ESSAE Executive Director Search

Empire State Society of Association Executives
Job Title: Executive Director
Reports To: Board of Directors

The application window has closed.

The Empire State Society of Association Executives (ESSAE) is seeking an experienced and passionate individual with strong leadership and managerial skills to plan and execute the programs and initiatives of this forward-thinking, member-driven association, as well as build relationships with related organizations. 

The Executive Director has full responsibility for executing the long-range goals of the organization as determined by the leadership, and managing the daily operations of the ESSAE office based in Albany, NY. The work of ESSAE is carried out by a small staff and is governed by an eleven-member Board of Directors and a five-member Executive Committee. The compensation package includes an annual salary range of $80,000 to $85,000, fully covered individual health insurance, generous PTO, and professional development support.


  • Serve as the organization’s principal leader, representative, and spokesperson to the greater community.
  • Plan and execute routine continuing education programming, an annual meeting, and other revenue generating events.
  • Support the Board of Directors.
    • Plan and attend Board meetings and various Committee meetings.
    • Prepare Executive reports for the Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
    • Work with the Board leadership to address issues such as clarity of role, governance, bylaws/policies, corporate structure, and membership.
    • Assist with recruitment and orientation of new Board members.
  • Implement the organization’s existing short-range and long-range program and project goals, as outlined in the currently-under-development Strategic Plan.
  • Develop and maintain accountability for operating budget and financial controls.
  • Identify overall resource development goals and opportunities for revenue generation, including, but not limited to, corporate sponsorship.
  • Support the effective operation of all committees.
  • Establish, maintain, and cultivate relations to support organizational programs and activities.
  • Travel for meetings and events regionally
  • Maintain ESSAE's office presence in Albany, NY - remote work is available in conjunction with in-person operations.


The Executive Director is currently the sole full-time employee for the Society and oversees the addition of full-time, part-time, and/or third party contracted staff. The Executive Director defines the duties of the staff, supervises their performance, establishes their titles, and delegates responsibilities in the best interest of the Society. The Executive Director employs and may terminate the employment of staff necessary to carry on the work of the society and fix their compensation within the approved budget.


Established in 1979, ESSAE is a 501(c)(6) tax-exempt, individual membership association, committed to providing quality education, leadership, and professional development opportunities to support association executives and supplier members, to encourage high professional standards in the management of associations.


The ESSAE Board of Directors seeks a candidate with the following qualifications or equivalent experience:

Required Qualifications

  • A minimum of five years of association management or relevant professional experience membership-based organization.
  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Polished verbal communication skills, including interpersonal, presentation, writing, and public speaking skills.  
  • Ability to communicate complex professional issues.
  • Knowledge of leadership and management principles as they relate to association and nonprofit membership organizations
  • Knowledge of 501(c)(6) and 501(c)(3) organizations and nonprofits
  • Currently reside in or be willing to relocate to greater Albany, NY region
  • Ability to travel within the Capital Region for meetings/events

Preferred Qualifications

  • The Certified Association Executive (CAE) and/or Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) credential is highly desirable.
  • Knowledge of finance, marketing, and small business management.
  • Strong staff/consultant management and volunteer leadership skills.

Personal Qualities

  • Professional, respectful, and tactful demeanor.
  • Personal and professional ethics beyond reproach.
  • Adept at thinking creatively and bringing new ideas and a fresh perspective to the association’s leadership.
  • Highly energized to engage and respond to the perspectives of a broad range of stakeholders.
  • Ability to solve problems and manage complex, long-term projects.
  • Ability to assess and initiate things independently

Technical Proficiency

Ability to learn and adapt to new technologies to the benefit of the association, including:

  • Microsoft Office Suite and Office 365
  • Experience with Association Management Software Preferred
  • Financial Management & Budgeting
  • Graphic Design/Newsletters, Website, and Social Media Management


Annual salary range of $80,000 - $85,000
Includes paid vacation, NYS holidays, sick, and personal days.
Generous retirement and health benefits plus support for professional development.


Email cover letter, resume, and three professional references as PDF in confidence to: 
Rita Ferris, Chair, Search Committee
[email protected]

For full consideration, materials must be received by Sunday, July 31, 2022. Targeted start date of September 12, 2022

ESSAE provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

No phone calls, please.

To learn more about ESSAE, go to