The National Speakers Association (NSA) has retained Sterling Martin Associates to search for its next Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The position is located in NSA’s Tempe, Arizona headquarters, just outside of Phoenix.
Founded in 1973, the National Speakers Association is the “leading source for education, community, and entrepreneurial business knowledge needed to be successful in the speaking profession.” NSA is a 501(c)(6), purpose-driven, membership association that provides services to more than 3,500 members whose skills, expertise, and experience power the most recognized and respected professional speaker’s organization in the industry. NSA has the comprehensive resources, insightful education, and productive events that speakers need to develop their brands and grow their businesses. NSA’s members include experts in a variety of industries and disciplines who reach audiences as speakers, trainers, educators, humorists, motivators, consultants, authors, and more.
NSA is organized into 34 independently-run state and regional chapters throughout the U.S. NSA’s membership categories include Academy Membership (offered to aspiring speakers), Professional Membership (offered to established speakers), and Professional Affiliate Membership (offered to service suppliers who support speakers or who own speakers bureaus).
NSA is a founding member of the Global Speakers Federation (GSF), a network of 13 independent speaker associations representing 15 nations and individuals from over 20 countries. The GSF collectively serves the interests of their member associations while advancing professional speaking.
A separately-incorporated NSA Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the National Speakers Association and serves to help those members and families of the NSA community, as well as those in need in the larger global community. The Foundation acts on behalf of NSA’s members to do something that comes naturally in the speaking profession – helping others.
NSA’s budget is in the $4M range. The organization is governed by a 19-member Board of Directors, including the Chief Executive Officer, who serves in a non-voting ex officio capacity. Nine members of the Board (including its six officers) make up the Executive Committee, which serves as the interim governing body between meetings of the Board. All Past-Presidents serve as ex officio members of the Board. A professional staff of 14 serves the organization from its Tempe headquarters. There are approximately 15-20 ongoing committees and ad hoc task forces (comprised of volunteers and staff) that are core to NSA’s work. For more information, please visit www.nsaspeaker.org.
Chief Executive Officer
NSA is seeking a visionary and business-savvy CEO seeking to lead a member-centric organization; a CEO who seeks to have an impact on the world by providing bold leadership to take the Association to its next level. As the association sector and membership organizations evolve, NSA seeks a CEO who has taken an organization through a “pivot,” or “shift,” in adapting new approaches to build revenue. Specifically, the CEO is responsible for: (1) directing and participating in growth activities to support NSA’s overall business objectives and plans; (2) developing and directing the execution of policies to support NSA in general and accomplish the organization’s strategic objectives; and (3) leading the organization in developing strategies and tactics to achieve NSA’s mission as set forth by the Board.
This is an exciting opportunity to join an organization built around the ideas of mutual support, shared success, and giving back. It is an organization whose Code of Ethics establishes and maintains NSA’s brand, reputation, and public confidence in the professionalism, dedication, and integrity of the members and the Association itself.
Specific Duties and Responsibilities
The CEO is responsible for management of all strategic planning, financial and personnel measures, and resource development. The CEO recommends Association goals, objectives, and related policies to the Board of Directors. Within that framework, the CEO plans and organizes the staff, programs, and activities of the Association in compliance with all pertinent laws and regulations, Bylaws, policies, and procedures. S/he is also responsible for the following specific duties:
Strategy and Vision | Board Relations
Provides support and advice to the NSA Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and President by:
Identifying and understanding cultural, business, industry and generational trends and developments in order to recommend programs, services or resources to meet changing needs of the membership and maximize new opportunities.
Executing all decisions of the Board of Directors, except in cases where assignments are made specifically by the Board.
Informing the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of conditions and operations of the Association through the preparation of monthly reports (in both document and video formats) on management activities, financial status, and ongoing review of all programs and projects related to the Strategic Plan.
Developing the meeting agenda and preparing minutes for meetings of the Board of Directors.
Participating as directed in all meetings of the Board and the Executive Committee, serving in an ex officio, non-voting capacity;
Providing liaison and staff support to NSA’s committees to enable them to perform their duties as delineated in the Association’s Bylaws.
Providing committee chairs with the necessary support and assistance in accordance with policy and in consultation with appropriate staff liaison personnel and providing authority to staff to enable them to perform their liaison functions efficiently and effectively.
Proposing new policy initiatives, as appropriate.
Ensuring sound implementation of the Association’s policies as directed by the Board.
Ensuring that pluralism and non-discrimination are institutionalized within the NSA and Board activities.
Proposing strategic initiatives, plans, and policies that further NSA’s interests.
Planning, formulating, and recommending to the Board of Directors basic policies and programs that will further the Association’s objectives.
In partnership with the Board of Directors, seeing that the Strategic Plan is implemented successfully and recommending specific goals and objectives to ensure successful implementation.
Membership | Meetings | External Relations
Serving as the primary liaison to NSA’s members and the organization’s chapters.
Recommending methods for growing NSA’s membership beyond current levels.
Maintaining an ever-present focus on NSA’s members.
Listening to, understanding, and responding to the needs of NSA’s membership.
Strengthening the role, visibility, and benefit of membership and volunteer involvement within NSA; providing frequent and friendly accessibility and opportunity for the personal communication to individual members of the Association.
Identifying, cultivating, and recruiting new members to the Association while retaining existing members.
Engaging and encouraging member involvement in issues facing the Association and the professional speaker industry.
Demonstrating the philosophy that NSA “belongs” to the members and that the NSA staff and governing board serve the collective membership.
Ensuring that NSA’s meetings and conferences are of the highest quality and that meeting and conference content speaks directly to those attending.
In partnership with appropriate NSA committees, developing strategies and recommending content designed to increase attendance at the Association’s annual conferences and meetings.
Ensuring that all conference and meeting committees are appropriately staffed and that staff liaisons are meeting committee needs at the highest levels.
Maintaining effective relations with other industry associations, including maintaining contacts within the meetings industry to promote NSA and the professional speaking industry.
Representing NSA through attendance at and participation with organizations where such representation is useful to the Association.
Managing the external affairs of the Association by:
Overseeing promotion of interest and active participation in the Association’s activities to NSA stakeholders.
Serving as NSA’s “advocate in chief.”
Providing ongoing information to the Board, staff, and other constituents regarding issues, trends, and developments affecting NSA and its members and the speaking industry in general.
Management | Operations
Overseeing all policies, procedures, and programs to bring operational excellence to the organization.
Overseeing the internal affairs of the Association, including day-to-day headquarters operations. In this regard, the CEO will:
Bring leadership and energy in directing and motivating staff.
Have authority for the hiring, termination, performance review, goal-setting, employee relations, and employment practices.
Ensure that a sound organizational structure for the headquarters office is maintained.
Direct and coordinate all approved programs, projects, and major activities of the NSA staff.
Have overall responsibility for allocating staff and appropriate NSA resources to Association functions, committees, task forces, and special projects.
Execute such contracts and commitments as may be authorized by the Board of Directors or outlined in established Association policies.
Work cooperatively with the Association’s auditors in conjunction with the development of the annual audited financial statements and required tax filings.
Develop and recommend an annual budget in cooperation with the Treasurer and Board of Directors and implement the budget within the confines of established guidelines.
Ensure that the Association remains in full compliance with all legal and regulatory issues expected of 501(c)(6) organizations.
Ensure that all funds, physical assets, and other property owned by the Association are appropriately maintained and safeguarded within established policies.
Develop and supervise NSA’s internal operating policies and procedures, subject to Board approval as appropriate.
Safeguard confidential information as it applies to the daily functions of the Association and its members.
Ideal Background and Experience | Qualities and Characteristics
Qualified candidates for the positionof Chief Executive Officer will be expected to embrace and advance NSA’s mission, vision, and values. S/he should be prepared to be a “face” of the organization, when necessary and appropriate. NSA is seeking candidates who will bring excellent levels of operational performance and effectiveness. The CEO should be adept at identifying and optimizing industry trends to assist professional speakers in growing their businesses and advancing the profession, a field that is growing and evolving rapidly. All candidates will also be expected to present the following:
Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university; advanced degree preferred.
Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation a plus.
At least 10-15 years of professional work experience in an organization recognized for innovation.
A minimum of five years of experience at the executive level.
Knowledge of the professional speaking industry a plus.
Experience working with a volunteer governing board to develop and implement strategy and vision a strong plus.
An understanding of and experience with governance issues and board management.
Experience guiding an organization through change with innovative thinking and creativity.
Experience building and maintaining coalitions and strategic partnerships.
Ability to manage different relationship levels; ranging from Board and staff to membership groups and local chapters.
Superior communications skills, both written and oral, and experience with public speaking.
Previous oversight of budgeting and financial management of an organization.
Ability to set priorities, delegate responsibilities, and mentor, motivate, and develop a senior-level staff.
Ability to think creatively and strategically about new ways to serve a membership with diverse needs, expectations, and talents.
Experience building and maintaining an inclusive work environment.
Ability to manage different relationship levels, ranging from Board and staff to membership groups and local/regional chapters.
A diplomatic relationship-builder.
A record of accomplishment of seizing opportunities in a rapidly-changing organizational environment.
Demonstrated ability to lead/support NSA digital marketing efforts as well as operating as an advocate for future digital platforms/products to support the speaker industry.
Familiarity with search engine marketing and conversions and how they impact NSA’s bottom line in order to evaluate budgets and continue to build the NSA brand.
Ability to deliver reliably and to produce results.
An entrepreneurial spirit and orientation.
Emotional intelligence; confidence and self-assuredness.
Evidence of an ability to project a confident executive presence through manner, behavior and communication style.
Demonstrated ability to lead strategically, diplomatically, logistically and tactically.
Compensation | Benefits | Availability
NSA offers a competitive compensation package to attract the right candidate. The organization offers stimulating work and professional development opportunities, encouraging all team members to generate innovative ideas to further the goals of the Association. NSA also provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. The position is available immediately.
To apply, please send a cover letter and current résumé (Microsoft Word® format preferred) to email@example.com. A well-crafted cover letter outlining how your background and experience relate to the position is considered an important part of the candidate review process. All applications will be acknowledged.
NSA is committed to providing equal employment opportunities in compliance with EEOC guidelines.
The National Speakers Association (NSA) is a collective of more than 3,500 members whose skills, expertise and experience power the most recognized and respected professional speakers organization in the industry.
Founded in 1973 by Cavett Robert, CSP, CPAE, NSA has the comprehensive resources, cutting-edge tools, insightful education and productive events that speakers need to develop their br...ands and grow their businesses. NSA’s members include experts in a variety of industries and disciplines, who reach audiences as speakers, trainers, educators, humorists, motivators, consultants, authors and more. We have 35 independently run state and regional chapters throughout the U.S.