Friends University: Dr. Amy B. Carey & Dr. Kevin Hoppock – The Successful President-Board Chair Working Relationship

“I would say that primarily our board members are alumni, and there are some benefits to that because they just love the school. They are engaged, they have great relationships and memories, and it’s helpful for us particularly when we’re doing fundraising.” -Dr. Amy B. Carey

Welcome to the Next Gen Nonprofit Leadership With Tommy Thomas podcast. Our guests today are Dr. Amy Bragg Carey, President of Friends University, and her board chair, Dr. Kevin Hoppock. 

In this episode, Dr. Amy and Dr. Kevin discuss the working relationship between a President and a Board Chair, the strategic planning process at Friends University, and Friends University’s refocus of its efforts to a Christian mission. 

We also hear Dr. Amy’s and Dr. Kevin’s advice for the next generation of nonprofit leaders.

And much more!

Thanks again for joining us today.  If you’re listening to an app that lets you leave a review, please do so. A lot of our listeners come to us on the recommendation of a friend or a colleague. If you’ve heard something today that’s worth passing on, please share the show with others. 


“The fact of the matter is that dissenters make us so much better to be able to see the views that are not part of that happy unanimity that are just made by friendly faces that we know and care about.” -Dr. Kevin Hoppock

Show Notes

[1:11] – We’re introduced to our guests for this episode, Dr. Amy Bragg Carey and Dr. Kevin Hoppock.

[2:38] – This is how often the board and the organization meet at Friends University.  We also hear how Dr. Amy and Dr. Kevin set the agenda for board meetings.  

[4:09] – Dr. Amy discusses the board policies they have in place and whether or not they use a formal manual. 

[5:36] – How do Dr. Kevin and Dr. Amy keep their board meetings interesting?

[7:23] – The pros and cons of board composition with heavy influences from alumni or recipients of the organizations’ services.

[9:35] – How do Dr. Amy and Dr. Kevin go about recruiting for their board?

[11:51] – Dr. Kevin and Dr. Amy respond to the quote, “You need someone on the board to be a pleasant irritant.” 

[14:00] – This is how term limits apply to the board at Friends University.

[16:13] – We learn about the strategic planning process at Friends.

[17:45] – What kinds of questions does the board ask itself today?  Dr. Kevin shares his perspective.

[20:22] – We hear how Friends University refocused its efforts on its Christian mission.

[23:09] – Dr. Kevin would describe the shift in focus as leading in a Christ-like manner rather than legislating Christian morality.  

[25:49] – From a board’s standpoint, at some level, the shift to refocus efforts on a Christian mission could have been a risk.  Dr. Amy and Dr. Kevin respond to this perspective.

[28:45] – The lessons Dr. Kevin and Dr. Amy wished they learned about board service early in their career.

[31:08] – This is the advice the next generation of CEOs and Board Chairs can use to take their careers to the next level.

[33:33] – Tommy concludes the conversation.

“I’m honored to be the champion of our Christian mission.” -Dr. Amy B. Carey

Links and Resources

JobfitMatters – Website

JobfitMatters – Podcast


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