Louise Ristau, CAE

Louise Ristau's formula for success is simple on the surface, but it takes special talent to pull it off as she has done repeatedly throughout her 20-year career in association management. Her formula is this: Great things happen and missions are achieved by listening to ideas, gathering information, and setting strategic goals that make an organization relevant to the niche it serves.

"Asking thoughtful questions and truly listening to the answers is the best way to understand a client's industry and goals," says Louise, who began with AMC in 1999. "When we sit together and talk through the 'whys' of something, whether it's a membership program or a market development opportunity, we take a more objective look at it and assess whether it's meeting its intended goal."

Louise builds markets by keeping her eye on the proverbial prize. As executive director of the Awards and Personalization Association, she focuses on selling products and promoting programs that benefit members. As former Chief Operating Officer for the Metal Construction Association, she played a key role in The Metal Initiative, a market development program that effectively increased the use of metal in construction by 25%.

As a goal-oriented leader, Louise inspires her teams to aim high with programs and initiatives that help clients reach their full potential. She's also mindful of budgets and takes pride in her ability to streamline management by bringing services in-house that were previously handled by outside vendors.

Louise's passion for serving others carries over into her personal life as well. She is an active volunteer for Solid Rock Carpenters where for the past five years she and her daughters have helped build homes in Hurricane Katrina-ravaged Louisiana and Mississippi.