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Forty Under 40 Awards

40 Under 40 Web Banner

The Association Forum of Chicagoland and USAE weekly newspaper are teaming up to honor the association community’s 40 most accomplished professionals under the age of 40.

The Forty Under 40® Awards will recognize 40 up-and-coming association or nonprofit professional who are under the age of 40, demonstrate high potential for success in leadership roles and exhibit a strong commitment to the association management profession.

The 40 honorees will be recognized and celebrated in several ways:

  • Profiles and interviews will be published in a special Forty Under 40 Awards section of USAE newspaper on Nov. 19;
  • A Forty Under 40 Awards reception will be held on Dec. 16 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago* where the honorees will receive their recognitions and have the opportunity to network with established association leaders as well as top executives from Hyatt, IMN Solutions and Team San Jose; and
  • During Association Forum's Holiday Showcase 2013 luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Chicago* on Dec. 17.
USAE Forty Under 40 Profiles USAE Forty Under 40 Profiles





Forty Under 40 Award Recipients


Carrie Abernathy, CMP, CEM, CSEP

Director of Education, Training, and Events

Practice Greenhealth


Lowell Aplebaum, CAE

Director, Membership & Components

International Facility Management Association


Krishna Aravamudhan

Senior Manager, Office of Quality Assessment and Improvement\

American Dental Association


Debra BenAvram, CAE


American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition


Mark Bennett, CAE, IOM

Account Executive/Executive Director

Offinger Management Company


Michael Copps

Executive Director

SmithBucklin Corporation


Kevin Dajka, DVM

Director, Membership & Field Services Division

American Veterinary Medical Association


Kate Dockins, CAE, IOM

Director of Leadership, Foundation

Association on Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals


Gabriel Eckert, CAE

Executive Director

Building Owners and Managers Association of Georgia


Jody Egel, CAE, CMP

Meetings Manager

Million Dollar Roundtable


Paula Eichenbrenner

Vice President for Advancement

American Society for Nutrition


Peter Finn

Director of Learning & Development

Society of Women Engineers


Nikki Golden, CAE

Marketing and Communications Manager

National Association of the Remodeling Industry


Sara Haywood, CMP

Associate Director, Education

Association for Professionals in Infection Control & Epidemiology


Lauren Hefner, CAE

Director, Member Care

Healthcare Businesswomen's Association


David Johnson, IOM, CAE

Senior Manager, Membership

Drug Information Association


Sarah Kohler

Senior Associate

SmithBucklin Corporation


Emily Lee

Senior Manager, Membership and Operations

American Hospital Association


Amy Lestition, MA, CAE

Associate Vice President



Carla Lochiatto, CAE

Associate Director, Public Policy

American Society of Association Executives


Angela McKay, CAE

President & CEO

CFA Society of Chicago


Shelby Meyer, CMP

Regional Director

Young Presidents Organization


Trevor Mitchell, CAE

Executive Director of Member Programs & Services

ARMA International


Robert Newsome

Director, Engineering Standards

National Marine Manufacturers Association


Erin O'Donnell-Dotzler

Director, Public, Practice and Scientific Affairs

American Academy of Periodontology


Matthew Ott, MS, CAE

Vice President

Membership & Information Technology, National Grocers Association


Amanda Perl

Vice President

Institute of Food Technologists & Feeding Tomorrow


Nicole Ratner, CAE, CMP

Executive Director

American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants


Jaclyn Reeves-Pepin

Executive Director

National Association of Biology Teachers


Corey Rosenbusch

President & COO

Global Cold Chain Alliance


Megan Schagrin, CAE, CFRE

Senior Vice President and Executive Director

The American College of Chest Physicians


James Specker, MBA, MIS

State Advocacy Manager

American Association of Diabetes Educators


Steven Stout, CAE

Director of Meetings & Special Events

Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals


Melissa Walling, CAE, IOM

Director, Membership

Institute of Real Estate Management


Jason Watkins, CMP

Director, Meetings & Conferences

American Anthropological Association


Suzanna Wight-Kelley

Managing Director, Strategic Alliances & Initiatives

The American Institute of Architects


Evan Williams, CAE, IOM

Vice President of External Relations

Mechanical Contractors Association


Cheryl Wilson

Senior Manager, Marketing

American Student Dental Association


Dionne Wilson, CAE

Executive Director

Association Management Center


Laura Zumdahl

Vice President, Nonprofit Services

Donor's Forum



  • 3+ years of employment at a 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), 501(c)(6), or association management organization.
  • Current employment at a 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), 501(c)(6), or association management organization.
  • Plan to continue in roles that aid the future of the association and nonprofit community.
  • Exhibit characteristics that demonstrate leadership skills and potential.
  • Under the age of 40 as of Dec. 16.



Please contact Jemilah Senter, director of marketing and communications, Association Forum of Chicagoland at senter@associationforum.org or (312) 924-7030.

*Attendance is encouraged but not required. Honorees will be responsible for their own travel arrangements.

Sponsored by

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