Donté Shannon and Irving Washington share their insights and supportive friendship, demonstrating the value of building your support network, taking care of yourself and your relationships, and looking to the future.
“It really helped me to reframe that lens, that taking care of myself, I really am taking care of the organization.”
Donté Shannon is chief executive officer (CEO) of the Association for Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) and also serves as an account executive at AMPED Association Management. Prior to this, Donté was the executive director/CEO of the Specialty Advertising Association of California, a state-based trade association representing a $3 billion industry and 5,600 companies. His experience and leadership are diverse; having worked with stand-alone, large, small, state, and national associations as well as association management companies. His transition to AEMP allowed him to maximize his skills in organizational oversight, operational efficiency, strategy management, staff development, governance, and industry advocacy.
Donté also is a devoted professional and recognized influencer in the association community. He is frequently an invited speaker at conferences and currently serves as the 2019-2020 chair of the Certified Association Executive (CAE) Commission, the governing body of the CAE credential. His career highlights include being selected as a 2015 Forty Under 40® honoree by Association Forum of Chicagoland and a 2011-2013 Diversity Education Leadership Program (DELP) Scholar by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).
What are the most useful resources you’ve found to help your professional development (i.e. books, courses, trainings, assessments, magazines, thought leaders, etc.)?
Any of the study books for the CAE exam. I had a better understanding of the executive perspective of association management after reading Best Practices in Association Management and the Association Law Handbook.
What is your favorite aspect of the association management field?
The impact associations have on industries, professions, and communities each day
The best advice you’ve ever received?
Keep constant watch of your personal brand and reputation. They take years to build and only seconds to ruin.
“I prioritize experiences and relationships, and they now have regular appointments on my calendar”
Irving Washington is executive director for the Online News Association (ONA), the world’s largest membership organization of digital journalists. As a media diversity advocate, Irving has managed programming and fundraising initiatives for journalists, media professionals, and students worldwide. Before joining ONA, Irving worked for the National Association of Black Journalists and the Radio-Television Digital News Association. In 2014, he earned the designation of Certified Association Executive (CAE) by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). He also is a member of ASAE’s Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP), is a Punch Sulzberger Executive Leadership Fellow, and serves on the Journalism Alumni Society Board of Directors of his alma mater, Ball State University, from which he received a degree in journalism.