July 2022 ABA Board Meeting

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Day One — Wednesday, July 20, 1:00 pm – 5:30 pm ET 

The July Board meeting was held virtually on Zoom, and began with Board members disclosing any dualities of interest relating to the agenda in the chat, as well as sharing one word about how they were doing that day. (Board Director dualities of interest continue to be available on Bookweb, a decision the Board made last year for full transparency.) 

CEO Allison Hill reminded directors in the chat of the ABA Ends Policies’ “commitment to antiracism, equity, access, and representation,” as part of the Board’s continued prioritizing of this commitment, before Board President Christine Onorati welcomed the Board and called the meeting to order. 

The Board approved the May Board minutes, then shifted to one of the day’s main agenda points: the annual review of ABA’s bylaws and governance of the organization. Board members discussed the approach they would take to review the bylaws, expectations of Board members, and a brief reminder about means versus ends to guide the review process.

In preparation for the review of ABA’s bylaws, Board members discussed: 

  • Who should be on the Bylaws Review Committee? 
  • How are members involved in this process so they’re informed? 
  • What does the Board need the Bylaws Committee to work on in preparation for the Board bylaws discussion? 
  • What information does the committee need for their purposes? 
  • Will the committee approach be similar to the previous governance policies process?
  • What is our timeline and how do we want to break the process down over the course of upcoming meetings?

With a plan in place to discuss the bylaw review process at the September Board meeting, Directors shifted their discussion to Board committees. Updates included committee members, committee vacancies, and any committee updates and/or actions. The current Board committees include the Vendor Review Committee, Audit Committee, Nominating Committee, Bylaws Review Committee, and the CEO Review Committee. 

After a break, Allison gave her CEO report, where she shared updates on Batch, progress on the IndieCommerce 2.0 upgrade, and the ABA’s endowment performance and how the market’s performance may impact the new fiscal year’s budget. Allison continued her report with an update on ABA’s Advocacy & Antitrust work, as well as ABFE’s work fighting the current wave of book bans. 

The Board wrapped up the day with a discussion on strengthening communication and linkage with the membership. (As always, the Board encourages members to touch base at Board Office Hours and Town Hall.) The meeting then adjourned for the day. 

Day Two — Friday, July 22, 1:00 pm – 5:30 pm ET 

The second day of the virtual meeting began with Board Directors sharing one-word check-ins about how they were doing that day, followed by a welcome and Board housekeeping led by Christine.

The Board jumped into discussion on the upcoming Board elections and appointments, the now-open nomination process, and organization of the Nominating Committee. As part of Board education and a commitment to serving ABA members, the Board shifted gears to discuss what it means to be an effective Board member, and what it takes to create a sustainable Board. 

After a brief break, the afternoon continued with a financial update from Allison and ABA CFO PK Sindwani on upcoming projects and 4th Quarter projections. With their remaining time, the Board and Allison conducted their annual Ends Policies review and discussed ABA’s current Ends Policies (the Ends Policies govern the work of the ABA staff). 

The Board wrapped up the meeting by addressing upcoming meetings and action items for the future. The meeting was adjourned, and the July Board meeting concluded.