Tina Wehmeir
President & CEO, AMC Institute

Why do you invest your time & effort in association work?

Having spent thirteen formative years of my life in developing countries I am passionate about the work of associations.

The celebration of our common humanity, a commitment to education, and the advancement of association missions is at the heart of what we do as association leaders. We enrich lives and drive economic growth through the power of the associations we fuel worldwide. Heading up the efforts of AMC Institute provides me with the opportunity to aid in this good work and this contribution is even more critical now than ever before.

Today and always, it is important to shape our decisions with compassion for others, by drawing on the wisdom of those around us and humbly leading our associations forward to the best of our abilities in turn allowing great, world-changing work to be accomplished.

I can think of no greater role or industry to be involved in to help accomplish these amazing efforts.

What are the top three success factors of impactful association work?

To effect change is one of the greatest responsibilities in leading an association. You must ensure the association is staying relevant in an ever-changing world. Change is often difficult for associations but so critically important.

Our stewardship as association leaders is crucial so that our organisations can continue their great work. We see and feel the considerable change that is currently occurring around us, and this change results in much uncertainty, as well as the promise of a new normal.

In contrast to other sectors, associations are purpose-driven which gives us an advantage that we must cherish, embrace and allow the efforts of the association to speak for itself. It is truly one of the biggest differentiators between what we do and other sectors and makes associations unique and inspiring.

What should we #ChooseToChallenge when it comes to association work?

As one of the few women who leads a global trade association, I believe there is an immense opportunity for change with regard to equity in leadership.

Associations are slow to hire women in senior roles and compensation is not always equal. This is not an exclusive matter for associations, the professional environment is rife with this issue.

However, as associations are such wonderful examples of purpose-driven work, I believe we can choose to challenge this disparity. We can lean in to embrace the true transformation that would position us once again as leaders in driving critical change for the greater good of all.

How is the association sector dealing with diversity and inclusion? Has it changed?

This is a huge area of passion for me. I currently volunteer and co-chair the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (E,D,I) Task Force for a global organisation.

There is a tremendous need for developing a meaningful action plan for accelerating equity, diversity, and inclusion in the association arena. Organisations realize that by taking concrete action to overcome E,D,I they will create meaningful change that powers the growth and furthers their missions, in addition to more fairly including previously marginalized stakeholders.

To move beyond statements and infuse a new perspective throughout an association, one must approach the workforce, mission, and vision, and the board of directors through an E,D, I lens. Combatting the issues will enable the association to increase productivity and revenue as well.

As the association responds to the world’s great awakening concerning social justice, I believe an essential first step is to examine your mission and vision. The entire purpose and direction of the organisation must embrace equity, diversity, and inclusion at its core in order to move forward with action.