Our People

Our 200 person global team is a dynamic blend of talent, dedication, and innovation. Each member embodies the spirit and values that define Kellen, collectively shaping the essence of who we are and propelling us toward unparalleled success.
Who we are

Our Greatest Strength Lies in our People

At Kellen, our greatest strength lies in our people. We take pride in a team that not only possesses exceptional skills and expertise but, more importantly, shares a deep commitment to mission-based organizations and the success of those we serve. It’s the passion, care, and unwavering dedication of our professionals that set us apart. Whether it’s navigating challenges, strategizing for growth, or fostering meaningful connections, our people are the heart and soul of Kellen, shaping a future where every client partner thrives.

Meet the Faces Behind Kellen’s Leadership Team: A Fusion of Vision, Expertise, and Passion, Driving Excellence Forward.

Robin Applebaum

Senior Vice President

Robin Applebaum is a seasoned communications executive with extensive agency experience in New York and Atlanta.

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Tomas Babicky

Senior Association Manager

Tomas works as European Affairs Manager at the European Rental Association (ERA).

Carole Bachmann

Associate Director

Carole Bachmann is a seasoned professional with over 25 years of experience in the construction equipment and building systems industry.  

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Marco Baldoli

Associate Director

Marco has extensive experience in association management.

Abiola Bankole-Hameed

Chief Financial Officer

Abiola Bankole-Hameed is a strategic and results-driven leader with over 25 years of extensive financial and operational experience.

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Céline Benini

Senior Association Manager

Céline has over than ten years of experience within industry associations, both European and international levels.

Marian Brestovansky

Senior Association Manager

Marian is a Senior Association Manager at Kellen and has over seven years of experience in both the public and private sectors.

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Carl-Eric Portaels

Senior Association Manager

Carl-Eric Portaels has solid experience within European policy work and industry associations.

Kim Chhabria

Group Vice President

As Group Vice President at Kellen, Kim Chhabria focuses on discovery, development and delivery of initiatives and overall strategies for Kellen’s client partners.

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Matthew Clark

Senior Vice President

Matt Clark has more than 25 years of success driving large-scale strategic planning and implementations.

Allison Cooke

Senior Vice President

Allison Cooke is a regulatory policy leader with over 10 years of experience working in trade associations specializing in the food and ingredient industry.

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Giorgio Corbetta

Director, Energy

Giorgio has been active for more than 10 years in the Brussels energy, climate and transport sectors.

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Lauren Costello

Vice President

Lauren Costello has over a dozen years of experience managing international trade associations.

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Nele Devolder

Vice President

Nele Devolder is Vice President of Kellen in Brussels. She has been working for Kellen for more than 20 years.

Jim Dinegar

Strategic Advisor

Jim Dinegar serves as a strategic advisor to Kellen’s global business development effort. Jim previously served as president of the Greater Washington Board of Trade.

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Erin Erickson

Group Vice President

Erin joined Kellen in 2014 and has over 10 years of association management experience.

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Patricia Ferchland-Bingham

Vice President

Patricia joined Kellen in 2017 and has over 12 years of association management & education experience.

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John Ferraro

Executive Vice President

John oversees Kellen’s operations with a focus on workforce optimization, productive utilization of staff resources, internal training, client operational planning, client onboarding, and acquisition integration.

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Michael Fischer

Vice President

Michael Fischer has been in the building products industry for more than 40 years, holding management positions in manufacturing, regulatory affairs, management, and marketing.

Tom Gooding

Business Development

Tom Gooding helps lead Kellen’s corporate business development efforts.

Abram Garcia

Vice President

Abram Garcia is the Vice President of Membership, Marketing, and Sales at Kellen.

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Neil Gottlieb

Executive Vice President

Neil Gottlieb brings over 30 years of diverse business experience, including executive leadership roles in the Association Management industry.

Carlos Hernandez

Vice President

Carlos Hernandez joined Kellen in 2023 as the Vice President of Accounting. He came to Kellen with over a decade of experience in financial reporting, budgeting, and client relations from the Food and Beverage industry.

Jessica Jai

Director

Jessica joined Kellen in May 2015 and has solid experience in association management and leading account teams for a variety of global professional societies.

JerrieLynn Kind

Group Vice President

JerrieLynn Kind has brought success to professional societies and trade associations for more than 30 years

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Holly Koenig

Executive Vice President & Chief People Officer

Holly brings more than 35 years of association management experience to Kellen, currently serving as a member of Kellen’s Executive Committee.

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Chris Krueger

Group Vice President

Chris Krueger is the Group Vice President of Public Affairs for the Kellen Company.

Pascale Lammineur

Finance Director

Pascale Lammineur is the Finance Director at Kellen. Pascale is responsible for all financial matters related to Kellen and our clients.

Christy Levine

Senior Vice President

Christy Levine is a long-standing association management professional with over 20 years of experience specializing in the management of medical associations. 

Amy Luckado

Senior Vice President

Amy Luckado serves as Senior Vice President in Kellen’s Association Services division where she oversees a robust client portfolio in the trades association division.

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Sofie Cabeceiro Luiz

HR Director

Sofie Cabeceiro Luiz is the HR Director and an active member of the Leadership Team at Kellen in Europe.

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John Macwan

Senior Vice President

John Macwan has more than 15 years of Finance and Accounting experience.

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Matt Mantione

Group Vice President

Matt Mantione joined Kellen in 2020 and sits on the senior leadership team as a Group Vice President, overseeing the strategic direction of our 501(c)(6) Trade association partners.

Françoise Maon

Senior Association Manager

Françoise has over 20 years’ experience in Association Management. She is specialised in creating and managing European trade associations and international professional societies.

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Gert Meylemans

Vice President

Gert Meylemans is a Vice President at Kellen Europe.

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Jeannie Milewski

Senior Vice President

Jeannie Milewski is the president of the Association for Dressings and Sauces, a 160-member international trade association.

Michelle Miller

Senior Vice President

With over 20 years of association management experience, Michelle provides strategic oversight and guidance to various client organizations with focus on trade groups.

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Nuria Moreno

Senior Association Manager

Nuria brings over 8 years’ experience in association management for a variety of global and European food industry associations.

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Molly Alton Mullins

President, Association Management

Molly Alton Mullins serves as president, association management, where she focuses on ensuring superior service to retain and grow clients.

Adriana Nosewicz

Association Director

Adriana has spent almost 15 years working with European associations.

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Sheila O’Neal

Vice President

Sheila O’Neal is a seasoned Association Executive who has been working with nonprofit organizations for more than 30 years and has been serving ‎Kellen clients for 23 years.

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Rosario Palmieri

Group Vice President

Rosario Palmieri joins Kellen from the White House Office of Management and Budget where he served as associate administrator of the regulatory coordination office (OIRA).

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Michael Patti

Vice President

Michael Patti is an innovative leader in association management, with more than 25 years’ experience helping non-profits achieve their technology goals.

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Jane Robles

Vice President

Jane serves as Vice President, Operations and focuses on business optimization, talent, and internal communications.

Simona Romeo

Senior Communications Manager

Simona is a Senior Communications Manager and joined Kellen in 2023.

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Jakub Rusek

Associate Director

Jakub holds a PhD in Biology from the University of Munich (LMU) and a Post-Graduate Master in European Studies.

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Travis Rush

CEO

Under Travis’ leadership, Kellen has evolved the association business model, unlocking significant value for national and international trade organizations and professional societies.

Carla Saunders

Group Vice President

Carla Saunders joined Kellen in 2024 as Group Vice President, Association Management leading the Food & Nutrition vertical.

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Maria Teresa Scardigli

Executive Vice President & Managing Director

Since 2022, Maria Teresa Scardigli has been the Managing Director for the European Operations of the Kellen office in Brussels. 

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Katarina Sipic

Senior Association Manager

Katarina Sipic works as a Senior Association Manager and has more than 12 years of international experience from the public and private sector.

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Angela Stephens

Vice President

Angela Moore Stephens is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Group Psychotherapy Association.

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Kari Stringfellow

Senior Vice President

With more than 20 years of experience as a strategy consultant and association leader, Kari is dedicated to managing the intersection of association management and member engagement.

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Meredith Taylor

Vice President

Meredith Taylor, CAE, is an association management professional with a focus in the media and communications fields.

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Stefan Thomann

Senior Association Manager

Stefan Thomann is a Senior Association Manager at Kellen, with 15 years of experience in managing national, European and international associations.

Joanna Truitt

Vice President

Joanna has a unique background with 20+ years’ experience as a university administrator before leaping into the association world where her focus has been set on helping association leaders develop.

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Ralph Vasami, Esq.

President, Public Affairs

Ralph Vasami, Esq., serves as the President, Public Affairs at Kellen and brings a versatile background encompassing engineering, business management, operations, finance, strategic planning, and law.

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James Vrac

Senior Vice President

After five years’ service with the British Army, James Vrac began his career in association management in 1990 working with individual membership societies in the biomedical/healthcare sector

Maria Wang

Account Manager

Maria joined Kellen in April 2012 and has 10 years of experience in association ‎management.

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Tim Welsh

Vice President

Prior to joining Kellen, Tim started his association management career with Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC), and Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) in various executive-level positions. 

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Alfons Westgeest

Board Member

As of 2022, Alfons Westgeest is Kellen’s Board member for global development, and Maria Teresa Scardigli is the Managing Director for the European operations.

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Jean Xu

Vice President

Jean is leading Kellen’s China operation, and has over 20 years of experience in the areas of government affairs and monitoring, as ‎well meeting management, marketing, business development and sales administration

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Robin Applebaum

Senior Vice President

Robin Applebaum is a seasoned communications executive with extensive agency experience in New York and Atlanta. As Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Robin has a proven track record of providing clients strategic communications programs that help grow their brand and positively influence their target audiences using custom integrated marketing, public relations, and online/social media plans.

Robin is responsible for the communications programs for clients across Kellen’s food, healthcare and building and materials verticals, and has previously led PR efforts for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s childhood obesity program, the 93rd PGA Championship, Chanel, and Sony Pictures, as well as numerous B2B and B2C marketing programs and campaigns.

As a former TV producer, Robin has a strong, proven track record working with many national media outlets including TODAY, CNBC, Bloomberg, New York Times, Associated Press, and USA Today, to name just a few.

Tomas Babicky

Senior Association Manager

Tomas works as European Affairs Manager at the European Rental Association (ERA). Tomas is responsible for the public affairs activities of ERA and for its projects related to sustainability, circular economy and digitalization. 

Tomas also works as the EU Public Affairs Manager at the European Portable Battery Association (EPBA) and at the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) and is involved in the EU advocacy of several clients in the chemicals sector. 

Prior to joining Kellen, Tomas worked as a diplomat at the Permanent Representation of the Czech Republic to the European Union, focusing on EU trade policy. Before that he worked as an EU policies specialist at the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Czech Republic in Prague. 

Tomas holds a Master´s degree in International Relations and European Studies from Masaryk University Brno, Czech Republic and a postgraduate certificate in International Trade and Investment from Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Tomas speaks English, Czech, French and some German. 

Carole Bachmann

Senior Association Manager

Carole Bachmann is a seasoned professional with over 25 years of experience in the construction equipment and building systems industry.  

She joined Kellen in 2013 as Manager of the European Rental Association (ERA). Since 2023, she has been the Secretary General of EPBA, the European Portable Battery Association. Additionally, she manages financial services and administration at the Independent Aircraft Modifier Alliance (IAMA), based in Hamburg, Germany.  

In her role as Associate Director at Kellen, she assists the BCEE (Building, Construction, Energy and Environment) Cluster Leader in his task, providing comprehensive support and collaboration to ensure the efficient functioning of the cluster’s operations. 

Carole holds a degree from ESSEC Business School in France. 

 

Marco Baldoli

Associate Director

Marco has extensive experience in association management. While his core expertise is in the field of European Regulation and Public Affairs, he works as a bridge-builder between different environments, sharing complicated legal knowledge with different audiences in an understandable manner. Marco knows how to monitor policies and how to craft strategies for associations in order to make change happen, ensure membership growth and increased awareness of specific topics. After several of years in Brussels, he has built a unique contact base across different sectors and policy areas in Brussels and beyond.

Marco serves as Secretary General for FERM, the European Federation of Rice Millers, as Secretary General for TomatoEurope, which represents the tomato processing industry in the EU and as Executive Director of APEP, the European Potash Producers Association.

Marco holds a Master’s degree in Law (L.L.M.) from La Sapienza University of Rome. Before working for Kellen, he worked as a legal consultant both in Rome and London before moving to Brussels in 2015 to work for FoodDrinkEurope.

Abiola Bankole-Hameed

Chief Financial Officer

Abiola Bankole-Hameed is a strategic and results-driven leader with over 25 years of extensive financial and operational experience. As Chief Financial Officer, she is responsible for steering the financial strategies of Kellen in addition to the financial and fiscal management aspects of company operations, providing leadership and coordination for all global management finance and accounting activities.  

Abiola has a deep understanding of the complex association industry and executive leadership experience in propelling organizations forward. Before joining Kellen, Abiola served as the Chief Financial Officer for the National Black MBA Association where she was responsible for setting the organization’s overall financial policy and direction, financial administration, business planning, and budgeting while being an active participant in the leadership team. In previous roles, she led business strategy and oversight for all financial functions for several organizations and companies.  

Abiola holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, and an MBA with a concentration in Financial Management and Control from DePaul University in Chicago. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA), and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA). Abiola served as Board Treasurer for Susan G. Komen Chicago from 2015-2016 and Advisory Council Member for Susan G. Komen Atlanta from 2016-2018. She was selected as a Finance Advisory Committee Member for the City of Naperville School District 203 in Illinois, U.S.A from 2007-2010 and appointed to the Governmental Executive Committee, Women’s Executive Committee with the Illinois CPA Society in 2014. She is an Arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Board Treasurer for King’s Court Chapel, Roswell, GA.  

Céline Benini

Senior Association Manager

Céline has over than ten years of experience within industry associations, both European and international levels. Prior joining Kellen, she worked for a European food sector association where she was responsible for scientific and regulatory affairs in the food law, nutrition policies, animal feed law and agronomy areas, specializing in scientific & technical issues, data gathering and advocacy.  

At Kellen, Céline serves as Secretary General for the Association of Manufacturers and Formulators of Enzyme Products (AMFEP).   

Céline is a bioengineer and holds a PhD in bioengineering and agronomy from Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (Liège University). Céline ‎specialised in plant genetics, chemical analysis and statistics.   

Céline is a Belgian national and speaks French, English and Italian.

Marian Brestovansky

Senior Association Manager

Marian is a Senior Association Manager at Kellen and has over seven years of experience in both the public and private sectors. Marian has expertise specifically in the management of industry associations and in European and international affairs. 

Marian worked for various international and European associations and contributed with his knowledge to deliver on their strategic goals and objectives. Marian engages with the European Commission, European Parliament and Codex Alimentarius with a clear aim of contributing to legislative procedures and standard setting. 

At Kellen, Marian currently leads the European Salmon Smokers Association and provides regulatory and policy expertise to European Salt Producers and the International Flight Services Association. 

Marian holds a Master’s degree in International Relations and EU Affairs from Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia.

Carl-Eric Portaels

Senior Association Manager

Carl-Eric Portaels has solid experience within European policy work and industry associations. Before joining Kellen, Carl-Eric ‎worked for associations representing the lighting industry and the plastics PET sector. He mostly works with topics linked to sustainability and more specifically related to the Green Deal. Carl-Eric’s last position was at the Minderoo Foundation. This gave him an in-depth understanding of how NGOs work.

At Kellen, Carl-Eric works as the European Affairs Manager for the European Portable Batteries Association and as the coordinator for the Flexible Plastics Alliance. Carl-Eric also oversees the policy and advocacy work for Tomato Europe.  

Carl-Eric holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from Vesalius College in Brussels and a Master’s in International Affairs from the Graduate Institute in Geneva. Finally, Carl-Eric specialised in EU external relations with a master’s degree in EU Diplomacy from the College of Europe.

Carl-Eric is a Belgian national and speaks French, Dutch and English.

Kim Chhabria

Group Vice President

As Group Vice President at Kellen, Kim Chhabria focuses on discovery, development and delivery of initiatives and overall strategies for Kellen’s client partners. In addition, sharing best practices and trends to foster growth and creativity. Kim oversees the Shared Services teams which includes the Design, Education, Marketing, Membership, & Sales, and Meetings departments. Kim brings significant experience in association marketing and management and has experience in creating and delivering strategies focused on member retention and acquisition, credentialing and educational courses, new product launches, and events. 

Kim has shared her knowledge with her peers as a speaker at American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), Mid-Atlantic Society of Association Executives (MASAE), the American Marketing Association (AMA), and various in-company leadership and marketing events. Kim received her Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Boston College and lives in New Jersey with her family. 

Matthew Clark

Senior Vice President

Matt Clark has more than 25 years of success driving large-scale strategic planning and implementations, profitable change initiatives, and brand optimization in diverse environments from fast-paced tech startups to multinational non-profit healthcare organizations.

Matt is a seasoned executive leader and corporate communications strategist who leverages outcome-driven innovation and audience-focused methodologies to ensure revenue growth and increased engagement organization-wide.

As Chief Officer of Innovation & Engagement, at the American Occupational Therapy Association, Matt led a newly developed division of 40 staff responsible for growth, membership, events, publishing, sales, and marketing generating $15M in revenue. He drove strategic communication and engagement initiatives, delivering innovative products and services aligned with value expectations.

As VP of Brand Management and VP of Publishing and Content Strategy at the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society, Matt led digital transformation, rebranding, and communication strategies that consistently grew YoY revenue. Through directing content-sharing partnerships and international marketing initiatives, he implemented data-driven processes that doubled overall reach and delivered valuable and relevant content to global audiences. He also led organization-wide strategic planning to build an annual and long-term healthy, sustainable innovation pipeline.

Matt takes pride in his customer-focused approach to identifying, anticipating, and executing on opportunities for market reach, revenue growth, and member engagement for large-scale organizations. Through the audience-centered, outcome-driven lens, Matt designs and implements change strategies and operational alignments that ensure success for internal and external stakeholders.

Matt holds a Masters in Mass Communication and Journalism from the University of South Carolina and a BA in Psychology from Syracuse University. Residing just outside of Washington, DC, Matt is an outdoor enthusiast and avid kayaker. When his schedule allows, he can be found at the Dome, cheering on the Syracuse Orange.

Allison Cooke

Senior Vice President

Allison Cooke is a regulatory policy leader with over 10 years of experience working in trade associations specializing in the food and ingredient industry. In her position, she oversees and executes on regulatory priorities for Kellen’s food and nutrition trade associations.

Allison returns to Kellen following several years serving as the Vice President of Food Policy with the Corn Refiners Association (CRA). Allison previously served as an Account Executive at Kellen, where she held various roles focused on regulatory, nutrition, and scientific affairs for several trade associations in the food and nutrition space.  

Allison has a Master’s degree in Public Health specializing in Maternal and Child Health Leadership and Policy from the University of Alabama at Birmingham as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Exercise Science from Furman University in South Carolina. 

Giorgio Corbetta

Director, Energy

Giorgio has been active for more than ten years in the Brussels energy, climate and transport sectors. Giorgio ‎has worked with trade associations in the cleantech space, in the energy trading businesses, and as a consultant representing companies along the energy value chain.

At Kellen, Giorgio is responsible for the energy practice in Europe. He also works for clients in the energy storage, critical raw materials, and logistics spaces.

Giorgio graduated in Economics and Political Science from the University of Milan and obtained his MBA in Brussels from the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management.

Lauren Costello

Vice President

Lauren Costello has over a dozen years of experience managing international trade associations encompassing Board relations, government affairs and advocacy, marketing and communications, events, financials, membership recruitment and engagement, thought leadership and content creation, sales, and strategic planning and execution. She serves as the Executive Director for the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and the International Flight Services Association (IFSA). In these roles, she manages the team in Atlanta, Chicago, London, Washington, D.C., Beijing, and Brussels. She previously served as the Operations Director of the American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association (AMRPA) and Executive Director for the Home Fashion Products Association (HFPA).  

Lauren is based on Long Island in New York and is a graduate of SUNY Oswego, earning an MBA in Management and a BA in Business Administration / International Business. 

Nele Devolder

Vice President

Nele Devolder is Vice President of Kellen in Brussels. She has been working for Kellen for more than 20 years, is specialised in marketing and communications, and has extensive experience in the creation, set-up and management of European and global platforms, trade associations and alliances. Nele is highly involved in strategic advice on different projects and consultations for trade associations and professional societies at global level. 

Nele serves as Executive Director of ECMA, the European Candle Manufacturers Association, which is the main European industry association for the candle industry, and as Secretary General for EASEE-gas, an association representing the streamlining of energy exchange in the European gas market.  

As Vice President, Nele leads the Association Management Cluster in Brussels, which includes the supervision of teams serving over 2015 different trade associations and professional societies active in a variety of industries and sectors.  

Nele studied Communications at the EGON Hogeschool in Ghent, Belgium. She is a Belgian national and speaks Dutch (mother tongue), English, French and German

Jim Dinegar

Strategic Advisor

Jim Dinegar serves as a strategic advisor to Kellen’s global business development effort. Jim previously served as president of the Greater Washington Board of Trade. As president, Jim oversaw the leading regional organization representing the business interests for major companies throughout Northern Virginia, the District of Columbia and Suburban Maryland.

Before coming to the Board of Trade, Jim served as chief operating officer of the American Institute for Architects (AIA) where he was responsible for the overall operation of a 77,000-member organization and directed strategic efforts in the areas of education, technology, international collaboration, organizational alliances and government advocacy. During his six-year tenure, Dinegar oversaw the growth of annual revenues by more than $20 million – from $34 million in 1999 to over $56 million for the 2006 budget – always resulting in net operating profits.

Dinegar is a 35-year resident of the Greater Washington region. He is a graduate of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He serves as chairman of the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian National Zoo and is on the boards of the Close-Up Foundation, Goodwill Industries of Greater Washington, the Non-Profit Roundtable, Leadership Greater Washington and United Way of the National Capital Area.

Erin Erickson

Group Vice President

Erin joined Kellen in 2014 and has over ten years of association management experience. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals. Erin is responsible for developing and driving strategic growth and providing oversight of membership program and services. 

Erin graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a bachelor’s degree in communications, and is a current member of the Colorado Society of Association Executives. 

Patricia Ferchland-Bingham

Vice President

Patricia joined Kellen in 2017 and has over 12 years of association management & education experience. She is an association professional with a demonstrated history of working with both medical and trade associations to create or enhance their continuing education and program management.   

She is dedicated to improving client, customer, and learner experiences through the development ‎and delivery of accredited continuing education. She is an advocate for the continuous professional development of ‎physicians and trade workers alike. In addition, she provides oversight on compliance and Accreditation for all Kellen clients.   

John Ferraro

Executive Vice President

John oversees Kellen’s operations with a focus on workforce optimization, productive utilization of staff resources, internal training, client operational planning, client onboarding, and acquisition integration. He also serves as the Executive Director of the American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association (AMRPA). 

John joined Kellen in 2007 and has served in a variety of leadership positions. He has extensive experience in corporate management, strategy development, relationship management and business growth, and client management. His association management responsibilities included direct oversight and executive management of activities for trade associations. In this capacity, he directed all functional teams and areas of operations, including membership development, conference management, communications and marketing, information technology, education services and accreditation programs, government affairs, and financial / investment management. 

Prior to joining Kellen, John served in legislative affairs and constituent services roles for Florida Governor Jeb Bush, U.S. Senator Bob Graham, and the Florida Senate Majority Office. John has a Bachelor Degree in Political Science and International Affairs and a Master’s Degree in American Politics and Policy, both from Florida State University. 

Michael Fischer

Vice President

Michael Fischer has been in the building products industry for more than 40 years, holding management positions in manufacturing, regulatory affairs, management, and marketing. His involvement in building and energy codes, environmental and sustainability issues, product standards, regulatory affairs, and product safety issues within the industry provides a comprehensive background to deliver responsible advocacy for Kellen clients. 

Michael is a member of the International Code Council, ASHRAE, and ASTM International. 

He has provided strategic representation before the US Department of Energy and Consumer Product Safety Commission, the California Air Resource Board, the California Energy Commission, the California Office of the State Fire Marshal, and state code adoption bodies in Florida, New York State, Minnesota, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Texas, North Carolina, and other building and energy code official agencies. 

Michael has previously testified before legislative bodies and helped to lead successful client strategic efforts from product standards through code and regulatory development. He is also a respected contributor to trade publications and a frequent presenter at building industry events and conferences. 

Tom Gooding

Business Development

Tom Gooding helps lead Kellen’s corporate business development efforts. Prior to Kellen, Tom served as a senior executive at an innovative software firm funded by The Blackstone Group that provides fundraising and deal management solutions to leading global private equity firms and as a sales executive and project manager with Bluewolf, an IBM Company. Tom holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from The George Washington University.

Abram Garcia

Vice President

Abram Garcia is the Vice President of Membership, Marketing, and Sales at Kellen. With a keen focus on devising and executing strategies, he leads the Membership, Marketing, and Sales team. Abram’s expertise lies in crafting comprehensive marketing, membership, and sales strategies across diverse channels, with the aim of captivating and engaging target audiences effectively. With over 9 years of association experience spanning various fields and organizational sizes, Abram brings a diverse portfolio to the table. Throughout his career, he has played a pivotal role in aiding numerous associations in expanding their membership numbers, increasing revenue, and enhancing member engagement.

Abram holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Lake Forest College. Currently based in Washington, DC, he enjoys traveling during his leisure time and passionately supports both Chicago and Washington, DC sports teams. Additionally, he is an active member of the ASAE (American Society of Association Executives).

Neil Gottlieb

Executive Vice President

Neil Gottlieb brings over 30 years of diverse business experience, including executive leadership roles in the Association Management industry. He serves as Executive Vice President, Strategy and Development and is a member of the Kellen Executive Committee. Among many responsibilities, Neil leads strategy and development companywide. Neil is responsible for ensuring Kellen’s strategic approach to client management is executed to drive measurable outcomes, and he leads the company’s strategic growth and development plans. 

Prior to working in the Association Management space, Neil led many major pharmaceutical brand launches and marketing initiatives in key global markets, holding senior leadership positions in sales and marketing, training, and business development. Neil has also led the business development and strategy teams for the only non-profit biotech in the US that focuses on neurodegenerative disease, primarily ALS. 

A graduate of the University of Arizona, Neil is an outdoor enthusiast and masters distance runner, competing in marathons across the globe and earning the Abbott World Marathon Majors Six Star Medal by competing in Boston, London, New York, Berlin, Chicago and Tokyo marathons. In addition, Neil has been a High School Varsity Soccer Head Coach for over two decades, winning multiple regional and state championship matches. He lives just outside of DC in Maryland with his wife and son. Neil’s other two children are grown and living successful lives out on their own but never too far from home. Neil is an avid Green Bay Packers and University of Arizona fan, and (when time allows) can often be seen at a U of A basketball game or a frozen tundra football game in Green Bay. 

Carlos Hernandez

Vice President

Carlos Hernandez joined Kellen in 2023 as the Vice President of Accounting. He came to Kellen with over a decade of experience in financial reporting, budgeting, and client relations from the Food and Beverage industry. Carlos worked at a local catering company through high school and college and worked at major venues including Nationals Park, Capital One Arena, Audi Field, FedEx Field, and most recently at Georgetown University.

A native to the DC-metropolitan area, Carlos grew up in Rockville, MD and received a degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. He is an avid fitness enthusiast in his free time, has previously served on the Board of Directors for a charter school, and currently serves as the HSA 1st Vice President at his son’s school.

Jessica Jai

Director

Jessica joined Kellen in May 2015 and has solid experience in association management and leading account teams for a variety of global professional societies and industry association, representing the association towards members, volunteer leadership and partners across the region. 

Jessica is an experienced account leader, offering strategic and operational support to a variety of clients, and possessing strong skills in process leadership and overall team management, liaison with members, and oversee daily operations with a focus on special client events and programs. 

Since the FNGO Law came into force on January 1, 2017, Jessica has been involved in advising clients, including search and communications with Chinese Partners and PSU, coordination in details on all the procedural application of the registration of Rep Office, as well as managing the operations after the Rep Office is set up. 

Prior to Kellen Company Jessica worked at the China National Convention Center, responsibility for planning and implementing overseas promotion activities, coordinate and maintain the relationship with international industry associations, international market research as well as advice local origination to bid for international conference. 

JerrieLynn Kind

Group Vice President

JerrieLynn Kind has brought success to professional societies and trade associations for more than 30 years and has been serving Kellen’s clients for over 20 years, providing executive oversight to Kellen’s Healthcare Portfolio. In addition, she also serves as executive director for the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis, the National Association of EMS Physicians, and the Pediatric Endocrinology Nursing Society. 

She has a broad background with membership associations, financial planning, and executive management. Prior to joining Kellen, JerrieLynn worked as membership director and career development manager to national associations in the golf industry. 

JerrieLynn is a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the Kansas City Society of Association Executives and has been active in committees and educational activities. JerrieLynn is also an approved facilitator of ASAE’s Certificate Program in Association Management. 

Holly Koenig

Executive Vice President & Chief People Officer

Holly brings more than 35 years of association management experience to Kellen, currently serving as a member of Kellen’s Executive Committee. She is dedicated to leading the People & Culture Team with a passion for fostering a positive workplace culture and delivering a remarkable and inclusive employee experience.  

Holly is also a highly skilled association leader who has spent the last three decades serving a wide range of Kellen clients. She has won the Distinguished Service Award, Outstanding Association Executive Award, and the Volunteer of the Year Award from the New York Society of Association Executives (NYSAE). She currently serves NYSAE as their Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director. 

Holly enjoys speaking on many association and organizational topics and has published numerous association management articles. When she’s not at work she enjoys comedy and strongly believes “a little levity can actually help us achieve our serious objectives and key results.”  

Chris Krueger

Group Vice President

Chris Krueger is the Group Vice President of Public Affairs for the Kellen Company. Chris uses his public affairs expertise to lead a division advancing client interests in the federal, state, and regulatory arenas. Chris utilizes his 20 years of experience to coordinate political engagement and public affairs, maintaining relationships with decision makers and external stakeholders on behalf of clients.  

Prior to joining Kellen, Chris held government affairs, advocacy outreach and external affairs positions with multiple trade associations and political issue management firms in Washington, D.C. His background includes focus on energy, financial services, small business, healthcare, and education efforts.  

Originally from Northeastern Ohio, he launched his career working on political campaigns, having served on presidential, federal, state, and local level efforts. Chris currently resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife and two daughters. 

Pascale Lammineur

Finance Director

Pascale Lammineur is the Finance Director at Kellen. Pascale is responsible for all financial matters related to Kellen and our clients. Pascale is also responsible for leading the Finance Team in Brussels and together with her team she ensures working towards achieving the strategic goals for our clients and Kellen. 

Pascale joined Kellen back in 2009 as a Senior Accountant. Pascale holds a Master’s degree in Commercial and Maritime Sciences from Lessius Antwerp and an Executive Master in Controlling from Vlerick Business School. 

Before joining Kellen, Pascale worked for KBC and for a family owned company in Belgium. 

Christy Levine

Senior Vice President

Christy Levine is a long-standing association management professional with over 20 years of experience specializing in the management of medical associations. Her career journey has been marked by a steadfast commitment to advancing the missions of various healthcare-focused organizations.

Throughout her career, Christy has demonstrated a passion for fostering collaboration, driving innovation, and achieving measurable results within the healthcare landscape. Her years of experience, coupled with her dedication to serving the needs of the members, makes her a respected leader in the field of association management.

A graduate of Floria State University, Christy can be found rooting on the Seminoles, hosting obscurely themed parties or watching her kids in various sports.

Amy Luckado

Senior Vice President

Amy Luckado serves as Senior Vice President in Kellen’s Association Services division where she oversees a robust client portfolio in the trades association division. Prior to joining Kellen, Amy was Chief Operating Officer at SEVEN12 Management, where she managed direct client relationships, human resources, membership development, programmatic initiatives, and day-to-day operations for the full-service association management company. 

Amy brings more than 20 years of experience to Kellen, working to ensure that all client members take advantage of exceptional programs and services that help their businesses thrive. Many in her current client portfolio focus on industrial manufacturing, and include IDA – the International Door Association, ISD – Independent Sealing Distributors Association, RCMA – Roof Coating Manufacturers Association, and SHDA – Security Hardware Distributors Association. 

Sofie Cabeceiro Luiz

HR Director

Sofie Cabeceiro Luiz is the HR Director and an active member of the Leadership Team at Kellen in Europe. ‎Sofie has 20+ years of experience in the HR field and is involved in defining and delivering on the ‎strategic objectives directly linked with people’s ‎growth. Sofie ensures that Kellen finds the right candidates who both fit the Kellen values and help clients to meet their objectives and goals.   

At Kellen, Sofie is responsible for both the Kellen consultants as well as the ‎internal staff. This includes recruitment, onboarding, engagement, ‎learning and development, compensation and benefits and stakeholder ‎management. Sofie ensures diversity across many levels and is a trusted Leader amongst the whole team. 

Before joining Kellen, Sofie worked for Accenture as an HR Business Partner.   

Sofie holds a Master’s Degree in Translation in Dutch, English and Portuguese and additionally, Sofie is a Gallup certified strength coach, trained in HR management from Cornell ‎University and Accenture.

John Macwan

Senior Vice President

John Macwan has more than 15 years of Finance and Accounting experience. He is responsible for assisting in steering the financial strategies of Kellen in addition to the financial and fiscal management aspects of company operations which include providing leadership and coordination for global management finance activities. In addition, he oversees the Accounting team which handles the day-to-day accounting for both Kellen and all our clients. 

John has experience in accounting and finance in a wide array of industries. Having begun his career in public accounting working for a mid-sized CPA firm, he held clients across many different industries such as pharmaceuticals, textiles, retail clothing, manufacturing and education. He then worked in a variety of industries which include Hedge Funds, Insurance, Marketing/Advertising and FinTech. John has helped companies make strides in process improvement around forecasting, budgeting and implementation of technology to better assist with financial planning and P&L analysis. He is well experienced in overseeing financial functions in his previous roles and in his ability to help leadership teams focus on profitability and process improvement by establishing financial literacy across the organization. John is extremely knowledgeable in integrating acquisitions from an FP&A and Revenue Management perspective at a very rapid pace. 

John holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Pace University’s Lubin School of Business in New York, NY and an MBA in Finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Silberman College of Business in Madison, NJ. 

Matt Mantione

Group Vice President

Matt Mantione joined Kellen in 2020 and sits on the senior leadership team as a Group Vice President, overseeing the strategic direction of our 501(c)(6) Trade association partners. Prior to joining Kellen, he served in various senior level association positions with success in growing membership, bolstering member value, and optimizing governance through fostering a culture of continuous improvement and strategic foresight. In the last two decades, Matt has provided value-added support and guidance to Boards, members and key stakeholders in over 100 countries. 

Matt is a Certified Association Executive (CAE), and Professional Certified Marketer (PCM). He is a member of the American Marketing Association (AMA), the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). Matt served on various ASAE National Councils and is a published author on topics ranging from member development to employee relations. Matt, a native of Syracuse, NY, holds a Corporate Communications degree from Radford University, and was selected team captain as a member of the Division-I baseball team. Additionally, he completed post-graduate work in association management and strategic leadership.

Françoise Maon

Senior Association Manager

Françoise has over 20 years’ experience in Association Management. She is specialised in creating and managing European trade associations and international professional societies.  Her expertise consists in law compliance, AISBLs’ incorporations, financial management and administration and operational excellence, including membership recruitment and communications. 

Françoise currently ‎manages the Pan European Region of the International Association of Dental Research (PER-IADR), the Society of Fire Engineers Europe (SFPE Europe), the Switching and Porting Association (SWIPO), the Polyurea Development Association Europe (PDA Europe) and CO2 Value Europe.   

Françoise has a Master’s degree in translation of the English and Italian languages into French from the Belgian Superior Institute of the Interpreters and Translators (ISTI), and in Marketing Management from the Belgian Institute of Advanced Business Studies (ICHEC).   

Françoise is Belgian and has French as her mother tongue, is fluent in English, Italian and has a good knowledge of Dutch.  

Gert Meylemans

Vice President

Gert Meylemans is a Vice President at Kellen Europe. In his role as Chief Operating Officer, he oversees operations with a specific focus on Communications, HR, Finance, and Administration. As the Communications Director, he also concurrently leads the Kellen Corporate Communications activities and the Communications Team in Brussels, consisting of four Communication Professionals, while being part of the Brussels’ management team.

Gert’s main client is EUROBAT – the Association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers. In his role as General Manager for EUROBAT, Gert reports to the association’s President and Board, ensuring strategic and operational alignment with the Secretariat’s staff.

Gert is a highly experienced communications executive with expertise in branding, positioning, social media, and all aspects of both internal and external communications.

He holds a degree in Marketing and Communications and has 35 years of expertise. He has international experience in automotive PR and corporate communications. Gert has previously worked at Nissan Belux, Bridgestone EMEA, and as a freelance communications consultant.

Jeannie Milewski

Senior Vice President

Jeannie Milewski is the president of the Association for Dressings and Sauces, a 160-member international trade association.  She is also president for the Juice Products Association, a 60-member international trade association, as well as The Vinegar Institute, a 30-member international trade association.  She focuses on strategic direction, executive committee and board support, organizational leadership, priorities management, quality assurance and directing the general operations of the association. Additionally, Jeannie has oversight for the Horseradish Information Council for the Association for Dressings and Sauces and the Concord Grape Section for the Juice Products Association. 

She has more than 20 years of association management experience and has worked for several Kellen clients in the food and beverage industries. Prior to joining Kellen in 1995, Jeannie was involved in the foodservice sector with responsibilities including research and development, specifications and training. 

Jeannie holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Science and a Master’s in Food Science (with an English minor) from the University of Tennessee. 

Michelle Miller

Senior Vice President

With over 20 years of association management experience, Michelle provides strategic oversight and guidance to various client organizations with focus on trade groups. She specializes in re-aligning organizations towards profitability and identifying growth opportunities, ensuring governance structures are aligned with strategic initiatives, solution orientated with emphasis on problem identification and conflict resolution, staffing utilization, developing staffing models to support organizations and transitions. 

Michelle currently serves as the executive vice president of the Pressure Sensitive Tape Council and manages Kellen transitions/onboarding of new client organizations. She is a graduate of Northwood University in Midland Michigan and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and Marketing. 

Nuria Moreno

Senior Association Manager

Nuria brings over 8 years’ experience in association management for a variety of global and European food industry associations. Currently, Nuria acts as the Secretary-General of the European Vegetable Protein Association (EUVEPRO) and the European Potato Processors’ Association (EUPPA). Her expertise ranges from regulatory affairs and advocacy on food ingredients, to Codex Alimentarius and ISO standards, as well as (agricultural) sustainability topics. In addition, she has guided associations through strategic exercises and governance changes. 

Nuria holds a Master’s degree in European Public Affairs from Maastricht University (The Netherlands), with a focus on EU decision-making and interest representation.  

Molly Alton Mullins

President, Association Management

Molly Alton Mullins serves as president, association management, where she focuses on ensuring superior service to retain and grow clients, expanding business offerings, and creating opportunities for people to learn, grow, and thrive. Molly is the former CEO of SEVEN12 Management, a full-service association management company, where she oversaw an extensive client portfolio, focusing primarily on board development, strategic planning and execution, sound fiscal management, and business development. 

Molly brings more than 20 years of experience to Kellen, having worked for numerous associations, corporate communications firms, and also on Capitol Hill.  

A graduate of the University of Maryland, Molly is an avid hiker, having visited more than 45 U.S. national parks and many more internationally. When not working (which isn’t very often), Molly can be found spending time with family and friends as well as watching her beloved Washington Capitals.

Adriana Nosewicz

Association Director

Adriana has spent almost 15 years working with European associations. Adriana is a lawyer by training and she has worked for a series of food association including European Potato Processors Association, International Stevia Council and Soft Drinks Europe. 

Adriana is leads the Food Cluster in Brussels and supports colleagues in strategic direction of the associations they manage at Kellen. 

Adriana also works as the Managing Director of the European Salt Producers’ Association and manages two smaller associations, one European and one international. 

Adriana is fluent in Polish, English, Italian, has good knowledge of French and a basic understanding of Dutch. 

Sheila O’Neal

Vice President

Sheila O’Neal is a seasoned Association Executive who has been working with nonprofit organizations for more than 30 years and has been serving ‎Kellen clients for 23 years. Sheila has experience working with trade associations, professional ‎societies, standard setting bodies as well as advocacy organizations focusing solely on healthcare related organizations at Kellen. She currently serves as the Executive Director for the Special Operations Medical Association (SOMA), the Society for Radiation Oncology Administrators (SROA) and the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA). 

Sheila is a strategic thinker and change manager with comprehensive experience in board relations and governance, organizational management, and strategic planning. She is also experienced in event planning and management and project ‎management. Sheila ‎is a current member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the Kansas City ‎Society of Association Executives (KSCAE).

Rosario Palmieri

Group Vice President

Rosario Palmieri joins Kellen from the White House Office of Management and Budget where he served as associate administrator of the regulatory coordination office (OIRA). Previously, he spent more than a decade at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) as vice president, charged with managing broad areas of legal and regulatory policy, including consumer product safety, labor and OSHA, transportation and infrastructure, food and agriculture, antitrust, product liability, energy and environment. 

Prior to NAM, he served on congressional committees in the U.S. House of Representatives overseeing regulatory policy. A lawyer by training, Palmieri also serves on the leadership council for the Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice of the American Bar Association. 

Michael Patti

Vice President

Michael Patti is an innovative leader in association management, with more than 25 years’ experience helping non-profits achieve their technology goals. As Vice President of Technology, Michael leads a team that implements association management (AMS) and content management (CMS) systems for more than 100 clients. Michael is expert at bringing diverse stakeholders together to craft technology solutions that drive increased membership, customer engagement, non-dues revenue, meeting registrations and online education offerings. Michael has led the development of several award-winning website redesign projects. 

Michael holds bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Music Performance from Knox College and has achieved certifications in SQL Server programming and C#/asp.net development. Michael’s technology experience includes Azure and AWS server management, WordPress site development and infrastructure management, Kentico and DNN CMS development, PCI compliance, DNS management, and Software Development Life Cycle project management. In his spare time, Michael enjoys playing guitar and trumpet, bicycling and hiking, and visiting museums in his hometown of Chicago. 

Jane Robles

Vice President

Jane serves as Vice President, Operations and focuses on business optimization, talent, and internal communications. She works across all departments to drive efficiencies, increase collaboration and performance, and improve outcomes for clients and the company. 

Jane joined Kellen in 2014 and worked with clients for more than seven years. During her tenure in client services, Jane led global professional societies, such as the Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals (SMRP), the SMRP Certifying Organization, and the American College of Healthcare Architects (ACHA). Jane helped her clients achieve strategic objectives by improving value propositions, developing innovative member programs, and driving new revenue streams. 

Jane holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Kentucky and a master’s degree in Communication from Purdue University. Jane resides outside of Atlanta with her husband, daughter and two beagles.  

Simona Romeo

Senior Communications Manager

Simona is a Senior Communications Manager and joined Kellen in 2023. She has strong expertise in strategic communications, with experience in all aspects of external and policy communications.

At Kellen, Simona works as Senior Communications Manager for EUROBAT, the Association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers, and is Strategic Communications Manager for the Association of Manufacturers and Formulators of Enzyme Products (AMFEP).

Simona has a BA in Foreign Languages and Communications and an MA in International Relations from Hult Business School. Her previous experience also includes media analysis, event organization, EU affairs, advertising, media relations and communications campaigns.

Jakub Rusek

Associate Director

Jakub holds a PhD in Biology from the University of Munich (LMU) and a Post-Graduate Master in European Studies. Jakub worked in several EU affairs organisations as well as the European Parliament and the European Commission on technical and science topics directly related to food, health and the environment. Prior to joining Kellen, Jakub was working in a sectorial association dealing with nutrition, analytics, additives, contaminants and raw materials.

At Kellen, Jakub serves as Secretary General of the European Food and Fermentation Cultures Association (EFFCA) and provides regulatory and scientific support for the Association of Manufacturers and Formulators of Enzyme Products (AMFEP), the European Federation of Rice Millers (FERM) and the International Cellulosics Association (ICA).

Travis Rush

CEO

Under Travis’ leadership, Kellen has evolved the association business model, unlocking significant value for national and international trade organizations and professional societies. Through the combination of a diverse team of the world’s strongest association professionals, the industry’s leading technology stack and carefully integrated business processes, he has guided the transformation of programming and initiatives for more ‎than eight dozen client organizations. ‎ 

Before Kellen, he worked in real estate, film production, consulting, and sales. 

An avid traveler, he has visited forty-five states, thirty-three countries, and six continents. A native of New York City, he graduated from The George Washington University in Washington D.C., where he was an infielder on the varsity baseball team and disc jockey at WRGW, the college radio station. He currently resides in the Atlanta area with his wife, daughter and chocolate labrador. He is a diehard fan of the New York Mets, Bruce Springsteen, Milan Kundera and Bill Burr.

Carla Saunders

Group Vice President

Carla Saunders joined Kellen in 2024 as Group Vice President, Association Management leading the Food & Nutrition vertical. She brings a diverse background with over 20+ years across multiple industries as a general manager and skilled marketing leader. Throughout her career, she has focused on building brands and leading teams for major multinational companies across multiple industries and categories.

At Kellen, Carla draws on her broad experience with food and food ingredient industries to further strategic objectives for our clients. As part of her role, she serves as the Executive Director for Calorie Control Council (CCC) and International Food Additives Council (IFAC). She has five years of association experience as an active member of both the Calorie Control Council (CCC) and International Stevia Council (ISC).

Carla earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Mary, Bismarck and her MBA from Carlson School of Management at the University of MN. As a native Minnesotan, she roots for the Vikings and enjoys the outdoors even in the coldest conditions. Carla resides outside of Minneapolis with her husband, son and two pets. 

Maria Teresa Scardigli

Executive Vice President & Managing Director

Since 2022, Maria Teresa Scardigli has been the Managing Director for the European Operations of the Kellen office in Brussels. 

Maria Teresa leads the strategic direction of Kellen on a European level and supervises more than 45 professionals servicing around 35 trade associations and professional societies on both European and international levels. 

Maria Teresa ‎has strong knowledge and expertise in the food sector with more than 20 years of experience in European public affairs, interest representation and strategic management of trade associations. Maria Teresa provides strategic advice to European and international trade associations on topics such as governance, strategic planning, association reorganisation, membership fees restructuring and mergers of associations. She also helps associations to be incorporated under Belgian Law and under US Law. She acts – amongst others – as the Executive Director of the International Stevia Council, the trade association representing the interests of the stevia industry on a global level. 

Maria Teresa Scardigli graduated from the University of Rome with a Law Degree and received a Post-Master’s degree in European and Community Law from the European University Center of the University of Nancy in France. 

Angela Stephens

Vice President

Angela Moore Stephens is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Group Psychotherapy Association, a professional membership and educational organization consisting of over 2,000 mental health professionals. She also is the Secretary-Treasurer to both the Group Foundation for Advancing Mental Health and the International Board for Certification of Group Psychotherapists. 

Angela has over 40 years of association management experience. She is a results-oriented executive, with a proven ability to develop and implement new programs and projects utilizing a strategic planning approach. Experienced in charitable foundations, membership associations, and certification organizations with significant expertise in the following areas: public relations, writing/editorial/communication, strategic planning, fundraising, and volunteer and staff management. Angela is devoted to eliminating barriers to participation and creating diversity, equity, and inclusive environments within the organizations and workspace. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology and is a Certified Association Executive. She is a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) as well as the local chapter, the New York Society of Association Executives (NYSAE). 

Kari Stringfellow

Senior Vice President

With more than 20 years of experience as a strategy consultant and association leader, Kari is dedicated to managing the intersection of association management and member engagement. Her experience includes Fortune 500 companies, higher education institutions, and non-profits, like Estee Lauder Companies, George Mason University, and the National Automobile Dealers Association. She is most passionate about developing relevant, forward-thinking, and innovative organizations that not only meet the needs of their industry today, but where they need to go tomorrow. 

Kari also serves on various boards and committees, and is a founding member of CHIEF – Washington, DC. 

Meredith Taylor

Vice President

Meredith Taylor, CAE is an association management professional with a focus in the media and communications fields. She has managed the transition process for new clients into Kellen, worked on the operations team, and supported Kellen’s internal Leadership Summit event. She has served as executive director of clients including Council of Science Editors, College Media Association, Interior Design Educators Council, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and New York Women in Communications.  

She was honored with the New Star Award from New York Society of Association Executive and the Young and Aspiring Association Professional Award from Association TRENDS and was an ASAE’s NextGen Summit participant. She is a certified association executive through ASAE.  

Meredith graduated summa cum laude from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with majors in linguistics and public relations and has a masters in nonprofit management with distinction from DePaul University in Chicago.

Stefan Thomann

Senior Association Manager

Stefan Thomann is a Senior Association Manager at Kellen, with 15 years of experience in managing national, European and international associations. Stefan has a strong passion for science and technology which helps him to understand very technical products and context in the associations he works for. Stefan is also the convenor of a CEN standardisation committee. 

Stefan serves as Technical Director for ECMA, the European Candle Manufacturers Association, as Secretary General for the European Certification Board for Mineral Wool Products (EUCEB), as General Manager for Association Euro-Qualiflex (AEQ) and as Managing Director for the RAL Quality Association for Phase Change Materials (Gütegemeinschaft PCM). 

Prior to joining Kellen, Stefan worked for an Association Management Company in Germany and before that, he worked as the Lab Manager of an independent testing organization. 

Stefan holds a state examination degree in Food Chemistry from Hohenheim University (Germany). 

Joanna Truitt

Vice President

Joanna has a unique background with 20+ years’ experience as a university administrator before leaping into the association world where her focus has been set on helping association leaders develop, evolve, and enhance their education, training, and certification programs.  As a fan of being a ‘first adopter’ the use and adoption of technology is typically in the forefront of solutions she offers.  Joanna is process and data driven holding the philosophy that the numbers don’t lie.  Follow the data and it will lead you in the right direction.   

She earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse.  Her Wisconsin roots make her a diehard Packer fan who actually likes snow but prefers sunshine and the beach. 

Ralph Vasami, Esq.

President, Public Affairs

Ralph Vasami, Esq., serves as the President, Public Affairs at Kellen and brings a versatile background encompassing engineering, business management, operations, finance, strategic planning, and law. With over 20 years of executive experience, he has consistently excelled in guiding associations, showcasing a remarkable proficiency in nurturing partnerships, crafting and executing strategic initiatives, and driving both results and profitability. His involvement extends to spearheading efforts to modify and advance National Building Codes for clients, as well as frequently facilitating strategic planning meetings.  

Ralph was a trailblazer in the vinyl window and door industry, holding the position of Chairman at the Vinyl Window & Door Institute. His contributions led to the acceptance of vinyl as a fenestration product within Model Building Codes. Additionally, he played a pivotal role in establishing product testing and standards, alongside developing the current industry certification program. 

Presently, Ralph provides executive leadership within Kellen’s Public Affairs division, dedicated to aiding associations in nurturing positive relationships with their key stakeholders. These stakeholders encompass government agencies, regulators, community groups, media, and the general public. 

Ralph earned a Bachelor of Science degree from New York University and a law degree from Pace University. He is a member of the New York State Bar, showcasing his commitment and proficiency in the legal domain. 

James Vrac

Senior Vice President

After five years’ service with the British Army, James Vrac began his career in association management in 1990 working with individual membership societies in the biomedical/healthcare sector, providing board leadership, strategy development, and convention growth to national associations. Later, James spent eight years in London as executive director of an international accountancy and business advisory network operating in 86 countries. His more recent experience includes successfully steering clients through strategic and financial challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Prior to joining Kellen, James was president of PAI Management Corporation. James is currently executive director for the International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology and the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, where his broad experience has achieved membership and convention growth for both, and higher membership engagement. He is a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and is a Certified Association Executive. 

Maria Wang

Account Manager

Maria joined Kellen in April 2012 and has 10 years of experience in association ‎management. She coordinates the regulatory initiatives for key clients in the food and ‎pharma industry, including monitoring new regulations, producing quarterly regulatory ‎digests, coordinating the solicitation of comments and input on draft regulations and ‎national standards (i.e. GB standards). Maria is also sharing industry positions to government ‎stakeholders, e.g. MARA, NHC, as well as Chinese counterpart associations. 

Maria also ‎coordinates the planning and execution of a working group representing global companies ‎engaged in research, development, manufacturing of veterinary medicines, vaccines and ‎other animal health products. ‎ 

Maria has extensive experience in coordinating and arranging delegation visits, as well as ‎membership services, meetings/trainings support services, website content management, ‎data analysis, and desk research.

Tim Welsh

Vice President

Prior to joining Kellen, Tim started his association management career with Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC), and Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) in various executive-level positions.  He oversaw multiple disciplines including leading membership recruit campaigns in collaboration with the ABC and IEC chapter network; facilitated board strategic planning; new board/committee member onboarding; secured industry partners and lead sponsorship acquisitions; and oversaw national conventions and additional conferences.  Most recently Tim worked at digital media publisher SmartBrief responsible for securing association partners in the production of their industry newsletters. Tim holds a BA in Speech Communication from Frostburg State University, and graduated from the United States Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organization Management (IOM) certification program.

Alfons Westgeest

Board Member

As of 2022, Alfons Westgeest is Kellen’s Board member for global development, and Maria Teresa Scardigli is the Managing Director for the European operations from our office in Brussels, Belgium. 

Alfons supervises Kellen’s Beijing office, which has recently expanded to serve multiple international associations in China. He is also responsible for Kellen’s strategic affiliates in Asia, the Middle East, and South America. 

Alfons has expertise in various sectors including automotive, engineering, electronics, food, health care, construction, and financial services. 

A graduate of Leyden University in the Netherlands, he holds a Master’s degree in Commercial and European law and was previously a partner at EY. He is co-moderator of the European Government Affairs Roundtable and teaches international lobbying at the Free University of Brussels (VUB) 

Alfons is a former Board member of ASAE (American Society of Association Executives) and ASAE Fellow since 2006. In addition, he received the 2011 ‘Outstanding Contribution to EU Public Affairs’ award. 

Jean Xu

Vice President

Jean is leading Kellen’s China operation, and has over 20 years of experience in the areas of government affairs and monitoring, as ‎well meeting management, marketing, business development and sales administration. ‎Jean has nearly 15 years’ experience in association management. 

Jean has led and ‎supervised various international association clients, and has developed a highly recognized ‎position in managing clients’ business in the Asia Pacific region through the restructuring of ‎operations and the management of regional Board, committee and leadership meetings. ‎Jean has achieved success in membership development and marketing in many industries ‎including food, pharma, IT and several professional service sectors. ‎ As the Head of presence in the Asia region, she has successfully led her team to execute multiple projects related to the review and strategic assessment of prospective clients who are planning to enter the Chinese market, and current clients who would like to enhance their fluence in the industry. 

Prior to joining Kellen, Jean served as Assistant Director and Marketing Supervisor for the ‎Beijing International Finance Forum, a United Nations backed organization that provides a ‎platform for world financial leaders to contribute to the revitalization of the international ‎economy.‎ 

Jean’s experiences in management in different industries, and her intuitive working knowledge and experience of various industries throughout Asia have developed a strong business sense to make her a perfect leader to better understand client needs.