Unflappable in a Crisis
Mr. Andrejeski’s “unflappable” leadership through challenging times is his hallmark, says Michael E. Weinblatt, MD, professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, co-
director of clinical rheumatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, and ACR past president, 2000–2001.
You Might Also Like
Explore This IssueApril 2019
Also By This Author
He recalls when the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks created global fear about air travel that jeopardized the ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting in San Francisco scheduled for that November.
“The Annual Meeting is a huge source of revenue. Mark and I had to make a decision about whether or not to print the syllabus,” says Dr. Weinblatt. “We decided to go forward and hold the meeting, even though some countries would not let their rheumatologists come. We transferred cash to Wells Fargo in San Francisco just in case we needed it to get staff and ACR members out of the city on chartered buses. Mark was, and is, a true leader. He wanted to be sure everyone was safe.”
Mary K. Crow, MD, physician in chief, chair of medicine and chief of rheumatology at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, recalls meeting Mr. Andrejeski about 20 years ago at a dinner with several rheumatologists. She realized she was being recruited to volunteer.
“He had the knack of identifying rheumatologists with potential and encouraging them to get involved,” says Dr. Crow, who went on to chair the Annual Meeting Planning Committee and serve as ACR president. “Mark really understands the kind of people the ACR needs and the unique skills we have. However, he has a gentle touch. He allows volunteers to take on leadership positions, but he would always be by your side, supporting you and taking the organization in the right direction. Mark has a sense of everything that’s going on, and weighs in with his opinion, even if it’s a different opinion. He’s always respectful and collegial.”
Mr. Andrejeski also recruits talented staff and gives them the freedom to do their jobs, she says. One of these is Mary Wheatley, CAE, IOM, executive director of the Foundation.
“Mark is great at recognizing potential in the next generation of leaders, cultivating that potential and then pushing them to the next level. I’ve seen it—and been it!—happen with staff and volunteers. It’s incredible to watch,” says Ms. Wheatley. “Mark’s institutional memory is incredible. Not only does he remember everything, but he’s a gifted storyteller. He places emphasis where needed to make his point and help his audience understand the significance of the events. I’ve often wished we could record his talks at board meetings for posterity.”