Tom Soter and Bill Morris in Board Operations on September 13, 2012
● Community Communicator. First and foremost, the co-op or condo board president is responsible for maintaining close contact between monthly board meetings with the other directors, the building professionals and staff, and the shareholders and tenants. The president must know what is happening in the building, have a sense of the tenants' concerns, and also be able to inform residents of the latest building news (the status of ongoing capital projects, finances, and property maintenance).
● Overseeing day-to-day operations. To ensure that the co-op or condo is running efficiently, the president must consult with the paid professionals – the accountant, managing agent, contractors, and attorneys – between board meetings. Frequently, the president is called upon to make quick, yet educated, decisions on behalf of the board. To do so effectively, he or she should know the overall mindset of the entire board.
● Handling a crisis. If a crisis strikes the co-op or condo – sponsor default, fire, flood – the board president must be there to oversee the emergency response, comfort shareholders, and consult with professionals on the scene. As the building leader, the president will be looked to for leadership and answers.
● Ensuring all co-op shareholders and condominium unit-owners are represented. When a serious decision is before the board, the president should act by consensus of shareholder and board opinion. This can be accomplished through formal and informal surveys.
● Preparing for the board meetings. As the great communicator, the president must identify the issues facing the co-op or condo and be prepared to discuss them at the monthly board meeting. He or she should be active in creating the agenda and making sure that time is left for all needed business.
● Running the board meetings. With most of the president's work done between meetings, how he or she runs the monthly and annual or semiannual shareholder gatherings can affect the respect he or she receives from the association's board members, professionals, and shareholders. He or she must ensure that control is maintained and that the board's business is discussed and completed efficiently. A good monthly meeting, presidents say, should not exceed two to three hours.
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