Once again, ABC’s board of directors will hold an open bylaws hearing at the upcoming Summer Meeting in Seattle at 7 a.m. on Aug. 7, prior to the scheduled 8 a.m. Members Meeting to vote on several amendments to ABC’s bylaws. This hearing follows a webinar on the ABC bylaws amendments held earlier this week, during which Rick Axelrod, MD, ABC’s vice president and chair of the Bylaws Committee, discussed the amendments proposed by the Bylaws Committee (more information available at http://bit.ly/1hDpkmC). The hearing is intended to offer ample opportunity for members to raise questions or concerns regarding the changes contemplated. A cursory review of the changes may suggest minimal controversy and maximum “tweaking;” indeed, there are many minor changes included. Yet I strongly encourage your participation in the open hearing and careful consideration before voting.
Some of the notable changes proposed include clarifying language on honorary membership, renaming the Interim Meeting as the Summer Meeting, incorporating language to reflect the change from a standing Meetings Committee to a rebranded API Curriculum Development Committee, and establishing a Governance Committee responsible for overseeing the board’s leadership functions. Changes to clean up paragraph alignment and sequence, clarifications on selected definitions of terms, and provisions for secret ballots and proxies are all designed to achieve transparency of intent and process – something for everyone!
Admittedly, a rigorous review of any organization’s bylaws is hardly spirited entertainment. Nuances of language, such as eliminating use of the word “unique” because there is no established legal definition, generally will not draw a crowd of enthusiastic onlookers. In my experience with ABC and its members, you recognize how important effective bylaws are for our organization and take your membership role in the bylaw review and amendment process seriously. However, a quick internet search of “bylaw problems” faced by other organizations generates an extensive list of board missteps and dysfunction stemming from failure to pursue periodic and deliberate reviews of their bylaws. (The rather spectacular fallout that typically follows suit is the stuff of TV drama!). ABC is clearly not in that camp, but our continued vigilance in ensuring our bylaws reflect accurately our process for delivering on our purpose is crucial to our continued success.
I look forward to seeing you at the open hearing and listening to your questions and comments. ABC’s board remains committed to an open and transparent process of governance as a cornerstone of our collective pursuit of membership value.
Dave Green, Board President; DGreen@bloodsystems.org