Board Voice was incorporated as a new non-profit organization in British Columbia in 2010.
Discussions regarding the role of volunteer boards of directors at the provincial level started in July 2008, when the Federation of Community Social Services (FCSSBC) called a meeting with several agency executive directors and board members to consider the creation of a non-profit at the governance level, which could build a relationship with governing bodies of other key sectors.
One of the Federation’s strategic objectives at the time, was “…to engage in progressive social change initiatives through initiating projects to raise public awareness and engage citizens and communities on child, youth and family issues.” The development of a whole new organization called Board Voice wasn’t in the plan that year, but this far reaching idea opened the door to new thinking and allowed for early conversations to flourish into something new.
Furthermore, in 2008, the social services sector was very concerned, as the economy began its dive into the worst recession in a generation. Volunteer board directors, focused on community wellbeing would be an important asset for the sector in tough discussions with the government. Federation President Nanette Taylor from Hollyburn Family Services and Executive Director Jennifer Charlesworth supported Doug Hayman, Director of Strategic Development to begin moving this idea forward.
In July 2008 Hayman convened a meeting with several board chairs and executive directors: Tim Beachy from the United Community Services Co-op, Ian Mass from Pacific Community Resources Society and Dave Duncan and ED Tim Agg from PLEA and John Neilson chair of the Developmental Disabilities Association. They discussed the idea of board advocacy. The group quickly made a decision to call a first meeting of board members from across the province to consider the idea of creating a provincial board presence of some kind. This meeting followed the Federation conference in October 2008.
From this meeting, a leadership team of 12 board members was created, chaired by Anthony Ostler, chair of Family Services of Greater Vancouver and co-chaired by the late Carol Matusicky, who sat on the Burnaby Family Life board, with management support and coordination from Doug Hayman of the Federation. The leadership team met via conference call for the next 12 months crafting the, vision, values, principles and basic organizational structure required to support a new provincial organization.
The team put on the founding conference of the Board Voice Society of B.C. on November 7, 2009, and had it registered as a society in March 2010.
This group worked hard to develop the ideas and structure that would eventually lead to the founding conference on Nov. 7, 2009, at which point the new board was elected.
During the course of 2009 Board Voice secured support from some key founding agencies and funders. This allowed for some of the initial expenditures for Board Voice to be covered.
The Board Voice endeavour would not have been possible without grants and support from founding sponsors including the Vancouver Foundation, Vancity, Federation of Community Social Services (FSSS) and United Way of the Lower Mainland. Nor would it have been possible without these seven seed funding agencies: Family Services of Greater Vancouver, Burnaby Family Life, Penticton District Community Resources Society, Sunshine Coast Community Resources Society, North Okanagan Youth and Family, Pacific Community Resources Society and Greater Victoria Child and Family Counselling.
Over the ensuing years, Board Voice grew its membership, conversed with government decision-makers, educated the community through the media and community meetings, organized community and provincial projects and collaborated with other organizations to improve the lives of BC residents. As well, Board Voice continues to convene an annual conference bringing together board members from across the province to talk with each other, attend workshops and listen to key note speakers and politicians.
Board Voice is governed by board directors whose home organizations are Board Voice member agencies, all of which are community-based non-profits providing social care services in BC. Directors are typically elected to three-year terms at our annual general meeting. Find more about our current board of directors here.