Honors Gala

honors gala

Honors Gala 2022 is scheduled for June 23, 2022 at the Marriott on Michigan. 

Thank you for attending the 2021 Honors Gala, Passport to New Beginnings! It was lovely to see everyone again in person. Your contribution to the Association Forum Foundation is appreciated and critical to moving the industry and its professionals forward. 

About Honors Gala
Every year, we come together to celebrate and honor an exemplary group of association professionals at the Honors Gala. Honors Gala is a celebratory tradition for Chicagoland associations and the premier fundraising event for the Association Forum Foundation

Congratulations to the 2021 Honorees!

On behalf of Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE, the Awards & Scholarship Committee, and the entire Association Forum team, we are proud to recognize these honorees in 2021.

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.

Kathleen O'Loughlin
Kathleen T. O’Loughlin, DMD, MPH
Executive Director
American Dental Association

Samuel B. Shapiro Award Partner


John C. Thiel Distinguished Service Award
The John C. Thiel Distinguished Service Award is presented for outstanding service to the Association Forum by an individual association or supplier partner member. This award has been presented for exceptional, long-term, volunteer service to the 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, the Association Forum’s chairman-elect in 1990-91. In 2010, the Thiel Award was expanded to include both association professionals and supplier partners.

John C. Thiel Distinguished Service Award Partner:

Jay Carino
Jay Carino, MBA, CAE
Vice President of Member Services
Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals
Association Professional

Francine Pepitone
Francine P. Pepitone, CMM, MAS
Business Development Director
HH Global
Supplier Partner

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.

Cie Armstead

Cie B. Armstead, DBA
Director of Diversity
American College of Surgeons

Association Professional Achievement Award Partner:


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.

Rob Paterkiewicz

Rob J. Paterkiewicz, CAE, MBA, IOM
Executive Director and CEO
Selected Independent Funeral Homes

Inspiring Leader Award Partner:

Meet Minneapolis

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.

American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Welcoming Environment® Organizational Award Sponsor

Event Partner VIP Reception Partner

Experience Partners

Premier Ticket Supporters
American Association of Endodontist  
American College of Healthcare Executives McKinley Advisors
American College of Prosthodontists SmithBucklin
Arthroscopy Association of North America Society of Actuaries
Bostrom Thruue Inc
Fiducient Advisors Visit Denver
Greater Miami CVB Visit Indy
Institute of Real Estate Management Visit Seattle