Work/Life: How Do You “Walk the Talk” in Your Career?

We asked Association Forum’s Publications Working Group how they “Walk the Talk” in regards to their careers. Read on for their answers!

By About the Author

FORUM Post Header (21)

Honors GalaTM 2024 is right around the corner! This year’s theme is “Walk the Talk” because we think the honorees do just that. The theme is also a nod to the return of our sneaker ball format. We asked Association Forum’s incoming Publications Working Group how they “walk the talk” in their career. Below are their answers.

“Like many of you reading this, I have been tremendously privileged to work with and learn from many intelligent, generous, and interesting people in this profession. I try to ‘pay it forward’ by connecting association professionals with people and resources that can advance their careers and help them find their best fit. More formally, our association recently launched a leadership and skills development program for our members who are association professionals but are not in the position of chief staff executives. The goal is to develop, support, and empower these early career association professionals so they can reach their full potential in our profession.”

Adrian Hochstadt, JD, CAE,
CEO, Veterinary Medical Association Executives (VMAE)

“Accountability is the best way to build trust in any relationship—do what you say, communicate immediately when you can’t, own up to mistakes and come to the table with solutions, and always listen and be empathetic to everyone around you.”

Jeanne Sheehy, 
Chief Marketing Officer, Bostrom

“I ‘walk the talk’ by being honest about what I can and can’t do. Although I am the CEO, I don’t pretend to be an expert at everything. I am the first to say when I need help. I am also willing to do every job function in my workplace. Nothing is ‘beneath me.’”


Candice Warltier
CEO, CS-Effect

“I ‘walk the talk’ by creating a learning environment for myself and my team. Embracing the adage that you’re never too old to learn keeps me in a growth mindset, learning about AI and earning my MBA in my 50’s. At times, it takes convincing, but I believe in encouraging my team to automate processes to increase quality and decrease time. This also increases innovation and breaks down silos by inviting feedback and brainstorming.”

Alison Powers
Manager, Chapter and District Programs, American Academy of Pediatrics


“I ‘walk the talk’ by creating change through establishing manageable goals. Whether it’s setting up a new process in your role or pursuing your next degree or certificate, when you break growth opportunities down into manageable, bitesized pieces, you take a step in the direction of your next accomplishment.”

Margaret Wolfe
Marketing Manager, DRI


“The many volunteers I’ve worked with throughout the years have inspired me to do more and give back, so I make it a priority to volunteer within my company and community.”

Heidi Lapka
Account Executive, Bostrom

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.

Related Articles

work life balance concept

Work/Life: How Do You Create Balance in Your Work & Life?

We asked association professionals how they create work/life balance while juggling the demands of a...

Hands holding a small brown slip of paper that reads "One Idea Can Change the World"

Work/Life: What’s One Idea That Changed Your World?

We asked association professionals which idea changed their world.

how did you find association industry

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...