COVID-19 Has Moved You to Virtual Board Meetings – Is That Even Legal?

My Post (14)Life is unpredictable. While there’s much to be said about the value of in-person meetings, it can become impossible to gather everyone in the same room. Natural disaster, illness, or even a stalled car can lead to an unexpected absence and a failed quorum,

Technology came a long way toward solving this problem even before COVID-19 and social distancing. We know everyone works remotely now and board meetings have gone virtual. Organizations have ramped up their investment in virtual meeting tools that enable leaders to connect and make decisions remotely and even while in multiple locations. The result: CEOs and board directors can hold virtual meetings all without ever needing to get on a plane, check into a hotel, or find a seat in an actual boardroom,

So let’s start with a very important question – is it even legal for you to have a virtual meeting?

The first comprehensive report of all state laws 
State law governs if and how companies and nonprofits conduct virtual board meetings. Nearly every state explicitly authorizes virtual board meetings and those that don’t are silent on the subject. It’s important to note that the state which controls your business is where you’re incorporated, not where you have an office.

We’ve put together the first comprehensive report of all state laws that govern virtual board meetings for both corporations and nonprofits. This thorough examination reveals that nearly every state permits virtual attendance.

Our report turned up some interesting results.

  • First, most state laws read very similarly. For example, if you’re incorporated in Delaware (like more than half of all publicly traded companies in the United States), then you’re in luck and the question of legality is unambiguous:Unless otherwise restricted by the certificate of incorporation or bylaws, members of the board of directors of any corporation, or any committee designated by the board, may participate in a meeting of such board, or committee by means of conference telephone or other communications equipment by means of which all persons participating in the meeting can hear each other, and participation in a meeting pursuant to this subsection shall constitute presence in person at the meeting.
  • Another interesting detail: many states have an explicit requirement for audio quality. The technology you use to communicate really can’t be subject to failure.
  • Finally, every state law we examined ultimately leaves the final decision to the organization itself: Unless prohibited by the articles or bylaws of the corporation .. organizations may legally conduct a remote meeting. 

Key Takeaway
For most companies and nonprofits, you’re almost certainly in the clear to hold a virtual meeting when it comes to the law. But don’t assume. Check your state’s laws in our database, and make sure you’re in full compliance. – Read more

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Introducing Zoom for OnBoard: Meet Together Even When You’re Apart

My Post (31)We are proud to announce the official launch of Zoom for OnBoard, an enhanced product capability which is available now and free for all customers.

OnBoard has always served as the perfect complement with all of the popular video conferencing solutions (e.g., GoToMeeting, WebEx, Skype, etc.). Now, we’ve made the user experience even better with native integration – a first for the board management software category. Zoom for Onboard enables directors and CEO’s to meet virtually within the platform. You don’t need to share meeting details outside OnBoard, and there’s no longer any need to switch between apps.

“This is a game-changer for virtual meeting management software,” said Passageways co-founder and CEO Paroon Chadha. “As customers have switched to virtual meetings, native integration with Zoom has consistently been the first thing they asked for. We’ve worked quickly to bring this new feature to them so they can have a successful virtual meeting. They don’t have to switch between apps, and don’t have to share Zoom links over email or SMS.”

Zoom for OnBoard is a Direct Response to COVID-19

This new functionality is a direct response to the changes and disruption organizations everywhere are already experiencing. The COVID-19 crisis created an unprecedented situation where virtual meetings and remote work replaced physical, in-person interactions in nearly every organization across all industries, demographics, and regions.

“This massive shift to virtual meetings wasn’t a gradual process. It happened overnight,” said VP of Marketing Rashmi Bijai. “Many customers have told us that they are holding their first virtual board meeting. This product capability allows board directors to participate in meetings using Zoom’s user-friendly environment with no sacrifice of ease-of-use or full functionality.”

No Second App, No Learning Curve, No Zoombombing

With OnBoard’s native integration with Zoom, customers will experience several benefits:

  1. Seamless, Single App Attendee Experience for Board Directors and Executives
    Meeting attendees such as board directors and executives can now launch their Zoom virtual meeting directly within OnBoard with one click and retain all of the functionality of OnBoard (e.g., refer to prior board books and minutes, utilize Messenger, create and share annotations, respond to surveys, etc.). There’s no longer a need for multiple devices or apps, as this function provides an all-in-one remote leadership and board meeting solution.
  2. Simplified Scheduling & Meeting Communications For Meeting Organizers
    Meeting organizers and administrators can connect their Zoom accounts to OnBoard, which enables them to create Zoom meetings without ever leaving the OnBoard platform. Meeting organizers no longer have to jump between two systems or copy and paste meeting details in separate apps.
  3. No Zoombombing Because Meeting Details Never Leave OnBoard
    By creating the Zoom meeting in OnBoard versus sending links and invitations via email or SMS, meeting details remain secure and confidential. There’s no risk of exposing your Zoom meeting ID and password because, from the moment of meeting creation, the meeting details never leave OnBoard.

How to Get Free Access to OnBoard Through August 31

We also recently announced that we are providing free and unrestricted access to OnBoard to nonprofits and state, city and local government bodies. Additionally, participating organizations will receive a complimentary Zoom Pro license. Together, this program will help frontline organizations effectively govern and respond to the COVID-19 crisis. The free access program is available for all new customers and will last through August 31, 2020. – Read more

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How to Manage a Public Meeting Remotely

My Post (16).pngAs stewards of public funds, government leaders must operate transparently. Sharing information publicly and creating opportunities for citizen oversight and feedback have long been recognized as prerequisites of quality service. In times of crisis and uncertainty, open communication is even more vital as citizens look to public sector leaders to provide information and necessary support.

States Provide Flexibility and Clarify Rules for Public Meetings

Recognizing the conflict between social distancing guidelines from public health officials and traditional open meeting laws, Governors around the country have issued executive orders to provide additional flexibility and clarify remote meeting rules.

  • In California, Governor Gavin Newsom suspended specific provisions of the state’s open meetings laws and allowed local government agencies to hold meetings telephonically or electronically without public access to the meeting site.
  • In Wisconsin, the Department of Justice prepared an advisory explaining that teleconference and videoconference may be an appropriate way to comply with the law’s requirement to hold meetings that are reasonably accessible to the public.
  • In our home state of Indiana, Governor Eric Holcomb issued an Executive Order requiring public agencies and governing bodies to conduct essential meetings only. In addition, he allowed them to be conducted electronically by phone or video conference.

While states have relaxed legal requirements around quorum and physical location requirements, don’t forget that government bodies are still obligated to provide public notice of meetings and a way for the public to participate remotely. Here are several examples of various states’ emergency open meeting rules: ArizonaCaliforniaConnecticutNew YorkIndianaNebraskaNorth Dakota; TexasWashington, and Wisconsin.

Two Ways to Manage a Public Meeting Remotely

Technology like OnBoard makes it possible for a public board to conduct necessary government operations in a remote environment without sacrificing transparency and still keeping the public informed. In fact, 2500+ meetings were held using OnBoard in March alone. – Read more

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