Conferences + Intensives

Harnessing the Power of Partnership: A Retreat for Board Chairs and Executive Directors

In recognition of the essential role the executive director-board chair relationship plays in nonprofit leadership transitions, we are pleased to present this retreat as part of our Mission Driven Leadershift initiative. Teams from all organizations are welcome, regardless of whether they are actively experiencing a leadership transition!

November 10th, 2016
1:45pm – 5:00pm
Harraseeket Inn, Freeport
Presented by Susan S. Meier, Principal, Meier and Associates, Senior Consultant with BoardSource

**Please note, registration for this event is now closed.

  • What makes a great leadership team great?
  • Why are some Board Chair and Chief Executive teams able to effectively navigate challenges while others appear to be in competition with one another?
  • How does a Board Chair know when to push back a bit on the Chief Executive, and vice versa? Do leaders in these roles always have to agree?  How do they handle differences of opinion when they do arise?
  • What can the team do to help ensure a seamless transition when the next Board Chair is elected? And, what does it really mean to lead in constructive partnership?

High performing boards govern in constructive partnership with the Chief Executive, recognizing that the effectiveness of the Board and Chief Executive are interdependent. The Board Chair-Chief Executive partnership is arguably the single most important relationship in any nonprofit organization. If this relationship doesn’t work well, it quickly detracts from everything else…mission, strategy, program, and impact.

The first step in developing a constructive partnership is to acknowledge its importance and to recognize that, like any relationship of value, we must not take it for granted.

Exclusively designed for Board Chair-Executive Director teams, this session will engage leaders in learning about the key practices of the constructive partnership: mutual respect for distinctive roles and responsibilities, the ability to genuinely support one another, a commitment to evaluation at all levels, seeing trust as an ongoing priority rather than a one-time event, and the ability to manage leadership transitions well. We will engage in reflective thinking, peer to peer learning, and candid discussion, and, by the end of the session, each team will identify 3 to 5 strategies to further strengthen their constructive partnership.

Who Should Attend

Executive Directors and Board Chair teams

Cost + Registration

Special Opportunity! Make it a full-day retreat by also attending our morning Executive Leadership Forum: How Engaged Should an Engaged Board Be?

  • Afternoon Board Chair-ED Retreat: $65 Members / $105 NonMembers
  • Full Day Forum and Board Chair-ED Retreat: $130 Members / $170 NonMembers


Lead Sponsors


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Scholarship Sponsor

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