In Pursuit of Excellence…

As indicated in my introduction blog, I have a deep passion for the field of Association Management. I have worked in the non profit arena for more than 16 years, but as a life long learner, I believe that there is still so much more knowledge to be gained. Specifically, I want to learn as much about my field of choice, as possible.

As a result, last year I set out to become a Certified Association Executive (CAE). The CAE is the highest professional credential in the association industry. The ASAE & the Center for Association Leadership states that less than five (5%) of all association professionals have earned the CAE. Hence, this is a big deal.

To be designated as a CAE, an applicant must have a minimum of 100 hours of specialized professional development, pass a stringent exam in association management, and pledge to uphold a code of ethics. More than 3,600 association professionals currently hold the CAE credential. 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the CAE program.

Outlined below are select resources that I utilized to prepare for the CAE Exam:

1. Categories
a. Associations to Join
b. Core Competencies
c. Conferences & Workshops
d. Books Read
2. Associations to Join
a. ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership –
3. Core Competencies – Domains Studied
a. Strategic Management
b. Planning and Research
c. Leadership
d. Administration
e. Knowledge Management
f. Governance and Structure
g. Public Policy and Government & External Relations
h. Membership
i. Programs, Products and Services
j. Public Relations and External Communications
4. Conferences & Workshops
a. ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership – 2010 Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA, August 21-24
b. Many Non Profit related Workshops offered by the United Way of Westchester and Putnam – White Plains, NY
c. Non Profit Leadership Summit – Tarrytown, NY
5. Books Read
a. Cox, John B., ed. Professional Practices in Association. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: American Society of Association Executives, 2007.
b. Emstthal, Henry L. Principles of Association Management. 4th ed. Washington, DC: American Society of Association Executives, 2001.
c. Tecker, Glenn H., Kermit M. Eide, and Jean S. Frankel. Building a Knowledge-Based Culture. Washington, DC: American Society of Association Executives, 1997.

If you are considering a career in association management, or simply in further developing your personal pathway to professionalism, preparing for the CAE Exam is an excellent tactic. There are many valuable benefits from joining the 3,600+ CAE’s, such as:

• More knowledge and professional opportunities: 70% of CAE test takers report enhanced knowledge, and improved advancement opportunities.
• Widespread value and recognition: particularity among your board members, committee chairs, partners, supporters, members, and those involved in hiring nonprofit professionals.
• Opened doors and new connections: through a wide range of CAE-only events and increased volunteer leadership opportunities through ASAE & the Center for Association Leadership and local, state, and regional association professional societies.

I hope that this post has sparked your interest in becoming a CAE, or a least provided you with an explanation as to why I am so proud to have achieved the designation.


Filed under Association Management, Certified Association Executive, Leadership, Management

2 responses to “In Pursuit of Excellence…

  1. Best wishes for success on your CAE journey!

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