Wendy-Jo Toyama, MBA CAE, is the CEO of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM). She began her association career with the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago before moving into roles with healthcare associations, including the American Dental Association and the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association. Before coming to AMC, Wendy had been long familiar with the company through Mark Engle’s governance research, and with AAHPM through networking with the Academy’s former CEO Steve Smith. Focused on being a servant leader to AAHPM, she says, “I am a steward; I’m here to help the board and the members achieve the vision of what they want to accomplish. I hope that they will be wildly pleased with where we’re headed, have a strong sense of ownership, and feel that I helped get us there.”
Wendy has long had a passion to serve volunteer leaders, particularly those in medical associations, citing the patient-centric approach and interdisciplinary nature of the Academy as elements that all medical associations should adopt. She is consistently impressed by the dedication, time, and energy that volunteer leaders and members bring to their organizations.
A champion of achievement, Wendy coaxes excellence out of her teams and coalitions, saying, “We’re only as strong as the people we work with.” She prides herself on being a problem-solver who makes connections in innovative ways, including in her pursuit of excellence in board governance. With her collaborative and personal work ethic, she values creativity, courage, service, justice, and family.
Wendy is a certified association executive (CAE), received her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and has a Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University. She is the immediate past chair of the ASAE Diversity and Inclusion committee. Diversity, equity, and inclusion have long been a part of Wendy’s career, as she has worked to encourage organizations and boards to be more inclusive, sustainable, and progressive.
Outside of work, Wendy enjoys reading, Orange Theory, traveling, and visiting family members in different states.