Over the last few weeks, ABoR has received several questions from members on how ABoR’s governance policies work, why they are set up in a particular way, and how the membership at large can get more involved in ABoR’s decision-making processes.
The short answer is, there are lots of ways that ABoR members can get involved, but in the meantime here is a brief overview of ABoR’s governance structure and how it enables our rapidly growing association to run smoothly.
What is ABoR’s Governance Structure?
ABoR is a privately held, non-profit corporation overseen by a 16-member Board of Directors. Unlike a government entity, in which a voting constituency elects paid officials, ABoR is a member-driven association. Each year, ABoR's Nominating Committee reviews applications of fellow volunteers, checks their background, references, and after interviewing them, puts forth candidates to represent the needs and desires of the membership at large on the Board of Directors. As dues-paying members of our association, ABoR members have the exclusive right to set the bylaws that its Board of Directors must follow, as well as to petition for any desired changes.
This Board-centered governance model is heavily dependent upon ABoR’s robust committee structure, which is also powered by volunteering ABoR members. Our committees work on the Board’s behalf to study issues or products, seek member input, and bring recommendations before the Board throughout the year.
This strict set of bylaws and governance policies eliminates the need for a full membership vote on every decision, which would ultimately create a bottleneck and prevent key decisions from being made at the pace of the industry. It’s for this reason why almost every major REALTOR® organization in the country as well as nonprofit associations of all sizes choose to operate under a Board of Directors governance model.
Public vs. Private
Because ABoR is a privately held organization, our association is not required to follow the open-meeting acts legally required for government entities, as doing so would disclose sensitive and confidential information that could negatively impact ABoR operations. At the same time, however, we encourage your participation and the bulk of each meeting is open to the general membership. The top of each Board agenda includes an opportunity for member input, in which you are invited to share your feedback on any association matter of your choosing.
We understand that your REALTOR® association membership is a significant investment as well as essential to your business and career, and we take that responsibility very seriously. We hold ourselves accountable to the more than 13,000 Central Texas REALTORS® and brokers who choose every day to receive their industry needs through ABoR, and we’ll continue to operate under the rules of our bylaws, governance policies, strategic plan, and budgets to ensure we deliver the best service and programs our members expect.
As a member-driven association, our ability to meet these commitments is dependent upon the engagement and input of our diverse and broad membership. We encourage you to get involved in an ABoR Committee, join the Board during member input, or just attend a Board meeting and learn more about what’s happening in your association.