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Position Specification: AIM President and Chief Executive Officer

January 17, 2019

Our Client


Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) is the preeminent state-wide employer association, serving the needs of all types of member organizations through public policy advocacy, resources, and community. As a leading professional lobbying organization in the Commonwealth, AIM plays a critical role in shaping the economic future of Massachusetts on behalf of employers. AIM works on the issues that matter most to employers – cost of health care and energy; employment law; budget, taxes and finance; and workforce development. AIM also provides management and HR services that increase workforce productivity and improve the recruitment, retention, and training of talented people. AIM’s core mission is to support legislation and regulation that promotes business growth and jobs; to provide world-class management and human-resource services; to educate workers for the new economy; and to assist employers with access to workers compensation and employee-benefit coverage.
At its heart, AIM is a community of employers who share best practices and business opportunities and is comprised of more than 3,500 Massachusetts employers from every sector of the economy, whose teams represent one out of five residents of the Commonwealth. These members rely upon AIM to work with elected officials to create a climate in which business can grow and create opportunity and prosperity for the citizens of the Commonwealth.  Through a dynamic and innovative range of programs and services, AIM supports pro-business legislation and helps employers make sense of complex employment laws.  Employers have looked to AIM since 1915 for integrity, professionalism, and results. 
AIM is a leader in public policy advocacy in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Effective governments build business climates that encourage employers in all industries to invest, expand and create opportunity. Many of the issues that are critically important to AIM members are complex, involve a wide mix of stakeholders and underlying policies, and have substantial impact on the Massachusetts economy. 
AIM’s work on economic and business policy issues boils down to the nexus of a person, a job and an employer. In this pursuit, AIM stands for jobs, economic opportunity, fiscal predictability, business formation, innovation, education and a government that acknowledges that the private sector has the unique ability and responsibility to create the common wealth for the people of Massachusetts. 
AIM also offers its member a variety of services and supports, including access to the latest information on issues affecting employers and the CEO Connection. In addition, through AIM HR Solutions, a team of experienced HR professionals who have worked in nearly every industry sector and every HR competency, AIM partners with companies to address their specific HR or training needs in a way that fits their culture, timeframe, and budget. Whether an employer needs ongoing support, someone to lead and manage an HR project, or onsite training, AIM HR Solutions has a range of tools and services to help companies succeed. 
AIM has an annual operating budget of approximately $9 million, approximately 50 staff (40 FTEs) of whom 7 report directly to the CEO, and a member base of more than 3,500.


The Role

The President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) has primary responsibility for providing strategic leadership and vision in fulfilling the mission of the association as the leading voice of Massachusetts employers, subject to the direction of the AIM Board of Directors. This individual is responsible for AIM’s organizational growth, operational efficiency and fiscal stability. This includes the direction and general management of all activities of the association, including public policy advocacy; public affairs and communication; membership, sales and marketing; and all membership resources, member benefits and all other community activities of the organization such as meetings, events, committees and councils. The President and CEO is also the President and CEO of the AIM Service Corporation dba AIM HR Solutions, which is AIM’s HR services and training business, and The Associated Industries of Massachusetts Foundation.
The responsibilities of the President include the following:
  • Strategic Leadership and Vision: The President and CEO leads the organization and the senior leadership team in the development of both long and short-term strategic objectives to advance the mission of AIM in a meaningful and sustained way. Assures that AIM continues to maintain its position and relevance by executing strategic objectives to represent the diverse demographics of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts employer community. 
  • Public Policy Advocacy: The President and CEO, in conjunction with the AIM Board of Directors, develops and advances the public policy priorities of the association. Works closely with the EVP of Government Affairs to ensure that AIM is an effective, non-partisan and respected voice of employers with public policy leaders, primarily on Beacon Hill, but also in Washington D.C. when appropriate. 
  • Public Affairs and Communications: The President and CEO is the chief public spokesperson for the association, representing AIM’s mission and AIM’s membership by creating and leading business and organization alliances that advance the public policy agenda of Massachusetts employers. The President and CEO directs and approves all public policy and organizational communication. 
  • Resources and Services: The President and CEO ensures that all resources provided by the association to its members, including human resource training, education and services, insurance products, and other membership benefits, are of high quality and delivered in a professional manner. 
  • Business and Community Leadership: The President and CEO professionally represents the Massachusetts employer community in diverse public policy, civic and community roles, consistent with overall mission of the association. 
  • Membership: The President and CEO ensures that AIM is a vibrant, growth-oriented membership organization which provides meaningful value to a wide range of Massachusetts employers through its advocacy, resources and community. The President and CEO is responsible for growing AIM’s membership and developing initiatives targeted toward both existing and new markets. 
  • Governance: The President and CEO works closely with the AIM Board Chair and members of the AIM Board of Directors and Executive Committee to ensure the effective operation and oversight of the association, including board and officer nominations, board succession planning, committee performance and other governance responsibilities as defined in the AIM Bylaws. 
  • Financial Performance and Reporting: The President and CEO works closely with the EVP Finance and Administration, oversees the development of AIM’s annual operating and capital budgets, monthly financial reporting and measurements, investment performance, annual financial audits, filing of tax returns and other regulatory reporting. 
  • Operations and Management: The President and CEO is responsible for all operations and management functions, managing and directing all services of the association. 
  • Staff Management: The President and CEO employs members of the AIM staff necessary to carry on the work of the association, including Executive Vice Presidents, Senior Vice Presidents, and Vice Presidents and directly manages and oversees the activities of the senior leadership team including recruitment and retention, annual performance reviews, compensation and the development of departmental objectives. 
  • A.I.M. Mutual: The President and CEO maintains AIM’s strategic partnership, including the annual renewal of the royalty and service agreements, with A.I.M. Mutual Insurance Company and its subsidiaries. Assures the nomination and election of four A.I.M. Mutual Board of Directors with AIM Member Companies.

Candidate Profile 


AIM seeks a visionary and strategic leader for its next President and Chief Executive Officer. The successful candidate will be a person with stature and executive presence, capable of leading an organization that represents a large community of employers during a time of increased regulation, shifting demographics, and new market entrants that are forcing many employers to change the way they operate.  The successful candidate will have a reputation as a thoughtful, open-minded and non-partisan leader in the Commonwealth.
The next CEO will excel at working with an Executive Committee and Board to align on an evolving vision for the future of the organization, generate consensus around that vision and its priorities, and be a charismatic and inspiring leader to implement and execute on the goals and objectives. S/he will possess strong strategic planning abilities and experience leading an organization or industry through change. S/he needs to have creative and innovative ideas, and be able to advance AIM’s public policy agenda, continued and enhanced growth in membership and partnerships, and potentially new products and services – all designed to help AIM lead business and industry into the future. S/he must have an open and entrepreneurial mindset, enabling AIM to continue providing excellent value to its diverse membership during a time of evolution. The successful candidate will have a track record of leading an organization (or a significant department of an organization) including financial management and staff oversight.
The successful candidate will be respected for his/her deep knowledge of public policy issues and advocacy, and for his/her connectivity across Massachusetts.  Further, it is essential that this individual be skilled at developing and maintaining strong non-partisan relationships across all branches and levels of government effectively.  This leader should be able to help AIM effectively build upon and leverage critical relationships with employers from every part of the Commonwealth, across all industries, and of all sizes. AIM’s next CEO will have the ability to be an outstanding spokesperson for the organization.
The successful candidate will be a person of the highest integrity with exceptional energy. S/he must possess self-confidence, but also be humble. The successful candidate needs to be gracious in manner and comfortable in any situation.    
In terms of the performance and personal competencies required for the position, we would highlight the following:
Setting Strategy
  • The ability to partner with the Board and Executive Committee in articulating an inspiring vision for AIM, building on key strengths and existing priorities, and helping the organization identify and pursue new opportunities. 
  • The ability to effectively balance opportunities for evolution with an understanding of how much change the organization is capable of handling, to create realistic goals and implementation plans that are achievable and successful.
  • The inclination to seek and analyze data from a variety of sources to support decisions and to align others with the organization's overall strategy.
Public Policy Expertise
  • Deep expertise in public policy development and advocacy.
  • Extensive experience working effectively and collaboratively with the Massachusetts legislative and executive branches.
Relationships and Influence
  • Naturally connects and builds strong relationships with others, demonstrating strong emotional intelligence and an ability to communicate clearly, persuasively, and diplomatically.
  • An ability to inspire trust and lead others through compelling influence, powerful charisma, passion in his/her beliefs, and active drive.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop cooperative and effective relationships with members of the business community, the media, and other strategic partners. 
Executing for Results
  • The ability to set clear and challenging goals while committing the organization to improved performance; tenacious and accountable in driving results.
  • Comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty; the ability to adapt nimbly and lead others through complex situations.
  • A leader who is viewed by others as having a high degree of integrity and forethought in his/her approach to making decisions; the ability to act in a transparent and consistent manner while always taking into account what is best for the organization and its members. 
Leading Teams
  • The ability to recruit top talent, motivate the team, delegate effectively, celebrate diversity within the team, and manage performance; widely viewed as a strong developer of others.
  • The ability to persevere in the face of challenges and exhibit a steadfast resolve and relentless commitment to high standards, which commands respect from followers.
  • A leader who is self-reflective and aware of his/her own limitations; leads by example and drives the organization's performance with an attitude of continuous improvement by being open to feedback and self-improvement.
A minimum of 15 years of professional experience including 10 or more at the executive level is preferred. Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree a plus.


Russell Reynolds Associates has been exclusively retained for this search. Prospective candidates are invited to contact RRA directly. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.  For more information or to apply for the role, please reach out to
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