Why You Should Join the Conversation

Why You Should Join the Conversation

Conversations by Association is a podcast for individuals who work in or would like to explore a career in association or nonprofit management. On the podcast, we discuss career pathways, mentoring experiences, resources, and opportunities that have helped successful professionals learn and grow. Guests divulge their secrets for success and share how to navigate opportunities, transitions and unexpected bumps along the way. It’s like getting to eavesdrop on a conversation or having a cup of coffee with people you admire and who inspire you.

The podcast is hosted by Steve Smith, an association executive at Association Management Center in Chicago, and Christina Rowe, leadership and team development expert at The Collaborative, specializing in the association field and splitting her time between Chicago and Denver. Your hosts guide the conversation with a focus on surfacing stories, ideas, and advice that is helpful to professionals at any stage of their career.

Join us for fun, engaging, and inspiring conversation!

Steve and ChristinaSteve and Christina

Meet our hosts

roweChristina Rowe
Founder of The Collaborative LLC

As a leadership and team development consultant, and Gallup-Certified in strength-based coaching, Christina Rowe helps individuals, leaders, and whole teams achieve new levels of success and enjoyment in their roles. Holding a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership, focused on successful organizational development, change, and culture. She supplies teams, boards, and entire organizations with the tools to communicate, reduce conflict, and be highly productive, resulting in more engaged teams, who often even report higher quality of life as a result.

Christina has worked with board of directors in many fields, as well as leaders in their industries from medical specialties, technology, construction, to creative production. She has been a repeat speaker at conferences for medical professionals, as well as association management and nonprofit management professionals. Christina offers solutions that amplify the strengths and assets that exist, just waiting to be utilized, and helping individuals feel valued for their contributions. Christina started The Collaborative LLC in 2014 with the mission to improve individuals’ lives through helping them feel more valued at work, and helping leaders empower their team members to succeed.

With a keen ability to swiftly identify the dynamics, strengths, and interactions of teams and leaders, Christina is a powerful resource for organizations looking to improve their team effectiveness by advancing their productivity, communication, and overall team bond.

In short, when teams want to achieve their full potential, they call Christina.

smithSteve Smith
CEO of Association Management Center (AMC)

Beginning April 1, 2020, Steve Smith, CAE, vice president of client relations on AMC’s Leadership Team, was appointed CEO of AMC. In addition to his work as vice president, Smith also served as CEO of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM), AMC’s largest association partner, for 13 years. In his role with AAHPM, Smith lead a team of nearly 20 professionals who have helped the Academy achieve more than a decade of unprecedented growth and development.

AMC has more than 220 professional staff that support more than 25 professional societies — primarily healthcare, medical and scientific associations. Smith has nearly 30 years of progressive experience in healthcare association management and working with volunteer leaders.

Smith also serves as the executive sponsor of AMC’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group and is President of the American Association of Medical Society Executives (AAMSE).

Prior to AMC, Smith was senior director of business development & member services at the American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and held several management positions at the Alzheimer’s Association, including director of program and product development, director of internal communications, and director of marketing communications.

Smith’s interest in healthcare started in early in life while visiting aging family members and developing inter-generational programs for students and nursing home residents in high school and college. He has translated his passion into a lifelong career of serving associations who support those who are aging, their families and other vulnerable populations seeking access to quality health care.

Outside of AMC, Steve enjoys spending time with his wife and three sons, reading, skiing, and connecting with friends—both old and new.

Meet our staff

Carly Bartman
Conversations by Association Production Manager
Multimedia and Marketing Project Manager, Association Management Center

Carly Bartman is an adept creative project manager with experience in expertise in integrated marketing, editorial projects, data analytics, content strategy, and multimedia production. A staunch proponent of data-driven decision making, Carly works to inform association clients how best to reach their audiences where they are. In her nearly 6 years at AMC, Carly has worked with more than 20 clients on campaigns and projects across all channels and formats, helping clients to strategically develop and disseminate content and marketing.

For Conversations by Association, Carly manages the production process, focusing on ensuring uninterrupted, high-quality recording and a smooth experience for all involved. In her spare time, you’ll likely find Carly with a long book, her dog, and a hot cup of coffee.

Allison Lundberg
Conversations by Association Producer
Manager, Marketing and Communications, Association Management Center

Allison Lundberg is responsible for her client’s social media strategy, email marketing campaigns, video productions, and various other aspects that reach members and customers in new, creative ways. After working for a large company, she found her love for associations in 2012 and has been working with them ever since. Associations have presented Allison with many opportunities to grow her skills, volunteer, participate in leadership positions, and have a voice within her company. Outside of work, Allison’s passions include running, cooking, organizing literally anything, and traveling with her husband and daughter.

Heather Comiskey
Conversations by Association Assistant Producer
Content Marketing Associate, Association Management Center

Heather Comiskey started her work with associations in 2015 after graduating from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Since joining AMC, she has assisted in developing multiple social media, email, conference, and other marketing campaigns for various trade and healthcare clients and has experience in editing magazines and books. She loves connecting with members and volunteers to listen to their needs and support their professions. In her free time, Heather enjoys singing, walking through forest preserves, and relaxing with her husband and cat.

Evan Richards
Conversations by Association Sound Technician
Assistant Editor, Association Management Center

Evan Richards joined the association management field in 2018 after receiving his MA at DePaul University. He works as an editor and project manager for AMC, and he also provides technical support for audio-related projects sourced from a lifelong passion for producing and recording music.Outside of AMC, Evan is a writer of fiction and poetry. He does his best to keep up with Chicago literary circles and currently serves as contributing poetry editor for Eclectica Magazine.