Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who is entitled to stand for election to the Board of Directors? Open or Close
    • Nominees for the Board of Directors may be Owl members or non-members; preference is given to members.
    • Employees, their spouses or partners, are not eligible to stand for election
  • What skills should candidates possess? Open or Close
    • Strong communication skills
    • Collaborative decision-making skills
    • Effective leadership skills
    • Good time management skills to ensure appropriate preparation for meetings and discussions.
    • The Board also assesses its collective expertise accross a wide variety of governance competencies. See the Board Application for this competency assessment and the priorities for this recruitment campagin.
  • How long is the term of office? Open or Close
    • Directors serve a two-year term with the option to stand for re-election for another term if desired. The election takes place at the Annual General Meeting on April 12, 2016.
    • Committee members are also asked to serve a 2-year term.
  • What is the time commitment? Open or Close
    • Mandatory Board Orientation – April 25 6:30 – 9:00 pm
    • Bi-monthly board meetings; 6 per year (3 hours each), typically the 2nd Tuesday of every other month + a full day Board Development session.
      • Tues., May 16, 2017      6:30 – 9:30 pm
      • Tues., July 25, 2017      6:30 – 9:30 pm
      • Tues., Sept 12, 2017     6:30 – 9:30 pm
      • Sun., Oct 1, 2017           8:30 – 4:30 pm
      • Tues., Nov 7, 2017        6:30 – 9:30 pm
      • Tues., Jan 9, 2018        6:30 – 9:30 pm
      • Tues., Mar 13, 2018      6:30 – 9:30 pm
    • Tele-conferences as necessary (usually only 1 per year)

    The total commitment is an average of 5 hours per month, including meeting preparation. Participation on committees may increase this time commitment.

  • Are directors required to also serve on a committee? Open or Close
    • It is not required, but directors are encouraged to serve on a committee if they are able. Doing so leads to increased engagement, knowledge about Owl and contributes to a positive board experience. 
  • Can members choose to only volunteer on a committee and not the Board? Open or Close
    • Absolutely. Committees often have a mix of directors and non-directors. This provides for well-rounded discussion and additional opportunities to engage with Owl depending on member interests and time availability.
    • Members may apply to join the Finance & Audit and Governance committee of the Board, or management’s Government Relations committee.
    • The Nominating committee is comprised only directors due to their mandate for board and director evaluation.
  • Are there leadership opportunities within the Board? Open or Close
    • Yes, directors may choose to chair a committee or assume an officer role such as treasurer, secretary, vice chair and eventually chair
      There are also leadership opportunities as a mentor to new directors and to research and present key topic of interest to the board.
  • Where do meetings take place? Open or Close
    • Board meetings rotate between 3 or 4 of Owl’s centres. The meeting location will be listed on the Board calendar and on the meeting agenda. Most will be in Kitchener, but a few will be in Waterloo and usually one in Cambridge.
    • Committee meeting locations may vary.
  • Do Directors receive compensation for Board work? Open or Close
    • There is no financial compensation for directors or committee members.
    • Owl will arrange child care at the meeting location, upon request — and assuming availability of staff, for evening Board meetings. Unfortunately care is not available for committee meetings.
    • Some meals may be provided in the course of board meetings.
  • What are the expectations of Board members? Open or Close
    • Complete required pre-reading in advance of meetings
    • Regular attendance at prearranged meetings
    • Active participation in board meetings
    • A willingness to accept fiduciary responsibility
    • Regular electronic communication with other board members
  • Are meetings mandatory? Open or Close
    • Meetings are considered mandatory. Attendance is tracked and reviewed as part of our evaluation program. The Board Code of Conduct includes Meeting Protocols and requirements for Board Engagement. This document outlines the follow up procedures for missed meetings
    • For more details, see:  Meeting Protocols and Board Engagement Expectations

     

  • What is the composition of the board of Directors? Open or Close
    • Officers: Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Executive Director*
    • Directors: up to 11 elected at the Annual General Meeting or appointed by the Board as per Owl’s By-laws.

     

    *Ex-officio/non-voting

  • What are the duties of the Directors? Open or Close
    • The Direcors:

      • respect…member expectations.
      • reflect…on organizational results.
      • select...prominent leadership.
      • connect…for board relations.
      • direct & protect…organizational performance.
      • expect…great board-management interaction
    • From a legal perspective, There are 11 duties of directors of a non-profit organization:

      • Duty of Knowledge
      • Duty of Care
      • Duty of Skill & Prudence
      • Duty of Diligence
      • Duty to Manage
      • Fiduciary Duty
      • Duties as Trustees
      • Investment Powers
      • Delegation by Directors
      • Duty of Avoid Conflict of Interest
      • Duty to Act Within Scope of Authority

     

    For example, directors must consent to fulfil their fiduciary duties. Fiduciary duty relates to acting in good faith and with honesty. It places on Board members an obligation to subvert their own personal interest, or that of any other individual or group, and act entirely in the interest of the organization upon which they serve as a Director.

    More information on each can be found in Section 8 of the Board Orientation Handbook available at: The legal duties seem overwhelming. Is there protection for directors? Open or Close

    • There are various forms of protection in place for directors serving on Owl’s board. Two of the most important are indemnification and directors and officers (D & O) liability insurance.
    • Owl pays the premiums for the D & O policy on behalf of directors. A director is entitled to confirm the amount of insurance and request a certificate of insurance.
    • More details about the protection of directors can be found in Section 9 of the Board Orientation Handbook available at: Is Training Provided? Open or Close
      • A 3-hour mandatory Board Orientation session will be held on April 25 (6:30 – 9:30 pm). During this session, new Directors are provided with a Board Handbook which acts as a reference document outlining key terms, processes, governance structure and more.
        • Committee members will receive an informal orientation from the committee chairperson on or before their first meeting.
      • Each new director will be assigned to a mentoring triad to help guide you during your first year on the Board.
      • In early October, all directors will participate in a full-day Board development day. Topics for this day are determined based on the overall competency assessment and identified gaps.
      • The Chair, Vice Chair, Nominating committee and Executive Director are here to guide you and help you develop as a director.