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Updates from NACAC's Board Chair

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Dear NACAC Members,

I am honored to write to you in my capacity as NACAC’s first board chair. It is a privilege to serve you and the profession in this role and I look forward to our important work together during my term.

As you heard from NACAC CEO Angel B. Pérez in his State of the Association address, we hear you. The NACAC Board of Directors hears member voices loud and clear and is taking steps to blaze a new trail with our governance; the plans for which began with the Ad Hoc Committee on Governance Restructuring in 2015. This year, and in perpetuity, members will hear from the board more frequently with updates and details of our efforts.

One critical step in this process is to demystify the Board of Directors and its work. To be sure, as the fiduciary board of NACAC, much of what we do relates to overseeing financial resources and their proper allocation, ensuring good governance and business practices across the organization, advising the CEO, and developing strategy for future direction. The board is committed to creating greater opportunities for information-sharing with members, and moving forward, members can expect an update from us following each board meeting. I am delighted to share this inaugural board meeting update with you today.

On Wednesday, September 22, 2021, the board convened for a meeting in Seattle, in association with the national conference. We had a full agenda, including standard business items:

  • Approval of minutes
  • Reports from the Performance Committee and Planning Committee
  • Report from the CEO, president, past-president and president-elect (now board chair, past-chair, and chair-elect)

There were other important items that I would like to describe in greater detail.

Approval of Results of the External Audit

The Performance Committee serves as the financial oversight committee of the board. In its report to the full board, Performance Committee Chair Stephen Pultz discussed the outcome of NACAC’s recent external audit. NACAC received a clean and unmodified opinion. Additionally, the auditors communicated that there were no proposed audit adjustments from the original information provided and no disagreements with management during the course of the audit.

Put simply, the auditors agreed with NACAC’s internal financial controls and that it accurately represented its financial position in its reporting. Upon hearing a full review and report, the board discussed the findings and approved the results of the audit—a critical aspect of the board’s fiduciary responsibility and oversight role.

Election & Re-election of Appointed Board Members

The board voted to approve the election and re-election of two appointed board members, who both serve one-year renewable terms. We are pleased to welcome Beth Maglione, executive vice president & board secretary of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, to the board. Beth has a wealth of experience in association management, board governance, and financial aid policy and practice. As an avid NACAC supporter, she worked over the years to forge closer bonds between our two organizations.

The board re-elected Don Yu, chief operating officer of Reach Higher & vice president of policy and advancement at Common App. Since his election last year, Don demonstrated his deep knowledge of non-profit organizations and education strategy, quickly developing a reputation for his wisdom and counsel during a challenging year for the organization. NACAC is fortunate to have Beth’s and Don’s breadth of experience at the board table.

Resolution to Approve Special Committees

In response to the overwhelming approval of the recent bylaws amendments, the board considered and approved a resolution to create its first special committees: the Governance Nominating Committee (GNC) and the Admissions Practices Committee (AP). As a reminder, the bylaws amendments shifted NACAC’s governance committee structure from standing committees to special committees to expand opportunities for member participation and promote greater flexibility in the committees’ work.

The GNC and AP are important components of NACAC’s governance and service to the profession of college admission counseling. The board is grateful for the service of the GNC and AP committee members in support of the organization and professional practice.

Thank You, But Not Goodbye

The board extended its deep appreciation to the following board members whose terms expired as of the national conference:

  • Jayne Caflin Fonash
  • Daniel Lugo
  • Holly Markiecki-Bennetts
  • Sara Miranda
  • Stephen Pultz
  • Ken Redd

These board members served during a pivotal time in NACAC’s history, leading us through the Department of Justice inquiry, new membership model, the Ad Hoc on Leadership in College Admission, a CEO search, a global pandemic, and so much more. To this incredible group of individuals, thank you so much for who you are and all that you accomplished.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am thrilled to welcome new APC Coordinator Johnnie Johnson, Tahirah Jordan and Eddie Pickett as elected board members, and Vern Granger as board chair-elect. We look forward to the invaluable insight that they will share to improve our profession and their guiding hand as we build the NACAC of tomorrow.

In the weeks ahead, we will be sharing an invitation to a webinar-style discussion session with board members and NACAC leadership to address any questions that you might have about governance or the future direction of the organization, to name a few. Save the date for Friday, October 22, 2021. We will be happy to hear your constructive suggestions for programs, events, and more. Also, be on the lookout for an update on the status of the Ad Hoc Committee on Reimagining the NACAC-Affiliate Partnership.

Much good work is underway across the organization, and we look forward to sharing more information about progress on these important projects.

Most sincerely,

Ffiona Rees
Chair of the Board

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