Salute to Association Excellence

Salute to Association Excellence

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Now celebrating its 41st anniversary, this annual awards luncheon honors the brightest stars of the association community and their commitment to excellence. Honorees include: Association Executive of the Year, Association Partner of the Year, Young & Aspiring Association Professionals, Leading Association Lobbyists and TRENDY Awards Contest Winners.

Known as the industry event to attend, the awards luncheon draws a crowd of over 500 leading association professionals each year. Come to mix, mingle, network and honor members of your community!

Reserve your seats early, this event sells out every year!


Matthew R. Shay

President and CEO
National Retail Federation

As president and CEO of the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, Matthew Shay serves as chief advocate and spokesman for the nation’s largest private-sector industry employer, responsible for supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans — and generating $2.6 trillion in annual GDP. Since his arrival in 2010, Shay has transformed NRF into Washington’s most powerful voice supporting the retail industry. Under his tenure membership has grown by more than 150 percent, including more than 18,000 companies; revenue has more than doubled; and the organization’s influence has grown significantly in Washington, across the United States and globally.

Shay has led the organization to new levels of effectiveness on policy issues, including tariffs and sales tax fairness. Shay has also been at the forefront of shifting and framing the narrative about the current state of retail, particularly its digital evolution and vibrant, multichannel future.

He serves as chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Association Committee of 100 and is a member of the board at the U.S. Chamber, So Others Might Eat and the U.S. Capitol Historical Society.

Shay is a graduate of Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, and The Ohio State University College of Law, and holds a master’s degree in business administration from the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business. Shay and his wife Allison live in Arlington, Va., with their three children.


Gayathri Kher
President and Co-Founder

Gayathri is Co-Founder and President of fusionSpan. She has extensive experience evaluating business processes and technology infrastructures and assisting associations in implementing solutions that are scalable based on future needs. Prior to co-founding fusionSpan, Gayathri spent over 10 years working in the association industry. Gayathri has a Master of Science Degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park.

Gayathri is an active participant in the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and currently serves as the Chair of the ASAE Technology Council.

$99.00 Individual registration
  • After February 14, 2020, tickets become $109
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$275.00 Single-Staff Corporate Ticket
  • This ticket is for single-staff companies who want to attend!
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$975.00 Association/Nonprofit Table
  • Book a Nonprofit Table for 10 guests for only $975!
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$1950.00 Corporate Table
  • Book a Corporate Table for 10 guests for only $1950!
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Don’t miss out on your opportunity to be a part of this prestigious event.

  Not only do we have an opportunity to salute important leaders at the Salute to Association Excellence, but we have the opportunity to celebrate the valuable role that associations play in the life and prosperity of the country and its citizens.  

— Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, President and Chief Executive Officer, NACDS
2004 Association Executive of the Year


  Our whole table had a great time. It’s a nice relaxed program, honoring some folks who really deserve it but sans the stuffiness that many of us have a hard time getting away from…  

— Kevin Holland, Business Operations & Membership Division Vice President
Air Conditioning Contractors of America


   It was wonderful seeing so many association professionals and being able to network. I was quite surprised and again honored to also receive the Publisher’s Choice Award on behalf of the American Dietetic Association. Being recognized by my peers with such a prestigious award was a moment I will never forget  

— Georgia Gofis, Director Integrated Marketing
American Dietetic Association

2019 Platinum Sponsors

All Media Contest Sponsor

2019 Supporting Sponsors


Guest? Potential Sponsor? Questions? Get in touch.

Association Trends, a division of CBIS
1560 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22209

Cancellation Policy: If you are not able to attend for any reason, please notify us as soon as possible. Conference cancellations received 10 business days prior to the event are fully refundable. All other cancellations are non-refundable.
No shows will be subject to a $100 fee.