About Our Board

Our Board

Financial Advisor at Edward Jones: Heather J Hilleshiem
Employee Relations and Benefits Manager at Heartland Bank
Director of Advancement for the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Northern Illinois University
Vice President, Regional Trust Tax Manager at First Midwest Bank
Associate Attorney at Foster Buick, Attorneys at Law

 

Role of the Board

The Board of Directors has three principle functions related to governance general oversight of Pay-It-Forward House, NFP:
  • To ensure that the organization is faithfully executing its stated mission in compliance with the organization’s bylaws.
  • To ensure good stewardship of generously donated funds and plan for the NFP's future.
  • To ensure that the actions taken by volunteers and staff of Pay-It-Forward House will maintain or enhance, not harm, the reputation and the goodwill that the organization has worked hard to develop within the Northern Illinois community.
  • Is the highest level of authority in the organization.
  • Sets policies and procedures for implementation of the organization’s mission by the E.D. and those to whom the Executive Director (“E.D.”) delegates authority. Reviews and votes on innovations and adjustments to policies and procedures recommended by the Steering Committee or other groups.
  • Monitors program results, including nights of rest provided and number of people served and assesses effectiveness of and need for services provided.
  • Reviews staffing levels and determines if additional positions are needed and financially possible.
  • Examines issues and opportunities brought to it in light of the three foci outlined above. Members regularly ask:
    1. Is what is being proposed in keeping with and/or necessary to our mission?
    2. Will our donors understand and appreciate the connection between what is being proposed for the use of the funds they have so generously donated and our stated mission?
    3. What are the possible consequences, both positive and negative, of what is being proposed and is there any potential for harm to the NFP's reputation and goodwill?
  • Reviews and approves the salary of the E.D. and approves salaries and salary increases for other employees based on recommendations by the E.D.
  • Sets the annual budget for the organization based on recommendations from the Treasurer and E.D. and determines the level of reserves the organization should hold and the form/institution such reserves are held. Determines when reserves are to be used.
  • Approves the calendar of planned capital projects and maintenance developed by the E.D. with assistance of Facilities Manager from Steering Committee.
  • Sets fundraising goals for the organization and participates in fundraising events and activities.
  • Sets spending guidelines for the E.D. Current guidelines adopted at Dec. 2011 Board meeting.
  • Ensures the sustainability of the organization by checking the progress of implementation of the organization’s strategic plan and conducts new strategic planning as the end of the prior plan period approaches.
  • Ensures that the organization is compliant with all IRS regulations, including good governance requirements specified on the 990.
It is the generosity and care of the community volunteers and donors that make Pay-It-Forward House possible. It is our hope that the hospitality our guests experience will inspire them to someday pay it forward when they are at a less stressful point in their life.

The Board of Directors is responsible for general oversight and governance while also advising and assisting staff as to the detailed operational implementation of the organization’s mission. A paid part-time Administrative Support person was hired in September 2008 and a paid, part-time Executive Director was brought on staff in October 2011.

Our organization has “job descriptions” (entitled Roles and Responsibilities) for key committees and key individual contributors to the organization’s success. Attached you will find these documents for the Board of Directors and each of the officers on the Board as well as for the Steering Committee. We hope these documents will help you gain insight into our operations.

The Board of Directors meets once a quarter, (i.e., four times a year) in January, April, June, and September, with e-mail used to handle matters that need to be addressed between meetings. Meetings are scheduled at a mutually convenient time. (For the past year, meetings have been planned for 5:00 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each of these months.) Our practice has been to meet off-site so as to avoid interruptions from volunteers and guests.

The agenda for the Board of Directors meetings is prepared by the Executive Director with input from the President of the Board. The agenda, consent agenda items and financial reports are circulated to members five to seven days before the meetings.

At its meetings, the Board reviews issues and opportunities on the agenda in light of the three principal foci outlined in the Roles and Responsibilities, Members regularly ask:

  • Is what is being proposed in keeping with and/or necessary to our mission?
  • Will our donors understand and appreciate the connection between what is being proposed for the use of the funds they have so generously donated and our stated mission?
  • What are the possible consequences, both positive and negative, of what is being proposed and is there any potential for harm to the NFP's reputation and goodwill?
Most Board members do not have active day-to-day involvement with House operations. Their distance from the daily activities helps them identify pitfalls and opportunities that the members of the Steering Committee may not recognize because they are actively implementing the mission and living out the values of the organization.

Our values are:

  • Trust in people’s kindness to others and in their respect for the facilities made available to them
  • Respect for all, especially our guests and the physical and emotional fatigue they are experiencing
  • Caring, demonstrated by a willingness to provide as little or as much companionship and support as each guest welcomes
  • Gratitude for the generosity of others who make it possible for guests to find a place of rest and respite
The by-laws provide that a director may be removed for good cause, including, but not limited to, missing three (3) consecutive meetings without excuse. At its Dec. 2010 meeting the Board adopted the following guidelines for term limits:

It is recommended, but not mandatory, that after serving two consecutive three-year terms on the Board of Directors, Board members take a one-year hiatus in order to promote Board diversity and maintain Board enthusiasm and commitment. Members wishing to continue to serve without interruption after six years will advise the Board of their wish at the spring meeting of their sixth year. The Board will advise said member of its acceptance or refusal of the offer of continued service at the summer meeting that same year (when nominations for new members are normally brought.)

It is expected that each Board member will financially support Pay-It-Forward House, NFP at a level that is significant for him or her. This financial support may be through direct personal contributions or through obtaining significant in-kind or financial donations from others.

Because of the extended time between meetings, minutes are (ideally) circulated for approval via email shortly after each meeting, so that Board members can review and suggest corrections/additions while matters are fresh in their minds. If no changes are needed, members signify their approval via email. If changes are requested, the Executive Director works with concerned party/parties to amend the minutes as necessary and re-circulates the minutes until all agree on an approved version.

 

Interested in becoming a Board Member for Pay-It-Forward House?

Click here to start your application today!

 

 

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