AH Celebrates Gene Terry's Appointment as Head of MASAE

06 November 2020

AH and the Mid-Atlantic Society of Association Executives (MASAE) are celebrating the election of Gene Terry, CAE, IOM, as MASAE president. Terry has proven to be a celebrated leader not just at AH, where he serves as part of the organization’s senior leadership team, but also in the association management industry as both executive director of AH client partner, the American Society of Hand Therapists (ASHT), and, now, head of MASAE.

His path to this point—just one of many peaks of an enviable career—however, wasn’t a direct one. Terry worked as a copy editor at the Delaware State News, in communications for the American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society, in governance for the March of Dimes, did pro bono work for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation while working at a healthcare public relations agency—and more, but the thrill of agency life wasn’t enough.

“The perks of agency life were great, but eventually I was drawn back to cause-related work,” Terry said.

Terry found that opportunity when he happened across a job listing for an association management company recruiting professionals who had experience working with non-profits. Without knowing it, Terry had already been doing the work of an association leader in his previous roles. This was his chance not just to grow professionally, but to align his career with something important to him: working for a mission-driven organization.

 “That allowed me to continue working with volunteer leaders, members, stakeholders, and other related allied organizations, and, well, this is the place. This is what we do.”

The Path to Leadership

Terry joined AH in 2014. By this time, he had taken an active role in MASAE, attending professional development activities and volunteering on committees.

“MASAE provides association professionals a community for collaboration, learning and leadership growth,” Terry said. “This is the best place for non-profit and association professionals to gain knowledge and resources that advance them and their organizations.”

In addition to bringing best practices and innovative ideas back to his association, Terry saw another valuable application for what he learned: the professional development of his team and those around him.

“I made it a point to show my interest in attending educational programs because I could bring that information back,” Terry said. “I was willing to teach.”

That natural, innate willingness to help others be better is just one of many reasons Terry has become a respected and valuable leader at AH and beyond.

“Gene’s insights and experience as part of our leadership have been very instrumental in the growth of AH,” said Bob Waller, CAE, president and CEO of AH. “His leadership is felt in many areas of the company and I am confident he will help guide MASAE through these challenging times.”

Looking Ahead

When asked how he feels about his election as president of MASAE, Terry is focused on the job ahead.

“It sounds cliché, but the position doesn't drive me,” Terry said. “It's not that long ago I was on the phone, making pitch calls to journalists, schlepping boxes to fundraising events, and taking minutes at my board of directors meeting, and here I am, but it didn't come easy. There was a lot of learning along the way and professional growth and discovery.”

Earlier this year, Terry was appointed as a committee member on the newly formed Emerging Leaders Committee of the AMC Institute (AMCI). The committee’s goal is to engage new and upcoming leaders within the AMCI community and provide oversight to foster an emerging leader community. The committee will engage emerging leaders by addressing issues, providing education, and creating opportunities that impact and grow the next generation of AMC leaders—all things that align with Terry’s professional priorities.

Terry looks forward to expanding MASAE’s role as a conduit for creating connections and sharing solutions. “I humbly step into the role of MASAE president,” Terry said. “It is a great honor to serve beside an outstanding group of leaders.”

Read more from AH about how to become a better leader.

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