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2018 Salute to Association Excellence Awards Top Honors to Association Community

March 1st, 2018 WASHINGTON D.C. – Association TRENDS’ Salute to Association Excellence celebrated its 39th consecutive year honoring the association industry’s most revered professionals including Association Executive of the Year, Arlene Pietranton, Association Partner of the Year, Edward Wendling, Young & Aspiring Association Professionals, Leading Association Lobbyists and the TRENDS All Media Contest Winners.

This year’s event drew a crowd of over 550 people, one of the largest in its history. Past honorees including National Restaurant Association’s CEO Dawn Sweeney, John Graham, CEO of ASAE, Tom Kuhn CEO of EEI, Gary LaBranche, president, and CEO of NIRI and Connie Tipton, former head of IDFA were all in attendance to celebrate 2018’s prestigious winners.

Once guests took their seats in the ballroom, the 2017 All Media Contest Winners were the first to be honored. The 2017 All-Media Contest brought in hundreds of entries from associations across America. With 23 categories to choose from, associations submitted their best advertising media kits, annual reports, convention programs, books, apps, podcasts, and more. The bronze, silver, and gold honorees were announced live at the event. Meals on Wheels took away the top All-Media honor, the Publisher’s Choice Award, for their #SaveLunch PSA. Check out their incredibly moving video here. Check out the full list of the All Media Contest Winners on the Association TRENDS website.

The 2017 All-Media Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medal Winners

The celebration continued with the Leading Association Lobbyists and the Young and Aspiring Association Professionals recognitions. See the full list of our winners with bios here.

From left, Association TRENDS’ Kenny Ames, 2017 Lobbyists of the Year honorees, Katie Vlieststra, Matthew Haller, Joe Franco, Carmen Elliott, and Professor of Law at the Antonin Scalia Law School, David Rehr

From left, Managing Director of Association TRENDS, Wes Child, Young and Aspiring Association Professional Honorees, Melissa Walling, Rhea Steele, Brandon Robinson, Amalea Hijar, and Jamie Beaulieu

The 2018 Association Partner of the Year went to Edward Wendling, the Global Director of Marketing at Advanced Solutions International. Edward Wendling’s acceptance speech was draped in humility and grace as he thanked ASI and his fellow colleagues while reflecting on his 25 years of working in the industry. Edward also showed the audience his character and heart as he snapped a quick selfie on stage with the entire room of over 500 to show to his children and ended his speech by thanking his wife individually for all of her support.

Association Partner of the Year, Edward Wendling, with his wife, Bridget

The Salute to Association Excellence culminated when the biggest honor of the afternoon, Association Executive of the Year, was awarded to Arlene Pietranton, the Chief Executive Officer of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). In a video played before Arlene took the stage, Arlene’s colleagues guaranteed there was not a more deserving person of this award. Her love for her work, her role as a teacher and a coach, and her commitment to the success of her organization was perfectly conveyed to the audience. Arlene took the stage with words of thanks and appreciation. She spoke strongly about the future of the association industry, her pride for the real change being made by ASHA, and how optimistic she is for the future. Congratulations, Arlene.

Managing Director of Association TRENDS, Wes Child, with Association Executive of the Year, Arlene Pietranton

Association Executive of the Year, Arlene Pietranton speaks to the audience after accepting her award

Also announced at the Salute was the change in leadership at Association TRENDS with Wesley Child replacing Emily Howard as managing director of Association TRENDS. Howard will remain with parent company CBIS to manage another publishing division.

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