Everything I Need To Know About Being An Association Executive I Learned From My Brother with Autism
At the recent Great Ideas Conference by the American Society of Association Executives, I was asked to give an Ignite presentation. This is a 5 minute presentation with 20 slides in a PowerPoint, on a timer so that each slide is up for 15 seconds. I decided to present an idea I’ve been nurturing for 20 years, since I’ve been in graduate school. This idea is about the lessons that I’ve learned from Omar. Below is my result.
As you can see, this is a testament to my brother. What I loved about this presentation was the opportunity to merge my two worlds, the autism world and the associations world. I am grateful to ASAE for the opportunity to give this presentation and share my affection and admiration of my brother.
If you had told me 20 years ago that I would one day work at the American Psychological Association, I would have laughed and said, “No way!” I was committed to one day working as a mental health provider. But after 8 years as Associate Executive Director of APAGS, I can say that this is a job that I have relished. Who knew?
Developing the APAGS Strategic Plan with the APAGS Committee, Washington, DC, 2012.
How did I get to APA as a staff member? Primarily, it was because I got involved. I served 4 years on the APAGS Committee as Member at Large and Chair of the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns. I also was the student representative on the Ethics Code Task Force, revising the APA Ethics Code. After 4 years as a student leader, I took some time off from APA while I started my dream job in a department of pediatrics at a county hospital. I returned to APA leadership a few years later as a founding member of the Committee on Early Career Psychologists, followed by a term on the Board of Professional Affairs (BPA). It was halfway through my term on BPA that the AED position opened up at APAGS. My leadership experience at APA and other organizations (primarily Ohio Psychological Association and the Society of Pediatric Psychology) opened up the doors. Continue reading →