The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals recently decided to make changes to its leadership.

Included in the changes, the organization will reduce its Board of Directors from the current slate of 24 positions to a count of seven to 11. Its Executive Board, which included the top five Board officers, will be eliminated, and term limits will be shortened.

The organization also hopes to increase participation with the creation of new committees, some of which will be project-based and disband when the task is completed.

Through these changes, APSP hopes to to engage more people, many of whom don’t have the time to commit to years of service, and to attract younger professionals, who often are more prone to engage in response to a task rather than a standing group, said APSP President/CEO Bill Weber.

They also hope to make the leadership more nimble and responsive to association needs, Weber added.

APSP will work on implementing the changes over the next few months.

The following is the announcement APSP circulated to its membership Tuesday:

Dear Member,

I am writing to inform you of the very visionary and courageous actions taken last week by the APSP board of directors. APSP, over the next few months, will be transforming its leadership and governance processes with a view to broadening our horizons, tapping our collective talent more aggressively, and providing the opportunity for many more members to be engaged in leadership activities.

Based on significant member input during a year-long review of APSP strategy management, the APSP board commissioned a volunteer taskforce to examine how APSP could significantly upgrade leadership development and involvement within APSP, and within the industry.

In carrying out its mission, over a lengthy period of time, the taskforce conducted extensive research regarding successful practices in leading associations. Among their key findings:

>Successful associations provide a method whereby “leaders choose leaders” who are “pulled up” to leadership positions based on qualifications;

>Leaders serve in a variety of impactful ways in which they lend their expertise in keeping with what their schedules permit;

>To develop the best talent and diverse viewpoints, associations draw upon the largest possible pool of members for leadership;

>The most highly functional boards are typically smaller, but have diverse member representation and charge a variety of committees and task forces to take up and make recommendations on specific issues for consideration by the board;

>Most organizations have term limits of service to encourage a steady flow and nurturing of talented leaders;

>Leadership committees are utilized to constantly scan for and develop potential talent from within the membership community.

As a result of these findings, the taskforce last week recommended to the board a comprehensive set of governance policy and process changes, which, after extensive deliberation, the board approved. Among the key actions taken:

>Development of a Leadership Search Committee comprised of existing leaders to identify potential leaders from across the membership—with diverse skills and experience to serve in a variety of leadership positions, including the board, committees, councils and task forces. This Committee has not existed in the past.

>Restructuring of the Nominating Committee which, in the past, has recommended candidates for officer positions. Now, the Nominating Committee will recommend candidates for board positions , not officer positions, who meet requisite qualifications, who represent diversity and who best meet the needs of the board at a particular time. This process will replace the current process of appointing board members representing geographic regions or segment councils.

>Directors will now be elected by the members and board officers (Chairman, Chairman-elect, and Secretary/Treasurer) will now be elected by the board. The position of Immediate Past Chairman will be eliminated, and the Immediate Past Chairman will now serve as Chairman of the Nominating Committee.

>The terms for board service are reduced from 3-year terms to staggered 2-year terms. Term limits of service on the Board will be reduced from 10 years to 6 years (with an additional year allowed for a person serving a year as Chairman).

>The board will be reduced in size from 24 positions to a range of 7-11 positions, as determined by the board from time to time. This will enable the board to meet as a whole more frequently. Consequently, with a smaller board, there is no longer a need for an Executive Committee, and the Executive Committee is eliminated.

>More work traditionally done by the board will be delegated to committees and task forces that will take up timely issues as they arise, be comprised of individuals particularly suited to the work to be performed, and allow for greater volunteer leadership involvement (beyond the board) and many more voices to be heard on key issues.

As you can see, these are rather sweeping changes from the way APSP has traditionally operated. So what does all this mean for you as a member of APSP.

>It means your expertise can be tapped in many more and varied ways to participate in projects and to shape your trade association in the future.

>It means that people at different levels within our member companies will be able to assume leadership positions in far greater ways than before.

>It means that local chapters, plus councils and committees, will become even more important and will have more focus and support to enable their expansion, growth and development.

At the heart of the board’s action was a commitment to put personal interests aside, to recognize the remarkable talent within our membership and to tap that talent much more broadly to make APSP a more inclusive and vibrant association.

In essence, your board has reached out to you to become more involved, for the betterment of all. I challenge you to answer the call.

Warren Bennis, a great author and scholar of leadership, once noted: "Good leaders make people feel that they're at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens people feel centered and that gives their work meaning."

Implementing what the board has approved will take place throughout this year and we will keep you informed as we go along. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at


Steve Gorlin, CBP, CSP

Gorlin Pools & Spas APSP Board Chairman