Is it Time for Turnover?

When my boys were 2 and 4 years old, a mentor in the League of Women Voters recommended me for the board of Charleston County First Steps.  That experience led to my service on the state board, which lasted eight years. It has been a privilege to focus on serving South Carolina’s greatest resource, the inquiring minds of our state’s 0-5 year olds and their caregivers.

As I read the Wall Street Journal’s recent article, “What’s Keeping More Women From Board Seats: Little Turnover”, I reflected on the end of one of my proudest board terms.  As much as I will miss the strategy sessions, collective decisions, and even being called Trustee, I recognize there would not have been a spot for me if others had not stepped aside.  

Power and opportunities expand when dispersed, and contract when hoarded. If an organization is not stronger at the end of a board term, it is reasonable to question why a member was on the board at all.  

Presiding over a meeting with all of SC’s thoughtful agency heads serving babies and young children is a real high.  During my years of service, I have chaired committees and risen to become the Vice-Chair. I led the search committee for a new Executive Director, and am now watching Georgia Mjartan meet our hopes for the agency’s transformation.  

Serving on this board has transformed me into an outspoken early childhood champion.  With data and examples from top early childhood education leaders, I advocate for critical public investment to foster the brain development of South Carolina’s young minds.  

Other voices, perspectives, and skills are needed at the table – perhaps even yours.  My voice and skills are ready for the next opportunity to serve.

Guest Blogger: Julie Hussey is former State Co-President of the League of Women Voters in SC (LWVSC), former trustee of the SC First Steps Board of Trustees and owns a public information and community outreach consulting firm, Civic Communications, LLC, in Charleston, SC.

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