The ASHT presidential stipend was originally implemented to encourage experienced, well-qualified hand therapists to apply for the position of ASHT president, and currently stands at $30,000. This amount was established by board vote in 2010.
Rationale for Offering a Presidential Stipend
ASHT wishes to ensure all eligible members have the opportunity to serve as ASHT president, and if elected, to serve without incurring undue financial hardship. ASHT wishes to draw from the largest candidate pool possible, in anticipation of attracting the most qualified candidates to serve as chief elected officer.
The nature of the ASHT president’s position is such that it may require substantial time away from paid employment. In addition to two ASHT board meetings and the ASHT Annual Meeting, the president may attend allied society, regional or special purpose meetings in his/her official capacity. Even if the incumbent’s employer agrees the ASHT president may take time off work, it may be necessary for the ASHT president to take unpaid leave, or to draw on annual vacation. If the ASHT president is self-employed, time away from the place of employment on ASHT volunteer business directly results in loss of earnings.
Further, ASHT’s governance structure includes a presidential succession plan. Any member wishing to serve as ASHT president must be prepared to serve one year as vice president, one as president-elect, one as president and one as immediate past president. This is a substantial, long-standing commitment. It is conceivable the ongoing commitment of volunteer time might impact opportunities for career advancement.