Strengthening the Volunteer Experience and Board Governance 

January 2024

AWS president Michael Krupnicki speaks on the invaluable culture of the AWS community. 

As I step into the role of AWS president, I am filled with enthusiasm and a deep sense of responsibility. It is my privilege to lead a talented executive committee and diverse board of dedicated industry professionals who, together with staff, will work to improve the value of AWS to its members and industry constituents. Since my father first brought me to a Section meeting in 1985, being an active volunteer for AWS has been a cornerstone of my career.  

Two topics are very dear to me and will be the focus of my efforts: enhancing the volunteer experience and providing strong board governance. I strongly believe that embedding these two principles into our organizational culture will ensure a continuous pipeline of talented volunteers at all levels and effective leadership at the board level.  

Enhancing the Volunteer Experience  

Volunteers are the lifeblood of AWS. Our volunteers write our codes and lead our Sections. They bring passion, diverse skills, and an unwavering commitment to the table. Ensuring a positive and enriching volunteer experience is crucial to attracting and retaining dedicated individuals. Together with the board and staff, I will spearhead initiatives to enhance this experience.  

Our technical committees write the codes and standards that keep the public safe and pro¬≠vide an important revenue stream. I will continue working with our staff to make volunteering on these committees easy, convenient, and personally rewarding. We recognize that there is competition for volunteer talent and that enabling the best experience possible is essential to our success. Providing the best tools for effective, efficient hybrid meetings and utilizing the most modern communication technology is vital.  

Sections provide our members the opportunity to gather locally to learn, network, and share enjoyable experiences. Our board and staff will continue developing programs that help our local volunteers lead their Sections successfully and provide them with ideas and tools to create engaging Section events. I consider myself a "Section guy" and am committed to helping our Sections thrive.  

Providing Strong Board Governance  

Effective board governance entails providing staff with strategic direction, resources, and competent oversight. Long-term success of the Society requires that our volunteer board excels at these activities. To ensure that our board is performing at its peak potential, I will focus on strengthening our board governance with transparency, training, and strategic focus.  

Transparent communication builds trust between the AWS staff and Board of Directors. In partnership with staff, I will work to enhance transparency within our board by ensuring that information flows openly, decisions are well-communicated, and members are informed about the strategic direction of our organization.  

Everyone serving on the AWS Board is remarkably talented in their professions. However, serving on a large national board such as ours requires unique skill sets. It is my plan to initiate formal training provided by professionals who specialize in building better boards. By embedding board governance training in our regular practices, we can achieve our full potential.  

To navigate the challenges and opportunities in front of us, it is imperative that the current and future AWS Boards focus on strategic issues. I envision a board that can scan the industry for opportunities, efficiently debate best options, and then boldly make the strategic decisions necessary to keep AWS relevant.  

I am looking forward to serving as your 2024 president. I will utilize the sum of my life expe­riences along with the wisdom of the executive committee, the board, and our dedicated staff to make 2024 a year of progress.

WD Jan 24 - Strengthening the Volunteer Experience and Board Governance - Lead