Third annual CEO Update awards program recognized trade association and professional society CEOs of the year, and association lobbyist of the year
From left, Trade Association CEO of the Year Steve Anderson, Professional Society CEO of the Year Christine McEntee and Association Lobbyist of the Year Aric Newhouse.
Sept. 22, 2016
By William Ehart
Nearly 450 members of the association community gathered Thursday to honor the winners of CEO Update’s 2016 Association Leadership Awards. The awards recognize leaders for their impact on their organizations, industries and the association community.
The third annual ALA luncheon was held at the new luxury Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.—one of the first events in the newly renovated Old Post Office.
The honorees, as previously announced, were:
- Trade Association CEO of the Year: Steve Anderson of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (presented by Edison Electric Institute President Tom Kuhn);
- Professional Association CEO of the Year: Christine McEntee, American Geophysical Union (presented by her son Brendan McEntee, director of quality and science at the American Society of Addiction Medicine);
- Association Lobbyist of the Year: Aric Newhouse, senior vice president of policy and government relations at the National Association of Manufacturers (presented by Jade West of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors).
Emcees of the event were Jack Gerard, CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, and Leslie Sarasin, CEO of the Food Marketing Institute.
Kuhn—who first met Anderson more than 35 years ago when the latter worked for former Rep. John Anderson—asked the NACDS leader how he encourages honest feedback and occasional dissent from his staff.
Anderson cited the book “Good to Great,” by Jim Collins, who said team-building is about “getting the right people on the bus.” But he went a step further.
“We want everybody on our team to actually be in the driver’s seat of that bus,” Anderson said.
NACDS, under Anderson, allocates funds for the professional development of staff.
Anderson, who referred to himself as a “radical associationist,” said, “I want people to stay in the association community and to work hard and advance their careers,” while adding that allowing staff to make time for their families also is critical.
“I tell them that if you want to be a CEO, we’ll help you through that and we’ll give you the tools to be successful,” he said. Anderson encourages staff to earn their CAEs from ASAE and the IOM designation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
McEntee was the first female CEO of several large associations, including her current group. She told her son and the audience that she never thought about being a trailblazer when she took the jobs, but later realized how powerful it was for others to have a role model.
"For me this award is to reinforce (that) talent is everywhere,” McEntee said. “We have to accept all kinds of viewpoints, all kinds of backgrounds. You can’t have the kind of discriminatory rhetoric we’re hearing out in the country in a lot of different ways.”
When McEntee told the audience she hoped they would all advance diversity and inclusion in the association world, the crowd spontaneously applauded.
West asked Newhouse about the most important quality for a lobbyist, and he said credibility.
“You have to be a trusted voice,” he said. “You have to stay true to yourself and to your association’s mission.”
Interview with Aric Newhouse, National Association of Manufacturers
See more videos from the Association Leadership Awards