Thursday, August 13, 2015

Second City Sessions

Fresh off the plane from Italy, I was unexpectedly asked to fill in for a colleague and friend on the National Nominating Committee of the Public Relations Society of America, held annually in late July in Chicago. Having served as past chair of North Pacific District PRSA in both 2010 and 2011, it wouldn’t take long to get up to speed.

This Chicago trip is no junket. It’s a pedal-to-the-metal application review and interview session held over a long weekend to select 2016 PRSA national leadership. Nineteen of us are sequestered for three days in the Hilton Hotel at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport (any resemblance to a penitentiary, above and below, is strictly coincidental).

As former CEO of PRSA Bill Murray described the NomComm experience: it boils down to “hard work and crucial decisions.” This year’s list of candidates was impressive, a bit of an embarrassment of riches comparatively speaking; many highly qualified candidates applied from around the country, making the decisions challenging.

Arriving late on a Friday, our team representing PRSA national, district and sections spent about four hours in an orientation session reviewing process and protocols. On Saturday and Sunday, work sessions included both face-to-face interviews of executive team candidates, followed by phone interviews with other board hopefuls.

Serving on PRSA NomComm twice before, I am consistently impressed with the work ethic and collegiality of my colleagues. Despite a diversity of opinion, the team always remains respectful and, in the end, chooses a quality slate of candidates for consideration in November. Many PRSA NomComm members become friends for life.

No comments: