Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Special Interest Groups, or SIGs, bring together AHEAD members who share a common interest in a specific subject area. They support the Association by connecting members, sharing information, and developing resources. AHEAD highly encourages member involvement in SIGs as a way to both improve professional practice and enhance the member experience. The following SIGs are currently in place.  

    SIG Support

    SIGs support AHEAD by offering members:

    • An international network of colleagues interested in a common area, including topic experts who can address questions and concerns;
    • Educational resources, through website content, electronic communication, conference presentations, and informational articles in the Associations online newsletter, the HUB;
    • Opportunities for leadership and service as chairs and co-chairs; and
    • Sponsored conference sessions that extend knowledge and ensure professional development opportunities in areas of member interest.

    AHEAD supports its SIGs through:

    • A Board of Directors Liaison who communicates SIG concerns and recommendations to the Board and updates SIG Chairs on Association business;
    • A presence on the AHEAD website;
    • An annual networking and organizational meeting at the annual conference;
    • The opportunity to establish an online community of SIG members; and
    • The opportunity to request funding to support SIG initiatives of importance to the full membership.

    SIG Activities

    SIGs are an essential member structure for AHEAD! They keep the Association and its members abreast of developments in evolving areas of professional practice and enhance member networking through the following common activities:  

    • Election of one or more chairs to serve as the contact point for information, host the annual meeting, and promote an active role for the SIG in supporting the full membership;  
    • Development of a SIG webpage with contact information for the chairs, an accurate purpose statement, and annual goals and objectives;
    • Support for the professional development of the membership by sponsoring conference sessions, developing website resources such as FAQs, proposing professional development activities through the Standing Committee on Professional Development, etc.;
    • A meaningful annual meeting during the conference to bring members together for networking, planning, and professional development.

    Propose a New SIG:

    AHEAD SIGs evolve in response to the interests of the membership and emerging professional trends. As a new topic takes on importance, members may propose a new SIG to bring interested members together to develop expertise and resources.

    Members interested in starting a new SIG should draft a proposal for Board of Directors consideration. The proposal should include: 

    1.  A mission statement that aligns with AHEAD's mission, vision, and core values. 
    2.  An identified purpose and need.
    • How does the proposed SIG meet needs not currently addressed by a current SIG?
    3.  Names and contact information for a primary and secondary SIG representative.
    4.  Names and contact information for at least ten (10) AHEAD members supportive of the proposed SIG and interested in participating.
    5.  Description of how the proposed SIG will contribute to the mission of AHEAD and help improve practice around a specific professional area.  mission and vision.

    The Board of Directors Liaison to the SIGs will present the proposal to the full Board for a vote on approval. The proposing members will be informed of the decision by the Liaison.