ARIA Executive Office Update

Earlier this year ARIA issued a Request for Proposals for organizations interested in serving as our Executive Office. The 5-year contract term with The Institutes (TI) ending December 31, 2020 required that the Board engage in a process to invite and evaluate alternative providers. Chaired by Martin Grace (Past President), the members of the ARIA Executive Office search committee were Linda Barrett (Managing Editor of the JRI), Patty Born (Former ARIA President, Editor of RMIR), Lars Powell, (Board member), Martin Grace (Board Member), Andre Liebenberg, (ARIA Member), and Anne Kleffner (ARIA President) as an ex-officio member. The Committee received five submissions and interviewed three organizations, including The Institutes.

After the interviews the search committee agreed that two of the respondents were very strong (TI and Arden Solultion), and decided to recommend to the ARIA Board that we engage TI for the next five years, believing that its ties to the industry were vitally important to the organization. The recommendation was also conditional on being able to obtain additional support from TI as identified by the committee, specifically with respect to defining and shepherding our strategic plan and with an increased focus on membership management and engagement.

Recognizing that ARIA might be better served by an organization that had a comparative advantage in those areas where we sought additional support, our current Executive Director, Frank Tomasello put forward an alternative proposal for our consideration. In a nutshell, ARIA would become a strategic partner with TI and leverage TI for industry relationships and partnerships and engage a different organization for the Executive Office role.

The search committee unanimously recommended Arden Solutions, led by Dr. Virginia Phillips. (https://www.ardensolutions.com/home.html). Arden’s RFP was comprehensive and focused on many of the things the committee identified as important to our organization, such as membership, communications, strategy, and board direction.

The board is confident that this new arrangement, whereby Arden would provide the services originally proposed and ARIA would partner with TI to leverage their strategic relationship with the industry, will serve ARIA well going forward. The board will provide more details about Arden and our strategic partnership with TI in the weeks ahead.

Anne Kleffner, ARIA President