Have you ever wondered what the Mission’s Board of Directors does? Their names appear at the bottom of our monthly partnership letter each month, serving as a steady reminder of their commitment and responsibility. We are so grateful for God’s provision of this dedicated group of professional men and women, who devote hours each month on behalf of the Mission and its guests.
Our board members serve three-year terms and they have the option of serving for two terms consecutively before rotating off for one year. Four members serve additional roles for one year as officers: president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer. They gather once each month for official meetings, but many of them can be found volunteering each week in various areas of ministry.
The organizational system our board works within is known as Policy Governance, which defines and guides relationships and activities within the Mission. For the past year they have worked hard under the leadership of the board president, Charlie Powers, to create written statements of policies, procedures, and by-laws. These documents are essential for maintaining consistency within the organization, especially when positions are vacated, filled, or new positions are created.
“The board has a fiduciary responsibility to ensure the Mission is managed appropriately,” says Executive Director Arnold Farlow. “For example, they provide financial accountability and make sure that we are exercising policies that are consistent with our vision.” Arnold, in his role as executive director, manages day-to-day activities and staff, and reports directly to the board. “They hold me accountable for my job performance, in addition to encouraging and supporting me.”
Over the years, positions on the board have been filled by small business owners, executives, educators, attorneys, consultants, pastors, and more. But they all have at least two things in common: they love Jesus and they are passionate about serving their neighbors in need.
Charlie Powers is currently president of the board. Around the time he was retiring from Frederick Fence Company, which he and his wife owned since 1982, Jim Nicholson (a former board member and good friend of the Mission) suggested that he would make a great candidate for the board. Charlie was eager to become involved and his first term began in 2016. “I am inspired by seeing all the work that the volunteers and staff accomplish at the Mission,” explains Charlie. “It might sound like a cliché but they really are making a difference in peoples’ lives.”
In addition to his leadership role on the board, Charlie also teaches two classes for the men in the residential Changed Life Recovery Program each week. One class focuses on helping them discover meaning and purpose for their lives. He also co-teaches a class with Chris Bugher (see the article about her in this newsletter!) that helps the men make wise choices in establishing and nurturing relationships. The practicality of these classes reveals Charlie’s heart to serve them on their road to recovery.
“The men and women on our board are people of competency, wisdom, integrity, sound thinking,” says Arnold. “I’m so blessed by the people God has called me to work with during the different stages of my time at the Mission. They each bring their professional expertise to bear on particular areas that affect our operation.”
Monica Kolbay, president and CEO of ArachnidWorks, is the board’s secretary. She was motivated to serve at the Mission when her Leadership Frederick class toured our facility in 2015. “I really wanted to get involved and was considering a volunteer position,” Monica says. But then she was approached by Jim Nicholson, who thought she would be a great fit for the board. “I became a member of the board in 2016,” she says. “This board really has it together. I’ve served on many boards, but none of them have it together like the Mission. And Charlie is a gifted leader who really helps to keep us on task.”
“So many projects – such as building renovations, new construction, and Faith House – would never have been realized apart from the vision, dedication, and hard work of our board of directors,” says Arnold. “And God put just the right people in place at just the right time. They each have their particular area of knowledge and experience, and they freely give of themselves for specific projects. Just when I start thinking I’m in over my head, I realize that they are not!”
Truly, the board of directors is God’s generous provision for the Mission. And they are grateful for the hundreds of partners that support the Mission’s ministries through financial gifts, donations, volunteering, and prayer. “We appreciate all those who volunteer and give generously of their time and money. You are making a huge difference, and we promise to be good stewards of the gifts that you give,” Charlie says. Together, we really are changing lives now and for eternity.