ABAI COO Mr. Vapniarek Retiring
Mr. Lawrence (“Larry”) Vapniarek will be retiring after 14 years serving as the Director of Operations and Chief Operating Officer of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology (ABAI) on January 31, 2020.
During his distinguished tenure spanning three ABAI Presidents, Mr. Vapniarek expertly led an office supporting the Board and diplomates at a time of pivotal change and numerous challenges He was instrumental in the transformation of ABAI to meet the changing landscape of initial and continuing certification for allergists and immunologists. This included the restructuring and relocation of the office and personnel, and overseeing the necessary expansion of personnel from three upon his arrival to the current eight dedicated permanent staff to support the ABAI Board of Directors and approximately 6,000 active diplomates. Mr. Vapniarek demanded a culture of service and teamwork highly valued by all and resulting in unprecedented staff satisfaction and low turnover. His keen financial insight and proactive approach has greatly contributed to the stewardship of the ABAI enabling the launching of new programs and activities without adding financial impact to diplomates and ensuring the sound financial standing of the Board. Some examples of Mr. Vapniarek’s numerous accomplishments include:
• Staff restructuring to align with initial and continuing certification workflows
• Addition of continuing certification (MOC) manager, information technology administrator and continuing certification specialist
• Two highly successful headquarters office moves
• Development and deployment of Diplomate Web Portals for individualized status and requirement service support
• Novel longitudinal Continuous Assessment Program (CAP) support and flawless rollout with no increase in 10 year diplomate fee structure
• Enhanced society relationships
• Conversion of operations to a paperless system
• Served as a resource for the ABMS Human Resources Network sharing innovations and expertise
• Worked closely with ABIM and ABP sponsoring boards to harmonize policies and procedures
• Staff training ensuring expertise in evolving ABAI and ABMS certification programs, policies and procedures
• Staff professional development contributing to personal growth and staff-initiated innovations
• Consolidation and enhancement of procedure manuals and orientation materials
• Office and professional service efficiencies enabling provision of new modules and services at no cost to diplomates
“Larry’s humility and unique ability to effectively adapt leadership style to meet organizational needs and effect change has been a cornerstone of ABAI’s success during a time of great change. We have all benefited from his tireless dedication and commitment and will continue to do so for years to come.” – Dr. Michael Nelson, President and CEO, ABAI.
“Larry has been an incredible asset to the allergy and immunology community. He has smoothly managed an increased workload and was instrumental in morphing our recertification process into our current continuing assessment process. We all owe him a great debt of gratitude. He will be missed. ” – Dr. Theodore Freeman, Chairman, ABAI Board of Directors.
Mr. Vapniarek will be honored at the fall ABAI Board of Directors Meeting. His replacement is expected to be named in the next few weeks.