Susan Sarfati's leaving ASAE and The Center

I just heard that Susan Sarfati's leaving ASAE and The Center--she's been president of the Center and the executive vice president of ASAE since the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives, of which she was the head, merged with ASAE a few years ago.

ASAE is issuing a statement about it in 40 minutes or so, but wow, what a huge loss for ASAE. I've noticed a big difference in the education ASAE offers since she's been on board, which I doubt is a coincidence. I don't know whose idea this is, or where she's heading from here, and I doubt the coming statement will tell us much (they never do when it comes to changes in leadership at our industry associations, which makes me crazy. But that's another story).

I wish her well. Geez, is Deborah Sexton at PCMA now standing alone in terms of women in leadership positions in this predominantly female industry's associations?

Update: Here's the official word:

    After more than 25 years as a leader and outspoken advocate for the association management profession and for life-long learning, Susan Sarfati, CAE, founding president and CEO of The Center for Association Leadership and executive vice president of ASAE, advised the Board of Directors of The Center that she will leave the organizations, effective August 31, 2008.

    “Susan’s leadership, passion, creativity, energy and commitment are unsurpassed in the profession. She is an icon in the industry and is held in such high regard by the ASAE & Center boards, association professionals and industry partners alike. Susan has been the heart and soul of The Center and will be sorely missed,” said Mark Golden, CAE, chairman of The Center and executive director and CEO of the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA).

    “Susan is a visionary leader and innovator who has taken risks that have shaped the profession and we’ve all benefited as a result,” said ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham IV, CAE. “Susan’s passion and strong belief in the importance, possibilities and contributions of associations have always been evident, and we thank her for her leadership at ASAE & The Center and in the larger global community.”

    “Going forward, my work and career will continue to focus on leadership development, social responsibility, women’s issues and contributions to the association and meetings industry, which are all my passions,” Sarfati said. “My career over the years has been very fulfilling with more to come. I am proud of my many contributions, including being the founding CEO of The Center, leading the 13 seasons of the Nation’s Capital Distinguished Speakers Series, building a high performance team, and most recently, launching the Global Summit on Social Responsibility and the association social responsibility movement. From now until my departure on August 31, I will direct my efforts toward moving the Summit outcomes to the next step. What I value most are the relationships I have built with volunteer leaders, members, and the incredibly talented staff whom I have had the honor of working with over the years.”

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