Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE, current president and CEO of the Chicago-based Association Forum, will become ASAE’s next president and CEO effective September 1. She succeeds Susan Robertson, CAE, who was appointed to the position during the illness and subsequent death of long-time ASAE leader John Graham IV.
She returns to ASAE where she was vice president of strategic and future focused research. She had been with ASAE from 1998 to 2006.
“After a thorough and extensive search process, the board of directors has voted unanimously to name Michelle Mason as its next president and CEO. Throughout her career, Michelle has demonstrated a commitment to the association community and ASAE, and a proven ability to drive alignment and results in a complex, multi-stakeholder environment,” said Stephen J. Caldeira, ASAE Board Chair and Co-Chair of the Search Committee.
“I am honored to build upon the successful foundation at ASAE. I look forward to collaborating with a dynamic board of directors and a dedicated staff team as we create an accessible, inclusive, and transformational community for members and industry. A heartfelt thank you to Susan Robertson for her leadership and paving the way for women in the industry,” said Mason.
Robertson, the first woman to lead ASAE as president and CEO in its 100-year history, has been serving on an 18-month contract since March 2020. She had previously served as executive vice president of ASAE and president of the ASAE Research Foundation.
“The ASAE community owes Susan a debt of gratitude for navigating the organization following the unfortunate death of longtime President and CEO John Graham IV, FASAE, CAE in January 2020 and COVID-19. Susan has served with distinction for over 20 years, and she helped the organization to shepherd all Centennial-related activities and a new strategic plan. We wish her all the very best, moving forward,” said Caldeira.
Mason led the Association Forum, founded in 1916 and now with nearly 4,000 members. The members represent more than 44,000 association professionals from nearly 1,600 Chicago associations. The organizations serve 27 million individual members, have 9 million donors and generate $10.3 billion annually in economic impact. She provides strategic leadership, fiscal responsibility, and successful delivery of member value.
Prior to Association Forum, Mason was a managing director at the American Society for Quality (ASQ). In this role, she concentrated on business development, membership, component relations, innovation, advocacy, social responsibility, and process improvement efforts.
Mason is a Certified Association Executive (CAE), Six Sigma Champion, and a Certified Quality Improvement Associate (CQIA). She is an ASAE Fellow (FASAE) and an Aspen Institute Ideas Fellow. Mason also completed the SmithBucklin Leadership Institute.