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APPA President & CEO Search Committee Selected

February 7, 2024

Updated March 22, 2024

From the announcement of Lander Medlin’s retirement through the APPA Member & Key Stakeholder Listening Sessions and across numerous discussions, there has understandably been tremendous interest in the process of recruiting and ultimately selecting our association’s next President & CEO. That includes selecting members of a search committee that will work with our designated search firm, Opus Partners, to review potential candidates and determine finalists to be interviewed in person.

Several APPA members have submitted nominees to be on the search committee. Others have volunteered to be on the committee or serve in any way they can. The response has been overwhelming, gratifying, and heartwarming. Everyone we have talked to has echoed the same sentiment: while they are all extremely busy, they love our profession so much, share such deep appreciation for Lander, and have such gratitude for APPA at this critical juncture, that they will find time to serve however asked.

The challenge of selecting a search committee has been daunting. How can we be inclusive?  How do we include all the various constituencies, regions, chapters, generations, genders, ethnicities, types of institutions, roles and expertise in our profession, experiences, backgrounds, and roles with APPA?  (APPA U, Toolkit, APPA Staff, past and present regional presidents and boards, task forces, et. al.) How do we represent all the portions of the wider APPA Community—business partners, associations, and others who are allied with us on a wide range of important endeavors?

And how do we accomplish all this and still have a committee that is manageable and nimble in size?  Inevitably, the answer is that not everyone will have a direct representative or have as many representatives as they would if the committee were larger.  

To best accomplish these important aspirations and have an inclusive process, regional leaders and other key APPA stakeholders were invited to nominate potential committee members. Those individuals along with all submitted nominations and other potential members were vetted by the APPA’s Executive Committee. From these individuals, a proposed committee was developed, which was then reviewed and approved by the full APPA Board.

The search committee members selected bring multiple experiences and expertise to this critical undertaking. Each represents multiple constituencies. Each brings unique important voices to the search discussions, process, and selection.

Dave Irvin, APPA International Chair, on behalf of the APPA Executive Committee & Board of Directors

The APPA President & CEO Search Committee members:

  • Jessica Abbott/ERAPPA        
    Co-Chair, Director of Facilities, Wolcott Public Schools, APPA Board Member
  • Luis Rocha/RMA                    
    Co-Chair, Associate Director of Facilities Operations, University of Arizona, APPA Board Member
  • Ada Baldwin/SRAPPA           
    Director of Building Services, North Carolina State University
  • Kim Case Nichols/PCAPPA    
    General Manager of Strategic Operations and Facilities Management, Nevada Health and Bioscience Corporation
  • Daryush Esmaili/ERAPPA     
    AVP and Chief Facilities and Sustainability Officer, Sheridan College, Ontario Canada
  • Lynne Finn/MAPPA               
    Associate VP for Facilities Management, University of Iowa
  • Luis Morales/CAPPA             
    Associate Director of Facilities Services, University of Texas El Paso
  • Mary Vosevich/SRAPPA        
    VP for Facilities Management and Chief Facilities Officer, University of Kentucky
  • Lindsay Wagner                     
    Owner/The Knowledge Collaborative
  • Andy Brantley                        
    Association Partner/President/CUPA-HR
  • Steve Glazner                         
    APPA Consultant/Retired APPA Staff
  • Pete Zuraw                             
    Business Partner/VP for Market Strategy and Development, Gordian

Updated March 20, 2024

Qualities in APPA President/CEO Identified: The Search Begins

In January 2024, the APPA Executive Committee offered a series of APPA Member & Key Stakeholder Listening Sessions. We held these sessions with APPA Staff, business partners, Institute and Academy leaders, current and past regional presidents, regional boards, past APPA Presidents, current APPA Board members, and other key stakeholders. Most importantly, we held several general sessions for all APPA members. We wanted to hear from as many people as possible in our rich and diverse profession. We also encouraged those who could not attend to send in their thoughts, comments, and suggestions, and many did. The response and interest were overwhelming—the input invaluable. Thank you!

These sessions allowed us to hear not only what attributes the APPA candidates should have, but also what APPA is doing well, how we can do better, what we should lean into, and how to address the future of APPA and our profession.

In these sessions we asked several key questions, including:

  • What are the 3 most important qualities a candidate should possess?
  • What are the possible backgrounds the candidate should have, which ones are more important, and why?

Based on those two questions and input from the listening sessions, a consensus has emerged. The word cloud below depicts the following top qualities, traits, and backgrounds that were identified as the most important:

CEO Word Cloud

We shared this list with the national search firm and together we tailored the APPA President/CEO position description, which is now posted, and we will begin recruiting top talent to apply for the position.

Join us on Friday, March 22nd at 12pm CT/1pm ET and meet members from our search firm, Opus Partners, as we share more information on how to nominate or apply for this position and hear about the search team members.  

Updated February 21, 2024:

Search Firm Identified

APPA’s executive committee is thrilled to announce Opus Partners as the chosen national search firm tasked with leading the search for our new President and CEO. The decision to collaborate with Opus stems from their commitment to inclusivity and dedication to fostering a diverse pool of candidates. Their pledge to work in partnership with APPA and its board distinguished them as the top national search firm.

In pursuit of an inclusive plan, Opus Partners’ approach stood out, aligning seamlessly with APPA’s commitment to fostering a community that drives results. A dedicated search team will be formed in collaboration with Opus to actively contribute to and support this pivotal process.

We express our sincere appreciation to the dedicated Board members who served on the review search team: Jim Hundrieser from NACUBO, Jessica Abbott from Wolcott Public Schools, and Steve Gilsdorf from Wayne State University. Their meticulous evaluation of more than 10 national search firms highlights APPA’s unwavering commitment to ensuring we secure the best firm for this vital role.

To ask any additional questions of the APPA Executive Committee, please email: [email protected].

Original post, February 7, 2024:

As part of the ongoing succession plan to replace longtime leader Lander Medlin, the APPA Board and its Executive Committee are moving forward with concrete steps to both elicit member input about this important process and appoint an executive search firm to market the position and recruit and screen qualifying candidates. 

APPA CEO Brochure

Medlin, APPA’s President and CEO since 1996, stepped down in early January after a cancer diagnosis. On January 10, APPA’s Board approved APPA Chief of Staff and HR Director R. Holly Judd as Interim President and CEO. The association’s new leader is expected to be announced within six months. 

Recent developments include a series of “listening sessions” in which members and other association stakeholders are able to voice their opinions about the search process and their desired attributes for APPA’s new leader. Two stakeholder sessions have already been held, and there will be sessions for the general membership on Friday, February 16 (2 pm CT / 3 pm ET) and Monday, February 19 (3 pm CT / 4 pm ET). Invitations will be emailed shortly.  APPA Board Chair Dave Irvin, who is executive director of construction at Auburn University, describes the sessions as “an excellent opportunity for collaboration, ensuring a transparent and inclusive process during this crucial leadership transition.” 

In addition, the APPA Board has reviewed the credentials of several national search firms and expects to finalize its decision very soon. A search committee will be formed to work closely with the search firm, the Board, as well as the APPA staff on evaluating candidates. Further information is forthcoming.  

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