Hola Familia! Miguel Alemañy here for the last time as acting CEO.
That’s right. My tenure in SHPE’s C-suite has come to a close, and while I am still Board Chair until the end of the year, I wanted to give you a brief summary of what SHPE has accomplished over the last six-months.
My number one objective was to stabilize and prep the organization for a new CEO so that they could hit the ground running. I want to ensure that structurally SHPE was ready to thrive under their direction, no matter where they want to go.
To do this, I prioritized instilling a culture of growth, innovation, and cooperation across both staff and regional leadership. This included redesigning the COO role to become truly the head of all operational aspects, simplifying the staffing framework by aligning titles with roles, and hiring qualified and experienced individuals to fill personnel gaps.
When everyone was in place, we worked to empower the heads of the departments by allocating a budget for which they are responsible; eliminating the one-budget one-person control. We also enabled decision-making by the people closest to the data, eliminating the need to micromanage from the top-down. This significantly speeds up our ability to update, change, and enact new policies and strategies that are best for our Familia.
And while we are still learning and adjusting, we have begun to integrate RVPs into the overall organizational operation. We eliminated the concept of a “National” entity with the understanding that there is only ONE SHPE. We redefined the liaison job between the Board and the RVPs, and changed the nature of the work to be more strategic with the Board and more operational with the COO. We want our structure to formally reflect the sincere belief that we are all contributing towards a stronger, more influential institution.
There were some basic financial practices we addressed and updated as well. These included:
Creating a direct link between the Board Treasurer and Finance Department so we could bring long-term stability and strategic choices into the management of our monies.
Enabling the separation of powers by appointing and empowering a new Controller.
Simplifying the travel policy by making managers accountable for employees’ travel and employees accountable for the proper accounting of expenses.
In addition to all of this, we also established an emphasis on individual philanthropy and increased scholarships, which we look forward to watching grow in the coming years. We also created a Government Affairs effort to build a presence in Washington D.C. so that SHPE has a seat at the table where decisions for Hispanics in STEM are made.
And, just to address any rumors that might be out there, my compensation from SHPE for the last six months has been exactly $0. It has been an honor to serve in this position en gratis.
As I reflect on all of these accomplishments, it is readily apparent that it was a contingent of remarkable staff, board, and volunteers that made them possible. It has been a privilege to collaborate with such incredible and dedicated colleagues. They have inspired me everyday, and have given me the confidence to know that SHPE is in the best hands ever.
The new CEO has now been announced, and I am thrilled at the promise of Chris’ leadership. There is no need to wish him luck when he has such a capable, accomplished, and gifted team behind him. I just can’t wait to see where they take SHPE together!
Adios y Muchas Gracias,
Board Chair and (now formerly) Interim CEO