On January 20, 2015, the Arizona Interscholastic Association's executive board voted unanimously to appoint Associate Executive Director, Chuck Schmidt as the next Executive Director to succeed Dr. Harold Slemmer when he retires in 2017.
Since the announcement, questions have been raised regarding the process in which this decision was made. In 2013, based on direction of the Executive Board, Dr. Slemmer began formulating a succession plan to prepare for his own retirement. As part of that process, Dr. Slemmer evaluated the specialization of the position, qualifications required and knowledge needed for success. “High School Associations like the AIA are extremely specialized. There are only 51 National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) recognized associations, each with their own nuances. To find someone with the appropriate skill set and specialized high school association knowledge is rare. Chuck's fourteen years of AIA specific experience and knowledge made it obvious for me to recommend him for this role.”
Currently, there are multiple state associations in which the Executive Director position is, or soon will be, open. Dr. Slemmer, having extensive involvement in the National Federation of State High School Associations was well aware that other associations had interest in recruiting Mr. Schmidt for their Executive Director positions. “Chuck has been an invaluable asset to the AIA. All of us on the board, felt that losing that expertise and skill to another state would be a disservice to our members and the organization. At the same time, we recognized his readiness for the role. We thought it was best to make our intentions known, even though the role won't begin for another two years,” said Executive Board President, Dr. Doug Wilson. “We've been essentially interviewing Chuck everyday that we've worked with him and I have no doubt, that even if we had opened this up for a full search, we would not have found a better candidate for our specific needs. And frankly, not a lot of people want to interview for a job that won't happen for another two years. We felt a sense of urgency to make this decision,” added Executive Vice President, Mike DeLao.
“We made the decision because we believe Chuck Schmidt is the right candidate to succeed Dr. Slemmer. Based on his job performance, skills and specialized knowledge, deciding to accept Dr. Slemmer's succession recommendation and announce our upcoming appointment, was not a difficult decision to make for me. The unanimous votes indicate the entire Executive Board supported Dr. Slemmer's recommendation,” said Executive Board Member Ken VanWinkle.
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