Who Do You Want to Lead Your Association? Elections Open May 3 for ASHA’s Board of Directors From the President
From the President  |   April 01, 2010
Who Do You Want to Lead Your Association?
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ASHA News & Member Stories / From the President
From the President   |   April 01, 2010
Who Do You Want to Lead Your Association?
The ASHA Leader, April 2010, Vol. 15, 17. doi:10.1044/leader.FTP.15052010.17
The ASHA Leader, April 2010, Vol. 15, 17. doi:10.1044/leader.FTP.15052010.17
I don’t know about you, but the 2008 presidential elections will be on my mind for the rest of my life and may go down in history as the election with the highest number of votes cast. It was exciting to watch how people became involved—often people who in the past paid little or no attention to the process. So, I begin to ask myself the question, “What is it that made individuals more involved?” Was it race, gender, age spectrum, political views, and so forth? While all of these things come to mind, I believe that people vote because they want to exercise their rights as citizens and because they share the views of the leader for whom they vote.
The question for us is, “How do we create the excitement for voting that we witnessed in the 2008 presidential election in our upcoming ASHA elections?” If we can think in terms of two points above, ASHA membership is analogous to citizenship and leadership is universal, regardless of the type of organization. In our elections, we choose leaders who will shape ASHA and our professional future.
One of the many benefits of being an ASHA member is your right to cast a vote for the leader of your choice. So, what exactly is a leader? A common thread runs through many of the definitions, a concept described by D. Quinn Mills in Leadership: How to Lead, How to Live—a leader sets the direction for the rest of us; allows us to see what lies ahead; helps us visualize what we might achieve; and encourages and inspires us.
Simply casting your vote is an act of leadership. When you do so, you are making a statement about who you are. You become a model for others and you help the elected leaders realize that they are elected by the members. Your stake in this process is very large and every vote counts.
It is my hope that you examine the views of each candidate very carefully. The ASHA Committee on Nominations and Elections has done a great job in presenting the slate of candidates. It is now our role and responsibility to vet each of them to determine our common views and interests. We might ask ourselves some questions: “Is this person a strategic thinker?” “Is there someone at the table who can articulate my professional issues?” “Are there adequate numbers of both professions?” “Is my work setting represented at the board level?” And the list goes on.
Beginning May 3, you will have the opportunity to vote for candidates for ASHA’s Board of Directors. I ask you to select the candidate for each position who you believe best exemplifies a leader—someone who will keep the association focused forward, envision what lies ahead for the discipline, encourage us to exceed our expectations, and inspire and grow the leader that’s in each of us.
Feel free to come up with creative ideas to encourage others to vote—just be sure to keep to the guidelines for campaigning (search “election practices” at ASHA’s Web site). For example, you might have a discussion of the candidates at your staff meetings. Individuals might discuss the pros and cons of the candidates. If you feel strongly about a candidate, you can ask your friends and colleagues to vote for him or her. You also can say to colleagues, “Did you vote?”
The future of our association belongs to each of us. Voting for the leaders of ASHA is our responsibility; as Maya Angelou describes: “Take it into the palms of your hands. Mold it into the shape of your most private need. Sculpt it into the image of your most public self.” The only way we can do this is with our vote. It counts!
Members’ Corner
Who Will You Choose?

President-Elect: Which candidate has the stature and experience to serve as ASHA’s key organizational leader and spokesperson for ASHA in the media, with government agencies, and other organizations?

Vice President for Academic Affairs in Audiology: Which candidate is most qualified to recommend actions to advance undergraduate and graduate education in audiology and to ensure the inclusion of new knowledge and practices into academic coursework?

Vice President for Planning: Which candidate can best facilitate the association’s Strategic Pathway to Excellence/Strategic Plan and move ASHA closer to achieving its mission?

Vice President for Standards and Ethics in Speech-Language Pathology: Which candidate is most knowledgeable about the certification standards in speech-language pathology and can best assure that the profession continues to be based upon credible standards and ethics?

Three Easy Steps

Leaders are informed. Leaders get involved. Let the leader in you shine by participating in the elections process. Just take three easy steps:

  • Go to ASHA’s Board of Directors Candidates to learn about the Board candidates.

  • Ask questions and/or share your concerns with the candidates.

  • VOTE when you receive your electronic ballot on May 3. Online voting is easy—all you need to make your voice heard is your member number and a few minutes to cast your ballot.

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April 2010
Volume 15, Issue 5