Committed to helping your board better govern your organization.

About Us

Trower & Trower, Inc. is comprised of Dr. Cathy A. Trower and husband William R. Trower.

What We Believe.

A Model For Excellence

Richard Chait, William Ryan, and Barbara Taylor introduced a framework for governance excellence in the 2005 book Governance as Leadership: Reframing the Work of Nonprofit Boards by describing three ways of thinking in the boardroom: fiduciary, strategic and generative.  Learn more here.

We believe that the best nonprofit boards:

  • Should be a strategic asset to the organizations they serve
  • Understand what it means to truly partner in leadership with the CEO and the senior staff
  • Are not complacent or smug about their own performance
  • Act as a pro bono think tank with management
  • Place organizational mission and interests ahead of personal agendas and self-interest
  • Accept, with the CEO, ownership of problems and decisions
  • Pay attention to board culture with an eye to teamwork so that conditions exist for success
  • Are structured to reflect strategic priorities.
  • Build a strong board team through careful cultivation and onboarding of new board members

We believe that very few boards operate at peak performance.

In fact, when board members are asked about a time when their board was at its best, they often answer, “In a crisis.” Why? Because:

  • There was a higher purpose—what happened around the board table actually mattered.
  • The board was focused on meaningful work.
  • Board members asked questions and sought answers through a team process to discern, deliberate, and solve an important problem.
  • Egos, personal agendas, complacency, and smugness dissolved.

We believe that most nonprofit boards are more efficient than effective.

  • They meet periodically, and may not be in sync with critical events at the organization.
  • They are comprised of busy volunteers from a variety of backgrounds with different motivations, propensities, and patience.
  • Often, they are part-time amateurs overseeing the work of full-time professionals; governance is not their “day job.”
  • They have limited information and time available to think about and work on the complex issues the organization faces.