Author: conversationsbyassociation

2.17: Innovating Organizational Culture with Debra BenAvram

2.17: Innovating Organizational Culture with Debra BenAvram

Debra BenAvram juggles many complex situations and takes on challenging issues—it’s the nature of her work and what she does exceptionally well. In order to stay focused on what matters most, she has learned to focus first on innovation and organizational leadership. Her approach is simple. Be intentional and remove obstacles that get in the way or that slow down high priority work within the association. From removing yearly reviews and replacing them with real time feedback, to helping others see their potential, Debra is always on the lookout for ways to strengthen individuals and the culture in which they work. This conversation will inspire you to rethink how you approach your work and your role as a manager and leader.

Debra BenAvram, FASAE CAE
Chief Executive Officer, AABB [formally the American Association of Blood Banks]

“We have to move away from the traditional review and move to a model of constant feedback, dialogue, and engagement with our employees.” 

Debra BenAvram is the chief executive officer of AABB, headquartered in Bethesda, MD. AABB, formerly called the American Association of Blood Banks, is an international society focused on advancing transfusion medicine and cellular therapy worldwide.

Debra joined AABB in 2018, following more than 16 years leading the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN), including 11 years as its chief executive officer. She has a strong passion for redesigning staff and volunteer cultures to support integration among all team members and eliminate silos. Debra frequently presents on topics including organizational culture, performance management, and her innovative approaches to encouraging and maintaining collaboration, communication, and a valued work environment.

Debra received a Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics with a concentration in business from the University of Maryland. She received her Master of Science degree in educational leadership with an emphasis on leadership and organizational culture from Miami University. She also earned a certificate in executive leadership from Cornell University. An active volunteer leader, Debra is a fellow of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and a past member of the ASAE Board of Directors. She also is on the board of directors for the Center for Survivor Agency and Justice, a national organization dedicated to enhancing advocacy for survivors of intimate partner violence.

Debra has received several awards for her work, including being listed as one of CEO Update’s Top CEOs and the Washington Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Business Leaders. In 2010, she was recognized with ASAE’s Emerging Leader Award, Women Who Promote Excellence in Associations.

Debra lives in Bethesda, MD, with her husband, Vincent; son, Lev (16); daughter, Paz (8); and their lovable pound pup, Masha.

Other Resources

What are the most useful resources you’ve found to help your professional development (i.e. books, courses, trainings, assessments, magazines, thought leaders, etc.)? Colleagues, peer groups (create one today!), preparation for the Certified Association Executive credential exam, Abolishing Performance Appraisals by Coens & Jenkins, Blinkist, and podcasts (Business Wars, Dear HBR, The $100MBA Show)

What is your favorite aspect of the association management field? Having a strong connection to a mission; being engrained in so many communities: the organization’s communities, the staff community, the broader association community; and working with association colleagues

What is the best advice you’ve ever received? “Fake it till you make it,” and own your strengths and leverage the, instead of struggling against them.

2.16: Take Action: Develop Your Personal Advisory Board 

2.16: Take Action: Develop Your Personal Advisory Board 

This season we’re adding mini episodes that help you Take Action on the insights from guests, and some of the most crucial aspects of developing your network, building skills, and leading in your career. Each Take Action episode will be focused on a tool that makes action easier and drives towards positive results that you can download on the Conversations by Association website.

“Creating variety of who you lean on and who you ask to be a sounding board for different phases and responsibilities throughout your career, gives you the additional tools you need to leverage along the way.”

Growth happens when we challenge ourselves to get a bit uncomfortable and ask for help where someone else sees things differently, so we have new information to consider and work with along the way. This means that we should all be seeking input and advice along our career path from a variety of different sources. Think of it as your personal advisory board. This episode will help you consider what sources you need to invite into your growth, and how to benefit most from their advice!

Other Resources

Download the Developing your Advisory Board worksheet.

2.15: Leading to your Career Passion with Catherine Johannesen

2.15: Leading to your Career Passion with Catherine Johannesen

Catherine (Cathy) Johannesen shares her journey from viewing a position as a job to a career long passion. Her well-navigated career blends aspects of how to find the balance between what you want in your personal life and your career, and balance that what you want will look different over time. With an eye on constant learning and development, Cathy guides her team members to do the same, and helps make Med Chi feel like a home instead of just an employer. Her deep self awareness of her own strengths, the strengths of her team members, and the potential for growth will help leaders consider new perspectives and individuals look through a new lens on how they can examine their next steps! Listen in for ideas on having some of the most important conversations in your career!

Catherine Johannesen
Chief of Staff at MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society

“As much as I want to educate myself on resources for my own use, I want to do that for my team as well.”

Catherine Johannesen is the chief of staff of MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society. Cathy has spent her entire professional career in organized medicine and has been with MedChi since 2001. Her work at MedChi is primarily focused on strategic planning, staff leadership and development, communications, and governance. Cathy manages MedChi’s Board of Trustees, House of Delegates, and AMA Delegation in addition to overseeing the Society’s education, non-dues revenue, event planning, and association management divisions. Cathy serves actively with the American Association of Medical Society Executives (AAMSE) as member of the board of directors, finance committee, annual conference planning committee, and several special-interest workgroups. She is an alumnus of the association’s leadership academy and has a particular interest in mindfulness and leadership.

Other Resources

What are the most useful resources you’ve found to help your professional development (i.e. books, courses, trainings, assessments, magazines, thought leaders, etc.)?

  • AAMSE, especially the annual conference and the leadership academy. Not only is the educational content incredibly useful, but the peer networking has been absolutely invaluable. I learn so much from my colleagues and really lean on them for mentorship and growth.
  • American Society of Association Executives courses
  • ASAE Handbook of Professional Practice in Association Management
  • Thrive Global—They offer a lot of resources and content on productivity, stress relief, wellness, self-care, and professional development.
  • Clifton StrengthFinder assessment—I’m primarily a relator and have found it helpful to understand this part of my personality.

What is your favorite aspect of the association management field? I love that we are mission driven. Our decisions ultimately are guided by our mission rather than our bottom line or cynical motivations. This is specific to our particular type of professional association, but I love working for physicians. They are inherently ambitious and motivated people, and I absolutely love that the work I do helps them reach their professional goals. With my current mindset being very focused on professional growth, I find it incredibly rewarding to support that growth for others.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received? “Be ambitious and go for it.” It sounds trite, I know. But the right person at the right time encouraged me to figure out what my ambition is and to lean into any available opportunity that would get me there. I have experienced incredible growth over the past few years, with more to come, and I trace a lot of that back to that one conversation.

2.14: Catalyzing your Career with Lakisha Ann Woods

2.14: Catalyzing your Career with Lakisha Ann Woods

From being a change agent in organizations to catalyzing her own career, Lakisha Ann Woods is a thoughtful and aware energizer. She is a superb example of leveraging the strengths of her team members, elevating others in their expertise, and learning to communicate in ways to meet people where they are most comfortable. Lakisha graciously shares her knowledge and experiences as a leader with others through various platforms, including candid articles posted on LinkedIn. She addresses how she has uses her voice, and how she helps others find theirs. Take advantage of this opportunity to hear her amazing insights and reflections!

Lakisha Woods, CAE
President and Chief Executive Officer, The National Institute of Building Sciences

“The ability to strengthen communication is always critical.”

Lakisha Ann Woods is president and chief executive officer of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS). Lakisha is responsible for leading the Institute’s dedicated team of professionals, enhancing its value and visibility, and growing relationships with its members, clients, public agencies, and partners. She also leads efforts to expand the organization’s programs and markets while growing and strengthening its membership base.

Prior to joining NIBS, she was the senior vice president and chief marketing officer at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) where she oversaw a 27-member team responsible for all marketing and revenue-generating programs including sponsorship sales and partnerships with major national companies.

Lakisha currently serves on the board of directors for the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), is past chair of ASAE’s Communications Section Council, and has spoken at national and international industry events. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland in College Park and lives with her husband and daughter in Howard County Maryland.

Lakisha has been featured in several articles including the following:

2.13: Creating a Culture of Organizational Success with Arlene Pietranton

2.13: Creating a Culture of Organizational Success with Arlene Pietranton

From reasonable risks to helping individuals get heard on their ideas, Arlene Pietranton is a thoughtful leader, who started her career as a speech pathologist and traveled the path to ASHA CEO. Within her time at ASHA she has developed an awareness of sourcing the best ideas for innovation, facilitated a mindful culture, and made some tough decisions along the way. Listen in for Arlene’s voice as a valued mentor in the community, her calm and creative approach helps build others up and leads to innovative approaches!

Arlene Pietranton, PhD CAE
Executive Director, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

“I try to hold back, and listen first, and hear ideas that others may have. I know that I’ll always have the opportunity to weigh in on a topic or conversation,  and I’ll always have the option of requesting that my idea or thought  get incorporated. But I won’t have the benefit of knowing other people’s ideas, which often are better, if I’m too quick to start us down a path.”

Arlene A. Pietranton serves as chief executive officer of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 204,500 audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; and student, international, and support personnel affiliates. ASHA’s staff of 300 are based in the association’s Gold LEED–certified national office in Rockville, MD.

Before working at ASHA, Arlene was on staff at The George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, DC where she held several clinical and administrative positions as a speech-language pathologist and member of the medical center administration. She is an ASHA Fellow and past president of the District of Columbia Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Arlene is an active member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and has collaborated with association executives throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia on association management and governance. She is an ASAE Fellow and a past chairperson of the ASAE Board of Directors. Arlene was recognized as a 2015 Top Association and Non-Profit Innovator, the 2015 Professional Society CEO of the Year by CEO Update, the 2018 Association Executive of the Year by Association Trends, and the 2018 ASAE Key Award recipient.

Arlene’s current volunteer and civic positions include serving as co-chair of the collective impact initiative Montgomery Moving Forward, chair of the ASAE Power of a Committee, and chair of the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives Board of Directors.

Arlene earned a Bachelor of Arts in biology, Master of Arts in speech-language pathology, and PhD in psychology from the George Washington University. She resides in Washington, DC with her husband and two adult daughters. Her interests include international history and culture, reading, theater, travel, skiing, and spending time with family and friends.

2.12: Creating a Personal and Professional Network with Sheri Jacobs and Greg Fine

2.12: Creating a Personal and Professional Network with Sheri Jacobs and Greg Fine

Where you sit in a room can have a profound effect on your future. On this episode of Conversations by Association, Sheri Jacobs describes attending an ASAE Membership Symposium many years ago where she knew no one. She chose a seat at a table that looked inviting and ended up next to Greg Fine. Although neither of them knew it then, it was the beginning of a strong friendship and professional bond that would deepen and grow over time. Sheri and Greg share the importance of creating informal professional personal communities of peers early in one’s career. Hear how they’ve established a trusting relationship a symbolic “vault” with each other – a term they use to describe the time, space and place where they discuss and store sensitive or difficult conversations, insights, candor and wisdom shared with one another. Both emphasize, if you’re going to be a leader, you need someone who you can be vulnerable with, who will support you in good times and bad, and who will always tell you the truth.

Sheri Jacobs, FASAE CAE
Founder, Avenue M Group

“Allow yourself to try different things and it’s ok to say, ‘this isn’t the right avenue for me.'”

As the founder of Avenue M Group, Sheri Jacobs is a leader, innovator, and visionary who has helped associations of all sizes tackle their most challenging issues.

People who meet Sheri quickly learn that her high energy and enthusiasm are a perfect combination for someone who is an avid marathoner. Having completed more than a dozen marathons, including the Boston Marathon, Sheri sees a clear correlation between training for a marathon and developing and executing a marketing plan. Training for a marathon requires making a commitment of resources, time, energy, and passion, along with the right set of tools and the support of others. The sense of accomplishment you feel when you cross the finish line of a marathon may far surpasses how you feel when you finish a 5k race. Association marketing is very similar. Success rarely happens overnight, but with the right planning, energy, passion, and assistance, anything is possible.

As a senior executive and an association management veteran with more than 15 years of experience, Sheri applied her experience in market research, marketing, strategy, and branding projects to create a unique firm that helps associations meet their goals.

Sheri started her nonprofit career in the development office of the Chicago Children’s Museum and moved into marketing after becoming a founding officer of Picture This Projects. Sheri transitioned from the philanthropic community to the association community in 1994 when she became the director of membership and marketing at the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. She expanded her knowledge further when she joined the American Bar Association in 1999.

In 2002, Sheri joined the Association Forum of Chicagoland as the chief marketing officer and director of membership. During her tenure at the Association Forum, Sheri built award-winning campaigns that resulted in double-digit growth of membership and educational attendance.

Sheri is a top-rated speaker and a contributor to various associations and publications including the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the Center publication Decision to Join. She is a past chair of the ASAE Membership Council and Marketing Council. Sheri is a member of the ASAE Healthcare Committee and Foundation Development Committee. In addition, Sheri’s success in her field has led her to become an accomplished author. She is the co-editor and contributor of ASAE’s best-selling membership book, Membership Essentials, and the author of the marketing book, 199 Ideas: Powerful Marketing Tactics That Sell. ASAE and Jossey-Bass published Sheri’s latest book, The Art of Membership, in 2013. Sheri earned her Bachelor of Arts in History and Journalism from Indiana University and went on to become a Certified Association Executive in 2003.

Greg Fine, FASAE CAE
Executive Vice President and CEO, CCIM Institute (Certified Commercial Investment Member)

“I stepped back and actually realized along the way how many people, in my career, had done something that got me to be where I was.”

Gregory J. Fine is a recognized association executive and leader with more than 21 years of helping membership-based organizations grow and prosper. As the executive vice president and chief executive officer (CEO) of CCIM Institute, he heads up a 13,000-member professional association with members located in 30 countries. He also is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100. Prior to CCIM Institute, Gregory served as the global CEO of the Turnaround Management Association and vice president of marketing and communications for the Association for Corporate Growth.

Gregory also is actively engaged in nonprofits, having served on the boards of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), ASAE Foundation, and Association Media and Publishing. He is faculty emeritus for the Chamber’s Institute of Organizational Management and served on the faculty for the New York Society of Association Executives and the Association Forum of Chicago Certified Association Executive prep courses. He was invited to join the ASAE Fellows in 2017 and was awarded ASAE’s Certified Association Executive designation in June 2003. A prolific writer and speaker, he has written for FORUM, Associations Now, and Signature magazines and has given presentations about strategy, leadership, multigenerational workforce, association trends, social media, membership, marketing, and volunteerism to audiences all over the world.

Among many awards, Gregory received the 2017 Association Forum’s Inspiring Leader award; the 2009 Young and Aspiring Association Professional award by Association TRENDS; and the Angerosa Research Foundation’s inaugural 2008 Publishing Trendsetter award, an award recognizing innovation that advances association publishing.

2.11: Building your Kitchen Cabinet of Advisors with Jackie Price Osafo

2.11: Building your Kitchen Cabinet of Advisors with Jackie Price Osafo

If there has ever been a person that elevates the energy in the room and an organization, it’s Jackie Price Osafo. Her energy, positivity, and dedication are a catalyst for the work she does and the people she meets. Jackie approaches her work, career, and community with a proactive mindset that teaches us how to leverage our talents to drive positive impacts. From her MBA program to volunteering, Jackie develops advisors, mentors, and friends through contributing her time, knowledge, and advice. Listen in to learn and feel energized by our incredible colleague Jackie Price Osafo.

Jacqualine Price Osafo, MBA CAE
Vice President of Membership, American Health Information Management Association

“I learned a long time ago, that it’s my responsibility to build what I now call my kitchen. There are multiple cabinets in your kitchen… My association network is made up of a bunch of cabinets.” 

Jacqualine Price Osafo is the vice president of membership for the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). She has extensive experience in membership, educational design, volunteer management, and sponsorship. She has served and continues to serve in leadership capacities as liaison to the board of directors, member of the association leadership team, member of numerous committees and task forces, and member of up to 10 special interest groups.

Some of her accomplishments as the former director of membership and development for the Water Quality Association (WQA) include

  • Changed membership model and benefits for the first time in the history of the association
  • Developed and implemented the first engagement strategies for top-tiered members who pay up to $82K in dues
  • Increased sponsorship dollars by 20% year-over-year
  • Developed and deployed the first Business Operations Education program

While working for ASGE

  • Transitioned the Society from an association management company to stand alone
  • Increased membership by 97%
  • Lead diversity and inclusion initiatives for underrepresented population
  • Developed and delivered education and philanthropic programs to more than 15 countries

Jackie previously served as chair of the membership committee and Forum Forward. From 2009 to present, Jackie has presented more than 30 industry-related topics to the following audiences:

  • African Society of Association Executives
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American General Dentistry
  • ASAE Conferences
  • Association Forum Conferences
  • Association Laboratories
  • Chicago Association of Realtors
  • Michigan ASAE

She received the Association Forum’s Professional Achievement Award and is an ASAE 2018-2020 Diversity Executive Leadership Program scholar.

Jackie is a Certified Association Executive. She earned her master’s in business administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her BA from DePaul University.

Other Resources

What are the most useful resources you’ve found to help your professional development (i.e. books, courses, trainings, assessments, magazines, thought leaders, etc.)? In addition to educational programs through Association Forum and ASAE, I glean knowledge from other association executives. I describe my network as my kitchen where there are many cabinets that represent association executives from different backgrounds, career levels, and experiences.

I enjoy reading Harvard Business School case studies, which often are from the for-profit sector, but the concepts can be applied to the non-profit sector as well. I thoroughly enjoy Ted Talks where thought leaders share “real life” or research-based theories/experiences. I am an active listener of information and able to apply this knowledge to my professional growth and development. I like to describe myself as “being in constant state of learning.”

What is your favorite aspect of the association management field? As the second largest revenue generator, my contribution to the association supports many areas such as advocacy, marketing, and business education, all which directly impacts members and trickles down to the general public/consumer. My favorite aspect of association management is providing members, who ultimately provide a service to the public, with the tools and resources they need to do their job to the best of their abilities.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received? The best advice I’ve ever received was imparted in me during my childhood by my mother. She told me to “ask for what you want. You will not die if the answer is no.” This has led me to be a very curious person and in a constant quest for knowledge. For an association to continue to remain relevant to its members/industry, association executives must be in an endless state of researching, anticipating the future, and being willing to investigate what’s beyond the surface.

2.10: Responding to Racial Inequality: Finding Your Voice with Michelle Mason and Michelle Mills Clement

2.10: Responding to Racial Inequality: Finding Your Voice with Michelle Mason and Michelle Mills Clement

This is a special episode of Conversations by Association, we thought it was important to have a conversation about racial inequality in real time, and what our association leaders can do to support their teams, their organizations, and themselves on this journey. George Floyd’s death was a catalyst to reignite change, a catalyst for very important and often difficult conversations that are now in our daily lives and work. To help all of us consider how to lead well in these times of rapid change, we return to two thoughtful leaders and guests from last season, Michelle Mills Clement at Chicago Association of Realtors and Michelle Mason, President and CEO of Association Forum.

Throughout this authentic and honest conversation our guests discuss the emotions they have felt in their own leadership and the skills they’ve had to call on to help themselves and others take action. Listen for guiding steps forward, and the many opportunities to step up to lead your teams, organization, and self toward positive changes.

Michelle Mason, FASAE CAE
President and CEO at Association Forum

“Most importantly about leadership, it’s not about preparing a statement, it’s action, about creating sustainable action.”

michelle masonMichelle joined Association Forum as President and CEO in September 2014. She provides strategic leadership, fiscal responsibility, and successful delivery of member value.

Prior to Association Forum, Michelle served as a managing director at the American Society for Quality (ASQ). In this role, she concentrated on business development, membership, component relations, innovation, advocacy, social responsibility, and process improvement efforts.

Prior to ASQ, Michelle served as vice president of strategic and future focused research programs for the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) in Washington, D.C. She also worked at formerly Chemical Manufacturers Association, now the American Chemistry Council.

Michelle is a Certified Association Executive (CAE), Six Sigma Champion, and a Certified Quality Improvement Associate (CQIA). She is an ASAE Fellow and an Aspen Institute Ideas Fellow. She is a graduate of the SmithBucklin Leadership Institute (2016). Michelle formerly served as an examiner with the Wisconsin Center for Performance Excellence. She has a BA, MBA and MS.

Michelle has strong board experience including, ASAE Board of Directors, ABSI, Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin. She was appointed by the Mayor of Milwaukee to serve as vice-chair of the City’s Green Team. Michelle is the founding chair of the ASAE Innovation Grants Program. Michelle was the project lead for the bestselling publication, Seven Measures of Success: What Remarkable Associations Do That Others Don’t.

Michelle received the 2012 WSAE Association Leadership Award and was recognized by Associations Now as an “A Lister: Someone Who Makes Associations Work.”

Michelle Mills Clement, MNM CAE
CEO of the Chicago Association of REALTORS

“That’s the key. Find your voice and use it, because you can really make an impact.”

mills-clementMichelle Mills Clement is the CEO of the Chicago Association of REALTORS®, the “Voice for Real Estate in Chicago.” An experienced association executive for more than thirteen years, Mills Clement previously served as president and CEO of the Commercial Brokers Association (CBA) and association executive for the Washington State Commercial Association of REALTORS®. Prior to joining CBA, Mills Clement served as the Executive Director of NAIOP Washington State Chapter, the Commercial Real Estate & Development Association, where she implemented best practices in board governance and volunteer management.

Mills Clement was very active in the Chicagoland association industry prior to her move to the Pacific Northwest. She was employed with the Association Forum of Chicagoland as the Senior Manager of Member Communities & Programs. She previously held positions with the largest association management company in the world, SmithBucklin Corporation, serving both healthcare and trade association clients. Prior to SmithBucklin, she held fundraising and volunteer management positions with the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Boy Scouts of America, where she consistently exceeded fundraising and membership goals.

She is an Association Forum Board Member and active member of ASAE: The Center for Association Excellence and the Association Forum of Chicagoland. In June 2013, she was named an American Society of Association Executive’s Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP) Scholar, a prestigious executive leadership program awarded to only twelve executive-level association management professionals per year. She was also awarded the Young & Aspiring Association Professional Award from Association TRENDS in 2013, named a Forty Under 40 Award recipient by the Association Forum of Chicagoland and USAE in 2014, and most recently received the Women of Excellence in Male-Dominated Careers by the Women of Color Empowered & Northwest Asian Weekly for her work in the commercial real estate industry in the pacific northwest.

She is a native Chicagoan and enjoys political campaign fundraising and volunteer management. She was integral in the election of Congresswoman Robin Kelly (DIL) from Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District in Illinois. When not with her family, she volunteers her time as President for the Bradley University Black Alumni Alliance. She is also an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. where she serves on the National Social Action Commission, a commission responsible for setting the legislative agenda for the 300,000+ women’s organization.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in communication from Bradley University in Peoria and her master’s degree in nonprofit management from DePaul University. She has a certificate in commercial real estate from the University of Washington and earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) certification from ASAE.

She enjoys traveling with her family, volunteering, and cheering on the Chicago Bears (when they’re winning). She resides in Chicago with her husband Brace Clement, and their son Broyce.

2.9: Take Action: Building Buy-in

2.9: Take Action: Building Buy-in

This season we’re adding mini episodes that help you Take Action on the insights from guests, and some of the most crucial aspects of developing your network, building skills, and leading in your career. Each Take Action episode will be focused on a tool that makes action easier and drives towards positive results that you can download on the Conversations by Association website.

“The more you take that time, energy, and thoughtfulness to be able to invite people to have their input and share their knowledge, you’re actually creating opportunities for them to grow.”

One of the most powerful tools in creating sustainability is to develop buy-in with teammates, peers, and members. It’s easy to over complicate the process or buy-in or forget to initiate it all together, so in this episode Christina breaks it down into simple actions focused on inviting others in. You’ll hear Christina share how powerful questions are as a form of building buy-in as it invites others to share their knowledge and feel part of the final results. Check out our Questions that Build Buy-in Guide! It’s a great tool to print and post near your computer to keep buy-in top of mind!

Other Resources

Questions to Build Buy In

2.8: Creating a Caring Community with Carol Pape

2.8: Creating a Caring Community with Carol Pape

What started as a volunteer role turned into a unexpected job opportunity for Carol Pape. Whether she is at an association meeting or a school event, Carol always pitches in – it’s part of who she is. Carol values inclusion and has spent much of her career creating a welcoming, inclusive environment for members, guests and colleagues. She’s learned the importance of leveraging unexpected opportunities, encouraging diverse opinions, and ensuring others are respected and supported. Through big and small acts, we all thrive when our peers show up for one other. Hear Carol’s insights how servant leadership and humility created new opportunities for growth and professional advancement. She also reminds us that we are stronger when we are engaged, supportive and connected.

Carol Pape, CAE
Chief Operating Officer, Association of Professional Chaplains 

“I make an effort to look around the room and find those people who are by themselves so I can introduce myself and help them connect with other people”

Carol Pape is the chief operating officer at the Association of Professional Chaplains, where she has served for the past 12 years. Previously, she was the vice president of programs for the Northwest Suburban Association of Commerce and Industry and president of the Palatine Chamber of Commerce. A graduate of the Institute for Organization Management, she earned her Certified Association Executive credential in 2013.

Carol was the recipient of the 2016-2017 John C. Thiel Distinguished Service Award given by Association Forum. Carol joined the board of directors of Association Forum in 2017 and previously served the organization on the Certified Association Executive (CAE) working group and as chair of the awards and recognition committee. She continues to serve as a facilitator for the CAE study groups each fall and spring.

A lifelong volunteer, Carol has served in many capacities at her church, in the parent–teacher associations at her childrens’ schools, and on the boards for a local women’s counseling center and school education foundations.

She received her Bachelor of Science in community health education from Indiana University.

Other Resources

What are the most useful resources you’ve found to help your professional development (i.e. books, courses, trainings, assessments, magazines, thought leaders, etc.)? I love the American Society of Association Executives’ professional practices and law books. They are great references. But I get my best ideas from talking with and networking with other association executives. There is nothing like shared experience to spark ideas and solve problems!

What is your favorite aspect of the association management field? No two days are alike. I love working with members and volunteers to make a difference.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Self-care is important. Sick days also can be used for mental health days. And this advice was given to me before we all had cell phones and were constantly tied to work! I can do better work and contribute more to the organization if I have taken care of myself.