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Keys to a Successful New Governance Structure

Pay attention to what kind of engagement members need

When Audrey Copeland became president and CEO of the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) in early 2019, she had the full support of the board. Thing is, the board itself was very full: Thanks to an antiquated governance structure that harked back to days when membership was made up of small local operators, the trade association's board included a representative from every state as well as a more traditional executive committee.

"The bottom line is that with a geographic-based board, with additional at-large members and officers, we were at anywhere from 65 to 80 board members," said Copeland.

That fluidity in those numbers spoke to one serious problem with NAPA's governance: With a group so sizable, attention—and even attendance—could be thin.

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