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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. 

Those interested in serving on AIR’s Board of Directors must be nominated by an AIR member, and current AIR members can self-nominate. AIR members may nominate ONE person to run for the Board, but you do not have to be an AIR member to be eligible for Board service. Eligible nominees are voted in through the Board elections which take place as necessary to meet our board requirements. 

The organization continues to look for ways to strengthen relationships with the podcasting industry, commercial studios and content marketing. This is not a criteria for consideration but insight into where the Board could add value in support of staff efforts and membership interests. 

2022 Key Election Dates  

  • Nomination Period Opened: Wednesday, December 1, 2021 
  • Member Board Meeting: Friday, December 10, 2021 
  • Nomination Period Closed: Monday, December 20, 2021 at 11:59 pm Eastern  
  • Election Period Opened: Monday, January 10, 2022 at 9am ET
  • Election Period Closed: Monday, January 17th, at 11:59 pm ET
  • Election Results Announced: Wednesday, January 26 [Announcement]

Emily Kwong, AIR Board of Directors Secretary, 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 AIR’s Community & Membership Liaison Erin McGregor ([email protected]).  

Board FAQs

How do I nominate someone to run for the Board?

Nomination period for the 2022 Board of Directors is now closed. For future reference your first step is to reach out and ask them! Tell them why you think they’d be a great candidate for the AIR board. Act soon, so they have time to think it over, ask questions, and write a candidate statement. 

Then, fill out the nomination form. Submit your candidate’s name, bio, photo, and their candidate statement. 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 (individual member or organizational member). 

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

Tradition? JK. This has been AIR policy since the 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 AIR’s Executive Director.

Our Interim Executive Director is Amanda Hickman. In 2022, the Board will hold an open search to recruit and hire a permanent Executive Director for AIR. 

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

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

Is prior Board experience necessary? 

Absolutely not. 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 training. The Board also gathers annually for a retreat. We grow together. 

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 1,350+ 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 or 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. 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 paid for by the organization. There is no financial contribution required of Directors.

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
  • One Annual Member Meeting
  • One Annual Retreat 
  • Regular Committee Meetings
  • Regular Document Review

Regular conversations via Zoom, email and phone with the Executive Director and other Board Directors are to be expected as well. Absent travel time and the assumption of return to conferences and in-person meetings, the annual commitment is roughly 50-60 hours.