ASAE Announces Nilofer Merchant as Opening Keynote for 2017 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition

WASHINGTON—Known as the “Jane Bond of Innovation,” Nilofer Merchant, a Fellow at The Martin Prosperity Institute and one of the world’s top-ranked business thinkers, will kick off the 2017 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition, August 12–15, in Toronto.

Merchant will discuss how ideas today spread through networks, collaboration, and co-creation instead of hierarchies. She’ll also outline how the power to make a difference is not bound by status, but it’s “onlyness.”

Her talk will illustrate how association professionals, in any role or career stage, can surface powerful ideas. And, she’ll reveal the secrets she discovered while advising Fortune 500s and Silicon Valley startups on strategies to enter new markets, to defend against competitors, and to optimize revenue.

“Imagine what problems associations might solve and innovative breakthroughs that could be unlocked, if every idea had an equal opportunity, not just the ones that come from expected people and places,” said ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE. “We are thrilled to have Merchant explain why and how leading innovators can provide solutions irrespective of hierarchy, credentials, or even have a seat at the table.”

In her 20-year career, Merchant has gone from being an administrator to becoming a CEO and board member of a NASDAQ-traded company. Merchant has given guidance to industry giants, like IBM and Logitech, and she has launched more than 100 products for companies ranging from Apple to Autodesk that has netted $18 billion in sales. Her Ted Talk called, “Got A Meeting? Take A Walk” has more than 2 million views. CNBC called Nilofer a "visionary". Thinkers 50 short listed her in 2013 as a “Future Thinker” one should pay attention to, and she was named the #1 person most likely to influence the future of management.   

Here’s more information on the featured keynotes and education sessions. Early bird registration deadline is July 12.  

NOTE: Members of the press receive complimentary registration to attend the event. Please contact ASAE Public Relations department to request your complimentary pass.

ASAE thanks the following Alliance Partners for their continued support of the association community:

Strategic Partners 
Atlanta CVB
Business Events Canada
Choose Chicago
Experience Columbus
Reno Tahoe USA
Visit San Jose

Corporate Partners 
Visit Baltimore
DelCor Technology Solutions
Visit Dallas
Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB
Fort Worth CVB
Louisville CVB
Mexico Tourism Board
Naylor Association Solutions
Visit Omaha
Visit Orlando
Visit Salt Lake

Event Partners 
The Broadmoor 
Dubai Association Centre 
Hong Kong Tourism Board 
Johnson Lambert LLP and Vault Consulting 
Korea Tourism Organization 
Meet In Minnesota 
New Orleans CVB and New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

MEDIA CONTACT: Sabrina Kidwai, APR, CAE,, 202-326-9505.

About ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership
ASAE is a membership organization of more than 30,000 association executives and industry partners representing more than 7,400 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