Let Me Hear From You: Academy Board of Directors—Update

Let Me Hear From You: Academy Board of Directors—Update

In my initial message to you as president through this e-newsletter, I want to welcome our new board members: Drs. Holly Burrows, Virginia Ramachandran, and Sarah Sydlowski. We also welcome our President-Elect, Dr. Ian Windmill. I want to say goodbye and thank you to: Drs. Carol Cokely, Patricia Gaffney, Richard Roberts, and Bettie Borton for their friendship, hard work, and support of the Academy during their tenure. Finally, I want to give a big thank you to Dr. Erin Miller for her leadership this past year. Her wisdom and professionalism guided the Academy thorough what became a transitional year, and created a firm foundation for the future.

While July is mid-summer for us in the northern hemisphere, it is also the beginning of a new year for the American Academy of Audiology as our first meeting of the new board was held July 16–18, 2015. The executive leadership flew in a day ahead to meet individually with each of the Academy affiliated organizations: Angela Shoup, current chair of the AAA Foundation; Therese Walden, incoming chair of the AAA Foundation; John Coverstone, chair of ABA; Lisa Hunter, chair of the ACAE; and Kaitlyn Kennedy, president of the SAA. They discussed their accomplishments this past year and presented current initiatives.

Thursday began with a breakfast kick-off with our industry Platinum Partners. This was an opportunity for the board to thank them for their support of the Academy's initiatives and the profession of audiology. We engaged in an exchange about the challenges currently facing the profession of audiology and hearing health-care industry in which we discussed issues including affordability, lack of workforce, training and education, as well as ways to collaborate on projects in the future.

The board meeting opened with recognition of Dr. Miller and presentation of a plaque honoring her service as president. The agenda continued with a presentation by our AudiologyNOW! (AN) 2016 chair, Joscelyn Martin, who gave an update on the preparations for AN16 in Phoenix, Arizona. She highlighted the innovative educational opportunities in the upcoming learning labs, featured sessions, and posters for this year. In addition she shared plans for an exciting special event to celebrate audiology.

The next agenda item gave our Academy affiliated organizations the opportunity to update board members on the activities of each group and to present their plans for the future.

The board then discussed the messaging and branding of AudiologyNOW! to communicate the professional development and scientific educational opportunities in the program. The Academy staff was tasked with researching the factors involved in such a change and will report their findings to the board.

A governance discussion for the board was presented by our new legal counsel, the Venable LLP group. George Constantine, Esq., was there to answer questions regarding governance, organizational structure, conflict of interest statements, and trademark issues.

Discussion then moved to reviewing the Academy’s current strategic plan, mission statement and core values as we begin to evaluate their current relevance. That discussion took the board into a working dinner meeting to review the budgeting process, initiative planning and other considerations for the Friday meeting.

Friday’s meeting continued with a preliminary budget discussion with our treasurer, senior director of finance and administration, and our executive director. During that meeting, there was a break for the annual conference call with our new committee chairs to thank them for their service and to answer any questions as they begin work for the Academy.

Saturday began with routine business, such as approving minutes and receiving committee reports, affiliated organization reports, and financial reports. The board then approved a revision of the bylaws covering nominations and elections. They also approved the nominations committee slate and approved the appointment of Holly Burrows as secretary/treasurer-elect.

Finally, Dr. Sharon Sandridge delivered a presentation on the history and current projects of DiscovEARy Zone before our adjournment.