Your Partner for Board Governance
The governing bodies of community-owned utilities guide the staff and represent the needs of customers during complex economic times. Yet board members come from a variety of backgrounds, with different levels of experience addressing the complex nature of operating an electric, water, wastewater, and/or gas utility. The path forward requires a knowledgeable and unified board, able to work effectively with utility staff.
The Hometown Connections consulting team has worked with hundreds of public utilities for more than 20 years, providing governance facilitation and education services. We know this industry and the tenants of effective governance in it. Utilities that bring in Hometown Connections for board development are better able to evaluate the current state of the utility and put in place policies and plans for a successful future.
Hometown Connections briefs governing officials on industry conditions and offers training on how to work with, and guide, the utility staff.
Hometown Connections organizes its governance development consulting assignments, workshops, and courses around these primary topics—with the ability to customize content to the needs of individual utilities, state associations, or joint action agencies.
Hometown Connections addresses how to assemble, onboard, and maintain a high performing board. Topics covered include:
- Succession planning
- Attracting viable board candidates
- Candidate orientation
- Orientation for new board members (and existing too!)
- Building a strong board culture
- Mechanics of a good board meeting
Hometown Connections reviews the common requirements/foundational information for most governing boards of community-owned utilities:
- Organization-specific: charter, by-laws
- Independent utility governing board: legal relationship and responsibilities to the government agency that formed the utility
- State-specific rules that may speak to open meetings and records, conflicts of interest, training required, potential PUC oversight, etc.
- Legal counsel
- Key Board Responsibilities
- Strategic planning
- Financial oversight and planning
The Voice of the Customer: The Board’s Role in Representing Owners, Customers and Other Stakeholders
Hometown Connections covers how the utility governing board can establish itself as the proper voice of the organization’s customers/owners:
- How to “be” the voice of the customer as board members
- How to be a conduit of information between the customers/owners of the utility and the utility
- How to communicate with elected/appointed officials in other agencies and levels of government
Hometown Connections examines feedback mechanisms for the CEO and how the governing board can pursue its own continuous improvement opportunities.
- Monitoring organizational performance
- Evaluating and Managing the CEO
- Self-assessment tools for the CEO
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