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News Release

New ASAE Foundation Ready to Launch to Advance Association and Nonprofit Leadership; Susan Robertson, CAE, named President of ASAE Foundation

August 3, 2010

WASHINGTON—The new ASAE Foundation is quickly taking shape and will be ready to launch its work at ASAE’s 2010 Annual Meeting & Exposition in Los Angeles, August 21-24. At a joint meeting March 2010, the ASAE and The Center for Association Leadership Board approved the creation of the Foundation, along with a name change for the organization and expanded use of The Power of A (Associations) campaign. The organization’s name became ASAE, with a tag line “The Center for Association Leadership.” The Board’s decision to create a distinct 501(c)(3) foundation, separate from the ASAE 501(c)(6) organization but clearly linked, provides a substantive fundraising platform and message for the community.

“The Foundation’s tag line – Advancing Association and Nonprofit Leadership – best describes the purpose of the new organization,” said Peter J. O'Neil, CAE, incoming Chairman of the ASAE Foundation and Executive Director of the American Industrial Hygiene Association. “The Foundation will continue to build on the legacy and strengths of The Center for Association Leadership through its efforts to maximize the effectiveness of associations and association professionals. Its work will focus on research and research-based knowledge, leadership and innovation. The new name will better position us for future opportunities as we reach out to a wider base of association professionals to support the mission of the organization.”

One of the primary goals for the Foundation is to equip the next generation of leaders with the knowledge and skills required to successfully manage the challenges and opportunities the community will face in the future. The Foundation will accomplish its mission through fundraising support from individuals, associations, foundations and corporations.

“Much of the work in research will be funded by our endowment, but a significant number of projects and programs will rely solely on contributions from our members and partners. Since the Foundation can’t rely on membership dues, we’re counting on the generosity of our members and the association community to help us fully execute all of our goals. We hope our members will see the pressing need for the Foundation’s work and join others who have contributed in the past to help shape our future,” added O'Neil.

John H. Graham IV, CAE, will serve as CEO of the ASAE Foundation. Susan Robertson, CAE, has been named the President of the ASAE Foundation and will oversee the work of the Foundation as well as to continue in her role as executive vice president of ASAE. During the past nine years with ASAE, she has served in progressively responsible roles including strategic and operational planning, and leadership of teams focused on finance, community, meetings, membership, research, marketing, advertising, sponsorship, fundraising, communications and public relations, and credentialing.

Prior to joining ASAE, Robertson was Vice President of Marketing and Communications for U.S. Office Products, a multibillion dollar business products company. During her earlier career as a marketing and program development professional, she held positions with Ethan Allen Inc. in its Danbury, CT headquarters; Washington-based National Office Products Association; and the National Dealer Alliance, where she was Executive Director.

Monica Dignam, vice president of research at ASAE, has been promoted to Managing Director and Chief Research Officer of the ASAE Foundation. The leadership team is further complemented by Keith Skillman, CAE, Vice President, ASAE Press, who is responsible for the ASAE publications including the research produced by ASAE; and Carylann Assante, CAE, Vice President, Fundraising, who is in charge of fundraising and special events. Both Keith and Carylann will report directly to Monica.

“Susan Robertson’s impressive tenure with ASAE is filled with many successes, and her experience combined with deep roots in our community will be crucial in leading the Foundation,” said John H. Graham IV, CAE, president and CEO of ASAE and CEO of the ASAE Foundation. “Monica Dignam, who will lead the operations of the Foundation, has brought new rigor and outstanding quality to ASAE’s research efforts, and her promotion to Managing Director and Chief Research Officer puts us in an advantageous position to build on that reputation and track record.”

The new logo for the ASAE Foundation will be released in August. The Foundation Web site is currently is the design stage and will be available in Fall 2010.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jakub M. Konysz, 202.626.2831,

About ASAE
ASAE is a membership organization of more than 22,000 association executives and industry partners representing more than 11,000 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession, and provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. For more information about ASAE, visit


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