About ISAE

The Illinois Society of Association Executives (ISAE) is a chapter of Association Forum.  The mission of ISAE is to promote excellence and advance leadership in the Illinois association community. 

ISAE: A statewide chapter of Association Forum with high standards and an eye on the future! 
In serving the needs of over 150 association members through its extensive educational program, publications and member services, ISAE helps its members develop management skills that will benefit them personally as well as professionally. At the same time, ISAE is dedicated to advancing the public's understanding of the widespread role associations play in our society. 

ISAE: Connects you with key leaders of the association community! 
The concept of mentoring is not a new one. As part of ISAE and Association Forum, you will share ideas with the leaders of professional, trade and business associations and benefit from contacts with the affiliate businesses serving the association sector. 
ISAE: Cultivates a climate for professional growth! 
Both you and your organization will benefit when you take advantage of the educational programs, networking opportunities and idea exchange that have made ISAE and Association Forum the vital organization it is today. 

ISAE: The resource for the association professional! 
We can add value to your career through educational offerings, networking opportunities, peer to peer learning, volunteer opportunities and offering support for those members seeking the CAE Certification. 

View Board of Directors and Past Presidents 

Become an ISAE Member!
Connect through timely, relevant information and resources offering exposure to innovative ideas and unrivaled opportunities to grow alongside peers. Join or renew today to harness the power of community!

Become a Member or Renew Today!

ISAE members are powerhouse leaders and next-generation trailblazers who are found at every level in the association community and beyond. 

Your member benefits include: 
  • Exclusive members-only pricing on Association Forum signature events
  • Access to monthly, complimentary Coffee Talk sessions
  • Access to curated industry news, leadership resources, and professional development opportunities through eNewsletters
  • Access to your Shared Interest Group (SIG) network
  • Complimentary quarterly SIG Summits 
  • Opportunities to give back to your community through volunteerism
  • Unrivaled opportunities to network and connect with peers and colleagues
  • Building relationships with industry partners and suppliers
  • Scholarship opportunities for knowledge expansion
  • MyForum access to communicate and connect with your community
  • Career Center access to find new opportunities or fill vacant positions
  • Dedicated CEOnly® events (for Association CEOs and Executive Directors)
  • Opportunities for leadership development 

Membership Types

Association Professional Member

Association Professional members are chief executive officers or staff members employed full or part-time in the management of a trade, professional, technical, educational, philanthropic, or similar type voluntary membership organization.  Association Professional Memberships are nontransferable to another individual.  

The cost is $195. 
Industry Partner Members

Industry Partner members shall include all companies, corporations, or persons which or who provide products or services to associations and whose primary interest in membership arises from areas other than professional education. Industry Partner members are available to companies or corporations by location but a specific person must be named as the primary contact. All persons employed by the Industry Partner member are welcome and encouraged to participate in the events.  

The cost is $395.

Emeritus Member

This membership is bestowed by the Board of Directors, for those individuals who have retired and have been members of ISAE for five years or more and are not eligible for any other category of membership.

The cost is $25. 
Student Member

Student membership shall include individuals that are enrolled in any college or university full-time in the United States.

The cost is $0. 

2024 Friday Monthly Coffee Talks:
Each month at 8:15 a.m. on a Friday, we cover new topics, and attendees have the opportunity to ask questions and learn from each other, share resources, and more. You can sign up for all the Coffee Talks at one time, that way the time will be held on your calendar all with just a few clicks.  If you are not able to join and you have something you would like to ask from your peers let us know! 
Use this link to sign up for one or all of them. 

April 19

May 17

June 21

July 19

August 16

September 20

October 18

November 15

December 20

ISAE Travel Fund

Attend In-Person Education in the Chicagoland Area

Are you planning to travel to the Chicagoland area to attend an in-person education session?  A travel fund has been established to provide travel and hotel accommodations for ISAE Chapter members to attend Association Forum in-person events in the Chicagoland area. ISAE Members who meet the following requirements will be considered to receive payment to off set the cost of travel:

  • Active and engaged membership in the ISAE Chapter of Association Forum
  • At least one full year of ISAE Chapter membership
  • Willing to conduct an engagement session in Springfield, such as lunch-a-learn, conversation circle or coffee talk to share with ISAE Chapter members learnings and applicability from the Association Forum event.

The ISAE Chapter Executive Committee will select the travel fund recipients. To apply for the ISAE Travel Fund, please email and list the event you are planning to attend and the amount of travel funding you are requesting. 

Support the Travel Fund

Would you like to contribute to the ISAE Travel Fund and help sponsor ISAE members’ travel costs?  Your organization has an opportunity to support an ISAE member’s travel and accommodations to an Association Forum in-person event in Chicago.  Think about the impact your organization can have on the professional development of a current or future client while establishing a long-term relationship!

Association Forum offers more than 75 events per year in addition to our five signature events.  We welcome the opportunity to discuss the Travel Fund or other sponsorship opportunities in more detail.  Please email for more information.