ALA Session Details

Additional details for each session will be provided prior to the session date. Speaker information, handouts/materials, and any reading or other session assignments will be distributed to all ALA participates in advance of each session.

Executive Leadership

Prepare to lay the foundation of your personal leadership journey. What are your leadership perceptions as you start? Where do you have expertise that you might use to lead others? How does a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion build stronger associations? Get to know fellow cohort members as we establish the groundwork for support and connection in the months to come. Participants will also select a theme in association leadership to pursue throughout the program.


Lowell Aplebaum, , FASAE, CAE, IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator and CEO of Vista Cova, LLC
Jim Calvin, President, NY Association of Convenience Stores
Kelly Garceau, Executive Director, APTA New York
Rita Ferris, President, Northeastern Retail Lumber Association
Johnny Evers, Ph.D., President & CEO, ACEC New York


Associations are only as strong as the boards that govern them. Learn the basics of effective nonprofit governance such as fiduciary responsibility, benchmarking, and the use of data to inform strategic long-range planning. Explore the critical role that association leaders play in governance through key relationships such as those between board chairs and chief executive officers and the ways that diverse boards strengthen the associations they govern.


Dean A. West, FASAE, President, Association Laboratory Inc.
Jeffrey W. Arnold, MAM, CAE, President, Leading Associations

Organizational Strategy | Operations  

How do effective association leaders manage and motivate staff members and volunteers? How do generational perspectives influence the way that problems are identified and solved in organizations? Explore how to build strong and productive relationships among volunteer and staff leaders to meet member needs and strengthen organizations. An understanding of non-profit finance also plays a critical role in association leadership today. Learn how association leaders read financial statements, build budgets, and work effectively with board finance committees to manage limited resources.


Jeremy Johannsen, CAE, Executive Director, Chief Officers of State Library Agencies
Thomas J. Cote, CAE, MBA, Founder & President, NextGen Management Consulting, LLC
Sabrina Houser, Owner, Capital CFO

Business Development | Engagement & Management

Innovative association leaders design trade shows, professional conferences and workshops, sponsorships, and other programs to meet member needs and generate auxiliary income beyond membership dues. Learn how to leverage technology to generate exceptional programs, reach strategic goals, and cultivate member engagement, while also anticipating threats and opportunities such as those realized through cybersecurity.


Shannon Licygwiecz, General Manager, Albany Capital Center
Heidi Longton, CMM, CMP, Director of Convention & Events, NYS School Boards Association
Gayathri, Kher, President, Fusion Span

Advocacy | Marketing & Communications

Strong market strategy and communications are key to building and maintaining membership within your association and to taking your association’s message to broader audiences. Learn how effective association leaders navigate limited resources, conflicting priorities, and unclear rules surrounding PACs, lobbying, and grassroots campaigns to represent their members’ interests in the state’s legislative and regulatory processes. Get an overview of key marketing and branding principles and internal and external communications practices to advance the interests of your association.


Ashley Ranslow, NY Assistant State Director, NFIB
Stefanie Reeves, FASAE, CAE, Executive Director, Maryland Psychological Association
Paul Fahey, Vice President, Overit Media

Career Development | Independent Project Presentations

Our leadership academy closes with a session devoted to integrating the themes covered in preceding weeks as participants anticipate how to put this learning into practice as they build careers in association leadership. Cohort members will also make presentations on their own independent leadership projects and learn from their peers as we explore themes and areas of personal interest and relevance.


Miriam Dushane, PHR, SHRM-CP, Managing Partner, Alaant Workforce Solutions

Independent Leadership Projects

Each member of the ALA cohort will undertake an independent leadership project over the course of the program to learn more about an area of association leadership of particular interest to them as an emerging association leader. Each project will mix theory and practice and will provide an opportunity to roll up the sleeves and “do” the work of an association leader. Projects will fit within one of the eight general CAE Domains.