SmithBucklin Executive Vice President Michael S. Olson, CAE, has announced that he will retire from his position in the Chicago-based association management company in December 2007. Olson, who works in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office, is announcing his retirement a year and a half ahead of time to allow a smooth transition of his client management and business development responsibilities. Since the company is employee-owned, he will be continuing as an owner after retirement. Olson has been with SmithBucklin since January 2004.
He previously served a five-year stint as president and CEO of the American Society of Association Executives. Concurrently, he also headed up the ASAE Foundation, which forecasts and analyzes trends that affect associations, and ASAE Services Inc., which offers member benefit programs in areas such as financial services and insurance to associations and their members.
While he may be retiring from the office environment, he has no plans to exit the association business. “After 42 years in association management, I think it’s time to give back,” says Olson of his retirement plans. At the top of his list ofprojects is “working with developing associations overseas in countries where associations are only now beginning to be recognized by their governments and are only beginning to realize their potential for influencing social and economic policy in their country. I’ve done some work with associations in Vietnam, Egypt, and Montenegro over the past five or six years, and I’d like to volunteer to help these groups in every way I can.”