Overview of Our Corporate Governance Program and Recent Related Actions
Our Board and executive leaders view strong and effective corporate governance as essential to our success. Our commitment and holistic approach to corporate governance that integrates internal audit, risk management, investor relations, legal, and ethics and compliance functions has been recognized as producing the highest standards of governance. The following summary highlights key aspects of our corporate governance program.
|Board Structure||Stockholder Rights||Key Policies|
|✔||87.5% of our Board is comprised of independent directors||✔||Annual election of directors with no staggered Board||✔||Maintain a written Executive Compensation Philosophy with pay for performance as key component|
|✔||Independent Chairman of the Board||✔||Majority voting in uncontested elections||✔||Stock ownership guidelines for directors and named executive officers|
|✔||Independent Audit, Corporate Governance and Compensation Committees||✔||Special meetings may be called by stockholders holding 20% of our outstanding Common Stock||✔||Prohibition on pledging and hedging of our Common Stock|
|✔||Engaged and diverse Board with 25% female directors||✔||Formal shareholder engagement program||✔||Clawback policy|
|✔||Annual Board evaluations||✔||No poison pill in effect||✔||Transparent disclosure philosophy|
|✔||Two "financial experts" on Audit Committee||✔||Continuous review of our key corporate governance policies|
In addition to the foregoing, we regularly review, among other things, our current corporate governance against benchmarks on a range of corporate practices. Over the past several years, we have, among other things, taken the following steps:
- In 2016, we instituted a formal shareholder corporate governance outreach program to elicit the views of our investors on matters of corporate governance and executive compensation. As a foundational element to this program, the Board adopted a policy on shareholder engagement.
- In April 2016, we reviewed and revised our Executive Compensation Philosophy in light of the Compensation Committee’s current views of our compensation program.
- In 2015, the Audit Committee lengthened the duration of its meetings to ensure that we gave information technology and data security effective oversight and focus at the Board level.
- We recognize that director tenure, term limits, mandatory retirement age and board refreshment have collectively become an area of focus for many institutional investors and proxy advisory firms. Our Corporate Governance Committee continues to stay abreast of director tenure and board refreshment developments within the institutional investor and proxy advisory firm communities and have proactively solicited the views of our largest investors on these topics. After careful consideration and input from our stockholders, we determined that term limits and mandatory age requirements were not appropriate governance policies for us at the present time. We believe our current Board collectively has the necessary experience, skills and knowledge and a high level of engagement to serve our best interests and provides us a diverse set of perspectives for the industry in which we operate. We also believe, after considering all of the relevant facts and circumstances, that all of our directors (other than our CEO) are, indeed, independent in fact and not just independent “on paper.” The Board will continue to consider our directors’ tenure, both individually and collectively, as one of the many factors it analyzes in annually selecting director nominees in the future.
- We understand that proxy access is a key issue of interest to many shareholder groups, including some of our stockholders. In 2016, our Corporate Governance Committee began the process of proactively assessing whether proxy access would be appropriate for us, and will continue its deliberation into 2017.
We note that we are proud to have been recognized in recent years as best-in-class for our ethics and compliance and corporate governance programs by the NYSE Governance Services and the Corporate Secretary organizations. Additionally, our CEO has been a guest presenter several times in 2016 at various conferences about corporate governance practices. We intend to continue to strive to adhere to the principles and practices that those awards and invitations recognize.
2016 Shareholder Engagement on Corporate Governance Matters
In the spirit of open communication with our stockholders, we initiated a formal shareholder corporate governance engagement policy in 2016, which we have set forth in our Corporate Governance Guidelines (the “Guidelines”). Our shareholder engagement policy is intended to allow our stockholders to provide timely and meaningful feedback on corporate governance and executive compensation matters to members of executive management and our Board.
In furtherance of our shareholder engagement policy, in the summer of 2016, we proactively reached out to 25 of our top shareholders representing approximately 65% of our outstanding Common Stock inviting them to meet with us to discuss any corporate governance matters that may be of interest to them. We received responses from 10 of our shareholders representing about 40% of our outstanding Common Stock. Five of our shareholders representing approximately 25% of our outstanding common stock accepted our invitation to meet with them individually to discuss corporate governance matters of interest to them.
We believe the meetings with our shareholders, which our CEO and Corporate Secretary both attended, were enlightening and productive. Each of our shareholders expressed appreciation for our proactive efforts at engagement, and we certainly appreciated the time they took to share their views with us. The meetings collectively touched upon the following topics: (1) our Board’s involvement in setting our strategic direction, (2) Board diversity and refreshment, (3) corporate governance, (4) compliance and ethics, (5) corporate social responsibility, (6) executive compensation, including the metrics utilized for performance-based compensation, and (7) proxy access. Although each shareholder’s particular focus was slightly different, our mission, strategy, ethics, approach to executive compensation, corporate governance and corporate social responsibility were well received.
In the spirit of continuous improvement, we have reviewed with our Board the key takeaways from these meetings with the goal of continuing to evolve our corporate governance practices to best meet the needs of the Company and our key stakeholders. We intend to continue our shareholder outreach efforts on an on-going basis and look forward to other meetings with our valued stockholders.
Code of Ethics and Corporate Governance Guidelines
As another essential component to quality corporate governance, we have a strong commitment to promoting a culture of ethics and integrity, and our values define the way we do business. The Board is committed to fostering a strong ethical tone at the Company and expects all of its employees to strive to fulfill their responsibilities in accordance with the highest standards of professional and personal conduct. Accordingly, we have adopted the following:
- a Code of Business Conduct and Ethics (“Code of Business Conduct”),
- a Code of Ethics for the Principal Executive Officer and Senior Financial Officers (“Financial Officers Code of Ethics”), and
- the Guidelines.
As discussed above, our Board and its committees regularly and carefully review these key governance documents to ensure they always capture what we believe to be the best governance practices for us. Indeed, in 2016, we did a comprehensive review and refreshment of our Code of Business Conduct in light of current best practices. Our Code of Business Conduct is based on our core values and ethical principles with the content and format designed to provide a practical and usable guide for our team members. We publish the above-referenced documents, as they may be modified from time to time, in the link entitled “Corporate Governance” located within the “Investor Relations” tab of our website at www.amnhealthcare.com. We also make these materials available in print to any stockholder upon request. The Board regularly reviews corporate governance developments and modifies the Guidelines, the Code of Business Conduct and the Financial Officers Code of Ethics as warranted.
The Board has adopted categorical standards for director independence, which we set forth in the Guidelines that are available on our website as set forth above. Under these standards, a director will not be considered independent if:
- the director does not qualify as independent under Rule 303A.02(b) of the NYSE Listed Company Manual,
- the director or an immediate family member is a partner of, or of counsel to, a law firm that performs substantial legal services for us on a regular basis, or
- the director or an immediate family member is a partner, officer or employee of an investment bank or consulting firm that performs substantial services for us on a regular basis for which it receives compensation.
The Board does not consider the following relationships to be material relationships that would impair a director’s independence:
- the director or an immediate family member is an executive officer of another company that does business with us and the annual sales to, or purchases from, us are less than 1% of the annual revenues of the company for which he or she serves as an executive officer,
- the director or an immediate family member is an executive officer of another company which is indebted to us, or to which we are indebted, and the total amount of either company’s indebtedness to the other is less than 1% of the total consolidated assets of the company for which he or she serves as an executive officer and such indebtedness is not past due, or
- the director or an immediate family member serves as an officer, director or trustee of a charitable organization, and our discretionary charitable contributions to the organization are less than 1% of its total annual charitable receipts.
The Board has determined that director nominees Mark G. Foletta, R. Jeffrey Harris, Dr. Michael M.E. Johns, Martha H. Marsh, Andrew M. Stern, Paul E. Weaver and Douglas D. Wheat meet our categorical standards for director independence and the applicable rules and regulations of the NYSE and federal securities laws regarding director independence. Our CEO is the only member of our Board who the Board has not deemed independent.
Board Policy on Conflicts of Interest and Related Party Transactions
The Guidelines establish directors’ duties to adhere to our Code of Business Conduct, including our policies on conflicts of interest, and to avoid any action, position or interest that conflicts with an interest of ours or gives the appearance of a conflict. We require directors to report any potential conflicts of interest immediately to the Chairman of the Corporate Governance Committee. We do not, without approval of the Board, permit a director or executive officer, or his or her immediate family member (i.e., spouse, parent, step-parent, child, step-child, sibling, mother-in-law, father-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law or anyone (other than a tenant or employee) who shares that person’s home) or any other person meeting the definition of “related person” under Item 404 of Regulation S-K promulgated under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”) (each, a “related person”) to enter into a transaction in which we are a participant if (a) the amount involved exceeds $120,000, and (b) the related person has or will have a direct or indirect material interest. We annually solicit information from directors and executive officers to monitor potential conflicts of interest and comply with SEC requirements regarding approval or disclosure of “related person transactions.” We did not engage in any transaction in 2016 nor is there any currently proposed transaction that exceeds or is expected to exceed$120,000 in which we were or are a participant and in which a related person had or will have a direct or indirect material interest.
Board Meetings and Annual Meeting Attendance by Board Members
We expect each of our Board members to attend each meeting of the Board and of the committees on which he or she serves. We expect our directors to attend our annual meetings. During 2016, the Board met six times and took one action by unanimous written consent. In 2016, no member of the Board attended fewer than 75% of the aggregate of (i) the total number of meetings of the Board (held during the period for which he or she has been a director) and (ii) the number of meetings held by all committees of the Board (during the periods that he or she served on such committees). All of our directors attended our 2016 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.
Board Leadership Structure
We separate the roles of Chairman of the Board and the Chief Executive Officer. Our CEO, Ms. Salka, is responsible for working with the Board in setting our strategic direction and our day-to-day leadership and performance, while the Chairman of the Board, Mr. Wheat, leads the Board in overseeing our strategy, provides guidance to our CEO and presides over meetings of the Board. The Board believes that having separate roles:
- increases the independent oversight of the Company and enhances the Board’s objective evaluation of our CEO,
- provides our CEO with an experienced sounding board in the Chairman, and
- provides an independent spokesperson for the Company.
Board Role in Risk Oversight
The Board as a whole is responsible for overseeing our risk exposure as part of determining a business strategy that generates long-term shareholder value. The Board shapes our enterprise-wide risk capacity, appetite and tolerance levels that provide the foundation for our overall strategy and direction. The Board recognizes that risk mitigation not only preserves value, but also, when risk is managed appropriately, creates value and opportunity.
Indeed, purposeful and appropriate risk-taking in certain areas is important for us to be competitive and to achieve our long-term goals. Accordingly, the Board has implemented a risk governance framework in which it periodically identifies key risks facing us and determines our risk appetite for each of the identified key risks. We have designed our enterprise risk management process utilizing open communication between our executive team and Board to regularly highlight the opportunities and threats to our business and the steps we are willing to take to capitalize on our business opportunities and to mitigate against identified risks. As part of this process, we maintain an Enterprise Risk Management Committee, which as part of our annual strategic planning assists the Board in identifying key risks. We typically focus on five to seven risks annually, which risks may relate to, among other things, business operations, competitive landscape, supply of quality healthcare professionals, talent, technology systems and innovative strategies. The Enterprise Risk Management Committee also assists the Board in determining our risk tolerance for each key risk in light of our (1) existing risk capacity, (2) appetite, if any, to take on additional risk, (3) risk velocity and (4) mitigation factors. The Board’s determination of our key risks and our tolerance for each ultimately directly influences how we operate our business, including how we marshal our resources and make operational decisions.
With the oversight of our Board, members of our executive team, including our CEO, are given overall responsibility for monitoring and managing one or more identified key risks as well as Company risk generally. The members of our executive team and others, in turn, facilitate an appropriate culture of integrity and risk awareness for our team members. We also maintain internal processes and an internal control environment to facilitate the identification and management of risks. Our Board meets with management at regular Board meetings and, if necessary, at other times to discuss strategy and success in addressing our identified key risks along with any others that may face us from time to time.
In addition to the foregoing, each of the Board’s standing committees set forth below focuses attention on risk areas implicated by its area of expertise, and reports regularly to the Board on such risks. All committees play significant roles in carrying out the risk oversight function.
Audit Committee Risk Oversight
The Audit Committee assists the Board in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities of our compliance with ethical and certain legal requirements, and our process to manage business and financial risk. Among other things, the Audit Committee’s specific duties include:
- overseeing the work of our independent auditors,
- reviewing and discussing with management our major risk exposures and the steps management has taken to monitor, control and manage such exposures, including our risk assessment and risk management guidelines and policies,
- reviewing and discussing with management key technology initiatives and risks, including information security,
- approving procedures for receiving complaints by us regarding accounting, internal accounting controls or auditing matters, reviewing our code of conduct program and reviewing attorneys’ reports containing evidence of material violations of securities laws, breaches of fiduciary duty or other similar violations of state or federal law,
- reviewing and discussing with management, our chief internal auditor, independent auditors or in-house counsel, as appropriate, any legal, regulatory or compliance matters that could have a significant effect on our financial statements,
- reviewing on a regular basis our ethics and compliance program in general and our code of conduct program in particular, including the regular receipt and review of any events investigated under our code of conduct program, and
- reviewing the results of significant investigations, examinations or reviews performed by regulatory authorities and management’s responses.
Compensation and Stock Plan Committee Risk Oversight
The Compensation and Stock Plan Committee (the “Compensation Committee”) is responsible for analyzing the risk associated with our compensation practices. We design our incentive compensation to reward officers and other key employees for committing to and delivering on financial goals that we believe are challenging yet (i) reasonably achievable, (ii) require meaningful revenue and profitability performance to reach the target level, and (iii) require substantial revenue and profitability performance to reach the maximum level. The financial performance required to reach the maximum level of compensation is developed within the context of budget planning and, while difficult to achieve, is not viewed to be at such an aggressive level that it would induce bonus-eligible employees to take inappropriate risks that could threaten our financial and operating stability. The Compensation Committee has reviewed our material cash incentive plans, which fall into two types: (1) those for front line sales production employees and (2) those for the sales and corporate leadership. The front line sales incentive plans typically provide incentives based on monthly or quarterly financial or individual and team operational metrics, and include monthly or quarterly payouts. Roughly half of our team members participate in one of our approximately 100 sales incentive plans. The sales and corporate leadership plans use annual financial targets based on consolidated and/or division metrics as well as individual leadership and performance considerations, and include quarterly or annual payouts. We have internal controls over financial reporting and the measurement and calculation of compensation goals, and other financial, operational and compliance policies and practices that are designed to keep these compensation programs from being susceptible to manipulation by any employee, including our named executive officers.
The Compensation Committee considers the risks associated with the compensation plans in light of several factors, including (1) the amount of incentive compensation paid to a particular group as a percentage of total incentive cash paid and as a percentage of division and/or consolidated revenue, gross profit and adjusted EBITDA (“AEBITDA”), (2) the number of plan participants in any particular plan as a percentage of total incentive plan participants, and (3) the amount of target incentive compensation per individual plan participant, which typically ranges from 10% to 80% of total compensation (and can range from approximately 60% to 80% of the named executive officers’ total compensation). The Compensation Committee believes the use of a long-term incentive award program with targets that span a three-year performance period balances risk and reward by discouraging excessive risk that could threaten our long-term value, but at the same time encourages innovation to build our value in the short- and long-term. The Compensation Committee also reviews our program for design features that have been identified by experts as having the potential to encourage excessive risk-taking, such as: (A) too much focus on equity, (B) compensation mix overly weighted toward short-term results, (C) highly leveraged payout curves and steep payout cliffs at specific performance levels that could encourage short-term actions to meet payout thresholds, and (D) unreasonable goals or thresholds. After its consideration of the foregoing factors, the Compensation Committee has determined that our compensation programs and policies do not create risks that are reasonably likely to have a material adverse effect on us.
Corporate Governance Committee Risk Oversight
The Corporate Governance Committee considers the risk associated with our quality programs. It reviews and discusses with our management relevant quality metrics, performance improvement, compliance with certification standards and related laws and regulations as well as our enterprise risk management process relating to the quality of our services.
Committees of the Board
We have standing Audit, Corporate Governance, Compensation and Executive Committees. The Board committees are chaired by independent directors, each of whom reports to the Board at Board meetings on the activities and decisions made by their respective committees. The Board makes committee assignments and designates committee chairs based on a director’s independence, knowledge and areas of expertise. We believe this structure helps facilitate efficient decision-making and communication among our directors and fosters efficient Board functioning at Board meetings. In line with our value of continuous improvement, the directors conduct an evaluation of the performance of the Board and each of the committees on an annual basis. We describe the current functions and members of each committee below. A more detailed description of the function, duties and responsibilities of the Audit, Corporate Governance and Compensation Committees is included in each Committee’s charter available in the link entitled “Corporate Governance” located within the “Investor Relations” tab of our website at www.amnhealthcare.com.
The table below provides current committee memberships and fiscal year 2016 committee meeting information:
|Director||Audit (1)||Compensation (2)||Corporate Governance (3)||Executive|
|Mark G. Foletta||Chair|
|R. Jeffrey Harris||Member||Member|
|Michael M.E. Johns, M.D.||Member||Chair|
|Martha H. Marsh||Chair||Member|
|Susan R. Salka||Member|
|Andrew M. Stern||Member||Member|
|Paul E. Weaver||Member||Member|
|Douglas D. Wheat||Chair|
|Committee Meetings and Actions by Written Consent|
|Total Committee Meetings||9||6||4||4|
|Actions by Written Consent||1||3||0||1|
(1) The Board has determined that all Audit Committee members (A) are financially literate, and (B) meet the criteria for independence set forth in Rule 10A-3 under the Exchange Act, and Section 303A of the NYSE Listed Company Manual. The Board has further determined that Mark G. Foletta and Paul E. Weaver are each an “Audit Committee Financial Expert” as defined by SEC Rules and Regulations.
(2) The Board has determined that all members of the Compensation Committee meet the standards for independence required by the NYSE and the independence requirements of Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”).
(3) The Board has determined that all members of the Corporate Governance Committee meet the standards for independence required by the NYSE.
Our Audit Committee Charter, last amended in September 2016, sets forth the duties of the Audit Committee. Generally, the Audit Committee is responsible for, among other things, overseeing our financial reporting process. In the course of performing its functions, the Audit Committee as provided by our Audit Committee Charter:
- reviews our internal accounting controls and audited financial statements,
- reviews with our independent registered public accounting firm the scope of its audit, its audit report and its recommendations,
- considers the possible effect on the independence of such firm in approving non-audit services requested of it,
- reviews disclosures made by our CEO and CFO in connection with the certification of our periodic reports,
- reviews and discusses with management our major risk exposures and the steps taken to monitor, control and manage such exposures, and
- appoints our independent registered public accounting firm, subject to ratification by our stockholders.
Corporate Governance Committee
Our Corporate Governance Committee Charter, last amended in September 2016, sets forth the duties of the Corporate Governance Committee. Generally, the Corporate Governance Committee:
- identifies and recommends individuals qualified to become members of the Board,
- evaluates periodically the Code of Business Conduct, the Financial Officers Code of Ethics and the Guidelines,
- reviews the Board’s performance on an annual basis,
- reviews and evaluates succession planning for the CEO and other members of our executive management team,
- recommends potential successors to the CEO,
- oversees our shareholder engagement program as it relates to corporate governance issues, and
- reviews and discusses with our executive team relevant quality metrics, performance improvement, compliance with certification standards and related laws and regulations as well as our enterprise risk management process relating to the quality of our services.
With respect to director nominee procedures, the Corporate Governance Committee utilizes a broad approach for identification of director nominees and may seek recommendations from our directors, officers or stockholders or it may choose to engage a search firm. In evaluating and determining whether to ultimately recommend a person as a candidate for election as a director, the Corporate Governance Committee considers the qualifications set forth in our Guidelines, including judgment, business and management experience (including financial literacy), leadership, strategic planning, reputation for honesty and integrity, diversity and independence from management. It also takes into account specific characteristics and expertise that it believes will enhance the diversity of knowledge, expertise, background and personal characteristics of the Board. The Corporate Governance Committee may engage a third party to conduct or assist with the evaluation. Ultimately, the Corporate Governance Committee seeks to recommend to the Board those nominees whose specific qualities, experience and expertise will augment the current Board’s composition and whose past experience evidences that they will (1) dedicate sufficient time, energy and attention to ensure the diligent performance of Board duties, (2) comply with all duties of care, loyalty and confidentiality applicable to them as directors of publicly traded corporations, and (3) adhere to our Code of Business Conduct.
The Corporate Governance Committee considers stockholder recommendations of qualified nominees when such recommendations are submitted in accordance with the procedures described in the Bylaws. To have a nominee considered by the Corporate Governance Committee for election at the 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, a stockholder must submit the recommendation in writing to the attention of our Secretary at our corporate headquarters no later than January 19, 2018 and no sooner than December 20, 2017. Any such recommendation must include the information set forth on Exhibit A to this proxy statement (page A-1). Once we receive the recommendation, we will deliver to the stockholder nominee a questionnaire that requests additional information about his or her independence, qualifications and other matters that would assist the Corporate Governance Committee in evaluating the stockholder nominee, as well as certain information that must be disclosed about him or her in our proxy statement or other regulatory filings, if nominated. Stockholder nominees must complete and return the questionnaire within the timeframe provided to be considered for nomination by the Corporate Governance Committee.
The Corporate Governance Committee received no recommendation for a director nominee from any stockholder for the director election to be held at the Annual Meeting.
The Compensation Committee Charter, last amended in April 2016, sets forth the duties of the Compensation Committee. Among other things, the Compensation Committee:
- reviews, and, when appropriate, administers and makes recommendations to the Board regarding (A) compensation of our CEO (including employment agreements or severance arrangements, if applicable, and executive supplemental benefits or perquisites, if any), all senior officers that report directly to our CEO and our directors and (B) our incentive compensation plans and equity-based plans,
- prepares the Compensation Committee Report and oversees the preparation of our compensation disclosure and analysis required by the SEC to be included in our annual proxy statement and recommends their inclusion in the annual proxy statement to the Board,
- recommends the proposals on “say-on-pay” and the frequency of the “say-on-pay” vote that are required by SEC rules,
- reviews our incentive compensation arrangements generally to determine whether they encourage excessive risk-taking, and
- evaluates the performance of our CEO.
For further information about the responsibilities of the Compensation Committee, please see the Compensation Discussion and Analysis beginning on page 19.
Compensation Committee Interlocks and Insider Participation. The Compensation Committee, whose members are Mr. Harris, Dr. Johns and Ms. Marsh, consists exclusively of non-employee, independent directors, none of whom has a business relationship with us, other than in his or her capacity as director, or has any interlocking relationships with us that are subject to disclosure under the rules of the SEC related to proxy statements.
Compensation Committee Consultant Independence. The Compensation Committee retains an independent consultant to assist it in fulfilling its responsibilities. Since 2008, the Compensation Committee has utilized Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc. as its compensation consultant. Our compensation consultant advises the Compensation Committee on a variety of topics, including, among others, our equity compensation program, the design of our cash incentive program, the evaluation of the alignment of our compensation program with our stockholders’ interests, the risks presented by our executive compensation program structure, the assessment of the program compared to our peers and director and executive compensation trends.
In retaining and utilizing Frederic W. Cook & Co., the Compensation Committee considers (1) our directors’ experience with its employees and representatives while serving on other boards, (2) knowledge and experience in executive compensation program design, corporate finance and legal and regulatory issues, (3) experience providing consultative services to boards, as well as its analysis of our existing program and proposal of key considerations in evaluating and strengthening our program and (4) factors affecting independence, including factors set forth by the NYSE for evaluating the independence of advisors. In connection with its consideration of Frederic W. Cook & Co.’s independence, the Compensation Committee factored in that Frederic W. Cook & Co. does provide consulting services to other companies that have a director who is also a director of ours, but it does not have any other relationship with or provide any other services to us. As a result of the Compensation Committee’s review of the factors affecting independence, it has determined that Frederic W. Cook & Co. is independent and has no conflicts of interest with us.
The Executive Committee exercises the power of the Board in the interval between meetings of the Board.
Executive Sessions of Non-Management Directors
The Board has executive sessions at each regularly scheduled Board meeting during the year at which our management director is not present.
Communications with the Board of Directors
The Board has established the following procedure for stockholders and other interested parties to communicate with members of the Board, the presiding director or the non-management directors as a group. All such communications should be addressed to the attention of our Secretary at our corporate headquarters located at 12400 High Bluff Drive, Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92130. The Secretary collects and maintains a log of each such communication and forwards any that the Secretary believes requires immediate attention to the appropriate members of the Board, who then determine how such communication should be addressed.