When I joined the board of directors for the Downtown Boulder Partnership (DBP) I had planned on writing a blog post about six or twelve months in. While I’m just now getting around to this five years later, I think the extra time has provided me a more valuable perspective on my first time as a board member.
How it Came to Be
About a year before I joined the DBP board, Sean Maher, the CEO at the time, connected with me to pick my brain about the startup community and how DBP membership may be of value to technology companies.
We continued the conversation over the course of a few months and we eventually spoke about an opening on the board. I saw the strategic value of downtown Boulder as a hub for the startup community and Sean saw strategic value in adding a startup community perspective that was otherwise missing from his organization.
A Passive Year
My first year was the hardest. I didn’t know any of the other board members, wasn’t familiar enough with the issues that the organization cared about, and hadn’t learned how boards function yet. I jumped into conversations during meetings from time to time but overall was pretty passive for most of the first year.
By the end of my first year I had started to feel more comfortable and ended up becoming Vice Chair in my second, which really jumpstarted my participation in the organization. My inclusion in the Executive Committee as well as other committees I had joined gave me a much broader perspective on what strategic direction the organization needed to head in.
After a term as Vice Chair, I took on the chairman’s role, with that term coming to a close a few months ago at the end of 2018. During those two years we tightened up governance of the organization, spun out the Downtown Boulder Foundation, a 501(c)(3) intended to unlock more fundraising and grant opportunities for the arts and enrichment of the community, and recruited new board members to bring in fresh perspectives.
As it sits today I’ve served for over five years. I’ve got some time left but eventually my term limits will kick in and I’ll have to depart the DBP board of directors. With that said, I’m as passionate about the connection between the startup community and downtown Boulder as I was the day I joined. I look forward to building more bridges between startups and the general business community for years to come!