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News & Press: Association News

From the desk of the President, Lori Kaczmarek

Wednesday, January 8, 2020  
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The Association for Vascular Access (AVA) Announces New Direction for Organizational Leadership

January 8, 2020

“Culture does not change because we desire to change it. Culture changes when the organization is transformed; the culture reflects the realities of people working together every day."

— Frances Hesselbein
The Key to Cultural Transformation, Leader to Leader (Spring 1999)

Tuesday, AVA announced the resignation of its CEO. Transparency is essential in any organization. The AVA staff and Board of Directors are bound to follow a legal and principled course prior to publicizing any employee transition. While unfortunate that the news of a leadership transition was shared before the legal process was completed, we regret any confusion this may have caused.

During this transitional period, Tonya Hutchison, COO, and I have assumed responsibility for leading the organization. She will also serve as the executive leader of the AVA Foundation (AVAF) Board of Directors until a new executive is selected. Due to the dedication of the staff and Board of Directors, this will not impact the day-to-day operations of the organization.

Next, I am reporting the resignations of Ken Symington (Presidential Advisor) and Amy Stone (Secretary) from the 2020 AVA Board of Directors. Following the AVA bylaws, if an office becomes vacant, the sitting Board of Directors shall determine a successor for the open position. The vacancies were filled during a meeting of the AVA Board of Directors on January 2, 2020.

I am pleased to announce that Tonja Stevens (Director-at-Large) has assumed the role of Secretary for 2020 and Andrea Owens (Presidential Advisor) has agreed to continue to serve the AVA Board through 2020 in that same role. Tonja Stevens joined the AVA Board as a Director-at-Large in 2017. Andrea has been a member of the AVA Board for five years. On behalf of AVA, we thank Tonja and Andrea for their continued service and leadership. Thank you, Ken and Amy, for your dedication to AVA and commitment to the board.

The 2020 AVA Board of Directors:

Lori Kaczmarek, President

Jocelyn Hill, President-Elect

Andrea Owens, Presidential Advisor

Russell Nassof, Treasurer

Tonja Stevens, Secretary

Jon Bell, Director-at-Large

Chellie DeVries, Director-at-Large

Monte Harvill, Director-at-Large

Tonya Heim, Director-at-Large

Sheila Hale, Director-at-Large

Please visit the AVA website to learn more about our staff and board members. Are you interested in a leadership position with AVA or the AVA Foundation? The call for leaders is always open! Simply go to the AVA webpage, select the “About” tab and there you will find the link “Call for Leaders.” Complete the application and area of interest. The Board Development Committee (BDC) identifies and maintains a pool of candidates for the Board and officer positions to ensure AVA continues to have qualified leadership in place to reach the organization’s mission, vision and strategic goals.

The D-TEAM (Design Team) is about to begin its most critical work of the year: designing and selecting speakers for this year’s AVA Scientific Meeting (AVASM). The submission deadline passed Monday at midnight, and now the D-TEAM begins its process of reviewing over 100 abstracts and interviewing potential speakers. The D-TEAM members will meet February 15-17 in Denver to select the speakers and topics for the 2020 national meeting.

If you missed the speaking deadline, don’t fret. Consider sharing your practice at AVASM20 in a poster presentation. The call for posters will be announced in March. 

The 2020 Board of Directors will convene January 10-12 in Salt Lake City to discuss strategy for the coming year. Together with the AVA staff, we’ve embraced our responsibilities and the challenge of leading the organization through this transition and succession planning. “Chief executive leadership transitions are pivotal points that exert a profound impact on organizational performance. This is why the selection, evaluation, and retention of the right leader are widely proclaimed as the boards most important role.” (Board Source, 2010) The board is dedicated to moving forward with due diligence as we assess leadership needs of the Association and search for the right executive to fulfill the role.

Thank you to our dedicated members and industry partners who continue to support AVA’s mission and vision. As we strive to make a world with safe vascular access, we will continue to focus on leading healthcare by protecting patients and providers to improve lives.