Ahead Of PPAI Board Election, Webinar Planned, Approval Slate Process Explained

Last week, PPAI announced the slate for its 2020 PPAI board election. The two nominees for the board class of 2025 are Alan Tabasky, vice president and general manager of Medley, Florida, supplier BEL Promo, and Noah Lapine, president and owner of Stamford, Connecticut, distributor Lapine Associates, Inc.

In preparation for the board election starting September 1 and concluding September 22, PPAI is hosting a town hall-style webinar on August 28 to help members get to know the candidates. Tune in from 1:30 – 2:10 pm CT or view the on-demand session later. Click here to register.

The concept to present an approval slate to the membership, consisting of one supplier and one distributor, was approved and first implemented by PPAI in 2019. In contrast to using a popular vote to elect board members, the approval slate provides a better opportunity to constitute a board of directors with a balanced skillset and experience best suited for leading the Association into the future. It also eliminates the time-consuming, peer-to-peer competition, applies strategic foresight and brings transparency to the process.

Transparency is extremely important to PPAI and constitutes the foundation of the months-long, multi-faceted process. Here’s a look at what’s involved:

  • The Leadership Advisory Committee, consisting of nine PPAI members and the immediate past PPAI board chair, begins the candidate selection process immediately after the close of the current year’s election. The main goal of the LAC is to find qualified PPAI members who are willing and able to serve on the PPAI board. When selecting candidates, the committee takes into consideration the candidate’s competencies/skillset, demonstrated leadership, vision and strategy, ability to write and speak to a group, and potential to serve as the PPAI board chair. The committee spends more than 15 hours collectively in live discussion as a group to determine the most qualified candidates for the PPAI board. The members also commit time outside of every committee meeting to reach out to candidates and conduct interviews.
  • In August, the LAC meets to discuss improvements to the entire process. This includes reviewing and revising essay questions, interview questions and scoring criteria.
  • In September, the LAC reviews the nomination form posted here: ppai.org/ppai-board-service-interest/.
  • From October through December, nominations are open to the membership.
  • In December and early January, the LAC reviews nominations that were submitted as well as past candidates the LAC has considered. In previous years, the LAC has chosen on average 20 suppliers and 20 distributors to consider, based on the information provided on each person’s nomination form.
  • At Expo, the LAC focuses on meeting with the selected candidates in person to get a better feel for their intentions for running for the board. January 31 is the deadline for nominations from the membership.
  • From January to mid-February, the LAC reviews all nominations and removes anyone who doesn’t meet the minimum qualifications of the board.
  • By mid-February, the LAC has a final list of candidates to consider. The LAC contacts each candidate to determine their interest in running for the board that year. If they are interested, they are moved forward in the process. If they are not interested (maybe they cannot commit to the amount of time needed to serve on the board), they are put on a “consider for next year” list. From March through May, the candidates are asked to answer four essay questions on their professional experience and reasons they would be a good fit for the board. The LAC reviews each essay and determines whether they should move forward to the interview portion.
  • From April to May, the LAC conducts video interviews with every candidate. Once the interview ends, every LAC member scores the candidates’ essays and interviews. Once the LAC has completed all interviews and scored every candidate, they meet to determine their top four to six candidates. This list is sent to the Elected Directors Nominating Committee (EDNC).
  • In early June, the EDNC reviews the list of candidates to determine the top supplier and top distributor candidates.
  • In mid-June, the EDNC sends their top choices to the board to approve/deny.
  • Once the top candidates are approved by the board, the nominees are presented to the membership for voting in September. Each member company’s voting contact has the option to vote for, against or abstain from voting for each nominee.
  • Candidates do not become board members unless they get a majority of the votes cast. If they do not receive a majority of votes, an alternative candidate from the same member category is presented for vote.
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