Understanding the Board/CEO Relationship

Understanding the Board/CEO Relationship

Gavin Coopey

Gavin Coopey

Director @ More Strategic

Better Boards is pleased to present "Understanding the Board/CEO Relationship" in partnership with Gavin Coopey, Director @ More Strategic.

At the core of an organisation’s success is the relationship between the Board Chair and the CEO. As with many things, this relationship has been tested by the challenges of COVID and other significant changes in the operating context for not-profits. In a period of increasingly rapid change this relationship is therefore more important than ever.

In this panel Gavin, Jane, Rainer and Caroline will draw on their extensive experience both in chief executive and board chair positions to demystify this most important relationship. The panel will explore the critical aspects of the relationship, including:

  • The building blocks of an ideal relationship

  • Creating mutual trust and respect through clear communications and purposeful contact

  • What needs to happen within and outside Board meetings

  • Balancing the formal governance responsibilities and the informal ‘mutual support’

  • The flow of accountability between the two

  • What we have learned from the ‘pressure cooker’ of COVID

  • How to get back on track when the balance is out


Gavin Coopey – Director @ More Strategic (Panel Moderator)

Gavin Coopey Gavin is an experienced senior consultant and social researcher who has helped many non- profits develop strategic approaches to marketing & fundraising, innovation and consumer led culture change. Over fifteen years as a Consultant in the UK and Australia he has worked with a huge range of organisations from the very largest to small start-ups. Gavin works as regularly with Boards and Leadership teams as with staff and stakeholders. He is also a Hub Chair with the Non-Profit Alliance Leadership program. During a diverse career Gavin has worked in various Marketing and Communications roles in the UK and Australian not-for-profit sectors. In his final role in the UK before moving back to Australia he was a Director at the UK’s largest charity; Cancer Research UK. However; Gavin’s most important achievement is that his two Gen Z sons still talk to him and don’t think he’s a complete idiot!

Jane Boag

Jane Boag Jane has held a variety of senior and executive roles in health and related fields such as aged care, private health insurance and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC). She has also held a number of Director roles in Community Health, Aged Care, Disability and the Arts sectors. Throughout her career, Jane has demonstrated her focus on positive client experiences and strong business performance outcomes. Her understanding of risk management and governance was the focus of her role at VMIA as Head of Enterprise Risk Advisory, where the team provides risk management advice to the Victorian public sector.

Rainer Jozeps - Chair @ ACE Contemporary Art

ainer Jozeps With over 40 years as a CEO, Rainer has successfully lead many of Australia’s major cultural institutions including the Elizabethan Melbourne Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, the National Trust and Australian Dance Theatre. Combining strong people management skills with creativity and entrepreneurship, Rainer is credited with improving the fortunes of all the agencies he has lead. He has held positions on Government and non-Government Boards, consulted to a variety of agencies, and lectured in Management at the University of South Australia. Today, after 17 years of Buddhist practice, Rainer is an experienced meditator and meditation guide. He is an accredited Lifeline Crisis Supporter and has provided workplace meditation services for such agencies as BAE Systems, AGL, University of Tasmania and the Royal Commission into Aged Care.

Caroline Mulcahy - Chief Executive Officer @ Sexual Health Victoria Caroline Mulcahy

Prior to joining Sexual Health Victoria, Caroline has held several CEO positions, at the Skin Health Institute (2019-2022), Carers Victoria (2010-2017) and at Melbourne IVF (2004-2009). She has led organisations through substantial growth and change, including the transformation and transition of the federated Heart Foundation into one, unified and national organisation in 2019. Caroline has almost 40 years of health experience in clinical care, service development, operational and strategic planning and senior management roles, and in recent years has helped organisations implement new governance and business development structures and processes. Caroline has held several Victorian Ministerial appointments and Board positions and is currently a Director at Family Planning Alliance Australia, Dragon Boating Victoria and Dragons Abreast Melbourne. In her spare time, Caroline is a proud pink (breast cancer survivor) dragon boat paddler.


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