Current Parent Board of Directors

Chair President: Rebecca Muehrer

Chair Vice President: Dana Sunderland

Treasurer:  Emily Grorud

Secretary: Lynn Jacobson

Member at Large: Essence Hawkins

Member at Large: Dana Sunderlage


 Responsibilities of a Board Member


• Corporate survival
• Financial viability
• Program success
• Fiduciary Responsibility

Fiduciary: to stand in a special relations of legal trust to others; answerable to the members and government agencies that regulate and monitor nonprofit corporations.


I. Be committed to Animal Crackers, Inc.
A. Inform yourself about its purpose, structure, policies, budget,history, etc.
B. Visit Animal Crackers, Inc. if you’re not already familiar and periodically revisit.
C. Make the decision that this is an Organization you really want to support.

II. Follow through with your commitment by being responsible.
A. Work to understand your role as a board member.
1. Attend information sessions that outline responsibilities of board members.
2. Ask questions
3. Provide continuity – hang in there “ Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
4. Work to be clear about board territory and responsibility vs. staff territory and responsibility.
5. Develop a clear definition in your mind of board membership for you (a mental job description). Write it down and compare it with other members so you know what is expected of you and then pass it onto future board members.

B. Confidentiality!!!
1. Always keep board business within the board!

C. Volunteer to do board tasks that come up and make sure they get completed. Initiate, offer, don’t wait to be asked.

D. Set a goal for yourself as a board member to leave Animal Crackers Inc. at least one step better than when you arrived.
1. Pick a specific task to complete before your term ends
Examples: a. Compile a policy book for future board members
b. Write a concise history of Animal Crackers, Inc.
c. Develop a job description for board members that can be passed on.
d. Chair a committee that provides a major service to Animal Crackers, Inc. – parent education, fundraising, publicity, etc.
E. Consider yourself to be a working board member.

III. Participate constructively in board meetings.
A. Arrive at meetings on time.
B. Come with a positive, cooperative, creative, forward-looking attitude.
C. Consider yourself a meeting facilitator – think creatively
D. Prepare ahead – know policies, read minutes and agenda and bring all needed materials with you.
E. Concisely share thoughts, opinions, and ideas – stick to the subject at hand.
F. Encourage others to speak and listen to other’s thoughts, opinions and ideas.
G. Be willing to work through personality conflicts or minimize them by keeping in mind your commitment to Animal Crackers, Inc.
H. Assist the leader in moving the meeting along, keep order and on track, minimize digressions.
I. Give your uninterrupted time and energy to the meeting time.
1. Avoid communications that disrupt the group – outside phone calls, sarcasm, asides, etc.
J. Keep track of what you agree to do in the meeting and do it.
K. Continually keep in mind the overall purpose of the board – to
support, maintain and improve the ongoing services and smooth functioning of Animal Crackers, Inc.
L. Have a sense that the whole board is more important that any of its parts and Animal Crackers, Inc. is more important than the board.

At the end of your term, if you can answer the questions – “Did I make a positive contribution to Animal Crackers, Inc.?” and “Did I make a difference for Animal Crackers, Inc.?” with a Yes, you’ve been a successful board member!