Gerstmann, Jacobs, Yep Receive ASAE's Highest Individual Honors for Exceptional Leadership

June 23, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC— ASAE will present Richard Yep, FASAE, CAE, CEO of the American Counseling Association, with this year’s Key Award. In addition, Sheri Jacobs, FASAE, CAE, President and CEO of Avenue M Group, LLC, will be bestowed with the Academy of Leaders Award; and Elena Gerstmann, PHD, FASAE, CAE, Deputy, Executive Operations at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, will receive the Professional Performance Award.

“This year’s winners have volunteered, mentored, inspired, and encouraged many in the association community with their knowledge and leadership as well as their dedication to the profession. Congratulations to this year’s winners,” said Barbara Byrd Keenan, CEO of the Endocrine Society and chair of the 2017 Awards & Recognition Committee. 
Richard Yep, is the 68th recipient of the Key Award, ASAE’s highest honor presented to association chief staff executives, who demonstrate exceptional qualities of leadership in their association and displays a deep commitment to voluntary membership organizations. Yep has been a member of the ASAE Marketing Council, past chair of ASAE’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, and completed a term on the ASAE Board of Directors in 2013. He also served on the ASAE Foundation’s Development Committee, and he is currently on the ASAE Key Professional Associations Committee. He was named an ASAE Fellow in 2012 and currently serves as chair. Yep earned his CAE in 2008. For ten years, Yep served on the Board of Trustees of Excelsior College, an institution based in Albany, New York that is dedicated to adult learners. He is Chair Emeriti of the board.
Sheri Jacobs, FASAE, CAE, is the 30th recipient of the Academy of Leaders Award. It’s ASAE’s highest honor given to industry partners who have demonstrated exemplary support of ASAE and the entire association community. Jacobs has been an active leader, ASAE member, and speaker including: chair of the ASAE Foundation Development Committee in 2014 and Membership Council in 2006-07. She is the co-editor and a contributor to ASAE’s best-selling membership book, Membership Essentials (ASAE 2007 and 2015). She’s authored The Art of Membership: How to Attract, Retain and Cement Member Loyalty, with net profits donated to the ASAE Foundation, and 199 Ideas: Powerful Marketing Tactics That Sell (ASAE 2010). Jacobs earned her CAE in 2003. In 2015, the Association Forum of Chicagoland awarded the John C. Thiel Distinguished Service Award to Jacobs in recognition for her outstanding service to the association community. 

Elena Gerstmann, PHD, FASAE, CAE, is the 43rd recipient of ASAE’s Professional Performance Award, which recognizes invaluable contributions made by association executives who are at the top level within their organizations but are not CEOs. Gerstmann served on the ASAE and ASAE Foundation Board of Directors from 2012-2015, and she was a member of the finance committee. In 2014, she was selected as one of four ASAE Fellows. From 2010-2012, she was a member of the Research Committee and served as chair from 2010-2012. She earned her CAE in 2006. Along with ASAE, she’s a member of CESSE, American Psychological Association, IEEE, and ASME.

The awards will be presented at the 2017 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition, August 12–15, in Toronto. 

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

About ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership 
ASAE is a membership organization of more than 35,000 association executives and industry partners representing 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