Board Q&A transcript
This is tonight’s agenda for the session, we’ll lead
off with the land acknowledgement, followed by a quick introduction of what we hope to achieve. In tonight’s session give some high level details about the board of directors, and then specifically, give some details about the role of an individual board director and the subsequent recruitment selection process.
So, let us take a moment to acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of
many Nations, including the Mississaugas of the credit, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and
the Wendat peoples, and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
We also acknowledge that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the Williams Treaties signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa bands.
We also acknowledge all Treaty peoples
– including those who came here as settlers
– as migrants either in this generation or in generations past and those of us who came here involuntarily, particularly forcibly displanted Africans brought here as a result of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and Slavery. We pay tribute to those ancestors of African origin and descent.
So welcome everyone to tonight’s session. The purpose of this Q and A session is to provide
some high-level information to prospective board candidates and giving all of you the opportunity to learn about what it means to serve in a leadership role at Pride Toronto. If you have any questions, feel free to submit them in the chat box or a once we conclude this presentation, or feel free to raise your hand at the Q and a portion and we’ll call on you.
And of course, if you have any questions about this board recruitment process or any other related questions, Feel free to send them to us by email at email@example.com.
So about the board of directors. The board of directors oversees and manages the
strategic affairs of Pride Toronto. It is composed of a minimum of five members
and a maximum of 12 members, and our executive director also serves as a non voting ex-officio member of the board, the term of office and remuneration. So the board directors are elected at an annual general meeting, typically held in January. They serve a term of approximately three years with a maximum of two consecutive terms. And this is a role that is an unpaid voluntary position. The board meets fairly regularly, typically once per month and meetings are typically about three hours in length.
And as to no one’s surprise during this pandemic, the board meets virtually but once things start opening up, we will explore options to meet in person or a hybrid system of some folks in person and some folks participating by teleconference, for example. In terms of the role of staff as I mentioned, the executive director, is an ex-officio member of the board. So they are able to participate in board deliberations, but they cannot vote.
We are also supported by the executive director’s executive assistant, who provides
coordination support and takes minutes at our meeting with exception to in camera sessions where only the board and ex-officio members may participate. In terms of the powers of the board of directors. The powers include but are not limited to: determining Toronto’s strategic priorities and reviewing the performance of the organization based on whether we are or are not achieving those goals. That ensures the financial stability, and strength of Pride Toronto and ensures the long-term organizational stability of the organization, primarily through the hiring and oversight of The Executive Director and overseeing projects.
Another point to add, where the powers are operational in nature. For example, hiring employees. These powers are delegated to the executive directors, so the board does not havea role In matters that are operational in nature.
Board officers. These are special positions within the board’s leadership. There are twoco-chairs, the treasurer and the secretary. I won’t go into too much detail about the treasurer and secretary, because I, we do have Ande our treasurer and Brian or secretary here to kind of give you a sense of what their role is like. But as co-chair, typically some of the core responsibilities would include presiding slash chairing meetings of the board, acting as a point of contact and liaison between the board and the executive director. We are assigning authority for the board. We may serve as official spokespersons when necessary. And of course where we also act as representatives and liaison, between the board staff, membership and the broader community.
So a little bit more information about the co-chairs. Again, board management, beyond sharing meetings. We do work very actively on developing our meeting agenda in collaboration with both staff. So if they have any emerging priorities to make sure to include them in the agenda, and of course, taking into account what port directors and what items board directors may want to discuss at the next board meetings.
In terms of the executive director oversight, the co-chairs do meet on a regular basis with the executive director to provide any support and advice making sure we bridge that gap between the board and staff. We of course work on joint staff board activities. Right now we’re undergoing the strategic planning process so this is very much a project that involves both board and staff working together. Then in terms of representing pride, Toronto, this is a shared responsibility between, not just the co-chairs and ED, but other board directors and sometimes other staff as well where appropriate. We all act as a spokespeople for the organization but in terms of who is designated as your official spokespeople, that is the role of the co-chair.Pass it over to Ande to speak about the role of treasurer, the money person.
Yes. Thank you, Grant. Hi everybody. My name is Ande Clumpus. I am the treasurer, the current treasurer for Pride Toronto, I’ve served in the role since the start of 2019 and the treasurer is a very important role. The treasurer essentially oversees all of Pride’s finances and works with the executive director and staff as well as our accountants and auditors vendors and a bunch of other stakeholders to ensure that Pride remains fiscally stable and that we were able to make money every year and save up money, cover all their expenses and really support our community withthe work we do.
The finance committee. That is a group committee formed from the board that goes over particularly important afloat as well at the end of each fiscal year, which is in the summer. The treasurer works on year end results and then presents them at the AGM. So if you’re at the AGM at January, I’ll be presenting our year end results along with our auditors, talking about where expenses and where our revenues went up and down.
And finally, I meet regularly with the ED and our operations director strong financial knowledge and who is able to make sure we’re keeping our finances in check. So that’s the five.
That’s the treasurer role.
Thank you so much, Ande. And now I’m going to pass it over to Brian to describe
the role of secretary.
Thank you grant. Thank you, Ande. Very important roles. So the secretary. Our duties
and responsibility. Oh, first let me introduce myself, I apologize. My name is Brian Tomatoes,
and I am the secretary of the board of directors. So we’re going to go through the outline within our bylaws that the secretary wrote, our duties and responsibilities I’m retained by keeping them attaining to records and books of the corporations. This comes from making sure that officers are listed, that our corporation papers are in check, registry hour, registry of officer and directors are managed. The secretary also does managing the registry of members, making sure all information is up to date and we are making sure we have industry standards have been adhered to.
The legislation that gives us the framework on which we operate within. So we have also been painting, meeting the NATO membership meetings, board meetings, special general meetings and making sure all notice requires for the AGNs in SGM meetings are sent out. You know, it’s great practice. I encourage folks join the board and again, thank you.
Thanks so much, Brian. As part of serving on the board, we don’t meet just as the full board of directors. We also have four standing committees In which board members may join and participate in which also meets. Most of these committees, if not all. At least once a month. So that’s it. Advocacy equity and human rights committee, the finance and audit committee. Governance and policy and sponsorship and fund development fund So I’m going to actually call on Brian again.
If he’s able to, to just describe a little bit about the advocacy equity and human rights committee.
Hi, everyone. Thanks again. I am the chair for the adequacy direct, the equity and human rights committee and the purpose of this committee is to advise probably Toronto’s leadership on current social justice and human rights issues that impact the two SLGBTQ+ communities and intersecting identities. Also to develop a strategy, network coalitions and communication with. I’m saying campaigns that adhere to the principles of Pride, the movement and prior Toronto’s missions and values our membership. This is the board members, staff, volunteers, (who are) probably from Toronto, and general members of the 2SLGBTQ+ communities abroad and representative organizations just in case.
How does coalition work? The co-chairs are decided and led by the committee and at first our growth in response is to have the community be advised. The purpose is to manage campaign strategies and coalitions on social justice issues, so we assess what issues need to be addressed in the 2SLGBTQ+ communities.
You go to the board on a regular basis. We develop partnership networks with groups, organizations and activists doing similar work, developed campaign strategies on addressing human rights issues and advocating those issues. We advocate on lobbying issues as approved by the board, statement developments. on statements and coalitions instituting inclusive practices by supporting justice issues of intersectionality and equity.
Now, this is a very new committee that we started earlier this year and I’m really excited we have this going. Right now we’re also doing a survey and membership engagement on really creating that work plan that is very community centered and gets as many voices as possible and particularly marginalized folks within our community. And if anyone has any questions regarding this committee, please reach out to directors at Pride Toronto and we will chat. Thank you.
Thanks so much, Brian and just a quick correction – It’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
No problem, my apologies.
No problem and now then Ande, I don’t know if you have some more to add about the finance
committee, but I’ll pass the floor to you.
Sure. Yeah, just to reiterate the finance committee is only comprised of board members
on like other committees and it’s open to everybody who was on the board. You don’t need to have particular financial background, but it’s simply where it is involved with the drafting of financial policies for the organization. It serves with the drafting, the budget and approving the budget and then bringing it to the board and it essentially advises the board on financial issues. In so many ways it acts as a gatekeeper or financial issues for the board, so that when we
bring something to the board, we can give them a recommendation. Typically the board will go with it. I might ask a few questions and then they’ll be satisfied with it. So again, if you were somebody with a financial background or an interest in finance, this is, as I said, a really good experience. It’s a lot of responsibility but it’s also very, very rewarding so please do apply. Thank you.
The next committee is the governance and policy committee, which I personally chair as well.
This is the committee responsible for bylaw and policy development,
reviews and amendments. So for example, this year, the Ontario government will proclaim or bring into effect the Ontario’s not-for-profit act so one of the roles of the committee is to make sure that in consultation with, with legal advice, that our bylaws are in compliance with.
With the act, you also develop and both operate more. We develop governance policies and sometimes are called upon to review and provide feedback on operational policies as well in support of the executive director. Another project that I think we’ve mentioned is already underway, strategic planning where members of the governance and policy committee also participate. Now in strategic planning, we do have a separate, a special committee
for strategic planning, but the work does flow through this committee and then up to the
board of directors. Then the last big area focused for this committee is more development and group recruitment. So it’s doing this type of work where we make sure that we have a fulsome recruitment process and when we do bring on new board directors that are supported, where we provide them with a fulsome orientation and full training for the entire board on good path topics like governance 1 0 1, understanding the finance treasurer process budgeting process, and of course, really important training around anti Black racism and anti-oppression including Indigenous cultural competency training. So really making sure that the entire board has the information at its fingertip and setting each and every one of us up for success in our role as a board director. And finally the last committee is sponsorship and fund development. So this is the committee that is first and foremost responsible for assessing current and identifying future sponsorship and fund funding opportunities. So for example, we have a process now where sponsors submit an application they make, they provide details identifying where and how they align with pride Toronto’s mission, vision, and values and in cases where, based on the scoring system where certain sponsors may not meet a certain threshold. This is in effect in almost all the appeals committee, where we take into consideration other information that may be provided the context in which a sponsor, for example, may not meet certain thresholds the reason why whether there’s information about the direction in which they’re going to ensure that they are going to meet the values of Toronto and so on, so that’s okay.
It’s a big responsibility of this committee and the other big responsibility is exploring new ways of
raisingmoney forPrideToronto whetherit’sfundraisingeventsormaybe smallerfundraising
campaigns,thiscommitteewould beresponsibleforexploringthose typesofinitiatives and then
bringing them into action. Oops. Sorry, everyone. I meant roles and responsibilities of board
directors beyond the officers. So beyond co-chair treasurer and secretary there are no further
formalroles oftheboard.Weallhaveasharedroleand responsibility, which includes
participating in board level discussions, deliberations, and decision-making.
As mentioned committee level work, whether it’s chairing committees and the work that flows through each of the four committees and of course the board may choose to form new, either standing or special committees on specific matters as they come up, so any workout flows
through that as well.
Board directors attend and sometimes participate in community discussions and meetings, at
seminars and training and of course we’re all responsible to review any materials before we
participateinmeetings.Notlistedhere, butI’mgoing tomentionitis,youknow,wetogether,
each and every one of us represents Pride Toronto. So at times we are called upon, if we’reable
toparticipateinpublicevents, forexample.Iknowthispastpridefestival,Iwenttomanya week.
Pride Toronto was handing out rainbow bags with a bunch of goodies across the entire city in
eachandeveryward. Supportdirectors,staff, volunteers,weallwent outtohandoutthebags.
Andso,thereisarepresentativefunction ofeachboarddirector.Interms of hourly commitment
it varies over month and really depends on the projects that you’re working on, but you can
expect a minimum commitment of approximately 10 hours per month. So there is. A bit of work
involved but it is a very fulfilling work and important work for Pride Toronto and the broader
2SLGBTQ+ community. So some highlights of the year to give you a sense of some of the projects
that the board has been working on. We’re almost at the one year anniversary of the
recruitment and hiring of the executive director and of course we, all the co-chairs but all other
directors as well, have a role to play and provide support to the ed. We’re responsible for
over50policiesandprocedures,bothoperationaland governance. Ande did an amazing job
working with Sherwin our executive director and Bobby, the operations director in developing
and improving our budgets. We’ve been recording surpluses now for, I believe the last two fiscal
years, whichisamazing work.
Testament to the important work that Ande and team are doing. I see Ande had nodded, so I did not say anything wrong. We all collectively support advocacy work through the advocacy equity and human rights committee that Brian co-chairs, as well as something that the board does collectively, depending on urgent issues.
Strategic planning is underway and of course, participating in trading sessions to make sure that we’re not making decisions in a vacuum that is very much informed by appropriate frameworks and information and making sure that we do practice good governance.
So for example, some of the training sessions we did participate in are anti Black racism, anti-
oppression training or governance one-on-one and Indigenous cultural competency training. So
in terms of board recruitment, what does it look like for this year? Well, generally speaking, we
recruit people who support Pride Toronto’s mission, vision and values and the board is
deliberate in ensuring that the board directors and roster represents the diversity of our
community. So we very much encourage historic or people from historically marginalized
communities to submit an application. This year,we are particularly welcoming applications
from two spirit Indigenous peoples, BIPOC trans women, disabled people and as Andy has
emphasized many times, individuals with accounting and financial management
experience. But of course, we also look for individuals with a wide range of expertise in different
areas in which pride Toronto is involved in and of course, who’s e also valued, lived experience to.
So that is something that we do prioritize when we review applications and interview
prospective tenants. In terms of eligibility. More details are laid out and bylaw. But some of
the basics – Port director needs to be at least 18 years of age. Be a member of Pride Toronto,
renault at the time of their election and remained a member throughout the term. And just so
everyone knows membership at Pride Toronto is free and you can just sign up online if you are not
a member yet. You cannot be an employee of the organization to serve as a director or an
independent paint contractor need to be able to be insured or be bondable and otherwise legally
competent to conduct a board business under the laws of Ontario and the federal laws of
Canada. And as I mentioned employees are not eligible to bedirectors, however if they have been,
they’re only eligible to become directors six months after the end of their employment.
How to apply. The job posting has gone out on several websites, including charity village but it is also available directly on our website at www.pridetoronto.com/joinourteam that will have a link to the online application.
Portal applications are due on Monday, October 25th 2021 At 9:00 AM eastern standard time –
just in case you’re not in the time zone during the time you’re submitting the application. In
termsofselectofthiselection process,theboard is looking to recruit at least three board
directors for the upcoming annual general meeting in January, 2022. The selection committee
will choose the candidates for the board slate and we expect to conduct interviews during the
week of November 1st, 2022 although we might need to be flexible and do interviews in the next
week and we’ll depend on our own coordination, but I just want to flag that. Any candidate who
has applied, but is not recommended or interviewed by the committee still does have a chance
to put their name forward for election at the AGM but they must provide a letter with the
signatures of 10 members of pre-drawn out to email@example.com by January 18th,
2022 and as mentioned, you must be a member of Pride Toronto by the time of your elections. So
andyou get a lot of information in the members newsletter ect and you can participate in things
like this if you wish.
And if you don’t want to run, you will be able to vote for candidates for the board as member. And lastly, accessibility. We comply with the Ontario human rights code and the accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities act 2005 and provide reasonable accommodations as part of the recruitment process. So if you have any accommodation requirements, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If it’s related to an event, please let us know at least five days in advance. That could be this type of session and/or it could be the interviews. We just need that additional time in advance so we can bring on the necessary accommodations.
With that thank you so much for participating in this one-on-one session about the board of Directors. In terms of what that would look like over the year. Another key thing too is this is hopefully going to be the first in-person festival since the last two years. So fingers crossed, but all of the work involved in supporting staff in relation to that and making sure that we continue to have that oversight responsibility at the board in terms of making sure that the festival does align with our strategic priorities. That’s going to be very important for the board of directors as well. Ande might have some hints around some of the ongoing priorities with respect to finance.
Oh, I think it’s mainly to stay within our budget. We’ve already confirmed our budget for 2022, we’re excited about it. Without going into too much detail, it’s nice and big, and it assumes that we’re going to have a nice big festival in person in June. But to stay on top of things – working on some specific grants, working with staff to make sure that we’re securing
the appropriate sponsors and making sure that at the end of the year, we we’ve made a bit of money and are able to ensure that we’re staying financially stable.
Perfect, thanks Ande. Thanks for that question. The next question – You mentioned that someone needs to be a member in order to apply to the board. If they’re not already a member, how long does it take to approve their membership application? Typically it takes about a month. So as part of the application process, you need to submit an application via
the online application form that gets recorded for the secretary and really the last piece of that
process istheboardofdirectorsapprovingMembership,which isarequirementasperour
So for this particular AGM, or I should say for the upcoming AGM in January, 2022 in order to be a
voting member of that AGM, you need to submit your membership application for approval at
the November board of directors meeting, which is November 23rd. So submitting an
applicationonorbefore November23rdisgoingtobekeyinorder tobe able to vote at the AGM.
Now to be a Candidate, you don’t necessarily need to submit a membership application for
November 23rd.Therequirementisyouneedtobeamember ofPride Toronto when you stand
for elections. If, for example, you submit your application for a membership after November
23rd,youwillnotbeabletovote,butyoumaybeabletostandfor election as a candidate, if you
follow all of the other processes that we’ve laid out for you in this presentation.
The last piece I would say is for any individual who is not currently a Pride Toronto member, the
board does typically prioritize approving memberships for those individuals as part of the
board recruitment process. So if, especially if we select a candidate for the slate, one of the first
things we’llcheckismakingsurethatthatindividualisamember orsignsuptobeamember.
And the last question is – Are our board members paid? Unfortunately board members are not
paid. It’sasacrificeofleadershipasIliketosay.But thatbeingsaid,ifwearepaying outofpocket
forexpenses relatedtotheworkthatwedo,we can expense those costs as long as they’re
reasonable and recorded. It is the treasurer’s responsibility to review those expenses
expenses,make sure that they are appropriate and then pass back if we submit those expenses.
Justtoaddontothat, itisapolicyinourbylaws that say board members can’t be paid. This is a
volunteer position, it’s a very rewarding position, but unfortunately you don’t make a salary
That said, as Grant was saying, you not only get reimbursed for those other products out of pocket expenses but whenever we have a board meeting, you can expense a meal to have during that meeting, whether it’s in person or virtually. As well as any transit, it takes to get to a meeting or Pride events. We make sure that at the very least board members, aren’t losing money from being here and even they can have a good meal, whether it’s participating in the meeting. And yes, we do have policies to ensure that all board expenses are tracked, that they’re all PO fairly and that we ensure that everything’s done very transparently because that’s very important to us.
Perfect and just one more thing. I mean, this does not happen very often, or certainly it hasn’t happened at all since I’ve been a member of the board, but if there is a need for a board director to travel as part of their responsibilities, Pride would expense a hotel room and transportation all within reasonable cost as long as it’s clear that those expenses are related to board work. So I just want to flag that the responsibility of being a representative of Pride Toronto might include outside of the city and, and there is no expectation that those types of costs would be covered out of pocket by yourself as an individual. I think that was the last question, unless there’s any additional. Nope, that was it. Perfect. Thanks so much everyone. Really appreciate it then.
Yeah, look forward to seeing everyone’s applications come through.