January 14, 2023
APCO International Executive Director/CEO Announces Departure
Will serve through August of 2024
Derek K. Poarch, Executive Director and CEO of the Association of Public-Safety Officials (APCO) International, announced to the Board of Directors of APCO today during their quarterly meeting in Daytona Beach, Florida, his intent to depart from the association effective close of business August 9, 2024. Poarch noted in his letter to President Angela Batey that he chose the date of his departure to allow for adequate time to search for and select his successor and for that person to be immersed, insuring a smooth transition for the organization.
Poarch said, "It has been the privilege of a lifetime to have had the opportunity to lead the most talented group of staff, directors and C-Suite professionals in the public safety association business." He continued "APCO is fortunate to have a team of dedicated staff that are truly second to none and I will always look fondly on my time with them and watching them achieve many milestones that sometimes they didn't even think they could achieve. But they did, year after year setting a standard of excellence that in my mind will never be exceeded. As I have often remarked, my main job was to stay out of their way and have their backs. Simple enough and I have worked daily to do just that."
Poarch earned the distinction in 2022 of becoming the longest serving Executive Director in the history of APCO International. During his tenure, membership in APCO more than doubled to over 39,000 members, the association's financial position grew stronger and there has been a constant emphasis on quality member and customer service. Additionally, APCO created IntelliComm® in partnership with IBM that provides a digital, criteria-based dispatch system for EMD, police and fire agencies throughout the United States. The IntelliComm® market share continues to grow significantly each year. Poarch indicated that he is most proud of the creation and implementation of the Certified Public-Safety Executive (CPE) Program which is in its seventh year and has graduated more than 200 Public Safety Executives that are now leaders within APCO as well as within many ECCs around the country. Currently underway is the physical expansion of APCO headquarters in Daytona Beach to accommodate future growth for the association including an enlarged and high-tech meeting and training facility, all scheduled for completion in early 2024.
Poarch commented that he has been a student of Leadership Practices and Principles for over three decades and said "I firmly believe that CEOs have shelf lives and must know when it is time for their next chapter both professionally and personally, not only for themselves but for the health and growth of their organizations. That time has come in my APCO journey, and my wife Kathy and I look forward to whatever is next."
APCO International President Angela Batey commented, "I have had the privilege of working with Derek in one capacity or another since he joined APCO in 2011. Leading with unflappable calm, Derek has created a culture of excellence that has allowed us to grow our membership over 192%, secure our financial future for years to come, and establish APCO as the leading voice for public safety communications in Washington, D.C. I am personally grateful for Derek's leadership and look forward to continuing to partner with him over the next 19 months as we work toward our vision with the same passion and intensity for which APCO is known. While we will all miss Derek and his steady leadership and will never replace him, I am confident that he has set a timeline that gives the Executive Committee and the rest of the Board of Directors ample time to find and onboard the right person to take APCO International to even greater heights."
A nationwide search for the next Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of APCO International will begin soon.