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Best practices on chapter board administration

NEW YORK CITY: Using Associate Vice President (AVP) to Attract Volunteers and Succession Planning

SUMMARY: The New York City chapter developed a volunteer strategy to engage more members and shift volunteers to board members. The chapter created multiple associate vice president (AVP) roles to get those interested in volunteering involved in an entry-level volunteer position. AVPs assist a specific vice president with operations, administration, and logistics. The opportunity gives the AVP the ability to take ownership of projects and for vice presidents to include them in further leadership development opportunities. The chapter set up a clear and defined role description and expectations. They marketed the opportunity to its membership and received a lot of interest. Since the execution of the AVP volunteer strategy, several of the AVPs have moved into board positions.
New York City - SOS Submission Form
New York City - Associate Vice President Role Description
New York City - ATD NYC Newsletter Teaser
YEAR: 2020

BATON ROUGE: Board Buddies

SUMMARY: The 2020 executive board had an equal mix of new board members and returning board members. The president paired board members and allowed the board buddies to connect, ask questions, and have an extra support system. The partnership between board members developed an additional level of support for new board members and helped create a cohesive executive board.

YEAR: 2020

DETROIT CHAPTER: Respect and Professionalism Policy and Protocol

SUMMARY: To serve as a guide for communications, behavior, and interactions among the board, the chapter developed a respect and professionalism policy and a virtual meetings protocol. The chapter’s work established a written policy that defines and describes respectful behavior expected of all board members and volunteers; described examples of disrespectful and unacceptable behavior; explained expectations of board members during board meetings, when conducting board business, and when handling written communications for board and chapter business; stated the ground rules and the protocol applicable to virtual board meetings; and provided a structured format for achieving efficiency and effectiveness in chapter leadership/operations. The documentation resulted in a more respectful atmosphere during board meetings, prevented a loss of 20 percent of board members due to other board members’ behaviors, and increased participation of the board by 30 percent.

YEAR: 2020

CASCADIA CHAPTER: Chapter Focus Group

SUMMARY: The Cascadia Chapter had been going through a transition period and reached out to members to collect information about their perceptions of chapter membership benefits, programs, and the annual conference. The chapter invited a diverse group of 20 members to share their thoughts during a two-and-a-half hour session that was moderated by the board. Feedback shared during the event enabled the chapter to refine the structure of board roles and committees, identify new programming topics, and demonstrate the value of the annual conference.

YEAR: 2019

NEBRASKA CHAPTER: Setting Your Chapter Up for Success Through Timely Succession Planning

SUMMARY: The chapter recognized that effective and timely succession planning strongly supported its continued success. To further support the succession planning process, the chapter shifted its timeline for identifying, nominating, and voting for open board positions from the third quarter of the year to the second. This change strengthened knowledge management practices, empowered incoming board members to set goals for their terms, made it possible for more chapter leaders to attend ALC, and generally improved onboarding and leaders’ understanding of board acumen.

YEAR: 2019

NEW YORK CITY CHAPTER: Board Meeting Position Status Report Templates

SUMMARY: To promote accountability and build a stronger board, the ATD New York City Chapter Board created three templates to guide board meetings. The Status Report Template documents any updates and relevant information about each role and enabled the board to move information out of the monthly board meetings. The Board Notes Template provides the detail behind the information included in the meeting minutes and serves as the working document behind all board business. The Meeting Minutes Template captures the outcomes of the discussions and is made accessible to interested chapter members. The templates helped the chapter board eliminate duplicated work, identify new synergies, more accurately reflect what each position does, and serve as a better reference for future boards.

YEAR: 2018

NEW YORK CITY CHAPTER: Interview Guides for Board Roles

SUMMARY: Through the development of interview guides, the chapter’s nominating committee was better able to focus on candidate interviews and evaluating responses rather than on the process. The guides provided a consistent way to accurately evaluate, compare, and select candidates to fill board roles. The compilation of all necessary documents in one packet helped to ensure consistency and reduced the time needed for interviewers to get up to speed.

YEAR: 2018

MADISON AREA CHAPTER: Align Volunteer Opportunities to Individual Interests

SUMMARY: Traditionally, the chapter’s past president has been identified as the leader responsible for connecting with members to gauge their interest in volunteering. The past president identifies the person’s areas of interest and goals for volunteering and then reaches out to board members aligned with those goals to explore open opportunities. The past president connects the individual with the appropriate board member to continue the discussion about the volunteer opportunity. Appointing a specific point of contact on the board to follow up with potential volunteers and “matchmaking” board members’ volunteer needs streamlined the process and produced more engaged volunteers.

YEAR: 2018

VALLEY OF THE SUN CHAPTER: Board Meeting Minutes Collaboration through Google Docs

SUMMARY: To increase ownership of the meeting minutes for all board members, the board shifted the responsibility from the secretary role to all members of the board. Using a consistent template set up in Google Documents, the board members added in their information in advance of the meeting. While meetings are held virtually, all board members can view the document simultaneously on the call. The change has decreased the hours spent on crafting the meeting minutes and increased transparency as meeting minutes are available sooner to members.

YEAR: 2018

DALLAS CHAPTER: Getting to the Summit Using Basecamp

SUMMARY: To provide an avenue for chapter volunteers to connect and provide transparency internally, the chapter volunteers adopted Basecamp. The platform allowed the volunteers to immediately communicate with one another, collaborate, offer resources and insights, and share documents. The barriers between the four core chapter areas began to dissolve, and documents previously stored elsewhere were moved over to the site to provide historical knowledge and transparency. Basecamp streamlined the chapter’s processes and evolved into a one-stop shop for locating information.

YEAR: 2018

CENTRAL NEW YORK CHAPTER: Leadership Team Onboarding—On Your Own

SUMMARY: In need of strong onboarding for new chapter leaders, Central New York developed an asynchronous PowerPoint approach to be reviewed by new leaders on their own time. The deck requires about 20 to 30 minutes for review and includes slide notes to guide the learner through an overview of the chapter’s mission, history, membership base, key programs and related activities, and roles. The approach was supplemented with one-on-one meetings with the managing director to discuss each board member’s role, responsibilities, and expectations. As a result, the chapter achieved 100 percent participation and created a stronger leadership team.

YEAR: 2018

GREATER LAS VEGAS CHAPTER: Roles and Responsibilities Connected to CARE

SUMMARY: In an effort to organize the chapter and run it like a business, the Greater Las Vegas Chapter identified its CARE responsibilities and broke them out by board member role. At the beginning of 2017, the board reviewed the CARE and joint membership requirements and came up with daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly tasks for each board member role. The chapter developed a roles and responsibilities document for each chapter leader position to monitor, measure, and analyze monthly to ensure CARE achievement. To create the process, the chapter reviewed job descriptions on the Chapter Leader Community, customized them for the chapter, added foundational and additional joint membership activities, and highlighted the CARE items in orange so they stand out on the document and can be reviewed at each monthly board meeting. In terms of outcomes, the chapter achieved 100 percent CARE, received Super Star recognition for having a joint membership rate greater than 50 percent, and was awarded a Power Membership Award, second place in the small chapter category, for its joint membership rate of 68 percent in 2017.

YEAR: 2018


SUMMARY: In 2016, the chapter’s executive council began incorporating a monthly “Education Nugget” into board meetings to keep the group informed. Topics vary from month-to-month and include information about the chapter, ATD, and general leadership topics. Board members are learning more each month and realizing that there is a large benefit to being a leader of an ATD chapter.

YEAR: 2017

GREATER ATLANTA CHAPTER: Efficient Board Meeting Scheduling

SUMMARY: To make board meetings accessible to people in a wide geographic area, the Greater Atlanta Chapter Board of Directors efficiently scheduled its meetings to align with the chapter’s programming schedule. On even months, the board holds meetings prior to chapter meetings and on odd months, meetings are held online since there is not a chapter meeting. This schedule has helped significantly cut down on the amount of time spent traveling to and from a stand-alone meeting.

YEAR: 2017

DALLAS CHAPTER: Strategic Planning and Implementation

SUMMARY: The Dallas Chapter took a strategic approach to restructuring and implemented a new model of its leadership, the board, and the chapter to increase engagement both within the chapter and with corporations in the local area. The chapter desired to recruit more volunteers to not overwork the current team. The chapter also believed that leadership in the field needed more of a platform to be recognized for their programs, best practices, and corporate efforts locally. The board took ATD’s framework and structured the chapter’s programs around the ATD Competency Model. The chapter designed each quarter of the year to align with four core principles: organizational development, talent management, innovation learning solutions, and managing learning programs and teams. As a result, the chapter set a record of more than 400 people at events (previous average was 180), grew in membership and revenue for the chapter, increased corporate participation and engagement, and recruited up to 22 sponsors.

YEAR: 2017

CHATTANOOGA CHAPTER: Vetting Process for Board Members

SUMMARY: To ensure the chapter was placing candidates into the right positions, the chapter used Survey Monkey to create an application. The chapter reviews the submissions and contacts references to get further information about the potential board member. Through the application process, the chapter ensures it provides information about the position itself so that applicants understand the role, which ultimately decreases mid-year turnover.

YEAR: 2017

CHATTANOOGA CHAPTER: Keeping Board Members Engaged and Up-To-Date With Monthly Calls with the President

SUMMARY: To ensure that board members stayed engaged between meetings, the chapter president set up monthly calls with each board member in addition to the monthly board meetings. This process helped ensure all deadlines were met and allowed the president to understand what questions individual board members had. The calls provided each board member with an outlet if they had questions or concerns that they did not want to ask with the full group.

YEAR: 2017

EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA CHAPTER: VP of Technology Training Solution

SUMMARY: As a result of attending ALC 2015, in particular the session entitled, Your Technology Succession Plan, it became apparent that the vice president of technology role needed to have documented processes for knowledge sharing and succession. After conducting a needs assessment, the chapter’s vice president of technology developed a written training manual to capture the major processes that the role performs. This manual is part of a three-component solution, which also includes training with the outgoing vice president of technology during a transition and a recorded archive of the training for future reference. Now that this is in place, the current and future vice presidents of technology should be able to properly execute the role’s responsibilities.

YEAR: 2016


SUMMARY: The chapter board invited all current and future board members to a board appreciation dinner. The group began with a 45 minute dinner where they discussed current goal. Following dinner they participated in different team building activities to focus on open communication and proper hand off of responsibilities.

YEAR: 2010

CENTRAL INDIANA CHAPTER: Board Development: Chapter Mission

SUMMARY: Through an interactive process as a board, the chapters use the majority of their 2010 Board retreat to update their mission and vision to reflect the current state of the chapter; they used this time to develop a set of values to support their ways of working together.

YEAR: 2010

MIDDLE TENNESSEE CHAPTER: Board Succession Planning

SUMMARY: The chapter created a succession planning process to ensure a full slate of officers to facilitate chapter leadership. A nominating committee was formed to actively find prospects and recruit new leaders to the board. As a result, a successful election was held in November 2009 and recognition was given to the new officers at the December chapter meeting.

YEAR: 2010


SUMMARY: The chapter didn’t have a point person or someone that was in charge of their website and social media presence. Various board members were constantly updating the website which caused much confusion. To deal with this, the chapter created a new board position titled “VP of Technology.” The position serves a marketing role to recruit new members and to encourage current members to be more involved.

YEAR: 2010

BATON ROUGE CHAPTER: Creating Binding Relationships through Formal Installation Ceremonies

SUMMARY: Effective January 2007, Baton Rouge chapter leaders were formally installed into their positions in a ceremony held before the membership. Chapter leaders vow to continually reference chapter bylaws, focus on and strive to achieve chapter goals, represent the chapter and the industry in the community, and abide by the ASTD Code of Ethics.

YEAR: 2010

CENTRAL IOWA CHAPTER: Volunteer Management

SUMMARY: The chapter formed a committee that was made up of a group of members who wanted to get actively involved in the chapter. Their main need was to seek out members to get involved with the Networking Committee and become involved with the organization through volunteering.

YEAR: 2009

EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA CHAPTER: Creatively Closing the Gap Between CORE and Chapter Operations

SUMMARY: To help chapter presidents and board officers understand their responsibility and develop their skills for ensuring that their chapter was CORE compliant the Eastern PA chapter developed tools for achieving chapter goals by embedding the CORE requirements into the annual plan.

YEAR: 2009

CENTRAL IOWA CHAPTER: VP of Strategic Partnerships

SUMMARY: The chapter needed to significantly improve their marketing efforts both internally and externally. They also needed to find ways to increase their income stream and to raise brand visibility. These needs grew because no existing board position was identified as being accountable to address them. This gave them the need to create the VP of Strategic Partnerships board position.

YEAR: 2009

UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA CHAPTER: 2009 Board Development & CPLP Study Group

SUMMARY: The chapter identified a leadership development goal to conduct four half day sessions for board members and interested chapter members that focused on the 9 areas of expertise (AOEs) assessed in the CPLP certification. This proved to be a success for all participants regardless of whether or not they were pursing the CPLP certification.

YEAR: 2009


SUMMARY: By establishing a position on our Board of Directors we increased awareness of all components to effectively operate the Chapter. We discuss how we are meeting the standards and share that information at monthly meetings, raising awareness of the professional association.

YEAR: 2009

SACRAMENTO CHAPTER: New Volunteer Recruiting

SUMMARY: The Sacramento chapter posted ads on Volunteer Match,, and LinkedIn. The chapter received over 10 responses and many of those qualified to interview for open associate positions. Associate positions are assistants to directors with the intention of progression into the director’s role the following chapter year.

YEAR: 2009


SUMMARY: The Eastern North Carolina chapter developed a volunteer management process that included a volunteer survey and discussion points. This addressed the need for chapter leadership to grow, stay engaged, and complete volunteer roles without burnout.

YEAR: 2009


SUMMARY: This SOS describes how the Central New York Chapter recovered from near dissolution, refocused, and became relevant to its community again.

YEAR: 2008


SUMMARY: This SOS discusses how the Central New York Chapter developed relationships with the local media for increased marketing and awareness of the organization and the industry.

YEAR: 2008

DALLAS CHAPTER: Balanced Scorecard/Chapter Goals

SUMMARY: To fulfill the CORE requirement to have an annual plan, the Dallas Chapter established goals in categories including: customer, financial, process, and learning and growth, comprising a chapter scorecard. The goals were published in the newsletter at the beginning of the year and mid-year, and the scorecard was reviewed at each leadership meeting.

YEAR: 2007

RIVER CITIES CHAPTER: Chapter on the Rise

SUMMARY: In December of 2008, the entire board of directors for River Cities Chapter changed. During a time of continuing decline in local ASTD participation, a new management team was born. Since then, meeting space was donated, time and resources for web development was volunteered, and personal donations were made to get the chapter up and running again. Membership has increased and program attendance is increasing each month.

YEAR: 2008

EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA CHAPTER: Build and Maintain Your Board on Solid Foundations

SUMMARY: The Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter restructured the chapter board, developing new job Descriptions, leadership development as part of a yearly action plan, and a five year strategic plan.

YEAR: 2006


SUMMARY: Greater Detroit Chapter came up with a scorecard to address ongoing metrics of the chapter and to ease the CORE process. The scorecard was targeted to aid the board primarily in making decisions about how to run the chapter and ensure alignment with CORE requirements.

YEAR: 2006

KANSAS CITY CHAPTER: Annual Awards Banquet: Automating the Process

SUMMARY: The Kansas City Chapter created a nomination and evaluation process for the annual Best Practice Awards that can be completed entirely via the web and email distribution. Automating the process resulted in an increased number of award nominations, additional committee members volunteering to evaluate nominations, and a time savings of approximately three hours per committee member.

YEAR: 2006

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