Board Governance Academy: Executive Director-Board Chair Partnership

You are here

Board Governance Academy: Executive Director & Board Chair Partnership - advanced learning for Vancouver not-for-profit board members and senior leaders

The success of your organization starts with your Executive Director-Board Chair team.

The Executive Director-Board Chair partnership is vital to the success of your organization. This partnership aligns your team to your mission and strategic goals, and activates engagement within your community.

Board Governance Academy is a new and innovative program designed for Executive Director and Board Chair teams to grow their skills, sharpen their focus, and refine their working partnership. A high-performing Executive Director-Board Chair team means improved organizational impact.

This program offers a multi-faceted approach to building a high-functioning partnership through in-class and e-learning, peer interaction, valuable expert input, and focused team coaching.

Your Executive Director-Board Chair team and your organization benefit!

After this intensive, five-week program, you will:

  • Strengthen your organizational culture. A high-performing Executive Director-Board Chair partnership sets your organizational tone and results in strengthened culture, increased productivity and improved program delivery.
  • Increase your board’s effectiveness. Lead your board as a team to align their work and focus on strategic goals.
  • Develop constructive conflict processes. With shared leadership and management, the Executive Director and Board Chair work collaboratively to manage conflict and apply it to increase your organizational outcomes.

How Board Governance Academy Works

Integrating e-learning and self-assessments with in-class training sessions and (up to) four-hours of team coaching conversations, the cohort model of the program fosters a network of leaders and with each session you develop personal and shared leadership competencies. Each in-class session will include group discussions and case studies to facilitate peer-to-peer learning. Your executive director-board chair team will also work with a certified coach to support your team’s growth, as you put your learning into practice.


Each in-class and e-learning session should be completed by both your organization’s board chair and executive director.

Program Details

Interested in taking Governance Academy this Fall 2017?  Apply by October 20, 2017 at 4:00pm PT

Fall Sessions 

  1. E-learning |  TBD
  2. In-class | November 4, 2017 from 9:00am – 4:00pm
  3. E-learning | TBD
  4. E-learning | TBD
  5. In-class | November 25, 2017 from 9:00am – 4:00pm

Location (in-class sessions): 1183 Melville Street, Vancouver

Cost: $650 per team - executive director & board chair (or equivalent positions) 

Program Benefits

Anchored in John Fulwider’s learnings, Better Together, this program is designed to:

  • Ensure clarity and consistency around the roles and responsibilities of the board chair and the executive in leading, governing and managing the organization
  • Improve team leadership by strengthening the working relationship between the chair and the executive - creating a stronger board and a mission-driven organization
  • Create continuity of leadership through a shared learning experience
  • Gain tactics and tools for transferring information to your organization
  • Develop supportive relationships and personal networks with other not-for-profit leaders

Program Content

Partnership communication practices & habits

  • Leadership team communication
  • Building trust and transparency
  • Embracing productive conflict
  • Using conversation starters

Enhancing shared leadership

  • Shared decision making
  • Setting goals and expectations
  • Operating structures that support effective governance
  • Leading together towards mission
  • Aligning motivations and needs

Building Talent Teams for Organizational Culture & Performance

  • Inspiring a shared vision across the organization
  • Improving board recruitment and retention practices/strategies
  • Clarifying values with team members
  • Enabling others to act

What are my executive director-board chair team’s responsibilities?

Along with attending the e-learning and in-class sessions your team will:

  • Complete a leadership assessment
  • Schedule team and independent coaching conversations with your certified coach
  • Complete assigned tasks/activities in between sessions

Transform your organization. Move your executive director-board chair relationship from good to great!


Application Deadline: October 20, 2017 at 4:00pm PT

For more information, contact

Lisa Torreggiani
Capacity Development Lead
(604) 637-8297

City of Vancouver Grantee organizations can apply for a Board Governance Academy bursary via the program's application form. Candidates will be selected by a panel according to specific criteria.



Transform your organization. Move your executive director-board chair relationship from good to great!


Fall 2017 Application Deadline:
October 20th, 2017 at 4:00pm PT

$650 for 2 team members*

Fall Schedule


TBD. Participants are expected to watch a brief video and complete an assignment on the deadlines below. Assignments will be discussed and reflected upon in class.


November 4 | 9:00am - 4:00pm
November 25 | 9:00am - 4:00pm

*Vantage Point is able to offer this program at a greatly reduced cost in Fall 2017 due to a generous anonymous donation.



Marie-Claire Seebohm

Join us for Governance Academy with our facilitator Marie-Claire Seebohm.

With over 15 years' non-profit and cooperative operations and human resources (HR) leadership experience, Marie-Claire is passionate about supporting social profit organizations to succeed through effective HR and governance practices. She has successfully supported small and larger organizations to meet the challenges of executive leadership transition, now as an independent consultant and previously as People Solutions Consultant with Central 1 Credit Union. Other prior leadership positions include HR Director with the David Suzuki Foundation, HR Specialist with Vancity Credit Union and Operations Manager with Ecotrust Canada. Marie-Claire has served as a nonprofit volunteer for over two decades; on the board with Better Environmentally Sound Transportation, as a founding member of the West End Residents Association and until recently as a director with the Pivot Legal Society. An enthusiastic knowledge philanthropist with Vantage Point, she engages groups in discussions on governance and strategic planning - usually with a little HR sprinkled in! Her spare time is spent gardening and enjoying family and the outdoors on Bowen Island.

t: 604 875 9144
f: 604 875 0710
1183 Melville Street
Vancouver, BC V6E 2X5


Donate to Vantage Point and transform the leadership competencies of British Columbia not-for-profit executive directors, board members, staff and volunteers

Facebook icon.Twitter icon. Twitter icon. Youtube icon.