Chamber Committee Guidelines
Our membership creates a stronger voice as we create, promote, grow and strive for a stronger and more vibrant local economy and global economy, oversee current and effective professional standards, and provide direct professional development to our global membership.
Committee members of the Andover Area Chamber of Commerce turn ideas into action. Working with the Chamber’s professional staff, our volunteers help facilitate the programs and services that enhance the success of our members and the greater business community. There is a lot of freedom for the committees to bring fresh and innovative ideas to the table.
Committees are action oriented. They get the facts, face the facts and take the action to get the job done. A successful committee will:
- Understand the mission of the Andover Area Chamber of Commerce: “To promote the business community through advocacy of commerce and enterprise.” Create objectives and goals that meet this mission and the overall goals of the Chamber Board of Directors.
- Committees have flexibility in what they can do but must understand each committee is governed by the Board of Directors of the Chamber and staff can/should advise the committee on those items that best adhere to the governing of the Andover Area Chamber of Commerce. Everything being done by the committee must have the Chamber’s best interest in mind.
- Create and understand the goals and objectives of the committee and ultimately the board. Make sure the committee has a clear defined goal, study it, and agree on exactly what is to be done. If there is a disagreement, ask for clarification from staff or the chairperson.
- RECRUIT! The Chamber will send information on all committees to members at the beginning of the year and when new members join but Peer on Peer is the best recruitment for your committees.
- Analyze problems or activities. Understand all parts of the problem and determine the sequence to be followed.
- Assign work. Make specific assignments to members on the committee.
- Gather facts. Obtain the information required to intelligently work on the problem or activity. Avoid prejudices, previous opinions or beliefs. You are making decisions on behalf of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, membership investors and the Andover area.
- The Board of Directors expects all committees to purchase goods and services from member investors of the Andover Area Chamber of Commerce. Only exceptions will be if there is not a member who has the service needed.
- Get outside help if needed. Get outside technical advice. Use outsiders as advisors or consultants, but do not give them the responsibilities that the committee is expected to assume.
- Evaluate results. Find out to what extent goals are being met and to what extent each member of the committee is doing his or her part.
- Conclusion. When your task is finished, and the goal is reached, you have completed your commitment to the committee. In addition to public acknowledgement and thanks, every committee member should know he or she played a part in the action. Committees make a difference.
Guidelines for a Successful Committee Meeting:
- Start and end on time. Meeting should last no longer than one hour unless previous arrangements have been made.
- Designate one committee member to be the official note taker at each meeting. Notes are submitted to the Chamber after one week of the meeting.
- Involve all committee members in discussion.
- Chair of the Committee should work with staff to prepare an agenda and determine any necessary items that need to be presented to the members.
- Identify the purpose of the meeting.
- Stick to the agenda.
- Utilize the staff to guide and direct the work of the committee but be careful not to expect staff to do the work.
- Respect the staff’s position and knowledge regarding policy and procedures.
- Summarize and celebrate the committee’s accomplishments.
Our committee chairs are the enthusiastic leaders of the Chamber’s committees. Committee chairs work together with Chamber staff to develop an agenda for each meeting and facilitate team interaction during each meeting. It is strongly encouraged that each standing committee consists of a chair and vice-chair for a smooth annual transition. Chairs and vice chairs must be approved by the Chair of the Chamber Board of Directors.
Qualities of a Committee Chairperson
The Chairperson must…
- Be a leader. They must command attention and loyalty.
- Be able to communicate, think clearly and express him or herself concisely.
- Be able to listen, to encourage ideas and opinions.
- Be deeply interested in the objectives of the task assigned.
- Have the time to carry out their responsibilities.
- Be willing to give the time and energy necessary to carrying out the committee assignments.
- Be respectful of the staffs’ role within the committee structure.
- Understand that Chamber staff serves in many capacities and that assignment of duties is directed by the staff’s supervisor.
Duties of the Chairperson:
- Plan. The chairperson studies the task, clarifies any points not thoroughly understood in cooperation with the Chamber staff. The chairperson helps to recruit individuals for his/her committee whose skills will help and are needed. He/she charts to course of action within the Chamber’s strategic plan.
- Conducts meetings. The committee meets only to utilize its members in accomplishing a goal. Meetings are to be held as needed, start and end on time, with all members having the opportunity to report, suggest and participate. The Chair keeps his/her eye on the objective and the goals of the committee and keeps the discussion pertinent to the goal.
- Gets action. The chair guides and stimulates the group to produce.
Evaluates. The chairperson must constantly evaluate his or her work and procedures and the progress of the committee and its members.
Authority of Chairperson
The chairperson has the authority to add members as needed and release others as their function is finished. The chair does not have the authority to commit the Chamber financially to any project. This includes committing staff time or Chamber resources without approval from the Chamber president & CEO. The committee shall have only as much authority as prescribed by the Board of Directors.
Committee members work toward the fulfillment of the committee’s objectives. Many committees are open to the full membership. However, a select few committees require membership appointment by the Chair of the Chamber Board or through an application process. Committee members must be a member in good standing of the Chamber. At times it may be appropriate to bring a guest or speaker who is not a member. However, non-chamber members may not be members of a committee unless approved by President-CEO.
Specific responsibilities include:
- Attend committee meetings
- Carry out individual assignments made by the committee chair
- Participate in committee discussions and decisions
- Attend appropriate Chamber functions and events
Chamber staff members work with committee chairs to develop goals and timelines for programs and projects. They oversee the actions of the committee and make sure that all Chamber policies and procedures are followed. Staff members send out the meeting notices prior to the committee meeting and reserve meeting space. Staff initiates agenda development with approval of the committee chair. A staff representative will attend each meeting. Staff should provide direction to the volunteers based on professional judgment and Chamber policies and procedures. Chamber staff is ultimately responsible for the outcome of the work of the committee.
Chamber Board Liaisons
Standing Committee/Ad Hoc Liaisons
Every board of director member will serve as a board liaison to at least one committee. The board liaison shall attend committee meetings and will assure the lines of communication are open between the board and committee. The liaison: 1. Acts as an advocate for their committee during board meetings; and 2. Reports to their committee any relative action taken by the board. Committee liaisons must be careful not to usurp the authority of the appointed committee chair.
Quorum and Committee Authority
Unless otherwise noted, a quorum consists of those in attendance. Action taken by a committee must be approved by the Board of Directors by a written recommendation from the committee unless the Board has previously provided authority to that committee for the specific action taken. The vote of most of the members of the committee present at a meeting shall be the act of the committee.
Attendance Policy and Cause for Removal
Committees will continue until their objectives have been met. From time to time, a committee must consider a problem of which a member has a close personal and financial interest. In these cases, the member is free to express his or her belief in the matter but then temporarily disqualify him or herself as a member until the issue is settled.
It may be assumed that a committee member who consistently misses meetings is no longer interested in serving on the committee and they may be removed from the mailing list. Lack of interest in the task and its progress is considered adequate reason for dropping the member from the committee.
Planning and Budget
The work plan may include a budget. Once the plan and the budget are approved by the board of directors, there should be no deviation. All committee activities and events are expected to have revenue exceed the expenditures. At the end of the fiscal year, the committee budget will zero out. There is no carryover of revenue. Staff is responsible for transacting all expenditures. At no time, should a committee chair or member make any purchases for the Chamber unless explicit authority is given. Reimbursement shall only be made with a receipt.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- How long will a committee meeting last? Most meetings, unless otherwise noted, should be completed within one hour.
- What is my length of term as a committee chair or committee member? Appointments are for one year and coincide with the Chamber’s calendar year.
- Can non-members be solicited for sponsorships or used as vendors? It is the policy of the Chamber to do business with Chamber members only, whenever possible.
- How does the committee work with the budget? Chamber staff will maintain a budget for all programs. All proposed expenditures must be approved in advance by the Chamber staff. Programs and events are expected to be financially self-sustaining and generate revenues more than expenses. Funds do not carry over from one program year to another.
- Who develops press releases and other marketing materials? Staff members coordinate marketing materials including press releases for committee related activities. They also handle all media relations. At times, a staff person may refer a media call to Chamber volunteers. Chamber volunteers will be briefed first before talking to the media.
- What is the difference between a Standing Committee and an Ad Hoc Committee? Standing Committee: A designated group whose activity is continuous in meeting the long-range objectives of the Chamber. Ad Hoc: A designated group whose objective is specific, and which will disband when that objective is met.
- What is the approximate time per month I should expect to devote? This varies significantly per committee. It is expected committee members read materials and consider points of discussion prior to attending the meeting. Meetings last approximately one hour. There is also expected post-meeting work depending on the committee. Therefore, it can be expected that committee members will spend 3-5 hours per month.
Current Standing Committees
PURPOSE: The Executive Committee is charged with actively advocating for the board’s needs, to make that body as effective as possible in leading the organization to create great community results.
PURPOSE: To provide financial oversight for the Chamber to include budgeting, financial planning, financial reporting and creation and monitoring of internal controls and accountability policies.
PURPOSE: To create, plan and implement events that meet the mission of the Chamber. The events are signature and fundraising events. Each event will have their own sub-committees who will report back to the Events committee at their monthly meetings.
- Plan and implement the Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner in January/February.
- Plan and implement the Annual Cornhole Tournament.
- Plan and implement the Safe Halloween event in October.
- Plan and implement the Festival of Trees event in early December.
- Plan and implement the Success for Women’s Conference in early spring.
- Recruit other members to serve on these ad-hoc committees or one of the specific events committees – PEER ON PEER is the best recruitment tool.
PURPOSE: The Ambassador Committee is the official host for all Andover Chamber of Commerce events and has the responsibility to be advocates for the Chamber to all new and prospective members of the Chamber.
- Develop guidelines and application process for participation in the Ambassadors program.
- Communicate the mission of the Chamber to potential, new and existing members
- Speak to the benefits of the Chamber to potential, new and existing members
- Attend events of the Chamber, acting as hosts to encourage members to meet each other, building business connections.
- Plan and implement monthly educational and informational breakfasts or luncheons for the business community.
- Plan and implement Business After Hours events and Ribbon Cuttings
Hold an annual Membership Drive to increase the membership by 20%.
Deliver new membership information to all new members, inviting them to attend a Membership 101 meeting.
- Call on businesses that have not renewed their membership to gain more information about their decision not to renew.
- Review the membership investment structure and benefits provided through the investment to the Chamber.
- Recruit other members to serve on the Ambassador Committee – PEER ON PEER is the best recruitment tool.
Business Support & Development
PURPOSE: The Business Support & Development Committee will facilitate and promote discussions with Andover businesses to determine needs or long-range plans.
- Work closely with the City of Andover, creating a communication link for both the Chamber and the City of Andover.
- Research economic trends for the Andover area and become familiar with the business community.
- Research the gaps of business within the Andover community and prepare a plan to address these needs.
- Have a business come to the meeting to share their vision with the group. What can the Chamber do to help them in their endeavors.
- Recruit other members to serve on the committee – PEER ON PEER is the best recruitment tool.
Business & Education Committee
PURPOSE: To connect Andover-area business leaders and educators, building partnerships that enhance the educational experience for students and add value for companies and organizations in our community. We will encourage innovation, celebrate educational excellence and enhance workforce opportunities that bridge the gap between education and business.