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CSAE 2019 Conference Speakers

June 5-7, 2019, Pueblo Convention Center, Pueblo, CO

Join the conversation #CSAEPUEBLO

Meet Our Speakers

They know it! They’ve experienced it!
They’ve been down in the association trenches!
They’ll send you home with actionable items.

They include the author of the new ASAE-published book, The New CEO’s Guide by Beth Boooks, CAE,
as well as Jim Thompson, contributor to and administrator of the Facebook site, Healthy by Association.

Speaker bios tell just part of the story.
Only the CSAE conference give you the full impact.

Evan Abbott
Employers Council

Evan Abbott is the Director of Organizational Development and Learning with Employers Council. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Arizona State University and a master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Colorado at Denver. He also holds his SPHR and SHRM-CP. In his close to 20 years at Employers Council, Evan has led professional workshops on a variety of topics including Accountability, Incivility at Work, Managing a Multi-Generational Workforce, 21st Century Teams, as well as various topics related to Leadership and Supervisory skills. He consults with members of Employers Council about issues related to training, talent and organizational development, and strategic management issues. In addition, Evan teaches courses in the Anderson College of Business at Regis University.

Robyn Anderson
One Floor Up

As Business Development Director at One Floor Up, Robyn Anderson is the first point of contact with most clients. You can put her through any character trait or unique talent assessment and she will come up again and again as influential and strategic. These are powerful strengths when it comes to closing business, but what everyone who works with Robyn comes to learn is that she is also empathetic and intuitive. Robyn genuinely wants to get to know her clients and has a unique ability to bring ideas and solutions to the table that solve for more than the original ask.

As an entrepreneur, media strategist, business development director, and mom of two little ones, Anderson is always sprinting to stay on top of the next big trend, keeping up with industry culture and cutting edge technology all while making chicken nuggets. Robyn holds certifications in digital advertising from Google and HubSpot. She is actively pursuing education around video placement and marketing in new technologies like OTT and streaming advertising.

Sarah Billiu
Brewers Association

Sarah Billiu is the Membership Team Lead for the Brewers Association. She joined the Brewers Association team after obtaining a Master of Science in Information. A Certified Cicerone and Michigan Alum, Sarah enjoys great beer and pretending to care about Michigan football. During football season, you will likely find her paddle boarding, dog walking, or enjoying a local brew (if there is no football involved, of course).

Alex Brady
Big Green

Alex moved to Colorado five years ago after spending the previous eight years in Vermont. Alex has a passion for real local food and building communities around food. Prior to Big Green, he was Alumni and Development Manager at Johnson Wales University. He has also worked as a special events & volunteer coordinator for a non-profit in Vermont and spent two years as the Food & Beverage Director at a private country club. He currently sits on the advisory board of WellsSpring Community. When Alex is not fundraising for Big Green he enjoys cooking as well as spending time outside with his wife Emily and their dog Barley. Alex holds a bachelors degree from the University of Vermont.

Beth Brooks, CAE
Texas College of Emergency Physicians

Author of The New CEO’s Guide published by ASAE, Beth Books is the Executive Director of the Texas College of Emergency Physicians.  She speaks and trains association executives, as well as provides board orientation and strategic planning. She has spent her whole career in association management., serving as CEO of the Texas Society of Association Executives for 16 years, Executive Director of  the Texas Pest Control Association, and Communications Director for  the Texas Dental Association. She lives in Austin, TX. Contact her at Beth@texas.net

Rachel Farha
One Floor Up

Rachel Farha’s diverse entrepreneurially career over the past 20 years has one common theme – that is the ability to clearly communicate and act on a larger creative vision.An independent business owner, a video and events producer, and mentor to other female business owners, Farha always finds a way to go beyond what’s been done before. It’s this type of enthusiasm that has earned her business accolades including the Dames’ 2018 Evolving Women in Business Award, the Web Marketing Association’s 2018 IAC Award for Best Online Educational Video, and multiple Telly Awards. As Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer at One Floor Up, Rachel has grown the business from two to ten full-time employees in eight years. Three years after opening their doors, the company reached financial milestones that only 7% of female-owned companies ever achieve.

Allison Gault, MBA
Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association

Allison Gault is the Executive Director of the Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association (CNGA), a trade association with nearly 300 member organizations. In addition to overseeing CNGA, she is also the Executive Director of the Colorado Horticulture Research & Education Foundation (CHREF), an organization that provides scholarship and research funding to local Universities.  Prior to joining CNGA, Allison spent 12 years at the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) managing over 600 volunteers, managing and maintaining a member only social networking site and was responsible for business planning and budgeting for the membership product line.  She received a Bachelor in Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado and a Master’s in Business Administration from Regis University.

Matt Hemmendinger
American Water Works Association

Matt Hemmendinger is the Membership Manager of the American Water Works Association. He previously served the organization as Membership Specialist. His expertise includes membership development, recruitment, and retention, member benefit development, digital marketing, social media, and project management. He serves on the CSAE Membership Committee.


Cara B. Lawrence
Tierney Lawrence LLC

Cara Lawrence, Esq., is a partner in the Denver law firm of Tierney Lawrence LLC. Cara provides business and tax advice to public charities, private foundations, venture philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, political organizations, educational institutions, professional associations, and traditional for-profit businesses. She regularly assists clients with entity selection and formation, corporate governance issues, complex taxation issues.Cara advises clients on political, lobbying, and advocacy activities, including the creation and operation of affiliated charitable, social welfare, and 527 organizations. Cara is a member of the Colorado and Denver bar associations and is a frequent presenter at the Annual Institute on Advising Nonprofit Organizations in Colorado. Cara was named to Colorado Super Lawyers® in 2014-2016 in the field of Nonprofit Law. Cara was also named to The Best Lawyers in America in 2015 and 2016 and was voted Best Non-Profit Lawyer in Colorado (The People’s Court Choice, Law Week Colorado, “Barrister’s Best 2010”).

Jill Maclay
MGMA (Medical Group Management Association)

Jill’s B&W 1

Jill Maclay is a Senior Account Manager–Organizational Membership at MGMA (Medical Group Management Association).  In her almost 9 years with MGMA, she has served several different roles providing top-notch member relations and service.  Her current role provides her the opportunity to engage with over 200 large healthcare accounts, and her goal is to keep those main contacts and members happy, engaging in benefits and resources, and ultimately renewing their membership year after year.  Her current renewal rate is over 95%.  She believes the driving force in continuing membership is through gaining trust and providing extraordinary service.

Dot Miller, CAE
The Solution

Dot Miller, CEO of the Solution, has been progressively active in association, business, and operations management since 2002. She holds a Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential and currently serves on the board of directors of Blues & BBQ for Better Housing, Jefferson County Business Education Alliance (JCBEA), Arvada Colts and the Mapleton Education Foundation. She has received several awards and recognitions, including the Denver Post’s “20 Up and Coming Women – Tomorrow’s Most Influential Leaders”, Denver’s “Forty Under 40”, and the Colorado Association of Commerce & Industry’s “CEO of the Year”.

Melanie Penoyar-Perez, CAE
Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration, Inc.

Melanie Penoyar-Perez is Director of Operations for the Society of Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration. Prior to joining SME, she served in membership management capacities at the American Water Works Association. A 20-year association professional she is skilled in strategic planning and facilitation, membership and product development, marketing and sales and staff development.


Tracy Petrillo, EdD, CAE
Construction Specifications Institute

Tracy Petrillo serves as Chief Learning Officer for the Construction Specifications Institute. Dr. Petrillo is the former CEO for the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine, a start-up interprofessional medical society, and, the former Chief Learning Officer for EDUCAUSE serving higher education IT. Tracy is a thought leader in adult learning, digital credentialing, educational technologies, and leadership development. She is the past-chair and current member of the ASAE CAE Commission. She was awarded the highest national ASAE honor, the 2016 Professional Performance Award and was named a Changemaker by MeetingsNet magazine. Tracy’s articles have appeared in CalSAE’s, The Executive, the Institute for Credentialing Excellence, ICE Digest, and on LinkedIn. Tracy has served on ASAE Meetings Council, Professional Development Council and Chaired the Assessments Task Force. She won a Gold Circle Award for her organization’s pioneering work on digital badging and credentialing. She speaks nationally to nonprofit, medical, corporate and higher education audiences and advises on educational strategies that achieve agile, impactful workforces and create member value.

Marisa Pooley, APR
Colorado AIA

Marisa Pooley, APR, is the marketing and communications manager for The American Institute of Architects Colorado. In her role, Pooley oversees all facets of marketing, communications and public relations for the statewide organization. Previously, Pooley managed strategic communications for the Boettcher Foundation where she helped the $300 million-endowed foundation launch its first communications department in 75 years. She also has experience in the wine and tourism industries from her time as a public relations consultant for Montevibiano—the first zero-emissions vineyard—in Perugia, Italy.

Pooley has served on a variety of boards and committees, including as a member of the 2019-2020 PRSA Colorado Board of Directors; the media relations chair for the Lupus Foundation Colorado Walk to End Lupus; the at-large director for AIA Denver; and a member of the 2015 Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation’s Impact Denver class. She also earned her Accreditation in Public Relations—a designation held by less than 100 people in Colorado.

Charles Popper
The Wyman Company

Charles, President of the Wyman Company, has more than 20 years of experience working with hundreds of trade and professional associations to help them optimize their revenue generation, publishing and communication efforts. He started his career with lots of cold calling as an individual contributor and progressed into executive management roles, building and leading successful teams and organizations, before starting The Wyman Company.


James Pray, MCP

James Pray is the Vice President of Operations and Service Management at initial.IT. James has been working in IT for nearly 20 years and has spent most of that time working with companies that specialize in the sales, training and use of Autodesk products.


Gabriel Revnew

Gabriel Revnew, a nonprofit consultant with Trinet, started his career with the AroundCampus Group where he recruited, hired, and trained of 600+ College Students in 12-week sales and marketing internship. After mentoring his collegiate teams, Gabe began helping colleges and universities across the nation develop parent and family programs to better engaged parents in their students’ collegiate career. At Trinet, he helps Nonprofits reduce their operational and administrative costs so that they can focus on their mission and vision.

Adrienne Segundo, IOM
Limitless Association Solution Resource

Adrienne Segundo is Chief Operating Officer and Chairman of Limitless Association Solution Resource, her Littleton, Colorado-based credentialing management company. She has more than 18 years of experience in the association industry. Before launching Limitless, she served as director of credentialing and operations for the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. Adrienne has extensive experience in exam development, ANSI ISO 17024 accreditation, NCCA accreditation, and advanced credentialing and marketing of credentials.

She is a 2016 award winner for “Young and Aspiring Professional,” from Association Trends, Chair of the Professional Development committee for the Colorado Society of Association Executives (CSAE), committee member for the American Society of Association Executives(ASAE) Professional Development Section Council, and a committee member for the Florida Society of Association Executives (FSAE) Education committee.

She is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organization Management program and holds the credentialing specialist certification from the Institute for Credentialing Excellence.

Jack Smith, MCP

Jack Smith is the President and CEO of initial.IT.  His technical background began in engineering as a mechanical and plumbing designer for local Denver design firms.  Eventually, focusing on IT became a passion and lead him to a career transition as an IT consultant for the building design industry.  In 2001 he co-founded initial.IT and began servicing many of Denver’s top design firms.

Sarah Smith
Colorado Cattlemen’s Association

Sarah Smith is the Marketing and Communications Director at Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), where she has worked for over four years. Sarah joined the CCA staff as the Events Coordinator, and after a staff realignment, also took ownership of the Communications Department. Prior to CCA, Sarah worked for Colorado Rural Electric Association (CREA), where she wore many hats; including event coordination, communications efforts, and assisting CREA’s staff and Board of Directors. At CCA, Sarah produces the Cattle Guard magazine—writing articles and working with advertisers to create the quarterly publication that provides in-depth coverage of the issues affecting Colorado beef producers and Colorado’s agricultural industry. She also writes news releases, member communications and works alongside CCA staff to build the Association’s digital media presence.

Melanie Spring

Melanie Spring, your approachable badass & storyteller, is a brand storyteller, international keynote speaker, and speaker trainer with a drive to make sure you become unforgettable. Melanie is one of those people who can walk into a room and light it up. She’ll make you want to be her best friend, yet when she gets to know enough of your story, she’ll find the perfect way to push you outside of your box. Her personal brand is Approachable Badass and when you meet her, you’ll know why it fits her so well. She even got out of her own box when she went on a 7,000-mile road trip collecting stories on how companies lived their brand. The Live Your Brand Tour was published in Entrepreneur Magazine, where she earned her title as a veteran brand strategist.

Jim Thompson, IOM, CAE

Jim Thompson is Vice President of Association Management and Strategic Development with CHMS, an association management company based in Raleigh, NC. In this role, Thompson serves as the Executive Director for the National Association of 4-H Agents and the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering, oversees the staff that manage CHMS’s 18 other clients, and is responsible for business development. Previously he served as Executive Director of the Association Executives of North Carolina, where he helped the organization grow its membership by over 50%, saw retention increase to nearly 98%. He was the Director of Business Development for the NC Association of REALTORS® in Greensboro, a position he helped establish after his first year of employment with NCAR. Thompson also served as chair of the town of Wake Forest’s Recreation Advisory Board and was elected in 2013 as a Wake Forest Town Commissioner and served for two years as Mayor Pro-tem. He is a regular contributor to and administrator of the Facebook site “Healthy by Association”,  an online network of association high achievers collectively striving to prioritize self-care and seek more balance in their daily lives.

Dean West, FASAE
Association Laboratory Inc.

Dean West is the founder and President of Association Laboratory Inc. He has experience as executive director, chief operating officer, and chief financial officer for both national and international membership organizations, A nationally recognized expert in association management, he is a Fellow of the American Society of Association Executives. Mr. West authored the chapter on Membership Research for the ASAE book, Membership Essentials and the chapter on Marketing Professional Development Programs in the ASAE book, Core Competencies in Professional Development. He is Past Chairman of ASAE’s Professional Development Council and has served on the ASAE Membership Council and the Editorial Board for the ASAE & the Center for Association Leadership Journal of Association Leadership. He is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Association Forum of Chicagoland.

Andre van Hall
The van Hall Company, LLC

As a “5-star” executive, André van Hall has held extensive and varied positions at luxury hotels worldwide, including The Historic Ritz Paris. (He speaks English, Dutch, French, German, and Spanish.) Career highlights include orchestrating the opening of several new, flagship hotels as well as driving significant improvements to revenue, profit, customer service, and employee retention. Thanks to his innate curiosity, André was able to quickly adapt to sudden and life-changing sight loss. His inquisitive nature led him to adjust to an entirely new lifestyle.

Marilee Yorchak, CAE
Digital Analytics Association

Marilee Yorchak is the Executive Director of the Digital Analytics Association, a 5,000 member global association.  She was previously the Executive Director of the Colorado chapter of the Business Marketing Association. Marilee has a BS in Marketing from University of Colorado-Boulder and an MBA from New Mexico State University.  She has held the CAE designation since 2014, and is the co-chair of the CSAE Executive Memo.


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