On behalf of the American Association of Sleep Technologists (AAST) board of directors, I would like to take this opportunity to communicate some very important information about the future of our organization. It is with great excitement that I announce the AAST will transition headquarters and staff management to SmithBucklin as our new management firm.
Let me explain a bit about the importance of this announcement. Since 2003, AAST has operated under a management contract with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). During that time, we have experienced many positive changes, including a significantly improved operational and financial foundation.
But moving forward, it became apparent to the board that to continue growing and meeting the rapidly changing and increasingly complex needs of our membership, we needed to ensure that our association was taking every step to become more responsive. We realize that you—our members—have high expectations of our organization’s value and relevance, and have many time pressures that can make it challenging to find time for day-to-day, operational volunteer duties.
Following a five-month discovery process during which our board’s executive committee identified and thoroughly vetted many new options for management companies, a unanimous decision was reached to transition to SmithBucklin.
AAST’s entire leadership team is very excited about the prospect of a long-term partnership with SmithBucklin; one that is built on shared values and culture. SmithBucklin has 65 years of experience serving independent non-profit associations, including approximately 30 other healthcare-related societies and associations. Our board conducted reference checks during the proposal process and was impressed with SmithBucklin’s depth and breadth of resources, proven practices and respected thought leadership.
Now, here is what this means for you at this very moment: business as usual. During this transition, every effort will be made to continue operating AAST in the same manner as always. We will continue to keep you up to date on our progress, with contact information for our new AAST headquarters office and staff coming your way very soon.
In fact, we will be holding a membership town hall conference call on March 16th to outline key points and address any questions that our members may have about the transition. Look to our website for more information on this town hall conference call, as well as more information on SmithBucklin. And of course, if you have additional questions or concerns at any time, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
On behalf of the entire board of directors, I would like to thank the AASM staff members who have served the Association well for many years and provided a solid foundation on which we can build.
I want you to know that the entire AAST board approached this decision to partner with SmithBucklin very thoughtfully and critically. We strongly believe that this new partnership is the right move for us, and will allow us to serve our current members at the highest level possible. As for what this means for potential new members; there has never been a better time than now to join AAST. Exciting things are in store!
In closing I must say that serving as the 2015-2017 president of the AAST has been both an honor and a pleasure. To my fellow board members, thank you for both your dedication and service to our organization. To our amazing committee members, I know sometimes it can be a thankless job, but please know that the AAST could not do what we do without your hard work and dedication, and we really do appreciate your service to the organization. Lastly, thank you to all of our AAST members. It was an honor getting to know so many of you at various events this year and I hope to stay in touch going forward.
I am excited to continue to support Rita Brooks and the entire 2017 board as they continue to advance the mission and vision of the AAST.
Laura Linley, CRT, RST, RPSGT