Part 1: Leadership Orientation Overview
As a component or constituent leader, you likely have a general idea about what the association is and how it works. But you may have had more specific questions about how decisions get made and how recommendations are considered by the Board of Trustees and/or House of Delegates and then acted upon. In other words, how does stuff get done? Who works behind the scenes to make sure the organization stays vibrant and relevant? Those questions are answered here. Let’s start with some basics. The AAO is:
- A professional, not-for-profit association incorporated in St. Louis, Missouri.
- A representative organization founded in 1900. Since then, membership has grown to nearly 19,000 members throughout the United States, Canada and abroad.
- Comprised of members who are educationally qualified orthodontic specialists.
The Board of Trustees and House of Delegates make decisions that set direction for the organization. Each entity has different responsibilities as shown, but each governs the AAO by setting policy and overseeing different functions of the organization: strategy, finances, membership, advocacy, etc. They also rely on advisory groups of members – councils and committees – to work on specific projects or oversee certain functions like membership or scientific affairs.
- representing the association to external stakeholders such as other industry associations, customer groups, suppliers and the general public;
- developing and executing strategic initiatives for the association;
- leading all association communication efforts, both internal and external, to ensure that the association and the industry are perceived in a positive manner by all stakeholders, and that association objectives are accomplished;
- managing all association activities and ensuring that activities are properly conducted, reported and accounted for to the Board of Directors and House of Delegates.
- Former Speaker of the House Michael Foy and Current Speaker Jeff Rickabaugh – This interview features the current and incoming Speakers of the House of Delegates as they describe the HOD and their experiences as AAO leaders.
- Governance Overview Podcast – In this audio-only interview, Kevin Dillard, AAO’s former General Counsel, discusses the importance of affiliation agreements, as well as fiduciary duties. Roger Hanshaw, AAO Parliamentarian, describes common misperceptions about parliamentary procedure and keys to running a successful business meeting.
Constituents are regional, chartered organizations of the AAO, located within the United States and Canada. At the regional level, constituent organizations support, assist, and participate with the AAO and the components within its jurisdiction to achieve a common purpose dedicated to the advancement of orthodontics. There are eight constituents:
- Great Lakes Association (GLAO)
- Middle Atlantic Society (MASO)
- Midwestern Society (MSO)
- Northeastern Society (NESO)
- Pacific Coast Society (PSCO)
- Rocky Mountain Society (RMSO)
- Southern Association (SAO)
- Southwestern Society (SWSO)
Constituent organizations have boards of directors who govern the organization. Constituents have their own dues and/or assessments that are separate from the AAO’s, and these regional organizations also rely on committees to develop their own programs and services independent of the AAO’s. Constituents select representatives – delegates — to attend meetings of the AAO House of Delegates. In this way, each constituent helps shape AAO policy and strategic direction.
Each constituent nominates a member to serve as a trustee on the AAO BOT. Each trustee is nominated with the understanding that s/he will eventually serve as AAO president assuming s/he chooses to remain on the BOT and fulfill his/her responsibilities.
In addition, each constituent nominates members to serve on certain councils and as delegates in the HOD. With the authority to make nominations, constituents strongly influence the direction of the AAO.
Councils & Committees
The strategic plan lays out a plan of action around critical issues that go beyond routine operations. The plan includes goals and actions to meet them. To learn more about the strategic plan, click here.
Effective May 7, 2018, the House of Delegates (HOD) approved a new strategic plan. This plan reflects the diversity of thought and perspectives of a large committee of members who represented different facets of the specialty and of the association. This committee, the Global Strategic Planning Committtee, represented delegate chairs, councils, constituents, vendors, manufacturers, industry consultants and new/younger members. Following a review of research and discussions about the state of the specialty and the AAO, the committee created a strategy map that reflected several changes:
- Revised mission and vision statements
- Explicitly stated core values
- New goals and objectives
- New strategic initiatives, which are the priority areas that the AAO will focus on to achieve the goals in the plan.