Every Vote Counts:
Nominations Being Accepted for ASMBS Election

Published in June 2014 Issue             

Nominations are being accepted for four positions on the ASMBS Executive Council. Members will have the opportunity to nominate and then vote for President-Elect, Secretary/Treasurer and Councilperson-at-Large (two positions).

Robin Blackstone, MD

“Our annual election is a way to infuse new ideas and energy into the current and future direction of the ASMBS,” said Robin Blackstone, MD, chair of the ASMBS Nominating Committee and ASMBS Senior Past President. “The election also ensures that those in leadership positions continue to represent the priorities and values of our membership. Every member has a voice and that voice is heard every election through their votes.”

According to ASMBS bylaws, members must meet certain eligibility requirements for nomination. All nominees must be voting members in good standing and have a history of leadership and service to the society and be actively engaged in the practice of metabolic and bariatric surgery. In addition, each position has its own set of qualifications.

Nominees for President-Elect must be on the Executive Council (EC) or served on the council within the past two years and nominees for Secretary/Treasurer must have served on the EC within the past five years. Councilpersons-at-large must have served as either a chair or co-chair of an ASMBS or MBSAQIP committee or been president of an ASMBS state chapter. The President-Elect serves a one-year term, while secretary/treasurer and councilmembers-at-large serve for three years.

Those eligible for nomination received a letter from the ASMBS Nominating Committee in May informing them of their status and indicating they would be listed among the potential nominees. A member had to inform the Nominating Committee if they did not want to be listed. The list is now available to the membership, who has the opportunity to put anyone on that list up for nomination. The nomination period will run for about three weeks.

To submit nominations, voting members must email the name of the person(s) they are nominating and the position he or she is being nominated for, along with a paragraph describing why the nominee would be a good candidate for the EC position. Confidential emails should be sent to ASMBS staff representative Jennifer Wynn at Jennifer@asmbs.org. It is advised that members speak to their potential candidates before submitting their nomination to ensure the nominee is interested in running for that office. The ASMBS will send out emails with further details.

Georgeann Mallory, RD

“The process gives people who have worked hard for the organization a clear pathway to leadership,” said Georgeann Mallory, RD, executive director of the ASMBS.

Once the names of nominees have been received, the ASMBS Nominating Committee will verify that all qualifications for the position have been met and place no more than three candidates per position on the final ballot.

According to ASMBS bylaws, if more than three nominees for a position emerges, the Nominating Committee must narrow the field based on the individual merits of the member. In addition, the committee “may also nominate its own qualified nominees for any or all available positions to ensure that qualified nominees for each available position are presented on the final slate of candidates and to help ensure balance among the candidates regarding practice status (private/academic), geographic area or other relevant factors.”

“The ASMBS Nominating Committee takes it job very seriously,” said Dr. Blackstone. “We will look at a member’s professional history, contributions to the field, history of work for the ASMBS and ability to step up to the responsibility and time commitment of leadership.”

Dr. Blackstone explained that for the first time this year, the Nominating Committee will conduct interviews with the potential candidates and provide guidelines for electioneering. The committee will also require that each nominee provide a CV, a 250-word bio sketch, three references and the completion of a short questionnaire.

“We are trying to create a level playing field for nominees based on meritocracy and institutionalize a transparent process for both candidates and the voting membership that results in leadership with an understanding of where we are today and a vision for tomorrow,” Dr. Blackstone said.

ASMBS voting members can expect to get the slate of candidates electronically within one week of the final selection of the Nominating Committee. Members will have three weeks to vote or until a quorum has been met. The votes will be verified and validated by the ASMBS IT department and reviewed by the Nominating Committee and the current ASMBS president. The results of the election will be announced in early October prior to ObesityWeek 2014 in Boston. Elected candidates will assume their respective office at the conclusion of the meeting.

“We hope everybody votes,” said Mallory. “Our leaders are guided and energized by our members and high participation in the vote will ensure this continues.”

ASMBS Integrated Health (IH) has its own nominating process separate and apart from the surgeon membership. Details on the IH election process can be found on the
ASMBS website.