Emerging Leaders Program


Emerging Leaders Program

The Emerging Leaders Program provides an unique opportunity for association professionals under the age of 35.  This program highlights influential and powerful techniques that teach young professionals how to take the next steps to success using conventional and non-conventional methods while creating an exclusive cohort where young professionals learn together over the course of six months.

Kicking off in conjunction with Forum Forward, the Emerging Leaders will get to know each other and be recognized for the upcoming program. During the program, Emerging Leaders will share ideas with each other, read  and present a  to an executive panel. In addition, each Emerging Leader will have access to an association executive mentor. 

Emerging Leaders can expect to:
  • Strengthen communication and leadership skills
  • Learn from industry executives and receive one-on-one mentoring
  • Develop professional relationships with peer leaders
  • Attend two Association Forum Virtual Events: Forum Forward and Holiday Showcase
*Please note that this year, if needed, we will substitute face-to-face meetings with virtual meetings for your health and safety. If we should meet physically, Association Forum is committed to adhering to the appropriate CDC and State of Illinois Guidelines for in-person gatherings.

Registration for the 2020-2021 program is now closed. Stay tuned for details on the 2021 program!

Session Descriptions


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Jacqualine Price Osafo, MBA, CAE
Vice President of Membership
American Health Information Management Association

The Emerging Leaders Program kicks off in conjunction with Forum Forward, with an exclusive keynote by Jacqualine Price Osafo, the Vice President of Membership at the American Health Information Management Association.

Life Happens--Own Your Financial Future

Jeff Dvorak, CFP®, CPWA®
Financial Advisor
4D Financial Advisors, LLC

Plan for your future as an executive with Jeff Dvorack in this interactive financial literacy course created just for you.

A Day in the Life of a CEO

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Matt Sanderson
President & CEO

Emerging Leaders will have the extraordinary opportunity to learn from the Chief Executive Officer of one of the most successful Association Management Companies in the country. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet with Matt Sanderson, President & CEO of SmithBucklin, for a Q&A session.

Managing Change and Conflict

Donna Brighton
Chief Ideas Officer
Brighton Leadership Group

Led 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:
Paul Pomerantz, FACHE, Chief Executive Officer, American Society of Anesthesiologists
Vickie Loise, CAE, Chief Executive Officer, Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening
Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE, President and CEO, Association Forum

Executive Presence and Personal Branding


Gregory J Fine, FASAE, CAE
CCIM Institute


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

Setting Your Career Goals And closing Reception

Michelle Mills Clement
Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Association of Realtors

A new program, this session will allow the Emerging Leaders to track their their career goals with a seasoned Executive and an HR Director. Whether you have clear view of your future or a vague notion, this is a great opportunity to learn from those in the position to put you where you want to be. Celebration reception to follow!

Emerging Leaders Program Experience Partner


2020 Emerging Leaders

Thank you and congratulations to the 2020 Class of Emerging Leaders!

Alyson Whittlesey - American Association of Endodontists
Samantha Luebbering - American Association of Neurological Surgeons
Evan Summers - American College of Prosthodontists
Joseph DeAngelis - American Planning Association
Mr. Andy Krakos - American Planning Association
Kerry Lennon - Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society
Eric Fall - American Society of Anesthesiologists
Ms. Kara Ferguson, CMP,MSHTM - American Society of Anesthesiologists
Kyle  Kane - American Society of Anesthesiologists
Dana Karstensen, IOM,MBA - American Society of Anesthesiologists
Krzysztof Litewka - American Society of Anesthesiologists
Jordan McGahan - American Society of Anesthesiologists
Alexis Smith - American Society of Anesthesiologists
Mr. Michael Thill - American Society of Anesthesiologists
Virgina Graves - Association Analytics, Inc.
Emily Harris, MBA - Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals
Abby MacCormack - CCIM Institute
McAllister Cox - Chicago Association of REALTORS
Nancy Elizondo - Chicago Association of REALTORS
Cory Hall - Chicago Association of REALTORS
Ms. Jakeeva Lee, AHWD,CIPS - Chicago Association of REALTORS
Brianna Bingham - Cremation Association of North America
Alicia Belcaster, MS - Emergency Nurses Association 
Sarah McNulty - Emergency Nurses Association 
Mr. Drew Whalen - Executive Director, Inc.
Claire Brown - National Association of Personal Financial Advisors
Lindsey Powell - Society of Gynecologic Oncology