2.18: Building a Career and Community with Amy Sherwood and Melissa Walling

2.18: Building a Career and Community with Amy Sherwood and Melissa Walling

Amy Sherwood and Melissa Walling share their experiences and advice on how they have built their careers and communities. This dynamic duo is both passionate about connecting with their members, association colleagues, and looking for new opportunities to develop their skills. Their intelligence, warmth, and drive shine through in their creative approaches to be constantly growing in the career you love. Listen in to hear them say it best!

Amy Sherwood, CAE
Executive Director, Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses (APHON)

“I think transparency and communication are critical and involving your staff as much is appropriate in decision making creates buy-in, but they’re included in the process and inclusion is very important.”

Amy Sherwood is the executive director of the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses (APHON). She started her association career in 2005 at the Association Management Center (AMC) as an administrator and quickly advanced to senior manager roles with several client partners, including APHON, the American Pain Society, Metal Construction Association, National Frame Building Association, and Metal Roofing Alliance. After five and a half years with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Amy returned to AMC to lead APHON.

Amy received her bachelor’s degree in business and corporate communications from Northern Illinois University. She credits earning her CAE as one of her proudest career accomplishments because it demonstrates her commitment to association management and connects her with other dedicated association professionals. Amy is a proud member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and Association Forum. She is also an ASAE Leadership Academy graduate, an Association Forum CAE Study Course Facilitator, ASAE Healthcare Community Advisory Committee member and received a Forty Under 40 Award from ASAE and USAE.

Outside of the office, Amy enjoys crafting with various media and running with her sister.

Other Resources

What are the most useful resources you’ve found to help your professional development (i.e. books, courses, trainings, assessments, magazines, thought leaders, etc.)? Being a CAE study course facilitator keeps me on my game! I find that I am frequently consulting Professional Practices in Association Management as well as the Association Law Handbook—the authorities on the critical areas of association and nonprofit management. I am a regular at ASAE’s Annual Meeting and most enjoy the exchanges I have bouncing ideas off old friends and colleagues in addition to making new association connections.

What is your favorite aspect of the association management field? I love the variety that the association management field offers. Not only for the members (there really is an association for EVERYTHING), but for the staff, too. As a staff member there is a tremendous amount of opportunity to stretch your skillset and be creative in varying roles and projects.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received? “You are never going to feel ready for anything. You just have to go do it.”—My father, Phil Sherwood (and Nike???)

Melissa Walling, CAE IOM
Director of Membership Development and Customer Service, American Library Association

“At the end of the day, I think it’s really about listening, evolving, and understanding the culture and the unique aspect that each of the associations have.”

Melissa Walling is the director of membership and customer service at the American Library Association (ALA). In her current role, Melissa supports the 60,000-member community that works to advance libraries and their pivotal role in communities. Although she is new to the ALA, Melissa has been working in the association community for more than 15 years and has previously held roles with Association Forum, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Institute of Real Estate Management. She also is pursuing her Master of Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. When not at the ALA, Melissa can be found trying new recipes, running on the lakefront, or planning her next international trip.

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