This month we have Wendy Wall, President of the Vancouver Island Strata Owners Association (VISOA) sharing her experiences on a working board of directors and how they get their work done. Here’s what Wendy has to say:

‘I’ve volunteered for several non-profit organizations over the years and each one has had a working board. Perhaps I’m drawn to this model. I enjoy the comradery and deep sense of accomplishment working with a group of people who pull up their sleeves and dig right into the work.

VISOA has been providing services to British Columbians since 1973, the longest-running organization of its kind in Canada. The fact that it has out-lived homeowner/condo associations in other provinces is quite remarkable given that VISOA was operated entirely by volunteers for 40 years and has continued since then with the support of just a part-time office administrator.

As you can imagine, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Finding directors, particularly those with the skills and energy needed, can be challenging.

We took a fresh approach a few years ago and worked with a facilitator to create a new strategic plan. This was transformative for our board and the health of our society. Our committee structures are now organized to align with the purpose, mandate, and goals for each part of our strategic plan. This has provided clarity when recruiting directors and other volunteers. We can seek those with the specific skills and experience needed for each committee. This approach also creates a smooth onboarding process. New directors begin with a sense of purpose and knowledge of what is expected of them.

Financially, a working board results in low overhead and good value for our members. However, in my view, the greatest benefit of a working board is informed decision-making. Involvement gives directors a deep understanding of the time, effort, human resources, and monetary cost to perform each task and deliver each service. Greater insight helps directors evaluate the use of these resources vs. the benefit to members. We can adjust services and reallocate resources as needed. It also helps the board plan for the future. Our membership has increased significantly in the last few years which places greater demands on our directors and volunteers to deliver services. Our board has the knowledge and insight to determine the skills and acumen needed for additional paid staff that could support directors and volunteers in delivering services as our membership grows.

While demanding at times, the work is incredibly rewarding and I’m grateful to be part of a dynamic team focused on our mandate.

VISOA provides education, support, and advocacy for BC strata owners and corporations including condo, townhome, bare land, and commercial stratas.’

There you have it. One of the many take-aways for me from Wendy’s experience is the incredible value and deep knowledge that committees can offer an organization. And then aligning committee structure with the strategic plan for overall productivity is a real winner for VISOA. Please feel free to contact Wendy at or visit to learn more.



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