services. How do we gather, prioritize and make recommendations about that knowledge? We need good board members to lead these activities and get answers to these questions.


How can you help?

Let’s look at the list up above. How do you match up with these attributes or desires? I have been on the UPA Board for two years and can attest to these reasons for being on a board. At this point I have received back much more than I have put in. I believe that UPA is a very good organization. I believe we have accomplished great things since our inception and we have done it principally as a volunteer organization. Many of you have been on committees for conferences, chapter activities, and projects. Many of you have held leadership positions for conferences and chapters. I am asking you to reach further in your busy lives and move up to the next level of UPA volunteerism.

How can I find out more?


I am the chair of the nominating committee. Contact me by telephone on (765) 285-1889 or by email at rbellaver@bsu.edu. There are two board memberships open this year. We are especially in need of International representation. I will be happy to discus your situation and that of the organization. I will answer all questions that I can or get the answer from other board members.

Let me hear from you.

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