Updated: Nov 15, 2019
November Blog by Betsy Knott, Assistant Branch Manager, The Victory Bank
Our November session of the Tri-County Leadership Class was centered around energy. The day started at the Tri-County Chamber office at 7:30 with Part 1 of a 3 part Boards BootCamp. Part 1 introduced best practices in board governance for all nonprofit team members. Laura Otten, Ph.D directed our class. I don’t know if it was on purpose that she taught on the day the class was geared to energy or not, but she really brought a lot of energy! Leading into the class, Laura made several vital points about selecting a nonprofit of which to sit on the board. The first and foremost reason to sit on the board of a nonprofit is to pick one whose mission you are absolutely passionate about. We also learned that volunteering does not automatically give you the skills to sit on the board of a nonprofit; there are skills we will need to equip ourselves with in order to make the transition from volunteer to board member.
Another point Laura made was that we should not commit to sitting on the board of a nonprofit if we do not have the time available. All of this preliminary information will help us all think through the decision we will need to make when are selecting which nonprofit that we sit on its board.
Laura taught us that nonprofits are like three legged stools. The first leg is the board. The board is at the top of the order chart. Without this leg functioning, the board will limp along and survive, however it will not grow. The board is the protector and steward of the mission of the nonprofit. The second leg is the executive director. He or she is the managing leg of the stool. The executive director is selected by the board. The third and final leg of the three-legged stool of the nonprofit consists of staff and volunteers. The is where all of the implementation of your mission is carried out. After our session with Laura Otten, we were served a delicious lunch catered by Parma Pizza in Pottstown. I think it is safe to say we all went into a little bit of a food coma after eating all of those delicious carbs!
Once we were finished eating, we all loaded up on the bus to drive to the Limerick Power Plant for our tour. Jeremy Barnhart did an outstanding job with his presentation. He explained in an exciting and relatable way how the nuclear reactors work to produce energy to give us electricity. After we were all processed through security, we divided into two groups and set out on the tour. Jeremy Barnhart let group 1 and Neil Patel led group 2. It was really fascinating to think about how much extra time the employees need to build into each workday with all of the necessary safety precautions and walking time to get from the parking lots to their work location.
We all put on our hard hats and eye protection before embarking on the tour. My favorite part of the tour was getting to go inside the mail control room for the reactors. We spoke with one of the shift managers in the control room. We learned that he needs to go for his recertification every two years.
I was amazed at all the knobs and dials in this room. It was overwhelming! The controls for each of the two reactors are color coded—one is green and two is yellow. It was cool to see while walking through the area of the main pump and turbines to see the green stripe painted on the wall to indicate reactor number one. Upon leaving the plant, we all had to step into the radioactivity scanner to make sure we were “clean” before exiting.
Our day concluded with a bus ride back to the Chamber office. It was an exciting day with so much new knowledge. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I look forward to what the next step of this exciting journey holds for us all.