Sept. 24, 2002 More than a dozen government and a few private boards will get state-of-the-art advice Friday on how to more effectively conduct their business at a seminar hosted by the governing board of the Water and Power Authority.
The one-day workshop, "Board and Commission Effectiveness: Leading not Rubber Stamping nor Meddling," runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on St. Thomas. It is being led by Carolyn Bailey, an internationally recognized board management and theory expert and president of Bailey and Associates, an Indiana consultant firm.
WAPA Board Chairwoman Carol Burke was the driving force behind the meeting. She said she attended a conference for public utilities last June, where she heard Bailey. "I heard her at that meeting and I realized I wanted her presentation for a retreat we were contemplating."
"After looking at certain boards, including ours," Burke said Tuesday she saw how important this could be for the territory. "I think this is the first time something like this has happened in the V.I."
"I realized we could broaden our scope and invite other boards so they could understand the importance of organizational development in achieving goals," Burke said.
Having invited the Legislature to the seminar, Burke said, "I hope it will be the first of continued technical assistance for the boards and the Senate."
Burke said WAPA's board has already received benefits from Bailey's insights and suggestions. "We have grown tremendously," she said.
Bailey will discuss appropriate board interactions and policies, how to reduce wasted time in the boardroom, and effective board-CEO relationships.
Jennifer Nugent-Hill, vice-president of Tropical Shipping, will be the keynote speaker for the seminar, Burke said.
At least one Virgin Island board, the Public Services Commission, has frequently come under public scrutiny for its practices. Last year Walter Challenger, then board chairman, was criticized by the board's attorney, Maria Tankensen Hodge, for his hiring practices; Hodge then resigned her post.
Last year Challenger hired AUS Consultants, without a quorum present to vote. Current PSC Commission Chair Desmond Maynard walked out of that same meeting, protesting the hiring of AUS. The PSC is currently being sued by a daily newspaper for conducting an executive session which the paper called "illegal."
The PSC is one of the commissions who will be attending the seminar. Others who have responded to date, include the Casino Control Commission, Economic Development Authority, Senator White, Government Health Insurance Board, Joint Boards of Election, Housing Finance Authority, Juan F. Luis Hospital Board and Roy L. Schneider Hospital Board.
Burke said several private corporations were also planning to attend. She said more responses are coming in.
Admission is $75 including breakfast and lunch.
Publisher's note : Like the St. Croix Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.