The Road Ahead

by Jesse Jacobson, AASP-MN President

2022 will be a busy year for the Alliance and the automotive industry.

By now, you’ve probably read about and have possibly met the new executive director, Linden Wicklund. Before we start talking about the present, I would briefly like to take a step back to last year when Judell notified the Board of her retirement.

We knew that Judell set a high standard and it would be hard to find someone to fill her shoes. I’ll admit, I was a bit anxious. We know about hiring staff for our trades, but not an executive director for an association. Being the planner that Judell is, she had the succession plan, timing and budget all laid out for the Board. She was wise to advise us to form a hiring committee and hire a consultant. There were many meetings to select a consultant, create the requirements, review applications, first round of interviews, personality assessments, second round of interviews and final selection. Through all of that, Judell kept us and her retirement on track. Those of us who were on the Executive Director Search Committee last year and current Board members got a good understanding of all the different tasks that the executive director and the Alliance, as a whole, are responsible for.

We strongly feel that Linden is the right fit for the job. She embodies all of the Alliance’s core values: appreciation, collaboration, commitment, connection, focus, integrity and professionalism. Those of you that know me know I love spreadsheets. Linden started her second and final interview by handing out a spreadsheet that laid out what the first six months would look like under her leadership. As you can imagine, we were impressed. The search committee was a tremendous learning opportunity that only being involved in the Alliance could have provided.

Now, to the present. Linden is getting up to speed on the internal workings of the Alliance. She is fully immersed in committee meetings, strategic planning, race for education, the annual conference and the golf outing. She will be looking forward to meeting you at one of these upcoming events or meetings, so please make plans to attend!


Want more? Check out the April issue of AASP-MN News!