Speakers A-L 

Rebecca Achurch, PgMP, PMP, CSM, CAE, Executive Director, Achurch Consulting

Thriving In A Hybrid Workplace

Rebecca is founder and CEO of Achurch Consulting where she aligns the needs of clients’ business and staff with sound management principles and the right technology and processes to support it.

A significant portion of her experience was formed while building and managing a team of more than fifteen project managers, business analysts, and developers at the American Chemical Society. Rebecca has won innovation awards for business process redevelopment and membership engagement platforms. Rebecca lives in Charlotte, NC, with her husband James and her son William. When not working or on a plane, Rebecca can be found thinking up new ideas while hiking in the North Carolina mountains.


David Ackert, MA, CEO, Pipeline Plus

Improve Your Influence

David Ackert is President at Ackert Inc. and its subsidiaries. He is a highly regarded business development thought leader. Over the past two decades, David has pioneered revenue acceleration programs for hundreds of organizations around the globe. He is the author of upcoming book, The Short List. He is the founder of several technology platforms including the PipelinePlus software suite. David regularly keynotes at partner retreats and speaks at industry conferences. He also serves as a guest lecturer at USC’s Marshall School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, and at the UCLA School of Law. His Market Leaders Podcast is a multiple Listeners Choice award-winner.

  Cory Althoff, SVP, Software Development           Programs, CompTIA

  Working Smarter with Your New AI Assistant

  Cory Althoff has a diverse work experience     spanning multiple industries. In 2014, they started     their career as a Software Engineer at eBay Inc, where they worked until 2015. Cory then joined Thuuz Sports as a Software Engineer from 2015 to 2016. Following that, they worked as an Author at Little, Brown Book Group from 2016 to 2020. In 2020, they transitioned to become an Author at Wiley until 2022. In 2021, they joined Vonage as a Developer Advocate and worked there until 2022. Currently, Cory holds the position of Senior Vice President at CompTIA, serving as the head of Software Development Programs since 2023, and previously as the head of Faculty Academy from 2022 to 2023.


Jennifer Ballentine, MA, CEO, Coalition for Compassionate Care of California

How's That Workin' For You? Everyday Evaluation Methods

Jennifer has more than 20 years’ experience in organizational leadership, change design, program design and evaluation, and adult education. As CEO of the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California, she leads a team dedicated to improving care for people with serious illness and those who care for them through education, advocacy, and system change. Prior to her career in the nonprofit world, she founded and led a consulting and professional services business for more than 15 years, working with national and international clients. She participates in numerous state and national initiatives to improve the quality and delivery of palliative care and is a frequent keynote and workshop speaker for national, statewide, and regional professional conferences and groups.


Touda Bentatou, Director of Member Engagement & Marketing, CITE (CA IT in Education)

Unleashing the Potential of Project Charters

Touda strives to ensure that technologists in education are empowered and have the resources to support students’ learning experiences. Prior to being employed with CITE, she worked as the IT Analyst at Irvine Unified School District. She began her career at Irvine USD in the IT department as a videographer, and after two years, moved into the IT Analyst role. In this role, she led the IT department's admin team, projects, and developed project management processes and structures. Along with managing projects, she created a staff project management training program, and sat on various project teams to act as a coach and provide guidance for staff leading their own projects.


Nigel Bocanegra, Executive Director, CA Farm Labor Contractor Association

General Session: Pioneering the Future of Associations - Insights from Emerging Leaders

Nigel is the Executive Director of the California Farm Labor Contractor Association, representing farm labor contractors, growers, and affiliated organizations based in Sacramento, CA. In this capacity, Nigel oversees CFLCA’s industry engagement, educational programs, and advocacy efforts. Prior to joining CFLCA, he served as the Manager of Association Services for the National Council of Agricultural Employers. Nigel currently serves on the Advisory Boards for the UC, Davis Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety and the American Association of AgLabor Providers. Nigel received an Association Leadership Academy certificate from CalSAE in 2023. He received his BA in International Relations from California State University, Chico.


Jessica Brustad, Founder, The Funny Yogi

Improv to ImprovE: Leading Difficult Conversations Off-Script

Improv and Stand Up Comedian, Yoga Instructor and Laughter Yoga Leader. (Yup, that’s right. She actually teaches people how to laugh!) Professional Motivational Speaker, Reality TV Star, and Former Member of The National Comedy Theatre’s Sunday Company. She is an experienced sales and project manager who now helps businesses play with change! An expert in leading others through both personal and professional metamorphosis.  She has helped companies like Google and Microsoft improve their cultures and strengthen their teams through play based learning and engagement. Her unique style of high energy mixed with mindfulness practices are sure to entertain, educate, and motivate you on your own path to wellness, balance, and most of all joy!


Joseph Burak, MBA, Chief Strategist, TRANSiT Strategy & Analytics

Revolutionize Your Association by Harnessing AI Tools

Joe is passionate about analytics and AI. As the founder and chief strategist of TRANSiT Strategy & Analytics, he helps organizations maximize their data to develop more member loyalty and inform strategic decisions. He also helps executives harness the power of AI to streamline operations and elevate member value. Before TRANSiT, Joe spent nearly two decades with the National Association of Home Builders Federation, strengthening chapters through strategic planning, executive & leadership training, and building member-centric cultures. Joe holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and an MBA with a certificate in business analytics from George Washington University. He lives in Virginia with his wife and two adorable kiddos. Joe supports the Washington Spirit in his spare time and loves live music.


April Callis-Birchmeier, CSP, CCMP, PMP, CEO/President, Springboard Consulting

Creating and Sustaining Positive Organizational Change

Recognized as one of the Top 30 Global Gurus in Organizational Culture in 2021, 2022, & 2023, April is an internationally known organizational change management expert who has implemented change for government, health care, higher education and corporate clients. She served on the ACMP Standard Working Group to develop the global professional standard for all change management practitioner’s worldwide and is CEO of Springboard Consulting, a change management consulting firm which provides enterprise implementation support, education, and exam preparation in organizational change management for Human Resource professionals. April is the author of four books including the bestsellers “READY, Set, Change! Simplify and Accelerate Organizational Change” and “READY, Set, CCMP™ Exam Prep Guide


Melanee Cottrill, MBA, CAE, DTM, Executive Director, California Head Start

Cultivating Authentic Belongingness

Melanee is the Executive Director of California Head Start. She previously served as Executive Director of the California Association of School Psychologists, Associate Director of the California Farmland Trust, where she focused on marketing, events, and development. She also spent nearly a decade forming and funding associations and scaling business operations as the Operations Manager at Civitas Advisors. She earned her Master's of Business Administration at California State University, Stanislaus and recently received her Certified Association Executive from the American Society of Association Executives. She is also a frequent speaker, addicted reader, beer connoisseur, and dog-lover. A forward-focused executive, she believes in stakeholder leadership, building supportive teams, and the power of associations to make a positive difference in the world.


Jeff De Cagna AIMP FRSA FASAE, Executive Advisor, Foresight First LLC

Association Boards Must Become More

Coffee & Conversation -Why We Are All AI Ethicists Now

Jeff De Cagna AIMP FRSA FASAE, executive advisor for Foresight First LLC in Reston, Virginia, is an association contrarian, foresight practitioner, governing designer, stakeholder/successor advocate, and stewardship catalyst. Jeff advises association and non-profit boards on how they can set a higher standard of stewardship, governing, and foresight. A graduate of the Johns Hopkins and Harvard universities, he has continued his learning with the future at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Oxford University, Harvard Business School, the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business, BoardSource, the Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies, and the Institute for the Future. Jeff is the 32nd recipient of ASAE’s Academy of Leaders Award, the association’s highest individual honor given to industry partners in recognition of their support of the association community.


Luiza Dreasher, Ph.D., Founder and CEO, Mastering Cultural Differences

Communicating Effectively Across Cultures

Luiza designs and implements customized programs for organizations that want team members to understand cultural differences and work well across those differences. Her book, Mastering Cultural Differences: Strategies for Leading a Global Workforce, offers profound insights into the dynamics affecting culturally diverse workplaces, and identifies best practices for increased performance in a global landscape. As a result of her work, individuals express a heightened sense of comfort when working across differences, noting improved understanding and cooperation with those they lead and collaborate with. Luiza's expertise has been showcased on prominent platforms such as ABC, NBC, Fox, iHeart Radio, Google Podcasts, and others. Luiza, her husband, along with their two small children and her in-laws, spent a week in the Amazon rainforest and they had a blast!


Holly Duckworth, CAE, CMP, CEO, Leadership Solutions International

CTRL + ALT + Believe: Reboot For Success

Holly Duckworth, CMP, CAE, CWMF has been called the trailblazer of mindfulness for leaders.  Owner of Leadership Solutions International, for 20+ years she has worked to change how we think about the impacts of stress and meetings. As a certified workplace mindfulness facilitator, she leads the global mindfulness efforts for the meetings industry. She is founder of the American Mindfulness Association to advance mindfulness a key strategic business practice.  As author of 4 books at the intersection of leadership, sales, and mindfulness she is a sought-after global keynote speaker.


Chris Failla, Founder, Spark Speaking & Coaching

Stress-Proof Leadership & Life

Chris is a keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, executive and relationship coach, and Gallup-certified Strengths Consultant. He worked in Community Development for five years in China and has a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership. Chris has worked with leaders and teams on every inhabited continent, and helps humans from all industries find their WHY, stress-proof their life, and play to their strengths, so that they and their teams are energized, fulfilled, and productive! Chris is a husband, father, speaker, coach, and facilitator. People tell him he’s a great listener, that sees multiple layers deep, and that he has a knack for reframing things in a way that brings new energy and possibility.


Jeanette Gass, CAP, ACNP, DES, Senior Program Manager, Global Engagement, ICMA

Designing an Organizational Relationships Communications Strategy

Jeanette is responsible for global growth through ICMA's Global Engagement Strategy. She holds a Master of Arts in Global Communication from George Washington University and a Master of Science in Nonprofit & Association Management from University of Maryland University College. She received her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from The University of Iowa with a focus in international communications. Outside of work, she is Vice President for the Association of Certified Nonprofit Professionals, a volunteer with Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, and is a member of the Young Professionals Advisory Council for ASAE. In 2019, she was named an ASAE NextGen Scholar and was named to Association Forum’s 2020 Forty Under 40 for her commitment to association management.


Nicholas Gough, CEO, NoteRouter

Modernizing Association Engagement

Nicholas Gough is a leading voice on modern association communication. Nick currently serves as the founder and CEO of NoteRouter, a fast-growing member engagement platform currently powering communication to over 750,000 members for the most innovative associations in North America. Previously, Nick led various associations serving as many as 200,000 members before becoming an authority on technology and member engagement for associations.


Alison Hart, CAE, Founder & Chief Strategist, A. Hart Associates

Pillars of Successful Board Development, Recruitment, and Succession Planning

Alison brings more than 30 years of experience in leading and developing organizations. As a former association indsutry CEO, Alison has rich experience with small business, nonprofit, government, economic development, and tourism. She has built a career helping leaders achieve their visions by creating alignment, increasing bottom lines, building partnerships, and guiding the process to create lasting change. She is a seasoned facilitator guiding executives through a proven strategic planning framework for long-term adoption and outcomes. Alison is living her passion of helping leaders sharpen their focus, evolve the conversation, drive consensus, and ensure lasting change. She obtained the CAE and is a graduate of Western Society of Chamber Executives Academy program.

Sheila Johnston, Co-Founder & Chief Growth Officer, Luminari Partners

Behind the Copy: Nurturing Positive Work Environments through Writing

Sheila, a Kindness Driven Communications Executive, has dedicated the past decade to enhancing communication strategies for many associations. Blending creativity with strategic prowess, Sheila employs diverse tools, from digital marketing to rebranding, to craft engaging and unique content. As an eternal optimist, she tackles challenges with a resolute "WILL DO" attitude, both professionally and personally. Recently, faced with a running hiatus, Sheila courageously embraced lap swimming, overcoming her fear of water. A talented piano player, she even taught her beagle, The Duke of Southport, to play piano on command, adding a playful touch to her life. In her spare time, she explores unconventional paths with her husband and shares her caring nature by reaching out to friends and family.


Christopher Kasmark, Sr. Strategic Consultant, DelCor Technologies

Technology Alignment: Diagnostics, Strategy, and Execution, Oh My!

Chris is a business and technology leader with expertise building technology strategies to enable organizations to achieve their goals. He has extensive experience working with non-profit organizations, and understands the critical balance companies must strike between building solid revenue streams and providing the best customer/member-value experience possible. A veteran technology professional, I have worked in a number of diverse capacities, from managing internal help desk services, configuration management, software engineering to IT leadership and strategy. Chris joined DelCor in 2021 as a Senior Strategic Consultant. He has more than 20 years of experience in the association space and 18 years as a senior IT executive. He supports DelCor clients with a variety of CIO services.


Stacey Kauffman, Regional Vice President, Audacy

The Grounded Leader: Reconnecting to Your People and Purpose

Stacey's success in business has been built on her strategic super-strength, which enables her to connect the dots for others, whether between vision and execution, problem to solution, or people and profit.

Strategic thinking, vision, collaborative spirit, transparent communication and servant leadership have made Stacey a consistent contributor in leading change and innovation throughout her career. Her diverse and unique perspective comes from the hundreds of businesses Stacey has worked directly with over the last 20 years, ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between. Stacey has been a recipient of Sacramento Magazine’s “100 Notable Business Leaders” and The Sacramento Business Journal's “40 Under 40," and The Radio Wayne Award for sales leadership, the radio industry’s top honor.


Angela Kisskeys, President, Associations North

General Session: Pioneering the Future of Associations - Insights from Emerging Leaders

Angela is fascinated and inspired by future possibilities and is captivated by new ideas and innovation. She is President at Associations North, a community of 1,200+ members and 300 associations in the Midwest. As President, Angela provides strategic leadership, vision, and executive management in addition to collaborating on strategic partnerships and developing new products and services. A believer in celebrating life, an avid sports fan and lover of summer, Angela enjoys time on a lake, watching sports, volunteering at her children’s school and making memories with friends and family. She is forever grateful for her husband Matt, sons Lucas and Tanner and their golden retriever Dakota.


Kathy Klotz-Guest, MA, MBA, Founder, Keeping it Human, Inc.

The Untapped Competitive Culture Advantage That’s No Joke

Kathy is a storyteller, former tech marketing and comms exec and Second City-trained comedian on a mission to help leaders transform by owning their bravest voice. She helps individuals speak up more powerfully, advocate for big ideas, and gain the confidence to take innovative risks. Kathy led global teams, taught bold storytelling and creativity sessions, and performed improv and stand-up comedy all over the U.S. When organizations want to build more truth, bravery for innovation, more laughter, safety and trust into their work, stories and culture, they call Kathy. Kathy’s latest book, Stop Boring Me! was a bestseller in Humor and Innovation on Amazon and on Inc.com’s ‘Must Read Book List.'

Speakers M-Z 

Michelle Mapp, MBA, PMP, Founder & CEO, Mapp Consulting Group

Crafting an Intentional Organizational Culture

Michelle, a former nonprofit CEO and business owner, works with mission-driven organizations helping them to envision and achieve greater impact & sustainability.  Working at the juxtaposition of leadership, strategy, and culture, Michelle has more than 25 years of experience and engagement in nonprofit management, communications, strategic planning, and executive leadership. Michelle received a master’s in business administration from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom and an undergraduate degree in political communications from George Washington University. She has worked with clients from the US Department of Agriculture to local nonprofits and major Foundations. She is passionate about helping nonprofits do what they do better and helping to build more supportive workplaces in the nonprofit sector.  


Tiffany Martin, CPC/CLC, Executive Change Strategist and Performance Coach, TKMartin Consulting LLC

From Doing To Achieving: Maximize Personal Growth

Serving as an Executive Change Strategist and ICF-certified Professional Coach (CPC/CLC), Tiffany is a thought leader with expertise in Organizational and Individual Performance, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB), Strategy Development and Change Management. Throughout her multi-faceted career serving as a hardware engineer (MSEE), Special Agent and Supervisory Special Agent with the FBI, DEIB Consultant and health, wellness and performance coach, Tiffany has gained the knowledge and skills that help organizations and individuals clarify their objectives, act with intention and successfully achieve their desired outcomes. It is Tiffany's passion to share her knowledge and experiences and to help others become better and do better.


Stephanie McCammon, CMP, Director of Meeting Operations and Sponsorship, Association Management Solutions, LLC

Maximize Sponsorship Success with Creative Insights & Strategic Inquiry

Stephanie, the Director of Event Operations and Sponsorships at Association Management Solutions, brings over 15 years of expertise in event planning and nearly a decade of fundraising experience. As a driving force in creating tailored and robust sponsorship programs, she empowers clients to reimagine opportunities and boost revenue. Stephanie's blend of event planning proficiency and creative thinking has transformed fundraising portfolios for her clients, fostering innovative sponsorship models. Outside work, she resides in Oakland, sharing her life with her husband, dogs, and pursuing passions for the outdoors and ceramics.


Adam Mendler, CEO, Thirty Minute Mentors

Leading People, Teams, and Yourself in Today’s Landscape

Adam, a versatile entrepreneur, writer, speaker, and educator, is a nationally-recognized authority on leadership. As the creator and host of the podcast Thirty Minute Mentors, he extracts insights from top CEOs, founders, athletes, celebrities, and leaders in various fields. With over 500 interviews under his belt, Adam has authored 70+ articles for major media outlets like Forbes, Inc., and HuffPost. Co-founding The Veloz Group, he played a pivotal role in developing three businesses across diverse industries. As a keynote speaker, Adam leverages his extensive business experience and interviews with leaders. He teaches graduate-level leadership courses at UCLA, sits on the board of UCLA’s Master of Applied Statistics Program, holds emeritus status on USC’s Board of Governors, and advises numerous companies and leaders. A proud Los Angeles native, Adam is not only a lifelong Angels fan but also a passionate backgammon player.


Amy Mrugalski, CAE, Senior Strategic Initiatives Manage, American College of Trial Lawyers

Growing in Place

For more than thirteen years, Amy has helped further the American College of Trial Lawyers’ mission to maintain and improve the standards of trial practice, professionalism, ethics, and the administration of justice. Her work at the College includes overseeing the College’s numerous committees, liaising with the Board, and developing strategic initiatives, as well as overseeing grants and other activities for the College’s Foundation. Prior to the College, Amy supported Spanish-speaking families at various school and after school programs, building on a passion for language and multi-cultural experiences developed during her post-graduate travels in South America, India, and Europe.


Laurel Nava, CAE, Director of Education & Partnerships, CITE (CA IT in Education)

Unleashing the Potential of Project Charters

Laurel designs professional development programs for members. Formerly a Program Associate at WestEd's California Comprehensive Center, she offered professional development, process improvement, and evaluation services to the California Department of Education, State Board of Education, and local educational agencies. Since 1999, Laurel has supported public organizations like TechEd Events, City of Sacramento, and CCSESA in organizational development, policy, and event management. With expertise in financial analysis, research, and project management, she holds a bachelor's degree in Humanities & Religious Studies and a Master of Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) with a focus on collaborative governance.


Anne Ornelas, MA, DES, Senior Manager, Business Systems and Strategic Initiatives, CASSS

Thriving In A Hybrid Workplace

In Anne's current role at CASSS, she was forced into digital event strategy when the pandemic hit, allowing her to expand her knowledge and grow in new ways. Anne brings value to CASSS by developing the digital strategies and operational technologies used to create exceptional online experiences for members and staff. Anne is a recipient of the 2021 Association Women Technology Champions (AWTC) Champions Award, 2012-2014 ASAE DELP Scholar, and 2011 National Urban Fellows America's Leader of Change. She earned her DES certificate in 2020 to keep her abreast of the skills needed to help CASSS transform.


Amanda Parsons, CAE, Executive Director, Oregon Recreation & Park Association

General Session: Pioneering the Future of Associations - Insights from Emerging Leaders

Amanda joined the ORPA staff as the Association Coordinator in April 2017, later becoming the Marketing & Communications Manager and now the Executive Director. She has a background in digital marketing and public health, merging the new technology of the day with the needs of our communities. Spending most of her life in the Pacific Northwest, her go-to items are her Fitbit, her hiking boots, and her rain jacket. Amanda is passionate about sustainable living, protecting wildlife and animals, and serving her favorite state: Oregon.


Cheryl Procter-Rogers, APR, fellow, MCC, MBA, MA,, Ernst & Young - Americas Coaching Practice

Coaching the Next Generation of Leaders

Cheryl, an award-winning PR and business strategist, serves as an executive coach and associate director at Ernst & Young’s Americas Coaching Practice. With a four-decade career at DePaul University, HBO, Nielsen Marketing Research, and Golden State Mutual, she led A Step Ahead PR Consulting as a senior consultant, specializing in crisis management, executive communications, strategic planning, and leadership effectiveness. The 2006 PRSA national president and youngest College of Fellows inductee, Cheryl earned the 2011 Gold Anvil. Recognized among Chicago's top 20 Executive Coaches, she holds an MCC credential and contributes to the coaching community as vice chair of the International Coaching Federation’s Global Enterprise Board and on Choice magazine's editorial board. Cheryl's extensive education and practical experience establish her as a distinguished leader and influencer in public relations and coaching.


Jessica Rivera, MBA, PHR, SAHRA, Sr. Trainer, California Employers Association

Navigating the Future of Work: Intentional Leadership

As Senior Trainer and Executive Coach at CEA, Jessica innovates learning methods for tailored talent solutions. Renowned for her engaging, fun, and effective approach, she's trained thousands of leaders nationwide. With 25+ years of executive experience spearheading impactful initiatives, Jessica manages, develops, and administers diverse workshops and training programs for employers. She excels in enhancing talent through group training and executive coaching, earning a reputation for delivering results. When Jessica isn’t providing Peace of Mind to CEA members, you can find her watching Jack Ryan or making plans to visit Paris with her sister and daughter.


Oyango Snell, CAE, Esq.

Cultivating Authentic Belongingness

Oyango brings nearly two decades of expertise in legal, legislative, regulatory, and corporate affairs, coupled with dynamic leadership and innovation. With over 15 years in association management and executive leadership, he challenges stakeholders to surpass boundaries to advance advocacy, strategic, and membership initiatives. Oyango currently serves as an adjunct law professor at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, and most recently served as CEO of the California Lawyers Association (CLA) and California Lawyers Foundation (CLF). His extensive background includes leadership roles at the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) and lobbying for the insurance and financial services industry in Washington, D.C. Oyango, a Certified Association Executive (CAE), is recognized as the 2021-2022 CalSAE Association Executive of the Year. He remains committed to volunteer leadership roles, championing diversity, equity, and inclusion in organizations like ASAE, CalSAE, and UWCCR.


Stephanie Stephens, CAE, Executive Director, California Park and Recreation Society Inc

Rules of the Road: A Roadmap for your Board and Staff Journey

After spending the vast majority of her life in Colorado, in 2014 Stephanie took the plunge and moved to beautiful California to serve as the Executive Director of the California Park and Recreation. Her passion for parks and recreation, coupled with her love of non-profit management shows in the heart she brings to the work she does. As a CAE, she brings a strong knowledge base on non-profit management.  Managing a $2.5 million dollar budget and working with a team of 6, she works to advance the profession of parks and recreation through strategic initiatives, legislative efforts, action planning, and leadership. When Stef isn’t busy in a meeting, developing a partnership or working on the next best resource for members, you can find her gardening, on her SUP, or trying out a new recipe in the kitchen.


Steve Swafford, PhD, IOM, Balance Warrior + CEO, Leadership Outfitters, LLC.

Rules of the Road: A Roadmap for your Board and Staff Journey

Steve has worked more than 30 years for and with non-profit and education-focused organizations in areas of strategy, leadership, volunteer development, communication, and executive management. He brings a practical knowledge of strategy and executive leadership from past organizations. Steve is a 15-year faculty member for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute of Management and serves on their Curriculum Committee. He has a B.S. in journalism from Kansas State University; a M.Div. from Wesley Theological Seminary; and an Ed.D. from Pepperdine University. Steve also currently serves as Supporting Faculty for Pepperdine University’s MBA Programs.


Tirrah Switzer, MBA, Senior Director of Product Marketing, Community Brands

What in the Blazes is My Competitor Doing?

Tirrah Switzer is a product marketing enthusiast, borderline obsessed with keeping up to date with industry trends and understanding the challenges associations face. Tirrah is the Senior Director of Product Marketing with Community Brands. In this role, she oversees go-to-market strategy, messaging and positioning, product launch, competitive and sales enablement for a portfolio of fifteen products serving member-based organizations. She is the co-author of eight research studies on member engagement and loyalty and association digital evolution trends. She's been an association joiner for the last 20 years and serves as Past Chair of the ASAE Small-Staff Association Advisory Committee.

When she isn’t obsessing about associations, Tirrah enjoys Britney Spears, true crime, and travel.


Michael Tatonetti, CAE, CPP, Founder, Consultant and Speaker, Pricing for Associations

Deliver the Right Value at the Right Price

Dr. Michael Tatonetti is a Certified Association Executive and Certified Pricing Professional on a mission to advance associations in their pricing models for financial sustainability. As the Founder of Pricing for Associations, he and his team work with associations to harmonize pricing and value across membership, education, sponsorship, events, and marketing. Dr. Michael is a proud Association Forum Forty Under 40 honoree for his dedication to the association field. You can learn more about the work his team is doing at www.pricingforassociations.com.


Jeffrey S. Tenenbaum, Esq., Managing Partner, Tenenbaum Law Group PLLC

Codes of Ethics: Avoiding Traps and Maximizing Opportunities

eff is a leading nonprofit attorney, author, lecturer, media commentator, and expert witness on association legal matters. As the Managing Partner of the nationally recognized Tenenbaum Law Group, a DC-based boutique law firm exclusively serving nonprofits, he advises senior management and boards of directors on legal, business, and governance issues. With 19 years at Venable, where he chaired the nonprofit practice, Jeff received the 2006 Outstanding Nonprofit Lawyer of the Year Award from the American Bar Association. Recognized in the U.S. Legal 500’s Not-for-Profit “Hall of Fame” and consistently ranked as a “Best Lawyer” for Nonprofits/Charities Law by U.S. News & World Report® since 2012, Jeff is a distinguished figure in nonprofit legal circles.

Alexia Vernon,
MA, President, Step into Your Moxie

Create a "Speak Up" Culture in Your Association

Alexia, dubbed a "Moxie Maven" by the White House Office of Public Engagement, is the founder of Step into Your Moxie, a certified woman-owned and disability-owned business. Specializing in communication and leadership development, the organization assists companies in developing people, communication strategies, and training. Alexia and her team support executives and leaders in effective communication during high-stakes conversations, presentations, and written communication. With a background as the winner of the Miss Junior America competition, she has delivered transformative keynotes for Fortune 500 companies, healthcare institutions, nonprofits, and the United Nations. Featured in major media outlets, Alexia is the award-winning author of "Step into Your Moxie" and the creator of a popular LinkedIn Learning course on communication. A proud cancer survivor, she brings resilience and expertise to her work.


Kevin Whorton, MA, President, Whorton Research

Mission-Critical Research: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Kevin has conducted 600+ research projects for associations. He started his career  as an analyst with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics following grad school, then improbably moved from Research Director positions at the Natl Assn of Home Builders and American Society of Hospital Pharmacists to heading marketing/strategy for ASHP, founding ChainDrugStore.net for NACDS, and heading one of the largest charity direct response fundraising programs at Catholic Relief Services. He's always kept a dual focus on best practices in association research, and how to actually USE it once you're done.


Jeffrey Wilcox, CFRE, President & Chief Mission Advancement Officer, Third Sector Company

Cultivating Authentic Belongingness

Jeffrey a nationally-recognized pioneer in the field of nonprofit executive development, retention and transition. Founder of Third Sector Company and its Interim Executives Academy and Board Chairs Academy, Jeffrey is an author, columnist and popular speaker on succession planning, board and staff talent development and retention, and strategic interim leadership solutions for nonprofit charitable organizations, trade and professional associations, and congregations. Since its founding in 2002, Third Sector Company has provided services to over 700 nonprofit organizations in Southern and Northern California, Arizona, the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada.


Shannan Young, RDN, SNS, Partnerships and Programs Officer, Dairy Council of California

Cultivating Authentic Belongingness

Shannan is an entrepreneurial executive with a 30-year background in strategic management, science, education, and policy. A registered dietitian, she excels in building organizational and professional capacity through adaptive leadership and system change. With experience at local, state, federal, and international levels, Shannan has a proven track record in food and nutrition education, public health, and food systems transformation. As the Officer of Partnerships and Programs at Dairy Council of California, she leads initiatives like the Let’s Eat Healthy Initiative and founded movements such as the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement of CA and the California Local School Wellness Policy Collaborative. Shannan's leadership in associations like the California School Nutrition Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics demonstrates her commitment to building high-performing teams for impactful causes.


Jay Younger, FASAE, President & CEO, McKinley Advisors

Codes of Ethics: Avoiding Traps and Maximizing Opportunities

With over 20 years in the association industry, Jay is recognized as an expert in strategic planning, dues restructuring, governance, and organizational development. Renowned for his skill in resolving challenging issues, he has a consistent record of guiding clients to unprecedented successes. Jay excels in working with association staff and volunteer leadership, offering expertise as a facilitator and strategist. His ability to ensure all participants feel heard and included, and to unify diverse audiences toward common goals, has set him apart. Jay, selected for the 2024 Association Partner of the Year Award, is also an ASAE Fellow and chaired the ASAE Business Services Board of Directors in 2021. Jay is the quintessential family man, trading in his golf clubs for his kids’ ballet recitals, trips to the playground and countless early mornings. A native Washingtonian, Jay holds a B.A. in English from Duke University.


Pete Zimek, CAE, CEO, Novi AMS

3 Scoops and a Mission Statement

Pete Zimek is the founder and CEO of Novi AMS. During one association’s strategic planning session in 2015, Pete was “voluntold” to build a different type of AMS - one that truly integrates with QuickBooks and one that works the way associations work. Today, Novi AMS serves over 320 associations and is the highest rated association management software on ReviewMyAMS.com. In a prior life, even though he’s allergic to milk, Pete owned two Ben & Jerry’s ice cream stores. A graduate of the University of Florida, Pete is a three-time recipient of the “Gator 100” for leading one of the 100 fastest growing companies owned or led by a UF Alum.