DEPARTMENTS
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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE
Electing the AIHA Board
BY DEBORAH IMEL NELSON, AIHA® PRESIDENT
The 2018 election for AIHA’s Board of Directors concluded earlier this month. Voting is one of the most significant actions you can take as an AIHA member, and I hope all eligible members exercised their right and made their voice heard. (The results were not known by the time this issue of The Synergist went to press.)

The candidates for this year’s election were identified through the same process AIHA has followed for many years. According to this process, the Nominating Committee selects candidates who have leadership experience in the association (for example, those who have served a three-year term as a director). The candidates—two for vice president, two for secretary-elect (or, on alternate years, treasurer-elect), and four for director—participate in contested elections, with the winners taking their seat on the Board at AIHce. For many reasons, the Board be- lieves it is in AIHA’s interest to update this process, which will require changing AIHA’s bylaws. The proposed changes will be presented to members for approval through a special ballot to be distributed in July. In addition, the Board plans to be more transparent about the Nominating Committee’s membership and deliberations. PROPOSED CHANGES Due to time constraints and retirements from active practice, fewer qualified candidates have been willing in recent years to participate in contested elections for the AIHA Board. AIHA recently contacted staff at similarly-sized scientific organizations to learn how they nominate and elect board members. We found that in many organizations, the nominating committee selects an uncontested slate for some or all board positions.
The experiences of recent years have shown that it is time for AIHA to consider changing the way it nominates and elects the officers of the Board.
DEBORAH IMEL NELSON, PhD, CIH, is president of AIHA. She can be reached at (720) 587-7500 or via email.

Under the proposed bylaws amendments, the AIHA Nominating Committee, acting for the association, would solicit nominations for all officer positions, and select one candidate for secretary-elect/treasurer-elect, and one for vice president. Ideally, each candidate would have served on the Board of Directors within the previous four years. (A separate policy document would delineate alternate criteria if no such candidate is willing to stand for election.) On the election ballot, members would vote for either the candidate selected by the Nominating Committee or a write-in candidate, with the individual who receives the most votes ascending to the Board. The proposed amendments would not change the process for soliciting and electing candidates for director positions. As always, nominations would be sought for directors, the Nominating Committee would select four candidates to be placed on the ballot, and the voting membership would elect two directors each year to three-year terms. (An individual could still petition to be placed on the ballot as a candidate for director.) BYLAWS FAQ To take effect, changes to AIHA’s bylaws must be approved by two-thirds of voting members. The ballot to be held this July will also contain proposed bylaws amendments that would combine the current affiliate and associate membership categories into the full membership category. See my article in the January issue for more information about this proposed change. The Board has also prepared an FAQ document about all of the bylaws changes that will appear on the special ballot in July. I encourage you to read that document (PDF) and to contact me or Larry Sloan, AIHA’s CEO, with any questions you might have about the proposed changes.