| There is an old adage in companies that goes, "people
are your most important asset" -- but Jim Collins in his recent book,
Good to Great, suggests that this is wrong.
He builds a compelling case for a new adage: "The
right people are your most important asset."
The book looks at the characteristics that make a
good company into a great company. Most of the book's points are
applicable for non-profit corporations like AAPG.
AAPG is a not-for-profit business that is run by
its members and has a paid staff that implements the policies of
the Executive Committee. The governance of AAPG is vested in the
Executive Committee, the Advisory Council and the House of Delegates.
The staff in Tulsa runs the association's day-to-day business.
Our executive director, Rick Fritz, heads the Tulsa
staff and is the association's chief administrative official. He
has a staff of approximately 65 people who carry out the purposes
of AAPG along with serving the needs of its members.
There are four directors who report to Rick:
- Brenda Cunningham, global development
director, oversees the annual meeting, international conventions
and APPEX conferences, along with other outreach duties.
- David Lange, business director, oversees
the accounting/personnel and membership departments, information
systems and office services/facilities.
- Larry Nation, communications director,
oversees the EXPLORER, AAPG Web site and other non-science communication
and production areas.
- Jack Thomas, geosciences director, oversees
the publication, services/education and marketing departments
I spent some time with each of our directors after
a recent Executive Committee meeting. They are all extremely well
suited for their positions.
All of the staff report to the directors, who then
report to Rick. Rick Fritz is an excellent leader who has followed
the Jim Collins' key rule in management, which is to "get the right
people in the right seats on the bus."
AAPG is a volunteer-based organization and the members
set policies and procedures. The Executive Committee, Advisory Council
and House of Delegates' officers are all elected positions. Division
members elect the DPA, EMD and DEG division officers. Thus, the
members select who is on the bus.
Various committees are formed to consider, take action
on or report on specific matters. The president appoints committees
and committee chairmen. Currently AAPG has 30 standing and 12 ad
The Executive Committee has the authority to establish,
maintain and dissolve standing committees -- and it also determines
the number of members for each standing committee. The various committees
and their mission statements are published on the AAPG Web site.
Ad hoc committees are special committees that are
set up for limited time frames and to address specific topics. They
may become standing committees if approved by the Executive Committee.
Members of standing committees serve three-year terms.
Chairman positions are appointed annually by the president. All
AAPG committee chairmen and members work hard and are the "right
I want to thank the following people who are finishing
their service as chairmen:
- Bret Fossum (Computer Applications and
- Tom Chidsey (Convention Coordination).
- George Grover (Grants-in-Aid).
- Bob Countryman (Membership).
- Pat Gratton (Visiting Geologists Program).
- Katrina Coterill (AAPG/OTC Technology).
- P. Jan Cannon (Astrogeology).
- Erik Mason (Conventions).
(You may have noticed that Erik, Pat and Bob are
new members of the Executive Committee.)
I also want to thank Bob Cowdery and Don Lewis for
chairing the Educational Coordinating and Member Survey ad hoc committees,
respectively. We are fortunate to have so many volunteers who are
willing to generously donate their personal time.
Part of being a true professional is to get involved
in professional societies. Professional societies need member participation
to remain strong and viable. We are fortunate to have a large group
of active members.
AAPG is a great organization and you can help keep
it that way. We have many "open" seats on the AAPG bus -- and if
you want to get involved, please contact me or another member of
the Executive Committee.