Chapter Operations Workbook

How to Run a Chapter Executive Committee Meeting

Before the Executive Committee Meeting

Determine the meeting purpose and attendance required - what business needs to be transacted; what reports need to be heard, etc. Once determined, send out requests for any information or reports for presentation at the meeting. Make sure individuals from those committees will be present to give their reports and have ample time to prepare.

Set the time & location - take into consideration the geographical locations and traveling time of the attendees as well as the length of time necessary for the conduct of the meeting. If there is a regularly scheduled meeting, check the minutes of the previous meeting to determine if this has already been established and if the time and place previously set are still reasonable.

Collect committee reports from officers and committee chairs in PDF format. These documents serve as record copies and should be filed in the chapter document retention method, accessible to all board members.

Read the last meeting's minutes 

  • Check with the chapter secretary regarding any unfinished business from the previous meeting, responsibilities, reports which were to be presented at the next meeting. 
  • Find out what progress has been made since the last meeting, e.g., if a committee was charged at the last meeting, determine if that committee has anything to report. 
  • Discuss with officers and chairs if there are additional items that need to be included.  Review topics with officers and related chairs ahead of time so they may properly prepare.

Create an agenda - put together an agenda for all attendees in advance of the meeting. An agenda should include:

  • Date, location, start time, and anticipated adjourning time.
  • All topics being discussed.
  • Any support material for topics.
  • Any unfinished business from the previous meeting.
  • Time limits for agenda items.

Agendas have a set format. Fix a time allotment per item to prioritize items and help keep the meeting on time. The following is a typical format for an agenda

    Name of Meeting
    Meeting Date, Time & Location

    I. Call to order at (time) President
    II. Roll Call, Introduction of Guests Secretary or Executive Director
    III. Reading & Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting Secretary
    IV. President's Report President
    V. Treasurer's  Reports Treasurer
    VI. Trustee Report Trustee
    VII. Committee Reports Commitee Chairs
    VIII. Unfinished Business  Secretary
    IX. New Business President
    X. Announcements  Any Board Member
    XI. Date & Time of Next Meeting President
    XII. Adjournment  President

E-mail the agenda - All board members, and meeting attendees should receive the agenda. Send the agenda and all relevant backup materials, information, and reports in plenty of time before the meeting so everyone will have adequate time to do their preparation for the meeting. If you have guest presenters or committee reports scheduled, make sure that these individuals receive an advance copy of the agenda so that they may make arrangements to attend and to be prepared.

Make sure that everyone has read the agenda, previous meeting minutes and reports in advance before the meeting to ensure well-informed decisions are made.

At the Executive Committee Meeting 

Be ready. It is the responsibility of the President and/or Executive Director to make sure that all arrangements for the meeting are in order and that conditions are favorable - microphone and other technology are in working order, the room is accessible and comfortable for all, if a video or hybrid meeting, connect to the platform early and make sure sound, video, captioning, etc. are ready.

Call the meeting to order on time and follow the agenda for the meeting.

In the conduct of the meeting, make sure that all motions and discussions are presented in proper form following the Society's requirements that all meetings follow Robert's Rules of Order

During the meeting, direct a fair and impartial discussion of all questions, allowing both sides to speak.

State clearly all motions that are presented as well as recognize the individuals who have presented such motions and note if the motions were seconded so that the record of the minutes will read accurately and correctly.

When called for, put any measures to a fair vote:

  • When bringing a motion to a vote, repeat the motion for clarity and correctness.
  • Voting may be in the form of: 1) voice vote (aye or no); 2) show of hands or by standing: 3) ballot (even if not required in the bylaws, a ballot vote can be ordered by a majority vote or by general consent; and/or 4) by general consent (frequently used for relatively unimportant matters or when the president is sure of a consensus in favor of the motion, i.e., if there is no objection to the motion it is carried by general consent. However, if there is any objection, even after the president has announced that the motion has passed, it must be put to a regular vote). Remember that presidents, ex-officio members, and executive directors do not have voting privileges.
  • Some presidents prefer to force the issue by calling dissenting votes first. This procedure forces undecided persons (who wait to see who is in favor before voting) to take a stand rather than to remain noncommittal.
  • Announce the results of the vote and the resulting action to be taken, if any, for the record.

Expedite business while guiding the meeting along - remembering the time limits placed for each item of the agenda.

  • Assign a timekeeper, possibly the secretary, to limit time for debate, etc. If the item is crucial, then table it until the other items of business are taken care of, or schedule another special meeting. If you continue on that item, you may fail to complete several other items on the agenda.
  • Following Robert's Rules of Order, restrain members within those rules to prevent interruptions and to move the meeting along expeditiously.
  • Move the meeting along gently and ensure equitable opportunities to speak without debate, reaction or response. 
    • If discussion is lagging, suggest that it be put in the form of a motion. 
    • If discussion is lagging on a motion, suggest putting the motion to a vote, using general consent as much as possible for the proceedings to continue at a quick pace. 

Decide all questions of order, keeping in mind that the president's decision may be subject to appeal.

End the meeting on time (or before) - remember that people have made other plans based on your agenda and the time-limits imposed.

The president, as presiding officer of a meeting, literally is the servant of the Executive Committee and the chapter. If the president feels that he/she must speak on a matter, he/she should relinquish the chair temporarily and ask the president-elect/vice president to preside until the question has been resolved. While the president-elect/vice president is in charge, the president is subject to the same rules that apply to any other member, and must leave the chair and sit with the other members. (See Office of Chapter President-Elect/Vice President)

 After the Executive Committee Meeting

Expedite the Minutes. Minutes should be: 

  • Concise and should include decisions, deadlines, and responsibilities. 
  • Be completed and sent within 48 hours of the meeting to all members of the Executive Committee for corrections and to remind them of their commitments. 
  • Accurate - work closely with the secretary, checking for accuracy as well as for any action which was proposed during the meeting which you now need to act on. (See Office of Chapter Secretary)

Follow up on the progress reports, responsibilities, and committees, as a result of the direction taken and outlined from the meeting. For example, if it was moved to appoint a task force or committee, start making appointments to that committee and help to initiate action.


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