Work/Life: How Did You Find Your Way to the Association Industry?

Most of us are accidental association professionals. Find out how two women landed in this field!

By About the Author

how did you find association industry

Many associations professionals love what they do, but many of us are also accidental association professionals. You may have been working in another field or at a for-profit when a job opening popped up at an association. Not only did you learn that skills transfer amazingly well to this profession, but also that the work is rewarding and meaningful. Or maybe you had a completely different path to your current association…that’s why we asked! Read on to see where some of your peers came from and how they found this wonderful profession.

“I came from the corporate side with an accounting and legal administrative background. In 2007, I wanted a change of pace and applied for a membership position with the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) in Washington state. I had the opportunity to work with aspiring golfers on their way to obtaining their PGA status. Helping young professionals reach their dream was rewarding and inspiring.

Moving from the Pacific Northwest, I learned that association experience is an asset and I was able to take my skills to trade organizations, and now medical societies.

I have worked with many fantastic members and colleagues throughout my years making lifelong friends. I plan to remain in the association industry offering my best to member volunteers working together to accomplish their goals to better serve communities, professionals and their respective industries.”

Jacqueline Luna-Montes
Manager, Membership and Global Programs
Society of Surgical Oncology

“I was a global marketing director for a software company and our VP of Engineering was a member of the Society of Women Engineers. She used to take me to meetings, and I was amazed by what they did and I loved being around these incredible women. She was then recruited to be their CEO and Bostrom managed them. She brought me to Bostrom and two years later I became a partner there working on multiple associations and haven’t looked back since!”

Jeanne Sheehy, MBA
Chief Marketing Officer


About the Author

The mission of Association Forum is to advance the professional practice of association management. Founded in 1916, Association Forum serves 3,000 association professionals whose efforts serve more than 27 million members and generate $10 billion in global annual expenditures. Visit for more information.

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