AAFA's Burke named ‘Top CEO’

AAFA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke was named a “top executive” by the C-level publication CEO Update.

Assembling a list of top association and nonprofit CEOs could be easy—or difficult—depending on approach. Easy since, in the association community, there is a go-to list of usual suspects, familiar names who are fixtures, either in their own right or by virtue of their group’s prominence.

Difficult if the goal is to stretch beyond those and avoid arbitrary choices.

As part of the research for this special report, CEO Update consulted the experts—CEOs themselves—to identify these leaders, asking peers who they think has made top marks.

They were asked to consider these factors:

• Legislative success
• Leadership ability
• Skill in raising a group’s profile or managing a crisis
• History of building coalitions and reaching consensus
• Membership excellence in areas such as meetings, education, certification

Hundreds of CEOs were surveyed, many of whom responded with nominations—some predictable and some surprising. Input was sought from executive recruiters, those who know the current crop of leaders well. Finally, CEO Update staff tapped into its own expertise, developed in more than 20 years of covering association executives.

The resulting nominations were an interesting mix. Association professionals whose careers are legendary and others less well known came to the fore. Nominees included industry stalwarts and turnaround specialists. Some CEOs are clearly better at promoting themselves than others. Some have been thrust into public view by circumstances or current issues.



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