Placing Trust in our National Board

Over the past two years, I have had the pleasure of being part of two strong Nominating Committee processes and I take tremendous pride in helping to put forward consecutive slates of candidates that I believe will help drive our Society forward.

I also hold tremendous respect for the Nom Com process and have both enjoyed and found great value in sitting alongside leaders from across our organization and working together to identify candidates that will guide PRSA into the future.

While maintaining this respect and appreciation, I am in favor of updates to the current process and I am a supporter of the bylaw change amendment number 2 that would allow the National Board to interview officer-level candidates.

Having the perspective of interviewing multiple times before the Nom Com, serving twice on Nom Com, and acting as a National Officer and eventually Chair of PRSA, I sit at the vantage point of someone who has been involved at every stage of the process.

The recommendation made by the National Board for bylaw change amendment number 2 states that this change will “permit the Board to build the most cohesive and effective executive team.” This rings very true to me.  Serving on the National Board provides unique and deep insight into the needs and challenges facing the organization – as well as a deeper understanding of the knowledge and skills required to help advance PRSA to achieve its goals.

I have heard the concern that approving this bylaw change will remove the “checks and balances” role of Nom Com and provide the Board with unfettered ability to nominate “their own people.” These arguments betray an unhealthy skepticism of the Board while also ignoring the role of Leadership Assembly, which will ultimately approve the final slate of candidates.

My friend and fellow Past National Chair Mickey Nall, APR, Fellow PRSA, once remarked that we need to challenge ourselves to act as “One PRSA.” This includes placing trust in the volunteer leaders that we’ve elected to help manage our society. If we cannot trust these individuals to help select our future officers, what does it say about our faith in having them help run the organization?

As members and participants in Leadership Assembly, we’ve selected the National Board – individuals who are our friends and peers – to guide our organization into the future. As part of this charter, we should also trust them to identify our senior-most volunteer officers.  I hope that you will join me in voting “yes” for bylaw amendment number 2 at the 2016 Leadership Assembly.

Joe Cohen, APR, 2016 PRSA National Nominating Committee Chair. Follow Joe on Twitter @jcohenPR.

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Joe Cohen, APR

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