FAQs: Running for the 2017 AmCham China Board

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In the 35th year since the Chamber’s founding, you have a chance to influence the important decisions being made in the most vibrant foreign business community in China.

The deadline for nominations is 5pm, Sept. 1, 2016. This year’s Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday, Nov. 17. Your 2017 Board of Governors will be announced at the conclusion of the meeting.

Take a look at these frequently asked questions (FAQs) before submitting your nomination.

Q: What is the Board of Governors (BOG)?

The BOG represents AmCham China’s Membership to oversee the activities of the chamber. It consists of 14 voting members including one chair and three vice chairs, and another 10 governors.

The BOG also includes the following non-voting ex officio members: the Treasurer, the General Counsel, the President of AmCham China, the most recent former BOG chair. The Chairs of AmCham China’s Chapter Executive Committees may be appointed by the Chair of the BOG to be non-voting members unless already elected to the BOG in their own rights.

The service of BOG members is voluntary and unpaid.

Q: Am I eligible?

A: If you are the primary cardholder of a Corporate Member or you are an Individual Member of AmCham China, you are eligible. Corporate Associate Members, Individual Associate Members, Non-Resident Corporate Members, Non-Resident Individual Members, Honorary Members, Affiliate Chamber Members, Affiliate Associate Members and Not-for-Profit Organization Members are not.

If you are not the primary cardholder of a Corporate Member, you may run for an election, too, but must become the primary cardholder of the Corporate Member by the time the new BOG takes office.

Q: Are board positions open only to citizens of the United States?

A: No, Corporate Member nominees do not have to be US citizens in order to be eligible for board positions, except for the position of chair of the BOG. Individual Members must already be citizens of the US, and are therefore eligible.

Q: How long is each term?

A: Each term is a year.

Q: Is there a term limit?

A: Yes. A member of AmCham China may not be elected to the BOG more than four consecutive terms. Those in officer positions (chair and vice chair) may not serve for more than two consecutive years.

Q: Whom should I nominate?

A: Given the eligibility requirements, you can nominate yourself or anyone else who you believe can provide great leadership and meaningfully contribute to the vision and activities through which AmCham China serves its membership.

A complete nomination requires the signatures of two voting members, and self-nomination is allowed as long as it is seconded by a separate voting member. Voting members can nominate more than one candidate.

Q: How do I run my campaign?

A: The staff of AmCham China can help! Once you submit your Nomination Form, we will help you prepare promotional materials such as the Election Book, which will be distributed to all members, to raise awareness of your candidate profile. In addition, we will also organize face-to-face social engagements between candidates and members to rally support around your pitch. The candidate campaign mixer this year is scheduled for September 22. You are also welcome to rally support through the Forums and Committees you are active on at their meetings and events.

Q: How much time will I have to spend serving on the board?

A: The BOG meets no fewer than six times a year as required by our Constitution, and through other off-line channels to discuss and decide matters regarding AmCham China’s activities. In reality, the BOG usually holds 10 to 11 meetings a year, i.e. holding monthly meetings except for one month in the summer and around the winter-time holidays. Officers also hold an officer meeting prior to each BOG meeting. BOG members may be called upon to represent AmCham China and the BOG at various senior-level public and private engagements.

Q: What can I really contribute?

A: Whether you are a longstanding or new member of the American business community, we welcome ideas and leadership that help the organization better serve the interests of its members. The members of the our BOG contribute their diverse, sector-based and organizational insights, facilitate strong advocacy vis-à-vis both the US and Chinese governments and build partnerships with business communities and other organizations in China to create a better business environment in China.

Q: What can I get out of this?

A: The members of our BOG represent not only themselves but also their companies’ commitments to build a better business environment in China. For these tremendous efforts, BOG members are highly recognized for their leadership and service.

BOG members are also usually leaders in their specific sectors. Working through AmCham China produces opportunities for sector-based business development that single-company efforts cannot necessarily achieve.

In addition, BOG members represent AmCham China in various high-level engagements with senior US and Chinese government officials and business leaders, relationships that built and strengthened through the AmCham BOG platform may become meaningful friendships for a lifetime.

If you have additional questions, please contact nominations@amchamchina.org before you submit your nomination.

Henri Tan is Senior Manager, Member Operations and Sponsorship at AmCham China.