Association Forum of Chicagoland Names President and CEO Michelle Mason

August 19, 2014

Association Forum of Chicagoland's Board of Directors has selected Michelle Mason, CAE, FASAE, as the organization's new President and CEO. Mason will assume responsibilities Sept. 15, succeeding Christie A. Tarantino, FASAE, CAE, who stepped down in March to join the Institute of Food Technologists.

Mason has been the managing director, Strategic Developments and Innovation, at the American Society for Quality, a global community of people dedicated to quality who share ideas, tools and best practices, since 2006. ASQ has an annual budget of $42M, which includes two subsidiaries, two sister companies and 75,000 members globally across 22 industry units.

At ASQ, Mason provided leadership to general operations and strategic direction of the organization. Her responsibilities included outlining the strategy to refocus work processes and systems to align with key business objectives, designing new products for implementation across the global market share; monitoring social responsibility and sustainability of operations; conceptualizing new content on emerging topics impacting quality and social responsibility; developing impactful collaborations with Fortune 100 companies; directing public policy initiatives; managing oversight of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award administration contract; and implementing system-wide IT upgrades and integration and leading ASQ's diversity and inclusion efforts.

Frederick H. Grubbe, MBA, CAE, CEO of the Appraisal Institute, and chair of Association Forum's Board of Directors, stated, "We're very pleased with the momentum and strategic transformation we've started to build over the last 18 months and we are extremely confident that Michelle has the perfect leadership style and vision to help the Forum become even more innovative, while responding to our members' needs." 

Grubbe added, "In today's ever-changing landscape, it's essential for leaders to have the willingness and capability to tackle change-management head-on. We believe that Michelle is exceptionally well-equipped to do just that."

Prior to joining ASQ, Mason served as the vice president of Strategic and Future-Focused Research, at ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership for eight years. There, she oversaw a comprehensive research program, funded through an endowment focused on future trending models and business strategies developed for the non-profit sector.

Mason's numerous accomplishments at ASAE include launching a successful web-cast series featuring internationally recognized business leaders; capturing more than $1M in gross revenue by development of "7 Measures of Success: What Remarkable Associations Do That Others Don't (2006)" and providing thought leadership and direction to other popular products such as ASAE's environmental scan series and State of Community Assessments.

During her years as an Association Forum member, her contributions included chairing the organization's Diversity and Inclusion Committee. 

"I'm pleased to have this unique opportunity to lead an organization where I have direct experience as a consumer of the many benefits they provide,” Mason said.

She added, “It's really very exciting to know that I will be able to make significant and meaningful contributions in an industry that I'm already so passionate about. I'm also really looking forward to taking on the challenge of helping the organization and the association management profession, in general, transition and build the association model of the future."


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