Gateway Burners Board Succession Process

  • Introduction
    • This document is adapted from the Gateway Burners Board Replacement Process Proposal used to guide the selection of the new board following the resignation of the board in November, 2014.
    • The intent of this proposal is to provide both criteria and a process for the succession of the board.  This process is intended to augment the Gateway Burners By-Laws, detailing when and how new Gateway Burners board members shall be selected.  It does NOT in any way replace or supplant the by-laws
  • Board Responsibilities
    • The following are the general responsibilities of a board member.
      1. Uphold Gateway Burners mission statement and properly incorporate the Burning Man 10 Principles into Gateway Burners operations.
      2. Establish vision, long-term goals and long-range plan for achieving those goals.
      3. Establish budgets and approve spending decisions.
      4. Maintain relationship with Regional Contact for Burning Man and ensure compliance with Burning Man’s rules and regulations.
      5. Maintain compliance with state and federal requirements to maintain IRS 501(c)(3) status and remain in Good Standing status with the State of Missouri as a tax exempt organization.
      6. Engage the Gateway Burners community in decisions to the greatest extent possible, recognizing that, from time-to-time, executive decisions must be made for the organization in order to manage liability and protect the community.
      7. Provide support and guidance to the Event Coordinators and Department Leads.
  • Board Member Qualifications
    • The following are the qualifications desired for a successful board member.  Ideally, the board, as a whole will possess a well balanced blend of these traits.
      1. All board members must be ready, willing and able to fulfill the responsibilities outlined above.
    • A board member should possess 3 or more of the following:
      1. Event planning and/or fundraising experience.
      2. Experience in administrative aspects of grant processes (grant writing, grant distribution, application review, etc.)
      3. Relationship with the local arts community.
      4. Relationship with the local burner community.
      5. Personal understanding of the 10 Principles of Burning Man.
      6. Experience with governance or upper level management, preferably in a volunteer driven organization.
    • A board member must be able to communicate and collaborate effectively with fellow board members, EC’s, and the community at large, conducting him or herself with decorum, in a manner befitting a leader of the organization.
  • Board Size
    • The goal will be to establish a board with 5 members. In the event that less than 5 qualified nominees are received, the board will be composed of all qualified nominees who accept the position, with a minimum of 3.  In the event that a board of at least 3 members cannot be established, the organization will be disbanded.
  • Election Frequency, Timing, and Seat Availability
    • Elections shall be held annually at the August leads’ meeting.
    • All 5 board seats shall be available in each election
    • Current board members are eligible for re-election given that they so choose to run.
  • Selection Process and Timeline
    • The goal of this process is to achieve as high of a level of community involvement as possible while completing the selection in an efficient and timely manner and giving deference to those with the greatest familiarity with the requirements of the position.  The first step will be collecting nominees. The second step will be vetting the nominees received to ensure that the stated qualifications are met. The final step will be a weighted voting process where-in current board members and Gateway Burn Event Coordinators receive 3 votes, current Leads and Co-leads receive 2 votes, and all other community members receive one vote.  General community votes will be collected online utilizing an anonymous process requiring email registration ( is free and works well for our needs), while Board, EC, and Lead votes will be collected in person or by proxy as needed at the August Leads’ meeting.
  • The timeline for this process is as follows:
    • Following Gateway Burn
      1. Call will be made for board nominees.
      2. Call will be made for anyone interested in participating in the Nominee Verification Committee which will evaluate the qualifications of nominees.  
      3. Date will be set for close of nominations, as well as for all other steps in the timeline.
    • Within one week of close of nominations – All nominees must submit a statement of qualification outlining, in accordance with the responsibilities and qualifications described herein, why they are suited to serve as board members.
    • Within one week of receipt of statements of qualification – Nominee Verification Committee will convene to vet all nominees and ensure that they are adequately qualified.
    • As soon as possible following vetting  – Online voting will commence.
    • The day of the August Leads’ Meeting – Online voting will close at 7PM, CDT.  In-person voting will be conducted at the Leads’ meeting, and the new board will be selected.
    • The day following the Leads’ Meeting – The new board will be announced.
  • Nomination Verification Committee Responsibilities and Qualifications
    • The principal responsibility of the Verification Committee is to establish that all candidates are suitably qualified to serve as board members.
    • Any community member NOT running for the Board Of Directors is eligible to serve on the Verification Committee.
    • Any decision of the committee to reject a candidate must be justified by a statement of disqualification explaining the reasoning and made publicly available to all community members.
    • It is up to the committee to decide how decisions of the committee will be made, however, it is recommended that decisions be made by consensus whenever possible.
  • Approval of This Proposal
    • This document will be made available for public comment for no less than one week.
    • On July 15, 2015, the comment period will be closed, the comments will be reviewed, and any changes deemed appropriate will be made by the board, with advisement from the EC’s, leads, and any interested community members.
    • The final document will be posted on the Gateway Burners website by July 19, 2015.
  • Revisions to the Succession Process
    • Anyone may make suggestions for revisions to the succession process by submitting them to  Suggestions will be considered by the board, put to community discussion if deemed necessary, and implemented at the discretion of the board.
    • All changes to this process must be submitted for public community review.