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Have you thought of serving as an Area Director? September 23, 2020

Are you a conservation district board supervisor? Why might you consider becoming a WACD Board member?

You contribute to a positive future

Conservation is about making sure that the resources we need and use today are available for future generations to thrive. When you serve as a local conservation district supervisor, your impact is generally limited to your local conservation community. When you serve as a Washington Association of Conservation Districts (WACD) Area Director, your conservation community expands, allowing you to have a greater impact.

You fit into a large team

The Board of Directors is comprised of 12 Area Directors, six Executive Officers, and the President of the Washington Association of District Employees (WADE). It serves as the governing body of the Association between yearly Annual Meetings. All board members except for the WADE President also serve as local conservation district supervisors. The costs to attend board meetings are reimbursable.

It takes less time than you might think

  1. Four board meetings a year with the potential for special meetings.
  2. Attending one board meeting a year for the conservation districts in your area

Area Directors stay informed

  1. Learn what is going on – not only in your local district and area, but across the state as well.
  2. Be exposed to statewide and national ideas and events.
  3. Build relationships among other conservation districts and outside partners.

You will be part of decision-making

  1. Area Directors are a part of the decision-making and direction-setting body for the Association.
  2. Along the way, you will build skills such as meeting management, budgeting, and setting organizational priorities.

Area Directors become mentors to others

  1. Get to know other CD supervisors, staff, and partners in Washington’s CD world.
  2. Learn advocacy practices – Mentor others and be mentored.
  3. Practice and hone your communication skills.
  4. Demonstrate commitment to your organization.
  5. Bring ideas and innovations back to your own conservation district.

How do you become an Area Director?

  1. Read the WACD Governing Documents (Articles, Bylaws, and Policies).
  2. Read your Area Association bylaws
  3. Contact a current Area Director or an Executive Officer.
  4. Area Directors are elected at their respective area meeting in October.
  5. Mid-term vacancies will be made on an as-needed basis.

Resources – Suggested reading

  1. WACD By-laws –
  2. Board Source, excellence in non-profits and board leadership –
  3. Doreen Pendgracs, Before You Say Yes…A Guide to the Pleasures and Pitfalls of Volunteer Boards (book)
  4. Jill and Daniel Welytok, Nonprofit Law & Governance for Dummies (book)

This post is extensively drawn from a paper developed by Doug Rushton, Thurston Conservation District supervisor and the WACD National Director. Download the original version: 

Why you should want to be a WACD board member 20190411