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The Secret Sauce to Healthy Board Engagement

September 14 @ 8:30 am - 10:30 am CDT

secret sauce on its side pouring out

Is your board struggling to effectively engage on matters of the greatest importance? Is it trapped by habitual tasks and routine, marginal work? Does it fail to ask the hard questions, or any questions at all? Does it suffer from group think, or even worse, tend to listen to the same handful of board members over and over?

Many nonprofit boards, especially as we emerge from the pandemic, are rethinking how they govern in order to more effectively advance on mission in constructive partnership with the chief executive. Based on the book Governance as Leadership, we will engage in an interactive session on how to effectively reframe the work of the board using the fiduciary, strategic, and generative modes. We will also explore how a healthy board culture and working in a constructive partnership are vital to meaningful board engagement.

In this session, you will learn how to:

  • Better engage your board by offering more significant and consequential work
  • Increase your board’s value by doing ‘better’ fiduciary and strategic work
  • Invite your board to engage in generative thinking, the most underutilized of the three modes
  • Foster a culture of inquiry in your board room
  • Build a constructive partnership between the board and chief executive



Meet the Presenter:

Susan Meiet

Susan Meier, Principal at Susan Meier and Associates, LLC and Senior Governance Consultant with BoardSource (2004-2020)

Susan brings over 30 years of governance and nonprofit experience to her work. From 2004 through 2011, Susan served as the vice president of consulting and training for BoardSource, the nation’s premier governance resource for nonprofit organizations. She works collaboratively with nonprofit executives and board leadership to identify governance challenges and opportunities and to implement proven strategies to address a broad array of governance issues.

Much of Susan’s work has focused on increasing board engagement, board/staff relations, and addressing culture and dynamics in the boardroom. Specifically, she engages boards in a deeper understanding of roles and responsibilities, strategic and generative thinking, governance structures, concrete ways to maximize board meetings, and leadership transitions. Her 13 years as a senior executive at Prevent Child Abuse America have given her concrete experience in understanding the complex and unique challenges of federated organizations and structures. Susan also has extensive experience in facilitating sensitive and important conversations and in helping boards build on their strengths to become higher performing boards.

Susan works with all types and sizes of nonprofit organizations from charities to foundations to associations who are advancing their missions in the U.S. and around the world. (See below for a partial list of clients.) She has also served as guest faculty for the Kellogg School of Management Nonprofit Executive Education program, American University, and George Washington University.

In addition, Susan has served on a number of boards of directors and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Ripon College Board of Trustees. She graduated cum laude from Ripon College. She is the author of the BoardSource publication The Board-Building Cycle: Finding, Engaging, and Strengthening Nonprofit Board Members, Third Edition.

Partial Client List

Foundations, including:

  • The Annenberg Foundation (worked with grantees)
  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (worked with staff and grantees)
  • Butler Family Foundation
  • General Mills Foundation
  • Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation
  • Morris Animal Foundation
  • The Nord Family Foundation
  • The Wege Foundation

Charities, including:

  • ALS Association
  • American Lung Association
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of America (and select clubs)
  • Center for Excellence in Nonprofits
  • Feeding America (and select food banks)
  • NAMI (and select affiliates)
  • National Court Appointed Special Advocates (and select CASA chapters)
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
  • NH Center for Nonprofits
  • Pillars Community Health (La Grange, IL)
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities Global (and select chapters)
  • The Night Ministry (Chicago)
  • Volunteers of America (and individual chapters)

Associations, including:

  • American Physical Therapists Association
  • ASME
  • National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)
  • National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN)
  • National Hospice and Palliative Care
  • Rotary International
  • WY Association of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Centers

Email Susan at


September 14
8:30 am - 10:30 am CDT
Event Category:

Sikich LLP is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:

This publication contains general information only and Sikich is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. You acknowledge that Sikich shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.


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