The planning process for choosing the next in line for regional executive starts for many chapters at LTC.

It’s a choice that deserves careful deliberation because not only is your RE your voice at the table when it comes time to set Chapter Balanced Scorecard goals, your RE should be a trusted resource for chapters, an advisor, coach, and cheerleader, and someone who has the ability to unite all the chapters in your region to work toward common goals.

DCMS Policy Recommendations

How does your region select its representative? The Regional Executive Program Policy and Procedures recommend:

Each region shall select its nominee based on merit to perform the role. As such, the nominee for a region’s Regional Executive should not be determined solely via rotation among chapters.

Still, most chapters follow the rotation system and the policy offers a recommendation, not a mandate. Some who adhere to the rotation system allow multiple candidates from the selecting chapter and vote on those nominees, but for many regions, the selecting chapter nominates a single candidate.

Region 8 was the first region to choose it’s regional executive in an open election. A few years ago, Region 9 amended its regional operating agreement to adopt a similar election process.

Choosing the Best Candidate

We spoke with Mike Dewerff, Region 8’s 2012–13 Regional Executive about the method Region 8 has developed to select its regional executives.

Any of the region’s chapters can submit one candidate. Generally, the chapter’s look for past presidents who have been strong leaders. Each candidate submits to the current RE:

  • the HFMA application
  • a recommendation from the chapter president or board
  • a personal letter from the candidate outlining his or her accomplishments and leadership style in their current leadership positions or with their employers

 “Over the last five to seven years that I’ve been involved,” says Dewerff, “the presidents-elect looked to how well the candidate’s chapter did while the candidate was going through the officer rotation.

“There’s really no interview process, although that might be a good idea,” says Dewerff, “but basically, the letter of recommendation and the letter from the candidate themselves outlines how they did on the CBSC, how they did on growth in the chapter, and things like that.”

Consider Teamwork

Dewerff points out that the region also considers how the regional executive-elect candidate will work with the person who will be the regional executive, because a close working relationship is a big advantage for the chapters. The regional executives and the regional executives-elect develop a close working relationship from the beginning. The regional executives-elect start conference calls with the presidents-elect from the beginning so that when they step into their year as regional executive they have developed a solid team.

“Collaboration among the chapters and sharing best practices helps pull the region up,” says Dewerff.

Dewerff acknowledges that there are some perceived negatives to the election process versus rotation. “If you are going to constantly choose a nominee from the successful chapters,” says Dewerff, “it can leave some of the lower-performing chapters out, but it’s important to realize that even an underperforming chapter can have a good leader.”

The rotation process has drawbacks, too. Following a rotation schedule doesn’t mean that a chapter will always have a candidate, occasionally a chapter is unable to field a candidate. Consider, too, that in a region with a lot of chapters, (like the nine chapters in Region 8) rotation might mean that a truly exceptional president that rolls off this year might have to wait years before being an eligible candidate for regional executive, and by that time, the landscape is likely to have changed significantly.

That's a resource that the region may well have lost by then. And having recent knowledge of the Chapter Balanced Scorecard and Davis Chapter Management requirements is a big advantage for a Regional Executive.

“I think because I moved into REE position soon after my president role, it was easier,” says Dewerff.

Is Open Election Right for Your Region?

If you think the open election process may be right for your region, access the regional operating agreements, which are located on the Policy and Forms page on the Chapter Leaders website. There you can review the language in the Region 8 or Region 9 operating agreements as a starting point for your region. You can also review an example of Region 8 candidate documents for 2013-14 Regional Executive Randy Hoffman.

Publication Date: Friday, March 29, 2013