2024 Open Nominations: Join Our Board of Directors or Branch Leadership

Each year, we host an annual public nominations call for excited, passionate individuals to join our Board of Directors and branch leadership. We strive for our leadership to reflect the communities we serve and those we wish to serve. Now is the time to nominate yourself or someone you know to help drive the future of our organization. Nominations are due by June 21, 2024.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
May 29, 2024
2024 Open Nominations: Join Our Board of Directors or Branch Leadership
Mountaineers snowshoeing at Mazama Ridge. Photo by Louise Suhr.

We’re excited to once again be calling for nominations for individuals to join our Board of Directors, and new this year we are also seeking individuals to join as part of our branch leadership. Our open nominations process is rooted in our core values and ensures we bring forward an excellent and diverse slate of candidates to be elected by membership. Nominations are due by June 21, 2024.

Open nominations help identify potential candidates for important leadership roles that include:

  • At-large directors
  • Branch directors
  • Branch chairs and vice chairs
  • Branch treasurers
  • Branch secretaries

Through this open nominations process, we strive to have organizational leaders who reflect the communities we serve and those we wish to serve. This process has helped us to diversify the perspectives and lived experiences of our strategic leaders in the last few years. We’re making incremental progress and are committed to creating long-term change through this transparent and thorough process. Meet the new faces from our 2021, 2022, and 2023 board cohort classes or jump ahead to complete a nomination.

What does the Board of Directors do?

The Mountaineers Board of Directors is the governing body accountable for the overall management of the organization, as dictated by our bylaws. The Board’s role, on behalf of members, is to set the financial, strategic, and social goals for The Mountaineers. The Board’s responsibilities include developing and approving the strategic plan, approving the organization’s annual budget, tracking overall financial performance, hiring the CEO, electing the Board’s officers, and setting organizational policies and procedures. The Board works with the CEO and staff to set the overall direction for the organization through the strategic plan and also reviews and approves the annual budget, reviews performance to that budget, and provides oversight and assistance to management to achieve our annual goals. Most importantly, the Board assures we are living our vision, mission, and values.

At-large directors are elected by all members, while branch directors are nominated and elected by members of a specific branch. Both roles are intended to serve the entire organization and all members. Per our bylaws, the term of at-large and branch directors is three years and  they may serve two consecutive terms. 

Learn more about the role of our Board of Directors.

What does branch leadership do?

The Mountaineers is a volunteer-led, staff supported organization. The vast majority of our programs are organized and delivered by volunteers through one of our seven branches. Each branch has activity committees that plan and lead courses and activities. For example, our Olympia branch has committees for hiking/backpacking, sea kayaking, climbing, and scrambling, just to name a few. Each of these committees has leaders who volunteer to lead and organize the courses related to those activities. Activity committee leaders from the various branches come together each year in Summits to discuss and reach agreements on decisions such as standards for course graduates and leaders. 

Here is a visual representation of our organizational structure . The role of leaders within branches and our outdoor centers is no less important than the directors for the Board - they are just very different from one another. The Board focuses on the overall strategy of the organization, overseeing our finances in a prudent way, and setting policies and procedures. The Mountaineers is a complicated, nonprofit corporation with an annual budget of more than $11 million. The Board of Directors has specific, legal responsibilities to prudently guide the organization with its best interests in mind, in full compliance with all laws, and in accordance with our mission.

Branches and lodges focus on planning and delivering programs, strategizing how branches and committees work together, and working to define how we develop and recognize volunteers. Each branch has a chairperson, vice chair, treasurer, and secretary. These administrative leadership roles set strategy for the branch, work with the Board Finance Committee to create the annual budget and track results, and oversee recognition and development programs for branch volunteers. Similar volunteer leadership roles exist for our outdoor centers.

Effective branch leaders often come from diverse backgrounds, yet share common characteristics that include:

  • Deep commitment to The Mountaineers mission, its community and our values;
  • Strong listening and communications skills;
  • Organized, strong project management skills, and follows through on commitments;
  • Experience working with and leading volunteers;
  • Positive, solutions-oriented approach to problem-solving;
  • Ability to work effectively with a variety of people and demonstrate respect for different perspectives.

The organization runs more smoothly and better supports members and volunteers alike when branch leadership roles are defined clearly, don't overlap, and when leaders are committed to modeling our values. 

Who should join the Board?

We are looking for members with a passion for The Mountaineers who want to be part of building and expanding the future of our organization. We seek individuals with a diversity of experience, skills, and expertise to successfully lead our organization. Core to this are the experience and judgment to understand our current and future business needs.

As a member of our Board of Directors, you (or the person you are nominating) are:

  • Motivated to expand our vision to offer opportunities for all people to connect with nature and one another
  • A believer that outdoor experiences inspire confidence, foster leadership, and create critical life skills
  • Excited to participate in strategic and innovation conversations to increase our impact
  • Willing to have brave conversations to build bridges, challenge the status quo, and make our organization better
  • Willing to commit your intellectual, social, and philanthropic resources to show up for The Mountaineers as we look to take our nonprofit to the next level
  • Acknowledge the historical barriers and bias that have prevented all people from accessing the outdoors and personally/professionally commit to working as an ally to create safe outdoor spaces for all humans.

For the 2024 cycle, we are specifically looking for individuals with professional or volunteer experience in the areas of:

  • Finance and accounting
  • Risk management
  • Outdoor education
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Publishing 
  • Nonprofit management and philanthropy
  • Conservation & advocacy
  • Connection to the outdoor sector (brands/industry) 

As a Board member, you volunteer to steward the future of our organization. You commit to attend meetings (6 times/year, including 1-2 day retreats) and actively participate in ad-hoc work, through committee meetings, by providing virtual support, by being an active participant in our philanthropic fundraising efforts, and by attending events. You serve a 3-year term, with the opportunity for a second term.

Diversifying our LEADERSHIP

Organizational leadership too often do not fully represent the community they seek to serve. Our goal is to continue to deepen the diversity of perspectives and lived experiences represented on our Board and branch leadership to help inform better policies and to strengthen relationships between board members, Mountaineers members, branch leaders, and the wider outdoor community. The Mountaineers values different perspectives that are shaped by unique lived experiences. 

Since diversity can mean many different things, we are specifically considering nominees based on dimensions that shape a person's lived experience, including: 

  • Ethnicity and/or race
  • Gender identity
  • Age
  • Disability status
  • Military status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Parent or guardian status
  • Historical access to the outdoors
  • Branch affiliation
  • Primary outdoor activities
  • Involvement and engagement with The Mountaineers
  • Leadership and professional experience

Nominate yourself or someone else

Nominate yourself our Nomination Form. Individuals who nominate themselves will be asked to express their interest in the Board and outline their professional experience, nonprofit leadership, and engagement with The Mountaineers. We also encourage you to share this with anyone you think would make a great board member or branch leader.

We seek to have a Board and branch leadership that represent the broad diversity of the communities we serve, and we encourage people of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, individuals with disabilities, and veterans to apply. If you are, or if you know of, a current Mountaineers member who is excited to expand our vision to offer opportunities to connect with nature and one another for all people, we want to hear from you!


All nominees will also be asked to share a personal diversity statement. We’re investing in Equity & Inclusion as a commitment to our core values in response to our community’s feedback which drove our strategic plan. It’s important our leadership is aligned with these goals.

Selection process

Nomination forms will be reviewed annually in June, and must be completed by June 21, 2024, for consideration this year. Each nominee will be evaluated by the Governance Committee and/or branch leaders. Nominees whose experience and expression of interest and values best aligns with our current needs will be contacted for a more in-depth conversation with a member of the Governance Committee or branch leader. A slate of nominees who will be presented to members for our annual at-large director and branch elections in September.

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