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Associations cannot thrive without their people. From leaders and volunteers to members and sponsors, your people are the foundation of an outstanding association. So, how can you connect with the right people, expand your reach, and continue bringing value to each individual’s life?

We sat down with top association leaders to gain insight on building an organization, developing your team, and bringing value to everyone involved. They share top tips for establishing partnerships, creating a team of great leaders, and meeting the needs of your members. These leaders even go beyond their people-centered practices to share personal stories about the early days of an association, working through challenges, and building a mission-based reputation that lasts.

Roberta Rosenberg, The Fertilizer Institute

The Fertilizer Institute

Every association is looking for sponsors. According to Roberta, if you want sponsors, you can’t just deliver a product — you have to provide value. Associations exist to serve their members, deliver value, and encourage engagement to foster relationships.

The Fertilizer Institute is the public voice of the fertilizer industry, acting as an advocate for fair regulation and legislation. They are a source of trusted information and data that publicizes industry initiatives in matters of safety and environmental stewardship. The Fertilizer Institute’s conferences and programs give members an opportunity to network and grow their businesses.

Learn more:Roberta Rosenberg, The Fertilizer Institute


Lee Richter, Event Planners Association

Event Planners Association
People join associations for the prestige, but what makes them stick around? Lee says they stay for the connection and community. That’s why, like many successful association leaders, Lee is always thinking about new ways to add value — he enjoys bringing people together to celebrate life’s treasured moments.

The Event Planners Association teaches event planners how to run a business. They’re America’s #1 resource for finding event planners and amusement industry leaders. With done-for-you marketing services, legal contracts and templates, education and training, podcasts, and webinars, they have a plethora of resources to help members grow.

Learn more:Lee Richter, Event Planners Association


Todd Blickenstaff, The American Association of Individual Investors (AAII)

The American Association of Individual Investors (AAII)
Part of building an outstanding association is having a quality board. Todd suggests finding people who think outside of the box and want to be part of a team. Additionally, each member of the board should have strengths that complement other members, creating a well-rounded group of advisors.

The American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to educate individual investors regarding stock market portfolios, financial planning, and retirement accounts. AAII assists individuals in becoming effective managers of their own assets through education, information, and research. They’ve educated over two million investors and continue to help them develop investment philosophies based on individual objectives.

Learn more:Todd Blickenstaff, The American Association of Individual Investors


Cara Heilmann, The International Association of Career Coaches (IACC)

The International Association of Career Coaches (IACC)
When shaping your association, it’s important not to compare yourself to others or mimic a close competitor. Although creating something out of nothing can be difficult, Cara reminds leaders to stay true to who you are and what you want to do — that’s how your association will succeed in the long term.

The International Association of Career Coaches (IACC)® is a worldwide member and education-based organization that nurtures a network of like-minded business professionals who are eager to share knowledge and experiences that support the career coaching profession. The IACC’s vision is to help people discover jobs they love.

Learn more:Cara Heilmann, The International Association of Career Coaches


Gillian Schauer, Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA)

Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA)
Starting an association can be extremely challenging due to any number of tasks — including paperwork. To combat these challenges, Gillian established a great team of volunteers and members. This team took on leadership roles, diffused the difficult tasks, and helped the association begin on the right foot. Although your team and their roles may change over time, Gillian says it’s important to get help early on.

The Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA) is a national organization of cannabis regulators that provides policymakers and regulatory agencies with the resources to make informed decisions with regards to cannabis legalization and regulation. CANNRA is not a cannabis advocacy group and takes no formal position for or against cannabis legalization, but rather seeks to provide government jurisdictions with unbiased information to help make informed decisions.

Learn more: Gillian Schauer, Cannabis Regulators Association


Dr. Kimberly Long, Association of California Nurse Leaders (ACNL)

Association of California Nurse Leaders (ACNL)
Your people are the foundation of your association. That’s why Dr. Long says you need to keep your ears open to the needs and desires of your members. To help people see the value of their membership, Dr. Long and the team at the Association of California Nurse Leaders hold classes on the basics of leadership, host an industry-specific podcast, lead annual programs, and collaborate with other organizations.

For nearly 40 years, The Association of California Nurse Leaders (ACNL) has been forwarding its vision of positioning nurse leaders to influence the future of healthcare. They work to develop nurse leaders, advance the professional practice of nursing, promote patient safety, and improve the health of California’s communities. ACNL members are diverse in their experience and talents. Through this collective strength, nurse leaders can best meet the needs of their organizations, clients, and communities while advancing the profession of nursing.

Learn more:Dr. Kimberly Long, Association of California Nurse Leaders


Dhanada Kulkarni, Texas Ayurveda Professionals Association (TAPAS)

Texas Ayurveda Professionals Association (TAPAS)
In the early stages of building an association, Dhanada says it’s crucial to reach out and ask for help. When you start bringing in helping hands, you have to be a team player. There are many moving parts — and people — within a nonprofit organization, so it’s important to find that balance as a team. How? According to Dhanada, you have to keep the vision of the organization at the forefront.

The Texas Ayurveda Professionals Association (TAPAS) is on a mission to support and protect authentic Ayurveda and allied health professionals in the state of Texas. Through outreach, practice, training, and education, they’re preserving the excellence of Ayurveda clinical practice and working unitedly to recognize Ayurveda medicine in the state of Texas.

Learn more:Dhanada Kulkarni, Texas Ayurveda Professionals


Rex Laceby, CU Boulder Veterans Alumni Association

CU Boulder Veterans Alumni Association
Running an association is no easy task, which is why Rex suggests reaching out to more-established organizations. They can answer questions, share strategies for success, and provide support for your budding organization.

The CU Boulder Veterans Alumni Association promotes the success of University of Colorado Boulder veteran alumni and students in their post-military transition. They offer social events, community service opportunities, transitional assistance, and networking opportunities. Additionally, the association collaborates with local and national veteran organizations to strengthen the entire veteran community.

Learn more:Rex Laceby, CU Boulder Veterans Alumni Association


Minqi Wang, UMass Chinese Culture Association

UMass Chinese Culture Association
In America, the number of students who study the Chinese language is dropping. That’s why Minqi and the UMass Chinese Culture Association are on a mission to spark interest and provide people with the resources, events, and education needed to learn about Chinese culture. To attract students, they offer activities like the Chinese culture festival, which showcases traditional Chinese clothes, games, and puzzles. To gain support and attract sponsors, they write articles, offer publicity, and send photos and videos that display the impact of the association on campus.

The UMass Chinese Culture Association provides a place where students interested in Chinese culture can come together. With festivals, concerts, and other events and activities, the organization strives to make international students feel at home while offering learning opportunities for anyone interested in Chinese culture.

Learn more:Minqi Wang, UMass Chinese Culture Association


Pat Gouhin, Angel Capital Association (ACA)

Angel Capital Association (ACA)
Each new day is an opportunity to build your association no matter what’s happened in the past. Like many association leaders, Pat was shocked by the pandemic and challenged in ways he never could have imagined. However, he’s learned how to weather whatever storm comes his way. He says that there’s no cookie-cutter approach to running an association — you just have to figure out what’s best and take each new day in stride.

The Angel Capital Association (ACA) is on a mission to fuel the success of angel groups and private investors that invest in high-growth, early-stage ventures. The ACA provides professional development opportunities and delivers services to support the success of its members. They also serve as the promotional voice for the global angel community and the public policy voice for the US professional angel community.

Learn more:Pat Gouhin, Angel Capital Association


Sean Ward, East Cleveland Growth Association (ECGA)

East Cleveland Growth Association (ECGA)
Sean says if you’re thinking of starting an association, you have to take it seriously to see growth. It’s important to formulate a thorough plan, be able to explain it, and avoid rushing the process. A great association requires time, careful execution, and a community-first mindset.

The East Cleveland Growth Association (ECGA) strives to help build a sustainable tax base in East Cleveland through commerce, retail, and commercial and residential development. The ECGA wants to turn East Cleveland back into a community that can sustain itself, provide a better lifestyle, and shape a community where residents can work, play, and live.

Learn more:Sean Ward, East Cleveland Growth Association


Thomas Churchelow, New Jersey Utilities Association (NJUA)

New Jersey Utilities Association (NJUA)
The beauty of associations is their ability to bring together individuals with distinct backgrounds and experiences. However, this can also pose challenges. When you have a variety of members with different priorities, philosophies, and personalities, it can be tricky to meet everyone’s needs and create a harmonious environment. But Thomas says instead of focusing on your differences, you should unite over the things you have in common.

The New Jersey Utilities Association (NJUA) is a statewide trade association for investor-owned utilities. Since 1915, NJUA has provided forums to facilitate the exchange of ideas and generated a unified voice in the public policy arena for its members. Its mission is to advocate for the investor-owned utility industry, improve efficiency for utility companies, and promote a broader understanding of the industry.

Learn more: Thomas Churchelow, New Jersey Utilities Association


Katherine Goyette, Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA)

Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA)
When you found an association, the most important thing is getting it off the ground. To help kickstart your association, Katherine says that partnerships are key. Working with other organizations can help you gain more visibility at big events and connect you with like-minded individuals. But how do you seek out partnerships? Katherine suggests reaching out to organizations whose vision aligns with your own.

The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) is a membership organization that supports and promotes the teaching of computer science and other computing disciplines. They provide opportunities to help K-12 teachers and students better understand the field and successfully prepare for teaching and learning.

Learn more:Katherine Goyette, Computer Science Teachers Association


Hami Arrington, American Marketing Association – Houston

American Marketing Association – Houston
Hami’s biggest piece of advice is to run an association like a business — because it is a business. Between sponsors, volunteers, and members, you have to make sure everyone’s time is valued. And like any business, communication is crucial to help things run smoothly — especially in a large group.

The Houston chapter of the American Marketing Association is THE marketing connection for leading educational information, career-building resources, and valuable networking opportunities. With a supportive community of volunteers, the American Marketing Association of Houston connects local marketers to the people, resources, and tools they need to succeed.

Learn more:Hami Arrington, American Marketing Association – Houston


Kait Hilliard, Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA)

Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA)
Your association should not only bring joy to members and volunteers, but also provide value to their lives. When the pandemic hit, Kait was on a mission to continue bringing value. The team at the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association pivoted to digital content and brought the zoo to its members. They went from a monthly newsletter to a weekly newsletter and began reaching over 40,000 households. Sometimes you have to get creative to continue servicing your members.

The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) is a nonprofit that operates seven essential functions for the city-owned zoo: fundraising the zoo’s programs and capital projects, membership, volunteers, marketing and public relations, special events and site rentals, concessions, and retail and publications. GLAZA and the LA Zoo share a mission to serve the community, create an environment for recreation and discovery, inspire an appreciation for wildlife, ensure the highest level of animal welfare, and support programs that preserve biodiversity and conserve natural habitats.

Learn more:Kait Hilliard, Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association


Meredith Wise, Employers Association of the NorthEast (EANE)

Employers Association of the NorthEast (EANE)
The Employers Association of the NorthEast has a 92% retention rate. How do they keep this rate so high? Meredith says they have a great group of people who buckle down and connect with members. Four times a year, member representatives reach out, talk to members, and make sure the organization is meeting everyone’s needs.

The Employers Association of the NorthEast (EANE) has devoted more than a century to creating successful workplaces. They provide talent, training, and tools to retain, develop, and engage employees. Additionally, their educational programs are practical, participant-centered, and interactive with a focus on measurable results. Working with a range of organizations from Fortune 1000 companies to single-employee workplaces, EANE offers members a local connection with a national perspective. They have a staff of over 20 professionals, four offices spanning three states, and over a dozen training centers.

Learn more:Meredith Wise, Employers Association of the NorthEast


Roy Sexton, Legal Marketing Association (LMA)

Legal Marketing Association (LMA)

According to Roy, social media can be a big benefit for associations. The Legal Marketing Association is a very open, non-competitive association that finds joy in sharing its knowledge and resources — and social media has helped them stay true to these values. People appreciate the educational opportunities and events, and when you make them known and easily accessible on social media, it can help you gain visibility and attract new members.

Operating for 37 years, the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) has grown from less than 10 self-starters to over 3,500 members — and they’re still growing. LMA supports the legal marketing community through professional advocacy, thought leadership, and personal enrichment. They provide a community where in-house marketers, service providers, and consultants from across the world can meet, share, innovate, and reframe marketing’s position in the legal industry.

Learn more:Roy Sexton, Legal Marketing Association


Stefanie Bourassa, American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
Stefanie believes that a successful association meets people where they are. The American Physical Therapy Association offers individualized membership benefits and different membership levels to ensure they’re accommodating all members. Because when your people are happy, your association will thrive.

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is a national professional organization representing more than 100,000 members who seek advancement in physical therapy practice, research, and education. Its mission is to build the physical therapy community, promote high-value practice, and advocate for access to care for all populations.

Learn more:Stefanie Bourassa, American Physical Therapy Association


S. Kent Butler, American Counseling Association

American Counseling Association

  1. Kent has some simple yet highly effective tips for running an association: provide access to your members and treat them with respect. No matter your industry or what kind of organization you run, people want to be part of something great, and they want to be involved in a community that values their membership.

With more than 57,000 members, the American Counseling Association is the world’s largest association representing professional counselors in various practice settings. Founded in 1952, the nonprofit is a long-time advocate for counselors, providing them with the resources needed to make a difference.

Learn more:S. Kent Butler, American Counseling Association


Shaina Glass, Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA)

Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA)
Your agency exists for your members. That’s why Shaina believes you should always listen to your members — without getting so caught up in leadership duties that you forget to care for yourself. Especially when you’re organizing hundreds or thousands of members, it’s important to find a balance between your personal life and professional life. When you make time for yourself, your organization will be better for it.

The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) is a membership organization that supports and promotes the teaching of computer science and other computing disciplines. They provide opportunities to help K-12 teachers and students better understand the computing disciplines and successfully prepare for teaching and learning.

Learn more:Shaina Glass, Computer Science Teachers Association


Angela Fitch, Obesity Medicine Association

Obesity Medicine Association
Angela maintains that the most important component of an association is its members, so it’s important to embrace diverse opinions. If you want to engage with your associates, you have to listen to them — their ideas may just help you identify a purpose and create value in your organization.

The Obesity Medicine Association provides physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and other healthcare providers with specialized knowledge to deliver obesity treatments. With more than 3,500 members, the Obesity Medicine Association offers networking opportunities so you can consult with an expert about complicated cases you encounter during practice. Through their advocacy opportunities, you can take part in their mission to expand coverage of obesity treatment services to build a satisfying and rewarding career in obesity medicine.

Learn more: Angela Fitch, Obesity Medicine Association


Al Solis, National Hispanic Construction Association of California (NHCA)

National Hispanic Construction Association of California (NHCA)
What’s the best way to build an association? According to Al, you must leverage a significant societal demand that resonates with you, develop a strategy to successfully execute it, and find people to support your endeavors. Through this method, Al has generated a people-driven mission and created a close-knit community of individuals who share his passion.

The National Hispanic Construction Association (NHCA) is a nonprofit organization built by Latinos for Latinos. The association represents over 4,500 companies across the country, reaching over 35,000 Hispanic-owned construction firms through marketing, newsletters, and social media networks. NCHA advocates for Hispanic construction professionals and provides them with education, training, business resources, and communication.

Learn more: Al Solis, National Hispanic Construction Association 


Andrea Smith, American Marketing Association – Washington DC Chapter (AMADC)

American Marketing Association – Washington DC Chapter (AMADC)
When recruiting new members for your association, testimonials are key. Create a tab on your main page that highlights endorsements or networking opportunities so prospective members can hear success stories and gain insights about your organization. Andrea ensures that each potential associate recognizes her inclusive networking opportunities. Diversity is at the core of her association’s values, and she wants each member — new and existing — to reap the benefits of those possibilities.

The Washington DC chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMADC) is the leading network for marketing professionals to build their marketing and leadership skills and participate in networking events and mentoring programs. With more than 800 members representing over 400 leading organizations in sectors ranging from corporate, media, government, association, and nonprofit, AMADC is the third-largest chapter of the American Marketing Association. They are a volunteer organization driving innovation, professional development, and career advancements throughout the Washington DC metropolitan area.

Learn more: Andrea Smith, AMADC


Andrea Taurins, The Alzheimer’s Association

The Alzheimer’s Association
Volunteer associations often use fundraisers to support a cause and grow their organizations. But fundraising is competitive, with many different donor accounts for similar charities, so finding willing contributors can be challenging. Andrea advises you to make your mission clear to prospective donors so they can feel assured their money will be used for a reputable cause.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support, and research. They strive to end Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support.

Learn more: Andrea Taurins, The Alzheimer’s Association


Bo Sun, Asian American Leaders

Asian American Leaders
When starting an association, many factors must be considered such as content creation, attracting members, and networking. These tasks can seem daunting at first, but Bo suggests building partnerships to allocate the responsibilities. You can build your membership and scale when you find like-minded people who support your vision and share your organization’s values.

Asian American Leaders is a nonprofit association whose mission is to organize and unite Asian leaders working in the United States to build an interactive platform for sharing resources. They help young professionals build their brands and become great leaders through networking and mentorship opportunities.

Learn more: Bo Sun, Asian American Leaders


Barb Dimauro, Utility Contractors Association of Connecticut (UCAC)

Utility Contractors Association of Connecticut (UCAC)
When it comes to sponsorships, hosting events is a great way to engage sponsors and connect with them. If you’re thinking about planning an event, it’s essential to consider it from the sponsors’ perspectives to ensure you’re providing a valuable learning opportunity. Barb understands the significance of enticing promoters — her unique and innovative events involve her sponsors in creative ways, so they feel valued.

The Utility Contractors Association of Connecticut (UCAC) is a nonprofit trade association representing the underground utility and site work construction industry in Connecticut. UCAC is comprised of contractors, suppliers, vendors, and manufacturers who perform work to improve and enhance the utility infrastructure.

Learn more: Barb Dimauro, UCAC 


Dr. Beverly Smith, American Mental Health Counselor Association (AMHCA)

American Mental Health Counselor Association (AMHCA)
Leadership roles in an association can be demanding, and maintaining positivity and confidence amid conflict is often challenging. In her role, Dr. Smith reimagines her organization to encourage collaboration and embrace meaningful changes. She advises other leaders to manage their organizations with authenticity and integrity.

The American Mental Health Counselor Association (AMHCA) is the leading organization working exclusively for the mental health counseling profession. With a membership of over 7,000 clinical mental health counselors, AMHCA makes a critical impact in the lives of Americans by setting and enforcing standards for education, licensing, and ethics for mental health professionals. The organization succeeds in giving a voice to the mental health profession and serving professionals nationwide.

Learn more: AMHCA


Bryan Zapata, National Association of Hispanic Journalists at Virginia Tech

National Association of Hispanic Journalists at Virginia Tech
Bryan has a straightforward and effective way to recruit both new members and sponsors: he partners with other associations that have a similar mission. When you team up with multiple organizations to promote your discipline, prospects will recognize and appreciate your involvement and dedication.

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) is a network of professionals and students dedicated to the recognition and professional advancement of Hispanics in the news industry. NAHJ has a national network of 18 Professional Chapters and 27 Student Chapters including working journalists, journalism students, other media-related professionals, and journalism educators in 17 states, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Since 1982, the association has provided a national voice and unified vision for Hispanic journalists.

Learn more: Bryan Zapata, NAHJ


Burgess Harrison, The National Minority Health Association (NMHA)

NMHA-Logo Logo
If you want to create an association with a lasting impact, it’s crucial to offer your community programs relevant to their demands. Burgess is dedicated to providing his members with quality services and benefits to generate a reliable mission. He affirms that organizations should demonstrate consistency in their efforts to build trust with members and the community.

The National Minority Health Association (NMHA) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1988 with a mission to establish Offices of Minority Health in all 50 states. Having completed the endeavor, the NMHA is now deploying Operation Healthy You (OHY), a program that identifies areas of healthcare disparity and works with healthcare providers and community resources to address identified needs. The program is intended to lower the long-term overall cost of healthcare and improve outcomes for minority and underserved communities.

Learn more: Burgess Harrison, NMHA


Casey Hanisko, Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA)

Adventure Travel Trade Association
Association leaders sometimes become too focused on attracting members or sponsors and don’t always consider the time it takes to find enthusiastic employees. Casey emphasizes the importance of a solid team for the overall success of an organization. That’s why she’s developed a prominent internship program to find people passionate about making a difference in their community.

The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) serves as a strategic membership organization for companies in the Adventure Travel arena. They contribute to worldwide industry growth by raising the profile of Adventure Travel in the world travel market and providing valuable services, knowledge, and connections that will help members succeed in their businesses.

Learn more: Casey Hanisko, ATTA 


Cathy Fyock, National Speakers Association (NSA)

National Speakers Association (NSA)
One of the advantages of associations is giving members opportunities to connect with people of similar professions and skills. If you’re looking for new and innovative ways to form membership alliances, Cathy suggests offering engaging events such as conferences or seminars. This allows participants to share ideas and relay their needs, which in turn maximizes your organization’s impact.

For nearly 50 years, the National Speakers Association (NSA) has helped tens of thousands of speakers propel their business through three simple steps: connecting with the community, tapping into member-exclusive resources, and plugging into national and local events. The NSA is committed to elevating excellence, empowering professional speakers to thrive, and sharing expertise.

Learn more: Cathy Fyock, NSA


Charles Crews, Northeast Gas Association (NGA)

Northeast Gas Association (NGA)
Managing an association can be a challenging and confusing process, which is why you need to have a robust strategy in place to organize your affairs. Charles recommends creating a spreadsheet to prioritize your organization’s goals. It’s also important to update your staff on any changes you make to your internal processes and ensure they’re in agreement. That way, your association runs smoothly and can meet objectives effectively.

The Northeast Gas Association (NGA) is a nonprofit organization made up of over 35 local gas distribution companies (LDCs), which collectively serve 14 million customers across New England as well as New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. NGA’s mission is to advocate for the energy industry and promote and enhance the safe, reliable, efficient, and environmentally-responsible delivery of low-to-no-carbon energy to customers in the region.

Learn more: Charles Crews, NGA


Christina Provost, The Ohio State University Alumni Association

Some associations are hesitant to connect with other organizations as they believe it may impede their mission. Christina says not to turn down these connection opportunities, as they could lead to meaningful growth prospects. There’s always something you can learn from others, so remember to remain open to feedback and make room for positive changes.

The Ohio State Alumni Association is made up of more than half a million alumni across the world. With a global presence of over 50 societies and 200 local and international clubs, The Ohio State Alumni Association provides opportunities to stay in touch with the university through a vibrant and inclusive community dedicated to making the world a better place.

Learn more: Christina Provost, The Ohio State Alumni Association


Colleen Loeffler, AUTM

The pandemic has altered the way many associations organize membership events — it’s difficult to promote engagement in a virtual environment. To rectify this problem, Colleen has created pandemic-focused initiatives to re-establish her organization as the leader in world problem-solving. This has generated additional opportunities for her members to engage with the association and connect with one another.

AUTM is the nonprofit leader in efforts to educate, promote and inspire professionals to support the development of academic research that changes the world and drives innovation. AUTM’s community is comprised of more than 3,200 members who work in more than 800 universities, research centers, hospitals, businesses, and government organizations around the globe.

Learn more: Colleen Loeffler, AUTM


Lisa Howard-Fusco, American Marketing Association (AMA)

Managing an organization is an ongoing learning experience, so Lisa advises leaders not to disregard opportunities to learn from mid-level executive members. Organize campaigns and conduct surveys to get involved with these members and ultimately enhance your association. Each member has their own unique and diverse experiences to contribute, so remaining flexible is crucial.

The American Marketing Association (AMA) is the essential community for marketers that strives to be the most relevant force shaping marketing around the world. The AMA has a community of local chapters in more than 70 cities and 350 college campuses throughout North America. The organization is home to award-winning content, PCM® professional certification, premiere academic journals, and industry-leading training events and conferences.

Learn more: Lisa Howard-Fusco, American Marketing Association


CS Freeland, Austin Venture Association

If you want to influence your community through your organization, you have to think big. One way to accomplish this is by developing and coordinating creative and innovative opportunities to gain recognition and outperform competitors. CS is redefining her organization to represent her industry, and in the process, has paved the way for further development in her field.

The startup and venture capital scene in Austin, Texas is a new frontier currently experiencing unprecedented growth. Austin Venture Association is the first local membership club of accredited investors in the greater community of venture capitalists, accelerators, university incubators, corporates, angels, family offices, and more. The organization partners with other local groups to focus on three key areas: amplifying and organizing the local greater venture community, education and professional development, and delivering more local startup support.

Learn more: CS Freeland, Austin Venture Association


Candace Yeager, The Florida Home Builders Association (FHBA)

When developing membership programs, it’s crucial to provide your members with opportunities to develop their skills, learn, and grow professionally. Candace has initiated a three-tiered program for leadership development so her members can acquire the coaching skills needed to succeed in her organization. By allowing members to advance in your organization, they can greatly benefit from your services.

The Florida Home Builders Association (FHBA) is one of the most dynamic trade organizations in America. Affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and 23 local/regional home builders associations around the state, FHBA boasts a legacy of success spanning 65 years. The association strives to be recognized as an all-encompassing construction resource for its members through superior lobbying efforts, educational forums, networking, and comprehensive products and services.

Learn more: Candace Yeager, FHBA


Donell Barnett, The Association of Black Psychologists

The Association of Black Psychologists
As an association leader, it’s easy to become too invested in your mission and programs, and as a result, neglect your business processes and internal operations. When this happens, Donell advises setting aside time to understand factors such as administration and budget management. But organization leaders can’t be expected to know everything, so it’s essential to realize your limitations and consult with experts to help you manage your affairs — then you can focus on what truly matters in your association.

The Association of Black Psychologists’ mission is to liberate the African mind, empower the African character, and illuminate the African spirit. The organization operates exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, including but not limited to promoting and advancing the profession of African Psychology, influencing and affecting social change, and developing programs where Black Psychologists can assist in solving the problems of Black communities and other ethnic groups.

Learn more: Donell Barnett, The Association of Black Psychologists


Carter Todd, Capitol City Black Nurses Association (CCNBA)

Capitol City Black Nurses Association (CCNBA)
There are many ways for an association to gain recognition, but not all efforts are effective. Carter has found tremendous success in creating a strong social media presence for members and sponsors to engage with each other and the organization. Due to its popularity and comprehensive influence, social media can be a valuable tool to spread awareness and develop a lasting reputation.

A division of The National Black Nurses Association, The Capitol City Black Nurses Association (CCBNA) aims to advocate for the needs of nurses and optimize health outcomes in communities where health disparities persist by promoting recruitment and retention while enhancing the nursing education pipeline. The organization’s mission is to represent and provide a forum for Black nurses to advocate and implement strategies to ensure access to the highest quality of healthcare for persons of color.

Learn more: Carter Todd, Capitol City Black Nurses Association


Dan Brown, Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA)

Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA)
Association leaders are always brainstorming innovative ways to recruit and retain members, but what about sponsors? Dan maintains that generating a steady flow of sponsorships necessitates reciprocity. When attracting sponsors to create leads for your organization, you must consider the services you can provide in return. Your association is likely not the only one they’re evaluating, so supplying them with leads and prospects may just put you at the top of their list.

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) brings together communities of interest across technology, government affairs, and business performance to shape solutions, facilitate programs, and provide products and services that enable high-speed networks and accelerate next-generation Information and Communications Technology (ICT) innovation across all markets. TIA’s members include ICT manufacturers and suppliers, network operators and service enablers, distributors, and system integrators.

Learn more: Dan Brown, TIA