The 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) held in Providence this past June marked one of the more important transitions that can occur in the life of a professional association: the succession of one executive director by another. After 22 years of service as executive director of AAIDD—and the American Association on Mental Retardation (AAMR) before that—Doreen Croser stepped down as administrative leader of the association. Board members set policies and approve budgets for a professional association, and members make contributions by serving as journal editors and reviewers, authors of articles and monographs, presenters of conference papers, and participants on standing and ad hoc committees. Yet, it takes an efficient and competent executive director and central office staff to make an association thrive. Ironically, members of an association usually only pay attention to an association's...

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