The Center for Association leadership (ASAE) announced today that the organization’s president and CEO and longtime advocate for the industry John H. Graham IV passed away after a long battle with cancer. He had been in the role since 2003, during which time membership doubled.
Graham came to ASAE from American Diabetes Association in Alexandria, Virginia, and was at Boy Scouts of America before that. He served on the Association Committee of 100 with U.S. Chamber of Commerce, was chair of the Mobile Giving Foundation Board, was on the board of Lambda Chi Alpha Foundation and was president of National Capital Area Council of Boy Scouts of America.
He was revered as a mentor and proponent of the power of associations. In his acceptance of the 2013 Association TRENDS’ “Association Executive of the Year” award, Graham said, “Whatever our personal journeys have been—however we came to embrace associations as our life’s work—we can take great pride in the advancement of this profession. Our organizations comprise an incredibly innovative, vibrant and diverse sector, and we see innumerable examples every day of how associations effect positive change—not just for the industries or professions they serve, but for society at large.
“America is quite simply a better place to live and work because the association community is leading the way in areas like professional development and credentialing, standard setting, community assistance, research and volunteerism.”
U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow released a statement describing the loss. “John was a visionary who guided and shaped the work of associations to the benefit of thousands of workers and organizations around the country,” he said. “John was a close, trusted partner of U.S. Travel for many years, lending invaluable support to the American travel industry.”
Dow added, “While we will miss John’s leadership, it is his friendship and inimitable compassion that will be missed most of all.”
As ASAE enters its centennial year, Susan Robertson, executive vice president, will continue to serve as interim president and CEO.