ASAE Announces Benton, De Cagna, O’Neil Receive Highest Individual Honors for Exceptional Leadership

June 27, 2019

WASHINGTON— ASAE will bestow Peter J. O'Neil, FASAE, CAE, CEO of ASIS International, with this year’s Key Award. In addition, Jeff De Cagna, FRSA, FASAE, Executive Advisor of Foresight First, LLC, will be presented with the Academy of Leaders Award; and Barbara Benton, CAE, Vice President of Government Relations at The Ohio Society of CPAs, will receive the Professional Performance Award.

“It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the contributions of our colleagues to ASAE and the association industry. Congratulations on your awards and thank you for your continued leadership,” said Tom Quash, CAE, Chief Marketing and Program Officer for Compassion & Choices and chair of the 2019 Awards & Recognition Committee.

Peter J. O'Neil is the 70th recipient of the Key Award, which is presented to association chief staff executives who demonstrate exceptional qualities of leadership in their association and display a deep commitment to voluntary membership organizations. Peter has been an active ASAE volunteer since 2001 and served as ASAE Foundation Chair in 2010-2011, board chair in 2011-2012 and as board secretary- treasurer in 2009-2010. He is also the current chair of the Key Global Associations Committee and served as chair of the Foundation Development Committee (2016), Leadership Committee (2012-2013), SAE Advisory Group (2011-2012), Finance Committee (2009-2010), Fellow Recipients Selection Committee (2008-2009), Audit Committee (2007-2008), and co-chair of the GW Network Leadership Council (2004-2005). Peter has also been a member of a variety of other committees, councils, and task forces.

Jeff De Cagna is the 32nd recipient of the Academy of Leaders Award which is given to consultants or industry partners who have demonstrated exemplary support of ASAE and the entire association community. Jeff was an ASAE board member from 2007-2010, served as chair of the Key Consultants Committee (2015-2016), and as vice-chair (2005-2006) and chair (2006-2007) of the Executive Management Section Council. He has also been active on several other committees since 2000 including the Professional Development and Technology Section Councils, Fellows Recipients Selection Committee, Joint Planning Committee, Finance Committee, 2020 Centennial Task Force, and the ASAE Foundation Research Committee. In addition, Jeff has been a frequent speaker at ASAE meetings and a regular contributor to Associations Now.

Barbara Benton is the 45th recipient of ASAE’s Professional Performance Award. It recognizes invaluable contributions made by association executives who are at the top level in their organizations but are not CEOs. Barbara has been an active volunteer since 2004. She served as vice-chair (2007-2008), and chair (2008-2009) of the Government Relations Section Council and has been an active member of the Public Policy Committee, Power of A Committee, and the ASAE Political Action Committee (APAC).

The awards will be presented at the 2019 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition, August 10-13, in Columbus. To learn more about ASAE’s Individual Honors criteria and selection process, visit

MEDIA CONTACT: Lauren Precker, CAE,, 202-626-2735.

About ASAE
ASAE is a membership organization of more than 44,000 association executives and industry partners representing 7,400 organizations. Its members lead, manage, and work in or partner with organizations in more than a dozen association management disciplines, from executive management to finance to technology. Together, they create a vibrant community that makes the world smarter, safer, and better every day. 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. Visit ASAE at