Get to Know the Nominating Work Group

The NWG’s Role in Endorsing Candidates

April 21, 2022

By Rachel Weinzimmer, 2021-2022 Chair, Nominating Work Group

The 2022 AAPA Elections are now underway with the recent announcement of candidates who are running for various positions on AAPA’s Board of Directors. Prospective voters will find, upon reviewing candidates’ web pages, that some candidates are “endorsed by the Nominating Work Group,” and others are “self-declared” candidates. While AAPA’s bylaws permit any member who meets the basic eligibility requirements to run for office, some candidates are endorsed, and others are not. For those who wonder what this means and how it reflects the charges and work of the Nominating Work Group, I would like to take this opportunity to provide some simple answers to these important questions.

Who are we?
The Nominating Work Group (NWG) is made up of seven PA volunteers from across the country. We come from different backgrounds and practice specialties, have served in a variety of leadership settings (including the AAPA Board of Directors), and possess a diverse set of experiences. Five of us were elected by the House of Delegates and two were appointed by the AAPA Board of Directors. While serving on the NWG, we cannot serve on any other AAPA committee or on the Board of Directors unless we are a board appointee. To run for a position on the NWG, you do have to meet certain eligibility criteria as defined in the AAPA Bylaws, Article XI, Section 3. One of the eligibility components is that we all have three distinct years of service to AAPA, an AAPA constituent organization, healthcare-related professional organization, or a community organization. The NWG election occurs each year during the annual House of Delegates meeting. The biggest misconception is that you have to be a delegate to run in the NWG election – any Fellow member of AAPA can run!

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What does the Nominating Work Group do?
According to AAPA’s Bylaws (Article XI, Section 1), we are charged with making recommendations regarding the skills, capabilities, or other characteristics needed to support and elevate the work of AAPA’s Board of Directors. We engage with AAPA members to educate and inform them about leadership opportunities, qualifications, and help recruit candidates. This year we reached out to numerous constituent organizations to encourage their leaders and other members of their organizations to consider applying for an AAPA Board position and educated them on the process.

One of our main duties is to evaluate all candidates seeking the NWG’s endorsement based on objective core skills and competencies that we believe will best meet the needs of the Board of Directors and the Academy. Following from that evaluation process, the NWG will endorse either a single or multiple slate of candidates who will appear on the ballot for the Board/General and House Officer elections.

The endorsement process entails a NWG review of each candidate’s entire application – which includes their video platform statement, CV, responses to short answer questions, and letters of reference —  as well as an interview with each candidate to fully evaluate their qualifications for the position. To further inform the evaluation process, the NWG spent time reviewing AAPA’s strategic plan, industry standards for board competencies drawn from the ASAE Foundation resource Building Better Association Boards: Advancing Performance through Nomination, Recruitment, and Selection Processes (2019), and the AAPA Board Manual section on Duties of Directors and Officers. In elevating a component of AAPA’s strategic plan, we also met with the AAPA Commission on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) to brainstorm ways to weave DEI into the evaluation process.

Why are candidates endorsed?
Endorsement is a complex process through which the NWG determines who are the best candidates to fulfill the duties of the position and serve the needs of AAPA during a given year. We make this determination based on a board competency framework informed by industry standards for associations. Key skills and competencies assessed through this framework included team orientation, interpersonal skills, leadership skills, technical skills (i.e. applied knowledge of governance and the PA profession) and personal attributes that indicate commitment, integrity, and capacity to serve. The NWG’s research also indicated an organizational need for innovation, the ability to support the pillars of AAPA’s current strategic plan, and the ability to support AAPA’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.  With so many factors involved in the NWG’s endorsement decision, it is important to keep in mind that some candidates who are not endorsed one year could be endorsed in the future depending on competencies as well as the present needs of the Board of Directors.

This year, the NWG committed to selecting a single slate of candidates for each position. This meant setting out to endorse the single best candidate to meet the duties of each position and to serve the needs of AAPA, utilizing a rubric for scoring candidates’ competencies based on the selected framework. All members’ scores were compiled and averaged producing an aggregate total score which helped determine who would and would not be endorsed.

We believe by following our objective rubric, which is centered on skills and competencies, we have helped to minimize bias and to keep the endorsement process focused on meeting the needs of the AAPA Board of Directors and thereby the Academy. By conducting this process in a rigorous, informed, and thoughtful manner, we have done our due diligence to provide you, the AAPA member, with a reliable reference point when deciding who to vote for in the election.

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