Courtney Rocca is Junior Production Accountant, Crescent Point EnergyBoard of Directors Vice President, Forte Musical Theatre Guild.
Participating in the Rozsa Foundation’s Next Step program and being appointed to the Board of Directors for Forte Musical Theatre Guild (Forte) has been an invaluable experience. Participation as a member of the Board has brought many exciting and challenging experiences. Although daunting at times, each experience has been rewarding in a different way. Board participation has provided me with an opportunity to not only develop personally and professionally but to also give back to the community that I live in – it is an opportunity that I believe every young or experienced professional should take advantage of.
The Board for Forte is a relatively small tight-knit team that works together to achieve the marketing, communication, fund development, strategic, and governance goals of the organization. I have been incredibly lucky to have been placed with an organization with a very positive outlook and one with a Board that is extremely hands on. From the moment I walked through the doors of the first Board meeting I was welcomed and made to feel a part of this team. My ideas were listened to and my opinion as a new Board member was always appreciated.
An important thing to note about Board participation is that the members of a Board are most often there because they want to be. This influences the working dynamic of the Board in such a great way. Regardless of the challenges faced by the organization, the members of the Board are always there with a positive attitude to overcome these challenges, to help the organization thrive, and to work together in an entrepreneurial and creative way to foster new opportunities and ongoing success for the organization. Every Board meeting is full of excited brainstorming and discussion. Forte, like any other non-profit organization, is not immune to challenge. As a result of multiple commitments and busy personal lives, the challenge of board turnover presented itself during my first year of Board participation. As a result, I found myself appointed to the position of Vice President early on in my Board placement – a task that was daunting and that has challenged me ever since, but one that I strive to make the most of. I continually push to find ways in which I can use my knowledge and experience to contribute to the Board in a meaningful way.
As Vice President thus far I have found that my greatest contributions have been to the governance and strategic planning initiatives of the Board. I actively worked to help develop formal Board descriptions and an organizational chart to assist with the reorganization of the Board and the recruitment of a diverse team of Board members. Recruiting a Board with diverse professional backgrounds is critical to ensure that all Board activities can be reflected upon and evaluated from a variety of perspectives. Furthermore, I have had the opportunity to develop a formal Board Manual to help guide the activities of the Board and act as a valuable resource for current and new Board members to refer to. Together these tasks have played a role in strengthening the Board’s foundation and improving the efficiency with which we work towards our organizational goals. The next exciting chapter of my Board placement is my participation in Forte’s cu
rrent strategic planning initiatives where we will evaluate where the organization currently is, where we strive for the organization to be, and what will be required to get there. There are many exciting adventures on the horizon for Forte and I feel blessed to be a part of the Board that gets to create the road map that will assist Forte in reaching new levels.
For more information on what Next Step is and how to get involved, visit our website here.