The NAIA, like most non-profit organizations is board driven. That means that policy decisions are ultimately made by a board of directors. In our case, we operate under the Carver model which is a very workable governance model used by an increasing number of non-profit and corporate organizations. Under this model the board concentrates on the Big Picture by establishing the goals or objectives (ends) and then charges the President, who is not on the board, with finding a course of action (means) to implement the ends. The President organizes a staff and is given a lot of latitude. Rather than requiring board approval for every action, the board just tells the President what not to do and where not to go. The President actually works for the board and can be removed by the board at any time.

Now here’s the tricky part…the NAIA does not yet have the funds to pay a staff or President. Consequently, the President has asked most of the board members to change hats and take on staff functions as well (getting the newsletter out, tackling legal issues, assisting new and revitalized shows, planning meetings, communicating with show directors, etc.). All this volunteer effort is limited because it comes at a price. That price is studio time.

The reason so many organizations are structured as board driven is very understandable. With a large, far flung membership (the NAIA has over 500 artists in 43 states) and an entirely volunteer staff, the logistics involved in soliciting discussion and votes on every decision would be totally unworkable. A certain reliance on the board and the President is required.

It is important to note, however, that even though policy decisions are determined by the board, the various issues and positions on those issues are actually identified by our membership. This is done via our extensive surveys as well as through letters,phone calls, and direct contact. Based on this membership input, priorities are established and actions are taken. In essence, the membership guides the board, the board charges the President, and the President implements the actions.

Our board is comprised entirely of artists, many of whom have been involved with the NAIA since its inception. We’ve discovered that we have complimentary strengths and we work well together but at the same time we are increasingly interested in sharing the load by involving more and more members in the week to week efforts. There is room on the board for some fresh input (and there’s always room for members who just want to help with a particular effort). The procedure for becoming a board member is covered in our by- laws. Names must be submitted to the nominating committee which votes to nominate new members to the board. The entire board then votes on the nominations. Board members must be active exhibiting artists prepared to donate time and energy to the organization. Though not written in stone, the optimum criteria for new board members is that they understand and endorse the NAIA philosophy of promoting improvement in the industry only by positive and cooperative means, that they be willing to subjugate their personal opinions on issues (at least publicly) to those of the majority of the membership, and that they be willing to regularly participate in board meetings, almost completely at their own expense.

Any member who would like to become a board member or nominate someone else should submit their nomination to one of the following:

Bob Briscoe
Phone/Fax: 612-674-4656
Rick Bruno
Phone/Fax: 770-772-0771
Jody dePew McLeane
Phone: 612-942-0069
Fax: 612-942-7524
Phone: 414-593-2790
Fax: 414-593-5817
Phone/Fax: 813-321-0665


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