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Reston Association Perspective

Reston Association Perspective


CEO Search Moving Forward

Oct 10 2018

By Andy Sigle
RA Board President

One of our most important responsibilities as your Reston Association Board of Directors this year is to select a new CEO.  It is then incumbent upon us to work closely with this individual to appropriately on-board them and to ensure that the needs of members are being met in accordance with RA’s founding principles. The process of selecting a new CEO began in earnest in May and is continuing into the autumn.

First-round interviews with candidates chosen by board member votes based on applicant resume reviews and were held in June and July. Those candidates were interviewed by an internal board search committee consisting of select board members. RA’s senior leadership team, which includes top-level managers, was also involved in the initial interviews.

Second round interviews with the full board occurred in August with several candidates from the first interviews set.  None of these candidates were selected to move further in the process and, as such, the board then directed the Human Resources department to expand the search by posting the position on various news and career-related websites. The board also asked HR to provide options for potentially using an executive search firm.

At the September board meeting, the directors voted to hire an executive search firm while simultaneously moving forward with a new set of first-round interviews from new candidate applications. These interviews are expected to continue into early November, in parallel with the search firm coming on board. We continue to balance hiring-as-soon-as-possible with finding an ideal candidate who is a great fit for RA.

Members can rest assured that the board is seeking a CEO who can work cooperatively and collaboratively in establishing short and long-term goals and priorities for the association. The CEO leads the effort to develop biennial budgets, so it is vitally important to the future of Reston that resources allotted in those budgets are used wisely. The board plays a fiduciary role in making sure your assessment dollars are spent in a way that aligns with the association’s Strategic Plan and focuses on the quality of life issues that make Reston a special place to live, work and play.

While there are an array of traits and qualifications we are seeking in the next CEO, the ability to lead and manage ranks near or at the top. Integrity, ethical conduct and the proven know-how to foster a climate that attracts, retains and motivates a diverse staff are important skills in leading any community organization, especially one as large and intricate as Reston Association.

Making the tough calls isn’t always fun, but it is a necessary requirement in overseeing a staff with over 100 employees working in a broad range of jobs that all focus on RA’s mission statement. The CEO position is a member-facing, rollup-your-sleeves job that requires the ability to smartly navigate through internal issues and also external policy matters involving Fairfax County and private businesses. Financial stewardship and extensive knowledge of customer service are at the forefront of what the board and RA members expect from a CEO.

While we wind through the process of hiring a new CEO, the board wants to express its thanks to the RA staff for stepping up to make sure that “the trains continue to run on time” in the interim. The importance of selecting the right person to lead RA can’t be overemphasized enough, so we continue to appreciate the patience shown by staff and members as we do our due diligence.

While board members come and go with each annual election, the CEO should bring a sense of stability and vision to the organization that will hopefully last for years. We will keep you posted on our progress and promptly introduce you to our new CEO when they are onboard.