Dena Wiggins, CEO, Natural Gas Supply Association
Hometown: Hobbsville, North Carolina
Favorite Vacation Spot: any beach… love the Outer Banks of NC
Power Lunch Spot: Equinox
In a sentence or two, what was your career path to becoming a CEO? I have been interested in law and policy for as long as I can remember but it wasn’t a straight-forward path to CEO. I worked in the non-profit world for a while, went to graduate school (and didn’t enjoy it) and then worked at a law firm before finally going to law school. I loved practicing law and before becoming CEO, NGSA was a long-time client. When my predecessor retired, I saw this position as a fantastic opportunity to pursue both of my life long interests.
As we head into 2018, what should be keeping Association CEOs up at night? As the head of an association focused on natural gas policy, the problems associated with siting pipeline infrastructure and the opposition we see to fossil fuels of all types are both matters of concern – and both keep me up at night!
Career advice you’d give to your 20 year old self? Network, network, network! Keep your eyes on the goals you set and make sure other people know about your goals and ambitions.
Steve Mister, CEO, Council for Responsible Nutrition
Hometown: Pocomoke City, MD
Favorite Vacation Spot: The Back Bowls at Vail, CO
Power Lunch Spot: Our office kitchen. When I’m not traveling, I like to catch up and connect with my staff.
In a sentence or two, what was your career path to becoming a CEO? It’s rare for someone to calculatedly plot a career in association management. I accumulated a master’s degree in communication, a law degree, a passion for government and politics, and an interest in consumer health issues, and somehow landed this dream job that requires all these skills plus a lot of business management acumen.
As we head into 2018, what should be keeping Association CEOs up at night?Disruption comes in many forms, and associations are not immune. Member company consolidation, competitive associations and for-profit businesses that pilfer members, technology that renders the expertise of associations less relevant, and even dissatisfaction of stakeholders that erupts into legislative or regulatory threats can arise overnight. Association CEOs need to be sure as we drive forward, that we’re not missing what’s happening in our blind spots.
Career advice you’d give to your 20 year old self? I’d tell myself to be open to career paths that you might not have even considered. Figure out what you love to do and what makes you want to get up each morning—then find a career that lets you do it, rather than convince yourself you need a certain position or employer because “that’s what you’re supposed to do.”
Jeff Morgan, CEO, Club Managers Association of America
Hometown: Northeastern Pennsylvania
Favorite Vacation Spot: Key West, Florida
Power Lunch Spot: Not Power, but am here often - Theismans in Old Town Alexandria
In a sentence or two, what was your career path to becoming a CEO? Like many in Associations, it wasn't planned to be an association executive. But after my first job in an association, I was hooked!
As we head into 2018, what should be keeping Association CEOs up at night? We are due for a stock market pull back. After the Great Recession of 2008, I fear it may cause panic.
Career advice you'd give to your 20 year old self? Network early, Network often and when someone does something for you a handwritten note will make you stand out!
Bill Carteaux, CEO, Plastics Industry Association
Hometown: Avilla, Indiana
Favorite Vacation Spot: Eden Rock in St. Barths
Power Lunch Spot: Mastros
In a sentence or two, what was your career path to becoming a CEO? Hard work and dedication to what I was doing, there is no replacement for this. I started at the bottom working in a factory, went to college and began my steps up the ladder as a Regional Sales Manager, General Manager, VP, EVP, President and then CEO of a global half billion dollar manufacturing company before coming over to the dark side as an association CEO almost 12 years ago.
As we head into 2018, what should be keeping Association CEOs up at night? The political dysfunction in DC.
Career advice you'd give to your 20 year old self? Never, ever, ever give up!
Corey Rosenbusch, CEO, Global Cold Chain Alliance
Hometown: Glen Rose, Texas
Favorite Vacation Spot: Any place that has a golf course
Power Lunch Spot: Hunting Creek
In a sentence or two, what was your career path to becoming a CEO? My background was in food and agriculture and my first career was in international development. When I moved back to the US from 3 years in Indonesia, I was hired to grow our international membership. I was hired as our associations #2 and was fortunate to be selected to step up as president and CEO.
As we head into 2018, what should be keeping Association CEOs up at night? Labor availability continues to me a major issue for our members and many other industries.
Career advice you’d give to your 20 year old self? Invest in relationships – with members, colleagues and personal. They pay huge dividends.