SBC Launches Past Presidents Council

Past Presidents CouncilPosted on October 6, 2022

With four former SBC Board Presidents, it was time to find a way to keep those leaders contributing to the growth and success of the Coalition.  Looking at other non-profit organizations, we found that they have groups which keep their former leaders engaged.

Enter the Past Presidents Council, with members Jeff Hipchen of RF Connect, Patrick Lau of Comba, Eric Toenjes of Graybar and Dennis Burns of ADRF. 

The newly formed group got together at the recent Mobile World Congress in Las Vegas to begin to determine how the group will function, the role it will take, and any initiatives it will take on.  It expects to mentor new board members, Vice Presidents and Presidents, be a sounding board for the Executive Team, help with recruiting future board members, providing leadership continuity by keeping Past Presidents involved, maintain the 3–5 year strategic plan and take on special strategic missions.

Council Chair Eric Toenjes said that the group of Past Presidents were “all excited to find a way to stay involved with SBC, to lend their experience to current and future leaders and to continue to make a difference.  There is definitely a ramp-up period for new board members, and especially new VP’s that we expect to shorten, making the board more effective and understanding everything involved in representing SBC and its members publicly”.

While the SBC board and executive team primarily stay focused on short-term operations and objectives, the newly formed Council can look at higher-level goals, strategic direction, and longer-term initiatives.  Toenjes said, “Imagine if we were able to attract significant benefactors and federal funding to help us solve the problem of public safety communications in schools.  We could make a real difference in safety and emergency response for our most vulnerable, and frequently targeted, population, while also helping to grow the business for our members”.

The Council will meet every couple of weeks initially to get things rolling and report back to the board to keep them apprised of its activities.