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retiring chairman

Guest Richieman

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In general, honorifics given to one person at a time are not maintained after leaving office, while those which refer to many people simultaneously are. In the former case, they may be used if modified so as not to imply current occupancy, e.g. "The 43rd President of the United States."  (As far as this rule is concerned, it is proper to refer to Hillary Clinton as "Secretary Clinton" since there are several Cabinet Secretaries at a time, except in a context where it clearly refers to the State Department.  It is improper, in my opinion, for other reasons, and I think she should be referred to as "Senator Clinton."  The reasons are both that I think the rule of referring to people by their "highest rank" is being misapplied.  First, elective positions should outweigh appointive positions in such a consideration.  Second, Secretary is not a rank at all (it's a role), and so not her highest rank, while Senator is a rank. Cabinet member is also a rank, but we don't call them Member X for other reasons.)   Within a state, therefore, and in the context of state government, a former Governor is not called Governor, but rather referred to by a similar formula, or simply as The Honorable, which may be used by any former elected official.  In a broader context, though, such a person may be called Governor, such as when running for President, since, on the national scene, there are many Governors at once.

Within the organization, it seems to me, there is only one chairman, and therefore he should not be referred to by that title, but rather former chairman, the 34th chairman, or the like.  Outside the organization, there are many chairmen, and hence no reason he cannot use the term.

Edited by Joshua Katz
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3 hours ago, Guest Richieman said:

Retired chairman.

Once a chairman of a non profit group retires or is voted out of office, does he continue to be referred to as chairman?

He certainly should not be referred to as chairman during a meeting, as this is likely to lead to confusion.

Outside of a meeting, it seems to me that this up to the customs and preferences of your organization.

Edited by Josh Martin
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