Shared Interest Groups (SIGs)

Join a SIG

Shared Interest Groups (SIGs) are included with your membership and provide a no-pressure environment to learn from and network with like-minded peers in your community. There are fifteen different SIGs, each meeting twice year. Join one or all of them to maximize your learning and networking potential.

Don’t forget to bring a friend! Non-members can attend one complimentary event before becoming a member of Association Forum.

Check out the calendar of events for a complete listing of SIG meetings.

List of SIGs

Association Management Companies Professionals

This SIG provides an opportunity to meet, learn and share ideas with members who are actively involved or work at an Association Management Company. The goal of the SIG is to keep members informed of current developments and issues specifically related to Association Management Companies. Topics may vary.

Lisa Mikita, CAE, CMP 

Vice Chair
Laura Vera

Certification of Professionals

This SIG provides an opportunity to meet, learn and share ideas with people who are actively involved in certification. Topics may include; implications of a program on your association, scoring methodologies, evaluation process, trends, recertification, technologies for the certification process, staffing, budgeting and many more.

Rachel DePauw, CAE, MPH

Vice Chair


This SIG focuses on the idea-sharing and networking of those involved in communication activities at their associations to keep them informed of current developments and issues. This includes publications, public relations, media relations, advertising, marketing, and other related areas.

Larry Guthrie

Vice Chair
Connie Arkus

Component Relations

This SIG deals with information and idea sharing around the management of any affiliated or independent unit of a bigger organization. The names for these units vary from association to association. Some common ones are chapters, branches, special-interest groups, divisions, practice specialties or even the division of international, national, regional, state and local subsidiaries of the same association.

Christopher O'Meara

Vice Chair
Abigail Solazzo

Educational Program Development

This SIG provides members with information on the development and management of curriculum in continuing education, training, professional development and/or staff training for their organization.

Beth Hayson, CAE, CMP

Vice Chair
Christie Wereski


This SIG focuses on a variety of issues related to association finance. CFOs, directors, managers of finance and others with accountability for financial issues are welcome.

Shari Franklin

Vice Chair
Sandra Wulf, CAE, IOM

Fundraising and Development

This SIG’s discussions will concentrate on independent foundations, subsidiary foundations and relations with parent associations and the place of development within them. Topics may include: engaging the non-profit board; foundation and fundraising resources; research and proposal preparation; and corporate and foundation relations to name just a few. Learn the varied methods and techniques necessary for successful fundraising.

Holly Schambach

Vice Chair
Jennifer Scott


This SIG is for individuals involved in governance activities who want to share ideas and network with others in this field. Meeting topics focus on a variety of issues related to association governance like elections, committee appointment process, by laws, and referendums. Board policies and procedures, board relations and affairs, and board minutes are also covered by this group.

April Kates Ellison, CAE, MS

Vice Chair
Karyn Linn

Information Technology

The purpose of this SIG is that of support, communication, expanding the knowledge base, sharing, and using online communication to add value to the services of our associations and ultimately to benefit members.

Christopher Maynard

Vice Chair
Rebecca Headrick


The Marketing SIG provides an exchange of ideas and effective practices for marketing professionals in all types of membership organizations. Expert speakers, as well as Marketing SIG members, share effective practices in marketing and research methods for all association activities and programs, including member retention and recruitment, event and education program marketing, publication sales, dues renewals, and advertising, sponsorship and exhibit space sales, and other related areas.

Merril Green, CAE

Vice Chair
Gina Florzak

Meeting Professionals

This SIG explores the many areas of association meeting management from logistics to site selection, international meetings, technology, the law, and much more.

Emily Thompson

Vice Chair
Jacqueline White

Membership Development and Services

This SIG provides Forum members who have a membership/marketing interest with a professional support network for professional growth. It also serves as an idea laboratory for all participants.

Jay Carino, MBA, CAE

Vice Chair
Elizabeth DeWolfe, CAE

No. 2 Executives/COOs

The No. 2 Executives/COOs SIG deals with the myriad issues facing chief operating officers and No. 2 executives in associations. Some topics are related to functional areas of associations and others to the unique nature of being second in command. Membership is only open to association No. 2 executives, COOs, CFOs, and vice presidents. Pre-approval is required.

Laura Caputo

Vice Chair
Carol Pape, CAE

Public Policy and Advocacy

This SIG provides an opportunity to meet, learn and share ideas with people who are actively involved in government relations, public policy and advocacy. Topics may include; trends, lobbying rules and regulations, technologies for grassroots mobilization, communication efforts, policy development and management and more.

Andrew Lomo

Vice Chair
Sandra Guenther

Young Professionals

The Young Professionals SIG is designed for association professionals under the age of 35 looking to meet with peers to share experiences, learn more about the association industry, and network in a fun, social environment. The purpose of the SIG is to help young association professionals establish contacts and develop leadership skills to succeed in the association industry.

The SIG meets to discuss topics relevant to members' career and personal development needs, interspersed with social events.

Jakeeva Lee, AHWD, CIPS

Vice Chair
LaShawn Williams

Staff Contact

Sarah Murphy, MNA, CAE
Director of Membership & Marketing

Shared Interest Group Chair or Vice-Chair

This Position:

  • Works with SIG vice-chair to plan SIG events (minimum of two events per year including SIG Summit).

  • Works with staff to promote the events and encourage participation.

  • Assists in identifying a successor.

This Position is Recommended for:

  • Active participants in a SIG or anyone interested in further developing the activity of a SIG.

  • Members who are passionate about a particular interest area and in sharing experiences with colleagues.

  • Members who would like to further develop their leadership skills and be recognized as a leader in their area of interest.

Time Commitment:

  • Mandatory participation in SIG Chair Orientation in April.

  • Participation in leadership calls.

  • Coordination of a minimum of two SIG programs per fiscal year including the SIG Summit.