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2017 Association Leadership Awards

Susan Neely, Steve Lieber, Jerry Giovaniello honored this year; ‘three individuals who have transformed their organizations’

Neely, Lieber and Giovanelli

From left: Neely, Lieber and Giovaniello

March 17, 2017

CEO Update has announced the honorees in the 2017 Association Leadership Awards:

  • Trade Association CEO of the Year–Susan Neely, American Beverage Association
  • Professional Society CEO of the Year–H. Stephen Lieber, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society
  • Association Lobbyist of the Year–Jerry Giovaniello, National Association of Realtors

The three executives will receive their awards at a luncheon to be held Sept. 21 at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C. To attend, visit

Chosen by an independent panel of association experts, the three come from nominations submitted to CEO Update in late 2016 in response to a call to the association sector for candidates. The online nomination process generated submissions keyed to clearly defined association leadership criteria. Nominees were forwarded to the panel, which made the selection.

Association attorney Art Herold, selection panel chair, said, “The job of the 15-member selection committee was not easy, because there were many qualified association leaders put forward. However, this year’s winners are worthy representatives of the best in our association sector, as three individuals who have transformed their organizations and contributed to the communities in which they live.”

Members of the panel, convened by CEO Update, represent the breadth of the association experience and were equipped with many decades of experience to assist them in choosing this slate of honorees.

In addition to Herold, partner at Webster, Chamberlain & Bean, the panel included:

  •   Ivan Adler, principal, The McCormick Group
  •   Peter Cressy, former president and CEO, Distilled Spirits Council
  •   Marv Fertel, former president and CEO, Nuclear Energy Institute
  •   John Graham, president and CEO, ASAE
  •   Julian Ha, practice leader, Heidrick & Struggles
  •   Karen Hackett, outgoing CEO, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  •   Leslie Hortum, managing partner, Washington D.C., Spencer Stuart
  •   Lorraine Lavet, association sector leader, Korn Ferry
  •   Arlene Pietranton, CEO, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  •   David Rehr, senior associate dean and professor of law, George Mason University
  •   Ernie Rosenberg, president emeritus and adviser, American Cleaning Institute
  •   Jeff Tenenbaum, partner and chair of the Nonprofit Organizations Practice, Venable
  •   Stephanie Tomasso, association practice leader, Russell Reynolds Associates
  •   Jim Zaniello, president, Vetted Solutions

The Association Leadership Awards program, now in its fourth year, was designed as a best practice spotlight on CEOs and lobbyists in the association sector. The awards process is a complement to the continual work of CEO Update, which functions as a communication hub for its members, in print, online and in person.