Incoming HBA President Buket Grau’s Speech at the 2011 Leadership Conference

Buket Grau
Incoming 2012 HBA President Buket Grau at the HBA Leadership Conference

I feel privileged to accept the role of president of the HBA, and I am grateful to you and to our past presidents for your service and leadership.

This year, Deb has been leading us through a unifying theme of “the year of the volunteer.” Last year, Susan Torroella instituted the focus on “the year of the chapter.” And the year before, Ceci Zak had us strategically address how to engage Corporate Partners in our mission.

Collectively, dedicated focus on these areas made us a much stronger organization. HBA today represents 6,000+ members, 130+ corporate partners, and thousands of volunteers with its 15 chapters. It is a reflection of incredible leadership of our board members, staff, volunteers, and committed corporate partners.

Today, because of this strong foundation, we can now set our sights on what I believe is a unique opportunity: to become the most engaging and the most trusted healthcare leadership organization worldwide.

This is an ambitious overarching goal for HBA. But it is the kind of goal that, I would argue, is now appropriate for an organization of our size and of our talent. If you think about it, engagement and trust have always been at the core of HBA. By focusing on this goal, we are pushing ourselves to be more of who we are already.

Clearly, we know that engaging our members by our offerings and volunteer leadership opportunities is critical for our sustainable growth. Our programs must be not only relevant; they have to be accessible. Our volunteer opportunities must be a great return of value not only to them and to their employers.

Trust already lies at the heart of our programs and is the backbone that allows the countless connections which HBA facilitates for its members. Trust is also especially important during times of change and economic or professional turbulence and stress that many experience today.

So, my dream for HBA is that whatever leadership challenges they have or whichever cross-roads they are at, every single member, volunteer and Corporate Partner feels they can come home to HBA, like coming home to their family–where we all unite passionately under a common purpose.

And focusing on the essential values of “engagement and trust” will give us guidance to best serve them when they come home, and it will also help secure the future of our influence in the healthcare industry.

So with this overarching goal in view, I see 2012 as a year for key strategic investments and accomplishments that will mark important milestones along our journey. We’ll accelerate innovation. We have an incredible pipeline of new offerings coming up to ensure we satisfy the evolving needs of our members and partners. We have a robust approach to expand our reach across healthcare sectors to broaden learning and collaboration across the industry.

And we are building required capabilities to ensure sustainability, quality and efficiency in everything we do and stand for, especially, as we prepare for our expanding membership base.

I have no doubt we will be successful – thanks to your support, to our dedicated leadership, Corporate Partners, sponsors and advisory board.

In closing, let me say that my involvement in HBA has been one of my most rewarding professional and personal experiences.  I joined HBA as a volunteer with the Boston chapter seven years ago. Since then, HBA has truly become a family to me, with many invaluable friendships. It has engaged me professionally and has instilled great trust personally.It was an honor to serve under Deb’s leadership on the board this year.

I am very excited about 2012. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve HBA and help to advance the organization toward the next level of achievement.

As my first official order of business as the incoming president, I would like to announce the location of next year’s leadership conference. The 2012 HBA Leadership Conference will be held from November 7 to 9 at the Gaylord Palms in beautiful Orlando, Florida.


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