How to Become an RCA Board Candidate

For two-year terms beginning April 2020

Congratulations for making the decision to run for a position on the RCA Board of Directors! The RCA becomes stronger with passionate and smart members who join the Board. As an RCA Board member, you’ll help set the long-term strategic direction for the RCA, and make decisions that bring outstanding value to all members.

Membership on the RCA Board is an honor reserved for the most talented individuals who are eager to support and promote the growth and success of the RCA.

Here are the steps to become an RCA Board member:

Call for Applications

The RCA Board of Directors will announce a Call for Applications in July. This announcement will be delivered to all RCA members via an email blast and on this website.

To be included in the RCA Board election process, you must complete the following documents:

  • RCA Board Member Application Form
  • Personal biography
    • View directions for personal biography

      Directions for Personal Biography

      Applications to the RCA Board of Directors must include a professional biography.

      Similar to a resume, this document describes your academic and professional career. Focus your biography on the skills necessary to serving on the RCA Board of Directors.

      It should include all elements about your education (after high school), including schools attended, degrees earned, any honors, extracurricular activities, leadership roles. You may want to outline your decision process on why you chose to attend these schools. We are interested in all academic work, including technical, vocational or professional schools as well as traditional colleges or universities.

      You should include all elements of your professional career. Present your career in chronological order. For each stage of your employment, include your title and describe your role in the organization. It’s also important to list specific accomplishments to help the RCA understand your success.

      Along with your career history, please list all professional honors or certifications you’ve earned. Please be sure to indicate if any certifications are current or expired, as well as your status in achieving any other certifications. Include any professional skills you possess in any function, such as strategy, finance, marketing, sales, cross-functional roles or other skills you feel are relevant to your position on the Board.

      Your biography must be limited to 400 or fewer words, which is about one full page.

  • Your personal vision statement for the role and future of the RCA, and how you will contribute to the RCA’s growth
    • View directions for personal RCA vision statement

      Directions for Personal RCA Vision Statement

      The Personal RCA Vision Statement gives you the opportunity to describe your own RCA story and how you believe you can make a positive impact on the Board and with the RCA.

      Your Vision Statement should describe why you became a member of the RCA and how you’ve been active and involved. Describe your membership on committees, with RCA Regions or on any other project or activity for the RCA.

      Your Vision Statement should also describe where and how you will make a positive impact on the Board and with the entire RCA organization. Tell us what makes you uniquely qualified to become a Board member.

      Give thought to what you want to accomplish as a Board member. How does Board membership support your professional or personal goals? What specific objectives do you have as an RCA Board member?

      Keep your Vision Statement brief and to the point – limit yourself to one page.

  • Confirmation letter showing employer’s support
  • Headshot photograph
  • Recommendation letter from employer or RCA Board member (not required, but helpful)

These documents must be delivered via email or regular mail to RCA headquarters by 5 p.m. CT on Wednesday, August 21, 2019.

Important Considerations

Membership on the RCA Board is an honor reserved for the most talented individuals who are eager to support and promote the growth and success of the RCA.

Successful Directors understand that their role is to promote the overall RCA organization, and will put aside personal agendas that are not aligned with RCA’s strategy and mission. They are willing to work collaboratively with their peers, and are not afraid to surface appropriate concerns that affect RCA’s long-term success.

Before submitting your application, please understand the following commitments:

  • Time: RCA Directors devote the necessary time and effort to fulfill their duties on the Board. Directors spend four to five hours per week on RCA initiatives. This includes your work leading a specific Committee (consisting of volunteer members and staff liaisons) as well as attending regular Board meetings, either in person or via conference call.
  • Financial: RCA Directors do not receive any stipend or payment for their role on the Board; their expenses are covered by the Directors themselves or by their company. They are responsible for their own travel to attend Board meetings and our annual Conference (where we hold one of our Board meetings). In addition, Directors are expected to make a financial contribution in support of the RCA Culinology® Foundation.
  • Participation: RCA Directors actively participate in Board meetings and demonstrate their presence to RCA membership and the industry. For Board meetings, Directors are expected to be properly prepared by reading and understanding all meeting materials. They are active participants in Board meetings, working collaboratively and in support of their Board peers. That said, Directors are also expected to voice their concerns in a respectful, constructive manner to ensure the interests of the larger RCA organization are being served properly.

Newly-elected members will sign the RCA Board Members Performance Agreement, which outlines the expectations and responsibilities of an RCA Board member. It’s important both you and your employer have a clear understanding of the commitment and importance of your role as a Board member.

Interview Process

Each candidate will be interviewed via phone by a member of the RCA Nomination and Board Development Committee (NBDC). You will be asked questions to confirm your qualifications, along with a review of your Personal Biography and Vision Statement. The NBDC member will ask questions about your past and current involvement in the RCA and your interest leading one of our committees. You will be asked to confirm your commitment to joining the Board, including time, meeting attendance and financial obligations to attend meetings and activities.

Applicant Evaluation Criteria

The NBDC looks at a variety of criteria to determine your qualification for the Board:

  • Record of attendance at RCA Conferences, education programs and events
  • Leadership, service and performance on RCA committees
  • Service to RCA in non-committee capacities, such as regional programs
  • Professional experience and relevance to Board membership
  • Skills, experience and professional affiliation to ensure a balanced Board membership
  • Membership status (you must be a fully-paid member of RCA to be eligible)
  • Performance in the interview process
  • Demonstrated leadership, communication, strategic thinking and motivational skills
  • Understanding of the Board role, organizational mission, and association objectives
  • Confirmation of commitment (two-year term, support from employer, letters of recommendation)

Becoming a Slated Candidate

The NBDC offers a slate of candidates for members to vote, including at least one candidate for each open seat on the Board. The NBDC assesses the applications based on the Applicant Evaluation Criteria (see above) and determines who will be on the election ballot. As a result of this process, there is a chance you will not be selected as a candidate for the Board.

Slated candidates will be presented to RCA membership for election. Membership voting begins in late September, and winning candidates are notified in early November.

Appeals Process

The NBDC strives to present a slate of candidates most-worthy of joining the RCA Board of Directors. If you are not selected for the election slate, you may appeal the decision.

To appeal, please submit a written request within one week of being notified by the NBDC, including any supporting documents or information to be considered by the NBDC.

The NBDC will review the appeal and determine if the candidate will be added to the election slate. The decision will be made before ballots are distributed to the membership.

The Membership Election

The RCA membership will receive the Board ballot in late September, and will select Board members to fill the open positions. Voting closes in early November, and new Board members are notified of the results soon after voting closes.

If elected, new Board members are required to attend a New Board Member Orientation meeting in Chicago in early 2020 (usually late-January). You will also attend the RCA Board meeting immediately following orientation as well as the meeting held at RCA Conference as observers. You are free to participate actively in these meetings, but you will not vote on any decisions brought before the Board.

Your two-year term as a full voting Board member begins at the conclusion of the RCA Conference.


If you have any questions about the election process or your application, please contact: