Honors Awards


Nominations for the 2021 Honors Awards are now closed.  Applications for the Welcoming Environment Organizational award and Honors Awards will be accepted until 11:59PM Central time on March 5, 2021.


Association Forum’s 2021 Honors Awards program provides accolades and recognition to four outstanding association professionals and at least one supplier partner member of Association Forum for their outstanding achievements in advancing the association management profession.

The carefully selected group of high-performing executives will be honored and celebrated during Forum Forward 2021 and formally recognized during Honors Gala 2021. 

The award categories include:
  • Samuel B. Shapiro Award for Chief Staff Executive Achievement
  • John C. Thiel Distinguished Service Award
  • Inspiring Leader Award
  • Association Professional Achievement Award 

Please see Rules below for complete details and eligibility requirements. Please contact awards@associationforum.org with any questions.

WELCOMING ENVIRONMENT ORGANIZATIONAL AWARD

The Welcoming Environment Organizational Award is awarded to an association that has demonstrated exemplary outcomes in providing an inclusive and welcoming environment and culture.

CRITERIA:  

  • The award will be presented to Association Forum members that are 501(c)3, 501(c)4, or 501(c)6 organizations. There is not a requirement for an association’s minimum number of years in business or minimum number of employees.  
  • The association can be headquartered throughout anywhere throughout the United States of America.  
  • Any current employee(s) of the association can nominate their organization. Proof of support is required by the Executive Director/CEO.  
  • Current associations represented on the Association Forum Board and Association Forum Foundation cannot be considered in the same year that the award is presented.  
  • An association can apply and receive the award multiple times but not within five (5) years of receiving the award.  
  • There is no limit to the number of times an organization can apply for the award. The current Executive Director/CEO will need to sign off on re-application.  


Welcoming Environment Organizational Award Form

Honors Award Categories:

JOHN C. THIEL DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD

The John C. Thiel Distinguished Service Award is presented for outstanding service to Association Forum by an individual association or supplier partner member. This award has been presented for exceptional, long-term, volunteer service to Association Forum, primarily through committee service or similar contributions. “Unsung hero” or “above and beyond the call of duty” are two ways to describe past recipients. This award is named in memory of the late John C. Thiel, CAE, Association Forum’s chairman-elect in 1990-1991. In 2010, the Thiel Award was expanded to include both association professionals and supplier partners. In the past two years, a Thiel Award has been given to an association professional and supplier partner.

Criteria:

  • Contributions that significantly and consistently impact the advancement and/or recognition of the profession through service to Association Forum.
  • Demonstrated ability and willingness to serve as a formal or informal mentor.
  • Demonstrated leadership commitment and involvement in Association Forum.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • All members, including supplier partners, of Association Forum are eligible for this award.
  • Nominees must have been a member of Association Forum for five consecutive years.
  • Current Association Forum officers, directors, Awards & Scholarship Committee members and staff are not eligible for this award.
  • Previous recipients of the John C. Thiel Distinguished Service Award are not eligible to apply.
  • Self-nominations will not be accepted.

ASSOCIATION PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

The Association Professional Achievement Award is presented to an association professional member (not a chief executive officer) for exemplary service and outstanding accomplishments in association management. This award reflects a high level of commitment to professional growth and personal pride in the association management industry.

Criteria:

  • Recognition as an exceptional association/nonprofit professional who has advanced his or her employer’s mission.
  • Strong investment in the field of association management and has served at least three years as an association/nonprofit professional.
  • Demonstrated volunteer service and involvement in Association Forum. .
  • Active role in civic and community affairs.
  • Models leadership behavior by holding a CAE or other professional certification in his or her specialty.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • The nominee must be currently employed full-time as an association/nonprofit professional (other than as chief executive officer) for a minimum of three years at the time of nomination.
  • Nominees must have been employed in their present position for at least one year prior to nomination.
  • Nominees must have been a member of Association Forum for three consecutive years.
  • Current Association Forum officers, directors, Awards & Scholarship Committee members, and staff are not eligible for this award.
  • Previous recipients of the Association Professional Achievement Award are not eligible to apply.
  • Self-nominations will not be accepted.

INSPIRING LEADER AWARD

The Inspiring Leader Award is presented to an individual who has established a culture leading to employee satisfaction, motivation, engagement and achievement.

Criteria:

  • Demonstrated support given to employees to participate in Association Forum and/or other professional organizations.
  • Develops employees and encourages colleagues through coaching or mentorship.
  • Sustains employee morale during challenging times.
  • Serves as a role model throughout his or her organization.
  • Models leadership behavior by holding a CAE or other professional certification in his or her specialty.
  • Active member of Association Forum and involved in activities of the association.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Nominee must be currently employed full-time as an association/nonprofit professional.
  • Nominee must have worked in association management for a minimum of three years prior to nomination.
  • Nominee must be a member of Association Forum.
  • Current Association Forum officers, directors, Awards & Scholarship Committee members, and staff are not eligible for this award.
  • Previous recipients of the Inspiring Leader Award are not eligible to apply.
  • Self-nominations will not be accepted.

SAMUEL B. SHAPIRO AWARD FOR CHIEF STAFF EXECUTIVE ACHIEVEMENT

The highest honor the Association Forum bestows on an association professional, the Samuel B. Shapiro Award for Chief Staff Executive Achievement, is presented to the chief staff executive (e.g. CEO, executive director, or equivalent level) for outstanding service and accomplishments in association/nonprofit management. The award is named after Samuel B. Shapiro, CAE, as past chairman of the Association Forum and the American Society of Association Executives. Recipients of this award have made outstanding accomplishments in their professional and personal lives.

Criteria:

  • Recognition as an exceptional association/nonprofit professional who has advanced his or her organization's mission.
  • Demonstrated ability and willingness to serve as a formal and/or informal mentor.
  • Overcomes challenges faced in a leadership position as a CEO.
  • Demonstrated leadership contributions that significantly and consistently impact the advancement and/or recognition of the profession through service to the Association Forum, other professional societies and charitable organizations and related organizations.
  • Models leadership behavior by holding a CAE, or other professional certification in his or her specialty.
  • Strong investment in the field of association management and at least five years as an association/nonprofit CEO.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • The nominee must be currently employed in a full time capacity as an association/nonprofit chief staff executive at the time of nomination.
  • Nominees must have been employed in his or her present position for at least on year prior to nomination.
  • Nominees must have been a member of the Association Forum for five consecutive years.
  • This category includes heads of subsidiaries or foundations who report to the chief elected officer of the parent organization.
  • Current Association Forum officers, directors, Awards & Scholarship Committee members, and staff are not eligible for this award.
  • Previous recipients of the Samuel B. Shapiro Award for Chief Staff Executive Achievement Award are not eligible to apply

Self nominations will not be accepted. Once a nomination is received, the nominee will receive notice that they have been nominated and be asked to complete an application.

Rules:
Recommendations for Association Forum’s 2021 Honors Awards recipients will be made by Association Forum’s Awards & Scholarship Committee and ultimately approved by Association Forum’s Board of Directors. The Awards & Scholarship Committee will conduct an extensive review of the nomination forms, application forms, and supporting information. Applicants will be rated on their responses, nominations and letters of support and/or other documentation, based on the criteria and eligibility requirements for each of the awards as described below. Members of the Association Forum Board are not eligible to apply for Honors Awards or the Welcoming Environment Organizational Award.