A Crash Course for New CA Board Members

Regina Clay

The first days of any new job can be overwhelming. Yet newly elected members of the Columbia Association Board of Directors are expected to hit the ground running, to help make the decisions that can define the course of CA’s services.

With the sheer number of employees, facilities, programs and projects, joining the CA board can be disorienting. It’s fitting, then, that new members receive a crash course on the Columbia Association through a one-night orientation.

Regina Clay, who represents Wilde Lake, is the sole new board member this year. In May, she heard presentations from Columbia Association President Phil Nelson and a dozen other senior staff, learning more about CA’s operations, community building and sustainability, sales and marketing, communications and engagement, team and organizational development, and more.

“The orientation was beneficial,” Clay said in June before her second CA board meeting. “It gave me different aspects of CA that I didn’t have before.”

Tom Coale

Tom Coale, who represents Dorsey’s Search, was one of two new faces added to the board in 2011. The orientation, he said, helped him get a much better grasp on the scope of Columbia Association.

“You’ll often hear people say ‘I don’t know what I pay for when I pay my CA assessment or membership,’ ” Coale said. The orientation, then, “was good for understanding how large and how involved CA is across Columbia.

“It helped me put into perspective what I wanted to accomplish as a first-year board member,” he said.

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