Work/Life: Why Do You Love Working for an Association?

What makes association management so special? Three association professionals share what they love about their jobs!

By About the Author

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Association management is special. Your friends and family may not fully understand what you do, but that’s ok. Many of us who work in this field are accidental association management professionals–we had no idea what we were getting into, but now we never want to leave! Sound familiar? 

We spoke to three association professionals about why they love doing the work they do. We’d love to hear what brought you to association management and why you love it. Head over to MyForum to introduce yourself and sound off with peers.

Why Do You Love Working for an Association?

“I started working at a call center in the late 90s that worked with associations. I immediately fell in love with the association community, the missions of each organization, the impact they have on the world, and the people. I have been hooked ever since! Through my work at Mighty Citizen, I have the honor of helping associations strengthen their branding, marketing, content, and websites to make more impact in the world. Over the years, I have achieved my CAE and currently sit on the ASAE Board.   

I am based in the DC Metro Area, and make it a point to head out to Chicago a few times a year. It’s such a great city! I am happy to connect while I am in town!I love connecting and at the beginning of the COVID lockdown, I started a morning coffee to create a touchpoint with the association community. That call is still going strong today! I am happy that even some Chicagoans join in! Let me know if you would like to join.”

Nicole Araujo, CAE
Client Engagement Director, Mighty Citizen

“Like many of you, I stumbled into association management by accident. Of course, I quickly realized I landed in a special place. Association professionals have a unique opportunity to make a positive difference in people’s lives and move society forward to a better place. For example, my organization’s mission is to support veterinary medicine. This means that our work supports those who bring joy and wellbeing to so many by keeping their beloved pets healthy and ensuring a safe food supply for all of us. Not too difficult to get motivated! One of the best things in working in associations for the past 30 years is the type of people our profession attracts: smart, caring, and interesting. I am grateful for the friends and colleagues I met through my association work. I have made life-long friends and truly value those relationships and special memories. I feel truly blessed to have spent my career as an association professional!”

Adrian Hochstadt, J.D., CAE
CEO, Veterinary Medical Association Executives

“I love association work for a lot of reasons, but one of the big ones is because I love community. Creating and fostering a tight-knit community where I have the privilege to watch members and volunteers grow their careers gives me so much energy. Associations showcase the power of our communities every day, and that’s an exciting thing to be a part of in a career!”

Nikki Palluzzi, CAE
Sr. Director, Member Services & Experience, National Association of Personal Financial Advisors


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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