Open Nominations: Join The Mountaineers Board of Directors in 2023

It’s time for our annual public nominations call for our Board of Directors. Our goal is for our Board to represent the communities we currently 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.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
May 19, 2023
Open Nominations: Join The Mountaineers Board of Directors in 2023
Photo from a backpacking trip to Ancient Lakes. Photo by Mountaineers staff.

We’re excited to once again be calling for nominations for individuals to join our Board of Directors. Our goal is for our Board to represent the communities we currently serve and those we wish to serve, and we have been successful in diversifying the perspectives and lived experiences of our Board in the last few years.

Our core values state that The Mountaineers believes a diverse and inclusive outdoors inspires unity, respect, and passion for the places we love. We seek to act on this belief by using a nominations process that encourages any interested member to submit a nomination for a Board candidate, particularly of individuals from communities which have historically been excluded from outdoor activities. This process is rooted in our values and required by our bylaws. It ensures we bring forward an excellent and diverse slate of candidates to be elected by membership. We’re making incremental progress every year, and are committed to creating long-term change through a process that is thorough and transparent. Meet the new faces from our 2021 and 2022 board cohort classes.

In The Mountaineers bylaws, the terms of at-large directors are capped at two consecutive, three-year terms or six consecutive years. Two at-large directors are eligible for re-election this fall and one at-large director was appointed to a vacancy in January 2023 so we currently have 11 at-large directors in place. Our bylaws allow The Mountaineers Board to approve from 9 to 15 at-large directors, and the number of nominees for this fall’s at-large elections will be determined at the August Board meeting. 

The Governance Committee, chartered by the Board of Directors in our bylaws, has as one of its most important responsibilities that of recruiting and nominating candidates for at-large board positions. Once the open nominations process closes on June 16, 2023, the Governance Committee evaluates candidates and narrows the pool down to a final set of nominees. At the Board of Directors August 17 meeting, the Board is asked to formally endorse these nominees. The Mountaineers is committed to an equitable process whereby all members of our community have equal access to and opportunity for consideration. 

What does the Board of Directors do?

The Mountaineers Board of Boards 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.

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.

Learn more about the role of our Board of Directors.

How are Board Directors different from other leadership positions?

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. 

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.

Here is a visual representation of the organizational structure of The Mountaineers. 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 nearly $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. The organization runs more smoothly and better supports members and volunteers alike when these very different roles and responsibilities are clearly defined, understood by leaders, and have minimal overlap. 

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 The Mountaineers’ 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 to connect with nature and one another for all people
  • 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 2023 cycle, we are specifically looking for individuals with professional experience in the following areas:

  • Finance, Accounting, and/or Audit
  • Publishing 
  • Philanthropy (fundraising) 
  • Strategic Planning Implementation and Change Management
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Connection to Outdoor Sector (brands/industry) 
  • Real estate, hospitality, and property management
  • Risk management

Diversifying our Board

Nonprofit boards too often do not fully represent the community they seek to serve. Our goal is to deepen the diversity of perspectives and lived experiences represented on our Board to help inform better policies and to strengthen relationships between board members, Mountaineers members, 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 that include: 

  • Ethnicity and/or race
  • Gender identity
  • Age
  • Disability status
  • Military status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Parent or guardian status
  • 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. You may also encourage anyone you think would make a great board member to nominate themselves.

We seek to have a Board that represents 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 to be considered this year forms must be completed by June 16, 2023. Each nominee will be evaluated by the Governance Committee. Nominees whose experience and expression of interest and values best aligns with our current needs will be contacted for a conversation with a member of the committee. The Governance Committee will interview finalist candidates and then select a slate of nominees who will be presented to members for our annual at-large director elections.

Help spread the word>

Want to help The Mountaineers find its next at-large board members? Please share this blog post with your professional or social networks!