I’ve been asked these questions enough times that I thought it would be worthwhile to share via the executive director’s blog.
How did I come to work for OTAC? I was employed by Association Resource Center (ARC), which is the association management company umbrella where OTAC is housed. Soon to retire (June 2008) OTAC executive director, Chuck Strauch, negotiated to move OTAC to ARC the year before he retired in preparation of his succession planning. In April (two months before Chuck’s retirement as the executive director), he and president-elect Shawn Phipps attended a CEO / CEO (chief elected officer / chief executive officer) association governance training conducted by senior executive directors employed by ARC. I was one of the trainers, which is how I met Shawn Phipps. From that training session, Shawn started a dialogue with me about the OTAC opportunity. While I was an executive director for another association, I was interested in learning more about OTAC based on observing OTAC operations through Chuck, Shawn’s vision for the association, and an opportunity to return to again serving in health care. I was interviewed by an OTAC committee for the position along with several other candidates and was offered the position. Shawn and I took over our positions (president and executive director, respectively) just as the Great Recession of 2008 hit. Needless to say the next four years were extremely challenging and exponentially rewarding as we successfully navigated with the OTAC Board of Directors this unique time period in our country’s and OTAC’s history.. I have been serving OTAC since 2008 and it continues to be professionally challenging as well as rewarding.
What is my background to do this kind of work? I hold a BS in Business Administration with concentrations in accounting and marketing. My IOM represents a professional development program, Institute of Organizational Management, conducted by the US Chamber of Commerce for chamber and association senior staff. It’s a 128-hour program covering all nine domains of association management. I am also a long-time member of both the California and American societies for association executives. Most of my adult career has been in senior association management positions, performing or overseeing all domains – membership, professional development/conferences, governance and leadership, administration, government affairs, marketing/communications/public relations, strategic management, and products/programs . My background also includes working with several mental health focused associations as well as at Sutter Health in its marketing/public relations/patient relations department, and the second largest chamber of commerce on the west coast as director of communications/events/leadership. My for profit management background includes: director of operations for an international certified public accounting firm, director of finance and administration for a publishing company, and co-director of a commercial construction company. As I mentioned before, I am an ARC trainer for association leaders. In addition I serve on two nonprofit charitable organizations (one since 2009) in the role of elected vice president.