Board Service Basics

Serve Your Community Through Civic Engagement

Explore Vail Valley Works

Course Details

Course Name: Board Service Basics

Leadership Pillar: Serve your community through civic engagement.

Facilitators: Dr. Steve Swafford, IOM and Dr. Jill McCrory – Leadership Outfitters

Format: In-Person Only

Dates: Board Service Basics is planned to return in the spring of 2025. Click here to receive the latest updates and new course offerings!

Cost: $100* (VVP Members)/$150 (Public Price)

*Scholarship funds may be available to VVP members in good standing – click here to view requirements and complete the scholarship application. 

Intended For:

  • Anyone interested in joining a non-profit or other appointed board of directors
  • Anyone interested in running for an elected board of directors
  • Those currently serving on a board (non-profit/special district/HOA & POA/etc)
  • Those currently serving on a local committee
  • Elected officials
  • Those who work closely with a board to achieve goals & objectives

Course Description: Are you looking for ways to serve the local community? Does board service sound appealing, but a little intimidating too? Are you new to a board of directors and aren’t quite sure what role you play? Join us for Board Service Basics – an introduction to appointed & elected board service. This course is designed to give you the knowledge and framework to effectively serve on a wide range of local boards – from non-profits to special districts and everything in between! No experience required.

Breakout Sessions: After lunch, attendees will choose one of the following sessions based on their experience and interests:

  • Breakout 1: Effective Board and Meeting Strategies: The best way to maximize your board’s expertise is to run efficient and effective meetings. This session will help attendees navigate different types of board meetings, Robert’s Rules of Order, meeting documentation and more. Intended for beginner to intermediate board experience.
  • Breakout 2: Building Healthy Community Partnerships: Partnerships with other organizations can help you reach community goals that may be unattainable if attempted alone.  Building cooperative arrangements with others allows you to pool resources, create stronger relationships, and strive to build consensus on community issues. Intended for intermediate to advanced board experience.

Learning Outcomes:

  • The “Nuts & Bolts” (organizational structure, governance, tax status, financial documents, Robert’s Rules of Order, etc)
  • Roles & expectations of a board member
  • Questions to ask when you’re approached to sit on a board of directors
  • Finding your passion & strengths as they relate to board service
  • Understanding communication styles, emotional intelligence and motivating factors
  • Individual & organizational values
  • Managing healthy conflict
  • Working in and with teams
  • Elements of powerful, healthy, and successful partnerships.
  • Implementing steps for effective collaboration.

Session Schedule:

  • 9:30 – 11:30am: Module 1 – Shaping Your Community Serving on a Board or Committee: A good board candidate understands how their passion and strengths can combine with an organizational mission to provide a good board experience. This segment includes basic information on organizational structure, tax-status, governance plus roles of board members and expectations of being on a board.
  • 11:30am – 12:30pm: Lunch (included in registration fee)
  • 12:30pm – 2:15pm: Module 2 – Developing & Refining Strategic Board Communication & Teamwork: Skilled Boards are made up of individuals who each communicate in different ways. Understanding how one’s own communication influences both harmony and conflict is important for a healthy board. It is also vital to understand the diverse thinking, process, and learning styles of those “around the table” in order to maximize strategic strengths and the human capacity of those serving on the board. You will also gain understanding of the various stages of teams and roles of leadership within those stages, working together as a team, and needs of the team.
  • 2:15pm – 3:15pm: Breakout Sessions
    • Breakout 1: Effective Board and Meeting Strategies
    • Breakout 2: Building Healthy Community Partnerships
  • 3:15pm – 4:30pm: Eagle County Case Studies & Wrap Up: Hear from a local board veteran who has navigated a challenging situation during their tenure on a board of directors. These discussions will be interactive and informative. The session will conclude with an action plan exercise.


Dates: Board Service Basics is planned to return in the spring of 2025. Click here to receive the latest updates and new course offerings!



Registration Includes:

  • Lunch
  • Board Service “Quick Reference Guide”
  • Personalized Board Member Profile (to help you find the right fit for board service)