PRSA Detroit’s Nominating Process and Commitment to Diversity

One of the hallmarks of PRSA Detroit has been the talent and dedication of our volunteer leaders. We are over halfway through 2018 and this is when PRSA Detroit begins preparing for 2019. Part of this process is the consideration and nomination of individuals for the Board of Directors and Chapter Officers.

We thought this would be a great time to explain this process. While the process has remained unchanged for decades, some members may be unaware of how chapter leaders are chosen and the nominations are determined prior to announcing the slate at the Annual Meeting.

For some context, here is the section of the Chapter Bylaws that addresses chapter leadership and nominations:

ARTICLE V:  Board of Directors

Section 1, Composition

The governing body of the Chapter shall be its Board of Directors, made up of 16 persons, including the immediate Past-President.

Section 2, Terms of office

The terms of office of the Directors shall be three years. 

Section 3, Election of Directors

Directors shall be elected each year to fill expiring terms and board vacancies. Current Directors cannot be nominated for more than three vacancies.

Section 4, Immediate Past President

The immediate Past-President – may be elected to serve a one-year term when necessary because of the requirement that the immediate Past-President be a Member of the Chapter Board and Chairman of the Nominating Committee.

Section 5, Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee shall be chaired by the immediate Past-President and consist Chapter President, President-Elect, Treasurer and Secretary. The Committee shall nominate at least one candidate for each expiring directorship and all Chapter offices at least 30 days prior to the Annual Meeting. These nominations will be circulated in writing to the Chapter membership at least two weeks before the Annual Meeting. Additional nominations shall be accepted from Members at that meeting, provided the nominees agree to serve if elected. Voting shall be by written ballot if there are two or more nominees for any vacancy. Election shall be by a majority vote of the membership present at the Annual Meeting.

The Nominating Committee typically meets in early August to discuss the upcoming board vacancies and prospective candidates. Once a candidate position has been offered and accepted, the slate (the recommended line up of officers) is presented at the September board meeting and approved by the Board of Directors. If approved, these individuals will be announced and voted by the membership at the Annual Meeting.

“How does the Nominating Committee choose these individuals?” The committee work they have done for PRSA Detroit and the length of time they have been involved are typically key factors. In addition, an individual’s leadership qualities are important, especially as it relates to a position as a Chapter Officer.

 “How do you become President of PRSA Detroit?” The Chapter Officers consist of Chapter President, President-Elect, Treasurer, Secretary and Immediate Past-President. The succession plan works like this: Secretary – to Treasurer – to President-Elect- to Chapter President – to Immediate Past-President. Thus, when a member is asked to serve as Secretary, they are committing to eventually serve as Chapter President and be a Chapter Officer for a total of five years. There have been instances, however, where individuals have not been able to serve the full duration.

Diversity

Our Diversity Committee has worked hard over the years to provide programming to cover the many facets of this issue in our industry, while also shining a light on the lack of diversity in our membership and chapter leaders.

As it relates to the work of our chapter and Nominating Committee, Article XIII, Section 6 of our Chapter Bylaws states:

Nondiscrimination:  In all deliberations and procedures, the Chapter will subscribe to a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of race, creed, religion, disability, sex, age, color, national origin or sexual or affectional preference.

As described earlier, the Nominating Committee considers many factors, including committee work, length of service and leadership qualities.  We think it is important that diversity is also a factor in these discussions. We are committed to ensuring diversity remains a prominent guiding factor in any discussion about PRSA Detroit leadership.

PRSA Detroit is committed to increasing diversity in our membership and leadership. This is an effort vital to our organization’s future that will need to be on-going. We owe it to the professional community we serve to strive for diverse representation in leadership.

If you are interested in volunteering or becoming a chapter leader, please contact Nancy Skidmore at [email protected] or (248) 545-6499.