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Who is that on the other side of the room, surrounded by peers and other executives? It’s probably a TRENDS 2012 Young & Aspiring Association Professional. They are the top performers, both at work and in volunteer capacities – the go-to person who is reliable and doesn’t mind rolling up the sleeves and staying until the job is done. Congratulations to the 2012 class!
Carrie Meadows Abernathy, CMP, CEM, Director of Education, Training & Events Practice Greenhealth, Reston, Va.
Professional association positions: Conference Manager, International Association of Fire Chiefs, 2009-12. Assistant, Jefferson Center Foundation, 2004-05.
Professional affiliations: Professional Convention Management Association – member since 2009. American Society for Association Executives – member since 2009. Convention Planit.com – Advisory Council member since 2011. Event Services Professional Association – member since 2012. Green Meetings Industry Council – Foundation board member since 2012. Meeting Professionals International – member since 2012. MPI Virginia Chapter – Awards and Recognition Committee member since 2012.
Accomplishments: Most recently I’ve been elected onto the board of trustees for the Green Meeting Industry Council Foundation. This is incredibly close to me as I’ve had a passion for sustainable meetings for some time now and hope to make a difference as part of its leadership. I’ve also recently spoken as a subject matter expert at Professional Convention Management Association’s Convening Leaders 2012 conference in San Diego, and am speaking on the circuit for MPI and International Association of Exhibitions and Events as a subject matter expert in the field of personal branding for young professionals.
Education, certifications: Certified Meeting Professional, 2010; Certification in Exhibition Management, 2011; candidate for Certified Special Events Professional Certification, 2012.
Cool nonwork accomplishment: When I was in college there wasn’t a program specifically for event planners at my school at the time. (There is now!) I decided to go to my career counselor and the study abroad office and convinced them to let me make a program plan for myself at an international college. I put together a year plan to study MICE-Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, & Events at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia, and went alone. I also won a scholarship for my idea and dedication to leadership and events. I am still an avid adventure traveler that has crawled through the jungle caves of Belize, swam into the volcanic caldera in Santorini, and frequently “hammock” camp in the woods during my spare time.
Mentor(s): My mentors are Sonya Johnson, Dave Scypinski, Jack Chiasson and other leaders in association management that have always welcomed me with open arms and ears. No matter how young or inexperienced I was, they were always willing to guide me, answer my questions, and push me to the next level.
Mitchell L. Dvorak, MS, CAE, Account Executive, Bostrom, Chicago
Professional association positions: At Bostrom, serve as executive director of the National Association of Housing Cooperatives (2011-present), and the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (2012-present). Founding executive director of Consumer Advancing Patient Safety (2002-11); education and liaison program manager, National Patient Safety Foundation at the AMA (2000-02); field representative, Federation Relations, American Medical Association (1996-2000); account executive, membership marketing, American Medical Association (1995-96); and director of member services and legislative liaison, North Dakota Medical Association (1995).
Professional affiliations: Member, American Society of Association Executives (1997-present); member, Association Forum of Chicagoland (1997-present); scholar, ASAE Diversity Executive Leadership Program (2010-12); member, ASAE Small Staff Association Committee (2011-13); member, Association Forum Annual Meeting Working Group (2011-13).
– Started my own association management and professional services company in 2002, providing management and consulting services to professional member, charitable and mission-driven organizations.
– Cofounded Consumers Advancing Patient Safety (CAPS) in 2002 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to fostering the role of consumers as proactive partners in making healthcare safer.
– Directed the CAPS project team on submitting and receiving eight federally funded grants or contracts between 2002 and 2011 that totaled $762,000.
– Co-authored article “Patient Safety: A Consumer’s Perspective.” Qualitative Health Research. Hovey R, Dvorak ML, et al. Pre-published February 22, 2011.
Education and Certifications: MS in public service management, DePaul University, Chicago, 2003; BA in political science/public administration, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, 1994; Certified Association Executive, ASAE, 2005.
Cool nonwork accomplishment: I love to travel, and have had the opportunity throughout my life to go to many places here in the U.S. and throughout the world. Ten years ago I started an annual tradition of taking a summer trip with my mom. We just returned from an incredible trip to Prague and Budapest.
Mentor: While I have many people who are mentors to me, I have to give special recognition and express my appreciation to Cathy Rydell, executive director, American Academy of Neurology. Cathy gave me my first “real” job out of college when she was the executive director of the North Dakota Medical Association. Many years later this past May, it gave me great pride to have her in the audience as I was named the executive director of the Council of Medical Specialty Societies. It was one of life’s full circle moments.
Tita Thompson Freeman, SVP, Business Roundtable, Washington
Professional association positions: SVP, Business Roundtable (March 2012-present); SVP, communications and public affairs, National Retail Federation (April 2011-March 2012); VP, communications, U.S. Chamber (2008-11); director, communications, Business Roundtable (2002-07).
Professional affiliations: Founded the DC Communicators Group, a networking forum for top trade association and corporate communications professionals in Washington, DC.
Accomplishments: Helped reinvent and reignite the 30-person communications team at the U.S. Chamber. Helped develop, launch and lead one of the most significant campaigns in the US Chamber’s history – the Campaign for Free Enterprise. Played instrumental role in launch and success of Business Roundtable’s CEO Economic Outlook Survey, now 10 years old. Named one of “40 Under 40” top communications practitioners in the country under the age of 40 by PR Week Magazine.
Education, certifications: BA, Williams College.
Cool nonwork accomplishments: Surviving as the youngest of nine children in a very active, competitive household. Raising two beautiful children outside of a demanding job every day where I can achieve a healthy balance is a noteworthy feat!
Mentors: Tom Collamore, SVP, U.S. Chamber; Matthew Shay, CEO, National Retail Federation; Margery Kraus and Ellen Mignoni, APCO Worldwide.
Leslie McGee, Managing Editor, Oncology Nursing Society, Pittsburgh
Professional association positions: Oncology Nursing Society, 2001-present: managing editor, 2007-present; senior staff editor, 2005-07; staff editor, 2003-05; copy editor, 2001-03.
Professional affiliations: Association Media & Publishing board member, 2010-14; EXCEL Awards chairman, 2010-12; AM&P nominating committee, 2011; AM&P Senior Executive Task Force, 2011; EXCEL Awards judge, 2008-12; ASAE member, 2010-present.
Accomplishments: Coordinated and directed two successful in-house journal redesigns, one that was an award winner. Led two comprehensive RFPs, yielding significant savings without compromising on quality. Implemented digital editions as a new member benefit for both journals. Negotiated the terms for production and distribution of several journal supplements. Devised and executed a social media and web strategy for the journals.
Education, certifications: BA in English, Clarion University of Pennsylvania.
Cool nonwork accomplishment: Along with my husband, renovated our home room by room. We are particularly thrilled with the bathroom, which we demolished completely and then rebuilt. Demo is great fun, but rebuilding is significantly more complicated.
Mentor(s): Among my many mentors, the Association Media & Publishing board of directors continues to be a source of inspiration. In addition, Barbara Sigler, ONS publisher, has been a brilliant guide, offering encouragement and advice along the way.
Evan Williams, CAE, IOM, VP of External Relations, Mechanical Contractors Association, Burr Ridge, Ill.
Professional association positions: VP of external relations, Mechanical Contractors Association, 2006-present; government affairs advocate for various associations via contract, 2000-06; state of Illinois, 1997-2000.
Professional affiliations: Association Forum of Chicagoland – member since 2006; chairman-elect (present); secretary-treasurer (2011-12); board member (2009-present); finance committee (2009-present, chairman, 2011-12); PAC chairman (2010-11); Key 25 SIG chairman(2007-08). ASAE – member since 2008. Illinois Society of Association Executives – member since 2006.
Accomplishments: Managed a governance overhaul, including development of new association bylaws, governance policies, and electronic board meetings. Developed a strategic governance scorecard to manage association’s strategic priorities and volunteer actions. Raised the association’s profile among external constituencies, including other associations, government and the private sector. Created an associationwide grassroots advocacy program, more than doubling PAC contributions, improving volunteer engagement, and increasing effectiveness before government.
Education, certifications: BA in political science and history, minor in Spanish, Millikin University, Decatur, Ill.; earned CAE in 2011; earned IOM in 2011.
Cool nonwork accomplishment: Competing in the “Amazing Race”-style City Chase event has been a wonderful way to raise money for a deserving charity, Special Olympics, while challenging my mental and physical capacities.
Mentor(s): Without MCA CEO Steve Lamb, I would not be in the association business. Steve has taught me what it means to be a CEO. Additionally, my colleagues on the Association Forum board of directors, and the Forum staff led by CEO Christie Tarantino, have been an incredible source of knowledge and wisdom.
Nominate a Young & Aspiring Association Professional
TRENDS has named the Young & Aspiring Association Professionals since 1998. Do you know a young professional who shows potential? Nominations are accepted year-round. Nominees must be
– younger than 40
– ideally a chief staff executive or among senior staff, though we’ll consider all nominations
– at least five years of association management experience (does not have to be continuous); and
– well-known in the association community (local, state, regional or national) with an upstanding reputation.
Send nominations to TRENDS managing editor E. Francisco Dalere at edd@ AssociationTRENDS.com, with “TRENDS Y&A nomination” as the subject.