Great leaders assure that, after a few years as president, new blood and a fresh perspective are brought in. This prevents burn-out and the stagnation of ideas. While many events become anticipated “traditions,” some change is necessary to keep the event vibrant and the chapter innovating and interesting to current and new members of the board. Nonetheless, focus on developing programs and event “traditions” that are sustainable through leadership transitions.

Chapters must hold elections before the end of every fiscal year, in May or June. Two- or three-year terms for key officers are typical. The terms and titles of elected officers should be included in your chapter’s bylaws. Outgoing leaders should mentor others. Consider selecting a president-elect, who can prepare to become president or a co-president. Most importantly, recruit alumni for all key roles before the position is vacated. Do not “retire” before identifying and training your replacement.