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FEI board restructuring deserves support.

One of the major challenges FEI's board of directors faces is broadening member representation in the governance structure while maximizing the board's efficiency. FEI's particular challenge is to use the experience and insight of chapter presidents and technical committee chairs in the decision-making process, while keeping the governing body nimble and responsive.

Over the years, FEI's board has addressed these concerns in several different ways. These include increasing chapter president participation in Area Operations Committee meetings, periodic reports from technical committee chairs at board meetings, and the creation last spring of the Office of the Chairman to provide closer senior volunteer leadership oversight of FEI's principal activities.

To improve the process further, last fall the Office of the Chairman consulted with the institute's seven area vice presidents about the structure of FEI's national board. Their suggestions, combined with our experiences and discussions over recent years, led to the drafting of a restructuring proposal. The proposal was discussed at Executive Committee and U.S. Area Operations Committee meetings this winter. A final proposal emerged from this process, which the board approved at its meeting in February. The proposal has been submitted for membership approval. Briefly, the proposed restructuring calls for:

* Restructuring the Area Operations Committees, which include the chapter presidents in each area, into area boards. These new boards would monitor the performance of the chapters in the area and work with staff and volunteer leaders to ensure each chapter has adequate support to operate effectively and achieve major goals. Area boards will vote on all major issues to be considered by the national board. Each area board will have an executive committee composed of the area vice president and the elected area directors.

* Restructuring the present national board into a leadership board. All chapter presidents and technical committee chairs will be ex-officio members of the leadership board. This board will be responsible for FEI's organizational structure, rules of eligibility and classes of membership, and developing and enforcing the institute's code of ethics. Board meetings will be structured to be more informative, with guest speakers as appropriate. The Executive Committee, to include officers, area vice presidents, three technical committee chairs and the FEI Canada and Financial Executives Research Foundation chairs, will be responsible for all other operating and procedural affairs of the institute. At the discretion of the chairman, the Office of the Chairman, namely the chairman, vice chairman, two vice presidents at large, the immediate past chairman and the president, will continue to oversee FEI's major areas of activity.

The strength of an organization lies in its members. Involving more members in FEI's decision-making process will make for a stronger organization. Adopting the new structure will improve communications with members and ensure that overall participation in discussing national issues will increase substantially.

If you haven't already done so, please consider the merits of these changes and return your "yes" vote by May 23. Feel free to direct any questions about the proposed changes in our governance structure to my attention at (212) 345-5902, or to FEI President Norm Roy at (201) 898-4601 or

Frank J. Borelli Chairman Financial Executives Institute
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Title Annotation:Financial Executives Institute
Author:Borelli, Frank J.
Publication:Financial Executive
Date:May 1, 1997
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