President's Perspective: New Year, New Volunteer Leadership Structure

CASE’s most significant transition in our 44-year history

By Sue Cunningham

Sue Cunningham

Sue Cunningham
President and CEO of CASE


The beginning of a new year provides the opportunity to think about fresh approaches to our work. For CASE, 2019 sees the beginning of the implementation of a new volunteer leadership structure, one that has evolved over the 44 years of our history. Whilst looking forward it is also important to acknowledge our vital past, in which CASE volunteers have provided a key role in our association's success. That level of engagement and involvement will, I know, be equally integral to this next chapter.

If you haven't yet heard, I am pleased to announce that each of CASE's eleven fiduciary boards—the CASE Board of Trustees, the CASE Asia-Pacific Board of Directors, the CASE Europe Board of Trustees, and the eight U.S. and Canadian district boards of directors—voted unanimously to support the new CASE volunteer leadership structure. Each one of these boards engaged in conversations for more than a year to ensure that members remained at the center of this new structure—enabling better member service and stronger connections across the CASE membership locally, nationally, and globally.

This is the most significant transition in CASE's volunteer leadership structure since CASE was established in 1974. At our November 2018 CASE Board of Trustees meeting, former CASE Board Chair Mike Goodwin, who co-chaired the Global Governance Steering Committee with me, shared an important perspective. He noted that on a number of occasions throughout CASE's history, the question of addressing CASE's multiple fiduciary boards arose, and was set aside for another time. Our strategic plan, Reimagining CASE, created the space for us to look into the future and make some bold resolutions. The volunteer-driven strategic plan led directly to reconsidering our leadership structure in order to boldly position CASE for the future—a future that begins now.

This is a journey with multiple checkpoints along the way. Building on the votes of the eleven boards, we will soon ask each of CASE's member institutions to take action as well. Over the next few months, CASE member institutions will be given the opportunity to review the new leadership structure, then vote on the changes approved by their boards, including a change to the CASE Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws.

This next phase will be led by a Volunteer Leadership Implementation Task Force. During this process, members will have the opportunity to learn more about the new volunteer leadership structure and the responsibilities of the new regional councils and district cabinets, ensuring that value for members continues to be paramount.

This issue of Currents looks fresh at advancement and celebrates the new year. We on the CASE staff are also looking with fresh eyes at how we serve you in new and renewed ways. The shift to this volunteer leadership structure has always been with purpose—continuing to engage members as the center of all that we do. We look forward to the excitement of the new year—and a renewed CASE, with you.