Research Paper Help on Board Member Interview

Board Member Interview

            The board of directors is an integral part of the stakeholders in any organization. Board members are bombarded with organizational activities which include monitoring, overseeing, and making important decisions that influence firm operations (Bertocci, 2009).  Their roles vary from one organization to another depending on the responsibilities of a corporate to the society. However, Carver (2007) the role of governance is equally the same, but it may vary depending on the organization goals and objectives. Board members do not only make policies, but also act as a linkage between the organization and the external environment (Carver, 2007).To understand the aspect of board members responsibilities and ideologies, it is important to delve information from one of the members in one of the accredited organizations in the United States. Therefore, I decided to conduct an interview with one of the board members from the Victory Cathedral Worship Center. Pastor SmokieNorful is a prominent leader in the community and he is usually incorporated in several boards. He current serves as Board of Regents in the Trinity International University. The interview covers a broad spectrum of issues that a board member handles in line of duty and serving the society.

The first step involved booking an appointment with the pastor since he is an equally busy man. He gladly accepted my offer and we agreed on a date after one week after my request. Secondly, he decided the venue will be in his office that is situated within the church parameter. I was very anxious to meeting the celebrated pastor and share some information which I believed would be fascinating as well as educative. By ten in the morning, I was at the reception of his office waiting for the interview. There were several guests who left the office, which made me think that the pastor has a hoard of responsibilities. After twenty minutes, the receptionist ushered me in where I found the pastor waiting with an eloquent smile and very kind words apologizing for delaying. It was surprising to notice that he is a kind man and very welcoming.  Without wasting much time I notified him the purpose of my visit and we began the interview. To begin with, I sort to find out the pastor’s background and his origin.The pastor informed that he was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas Muskogee, Oklahoma in 1973. Actually, he acquired the name SmokieNorful later in life as he was born as Wilie Ray Norful, Jr. He attended school in his local place and graduated at the University of Arkansas with a bachelor degree in history. He also attended the Garett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston and Trinity International Seminary where he received master’s degree in Divinity.

            After knowing about his origin and education background, I was quite intrigued to find out about his career. Therefore, I asked the Pastor to give me a brief chronology of his career over time. This question made him smile cheekily saying that his career has transformed miraculously. After graduation from the University of Arkansas, he served as a history teacher in three schools including the Jack Robey Junior High School for a period of seven years.Thereafter, he became the education director for the Pine Bluff Housing Authority before becoming a historian for the Nation Park Service. He was ordained as an elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1997 where he undertook several church responsibilities. He formed the Victory Cathedral Worship Center in Bolingbrook in 2005 where he serves as the pastor. Currently, he is a board member of the Regents for Trinity International University. In addition, Pastor Norful is a gospel artist who won a Grammy award in 2004.

            Too much of his career; hence, I proceeded to my next question. I asked the pastor to give me his experience with fundraising since it is an obligation of board service. Pastor Norful responded by saying that fundraising is a two way effect that may include the organization sourcing funds or acting as a sponsor. He was keen to note that funds are an issue of contention in any organization; hence, people should be cautious while handling money issues. As Carver (2007) puts it, board members are at the extreme end of the accountability chain. Getting back to the main point, the pastor acknowledged that fundraising is equally important because an organization cannot run without finances. He also noted thatsponsoring other firms is an act of corporate social responsibility which is a recent corporate governance reform according to Carver (2007).I asked the pastor to explain what skills, connections, resources, and expertise he offers on behalf of the organization. This question made the pastor wear a stern face and I was quite sure he meant serious business. “Time is a very important factor,” he started. He told me that time is the most valuable resource that he sacrifices on behalf of the organization since he is very busy with church issues. He barely gets enough time with his family as he told me. Brand image is another aspect that he mentioned; he said that he is supposed to sell the organization to the outside environment; hence, he should always resemble a positive image.

            I sort to inquire whether there is anything that he would need from the organization to make the experience successful one. Pastor Norful was quick to note that leadership skills are very important and he is gradually learning from his position as a member. He also told me that he is a history teacher by profession. He believes that history defines the present and his teaching skills would bring impart integration in the organization. The strategic ideologies include expansion, acquisition, and overseeing the management among others(Bertocci, 2009). That is why he believes he was integral in choosing the recent TIU university president. The pastor also explained that his position in the board is impacting his personal goals. Firstly, he owns a church and the experienced gained will aid him in running his own church. Secondly, he is only 41 years old that means he will gain a lot of experience and he can be appointed as a board member of various organizations in future.I asked whether he can recount any great people that he has worked with; however, he was reluctant to giving individual credit but said the whole team was great. He told me the guiding purpose and values of the organization include remaining focused on the organizational objectives. He noted that there are challenges such as disagreements, time constraints, and other decisions which are very hard to make. There also interesting experiences such as getting involved in CSR such as sponsoring less-privilege students is an humbling act to him. The pastor parted shot by advising me to ensure that I always follow the organization’s mission and vision despite experiencing challenges. We ended the interview after thirty minutes and I was overwhelmed by his responses and knowledgeable information.

References

Bertocci, D. I. (2009). Leadership in organizations: There is a difference between leaders and managers. Lanham, Md: University Press of America

Carver, John. (2007). Boards that make a difference: A new design in nonprofit and public organizations. (3rd Ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Jossey- Bass

SmokieNorful. EMI Gospel. Retrieved from: http://smokienorful.emigospel.com