At its meeting on February 3, 2010, the ASFPM Board of Directors approved establishing a new position of Associate Director, to be based in the ASFPM Executive Office in Madison, Wisconsin. This is the result of careful consideration and coordination among the Executive Office, your Officers and Board of Directors, and the Transition Team established by the Board to oversee potential shifts in senior personnel in the Executive Office. You will see a notice advertising the opening around April 1, 2010. This memo will provide you with additional information about this new position and what it means for the future of the AFSPM.
In a recent memo to the Board, Executive Director Larry Larson laid out the need for additional senior-level expertise in the ASFPM Executive Office. In the last 10-12 years, the ASFPM has grown at a rapid and gratifying rate, testimony to the significance of flood-related issues at all levels of government and the private sector throughout the nation. Our staff has grown quickly as well, now including 13 talented and dedicated people who supply the technical, scientific, and administrative support needed to provide our members the services you have come to expect, and also to maintain the ASFPM’s high visibility and credibility as a voice for sound public policies that affect flooding and water resources. However, Larson noted, current and anticipated needs have outstripped the resources available at the Executive Office on these fronts in particular: development of key tools for states and localities, outreach materials for the media, the conceptualization and development of ASFPM positions on issues raised by its partners in floodplain management, and participation on national advisory boards and review committees, where the concerns of floodplain managers need to be represented.
For many years Larson, as Executive Director, shouldered most of those tasks, with assistance from numerous volunteers, paid liaisons, other members, and more recently, from our Deputy Executive Director George Riedel and Partnerships and Policy Coordinator Sam Medlock. However, Larson has indicated his desire to begin to transition his role with the ASFPM.
The Board, Larson and the Transition Team consider these two circumstances to be the ideal opportunity to first, bring in a senior-level person to help carry the burden of the existing Executive Office workload, and second, initiate a cost-effective and smooth long-term transition of senior ASFPM leadership in the Executive Office. Therefore, the Board has established the new Associate Director position as a two-step strategy. For the first one to two years, this person will work side-by-side with Larson and the rest of the Executive Office staff, and of course the Board, Committees, and our partners. At the end of that period, based upon his or her exemplary performance, we anticipate that the Associate Director could become ASFPM’s next Executive Director. Larson would then transition to a senior policy position, a post where he will continue to apply his nearly 50 years of experience to the needs of ASFPM.
For this reason, the experience, education, and skills that will be sought in candidates for the new Associate Director position will parallel those that would be desirable in an Executive Director.
Very few organizations have the luxury of a one- or two-year overlap between the tenures of their chief executive. The Board is very pleased that this opportunity has presented itself so that the ASFPM can continue uninterrupted in its many efforts to improve floodplain management: service to members, wise public policy that acknowledges state and local roles, professional certification and training of floodplain managers, annual national conferences, newsletters and bulletins, press releases, publications, advice on legislation and program policy, assistance and support to chapters, and many others.
At each step over the past 34 years, the ideas, energy, and contributions of individual members from all across the United States have been the triggers for the growth and improvement of the ASFPM. Please watch for the job announcement for the new Associate Director position and consider who a likely candidate might be. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, kindly get in touch with a Board member, email our Communications and Events Manager Diane Brown at Diane@floods.org, or contact the Executive Office directly at 608 274-0123.
We cannot thank you enough for your ongoing interest, commitment, and support!
Larry Larson and the Officers and Board of ASFPM