COLUMBUS, OH (April 12, 2011)- BoardSource, the premier source for nonprofit governance information, recently releasedBuilding the Governance Partnership: The Chief Executive’s Guide to Getting the Best from the Board, Second Edition. Authors of the book are Prevent Blindness Ohio leaders, Sherill K. Williams, president & CEO, and Kathleen A. McGinnis, honorary board member who served as board chair when co-authoring the first edition.   This 120-page book offers practical guidance to help chief executives ignite successful partnerships with boards and guide board performance from ordinary to extraordinary. 


Williams and McGinnis took on this project because it offered them the opportunity to share what they have learned during their combined 60 years of experience in the voluntary nonprofit sector.  “The teamwork involved in this project gave me the unique opportunity to work with a board member  in a way that doesn’t usually present itself in the day-to-day challenges of leading a nonprofit organization,” said Williams.   McGinnis adds, “Nonprofit boards serve a vital role in providing governance to entities that enrich our communities on a daily basis.  When the chief executive and the board have a shared passion and clear understanding of each others’ roles, it’s quite amazing to see the results.”


Topics covered in the book include lessons in how to:

  • establish a the board culture that is right for the organization

  • practicing self-management and cultivate relationships

  • inform and communicate with the board

  • facilitate a balance in roles and responsibilities

  • structure the board's work

  • plan for transitions

Each chapter ends with short essays written by Williams and McGinnis from the chief executive and board chair perspectives. These provide a personal touch to the topics covered.


Sherill Williams has served as president & CEO of Prevent Blindness Ohio since October 1986.  Working in concert with a 35-member board of directors, her responsibilities are to coordinate a paid staff of 25 and 3600 volunteers across Ohio in implementing sight-saving programming. Prevent Blindness Ohio is an affiliate of Prevent Blindness America, the country’s second-oldest national voluntary health organization. 


Prior to joining the staff of Prevent Blindness Ohio, Williams served as national director of youth volunteers for the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation from 1978-85 and as executive director of the Fairfield County, CT chapter of the March of Dimes in 1986.  Her volunteer activities include theOhio Association of Nonprofit Organization’s Standards of Excellence Advisory Committee, GroundWork group Board of Directors, Ohio’s Aging Eye Public Private Partnership, SOS (Save Our Sight) Coalition, Leadership Columbus, and the International Year of the Child Presidential National Commission. 


Kathleen McGinnis has more than 25 years of experience directing all aspects of human resources, training, leadership, and organizational development in major retail and food service businesses.  Prior to embarking on a career in consulting, McGinnis was executive vice president-human resources &training for Wendy’s International Inc.  Prior to that, McGinnis held vice president-level positions within the human resources and training areas with Gold Circle Stores, a former division of Federated Department Stores.  Her career also has included experience with Venture Stores, a former division of May Department Stores Company.


McGinnis has significant nonprofit board experience, including serving as a founding board member and program chair for the R. David Thomas Foundation for Adoption; board member and chair of Prevent Blindness Ohio; board member and president of the Chief Volunteer Officers’ Association for Prevent Blindness America; board member and HR chair for Catholic Social Services; and board member, chair elect, and HR chair for Friendship Village of Dublin, Ohio.  She is also an active volunteer for Life Care Alliance through the Meals on Wheels and Help at Home initiatives.


Building the Governance Partnership:  The Chief Executive’s Guide to Getting the Best from the Board, Second Edition is available for purchase at or by calling (877) 892-6273.


About Prevent Blindness Ohio

Prevent Blindness Ohio, founded in 1957, is Ohio’s leading volunteer nonprofit public health organization dedicated to prevent blindness and preserve sight. We serve all 88 Ohio counties, providing direct services to more than 800,000 Ohioans annually and educating millions of consumers about what they can do to protect and preserve their precious gift of sight. Prevent Blindness Ohio is an affiliate of Prevent Blindness America, the country’s second-oldest national voluntary health organization. For more information or to make a contribution, call 800-301-2020.  Or, visit us on the web at or


About BoardSource

BoardSource is dedicated to increasing the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations by strengthening boards of directors. Through customized consulting, training, publications, and membership, BoardSource provides solutions and tools to improve board performance, acts as a convener and facilitator in the development of knowledge about boards, promotes changes and innovation to strengthen governance, and serves as an advocate for the value of board service and the importance of effective governance. BoardSource is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.