An HOA board of directors may consist of one or more members at large in addition to the officers. At large members chair committees, handle special projects and assist with other association business. Your association is fortunate if you have at large Board members because they aren’t a staple for every homeowner association. These positions add depth to your Board and help achieve community goals and objectives.
The HOA governing documents typically specify the number of directors to serve on the Board. Most associations have at least a president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. Additional directors usually become members at large. While the officer’s jobs have specific duties, the role of the members at large may not be as clear-cut.
Some Boards create their succession plan around members at large. Because these members serve on the Board and are familiar with the business, it is an excellent training ground for future officers or substitute for a current officer who is unable to fulfill his/her duties. This scenario is a win-win because the Board and the at large member can “try out” a number of roles and responsibilities.
At large Board members may also be elected because they have an area of expertise that the Board needs. For example, the Board may want to tap into an architect’s experience and knowledge if they are considering an expansion. In this case, one of the duties of the at large member is to educate and help the Board stay on the right track while the members discuss the expansion.
Another role for at large positions is to fill duties that do not fall under the scope of the officers or that the officers don’t have time to manage. These positions often head up committees and special projects. Or, they may research some aspect of association business. They are an important communication link between the Board and committees that consist of community volunteers. They keep the HOA Board updated and provide recommendations on research and committee projects.
Every homeowner association has different objectives and needs. Thus, the role and responsibilities of at large Board members vary depending on the association governing documents and the community’s goals. It can be challenging to find qualified people to step up and serve on the HOA Board of Directors. If your Board is fortunate enough to have at large members, take advantage of these helping hands to make your community a better place to live.