Category Archives: Association Management as a Career

Susan’s “All Things Association Management” Blog

Welcome to my first blog…

I started in association management in 1999 as a director of finance. Soon I was a deputy executive director/CFO, then an interim CEO of a for-profit subsidary of an association, then a senior strategic advisor and finally, a CEO.

You can say that association management is in my blood. Little did I know that in high school, when I became a state vice president in the Arizona Chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America, that I joined my first association.

Many years later, after moving to Kansas City for my husband Michael, I joined a professional association as a director of finance. Managing the finances quickly wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to know more about the association and all lines of business. That strong sense of curiosity and willingness to learn just about anything related to association management started me on the my adventure of being a career association management executive.

I was lucky. I had a great boss in my first association who took a huge risk on a young professional and gave her room to grow and learn. My poor staff and colleagues who experienced my proverbial “bull in a china shop” years, I hope forgive me as I grew professionally and personally in those early years. Because my boss, Peter Hermann, was such a great mentor and teacher, I fast-tracked my career and became a CEO at the young age of 32.

I am not that young pup anymore, and with the years, has come more wisdom and maturity, but never have I lost the love for learning and taking on new things. Finishing my eighth year as a CEO, I now have a strong desire to share, mentor and teach others, along with my insatiable appetite for continued professional development and learning.

I hope to impart some wisdom along the way with my blogging.