Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Fund To Honor John Graham

In celebration of the life and legacy of John H. Graham IV, FASAE, the board of directors of ASAE/The Center for Association Excellence has approved the creation of a diversity, equity, and inclusion fund established through the ASAE Research Foundation. The fund will remain partially restricted to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, which will allow resources from the fund to be allocated to any DEI program as needed, as guided by volunteers and determined by staff.

“John’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives throughout his career has made a lasting impact in the association community,” said ASAE Board Chair, Patricia V. Blake, FASAE, CAE, and CEO of the Heart Rhythm Society. “While we continue to mourn his passing, the establishment of this fund will ensure his passion for DEI will continue.”

ASAE’s board of directors has approved a cash distribution of $100,000 to commemorate Graham and ignite fundraising for the Fund. Additionally, the ASAE board has approved a match of all gifts at a 1:1 ratio. ASAE members, associations, industry partners, and friends who choose to honor Graham in this way can expect 100 percent of these funds to support the various diversity, equity, and inclusion programs of ASAE, according to a statement from the organization. 

“The decision of the ASAE Fellows and Past Chairs to establish this fund in John’s memory is a fitting tribute,” said Susan Robertson, CAE, Interim ASAE president and CEO. “His commitment to DEI will be reflected through the experiences of the next generation of association professionals who will benefit from the future programs this fund will help support.”

Graham died last month from cancer. He had been on leave from the organization for approximately six months. Graham led ASAE since Aug. 1, 2003 after 24 years at the American Diabetes Association (ADA). He served as CEO during his last 13 years at ADA, reorganizing it from 53 independent, separately incorporated affiliates into one national organization. During his tenure, ADA quadrupled in size, from $50 million to $200 in annual revenues.

During Graham’s ASAE tenure, the organization more than doubled membership and developed products and services to benefit association professionals and their partners.

For more information visit: asaecenter.org/johnhgrahamfund