Anne Cordes, MBA CAE

Having served as executive director of several healthcare and trade organizations, Anne Cordes brings a wealth of experience to her consulting work with associations. And it was while employed in a fast-paced corporate environment and volunteering in her community that Anne became fascinated by the skills needed to lead non-profit groups.“Ironically, it is in organizations that ostensibly bring together people with common interests that decision-making can be the most difficult,” Anne observes. “Members of associations, for example, expect to share the same interests and values, so when they don’t see eye to eye, it can be quite stressful.”

Anne is passionate about understanding organizations’ challenges and customizing consulting services to meet their needs. She facilitates strategic planning and conflict management, leads governance training workshops, and advises on bylaws and policy writing. For example, with the athletic trainers’ association, foundation, certification board, and accreditation organization, she moderated a joint meeting and assisted them in designing a leadership communications and planning strategy for the four entities. With the International Transplant Nurses Society and the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association, she led a series of board training workshops that helped the board to focus on strategic issues and partner more effectively with staff.

The key to success, Anne believes, lies in the best practices of association management that AMC promotes, starting with a strategic plan that in turn drives budgeting, staffing, agenda setting, and decision making.

“The beauty of a good strategic plan is that day-to-day decisions can be based on where the organization wants to go, not on personalities and emotions,” she says.

Anne has a strong record of building associations’ financial strength through organizational assessment, creative strategic planning, and prudent management. Anne often cites management guru Peter Drucker. “He introduced the idea that not-for-profit corporations are businesses too, and directors of non-profit boards need to operate in a business-like manner,” she says. “We find that association leaders are very eager to hear this, and to learn about everything from fiduciary responsibility to how to run effective meetings.”

Certified by BoardSource as a Certified Governance Trainer and by ASAE as a Certified Association Executive (CAE), she holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University with concentrations in finance, economics, and marketing. "Not-for-profit corporations are businesses too, and directors of non-profit boards need to operate in a business-like manner."