By: Barbara C. Higgens, PMI CEO/Executive Director
Thank you to all of you who sent congratulatory messages in view of my ‘new’ job as posted on LinkedIn. While I appreciate all of the attention and the kind words, the recent ‘change’ is in name only. I was hired as PMI’s Chief Operating Officer of PMI in 1998 and have served as CEO continuously since that time. So, new title; same role!
Last year, PMI took a look at a number of governance issues. You have seen some of the outcome of that work: a smaller Board of Directors with shorter terms and a shift from two conferences per year to a single annual conference. Another change was to my title. In the “for-profit” world, there is no doubt about the leadership role of a “CEO.” While the term “Executive Director” carries the exact same meaning in the “not-for-profit” world of industry associations, some people have been confused about the role and the interface with the volunteer leadership of PMI. In benchmarking other associations like ours, we learned that many groups are moving away from using the Executive Director title for their top executive, to that of CEO in the name of clarity.
The PMI Board of Directors is headed up by an elected president (this year it is Tim Kilbane of Symmons, as you know) who takes the lead in the governance of the organization. The job of the PMI volunteer president and its Board of Directors is to partner with the hired PMI CEO to identify the “what” of what needs to be done and to set the strategic direction of the association. Working together, this team sets goals and metrics for the organization. The job of the PMI CEO then is to determine the “how,” which includes staffing, hiring consultants, allocation of resources, and general management of the association as a business. The PMI CEO and the staff, hired by and to support the PMI CEO, help to provide continuity, stability and institutional knowledge as administrations change each year and the volunteers serve and complete their terms of office.
It’s a winning combination!
Last year, we saw the revitalization of the Strategic Advisory Council (SAC), comprised of six PMI member company CEOs. As the name implies, these individuals have volunteered to provide support for the Board of Directors and the organization as a whole by offering guidance and advice on key issues. This year’s SAC includes: Hugh Ekberg, Kohler, Tim Ferry, Insinkerator, David Lingafelter, Moen, Tim O’Keeffe, Symmons, Todd Talbot, Fluidmaster and Ray Fisher, Fisher Manufacturing, who serves as the liaison between the SAC and the Board.
You can be sure that PMI is in good hands with these groups actively looking for ways in which PMI can impact industry issues, while enhancing the value of the organization to members. Come see some of the successes and results at the Spring Conference in Charleston!