CSA Announces Board Nominations

By Jim Moody, CAE
CSA President

It’s time again for CSA to renew itself by selecting board members to replace those who are rotating off.

One of the biggest challenges in constructing a board is finding people who will say yes. We’re all conditioned to immediately say no because our conception of board service – whatever the board – is negative. We assume it will be time consuming, non-productive and boring. That’s because for most boards, that’s the reality.

CSA’s board is a bit different than most. We are focused on strategy and the future. Most boards I’ve been a part of seem to spend more time looking backwards. There was an old commercial where an accountant pulls out a long report and says, “This report is self-explanatory, so let me explain it.” We’ve all sat through meetings that felt a lot like that. We work hard to ensure the CSA board is the exact opposite by providing written updates and reports to the board regularly. When people have questions or concerns, we can address those with the group. But, if everyone reads the report and has no issues, we spend our precious time together on other issues.

We also meet only when there’s something to decide. We are so scattered geographically, and everyone is so busy with work and their personal lives, that it just doesn’t make sense to meet simply to meet. We meet face-to-face a couple of times a year (once when we’re already together at the annual meeting), and we fill in when necessary with conference calls. So, we aim to be respectful of people’s time and the burden of other commitments.

Finally, we use the board for their heads, not their hands. Too often, being on a board means that you have to do the work of the group. That can lead to countless hours of labor, and rarely do you know the extent of it when you sign on (or get volunteered). While I absolutely value any work that the board wants to do, what we find is that the board is comfortable determining what CSA is going to do, and then delegate the how part to staff. After all, that’s what we are paid to do.

Of course, the board does (and should) hold staff – primarily me – accountable for how things get done and the success or failure of those things. It means that I have to be on my toes and we have to have competent staff working with me to earn the trust of the board. But, when it works well, it means that being on the board is a pleasant experience.

I think most people who’ve served on our board would tell you that it was far more fun and far less taxing on their time than they expected. The walk away with a deeper understanding of what the association does, and they feel like they’ve provided a meaningful service to their industry. They’ve taken CSA further down the path of meeting its mission of building strong independent dealers. In short, they’ve made a difference.

We’ve been so fortunate to have great leaders throughout my time at CSA. I truly believe we have become a strong organization that serves members well. It would never have happened without the leadership of the board. The board members of the past have set the bar pretty high.

Which leads me to the important news of the day. The Nominating Committee has selected people to fill open seats on our board beginning Jan. 1. I’m pleased to tell you who they are:

  • Chair Elect: George Weatherly (Builder’s Supply, Ft. Payne, Ala.)
  • Associate Chair: Justin Wright (Great Southern, Abbeville, Ala.)
  • Louisiana Member: Jasmin Wild (Gabriel Building Supply, Ponchatoula, La.)
  • Mississippi Member: Ken Morris (Barnett Phillips Lumber Co., Canton, Miss.) Ken was serving the balance of an unexpired term and was nominated to a full term.
  • Associate Member: John Spencer (Huttig, Jackson, Miss.)
  • Alabama Member: Jason Terry (City Lumber, Huntsville, Ala.) filling the unexpired term vacated by George Weatherly as he moves to the officer position.

Our bylaws allow for nominations from other members. The date to submit other names to me by mail, fax, or email is 8 a.m. Eastern Time, Nov. 26, 2016. If no alternate nominees are submitted or are submitted by less than 20 percent of CSA member companies, the slate of nominees determined by the Nominating Committee will be considered elected. If qualifying alternate nominees are submitted, we will conduct an election with all member companies eligible to vote.

Just in case you need it, CSA’s mailing address is 120 Handley Road, Suite 610, Tyrone, GA 30290. Our fax is (678) 674-1864. My email is [email protected]