TWG Salutes Association Excellence

Susan Neely, President & CEO of the American Beverage Association, is honored as the Association Executive of the Year at the AssociationTRENDS Salute to Excellence. Photo by Chuck Fazio

Association TRENDS online magazine celebrated outstanding association executives recently with its Salute to Association Excellence at the Capital Hilton. The Webster Group was honored to affirm our commitment to the association community by producing the February 20 event and sponsoring a table of some of our own favorite association executives and members.

Susan Neely, President & CEO of the American Beverage Association, was named Association Executive of the Year at the event, and described the “real joy” of association work – representing members that are often competitors, and very different in terms of size, goals and business models, yet coming to agreement on divisive issues time after time.

“If we can do it, others can too. Associations can be an example of how to overcome disagreements and get things done,” Ms. Neely told the audience of 400 association executives. “If people want to be part of solutions, consensus-building, and meaningful change, associations are one of the best places to do it.”

Scott Bedford is Chairman & CEO of Multiview, a company producing communications products including online buyer’s guides and newsletter services exclusive to the association community. He was honored as Association Partner of the Year for being “one of the most prolific revenue generators for associations.”

“Associations have learned to appreciate that technology is not something for the few, it permeates everything we do,” Mr. Bedford said in the run-up to the event. “As you reinforce the association’s position [on the web] it further cements the bond between associations and members and vendors. [It] helps maintain tradeshows, it drives enthusiasm for face-to-face.”

Scott Bedford is presented with the Association Partner of the Year Award at the AssociationTRENDS Salute to Excellence. Photo by Chuck Fazio

Association TRENDS Publisher Joel Poznansky hosted the event and presented the series of awards, including honors for Young & Aspiring Association Professionals, Leading Association Lobbyists, and a Publisher’s Choice Award. Guests enjoyed a pre-event reception and dined on a three-course luncheon, taking the opportunity during the three-hour festivities to do what association executives do best: Network!

“To have that kind of networking opportunity all in one room is phenomenal, and something you just don’t see very often,” said guest Howard Glassroth, CEO of The Glassroth Company, an executive communications, reputation and crisis management firm.

“It was really a stellar event, the physical manifestation of the kind of executive it was celebrating, and of the kind of high-end work that associations and non-profits do for society in general.”

Association TRENDS, a weekly online publication known as “the bible of the association community”, was founded in 1973 as a print publication. In 1979 they created the Salute to Association Excellence. This year marked its 35th anniversary, and Mr. Poznansky marveled at the progress the event has made.

“I heard nothing but praise this year – the pacing, presentations, and food [were] all good,” he said. “Regulars said it was the best yet – one past Association Executive of the Year leaving the VIP room kept repeating, ‘Wow, look at what this has become!’”

For more information on Association TRENDS, visit