Leading the AHRA Journey

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Ernie CerdenaBy Ernesto A. Cerdena, PHDc, RT, CRA, FAHRA

Our “journey” towards becoming an exceptional board and high performing association began immediately after the last day of our successful Annual Meeting. First, it is paramount that I recognize the most outstanding efforts that our immediate past-president David Fox and the Annual Meeting Design Team demonstrated during the vibrant meeting in Las Vegas last month. This meeting was one of the best we had in the history of AHRA, with over 950 members in attendance, top notch keynote speakers, myriad hot topics during the breakout sessions, seven educational vendor sponsored symposiums, excellent food (yes, for real), a fun masquerade party, high traffic at the exhibit halls, and many other fun filled activities.  As David Fox said “WOW!” Indeed, this was the place to be for purposeful networking and intentional learning. Again, BIG KUDOS to the design team, volunteers, and conference managers. We will need to step it up a notch at next year’s Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.

The day after the conference, the AHRA and EF board members got up early and sacrificed a few hours of sleep in order to participate in a board orientation, as well as to take care of some important AHRA business matters. The orientation began with performing a few stretches of the back, neck, shoulders, and hips with Zen music playing in the background. This short exercise ensured everyone’s mental and physical alertness for full engagement during our discussions – and it was fun! Additionally, each member of the board shared a fun and interesting fact about themselves and identified one thing they wanted to accomplish as a board. It truly was a very captivating and heartwarming experience getting to know more about each other at both the personal and professional level.

One of the highlights of a board orientation is to discern the scope, roles, and responsibilities between the board and the CEO. While the board’s main scope of responsibility is governance, the CEO oversees the operations. The diagram below illustrates the delineation of responsibilities (click image to enlarge):


More importantly, the entire board learned about an exceptional board’s four key roles (click image to enlarge):


Furthermore, the expectations have been set for the individual board member roles. The three characteristic traits that will set each board member apart include: a) establishing a culture of candor, respect, and inquiry; b) an appetite for continuous learning and improvement; and c) the capacity to think and act strategically. The board orientation ended with each member receiving an assignment and specific tasks to do. Along with a clear understanding of delineation of responsibilities between the board and the CEO, working interdependently is a keystone to success.

In the next few weeks, the board will begin delving into the objectives, strategies, and tactics of the recently approved strategic plan. Thereafter, the newly resurrected AHRA Strategic Plan Committee will set up a deployment plan. The executive, finance, regulatory affairs, by-laws, and nomination committees will work hand in hand with the strategic plan committee to align our strategic priorities. As I conveyed during the Annual Meeting closing session, our association is what WE make it. As your new president along with the entire board, we are fully engaged to work on what matters to our membership and to point our association forward.

How about YOU? It is your turn to get involved: Engage, Share, Advocate, Mentor, and Participate. Let’s Make it Happen!


Axelrod N. The Governing Board: Key Responsibilities for Association Boards and Board Members. Washington, DC: ASAE Association Management Press, 2013.

Ernesto A. Cerdena, PHDc, RT, CRA, FAHRA is the president of the 2015-2016 AHRA Board of Directors. He is the director of diagnostic imaging/radiology services at Waterbury Hospital in Waterbury, CT. He can be reached at ecerdena@wtbyhosp.org.

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