You are here


Should retreat be in your vocabulary?

Experts, executives say off-site board meetings can be critical, maximize time invested

April 12, 2018
By William Ehart

For Howard Nusbaum, CEO of the $13 million-revenue American Resort Development Association, his annual board retreat is an opportunity to get staff and volunteers out of their day-to-day environment and brainstorm at a very elemental level.

The retreat is one of ARDA’s three board meetings a year, but in a twist for a retreat, it is the shortest, stretching only from noon to noon the next day.

“It’s a popular meeting because it’s less perfunctory and it’s a chance for us to do a little bit of the finger painting that is so important in the ideation for an association,” he said.

ARDA board members repaired to St. Petersburg, Fla., for their latest retreat in early February.

“We call our trustee retreat our deliberative meeting,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for an interactive dialogue on the topics of the day, where they don’t have specific responsibilities as outlined in the bylaws” as they would at a regular board meeting.

“Sometimes the topics are those that impact our advocacy, and sometimes they are those that impact our business model,” he said.