The American Society of Association Executives has changed its name back to ASAE, dropping The Center for Association Leadership from its official moniker. The organization will be known as ASAE, with the tagline, “The Center for Association Leadership.”

Since the 2004 merger between ASAE, the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives, and The Center for Association Leadership, ASAE had been known as ASAE and The Center for Association Leadership.

In 2008, ASAE re-examined its governance structure and named John Graham as president and chief executive officer of ASAE and The Center. Previously, Graham had been president and CEO of ASAE, while Susan Sarfati was president and CEO of The Center, the organization she launched in 2001 while at GWSAE. The restructuring came after Sarfati announced she was leaving the organization to join the American Program Bureau. ASAE also decided in 2008 to streamline the boards of the two organizations, announcing that the same people would populate the boards of ASAE and The Center.

It was announced on March 25 that the boards approved the name change back to ASAE based on the recommendation of a task force appointed by The Center board.

The Center will no longer exist as a separate entity with its own board. Instead, the ASAE board created a new entity, the ASAE Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that will have its own board and essentially replace The Center. The Center is being integrated into ASAE, officials said.

The ASAE Foundation existed as a fundraising entity of ASAE before the 2004 merger of GWSAE, The Center, and ASAE, when it was disbanded. While the new ASAE Foundation has the same name, it is not a reincarnation of the previous organization, said Jakub Konysz, ASAE spokesman. The ASAE Foundation’s tagline is “Advancing Association and Nonprofit Leadership.” It will support the organization’s mission in the areas of research, leadership, and innovation.

"The new name and the foundation will help us position what we do for the association and nonprofit community more effectively than we have in the past, and we also expect there will be less confusion about the mission of our organization with external audiences, who may not realize the tremendous impact of our sector,” said Velma Hart, CAE, chairman of the ASAE board and national finance director/chief financial officer at AMVETS National Headquarters.

“The task force and both boards believe that the name and the foundation will better position our organization for future opportunities,” said Robin Lokerman, CMM, chairman of The Center Board and CEO of Institutional Division at MCI Group. “This will also be a good opportunity for us to reach out to new groups as we’re expanding the reach of the association community."

Although the changes are effective immediately, the organization will continue operating under its current brand until ASAE’s annual meeting, August 21-24, 2010. In the coming months, ASAE staff will meet with Ogilvy PR Worldwide to craft strategy for integrating the changes into the existing brand and infrastructure.

For more information, read the letter from John Graham, CAE, CEO at ASAE, outlining the changes.

ASAE Realigns Under Graham

Sarfati’s Post-ASAE Plans

New Chapter for ASAE Begins