"It's the hardest decision I have ever made," says Elissa Matulis Myers, CAE, referring to her resignation as vice president and publisher with the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).
No wonder Myers found the decision so difficult--she has never changed jobs before. She joined ASAE just two months after graduating from college in 1972, as an editorial assistant for Association Management. During her rise to senior management, she not only became the youngest person to earn the CAE designation, she created a number of innovative programs including the Research and Information Services Department. She also initiated a series of summits for female CEOs, an accomplishment of which she says she is particularly proud.
What offer lured away Myers? She has been named CEO and president of NIMA International (National InfomercialAssociation), a seven-year-old trade association in Washington, DC, that promotes the electronic retailing industry--a field facing explosive growth. "How are we going to merge the power of television and video with the efficiency and self-directed purchasing power of the Internet?" Myers asks. "The challenge is so exciting I am just beside myself."
Myers, who began her new job on November 10 and ran her first membership meeting December 1 to 5 in Tokyo, says with a laugh that she hit the deck not running, but racing. Already she has scheduled a technology summit May 1 to 3 to bring together CEOs of major national associations that represent various aspects of technology in order to help them network. "People say the number-one reason they join associations is to network," Myers says. "But they need help networking, more help than being dumped in a common cocktail reception."
George E. Moffat is now publisher of Association Management. Moffat has been with ASAE for seven years, most recently as advertising director and associate publisher.
As for Myers, she is not leaving ASAE behind completely. "I intend to be a passionate and very involved," she says, "full of member opinion."