Chapter Board Resources

Leading your chapter

The board of directors and executive directors work together, taking on different levels of responsibility and involvement. The board typically is responsible for governance, deciding what to do, making policy, setting goals, and reviewing plans. Executive directors take charge of administration, deciding how things are done, and implementing policies and plans. Both the board and executive director monitor plans, and stay involved in the areas where they carry less responsibility.

Effective management involves having clear job descriptions, taking accurate minutes of meetings, and working closely with superintendents, who represent the future of the chapter and the profession. A policy and procedures handbook also is an invaluable guide. A handbook should cover governance, planning, goal setting, decision-making, problem solving, financial management, and board and staff professional development.

Board job descriptions


Supervises affairs and property of the association when the board of directors is not in session, subject to such rules and regulations made by the executive committee. He or she appoints committees, issues reports and recommendations and presides at all meetings and is ex-officio member of all committees.

Vice President

Fulfills duties of the president in his or her absence or in case of incapacity to perform.


Records all meeting transactions, keeps minutes and provides notice of meetings.


Manages finances, selects and oversees a certified public accountant, and prepares the annual budget.


Act as auditors of all association meetings and render reports at the annual meeting and as otherwise requested by two-thirds of members present.

Your board handbook

A handbook guides your chapter’s leaders in understanding association policy and procedures, serving as a frame of reference and an orientation guide to the roles and responsibilities of various leadership positions. Here's a suggested handbook outline.

Section I. Organizing and Governing the Association
  1. Articles of Incorporation
  2. Bylaws
  3. Policy Manual
  4. Legal Requirements
  5. Insurance Policies (covers association and board liability)
  6. Officer and Director Roles and Responsibilities
  7. History of Chapter Information
  8. Annual Calendar of Events
  9. Annual Report
Section II. Planning and Goal Setting
  1. Strategic Plan – includes mission statement and vision statement
  2. Value Statements (core principles)
  3. Member Needs Assessment Tool and Results
Section III. Decision Making/Problem Solving
  1. Meeting Agendas (board, committee and chapter)
  2. Decision Making Process
  3. Statement of Confidentiality
  4. Board and Chapter Executive Contracts
Section IV. Financial Management
  1. Budget
  2. Monthly Financial Report
  3. Audit Report
  4. Investment Policies
Section V. Community Relations
  1. Interview and Media Preparedness
  2. Key Contacts in Allied Associations and the Industry
  3. Key Legislative Contacts
Section VI. Board/Staff Development
  1. Roles and Responsibilities of the Board
  2. Procedures for Monitoring Board, Committee and Staff Performance
  3. Board and Staff Training Opportunities (include information on value of memberships in ASAE – American Society of Association Executives – and others)
  4. Roster of Board Members and Staff (include spouse contact information)

Board orientation

Successful chapters have strong leaders. They have board members willing to lead and work to achieve the chapter’s mission and goals. Perhaps no other factor contributes to a chapter’s overall success than board leadership. Provide your newly elected directors and officers with orientation training that sets them up for success.

GCSAA staff can facilitate a Board Orientation Session at no cost to the chapter. Topics include:

  • Governance — bylaws, SOPs, board roles and expectations, confidentiality and board business.
  • Financials — budget, authorization, fiscal Responsibility, IRS considerations.
  • Your chapter and GCSAA — field staff, affiliation agreement, insurance policies, voting.
  • Teamwork — working together as a board, understanding conflict, Five Dysfunctions of a Team and lack of commitment.

Review the Board Orientation Guide. Contact Leann Cooper, senior manager, chapter services for additional information.

Board meetings

Record minutes at all board meetings and prepare them for review at the next meeting. Minutes should include:

  • Formal action voted upon
  • Summary of the outcomes of the meeting
  • A list of those present, including guests

There is no need to record the general discussion leading up to the final voted action. If necessary, corrections and amendments can be made at the next meeting when the formal minutes should be officially approved. Minutes of your board of directors meetings are official documents and should be signed by the secretary and maintained in the association’s permanent files.

Assistant superintendent committees and board members

Assistants are the future of the golf course superintendent profession and the future leaders of the chapter. Assistant superintendents are eager to get more involved with their local chapters and look for opportunities to grow their leadership and communication skills.

Some chapters have an assistant superintendent representative on their board. This position helps keep the assistant member perspective communicated while providing leadership experience for the individual.

Other chapters have created an assistant superintendent committee. The committee is responsible for programming aimed at the assistant superintendent. The GCSAA Assistant Superintendent Committee produced a template that explains the benefits of creating an assistant board position or assistant superintendent committee.