President & CEO

Association of Air Medical Services
  • Location
    Alexandria, Virginia
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Posted
    Nov 15

Position description

AAMS is a voluntary, non-profit trade association representing over 600+ companies, programs and individuals. Established in 1980, AAMS is the longest-serving and most well-established association representing the air and critical care ground medical transport community here in the U.S. and world-wide. AAMS members play a vital role in air medical industry’s future, by guiding AAMS on how to lead the air and critical care ground medical transport industry and America’s communities forward into the future. AAMS is committed to the following set of values:  ethics, excellence, inclusiveness, innovation, integrity, professionalism, responsiveness, and transparency and diversity.

Because the country’s transport community has to meet the ever-changing demands from the public that it serves, while still maintaining standards of performance reflecting safe, efficient operations and high-quality patient care, AAMS is built on the core belief that representation from a variety of medical transport services, businesses and individuals can be brought together to share information, collectively solve problems and provide leadership to our industry and our communities.

AAMS is governed by an 11-member board made up of 4 officers and 7 director-at-large positions.

The organization operates on an annual budget of approximately $3.5 million.

Headquartered in Old Town Alexandria, VA, the CEO is one of 9 full-time staff.


AAMS represents and advocates for the critical care transport industry on Capitol Hill, throughout our communities, to allied organizations, the media and the general public.  Whether AAMS is advocating for safety, research, resources or awareness – AAMS is 100% committed to serving and working with our members in their efforts to meet our industry’s challenges head-on.

Current advocacy initiatives: Medicare reform, No Surprises Act (NSA), Veteran’s Administration Rulemaking.


AAMS has two membership classes:

  1. REGULAR MEMBERSHIP – Includes organizations that provide medical transport services.
  2. INDUSTRY MEMBERSHIP – Includes organizations that provide services to medical transport organizations.

Currently, AAMS membership represents 101 air medical programs and over 1,000 rotor wing, fixed wing, and ground ambulance bases.

AAMS membership dues directly support and play a vital role in the development of AAMS programs, strategic plans and projects. As a result of the association’s aforementioned values and ideals, AAMS hosts several important events, programs and institutions for the medical transport community.

AAMS Events

The signature event products created and implemented by AAMS are:

  • Air Medical Transport Conference (AMTC is held annually for three days usually in fall months of September, October, or November. AMTC rotates its location to different regions within the U.S. every year. 
  • AAMS Medical Transport Leadership Institute (MTLI is held annually for a week usually in the spring month of April in Oglebay, West Virginia, USA. The mission of MTLI is to enhance leadership and management of medical transportation services through formal education programs stressing management theory and its direct practical application. 
  • AAMS Safety Management Training Academy (SMTAis held annually for a week usually in the summer month of August. The mission of SMTA is to provide formal continuing education for individuals (and their organizations) interested in improving their understanding of safety systems theory and the application of that theory to the practice of medical transportation. 
  • Critical Care Transport Academy (CCTA) is a training avenue to provide education and development by volunteer flight crew members from around the country. The academy consists of a 40 week structured program with scenario-based evaluations, individual assignments, and ground assignments with the goal of providing a solid foundation, tools to face the challenges of flight crew orientation, interview practice sessions and a collaborative approach to helping academy graduates find a program that is the best fit for them. 
  • Clinical Educator Symposium (CES) is a 2.5 day workshop designed to develop educators in the transport medicine space. The symposium is aimed at introducing innovative teaching techniques that maximize student interactions to help validate content being taught.

In addition to many educational and meetings opportunities AAMS offers its members, AAMS also provides many other members’ only benefits and assets such as:

  • Research and funding opportunities through the industry’s foundation – MedEvac Foundation International (MFI)
  • MFI provider wellness campaign -Taking Care of Our Own
  • MFI Scholarships
  • MTLI
  • SMTA
  • Children’s Scholarship
  • Important transport industry resources and campaigns such as:
  • AAMS weekly email newsletter – News On the Fly;
  • A bi-monthly copy of the Air Medical Journal, which includes 24/7 online access to its current edition, the journal’s RSS Feed and its large article archives

MedEvac Foundation International

The MedEvac Foundation International (mentioned above) is an industry affiliated foundation. Established in 2005, the Foundation is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization created to support charitable, scientific, and educational opportunities for the medical evacuation community and to help educate the public about medical evacuation transport.

The foundation awards funds to support the development of research in air medical and critical care transport. The specific goals of the MedEvac Foundation Grant Program are:

  • promote research within the specialty of critical care transport,
  • advance patient care standards in critical care transport,
  • advance safety in critical care transport,
  • advance the overall cost–benefit ratio of all aspects of air medical andcritical care transport systems, and
  • facilitate the academic growth and development of future researchers in critical care transport.

The President /CEO also serves as the CEO of the MedEvac Foundation International with overall managerial and fiduciary responsibilities. The foundation is also managed currently by two part-time AAMS employees. The entire team operates out of shared offices in the Alexandria, Virginia office.

The Position of President/CEO

The President/CEO serves as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS), directly reporting to the AAMS Executive Committee, with ultimate responsibility to the AAMS Board of Directors, accepting responsibility for the success or failure of the association. This is accomplished by providing leadership and direction to the organization, its Board(s), the membership, and the staff thereby assuring association sustainability and growth.

He/she serves as a non-voting, ex-officio member of the AAMS Executive Committee, the AAMS Board of Directors, the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees of the Foundation.

As previously mentioned, the President/CEO also serves as the CEO of the MedEvac Foundation.

Specific Responsibilities

The President /CEO's key responsibilities include the following:

  • Creating and implementing a strategic plan that will lead the vision of AAMS to be the world’s pre-eminent air medical evacuation services association.
  • Working with the Chair of the AAMS / MFI Board of Directors enabling the Board of Directors to fulfill its governance function, facilitate the optimum interaction between the staff management and the Board and assist with Board growth and development.
  • Fostering and developing relationships with industry partners and affiliated associations to ensure healthy dialogue and collaboration.
  • Developing strategies and plans for membership growth that include both attracting new members and retaining current members while increasing the value proposition associated with membership.
  • Serving as one of the key spokespersons for the association in communicating effectively with the media and the many components of AAMS’s membership.
  • Overseeing all day-to-day program, financial, and operational aspects of the association. In this capacity, formulate direction, policies and programs, including financial and budgeting programs, consistent with sound fiscal management and the association’s strategic plan.
  • Ensuring that the organization anticipates and meets the evolving needs of the industry by hiring, retaining and developing a highly motivated, capable and professional staff.
  • Developing, maintaining and enhancing technology, including the use of social media, to deliver 24/7 “real time” benefits for members and chapters.
  • Overseeing the implementation of additional activities related to operational issues for AAMS and the other affiliated organizations in the following key areas:
  • Meetings: Ensuring the coordination and implementation of all association meetings and conferences.
  • Publications: Overseeing the publication of the association newsletters, web pages and other communication vehicles.
  • Marketing: Ensuring tools and personnel are in place to inform members and others of offerings from AAMS and the Foundation.
  • Public Relations: Coordinating efforts to enhance the public image of AAMS, the Foundation, and other associated air and ground medical transport industry services.

In summary, this individual is expected to demonstrate significant leadership in and representation of the air medical services community and its related professional partners, as well as the overall direction and management of AAMS.

Qualifications & Experience

The ideal candidate for the President/CEO of the Association of Air Medical Services will be an accomplished leader with knowledge and experience in organizational management. Knowledge of the medical transport industry, aviation, and/or healthcare would be an asset but is not required. Knowledge in the public policy arena would also be an asset.

The successful candidate should specifically possess the following:

  • Experience in leading an organization or a large department of an organization with a strategic, goal-oriented approach with an ability to effectively implement and deliver results.
  • Communications experience to include externally articulating an organization’s message, internally communicating with the Board leadership and staff, working with the media, and serving as a national spokesperson.
  • Proven diplomatic and consensus-building skills with a track record of bringing people together toward a common goal and engendering trust from a diverse Board, the membership at large, along with partners and competitors alike.
  • Membership development and membership services experience specifically centered on creating and providing educational content as a membership benefit that enhances the value of membership.
  • Experience in managing volunteer officers and reporting to a volunteer board.
  • Experience with public policy initiatives and interfacing with elected and non-elected public officials.
  • Strong management experience with a proven ability to achieve organizational and administrative excellence by identifying human resource capital, promoting teamwork and mentoring staff members while still holding staff accountable.
  • Business acumen. Proven experience in financial resource assessment and budget oversight.
  • Fundraising. A track record of creatively increasing revenue streams, raising sponsorship funds, as well as, soliciting philanthropic dollars.
  • Bachelor’s degree is required. An advanced degree in business, law, health care, public administration or another related field of study is desirable.

The following, while not absolute, are enhanced experiences and qualifications that will strengthen candidacy:

  • Experience managing a trade-based membership (vs. a professional-based membership) is desirable but not an absolute.
  • Experience working from or having strong touchpoints within the aviation or health care industries.
  • Experience overseeing income-producing meetings and conferences is desirable.
  • International experience is helpful along with a global understanding, as the AAMS and the MedEvac Foundation have a global footprint.
  • Professional designation of Certified Association Executive (CAE) would also be an asset.

Personal Characteristics and Skill Sets

The successful candidate will be:

  • A leader. Someone that will demonstrate a mature and thoughtful approach in leading and managing change in a very dynamic environment.
  • A vision setter. Someone who can see the big picture and can creatively formulate a vision and then a plan towards that vision. This person must have the ability to think differently about a changing industry and offer a fresh perspective to its relevancy to its many constituencies.
  • A strong communicator. Someone with an ability to clearly and concisely articulate complex issues and situations, both verbally and in writing, while telling the story of AAMS’s relevancy and value-add to not only the membership but to external audiences as well.
  • Collaborative in nature. Someone who is both responsive and sensitive to the diverse needs and positions of the membership, a bridge builder with the diplomatic skills to close the gaps in opinions within the broad stakeholders within the industry.
  • A confident personality. Someone who is comfortable in the face of differing opinions and works well under pressure when the stakes are high.
  • A quick learner. Someone with an innate ability to quickly become an expert on the medical evacuation industry. The President/CEO must be able to master issues affecting the industry and to develop substantive knowledge so that he/she is credible with internal and external parties.
  • Board mindful and appreciative. While the President/CEO should have a true strategic partnership with the AAMS leadership built upon trust and respect, the position at times, however, calls for a “servant leader” with their ego intact.
  • Flexible and resilient. This person must be able to react to a stressful industry environment led by strong, and often times, operationally-focused and "take charge" personalities.
  • Goal-oriented. This person not only recognizes effective activities and tactics but understands and communicates their value to achieving the organization’s strategic goals.
  • Excellent “customer” (member) focus, with the ability to successfully navigate through the complexities of having multiple memberships and stakeholders with varying agendas and priorities.
  • A true listener. The successful candidate is an open-minded listener with an inquiring, questioning personality.
  • Appreciative of technology and its potential. While personally not necessarily tech savvy, the position will be enhanced by an inquisitive thinker that can dream and envision the benefits of social/electronic media going forward.
  • And lastly, compassionate. The new President/CEO should be passionate about mission of AAMS and at all times focused upon the ultimate end-user, the patient.

Application instructions

Those interested in the position should electronically submit a cover letter and a chronological resume to:

René Borghese, AAMS Board Chair: [email protected]

Kolby Kolbet, AAMS Chair Elect / Interim CEO: [email protected]

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