A local LGBT health and wellness center changed its board-of-director requirements and term limits after feedback from staff members to encourage diversity.
Mazzoni Center’s board of directors will now serve a maximum of two three-year terms with no minimum donation requirement for board service. The changes will be implemented as of Mazzoni’s annual meeting Oct. 19.
According to a blog post on Mazzoni’s website, the board reviewed policies at similar organizations and voted to establish the term limits, totaling up to six years. Prior to this change in bylaws, members were allowed to serve unlimited three-year terms.
“Current board members who are actively engaged in special projects will be allowed to serve for one additional year to provide continuity during this transition and to bring institutional knowledge and experience to the diverse class of five to six new individuals who will be joining the board,” board president Dr. Tony Rodriguez said in an email.
Rodriguez added that the board’s Governance Committee held recruitment events and interview sessions for a group of new members who will “bring diverse representation to Mazzoni Center with regard to a variety of skill sets and experience as well as race, ethnicity, religion and economic status.” A group of five to six will join the board in October and “several more will be joining us in the first half of 2018.”
Additionally, board members will no longer be required to donate $1,000 per fiscal year. As of presstime, a Mazzoni webpage entitled “How to Join The Mazzoni Center’s Board of Directors” still has the $1,000 donation requirement listed but Rodriguez said this change will be reflected shortly.
“The requirements for a minimum annual contribution for board members have been changed to reflect our interest in expanding economic diversity on the Mazzoni board,” Rodriguez said. “Each board member will be asked to contribute at a level which is meaningful to them and which will reflect a deep commitment to the mission of the organization. They will also be expected to make a sincere effort to raise funds for Mazzoni each year to the best of their ability to do so.”
Rodriguez also noted the board’s outreach efforts.
“We are conducting ongoing outreach efforts to identify and meet individuals who are interested in serving on the board of Mazzoni Center,” he said. “We are being clear about the amount of work required and the time commitment involved in board and committee service. We are also being intentional in our outreach to communities of color, ethnic minorities, women and members of the transgender and gender-nonconforming community.”
These changes come months after a community forum in which Mazzoni staff members requested reforms within the organization, among them being board term limits and diverse representation. Several staff members also announced the intent to form a union through a partnership with SEIU Healthcare PA. Last month, staff solidified this partnership in a 51-35 vote.