Skip to main content

Annual Board Elections

Each year, AIR holds elections for its Board of Directors – a vital process ensuring that AIR’s leadership reflects the diversity of opinions, values and interests of our organization. 

Director roles are unpaid and all Board related expenses required of your participation will be paid for or reimbursed. This is a governing role and no individual contribution is required. Each term is for three years. 

All those interested in serving on AIR’s Board of Directors must be nominated by an AIR member. 

  • Current AIR members can self-nominate
  • If you are NOT an AIR member, you are still eligible to run for election. However, you must be nominated by an AIR member in order to participate. 

Eligible nominees are voted in through the Board elections, which take place as necessary to meet our board requirements. 

Currently, AIR is looking to expand its educational programming and equity work, as we strive to support audio independents in a rapidly changing audio ecosystem. This is not a criteria for consideration but insight into where the Board could add value in support of staff efforts and membership interests.

2023 Key Election Dates  

  • Nomination Period Opened: Wednesday, November 1, 2023
  • Annual Member Meeting: Friday, December 8, 2023 at 12pm ET
  • Nomination Period Closed: Monday, December 18, 2023 at 11:59 pm ET  
  • Election Period Opened: Monday, January 8, 2024 at 9am ET
  • Election Period Closed: Monday, January 15th, at 11:59 pm ET
  • Election Results Announced: Wednesday, January 24th in the AIR Newsletter

Emily Kwong, AIR Board Co-President, will Chair the elections. If you have any questions about the elections and the nomination process, please contact Emily Kwong ([email protected]). 

If you have questions about your membership status, please email [email protected].

Board FAQs

How many seats will be on the ballot?

This year, we will be electing three (3) individual directors, representing themselves, and two (2) organizational directors, representing organizations that are members of AIR. 

If you’re not sure if your organization is a member, contact Emily Kwong ([email protected]) to check.

How do I nominate someone to run for the Board?

Know someone who’s insights and connections are just what AIR needs right now? 

Reach out and ask them to run from the board! Tell them why you think they’d be a great candidate. Act soon, so they have time to think it over, ask questions, and write a candidate statement. 

Then, fill out the nomination form. Provide their name and contact information. We will get in touch directly for their ballot materials. Nominees need to be voted in during the annual election process to be successful. 

Does my nominee have to be an AIR member to run for the board?

They do not need to be an AIR member to run for the board. HOWEVER, those submitting nominations MUST be an AIR member (either an individual member or organizational member).

I want to run for the Board. Why do I need an AIR member to nominate me?

This is a safeguard to ensure that AIR members have the most say in the process, part of our election policy since our organization was incorporated in 1988. We didn’t write the bylaws, but we do follow them.

What is the responsibility of AIR Board Directors?

Our bylaws entrust AIR’s Board of Directors with “managing the affairs of AIR,” which includes “taking necessary and appropriate steps to secure the financial stability of AIR.” Typically, boards of nonprofits are tasked with financial oversight and governance. This is true and expected, but AIR’s Board is also asked to contribute meaningfully to the vision of the organization. As a Board Member, you have a seat at the table in shaping the future of independent media – alongside your fellow Board Members and Keisha Salmon, AIR’s Executive Director.

AIR’s Executive Director reports directly to the Board, establishing an annual budget, a strategic vision, programming and fundraising goals with the Board’s support. 

The Board plays a governance role, safeguarding the organization’s mission, reviewing financial statements, and upholding AIR’s bylaws and employee handbook to ensure a professional working environment in which staff, members and partner institutions are supported and met with integrity. 

The Board also plays a connector role, introducing AIR’s Executive Director and staff to donors, stakeholders, and prospective members, providing strategic viewpoints that further AIR’s mission to create a global community for audio independents. 

The Board does not play an operational role. Therefore, the Board does not make staffing decisions, does not manage staff nor leads program implementation. 

Is prior Board experience necessary? 

No. We seek a diversity of experiences and perspectives on the board. Our collective voice is strengthened by the unique contributions of our board members. Shortly following the election, all new and returning Board members will participate in a Board orientation and training.

How do Directors add value to the Board and organization?

Every Director is different, but those who thrive in this work are engaged, selfless, communicative and unafraid to speak up. 

  • The most engaged Directors are those who make themselves available, prioritizing meetings and work related to AIR. They get energy from that work, actively providing guidance to the Executive Director, introducing value, expertise and opportunities through their networks. They help to listen on behalf of the organization, brokering connections that advance the organization’s goals. 
  • Selflessness is about serving the greater good of AIR’s 1,400+ global membership. Specific issues and groups often need to be lifted up and advocated for. We trust and mutually hold Directors accountable for balancing personal objectives and disclosing conflicts of interest. The Board is not a platform for personal agendas nor to direct staff and spending at will. More specifically, Not-For-Profit Corporate Law in the state of New York, where AIR was incorporated, prohibits self-dealing. All Board Directors will abide by AIR’s confidentiality policy and disclose potential conflicts of interest, prior to entering into “related party transactions,” to the board.
  • The ability to communicate ideas and concerns is highly valued, as are outstanding listening skills. Board Directors are encouraged to make themselves accessible to the membership and to actively translate these conversations for Board discussion. Fundamentally, communicators are effective organizers.
  • Courage is highly valued. Expect to disagree with your fellow board members. Bring your challenging questions, and your boldest ideas. And be willing to change your mind. In order to create new and better opportunities for independents, we must be willing to assume strategic risks. Our process is rigorous, and deliberations are a key part of it. And after deliberating, our goal during board meetings is to hear from everyone and take actions through a vote. Along the way, bring your courage and speak your truth.

Who currently serves on the Board?

Our group here.

Are Board Directors paid? 

Board Directors are volunteers. There is no compensation for participating and no financial contribution required of Directors.

Any expenses related to transportation, travel or lodging for Board meetings are reimbursed or paid for in advance by the organization. Directors & Officers Insurance to protect Directors for personal liability is also paid for by the organization.

What is the time commitment of serving on the Board? 

The time varies but a general estimate can be gleaned from the following annual commitments. 

  • Four Quarterly Board Meetings, including One Annual Member Meeting (virtual)
  • Regular Committee Meetings, if you sit on a committee (virtual)
  • Regular Document Review
  • Regular correspondence with the AIR Executive Director and fellow Board members

Depending on your role, and absent travel time and the assumption of return to conferences and in-person meetings, the annual commitment is roughly 2-4 hours per month.