Board-Staff Teamwork: Nonprofits at Their Best

ed-tasch.jpegI see a lot of worst practices. Thank heaven for them. It feeds my consulting practice and therefore my shopping and mortgage jones. But every once in a while, I see an elegant dance that exemplifies the best in board staff team work.

Enter the National Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse. I did a board retreat for them years ago. I was asked to lunch afterwards with their board president Judy Brostron, a nurse/attorney. I knew she was going to ask me to be on the board. I was going to say “no.” I was simply too busy. I had a list of other names in my purse. All I remember was being back in my car and being on the board. It turned out to be a brilliant move on my part.

One of the reasons I agreed to be on this particular board was the executive director, Ed Tasch. He is just one of the best. I knew that the place was well run. How well run was a surprise even to me.

Enter our poor landlord, another non profit executive,  who wanted to raise our rent. It would have been easy for Ed to recommend to the board to accept the increase, suck it up, and move on. But that isn’t what Ed did. I asked Ed, a veteran of more than 25 years at this agency, how he felt about a move. We all have ways of expressing stress. I get headaches. Ed gets belly aches. He practically grabbed his gut. He said, “If I can save the agency $17,000 a year, I have to look into it.”

To make a long story short, not only did he look at a ton of other buildings, he polled the entire staff as to what was best for them, he brought the board into the search and asked our opinions, and ultimately, he negotiated a DECREASE in rent with our landload and $200,000 worth of improvements!

I am so honored to be on this board and so pleased that this level of professionalism is not everywhere, or I would be out of work!

Carol Weisman, MSW, CSP, friend of Ed Tasch, real estate mogul

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