CCI-Review - 2020/2021 - #1

Finding and Recruiting Good Board Members - by Laura Glithero, JD, Director and Stephanie Sutherland, LL.B., ACCI


Condominium corporations are operated by volunteer board members. While self-managed boards clearly require committed and engaged board members, even professionally managed condo corporations rely on individuals to selflessly volunteer their time and energy to properly operate the corporation’s property for the benefit of the entire community. Anyone who has attended an owners’ meeting or AGM that I have appeared at knows that I always say that being a volunteer board member is a thankless job that is often unrecognized and underappreciated. Even in normal times, serving on the board is challenging and often forces people to make unpopular decisions. The current pandemic has proven to be an exceptional challenge for condominium communities. From CCI-London and Area, our board would like to thank all of the directors for their hard work over the last several months. It really has been an exceptional time and the efforts you have put forth have been noticed and appreciated by all of us working in the condo industry. Board members are elected for a specified term, and are not expected, nor should they, be on the board “forever”. All board members have competing demands and may eventually feel that they are ready to move on from their positions. The question becomes: What is a corporation to do when a director leaves and no one is interested in taking their place? Here are 10 tips to think about when considering recruitment and succession planning for condo

1. Plan ahead. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until a current board member has announced their intention to not stand for re- election. It takes time to find and recruit committed and engaged individuals. An ideal candidate may not volunteer without encouragement or put their name forward because they do not know what is involved. If you wait for individuals to notify you after the preliminary notice of meeting or to raise their hands at the AGM, you may be left with vacant positions on the board. 2. Think carefully about your ideal candidates. Carefully consider the skills you require and think about the skills that are currently lacking at the board level. Start compiling names and thinking about potential candidates well in advance of when a position will be vacant. This will give you time to approach the individuals about a future opportunity, so that they are ready when a position becomes vacant or an election is called. 3. Diversity is key. A room full of people with similar backgrounds, education and careers may come up with great ideas but frequently those ideas are similar and/or not represent the community at large. Engaging people with different education, careers, connections, and life experiences will make for a lively board with varying opinions where the best ideas will flourish.

Laura Glithero , JD is a partner with Cohen Highley LLP in Lon- don. She has extensive experience in condominium law and acts for many property managers and con- do corporations. She also practices administrative law, landlord and tenant matters, provides practical advice to businesses about imple- menting the Accessibility for On- tarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). She was elected to the CCI Board in 2016. . Stephanie Sutherland is an associate in our Kitchener Of- fice. Cohen Highley LLP has offices in London, Kitchener, Chatham, Sarnia and Stratford. Laura and Stephanie provide risk management and regulatory compliance advice to condo- minium corporations, unit own- ers, and property management companies.

4. Be honest about the

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