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APPA President and CEO Stepping Away; Interim Named

January 5, 2024

See related updates on this story.

Updated June 4, 2024:

We want to update the APPA community on the progress in the search for the next APPA President & CEO.

Since the APPA Member and Key Stakeholder Listening Sessions earlier this year, and the appointment of a Search Committee in March, that committee has been diligently identifying top candidates to become APPA’s next President & CEO. They have been assisted in their efforts by an APPA Business Partner, Opus Partners, a nationally recognized search firm with extensive experience in conducting searches for numerous facilities organizations.

We forwarded to Opus all potential candidates recommended to us for the position. Opus has also recruited extensively, casting a wide outreach in the search for top individuals and encouraging them to apply. Simultaneously, several highly qualified individuals submitted their applications. These efforts yielded a large, inclusive, diverse, and well-qualified pool.

Opus extensively interviewed all the candidates and gave a detailed assessment of their qualities, experience, and expertise. Next, the Search Committee closely analyzed each of these applicants and reduced the pool of candidates to 21, whose qualifications best met the key qualities we identified during the Listening Sessions. Over a series of meetings, the committee narrowed this number down further to a smaller group of the most promising prospects.

Over the next several weeks, the committee will conduct a Zoom interview with each of those candidates while also studying them further. From those efforts, they will identify the top individuals to move forward as finalists for additional interviews.

We are excited to report that we have a very strong candidate pool. All of them are excited at the prospect of leading our association at this key moment, and are enthused about the direction we can go!

We want to thank Opus, all of Search Committee members, and everyone who has assisted in this critical process thus far, and those who will help going forward. We will give more updates as the process concludes, and we are excited at our potential future together! APPA’s best days are still ahead!

The APPA Executive Committee

Updated January 10, 2024:

The APPA Board has unanimously approved R. Holly Judd as Interim President & CEO. Holly serves as APPA’s chief of staff and HR director and has been the executive assistant to Lander Medlin for 22 years. In addition, the Board is finalizing its expectations for a search committee, with a timeline of the process, and has agreed to use a national search firm experienced in higher education, facilities, and similar association searches to ensure success in finding strong candidates.

With more than two decades of dedicated service, Holly is a seasoned professional who joined APPA in 2002 after making significant contributions to nonprofits and community-based organizations. Her impactful journey includes collaborating with the Salvation Army to develop a transitional housing program for homeless women and engaging with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and the National Alliance to End Homelessness. 

Holly brings empathy to her leadership style. Driven by unwavering integrity, she takes pride in treating everyone equally and fairly. As APPA’s chief of staff and HR director, she excels not only in her primary role but also in driving results and maintaining fiscal responsibility to fulfill APPA’s mission and goals. Holly is known for her resourcefulness in reaching out to APPA members, harnessing their experience to form effective teams, especially in her role on the FMEP team. When integrity, resourcefulness, and effective leadership are paramount, Holly stands out as a trustworthy professional who can navigate challenges transparently. Her 22 years of service as Lander Medlin’s executive assistant reflect the benefit, blessing, and honor she has gained in contributing to APPA’s success. 

In her spare time, she generously volunteers with African Descent Ministries as a coach, emphasizing life and personal development.  

“Holly is uniquely qualified to lead APPA at this important time for our Association,” said Dave Irvin, APPA Board Chair. “She has worked closely with Lander as her chief of staff for many years, giving her unparalleled insight into APPA operations and what is required for APPA to be successful. The APPA Board, Executive Committee, and I have complete confidence in Holly, understanding she is exactly the right person at the right time. We know that under Holly, APPA is in great hands as we plan the next chapters for our association and our profession.” 

To keep APPA members updated on and involved in the search process, the Board’s Executive Committee will be scheduling a number of webinar listening sessions. Members are invited to ask questions and provide input on the qualities we should search for in the next APPA President & CEO. More information is forthcoming.

On January 4, 2024, Dave Irvin, the Board Chair of APPA International, sent the following message to the APPA membership:

On behalf of APPA’s Board of Directors and the APPA Staff, it is with sadness and profound gratitude that I announce that Lander Medlin is stepping down from her position as APPA International’s President & CEO. With the support of her husband of close to 40 years, Ron, Lander is using this time to focus on her health and family after receiving a diagnosis of lung cancer on December 6th. And in true Lander form, she has already begun the journey of treatment and healing.

Over the last 30 years, Lander has successfully become the face and voice of APPA and its most distinguished leader and advocate for the facilities management profession. As the board begins the process of seeking a replacement, Lander will assist and be involved in this process. In the coming weeks, more information about interim leadership plans and updates on the recruitment process for Lander’s successor will be shared with the APPA membership. If you have questions about this transition, please email me and our executive committee members at [email protected].

If you would like to contact Lander, she has asked that people do so via email. Please send her support, words of wisdom, comfort, and love through her new email at [email protected]. Cards are also welcome and may be sent to Lander in care of APPA’s home office: APPA – Leadership in Educational Facilities, P.O. Box 29, Alexandria, VA, 22313.

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