Emerging Leaders Program


Emerging Leaders Program

The purpose of the Emerging Leaders program is to provide Association Forum with a program that concentrates its focus on advancing association professionals under the age of 35 within their careers.

The program highlights influential and powerful techniques that teach young professionals how to take the next steps to success using conventional and non-conventional methods, creating a quality, exclusive cohort learning together over the course of six months.

Kicking off at Forum Forward, the Emerging Leaders will get to know each other and be recognized for the upcoming program. They will read a book on leadership throughout the six-month program concluding with a book report presentation to an executive panel. Each Emerging Leader will have access to an association executive mentor, identified in the July program. 

By attending, you can expect to:
  • Strengthen your communication and leadership skills
  • Learn from industry executives and receive one-on-one mentoring
  • Develop professional relationships with peer leaders
  • Attend two Association Forum Signature Events: Forum Forward and Holiday Showcase

Program fee: $1250

Forum Forward and Holiday Showcase registration fees are included in the program fee.


Emerging Leaders Program Title Partner


Emerging Leaders Program Experience Partner


2019 Emerging Leaders

Dan Beavers - Selected Independent Funeral Homes
Brittney Conway - American Society of Anesthesiologists
Maria B Dickman - Chicago Association of REALTORS
Christine DiGiovanni Young - Hematology Oncology Pharmacy Association
Kim Ellison, MNM, CAE - American Society of Anesthesiologists
Kathleen Fultz - Water Quality Association
Jamie Garcia, CMP - Emergency Nurses Association
Michael Golak - Bostrom
Amanda Hortsman, Esq. - Society of Critical Care Medicine
Tim Mucha - Emergency Nurses Association
Mr. Brent Novosel - National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists
Gina Orlandi - CCIM Institute
Ms. Angelica Pollard - American Society of Anesthesiologists
Erik Rancatore - National Marine Manufacturers Association
Monae Redmond - Chicago Association of REALTORS
Dianna Reeves - CFA Society Chicago
Julie Rossberger - Emergency Nurses Association
LaShay Sydnor - CCIM Institute

Program Schedule 2019

June 19
7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Venue SIX10
Session 1: Forum Forward

July 12
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Association Forum
Session 2: Speed Mentoring

August 27
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Institute of Real Estate Management
Session 3: Executive Presence/Personal Branding

September 18
9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
American Bar Association
Session 4: A Day in the Life of a CEO

October 17
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
New Line Tavern
Session 5: Happy Hour and Conversation

November 14
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Association Forum
Session 6: Managing Change and Conflict

December 12
1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Association Forum
Session 7: Book Report Presentations and Celebration Reception

December 17
8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Hyatt Regency Chicago
Session 8: Holiday Showcase

Session Descriptions

Forum Forward


Nadya Okamoto
Founder & Executive Director

Emerging Leaders kicks off at Forum Forward 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m., lead by Nadya Okamoto, Founder & Executive Director, PERIOD.

Speed Mentoring

Pauli Undesser, BS, CAE, MS, MWS
Executive Director
Water Quality Association

Modeled after “speed dating,” this Speed Mentoring session will give the Emerging Leaders an opportunity to meet association executives in the industry and establish a mentor to work with throughout the six-month program and beyond.

Executive Presence/Personal Branding


Gregory J Fine, FASAE, CAE
CCIM Institute


Cynthia Mills, FASAE, CAE, CMC, CPC, CCRC
Founder, President & CEO
The Leaders’ Haven

A Day in the Life of a CEO

Jack Rives, JD
Executive Director
American Bar Association

Students will have the opportunity to see the American Bar Association, one of the largest member organizations in the Chicago association community. Students will meet executive members from ABA, then be given the opportunity to meet and have a Q&A session with Jack Rives, JD, Executive Director, American Bar Association.

October Happy Hour

Mix and mingle with past and present Association Forum Emerging Leaders, share best practices and ideas focusing on a topic of your choice, identified at the Emerging Leaders June Kick-off.

Managing Change and Conflict

Donna Brighton
Chief Ideas Officer
Brighton Leadership Group

Lead by Donna Brighton, a world class expert in leadership, culture and change, this session will focus on managing conflict and becoming an influencer to bring about necessary change within your association.

Book Report Presentation

Students will be given a 6-8-minute time slot to present to an executive panel on their book report. Students are encouraged to present their key takeaways from a leadership book, and how they can apply this knowledge to their professional development and future successes.

Executive Panel:
Geof Brown, CAE, Chief Executive Officer, National Association of Personal Financial Advisors
Brent Gibson, MD, MPH, FACPM, Chief Health Officer, National Commission on Correctional Health Care
Denise Freier, President and CEO, Strategic Account Management Association
Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE, President and CEO, Association Forum

Celebration reception to follow!

2018 Emerging Leaders

Keelin Billue- Marketing Specialist- American Society of Anesthesiologists
Jean Boisson- Talent Acquisition Specialist- American Osteopathic Association
Ashley Daly- Governance Operations Manager- Emergency Nurses Association 
Becca Daly- Governance and Operations Manager- Arthroscopy Association of North America
Kristin Etherton- Meeting Planner- American Society of Anesthesiologists
Priya Garg- Director of Student and Young Physician Affairs- American Osteopathic Association
Brooke Johnson- Director of Digital Strategy- American Osteopathic Association
Jaclynne Debra Madden- Associate Director of Marketing & Education- Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago
Matthew McNutt- Simulation Education and MOCA Coordinator- American Society of Anesthesiologists
Michelle Michelotti- Simulation Education & MOCA Manager- American Society of Anesthesiologists
Michael Moran- Director of Business Development- American Osteopathic Association
Stephen Rangel- Digital Marketing Manager- CCIM Institute
Allison Read- Associate Director- American Bar Association
Vanessa Velasco- WE Local Manager, Events and Marketing- Society of Women Engineers
Maggie M Voves- Coordinator- American Society of Anesthesiologists