BOEC board and staff spend an afternoon strengthening relationships.

BOEC board and staff spend an afternoon strengthening relationships.

At the core of every successful organization lies a dedicated group of individuals – the board of directors.  A board is essentially a team of visionaries, decision-makers, and supporters, guiding the organization towards its objectives.  What distinguishes exceptional board members – and this is certainly true of BOEC’s board of directors – is their unwavering commitment that extends far beyond boardroom discussions, permeating through their generous donation of time, skills and resources. 

BOEC has been very fortunate over many years to continually have a board that embodies these exceptional qualities. Their commitment to our mission and the people we serve through our outdoor adaptive programs is inspirational.  Each member contributes generously, not just financially, but also by investing their time and expertise creating a broad base of knowledge which helps drive our programs, initiatives, and organizational growth.  

We believe that a core element of our success lies in the collaboration between our board and staff.  Together we form a powerful, united team, driven by a shared vision and common purpose.  This synergy has propelled BOEC to achieve remarkable milestones.  It’s not just about the roles defined by positions; it’s about the passion, determination, and spirit that every individual brings to the table. 

A Board Like No Other

BOEC’s journey over the past 48 years has been significantly shaped by a dedicated and diverse group of individuals who individually and collectively are bound together by unwavering dedication to the organization.  Two of our board members, Aris Sophocles and Gene Dayton, stand as living testaments to the organization’s history having been a part of BOEC since the founding..  Their steadfast presence has seen us through challenges and celebrated triumphs.  Their wisdom has been invaluable, contributing to BOEC’s endurance and evolution.  

Celebrating Transitions 

This year we are saying goodbye to outgoing board chair, Barb Rankin who we sincerely thank for the many contributions she has made during her time in this role.  Her passion, resilience, and strategic acumen has supported BOEC through the challenges of the past couple of years and led us on a very successful path forward.  In her parting words, she emphasized the importance of collaboration between the board and staff, reminding us that our shared efforts have been the cornerstone of our achievements. 

A message from outgoing Board Chair, Barb Rankin: 

“I have been a member of the board since 2016, and for the past two years it has been my privilege to serve as the chairman of the board, to lead the wonderful board members in supporting our amazing and talented staff, who are the ones who live out the BOEC mission every day.  Their hard work to empower and guide our participants never ceases to awe and inspire me, and I am thankful for the opportunity to be a small part of the team.  While we have accomplished a lot of growth and improvements in the past seven years, we still have more big plans to come.  Leslee Balten will be taking over as the next chair and I am confident that we will get even better with her wisdom and experience to lead us into the future.” 

We are excited to welcome our new board chair, Leslee Balten, whose enthusiasm and dedication to BOEC is boundless.  In her message, she shares her commitment to building upon the strong foundation laid by her predecessors.  Her words echo a promising future, where creativity, empathy and teamwork will steer our initiatives forward. 

A message from our incoming Board Chair, Leslee Balten: 

I am honored and excited to step into the board chair position and want to extend a heartfelt thank you to Barb Rankin for her hard work and dedication to the BOEC over the last several years.  We are thrilled she is staying on as immediate past chair to continue to help guide and support the organization.  As with all things at the BOEC, everything is a team effort, including the efforts of the board.  I am so very grateful for the commitment and dedication of all our board members who give so generously of their time and talents.  Over the next year, the board team remains dedicated to helping the BOEC thrive and to support the life changing programs and services BOEC brings to our community and those visiting. One of BOEC’s greatest assets is its skilled, passionate, and committed staff.  As a board we will continue to focus on staff retention, development, and long-term succession planning.  We look forward to a wonderful year ahead and we thank you all for being a part of it.”

BOEC Board of Directors at the fall 2023 Annual Meeting.

BOEC Board of Directors at the fall 2023 Annual Meeting.

Board and Staff as One Force

A vital secret to our success lies in the collaboration between our board and staff.  Together, we form a dynamic, unified team, inspired by a shared vision and a common goal. It’s not just about roles and titles; it’s about passion, determination, and the spirit that each individual brings to the table. 

A good example of how our board and staff work together to define BOEC’s future is the BOEC Annual Meeting, held at the end of our fiscal year. This annual event is more than just a formality; it is also a testament to our shared commitment.  Over these two days we not only discuss budget and strategies, we also spend time socially, breaking down barriers and forging genuine connections. Says Sonya Norris, Executive Director, “These moments of camaraderie between board and staff are vital, allowing us to understand each other on a deeper level, beyond the roles we have within the organization.”  

On the second day, we delve into staff and budget presentations, sharing the highs and lows from the previous year.  These sessions represent our collective efforts, our victories and challenges we’ve overcome over the past year.  It’s a time to celebrate the milestones, learn from the setbacks and most importantly, support one another. 

Team building activities on the deck of the Griffith Lodge.

The Journey Ahead

As we head into another year, armed with new strategies, fresh perspectives and shared goals, we know that it is the collective responsibility of both board and staff to continue to steward this amazing organization forward so that our outdoor programs can continue to have an impact on the lives of those we serve. 

We are very grateful to those who give so generously to the BOEC as members of the board both currently and over the many years this organization has been in existence.  Each member has their own stories and reasons for wanting to be a part of the BOEC mission and has contributed to its ongoing success.  

We invite you to visit the Board of Directors page on the BOEC website to learn more about the current slate of  individuals who are giving their time to BOEC.