Ideal No. 7 for keeping AAJA extraordinary:
I believe that AAJA’s national and chapter leaders need to be held to the same scrutiny and high expectations we subject public officials and corporate executives to. Members need to be able to trust that their representatives are always acting on their behalf and in their best interests, without seeking personal enrichment. Especially in fundraising, choosing scholarship or fellowship winners, naming winners of national or chapter awards or dispersing AAJA funds.
What does AAJA get out of it? The confidence that their leaders are acting honorably, ethically and with transparency. We should seek to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest that could jeopardize the goodwill we’ve built up over 31-plus years. Just as having solid financial records is necessary to maintain our tax-exempt 501(c)3 status, the behavior of our leaders is critical to AAJA’s reputation, branding and ability to fund-raise. We can’t afford to accept anything less.