Director Guidelines

The Directors provide the core direction and management for smOdyssey.

A number of you are probably considering running for one of the open seats on the Board. We thought it might be helpful to provide some guidelines on being a Director of this here organization.

What does it take to be a Director of smOdyssey, Inc.??

  • Be a member in good standing of smOdyssey (dues up to date, no heinous acts) for at least six months;
  • Have commitment to, energy for, and enthusiasm about the leather community;
  • Be willing to represent smOdyssey with other groups and events;
  • 5-20 hours per week to spend on smOdyssey "bidness;"
  • A thick skin;
  • An ability to hear, and listen objectively to, divergent points of view;
  • Be able to support a decision by the organization, even after voting against it;
  • Be able to distinguish between one's personal viewpoint, and the official position of smOdyssey, and know when to present which;
  • A willingness to ask (and be asked) the tough questions;
  • A hook between your shoulder blades, upon which to hang the target; and
  • A good idea, or three.

A Director will

  • Attend monthly (sometimes semi-monthly) meetings of the Board of Directors;
  • Attend many, if not most, of the smOdyssey produced events;
  • Attend events produced by other leather and alternative lifestyle organizations;
  • Hold the corporate officer positions (President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary);
  • Hold other key coordinator positions (Membership, Public Safety Liaison);
  • Serve, with other smOdyssey members, on permanent and/or temporary committees formed by the Board;
  • Receive no compensation (other than out-of-pocket expenses) or special discounts; and
  • Accept the fact that he/she will be more ?out? in this role.

Questions asked of Dec 2003 Director Candidates

In December 2003, the Board added three directors.? We asked the candidates to think about, and prepare responses to the following questions:

  • What skills or abilities do you feel you can contribute to the organization?
  • What experience (if any) in not-for-profit and/or volunteer based organizations do you already have?
  • How much time are you willing to commit to make the organization successful?
  • Do you have a specific area in which you have particular interest (outreach, national, regional, education, social, fund-raising, etc)?
  • What concerns do you have about smOdyssey as you perceive it NOW? (Note:? this is not about issues you have/had with the old smOdyssey or its founders, but rather with the organization and its direction in its new incarnation.)
  • What direction would you like to see smOdyssey go as it moves forward?
  • Being on the board *is* a very public position. Are you prepared to be that "out" and to have your real (legal) name made public?
  • What is your vision for an Alternative Lifestyle organization such as smOdyssey?
  • If you were president of smOdyssey, what would your top three priorities be?
  • How do you react to change? Controversy? How would you cope with being the public face of smOdyssey if it were at the center of a controversy?
  • What do you perceive the state of the local community/scene to be? How about nationally? What would you like to do to make it better?

"Officer and Director Responsibilities" -- from the Draft Operating Procedures of smOdyssey, Inc.

(In early 2004, the Board approved formal By-Laws for smOdyssey, Inc. The By-Laws provide broad, corporate law-based rules for running the organization, and can only be changed by a majority vote of the membership. The By-Laws can be viewed in the Administrivia section of The Operating Procedures, which are approved by the Board, provide more detailed information on how we conduct our business. We created a draft set of Operating Procedures in 2004. The "Directors" section of the draft Operating Procedures is presented below.)

Directors are elected for two-year terms during annual elections. One half of the directors are elected each year, providing for continuity over time. A Director must be a member in good standing of smOdyssey. Meeting monthly, the primary responsibilities of the Board are:

  • Establish and maintain the direction of smOdyssey, representing the interests of the members.
  • Determine what activities smOdyssey will/will not take on, and how its money will be spent.
  • Hold primary fiduciary responsibility for smOdyssey, Inc. This includes creating and approving budgets, authorizing expenditures, reviewing financial results and initiating corrective action if necessary.
  • Enter into legally binding contracts on behalf of the corporation. (the only officers so authorized)
  • Approve ongoing relationships with other organizations (reciprocity, co-marketing, etc)
  • Because of tax laws, directors must be willing to be "out." with their legal names, as examination of smOdyssey's tax documents will reveal that information.
  • Directors are also a major part of the public "face" of smOdyssey, and hence are expected to exercise an exemplary standard of care in their public statements and behavior.