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The Ashera Project Board of Directors

The Ashera Project's Board of Directors is an all-volunteer, working board for a new and growing organization.

  • Sarah Evascu, Executive Co-Chair
  • Emily Rogers, Administrative & Personnel Chair
  • Jennifer Darrouzet, Interim Finance Chair
  • Rachel Portnoy, Development Chair
  • Kate Clark, Volunteer Coordinator

The Ashera Project Board is Seeking Board Members

We are currently seeking candidates for several key volunteer board positions, including Finance Chair (see job description below).

FINANCE CHAIR

A qualified candidate for this position will have a passion for Ashera Project's work and either academic or professional experience in accounting and finance. The main responsibilities include:

  • Being responsible for the accounting records of the organization
  • Accepting and accounting for all funds received by the organization
  • Paying out and accounting for all expenses of the organization
  • Overseeing and paying out all payroll and contractor expenses
  • Presenting monthly financial statements to the Board
  • Tracking board member and community cash and in-kind donations
  • Overseeing the creation and maintenance of the organizationís budget and balance sheets
  • Creating and managing the budget for the areas of finance, operations and administration
  • Creating fiscal policies for the organization

In addition, here are some preferred skills and experience:

  • Experience with small business or non-profit accounting and cash-handling procedures
  • Experience with Quickbooks financial software
  • Working knowledge of Excel
  • Working knowledge of non-profit finance and strategic management theory

What is it like to serve on a board?

Only two of the current board members had experience in such a role when they joined. There are great books and seminars on ways to give back to your community through volunteer leadership, and the best way to get your questions answered is to talk to current or former board members. On August 6th, 2006, Ashera Shares sat down with Jessica Mann, who served two years on the Board of Directors.

Ashera Shares: Why did you join Ashera's Board, and not someone else's?
Ms. Mann: That's a good question. The real answer is that it was the first place I came across that was looking for board members and was something I believed in. I felt that, with my skills and background, I could contribute.

Q: What did you initially think you would contribute?
A: Time, and money...and with my experience as a licensed social worker: looking out for our clients and considering our responsibilities to the clients. And non-profit management theory was part of my degree.

Q: Now in hindsight, what did you end up contributing?
A: All those things and a lot else! Finance, operational duties, staff supervision... [Laughs] I give my opinion on any question that is mentioned in my presence.

Q: What did you hope to get out of serving on the Ashera Board?
A: A professional experience to put on my resume...brain work to keep skills sharp since I was looking for a job. I wouldn't have been doing management work...but direct social work. This was specifically management experience.

Q: And what did you actually get out of your time on the Board?
A: I really, really, really got to use a lot of my academic training in non-profit management. And it turned into a great break from being a stay-at-home mom. I got to be with intelligent women (well, usually only women), and work out problems. It was very rewarding. An expanded social circle, and great friends, plus advice on kids, taking care of yourself. Then it lead me to another professional opportunity that I wouln't have been involved with otherwise.

Q: What was your weirdest moment while on "duty" as a Board Member?
A: At our first Ruta Maya fundraisier...a member of the public stopped to talk to me. She asked if I knew my name "Jessica" was derived from "Jesus". She captured me and others, and cornered us wherever she chould, asking how we could be telling kids they should be having sex before marriage. My personal belief isn't that you need to be married. The Ashera Project believes we should be giving kids information.

Q: What was your biggest challenge?
A: Respectfully and diplomatically disagreeing in a group. Trying not to plow over everyone... you can't just control everyone.

Q: What was your proudest moment?
A: [Thinks hard] When [the board] voted me to be executive co-chair in January [though this position was declined]. It was also nice to be the bearer of good financial news. As a finance person, it's not all that common.

Q: If you could say one thing about sex to our target audiences, what would it be?
A: [Starts singing] "Sex is natural, sex is good.." You know, George Michael... You have to use your brain to control your health and your safety...don't be feeling bad for something that is natural.

Want to get involved?

Ideal board candidates have expertise in youth development, volunteer leadership, public relations, law, human resources, organizational development, fundraising, or financial management. We start our fourth year of programming at Reagan High School this fall, so there is a lot of exciting work to be done!

For more information, or to express interest in this opening, please contact Kate Clark at volunteer@asheraproject.org

We also welcome your tax-deductible contributions and encourage you to see what is coming up on our calendar. Learn more about Ashera Project on our About page, and see some of our answers to questions that we have been asked.

Austin Wants You!

Don't ever think you aren't needed...

Drop us a line at volunteer@asheraproject.org if you or a like-minded friend have expertise to share in the following areas:
  • accounting
  • grant writing
  • graphic design
  • journalism
  • law
  • public relations

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