Harvest Highlight: 2019 Speaker Bios

Jennifer Bashant, Ph.D., LMSW, MA | Mike Pennington, CAE | Ashira Prossack

Teri Carden | Jeff Arnold, MAM, CAE | Ben Martin, CAE

Jennifer L. Bashant, Ph.D., LMSW, MA
CEO, Building Better Futures, LLC
International Speaker Specializing in Improving Culture and Connection through Social Emotional Learning & Resilience

Jennifer L. Bashant, Ph.D., LMSW, MA, founder of Building Better Futures LLC, is an Educational Consultant and Trainer, with the mission to provide educators with evidence-based strategies to reduce challenging behavior in the classroom, and therefore, have a positive impact on learning. She is extremely passionate about her work, which is evident in her high-energy, engaging trainings and in her ability to connect with educators in a compassionate and authentic way.

Jennifer provides training and embedded coaching to educators regarding the most behaviorally challenging students. Her approach is trauma-sensitive and strengths-based, and she seeks to foster collaborative relationships between educators and students as they work together as partners in learning. Jennifer has been trained in Collaborative Problem Solving and the Mindful Schools curriculum for students ages kindergarten through grade 12. As a certified DiSC Leadership and Work Style Trainer, and a certified EQ-i 2.0 trainer, Jennifer also trains administrative teams, building leadership teams and teachers about emotional intelligence and how to communicate more effectively with others.

Jennifer has been an invited speaker at various conferences, including the New York State Families Together Annual Conference. The College of Saint Rose's School of Education Fall Conference on Cross-Disciplinary Approaches to Maximize Student Engagement, The Dawn Hochsprung Center for the Prevention of School Violence Annual Conference at The Sage Colleges, Russell Sage's Annual Capital Zone Conference and the New York State Education Department Center for School Improvement. Dr. Bashant has previously served as a Research Scientist for the NYS Office of Mental Health, at Researcher at the Center for Human Services a the University of Albany, and an adjunct professor in the School of Social Welfare at the University of Albany.


Mike Pennington, CAE
Novi AMS Evangelist

Mike Pennington, CAE is a Novi Evangelist, in charge of inviting new client partners to the team. Mike has been leading associations for the past decade and has a passion for bringing people together. He fully believes that associations are most effective when they help the members do their jobs better – and knows that a good Association Management System should do the same for association staff and membership.

Pennington has more than 11 years of organizational management experience. Prior to joining novi, Mike led association management activities at Kellen and the Georgia Economic Developers Association. There, his responsibilities included oversight of strategic visioning and direction, organizational operations, meetings management, member services, recruitment, public affairs strategy, and sweeping the floors as necessary.

He graduated from Auburn University, earning a Bachelor of Business Administration in international business and marketing. He is a Certified Association Executive (CAE), a designation awarded to association executives demonstrating the highest level of management knowledge, ethics, leadership and activity in community affairs.

Any and all spare time is devoted to family and church activities; serving in leadership roles in the community or coaching of the three kids in sports.


Ashira Prossack
Millennial & Gen Z Engagement Expert

Ashira Prossack is an Internationally recognized Millennial & Gen Z Expert helping organizations manage, engage, attract, and retain next generation talent. Based on over a decade of experience and seven years of research, Ashira offers solutions to bridge the gap between generations and support the needs of today’s diverse multi-generational workforce. She knows how to engage, motivate, and train Millennial & Gen Z employees, and helps organizations do the same.

Ashira’s background includes 13 years in Management and HR at companies in America, with two years abroad in Europe and Russia. She has worked with organizations ranging from family businesses to Fortune 100 companies including ABC, NYPD, and Columbia University. She is a regular contributor for Forbes and has been featured in Business Insider, Inc, The Telegraph, Fast Company, Glassdoor, FlexJobs, and other industry publications.


Teri Carden
Founder & CEO, 100Reviews

Teri Carden is an association junkie and self-proclaimed girl geek in normal girl’s clothing. Throughout her career as an association executive, she was supported by her mentors, colleagues, volunteer leaders, and bosses, to fulfill her incessant desire to geek out on the job. The last five years, Teri has answered a need in the association industry by growing ReviewMyAMS.com, a trusted site for executives to provide end-user reviews of their association management systems. Though still at the helm of ReviewMyAMS, she has spent the last 2 years managing the development of a B2B reviews platform called 100Reviews, which allows any organization to spin up their own review site. For fun Teri loves to play corn hole, hang out by the stream, go out on the pontoon and cook for her family of six.   


Jeff Arnold, MAM, CAE
President and Co-Owner, Leading Associations

Jeff Arnold, MAM, CAE is an association leadership strategist who helps association CEOs and their Boards of Directors build world-class strategy, world-class boards and world-class board/staff relationships. He is President and co-owner of Leading Associations, a company that provides training, consulting and management services to associations, showing them how to provide visionary leadership, establish an aspirational culture and produce remarkable results. In addition to his role as President of Leading Associations, Jeff serves as Executive Director two association clients, the North American Transportation Management Institute (NATMI) and The Sales Association.


Ben Martin, CAE
Executive Director of The Review Society and Chief Engagement Officer at Online Community Results

Ben Martin, CAE is the Executive Director of The Review Society, an organization dedicated to advancing the science, ethics and business of online reviews. Ben was recognized as one of “Five to Watch” by ASAE’s Associations Now magazine, and a winner of the National Association of REALTORS®’ Technology Spotlight Award, Ben is an association executive with 19 years of experience in working and consulting for membership organizations. Not one to toot his own horn, Ben has helped hundreds of associations launch and nurture their own private online communities through consulting, coaching and training.