Hi Wilbur and thanks for posting this -
I want to start by giving my context for responding here. It's important to remember that the GC holds an advisory role within the AHA. That means it does not have budget control and is not an administrative overseer of operations. The GC's real value is in connecting the AHA staff and operations to the members they serve, to be the voice of the members and to bring context and perspective of the members into the decisions the AHA makes. Each member's role is a hands-on, 'in the weeds' experience to ensure member voices are heard in all areas that the AHA focuses on. Being a member of a governing committee is different than, say, a legislative body, even though some of the language and framework are similar. Otherwise, I would have some great 'a beer keg in every pot' motto and kiss a lot of babies.
I am not running for the GC because I want to instill a specific agenda nor because I have an ax to grind (I am very happy with what the AHA has done and optimistic about what the AHA is and can achieve). I am running because I believe I have the ability and experience to listen to the wide range of ideas and needs of AHA members and I can, in turn, convey and advocate for them in granular detail within the GC regardless of the subject area.
There are some things I would like the AHA to improve on for sure, but many are easy fixes. For example, the subcommittee areas of the Forum are lightly used. It would be great for the leaders of those subcommittees to use those areas to post regular updates. I think it would go far to connect with members who are passionate about those topics. That doesn't take being a member of the GC to implement. It does take an understanding that as a volunteer-driven organization, the human capital to record and archive discussions and actions can be high.
The AHA needs a GC that it can take into the inner workings of the organization and ensure that as they make decisions, those decisions are not fully disconnected from the members. I reference my current work on a vestry for this very reason. I lead several subcommittees that dive into topics that can be very complicated - such as personnel issues and benefits. I also lead another on stewardship. In both, some issues take months of information gathering and understanding to come up with a position. I could not have known that these are areas I would focus on when I was up for vestry. They are issues that were presented during our general meeting and I volunteered to take on the 'dirty grunt work' necessary for the larger body to make some difficult decisions. It is rather thankless work that makes for terrible sound-bites, but it's incredibly satisfying to know that my thankless work has such impact. For a bit more context, the goals of the vestry are based on two time-frames - the current year and a 100-year plan. So any decisions made must be projected out for decades to see what lasting impact they have; decisions do not come lightly.
I would measure my success in my ability to understand and clarify AHA issues at a deep level, to ensure that the members passionate about those topics are both informed about the issues at hand and have their voices heard. And I would measure how well those decisions are in keeping the AHA on target for goals that are 5, 10 and 20 years into the future. (slightly edited to correct a few grammar mistakes)