Say the term “board president,” and most people envision a highly-paid position with great—if not absolute—authority and influence over a large company or foundation.
While that may be the case in some arenas, the role of the board president in a condo association or building is somewhat different. True, there's great responsibility and a significant time commitment, but when it comes to the residential setting, board presidency is a volunteer-based position that, while rewarding on many levels, can often feel a bit thankless.
A Collaborative Partnership
Board presidents in homeowners associations (HOAs) or cooperative or condo buildings are generally unpaid, and serve one- or two-year terms, or a term limit determined by the association's bylaws. Community residents elect board members, but positions such as president and treasurer are appointed after the board as a whole has been selected.
According to Allan Kalman of Kalman Management in Libertyville, “The neighborhood or building association elects a board of directors. Those board members then select a president from among themselves—usually by vote of majority, but it depends on [the HOA's] bylaws.”
Kalman goes on to say that the board president does not necessarily hold specific authority over the rest of the board; rather, his or her primary function is to preside over meetings, keeping the proceedings on-track in accordance with the bylaws and agenda. Board presidents also act as a primary liaison between the board and the property manager. “It depends on the association, but usually they’re the go-between,” he says.