This is the second in a series of posts describing the roles of the Editors Canada national executive council by Heather Buzila. This series is also available in French (cette série est également disponible en français).
This post will focus on the vice president and treasurer roles.
A volunteer who joins the NEC in the role of vice president is committing to a trajectory of six years of volunteering: two years as vice president, two years as president and two years as past president.
I can honestly say that I had no idea how much I would learn when I began as vice president, but the skills I gained have aided me in my career, my personal life and my volunteering pursuits. So even though the six-year commitment can seem intimidating, the growth and knowledge you will achieve will be invaluable.
The vice president’s main duties involve assisting the president and learning the president’s role. This includes things like helping the president plan NEC meetings and stepping in for the president if they are absent and/or unable to lead meetings. The vice president also serves on the human resources (HR) committee along with the president, past president and treasurer.
Another big part of the vice president’s role is to compile the annual report. This process begins in January and usually lasts until April or May, depending on the date of the annual general meeting (AGM). First, the vice president contacts all the committees, task forces, national positions (e.g., francophone adviser, awards coordinator), branch and twig chairs, and other contributors to ask them for a summary of work done over the previous year. The vice president compiles all this text into one document and sends it to the NEC for review. Once the review process is done, the vice president arranges for the report to be copy edited, laid out and designed, proofread and translated into French. The completed annual report is sent to members ahead of the AGM. (There are templates and workflows for this process, so the vice president is not expected to proceed without help!)
Finally, the vice president works alongside the awards coordinator to help make sure the selection of judges for the Editors Canada awards runs smoothly each year (although the administration of the awards is largely done by the awards coordinator and the senior communications manager in the office).
Much of the treasurer’s role includes working with numbers, so the ideal volunteer is someone who enjoys this or has some past experience in this field, although this isn’t a requirement.
The volunteer who fills the treasurer position works alongside the executive director and the NEC to develop the association’s budget and help the executive director oversee the yearly audit process. I should note that the treasurer is not expected to create budgets on their own — the executive director does much of this work (with input from the treasurer, the rest of the NEC and an informal group of directors interested in giving input to the budget).
The treasurer is not responsible for paying bills or taking care of any of the day-to-day financial business of the association. These are handled by the executive director and the association’s bookkeeping firm.
The treasurer usually doesn’t oversee any committees because they work so closely with the executive director. However, if interested, the treasurer can certainly oversee a committee or a task force. (The current treasurer oversees the task force that is developing the new Editors Canada website.) And as with the vice president, president and past president, the treasurer is part of the HR committee.
Finally, the treasurer provides financial updates at the monthly NEC meetings and submits a yearly financial overview for the AGM (after the audit has taken place). This overview also becomes the basis for the treasurer’s contribution to the annual report.
Upcoming role descriptions
In my next post, I’ll focus on the roles of secretary and director of branches and twigs.
If you have any questions about the director positions or would like more information, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previous post from Heather Buzila: The NEC in Detail: President and Past President
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