Thursday, December 20, 2007

The safety check before joining a nonprofit board

Many business people are asked to join a nonprofit organization's board of directors. Here are some key issues to consider beforehand, from Marks Paneth & Shron, a New York accounting firm with extensive nonprofit experience.

1) Do you know the nonprofit board's real mission? And are you fully aware of the duty of care, obedience and loyalty you will be subject to?
2) Did you receive and review the nonprofit board's packet that contains bylaws, descriptions of committees and functions and charter information. Review the materials before you make your decision about joining.
3) Does the organization have a whistleblower's policy? There should be a confidential way for organization employees to bring up and discuss matters regarding management indiscretion and other problems.
4) Does the organization carry a directors and officers insurance policy? This is important to protect you and other board members from unforeseen lawsuits and judgments.
5) Are there conflict of interest guidelines? You should know what constitutes a conflict of interest so you can both monitor and have input over other board members' activities and make judgments about your own.
6) What's the tone at the top of the board? Is there too much focus on connections and personal networking to fulfill the mission and make sound decisions?
7) How does paid management carry out its fiduciary responsibilities? If the executive director or other staff members have override over the board, proceed with extreme caution. Beware if management doesn't provide periodic internal audit statements.
8) By expanding the board, is the nonprofit going for quantity over quality? Since board members usually give, there's real incentive to expand a board. Is the quality of members and their insights high?
9) Is the board just a powerless group of donors, rather than a body with serious impact? It's important to decide if one wants to be part of a board if the real power and traditional board responsibility rests solely with the executive committee.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Self-Service Shredder wins UL mark

Colorado Springs-based RealTime Shredding, Inc. has received approval from Underwriters Laboratories Inc. for The Self-Service Shredder. The UL mark indicates compliance with rigorous industry safety standards throughout North America. Underwriters Laboratories granted the mark to RealTime’s self-service shredding kiosk after a 15-month process of testing and evaluation, the company said.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

American Numismatic Association begins search for new director

The American Numismatic Association, headquartered in Colorado Springs, is accepting applications for a new executive director to replace its former executive director who was fired in October.
Resumes are due by Jan. 11 to the board president, Barry Stuppler,

The coin collecting association with 32,000 members is looking for candidates who have knowledge of and interest in coin collecting and at least five years of management experience.
The new executive director will head an organization facing several lawsuits, an operating budget deficit and a membership that in July voted out all incumbent members of its board.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Intel closing will hurt industrial real estate market

A 2008 real estate forecast by Sierra Commercial Real Estate of Colorado Springs suggests the city's industrial market will have a tough go next year. A housing slowdown means building supply companies and heating and cooling businesses, for example, won't need as much space. A loss of manufacturing jobs also will result in less demand for industrial buildings. Intel Corp.'s closing of its 1.4 million-square-foot chipmaking plant on the Springs’ northwest side won't help, either. Finding a buyer will be difficult because it will be costly to remodel the sophisticated plant, said Dave Bacon, a Sierra managing director and industrial specialist. Yet, having the plant available if a major employer comes to town is a positive for the Springs, said Sierra President Dave Delich.