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Minnesota Public Health Association

Since 1907, MPHA has been dedicated to creating a healthier Minnesota through effective public health practice and engaged citizens. 

Governing Council Roles and Responsibilities

MPHA Governing Council Roles and Responsibilities

Meeting Schedule

Attend MPHA Governing Council Governing Council meetings. This is also governed by the by-laws. If a Governing Council member misses more than three meetings, they can be asked to step down. An organization, especially a volunteer-driven organization, cannot function if its Governing Council fails to perform its duties. Therefore, it is essential to attend the meetings to take care of business. At the same time, MPHA strives to be economical in the use of meeting times and to take care of as much business as possible in other ways (e.g., electronic communication).


  • Be familiar with all MPHA policies and activities;
  • Become knowledgeable about the MPHA budget and participating in the budget planning process;
  • Participate in activities related to the realization of the MPHA mission;
  • Participate in MPHA committees and committee activities. The committees need to feel connected to the leadership of the organization and visa versa; therefore, every Governing Council member is encouraged to join a committee as a member or a co-chair;
  • Work to increase awareness of MPHA;
  • Encourage collaboration between other organizations and MPHA;
  • Participate in the recruitment of new MPHA general members, committee members, committee chairs and officers;
  • Support resource development for the MPHA in whatever ways are best suited;
  • Make every effort to attend the MPHA annual meeting;
  • Maintain personal MPHA annual membership dues.
The Governing Council refines the annual work plan and detailed budget as soon as possible after the annual meeting and appointment of the new officers.

President(s) Roles and Responsibilities

  • Serves a three-year term, one as president-elect, one as president, and one as past president;

  • Refine the work plan and yearly budget that was created at the annual business meeting using input from the governing council and committee chairs;
  • Set at least six meetings for the governing council and executive committee;
  • Call special meetings; determine agenda for meetings; preside over meetings as chair;
  • Represent MPHA at functions when possible and maintain partnerships with other organizations;
  • Coach Governing Council members or committee chairs that are not fulfilling duties;
  • Coordinate all committees and their activities and be responsible for the overall direction of the organization and the conduct of the work of its officers and committees;
  • Oversee all financial activities, co-sign for any financial transactions, and develop a plan for the financial stability of the organization;
  • Provide signature and approval for official business, including policy and advocacy support, financial reports, and contracts;
  • Attend the APHA annual conference and preside over the annual business meeting.

The President of the Association is expected to represent the interests of the Association and its membership.

The President, in cooperation with the Executive Committee and the Governing Council, should use results from strategic planning activities and visioning processes to guide the organization and its activities. The President should work to:

  • Build and promote a shared vision;
  • Build a strong organization to pass along to future professionals.

President-elect Roles and Responsibilities

The President-elect term provides an opportunity for the future president to plan his or her work plan, building upon MIPHA's overall strategic plan. The President-elect:

  • Presides at Governing Council meetings if the president is absent;
  • Receive assignments from the President or Governing Council for specific tasks that fit within the scope of preparing the President-elect for office;
  • Attend APHA President-elect training (usually scheduled in the spring of each year).

A key challenge in a volunteer organization is the establishment of continuity from one year to the next, moving an organization forward in a steady direction. A President-elect needs to be working during his or her term to determine how to continue to meet the mission of the organization and to either move the organization closer to its vision or establish a new vision based on the changing needs of the organization.

Past President Roles and Responsibilities

The purpose of the Minnesota Public Health Association Past Presidents Group, led by the Immediate Past President, is to sustain and foster continued engagement of past presidents in the association’s work.

The goals of the group are to:

  • Ensure that important communication about association updates, programming, and events is shared with past presidents.
  • Organize at least one gathering a year of past presidents and current Governing Council members.
  • Share opportunities for past presidents to engage in initiatives or work that is meaningful or of importance to them.

Secretary Roles and Responsibilities

The Secretary is responsible for coordinating the administrative affairs of MPHA. Tasks of the Secretary include, but are not limited to:

  • Assist the President in calling for consent agenda items for posting in Google Drive at least one week before the Governing Council meeting;
  • Taking minutes at each MPHA Governing Council meeting, summarizing the minutes, and distributing them to Governing Council members within two weeks after the meetings. This allows Governing Council members to know what tasks they are responsible for prior to the next meeting;
  • Maintain records of all business of the organization on Google Drive – including updating resolutions in the official file; filing award winners’ names; filing any written correspondence;
  • Take Annual Business meeting minutes and ensure they are posted on the MPHA website or circulated to membership for member comment within four weeks after the annual business meeting;
  • Oversee and administer the MPHA election process with the assistance of the Leadership Committee chairs;
  • Update the operations manual to include changes, award winners, and office holders;
  • Support the communications activities of the organization;

Additional secretary procedures are saved in the “Governing Council: Administrative Materials” folder on Google Drive.

Treasurer Roles and Responsibilities

The Treasurer not only manages the existing finances of MPHA but also acts as a development advisor to the organization. Tasks of the treasurer include but are not limited to:

  • Oversees day-to-day financial management of the organization, pays bills, receives funds, and maintains bank accounts;
  • Oversees the preparation and submission of required IRS reports;
  • Assures all activities are conducted within the parameters of the annual approved budget, and variances from the budget and the reason for those variances are reported to the Governing Council;
  • The Treasurer and President act for the Governing Council in urgent financial matters which must be addressed before the Governing Council is able to meet.;
  • In addition to fiscal management of the organization, the Treasurer also acts as a development advisor to the organization;

The details of the Treasurer's roles and responsibilities are provided in the Financial Policies and Procedures located in the Treasurer folder on Google Drive. The Treasurer assures that these Policies and Procedures are reviewed annually by the Governing Council.

ARGC Roles and Responsibilities

The Affiliate Representative to the Governing Council (ARGC) at APHA represents MPHA on the APHA Governing Council. This person is the key correspondent to the American Public Health Association Governing Council via the COA (Council on Affiliates). The responsibilities of this office are to both APHA and MPHA.

  • Affiliate Representative will be responsible for representing the viewpoint and interests of the Minnesota Public Health Association's membership and Governing Council to APHA;
  • Attend the APHA Annual Meeting or find a substitute representative to be present at the APHA and represent MPHA.
      • At the Council on Affiliates meetings and,
      • At the APHA Governing Council Meeting
  • Assure the annual review of APHA policy statements and submit review summary to APHA;

  • Attend MPHA Policy and Advocacy Committee to keep them informed of APHA policy priorities;
  • Serve as representative to the Great Lakes Coalition, APHA Region Five.
  • Attend the Great Lakes Coalition meetings;
  • Monitor MPHA membership issues and their relationship/relevance to APHA issues;
  • Sign up for and be an active member of- the APHA Affiliate Listserv;
  • Receive APHA Executive reports;
  • Report at each Governing Council on APHA and Affiliate activities that are pertinent to MPHA;
  • Keep MPHA and APHA contact information updated, including:
      • Contact at APHA: Affiliate Affairs & Policy Development, American Public Health Association 800 I Street, NW Washington, DC 20001-3710 Tel: (202) 777-2515

  • Submit new MPHA officer information, annual meeting information, etc., to the APHA web page;

  • Ensure MPHA member list is shared with APHA and APHA dues are submitted;
  • Provide information to APHA regarding the following awards:
      • The CoA Award for Excellence (Given to an individual who has shown outstanding leadership within her or his affiliate);

      • The CoA Outstanding Affiliate Award (Given to an affiliate for unique and exceptional activity in promoting public health in their state);  
  • Ensure MPHA contribution is made to Affiliate Award Reception at APHA Annual Conference;

  • Ensure that MPHA responds to APHA requests to complete affiliate surveys sent out from time to time.

MPHA At Large Governing Council Members Roles and Responsibilities

There are six at-large Governing Council members of MPHA. Each at-large member will represent the general membership on the Governing Council, and should find ways to be in touch with members so they can adequately represent the views of the membership. The responsibilities of the at-large Governing Council members include, but are not limited to:

  • Attend every governing council meeting, and come prepared to discuss issues. If you are unable to attend a meeting, he/she MUST inform the president prior to that meeting. The constitution and by-laws of the organization outline the process for removing any Governing Council member who misses meetings;
  • Serve the president’s request for specific tasks;
  • Act as a liaison or active member of at least one committee of MPHA;
  • Understand the operations of MPHA, and become aware of and committed to the goals and activities of the organization.

MPHA Student Representatives

There are two Student Representatives positions on the Governing Council. Each student member will represent the general student membership on the Governing Council and should find ways to be in touch with fellow students so they can adequately represent the views of the membership.

Note: nominations for this position are typically held in late summer/early fall to better align with academic calendars.

The responsibilities of the Student Governing Council members include, but are not limited to:


  • Participate in Governing Council events and use voting privileges as a part of the Council;
  • Be an active member of at least one MPHA Committee (committees meet monthly using Zoom);
  • Disseminate and promote MPHA activities within the student’s school and related academic contacts.

Project Management

  • Propose a project to increase student engagement within MPHA or, provide professional development on an issue relevant to students with MPHA’s support;
  • Communicate frequently about project progress and opportunities to/from students.

Professional Development

  • Understand the operations of MPHA, and become aware of and committed to the goals and activities of the organization;
  • Attend monthly Governing Council meetings

MPHA Executive Committee Roles and Responsibilities


The Executive Committee is composed of the President, Immediate Past President, President-elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and ARGC Affiliate Representative.

Meeting Schedule

The President may determine how frequently the executive committee needs to meet. The Governing Council is required to meet a minimum of six times during the year in the months that the Executive Committee does not meet; it is acceptable to utilize the Executive Committee during those other times to continue the business of the association.


Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Oversee affairs of the Association;
  • Provide reports of any action taken at the next Governing Council meeting;
  • Review agenda and items for future Governing Council discussion;
  • Identify issues and opportunities for the Association to be discussed by the Governing Council.

From Operations Manual Last Updated May 2015

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