Introducing the Nominating Work Group’s 2023 Endorsements

Announcing the Slate of Candidates Endorsed by the NWG

April 21, 2023

By Rachel Weinzimmer

The Nominating Work Group (NWG) consists of five elected and two appointed fellow members, ranging from AAPA past presidents and board members, long-standing House of Delegate members, and past student academy presidents. These individuals bring an array of perspectives and experiences to the work of the NWG. We are charged by AAPA’s Bylaws to recruit, evaluate, and endorse candidates to run for positions on the AAPA Board of Directors.

As Chair of the NWG, it is my privilege to announce the slate of candidates this year’s NWG has endorsed to run in the 2023 AAPA Board of Directors and House of Delegates Elections:


Jason Prevelige, MBA, PA-C, DFAAPA


Eric P. Martinez, MPAS, PA-C

Deanna Bridge Najera, MPAS, MS, PA-C, DFAAPA

Ashton Ogle, MPAS, PA-C

Vice President/Speaker of the House

Todd Pickard, MMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA, FASCO

Director/First Vice Speaker of the House

Leslie Clayton, DMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA

Director/Second Vice Speaker of the House

Peggy Walsh Sheryka, MS, PA-C

Endorsement is a complex, confidential process through which the NWG determines which eligible candidates are best positioned to fulfill the duties of the position and serve the needs of AAPA during a given year. Following are key elements that factored into our evaluation of candidates for the 2023 elections:

  • We reviewed each candidate’s entire application packet and conducted individual interviews.
  • We adopted a competency framework drawn from industry standards for association boards, which included a review of a candidate’s team orientation, interpersonal skills, leadership skills, applied knowledge of governance and the PA profession, and commitment and capacity to serve.
  • We were also informed by insight into the current needs of the Board, which include a strong orientation around strategy and innovation, an ability to contribute to AAPA’s current strategic plan, and a strong commitment to enacting diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • We rated each candidate according to a rubric designed to evaluate the skills and competencies candidates demonstrated throughout the application and interview process.

After selecting the slate of endorsed candidates, NWG members contacted candidates to inform them of their endorsement status. All candidates were encouraged to continue their leadership journeys and grow in service to the PA profession. Candidates who were not endorsed by the NWG were also reminded that they are still eligible to run for office as self-declared candidates under AAPA’s bylaws.

While it is within the NWG’s purview to endorse a single or multiple slate, this year we set out to endorse a multiple slate. However, the final endorsed slate of candidates happened to match the number of open positions. Candidates for President-elect and the House Officer positions are running un-opposed this year. For Director-at-Large, some candidates who were endorsed stepped down from running later in the process.

It has been our honor to conduct this important component of AAPA’s elections and our commitment to do so in a rigorous, informed, and thoughtful manner. We encourage every member who is eligible to vote to take the time to learn about the candidates. The choice for who leads your professional organization is in your hands.

I hope you will vote when ballots open in May! To learn more about current election timelines and policies, please visit

Rachel Weinzimmer, PA-C, is the 2022-2024 Chair of the Nominating Work Group.

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