Loretta DeLuca
DelCor Technology Solutions

In 1984, Loretta Monterastelli DeLuca, FASAE, founded the company that would become known as DelCor. Since then, she has worked with associations and nonprofit organizations to help them effectively select, use and support the business systems that advance their unique missions.

A long-time member of ASAE, DeLuca serves on and previously chaired ASAE’s Key Consultants Committee. She has served on the ASAE board, Technology Council (charter member and past chair), Industry Partner Alliance, Professional Development Council, and Executive Council, and the Association Forum of Chicagoland’s Association Technology Advisory Task Force.

DeLuca is a frequent speaker in the association space, including for the Forum and ASAE, such as leading AMS Demo Days. She has written for several magazines and co-authored a chapter on "Records Management and Database Issues" in ASAE’s Membership Operations book. She founded the Association Data Standards Consortium.

In 2003, she established DelCor’s famous .org Community Food Drive for the Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, her hometown. To date, the annual drive has provided more than 388,000 meals to people in need. She serves on the Board of Visitors of Children’s National Medical Center and previously served on the board of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic.

She was named an ASAE Fellow in 2007 and received the ASAE 2015 Academy of Leaders Award, granted to industry partners who have demonstrated exemplary contributions to the association community.


Richard Brown
Business Manager and Account Executive
Center for Fine Arts Education, Tallahassee, Fla.

Professional association positions: For the CFAE, serves three clients: Florida Music Education Association, Florida School Music Association and the Florida Art Education Association. Previously at CFAE: finance manager and special projects manager, and special projects manager.

Professional affiliations: Florida Society of Association Executives: Sponsorship Committee chair; Annual Conference Committee, member; Education Committee, member; and Young Professionals Task Force, member. ASAE: member; ASAE NextGen 2015; Finance, HR and Business Operations Conference, presenter. League of American Orchestras, member.

Accomplishments: As the finance manager of a small AMC, I oversaw a transition into active investments of reserves through new investment policies and increased staff efficiency by integrating more technology into the workflow processes. These improvements coupled with prudent financial management has generated an increase in net assets of 82.5 percent since 2012.

Five-year goal: I plan on continuing my path toward a C-suite position. During the process, I want to learn firsthand about how association executives can increase their impact on their respective missions through innovative work structures and engagements.

Nonwork activity: My wonderful wife recently presented at a conference in Edinburgh. I took the opportunity to play golf in Scotland while there...and only lost a dozen balls, success!

Mentor(s): I am lucky. The president and CEO of CFAE is Kathleen D. Sanz, PhD, and she has been an excellent mentor since I began my career. I am also grateful to Greg Melia, CAE, for his encouragement through ASAE NextGen and career advice.

Paula Eichenbrenner, CAE
Executive Director, AMCP Foundation, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, Alexandria, Va.

Past professional association positions: American Society for Nutrition, advancement VP and foundation director. Council for Affordable and Rural Housing, marketing and membership services director.

Professional affiliations: ASAE: Ethics Committee, member; Healthcare Community Committee, 2011-13; NextGen Summit, 2013; Greater Washington Action Team, chair, 2009-10, member through 2011; Associations Advance America Committee, 2005-08. Association Foundation Group: Annual Conference Committee, member. Association of Fundraising Professionals: member.

Accomplishments: Since joining AMCP Foundation in 2015, increased volunteer opportunities, expanded social media and offered fundraising initiatives in-line with 25th anniversary celebration. Increased income under my direction by 35 percent in five years. Instituted six permanent six-figure endowments at my last position. While at ASN and at CARH, led the incorporation and launch of new charitable foundations. In membership and communi- cations, applied sophisticated touchpoint system resulting in peak 92 percent retention; created new categories, and initiated two state councils.

Five-year goal: At the AMCP Foundation, I aim to significantly increase margins with new revenue streams, imaginative partnerships and expanded capacity. This will result in additional research output, contributing to the knowledge base necessary to optimize patient care. Outside work, finish my MBA at Virginia Tech and travel to Italy.

Nonwork activity: When not at work or school, I'm usually in the ballet studio or teaching circus tricks to my rescue poodle.

Mentor(s): I'm grateful to many, particularly Stephen Peeler, whose endlessly creative in cultivating philanthropy as a strategic asset. AMCP CEO Susan Cantrell, RPh, CAE, a leader who is thoughtful in every decision. Cedric Calhoun, CAE, FASAE; Anita Sama; and Susan Sarfati (who once told me, “don’t waste time being nervous.”) And finally, to the talented teammates and close friends I’ve been honored to work with at AMCP, ASN and CARH.

Melissa Garcia, CAE
Senior Director, Digital & Information Strategy, Society for Neuroscience, Washington

Past professional association positions: At SfN – Senior Director, Planning & Information; Director of Information & Decision Support, Director of Annual Meeting Program.

Professional affiliations: ASAE: CAE Exam Committee, 2015-16. Council of Engineering and Scientific Executives: member.

Accomplishments: I have overseen or led the implementation of a learning and community web platform that provides year-round value to members, the launch of a ~$900K private grant-funded website aimed at public audiences, the transition from more than 50 disparate databases to a best-of-breed association management system supporting transactions from 125K constituents (nearly 40K members), and the implementation of a robust business intelligence platform that supports organizational decision-making. In 2016, I received Trending 40 honors for "Top Association & Nonprofit Innovators" and "Association Tech Gurus," as well as Association Forum’s "Forty Under 40" award.

Five-year goal: To serve and advance a mission that inspires me and makes an impact in people’s health or lives, particularly in the capacity of leading the organization’s strategic operations.

Nonwork activity: I'm a lover of all sports and have a knack for picking things up pretty well, especially if a ball and/or stick are involved. And, I have been called, but will adamantly deny being, a pool shark.

Mentor(s): During my 15 years at SfN, I have had the fortune to be guided by two thoughtful leaders - Kate Fryer, Deputy Executive Director (Operations) and Marty Saggese, SfN’s Executive Director. Lastly, a friend and former colleague, Lowell Aplebaum.

Kendra Pheasant, M.S., CAE
Account Executive, Association Resources, West Hartford, Conn.

Professional association positions: For AR, serve as the executive director for two local societies, Hartford Dental Society and Hartford Medical Society, as well as the associate director for the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators. Before AR, was member services director at Connecticut Community Providers Association.

Professional affiliations: Connecticut Society of Association Executives: board member and immediate past president; CSAE 2016 Conference, discussion leader. ASAE: NextGen Summit (class of 2015); selection committee member, NextGen Summit class of 2016.

Accomplishments: Served as the youngest board president in CSAE’s history and led the organization through negotiations and successful transition to a new association management company. Initiated the creation of an FAQ section for the IACLEA website (anticipated to launch fall 2016) to address the critical need of streamlining media inquiries while simultaneously developing a resource for members to utilize in their own media relations efforts. Increased the Hartford Dental Society’s financial position by more than 25 percent in under a two-year period through the development of a structured sponsorship program, grant procurement, and working with Finance Committee volunteers to update and implement the investment policy.

Nonwork activity: Zumba enthusiast, proud wife and puppy parent to my golden retriever, and want-to-be world traveler.

Mentor(s): I am extremely lucky to have worked in inclusive, supportive environments. The two CEOs for whom I have worked, Terry Edelstein, CAE (former) and Marty Rotblatt, CAE, IOM (current), deserve my sincere thanks, as they have always encouraged my career development.

Adrienne Segundo, IOM
COO/Chairman, Limitless Association Solution
Resource, Littleton, Colo.

Past professional association positions: National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting: credentialing and operations director. Partners in Association Management: chief staff executive.

Professional affiliations: Florida Society of Association Executives: Education committee, 2016; silent auction committee, 2016. Colorado Society of Association Executives: Professional Development Committee, chair. Colorado Certification Network Group, founder. ASAE: Professional Development Section Council; Great Ideas 2017, peer reviewer.

Accomplishments: Within my role as NBSTSA director of credentialing and operations, I worked with a dedicated staff and volunteers that knew the importance of patient safety. Thus, through the efforts of developing a valuable high stake examination that we were able to prove to the hospitals hiring managers, risk management and any other interested parties that hiring a Certified Surgical Technologist and/or Certified Surgical First Assistant ensures less risk in the operating room. In return we grew our certificants from 25,000 upon my arrival in 2011 to more than 52,000 in 2015.

Five-year goal: Continue to expand our business model and to get the message out of the importance of lifelong learning and that building an education portfolio linked to a credentialing program is the value proposition of tomorrow’s association. I also want to put my money where my mouth is and continue my own lifelong learning and finally take the CAE examination and hold those letters behind my name proudly. On a volunteer level, I will continue to volunteer with my local SAEs and on the national level. It is truly rewarding to me personally to be able to give back.

Nonwork activity: I am on this mission in my household to rid any and all processed foods AND prepare and bake what I can. I have a flourishing garden of about 15 veggies, seven herbs, and I even take it as far as churning my own butter. Yes, you read that right – except I use my ninja blender to whip it up faster for me.

Mentor(s): In life there are a few people who really make that lifelong impression on you. I don’t say this often enough, but my mentor in life and specifically in the business we are in is my husband Keith Segundo. He is my partner in life, and with our business and he has singled-handedly taught me how to look at things from the 30,000-ft. level as opposed to always absorbing myself with details.

Leading Association Lobbyists

W. Eric Dell, Senior Vice President
Government Affairs, National Automatic Merchandising Association

Dell has been instrumental in rebuilding NAMA’s advocacy efforts through expanding and guiding industry grassroots efforts on Capitol Hill and within federal agencies. Recently, he led grassroots efforts to educate the U.S. Mint on the devastating impact on the vending industry if the metallic content of coins was changed. Dell assisted in leading the effort to send more than 800 stakeholder letters to the U.S. Mint opposing changes. This high-level of stakeholder involvement was noted by the Mint in its 2014 Biennial Report to Congress. The report concluded that no change was recommended to the metallic content of coins. In 2015, Dell led the effort to thwart overly burdensome regulations proposed by the Department of Energy on beverage vending machines. The effort included a three-pronged approach of legislative, regulatory and stakeholder input which was supported by more than 1,100 letters from industry leaders, a bipartisan letter signed by five U.S. senators and comments from partner associations, both U.S. and international, and the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy. This effort saved each industry manufacturer nearly $2 million, created substantial energy conservation and protected consumers from higher prices.

Gregory Knopp, CAE Executive Director of Political Affairs
American Council of Engineering Companies

Knopp, who oversees ACEC’s political programs, has been instrumental in growing its political action committee, doubling ACEC/ PAC’s fundraising receipts to $1 million annually ($2 million a cycle), while also directing ACEC’s political education efforts. Knopp has greatly expanded ACEC’s political influence by helping organize and host engineering-focused campaign events for members of Congress who have demonstrated a sustained record of support for key ACEC legislative priorities. ACEC-hosted campaign events increased from less than a dozen annually in 2007 when Knopp joined the association, to more than 80 this year alone. In addition, Knopp oversaw another 50 separate meetings this year between prominent members of Congress and ACEC members at the state and local levels.

Cicely Simpson, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and Policy
National Restaurant Association

The National Restaurant Association has had several lobbying accomplishments this year. First, when the proposed overtime regulation was released, we had several concerns with the regulation and its impact on the restaurant and foodservice industry. We engaged in a sustained lobbying campaign with the administration and Department of Labor, enlisting member companies and others, to explain the impact of a section of the regulation called the “duties test.” When the final regulation was released, we were not only successful in keeping the current duties test in place without detrimental changes, but our leadership was also recognized in that the final regulation mentioned the National Restaurant Association 22 times and the restaurant industry 39 times. Additionally, tax reform has been a priority issue for the National Restaurant Association for the past few years. One component of tax reform that has been of particular interest to our industry has been the end of the year “tax extenders legislation” of the last few years. Our industry had advocated for five key priority extenders. When the Path Act was passed at the end of 2015, all five of our industry priorities were not only addressed but four of the five were permanently extended.

Past Executive of the Year Honorees

  • 2016 - Jay Timmons
  • 2015 - John Engler
  • 2014 - Susan K. Neely
  • 2013 - John H. Graham IV, CAE
  • 2012 - Gary LaBranche, CAE
  • 2011 -  Barry C. Melancon, CPA
  • 2010 - VAdm Norbert R. Ryan, USN-Ret.
  • 2009 - Connie Tipton
  • 2008 - Roger Dow
  • 2007 - Thomas J. Donohue
  • 2006 - H. Cris Collie III, CAE
  • 2005 - Anne L. Bryant, EdD, CAE
  • 2004 - Steven C. Anderson, CAE
  • 2003 - Neil Offen, CAE
  • 2002 - Barbara Belmont, CAE
  • 2001 - John “Jack” Cox, CAE
  • 2000 - Thomas R. Kuhn, CAE
  • 1999 - Quincalee Brown, CAE
  • 1998 - Frank McCarthy


  • 1997 - Red Cavaney, CAE
  • 1996 - R. William Taylor, CAE
  • 1995 - Ray Roper, CAE
  • 1994 - Richard L. Lesher, CAE
  • 1993 - William D. Nelligan, CAE
  • 1993 - Robert A. Roland
  • 1992 - William E. Smith
  • 1991 - Clifford M. Clarke, CAE
  • 1990 - Rod L. Geer, CAE, CLU
  • 1989 - Meredith R. Smith, CAE
  • 1988 - John W. Johnson, CAE
  • 1987 - Hugh McCahey*
  • 1986 - John N. Bailey, CAE
  • 1985 - Bernard J. Imming, CAE
  • 1984 - Kinsey Bass Green, CAE
  • 1983 - Bud Meredith, CAE
  • 1982 - Mortimer B. Doyle, CAE
  • 1981 - P.D. “Bud” Hermann, CAE
  • 1980 - James P. Low, CAE