Welcoming Environment™ Committee

Welcoming Environment™ Committee and WE Ambassadors


The Welcoming Environment™ Committee  and WE Ambassadors play an integral role in promoting diversity and inclusion by ensuring that Association Forum makes everyone who interacts with Association Forum feel welcomed and valued. A Welcoming Environment™ is defined as the creation of a sense of belonging and connectedness that engages individuals in an authentic manner in which uniqueness is valued, respected and supported through opportunities and interaction. 

The Committee and WE Ambassadors:

  • Encourages the development of a Welcoming Environment™ within every aspect of Association Forum.
  • Monitors metrics to gauge the efficacy of Welcoming Environment™ efforts.
  • Scans the association community to contribute to the development of the online Welcoming Environment Resource Kit.
  • Actively promotes and encourages diversity and inclusion within Association Forum.
  • Engages in new member onboarding calls
  • Promotes diversity initiatives in associations using #assnWE on social media.

These Opportunities Are Recommended for Members Who:

  • Are passionate about increasing diversity and inclusion within Association Forum.
  • Actively participate in Association Forum events.

Time Commitment:

  • Bimonthly or Quarterly committee meetings.
  • Participation in conference calls and sub-committee meetings as necessary.
  • Act as a Welcome Ambassadors at programs and events when available. 


    Welcoming Environment Chair
    Jim  Zaniello

    WE Ambassador Chair

    Lorelle R. Swader, CAE, MLS, MA


    Welcoming Environment Committee Members 

    Mr. Marc J. Anderson
    Ms. Alpha M. Brady
    Norma Castrejon, MA
    Ms. Loretta M. DeLuca
    Marvin Lindsey
    Mr. Bob Moore, CAE
    Ms. Celeste R. Smith, CAE
    Terrence Sykes
    Mr. Dale West, CAE

    WE Ambassadors

    Kara Adams, CAE,M.Ed.
    Emily Behn
    Jennifer Bose, MNA CAE
    Jessica Brown
    Marina Castro
    Elizabeth Catalano
    Ms. Carla Rea DeFlorio, CAE
    Ashley Gill
    Jamie Heidorn, CTA
    Theresa Herrejon
    Shayla Hitchcock
    Ms. Lannisa James, MBA, MHRM
    Ms. Emily A. Kalata
    April Kates Ellison, MS, CAE
    George Miller, CAE
    Chris Okenka
    Nikki Palluzzi
    Mattie Scheeter
    Myria Stanley
    Ms. Rachel C. Steiner
    Ms. Trice Turner

    Board Liaison

    Geoffrey Brown, CAE
    Staff Contact
    Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE


    Melissa Walling, CAE, IOM