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Board FAQ

What does the Chicago Business Marketing Association Board do?
The Board is responsible for the ongoing operations of the Chapter, including our Marketing Innovators Luncheon seminars programming, Breakfast Seminars, finance, governance, Fuel Keynote and Expo, Tower Awards and BMAIL. In addition, the Board makes hiring decisions for the staff positions.

How many people are on the Board?
According to the BMA Chicago bylaws, the Board includes eight officers who make up the Executive Committee. They are the President, Executive VP, four , the Secretary and Treasurer. Depending on the needs of the organization, there are a minimum of an additional seven to thirty Directors.

Sounds like a very big board. How do things get done?
The BMA Chicago Board is a volunteer organization. Every Board member lends their time and expertise pro bono. As such, it’s necessary to have sufficient numbers in order to give the appropriate attention to the various programs and issues affiliated with running a membership organization.

How can I become a Board member?
You can nominate yourself, or someone else can nominate you. The process is simple: send an email to expressing your interest and qualifications. If you nominate someone else, please verify that they are willing to serve a two year term before you submit their name for consideration. The review process begins in March. A slate is presented to the full membership in April, and elections are held immediately afterward. The new Board is announced at the May Chapter meeting. Terms for the coming program year begin in July and run through June.

How are decisions made about whom to slate?
There are numerous considerations, including the background, skills, and the various other resources that the nominee can bring to CBMA. We also look at whether the nominee has experience serving on other membership organization boards. To ensure that the CBMA Board represents the diversity of skill sets needed for the various positions and committees, an assessment of the requirements needed for the coming program year is made, and the backgrounds of the nominees reviewed against them. This assures we have the diversity of skills required to lead a rapidly growing organization.

I’ve been on a BMA Chicago Committee. Will that help when my nomination is considered?
It helps to have contributed to the Chapter, if for no other reason then that people on the Nominating Committee and/or on the existing Board are likely to have worked with you, and so can speak to your skills and contributions. However, that doesn’t change the fact that specific skills are sought for individual positions within the Board. If you don’t have those skills, it’s unlikely that you’ll be slated for the open positions.

Aren’t some people named to the Board?
Yes. If any Directors vacate their positions during their two-year term, the Board has the authority to nominate and approve replacements for those terms.

Do I still have to pay dues  if I’m on the Board?

What kind of time commitment does it take?
Generally, Directors aren’t asked to take leadership responsibilities during the first year of their terms, although, if they want to take those responsibilities, it’s welcomed and appreciated. A greater contribution is expected during the second year. Still, there are different needs and each role takes a different amount of time. Some roles, such as the Officer positions, take a great deal more time. Our Board regularly meets prior to our monthly luncheon seminars, and has summer planning sessions.

How can I become the President?
According to our bylaws, the Executive Vice President will be nominated for President at the end of the President’s one-year term. The President automatically becomes an ex officio Immediate Past President (meaning that they do not vote.) As such, the term from Executive Vice President through Immediate Past President may be three years.

Are there other two-year terms?
Yes. Directors are elected for a two-year term, with about half the board being elected each year. The Treasurer’s role is a two-year term for the purpose of continuity. Other officer terms are one year service terms.

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For other questions, please call the BMA office or email, or refer to the BMA Chicago Bylaws on this site.