Top Questions to Consider for Prospective NRPA Board Members

Q. How often does the Board meet?
A. There are two “in-person” and a minimum of two telephonic board meetings. Additionally, there is a two day board retreat. The retreat location varies. The board meets at the NRPA annual conference in the fall where the location moves to a major city each year. The other in-person meeting is usually held at the NRPA main office in Ashburn, VA (February or March).

Q. Does NRPA cover my travel expenses?
A. No – all board members are expected to pay their own travel costs. NRPA does however cover group meals. NRPA’s discounted room rates are available to board members.

Q. What is the time commitment for board members?
A. Board members should be well prepared for each board meeting. This can be accomplished by reading the materials the CEO sends prior to the meeting. Additionally, board members are expected to stay abreast of the industry’s issues.

Q. Are board members expected to raise funds for NRPA?
A. Raising funds is not a requirement but board members are expected to make a contribution that fits within their financial means. Board members are also expected to identify potential funders in their locale. NRPA’s development staff can assist with this effort.

Q. How many board members are there and who are they?
A. The Board has between 13-19 members. Board members are elected to their positions, but the Chair is given the opportunity to appoint two members for one year terms. The bylaws require that there be at least 50% citizen members on the Board with the remaining members being professional members.

Q. How long would I serve if I am elected or appointed?
A. Elected members may serve two terms with each term consisting of three years. Directors seeking a second term must reapply. Appointments are a one year obligation.

Q. What does the board do?
A. The Board of Directors is the policy making governing body of NRPA and makes important decisions regarding:

  • Mission
  • Organization direction (Strategic Plan – core values, vision, goals, objectives)
  • Fiduciary responsibility (budget, audit, fundraising)
  • Evaluating performance (measuring effectiveness of Strategic Plan)

Q. What is the board’s philosophy regarding governance?
A. The board strives to maintain a visionary role while leaving operations to staff.

Q. Do board members represent their respective affiliations?
A. No, the NRPA board is an “at-large” governing body which means that directors are responsible for making decisions that benefit the entire membership and the organization versus a special interest group or geographic region.

Q. What is the relationship between the board and the NRPA staff?
A. The CEO reports to the Chair of the board. The Chair conducts an annual review of the CEO based on predetermined goals set by the Chair and the CEO. The review also solicits feedback from the entire board of directors. The staff reports to the CEO and as such, has full responsibility and authority for staff.

Q.How do I "run" for the board?
A. After Congress (NRPA's fall meeting) NRPA will notify the membership via the magazine, newsletter, etc. that NRPA is seeking candidates. You can nominate yourself or someone else can nominate you. To do this, you complete the online application (which will be accessible at and follow the directions. Nominations are usually open from November to February.

Q.Who decides who gets elected to the board?
A. A committee comprised of board and non board members interviews the candidates and then submits a slate to the Board of Directors for their approval.