Alberta Soccer seeking female candidates for its Board of Directors

Over the past year, Alberta Soccer has felt the positive impact of a gender-balanced board, with four of its nine directors being female. To best serve the Alberta Soccer membership and our sport, it is necessary that Alberta Soccer be represented by a board that is equitable, diverse, and inclusive.  

The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport (CAAWS) explains:

 “Studies show that diverse Boards make better decisions and increase organizational performance, which means more women on sport Boards is good for sport and good for women.”  

On February 25, 2018, at Alberta Soccer’s Annual General Meeting, five board positions will be up for election, including all four of the positions currently held by female directors. As a result, Alberta Soccer is actively seeking to continue the balanced representation on its board and encourages qualified female candidates to apply.  

What to expect? 

Long-standing member of Alberta Soccer’s board, Sherri Thorsen, who over the past seven years has served as a Director-at-large, Director of Finance, and currently as Vice-President, explained that during her time with Alberta Soccer, “the Board has functioned with the utmost respect for each other’s skill sets, input, differing opinions, and candor with a common desire to move the ASA forward in a positive way. We are also able to have some fun along the way!”  

As a more recent addition to board, Noreen Onofryszyn, Public Director, similarly described her experience: “As a new member to the ASA board and a soccer mom who was only involved at the grassroots and rec league level, my only previous experience with the ASA was through professional connections as a sponsor representative.  Frankly, I was unaware of the multitude of considerations coming before this board every month and have been very impressed with the level of dialogue and absolute commitment to the sport of soccer.  Every discussion is focused upon ensuring each soccer player in the province has the opportunity to play the game in an environment best suited to their ability, desire and location. 

Balancing the best interests of players, coaches, officials and member associations is difficult work and every director takes it on with incredible dedication.  The transparency and respectful candor present in all conversations make meetings worthwhile and the ASA one of the most meaningful board experiences I have had the honour of experiencing.” 

What skills do I need? 

As for what the board is looking for in new candidates, Sherri explains that, “We are looking for a broad range of skill sets to round out the Board. Being a soccer expert is not a key requirement. My soccer claim-to-fame was being a soccer Mom, but I was able bring a lot of business expertise, which I believe was instrumental in helping to reposition the ASA and allowed me to offer a different perspective on certain issues. 

The next step 

If you (or someone you know) are interested in contributing to the future of sport in our province by serving on the Alberta Soccer Board, start by visiting the CAAWS website. The site features valuable resources and information, including a Guide to Getting Involved (Women on Boards).  

CAAWS will also be offering a Women on Boards Webinar on January 17th – and you can learn more and register for that here. The webinar will provide “motivating information on the value and importance of women on Boards, strategies to navigate the challenges involved in accessing a Board position and then succeeding in the role, as well as ideas to create your own personal leadership plan to take on a Board role.” 

If you are interested in learning more, send Tiana an email and she will connect you with one of the current female members of the board. 

Alternately, you can click here to access additional information about what’s involved in being on the Alberta Soccer board and the Declaration of Interest Form.