ASHA Convention Co-Chair (Volunteer Leader Position)

Each year two co-chairs are selected to plan for and lead the Annual Convention. One co-chair is selected to represent speech-language pathology, and one is selected to represent audiology.

Official travel as co-chair or co-chair-elect is reimbursed per standard ASHA guidelines for volunteer leaders. Co-chairs will receive a complimentary registration for the ASHA Convention in both Year 1 and Year 2 of their terms. Complimentary lodging is also provided at the ASHA Convention for the year that they officially serve as Co-Chairs (Year 2).

Learn more about the  Call for Co-Chairs and how to apply.

ASHA Staff Liaison: Director, ASHA Convention & Meetings

Works Directly With: Program Team, Convention and Meetings

Co-Chairs' Major Responsibility: Coordination and oversight of the ASHA Convention program and Program Committee members (Topic Chairs)

Co-Chair Term: ASHA Convention co-chairs serve a two-year term. The co-chairs serve on the ASHA Convention Program Committee as topic chairs during year 1 (2018). Year 2 (2019), they serve as the co-chairs for the 2019 ASHA Convention.

Note: Any member who has served as an ASHA Convention co-chair may apply again to serve as a co-chair five years after their term ends.


Year 1 (2018): Co-Chair Elect

The first year of this volunteer position is the "warm up," in which the incoming Co-Chairs' roles serve to familiarize them with the process and responsibilities of the position.

  • Serve as topic chairs for 2018 Convention, including assisting current co-chairs with selection of topics and other topic chairs; attend the 2018 program finalization meeting at the ASHA National Office (June 2018); attend the 2019 Convention Program Committee kick-off meeting at the ASHA National Office as a topic chair (September 2018).
  • Participate in preliminary site planning for 2019: visit the host city for the 2019 Convention with Convention and Meetings staff to walk through the convention center to view/assign meeting space, visit various hotels and other venues where meetings/receptions may be held (August 2018).
  • Participate in other Convention discussions and conference calls as necessary.
  • Attend SPEB meetings according to SPEB membership rotation schedule.
  • Meet with NSSLHA Executive Council.
  • Attend other meetings as needed with the ASHA CEO and/or the ASHA President.

Year 2 (2019): Co-Chair

Continue work from the Convention Program Committee kick-off meeting in September of 2018; participate in conference calls and meetings as requested by Board and other Committees or Councils (BGSIG, for example); direct the 2018 program finalization (scheduling) meeting (June 2019); attend the Annual Convention (November 2019).

  • Develop, coordinate, and implement the overall direction and format of the annual Convention's educational program, including input on the selection of keynote speakers, sessions and presenters.
  • Partner with ASHA's National Office staff and fellow co-chair to set and communicate goals and objectives for the ASHA Convention.
  • Provide direction in Convention theme development in cooperation with the ASHA president and ASHA Convention and Meetings team.
  • Consult with the Director of Convention and Meetings concerning the Convention budget, schedule, promotion, and overall Convention management; monitor and adhere to the prescribed budget and facilitate the distribution of allocated funds and waivers amongst topic chairs.
  • Consult with Convention and Meetings team staff regarding pre-conference workshops, potential service projects, special activities, local arrangements, etc.
  • Implement the Convention planning timeline as developed by the Convention Program team.
  • Organize and establish (or reorganize and modify as needed) the Convention program content Topic Areas.
  • Identify and invite ASHA members to serve as topic chairs to plan and design the Convention educational content, ensuring that clear, demonstrable learning outcomes for each session are established and relate to the overall Convention theme and goals.
  • Support and encourage topic chairs in their efforts to recruit Convention Program Committee members to serve as reviewers. Provide training and orientation to topic chairs with regard to invited speakers, budget, guidelines for reviewing/accepting/rejecting proposals, and scheduling sessions. Maintain frequent and thorough communication with topic chairs throughout all planning and review phases and facilitate communication amongst topic chairs.
  • Coordinate the submission of invited/special sessions with topic chairs.
  • Review for program content overlap across topic areas; ensure coverage of important content within relevant topic areas; incorporate current issues and trends in the professions when developing content and topic areas; foster cross-collaboration between SLP and AUD topic areas—encourage cross-membership on General Interest topic areas. Communicate with the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) about how to best collaborate within topic guidelines to reduce conflicting sessions on similar topics or duplicative sessions.
  • Supervise and manage the review process and acceptance of proposals according to the established procedures and timeline; review program for overlapping or conflicting sessions during finalization meeting held at the ASHA National Office in Rockville, Maryland in the spring.
  • Respond to calls/e-mails from individuals whose papers were rejected and who seek substantive explanations, following the Call for Papers Appeals policy, and work with SPEB, as necessary, to resolve issues.
  • Contribute written pieces for The ASHA Leader and other publications related to promoting and marketing the Convention.
  • Work with Convention Program Team to develop Opening General Session presentation.
  • Maintain frequent and thorough communication with Convention Program Team throughout the entire program planning process regarding issues and concerns that may arise.

At the Convention

  • Lead the Convention Program team in execution of plans.
  • Serve as public face of the ASHA Convention, with the Opening General Session keynote speaking assignment; host the First Timers' Welcome reception, and attend other engagements as needed.
  • Attend and monitor various invited sessions during the Convention.
  • Be in 14 places at once, smiling!

After the Convention

  • Report and debrief on Convention results and feedback with appropriate National Office staff.
  • Serve as a resource for the upcoming co-chairs and topic chairs.


Eligibility Requirements

  • Be an ASHA member in good standing.
  • Have served within the past 7 years on at least two prior Convention Program Committees and, preferably, at least once as a topic chair.
  • Be willing to commit time in 2018 and 2019 to develop and then enjoy the 2019 Convention.

Additional Skills or Traits that will be Favorably Considered

  • Experience organizing, presenting and managing professional and scientific programs
  • Past experience as an ASHA volunteer leader in other capacities
  • Administrative, time management and organizational skills
  • Professional recognition
  • Creative approach to considering new continuing education formats and methodologies
  • Ability to problem-solve and develop creative resolutions, if needed
  • Excellent communication skills (verbal and written)

Selection Process

  • SPEB will review applications and recommend one speech-language pathology and one audiology co-chair candidate to the Committee on Committees.
  • Decisions will be made by July 2017 and candidates will be notified thereafter.