Typically, within the membership of an HOA board are chosen officers to fulfill the roles of president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. In addition to these assignments, some HOA boards may contain one or more Members at Large. A Member at Large is an officer whose duties and responsibilities are not fixed but instead vary according to the needs of the association and as directed by the other officers of the board.
Member at Large Duties
Because of the scope of their responsibilities, it’s important for Members at Large to be in attendance for all board meetings. In order to most effectively fulfill their various assignments, these members must have a clear understanding of the current needs of the board and the community.
At-large board members are sometimes elected because of their knowledge and expertise in a certain area that can benefit the association. For example, if there is need for expansion within a community, the board will rely on an at large member with experience in architecture and design to spearhead and guide the discussion, as well as educate other board members.
Serve on Committees
Often at-large members will be assigned to work closely with committee chairs within the community. In doing so, they serve as a liaison between the committee and the HOA board to relay pertinent information and keep the board informed on the happenings of the committee. Occasionally, a Member at Large will be tasked to fill the role as committee head should an unplanned vacancy occur.
Members at Large may serve as mentors to new board members. Since they have a wider scope of experience and operate in many different capacities within the board, they can help orient new members for a quicker and easier transition.
Train to Succeed
It’s not uncommon for a board to plan succession around their Members at Large. At-large members receive breadth of training and can more easily transition into a vacant officer’s role, and can also substitute for various positions should an officer be temporarily unavailable or unable to complete their responsibilities.
An at-large member can be invaluable to an HOA board. Their varying duties and responsibilities can make the position challenging, but a qualified, dedicated Member at Large can make great contributions to achieving goals and improving the overall quality of the community.
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