Susan Robertson Named ASAE President & CEO -- BUT . . .

Radio Free 501c breaks its silence over some breaking news at ASAE. And someone needs to say this so it might as well be me, Cecilia Sepp, CEO & Founder here at The 501c League. 

Like many of us here at The League, I'm also a member of ASAE. Having been a member for several decades, I've seen a lot happen over the years. 

One of the things that struck me during my long membership tenure is the outstanding example Susan Robertson always set for all of us. For those of us whom also happen to be women executives, she is a person to look up to and model. 

So when I saw the all-member email today about her appointment as ASAE's President & CEO, I was pleased. 

Until I read the part that said this is only an 18 months contract. And there would be a "national search . . . to safeguard ASAE’s stature and ensure the organization is positioned for long-term growth and success." 

Huh? Isn't that what Susan Robertson has contributed through her work at the ASAE Foundation and as the COO of ASAE this whole time? Hasn't she operated gracefully under the pressure of not only her leader but her friend (John Graham) being ill? And then passing? 

Don't get me wrong; I'm very happy and to me this is great news that she received this appointment. She has earned this and a lot more. 

BUT -- if Susan has the "full confidence of the Board" as stated in the message, why wasn't she offered the position long-term? She is well liked and well respected in the association community and many women in the profession look up to her as an example to follow. 

Susan may not be interested in the position long-term and she could be doing us all a huge favor by taking this 18 months contract. And for that I want to thank her if that is the case.

In my opinion, Susan should be offered the position permanently especially in light of her long-term commitment to ASAE and its success. Her performance since John Graham's illness and passing demonstrates she has what it takes to move our association and our profession forward. 

BUT -- leaving us on tenterhooks for 18 months and then through a long national search doesn't contribute to my sense of stability despite what the ASAE Board states. 

I have never been a fan of the "Interim CSE" position; if someone can do the job and they have demonstrated they can do the job, let them do it and move on with mission fulfillment. 

This has been a transparent process in line with the ASAE Succession Plan. I doubt that anyone would question it if Susan Robertson had been appointed to the position. But now we wait for two years to find out who will win the national lottery. 

Susan, congratulations and good luck during your 18 months tenure. You deserve this job permanently if you want it. 

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Comments on "Susan Robertson Named ASAE President & CEO -- BUT . . . "

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Michael Butera - Thursday, March 05, 2020

Well said!

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