Ep 87: True Confessions of a Five Star Board Chair (with Daryl Messinger)

nonprofits are messyI have met many first rate board chairs and even had a few during my tenure as an Executive Director, but my guest today is the entire package.

Daryl Messinger reflects on her 4-year adventure as the chair of the North American Board of Trustees of the Union for Reform Judaism. With a board of 200 representing the diversity of the Jewish movement in North America, she takes listeners through what it took to play what she calls the philanthropy sport.

We talked about goals, about shifting the culture of the board, about the unique nature of a board-CEO partnership when the CEO is a rabbi (and a Yankee fan), about managing crises, and about how to set your successor up for success.

My big challenge was to distill a highly successful four year tenure into a 35 minute podcast episode. There is a lot to learn and absorb.

About Daryl

Daryl Messinger is the Chair of the North American Board of Trustees of the Union for Reform Judaism, which leads the largest Jewish movement in North America. A dynamic leader with a track record of sustained involvement and success, she served as Chair of the Reform Pension Board, which serves Reform Movement professionals and has a total portfolio of more than $1.3 billion.

Daryl’s congregational lay leadership experience is extensive. She served, at the age of 36, as the youngest president of her then 1,100-member congregation, Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, CA. In addition, she has served on the board or as the chair of various other Jewish and secular not-for-profits.

Professionally, Daryl has had various roles in both communications and investment management organizations. She served as executive vice president and strategic consultant for WeissComm, an integrated marketing and communications firm, from 2004 until retiring in 2009. Earlier in her career, Daryl was an investment manager and partner of various funds managed by Glynn Capital Management, an investment advisory firm. She lives in Palo Alto, Ca. with her husband Jim Heeger and various grown children who occasionally boomerang back to their childhood bedrooms.

In this Podcast

  • Why leaders need to make introductions, identify people with capacity, and reach into their own pocketbooks
  • The value of paying more than lip service to shared leadership
  • Learning to delegate
  • Team building activities that foster understanding of your “big why”
  • How much does engagement grow resources – and how do you define resource?
  • The difference it makes to see yourself as a philanthropist
  • Which is more important, culture or strategy?
  • How do you define meaningful board engagement?
  • How uniformity of message contributes to cohesion across an organization
  • How important is it to set an example internally in order to reach bigger investors?