Newsletters > On Our Minds

Prioritizing Young Board Members

ISSUE 23 • April 2024

Image of student at CMW leading a retreat
Community MusicWorks board member facilitating a discussion at an annual teen retreat

written by Dr. Thomas Wolf and Kathleen Hill, along with interviews with Sebastian Ruth of Community MusicWorks and representatives of New Haven Symphony Orchestra

How important is it to have young people on a board? And why should it matter? In this issue of On Our Minds, we look at the question of young board members from the perspective of those young people who serve on boards and the organizations that recruit them. We feature two such organizations—Community MusicWorks of Providence, Rhode Island, and the New Haven Symphony Orchestra—both of whom have had great success with younger board members. In addition, Kathleen Hill talks about some of the challenges she has faced as a young leader and how organizations need to rethink some of their assumptions when it comes to board recruitment.

Graphic border from WolfBrown branded image

In This Issue

Young people smiling

Recruiting Young Board Members: Why Should It Matter?

Dr. Thomas Wolf reflects on a board retreat where he discovered the average age of trustees was nearly seventy, sparking a discussion on the importance of younger board members.

Kathleen Hill and friends

How Can Young Professionals “Break In” to Board Participation?

Kathleen Hill reflects on her journey of leadership from childhood to post-college life, including challenges faced by young professionals in finding meaningful leadership opportunities.

Sebastian Ruth

How Old Is Old Enough?

An Interview with Sebastian Ruth

Sebastian Ruth, founder of Community MusicWorks (CMW), emphasizes the integration of youth voices into decision-making processes and how CMW provides invaluable leadership opportunities and educational experiences.

NHSO Representatives, including board members and executive director

Finding, Preparing, and Benefitting from Young Board Members

An Interview with Representatives of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra (NHSO)

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra shares how they have integrated young members into their board, prioritizing diversity of thought and age to enrich governance perspectives.