Insight For The Modern Man

MDI Board of Directors:
Back row, L to R:
Lewis (WR), Snow (NER, President), Gershenson (SWR), Oliver (ECR), Listman (WR), Lawrence (ECR, Vice Chair), Holowachuk (CFO), Aldrich (NER)
Front Row, L to R: Wilk (MAR), Krop (WR, Chairman), Andersen (SWR), Spatz (SER)

Update by Olaf Krop
Chairman, MDI Board of Directors
West Bay Men’s Division
Western Region

The Board of Directors’ function is to:

  1. Ensure that we maintain the organizational structure that benefits our members
  2. Ensure that MDI continues to pursue our Mission
  3. Protect the organization from any external threats (like lawsuits)
  4. Inspect everything we do ensures our long-term success.

Over the past several months the MDI Board of Directors has been very busy. Among managing the day-to-day activities of a board, we have undertaken and achieved some remarkable objectives:

  • We have elected a new Executive Vice President. On October 13 the Board unanimously elected Geoff Tomlinson (Eastern Canada Region) to the post of Executive Vice President, effective January 1, 2017.
  • A Membership call with the Board of Directors: On Wednesday, December 21 at 6 p.m. PST, the Board invites all interested members to join in a conversation with the board. The board has members from all over the country who have been representing your regions at board meetings. We will discuss MDI’s accomplishments in 2016 and where we are going in 2017. We will also allow time to answer any questions the members may have. This is an ideal opportunity to find out more about your organization, who its board members are, and what we do. The call will last approximately 1 hour, and all members are welcome to participate. If you have a question for the board, or are interested in finding out what the president plans for 2017, get on the call! Details regarding the bridge number and code will be emailed out to all members approximately 2 weeks before the call.
  • Board Members often receive questions about our policies, bylaws and procedures. It’s important that all members know what our policies are, for instance around alcohol consumption, what happens if you are injured, how we select our president, and so on. The Membership website has our policies and bylaws posted for all members to review. It’s your responsibility to know what they are! You can find this information on the membership site under MDI Info –> Bylaws and Policies, or follow this link (You must have an MDI Membership account to access).
  • The Board met face-to-face in New England on October 21 – 23 for the following reasons:
    • To review our past accomplishments.
    • To evaluate the state and health of MDI.
    • To set our objectives for 2017.
    • To review the president’s performance and his accomplishments.
    • To review any special initiatives that we are undertaking, such as our Strategic Plan, Key Performance Indicators, etc.
    • To approve the Budget for 2017
    • To continue to build the masculine relationships as a team of highly committed successful men, so we can sustain our commitment and service to the organization.
  • The meeting was very productive. We spent at least 20 hours together working, arguing, deliberating, and bonding as men. This was the most contentious meeting that I can recall. Men were passionate about where we are going, and about what we stand for. At the end of the day, we all came to agreement in the way that is unique to our MDI culture. We have set the following objectives for 2017:
    1. Ratify the new MDI Constitution. A committee made up of leaders from each region created a Constitution, our first. This document helps to define what we stand for and how we grow into other countries. We will conduct a legal review and then it will be vetted by the membership before the board approves it by April 2017.
    2. Approve our Strategic Plan. This is a 10-year plan that defines MDIs’ strategy, or direction, and makes decisions on allocating MDIs’ resources to pursue this strategy. This plan will be communicated to all of our members so that we know from your feedback that we are going in the right direction. By March 2017.
    3. To review our Strategic Plan quarterly
    4. Elect a new Chairman & Vice Chairman. By July 2017.
    5. To evaluate a Prudent Reserve & Surplus Funds Policy. By April 2017.
    6. To conduct a Board Skills Assessment to ensure we have the talent we need to serve MDI. By February 2017.
    7. To conduct an annual Board Evaluation. By July 2017.
    8. To develop a Key Performance Indicators measurement program. This is essential for any successful organization to track its success and challenges. By February 2017.
    9. To meet Face-to-Face in October 2017 to review our progress.
    10. To create a resource plan for finding experienced, qualified leaders for future positions. By June 2017.
    11. To find a new MDI Counsel. Steven Cohen, who has served MDI honorably as our General Counsel since MDI’s inception, has resigned effective January 1. 2017. We thank him for his service. MDI would not exist as it does today without his years of dedicated service. By January 2017.

It’s a lot to do, but your Board is incredibly productive and competent. Board work may not be sexy, but it is essential work. Everyone on the Board is a volunteer, and every Board member does additional work on committees that support our success. The Board is made up of men who were elected by their Regions to serve on the Board. The quality of the work the Board does is reflected in the quality of the men elected to the Board. We are fortunate to have high-quality Men on the Board. Every Board member puts in at least 10 to 20 hours per month in service of you and your teams. The work we do may not be high-visibility, but it makes a big difference in the success of each and every person who is affected by the commitment of our men!


PS: As I am finishing this letter, I am watching the results of the US Presidential elections. The US has much work to do to restore integrity and honor after such a divisive campaign. While I don’t know what the future holds, I imagine how different the world would be if every man had a men’s team to practice honor, trust, integrity, commitment and service. In the meantime, it falls on us, the members of MDI, to model Commitment before Ego, Keep Your Word, Defend Humanity, Fight only Honorable Battles, Be Humble, and Be an Example to Children.