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Hello - I am the President-Elect of a non-profit professional networking association. Our Executive Board recently engaged in a lengthy strategic planning process, re-envisioned our focus and some of the Officer titles and position descriptions, and updated the bylaws. We revised the "Sergeant at Arms" position to "Board Liaison Officer" and kept the past responsibilities of the Sergeant at Arms while adding a few additional roles to better meet the needs of our evolving organization and membership. Our Board meetings are typically only 10 people at full capacity, and does not require some of the more dated room set up or other responsibilities. The new Board Liaison Position responsibilities: · Assist the President in conducting business during the Executive Board, regular, and special meetings of the Association, ensuring order and conduct by attendees; · Ensure completion and collection of signed Board Member Agreements, and coordinate documentation with the Secretary; · Orient new Board members; · Provide oversight to Board and Committee activities. · Liaison with external partners, vendors, stakeholders as necessary. We are following the current bylaw procedures and provided the updated bylaws for membership review and comment prior to voting on approval. One of the comments received was: "I completely disagree with the change of title from Sergeant of Arms to Board Liaison Officer. Under Roberts Rules of Order this position has the right to enforce its rules and expect ethical and honorable conduct from its members including the Board. If the Board feels it needs to add this position that's fine (which as been done with the reassign of position on page 6)." My question is: is there any reason we would need to adhere to the exact title "Sergeant at Arms" if we feel the new "Board Liaison Officer" fulfills that duty and more? This position will certainly enforce our rules and expect ethical and honorable conduct from its members including the Board, but there was a recognized need for a position to absorb these additional Board Liaison responsibilities, and frankly the Sergeant at Arms position was underutilized and felt they didn't have anything to do or contribute. The Board is also in agreement that the revised title is more appropriate for our organization's mission, vision, and operating environment. As long as we comply with bylaws in the revision of titles and revision of the bylaws, I find we are following our Board protocols and more appropriately meeting the needs of our Board and members. While this one comment does not prevent us from moving forward with majority approval, I would greatly appreciate the expertise from this group on whether the "Sergeant at Arms" title is required, or if we can modify the title with Board and Membership approval consistent with our Bylaws. Thank you!
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