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An Insider’s Guide to the SOWH Board Nominations Process

Posted on: May 3rd, 2016 by Aika Barzhaxynova No Comments

By Blair Green, PT2[1]

The 2016 SOWH Board of Directors elections have opened and run through May 31! All members and student members qualify to vote, so the Nominating Committee invites you to carefully consider the highly qualified slate of candidates it has put together for these four important leadership positions.

Many members, especially new ones, do not understand how SOWH generates the list of candidates, so in the spirit of transparency and democracy, I’d like to provide a behind-the-scenes view of the process.

Each fall the Nominating Committee starts its search for new candidates. We email and call members who we think have potential to be strong leaders. We receive recommendations from current board members. We distribute an open call for nominations to the membership. All of this culminates in the “official” nomination process that happens at the Section Business Meeting at APTA’s Combined Section Meeting.

What most members do not see is the hours of work that precedes the final release of names and tallying of ballots. The electoral process starts long before the fall, even well in advance of the previous year’s election. It is a continual, year-round process of working to identify potential leaders in the Section, so when the time comes for creating a highly qualified slate, we already have a list of potential nominees.

The goals of the Nominating Committee are to form a robust, contested slate of candidates each election cycle, to encourage participation in all elements of SOWH, and to help members connect with volunteer opportunities. We also work to maximize voter turn-out at each election, so members can choose the professionals who best represent them and their interests.

While the Section’s Board of Directors may recommend members it believes would be capable and interested in running, it has no role in the nominations and slating process. The Nominating Committee communicates with committee chairs and state representatives to receive recommendations. The committee communicates directly with all interested members and helps match them with a position that best fits their skill set.

This begins over the phone and continues in person at CSM. Running for a board position requires signing a “consent to serve” document and committing to attend board meetings, both at conference calls and two yearly face-to-face meetings.
The Nominating Committee helps candidates understand the job description and the dedication required. The months between October and April are very busy piecing together the final slate of candidates. Those who choose not to run, or who do not win the election, become part of our database or pool of members whom we may reach out to in the following election cycles.

What does this mean for you?

It means there is a place for you and everyone to play a part in Section leadership. If you think you would be interested next year or even in five years, let us know! Talk to your state representative and get involved locally. Join a committee or a task force. Talk to Karen Connor, the SOWH volunteer coordinator, about other opportunities to engage in the Section work of educating physical therapists and promoting women’s and men’s health globally. When the next election cycle picks up, you could be the next candidate on the election slate.

Author: SOWH Nominating Committee Chair Blair Green, PT, OPT, CSCS, is a physical therapist and partner at One on One Physical Therapy and Back 2 Motion Physical Therapy in Atlanta, GA.

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