ASAE Announces 2022 Individual Honors for Exceptional Leadership

July 28, 2022

WASHINGTON— ASAE today announced the three recipients of the Individual Honors for Exceptional Leadership which are bestowed upon professionals who have demonstrated exemplary support of ASAE, the association community and society at large.

The 2022 winners include Susan K. Neely, president and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), who is recognized with this year’s Key Award; Juan Amador, FASAE, CAE, director, constituent engagement, Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), who is honored with the Professional Performance Award; and Mickie Rops, FASAE, CAE, president and principal consultant, Mickie Rops Consulting LLC, who is receiving the Academy of Leaders Award.

“On behalf of the selection committee, congratulations to Susan, Juan and Mickie on rising to the top by demonstrating their ability to create positive change in their organizations and communities, their impactful leadership and their deep commitment to DEI,” said David “DJ” Johnson, IOM, FASAE, CAE, chief membership and engagement officer, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and chair of the 2022 Individual Honors Committee. “And a huge thank you to the committee for deliberating through a very impressive group of 2022 nominees.”

The Key Award is presented to chief staff executives of associations who demonstrate exceptional qualities of leadership and a deep commitment to voluntary membership organizations. Susan K. Neely is widely recognized as one of the most influential people in association leadership. She is a two-time trade association CEO of the year, one of Washingtonian’s “most influential people” and “100 Most Powerful Women in Washington.” Neely also received the “Luminary Award” from the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance for lifetime dedication to gender parity, diversity and inclusion. Neely is a past chair of ASAE and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Association Committee of 100.

The Professional Performance Award recognizes invaluable contributions made by association executives who are at the top level in their organizations but do not serve in the role of CEO. Juan Amador, FASAE, CAE, is a critical leader in the AAMC’s relationships and partnerships with its many constituent affinity groups. In managing these relationships, Amador advances the strategic value of the association for its constituents and members. Amador is also responsible for implementing learning and leadership opportunities that help members grow in their professional roles, enhance their career development and strengthen their leadership competencies. Amador is a longtime leader in the ASAE community who was named an ASAE Fellow and elected as the incoming CAE Commission Chair earlier this year.

The Academy of Leaders Award is given to consultants or industry partners who have demonstrated exemplary support of ASAE and the entire association community. Mickie Rops, FASAE, CAE, is the 35th recipient of the award. As principal consultant for Mickie Rops Consulting LLC, Rops has been advising associations in certification, certificate programs and accreditation for 25 years. She has been an active volunteer, speaker and author for ASAE and the credentialing community. Mickie has served on the ASAE Key Consultants Committee, Professional Development Council, Research Committee and CAE Commission. Her books include Certification Simplified, Considering Certification? What You Need to Know, and ISO 17024 Unlocked. She is a certification assessor for the American National Standards Institute National Accreditation Board and is the national convener for a certificate program American National Standard. Through her work, Mickie strives to create and communicate the value and impact of standards and credentialing.

The Individual Honors for Exceptional Leadership will officially be presented during the 2022 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition, August 20-23, 2022, in Nashville, TN. To learn more about ASAE’s Individual Honors criteria and selection process, visit the ASAE Individual Honors website.


MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Vest, CAE, 202-626-2798,


About ASAE

ASAE is a membership organization of more than 45,000 association executives and industry partners. Since it was established 100 years ago, its members have and continue to lead, manage, and work in or partner with organizations in more than a dozen association management disciplines, from executive management to finance to technology. With the support of the ASAE Research 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