In today’s rapidly changing world, it is important for the Association to remain adaptable and nimble. With this sentiment in mind, the PPAI Board of Directors has made a significant change to its governance intended to provide more transparency, inclusiveness and representation with a focus on the future.

As membership organizations have become more complex and diverse, boards of directors must have a wide range of knowledge, skills and experience to address the needs and challenges of the industry. A growing trend for associations is to develop a governance model based on a more intentional, skill-based process to recruit directors.

According to BoardSource, the recognized leader in nonprofit board leadership, “the most successful boards are thoughtfully composed as it relates to skill sets, leadership styles, and diversity of thought and background. They understand the leadership needs of their organizations and seek out board leaders who can bring the expertise, passion, and external leadership that they need both now and into the future.”

As PPAI works to develop a board with balanced competencies (e.g., qualities, skills and expertise) to lead the organization, it has adopted a new nomination and selection process for new directors going forward. PPAI will continue to use a proven approach to identify and leverage the diverse experience base of its membership, and an extensive process to access candidates and present both a supplier and distributor finalist to the membership for approval.

Currently, the Elected Directors Nominating Committee (EDNC) selects multiple supplier and distributor candidates for a general election by the PPAI membership. One supplier candidate and one distributor candidate with the most votes serve on the board.

In November, the PPAI board voted to change this process. Supplier and distributor members are now eligible to apply or to be nominated to serve on the board—a change that should encourage more members to consider board service. The Leadership Advisory Committee (LAC), a group whose membership is representative of the PPAI membership, will review all applications, conduct interviews and submit a recommended list of candidates who meet the competencies sought for open board positions. Candidates selected will also complement the balanced leadership skills needed to fulfill PPAI’s strategic goals. The EDNC will then select one final candidate for each open supplier and distributor position and those two individuals will be presented to the PPAI membership for approval.

By refining the nomination and selection process, PPAI members will be provided with strong and effective leadership that supports the strategic direction of the organization and represents their interests. This change will also encourage more PPAI members with various qualities, skills and expertise to apply through a respectful and strategic nomination process that eliminates engaging in a publicly-observed contest that PPAI has been told can feel more like a competition.

The new process will allow PPAI members to continue to engage in a democratic process to select directors to serve on the board by nominating themselves and other members, through involvement of the member-represented LAC and EDNC, and by voting to approve the final supplier and distributor candidate presented for consideration.

The next board election is scheduled for Fall 2019.