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Meet NE/SAE's Chair, Lynda Layer, CAE

Monday, July 22, 2019   (0 Comments)
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NE/SAE would like to welcome our new Chair of the Board of Directors for 2019-2020, Lynda Layer, CAE. Lynda is Manager, Association Services, Specialty Management Services at the Massachusetts Medical Society in Waltham, MA.


Lynda shared her insights on her career in association management, her role as an association professional, and what she hopes to accomplish as Chair of NE/SAE this year. 




What three words would you use to describe your year as Chair? 

I have taken up listening to podcasts while I walk and I have to thank our speaker from the annual meeting, Robbie Samuels, for motivating me to do so because his was an easy one for me to find.  Yes, I realize I am late to the game… One of his guests struck a chord with me this past weekend.  He was interviewing Lenora Billings-Harris, Spirit of Service, episode 147 on June 4th right after our conference.  Lenora has traveled to Africa quite a bit and she mentioned the word Ubuntu which is often translated “I am because We are and We are because I am.”  I realize that is more than 3 words but I think that sums up the work of associations and in particular NE/SAE.

What would you like to accomplish, or focus on, during your term as NE/SAE’s Chair?  

I would like to focus on creating connections and opportunities for our members through our programming.  And help professionals that work for associations to recognize that they are not only finance professionals, marketing professionals, communications professionals, executive assistants but they are association professionals that help their members help themselves in their professions.

How have you participated in NE/SAE prior to your serving as Board Chair?  

I started attending NE/SAE programs as soon as I joined the Massachusetts Medical Society and worked under Steve Phelan and Ginny DuLong.  Both of them were big supporters of NE/SAE and supported our membership in the society.  Once I received my CAE, I quickly discovered that I could fulfill the entire educational credit requirement for renewal simply by attending NE/SAE's three main conferences.  I volunteered for the Membership Committee, then the Board and I served two years as the Secretary/Treasurer before becoming Chair-elect.

Tell us about your job at the Massachusetts Medical Society. 

I feel very lucky to work for such an awesome organization that supports physicians and their patients.  I have always worked in the multiple management space as a “jack (or jill) of all trades” but I always wanted the experience of working in a large organization.  Managing the Specialty Management Services department within the MMS gives me the best of both worlds as I support management contracts with 17 smaller medical specialty societies.

Where did you work prior to the Massachusetts Medical Society?

I had a short stint in Utah with the Utah Chapter of the American Institute of Architects but spent most of my career prior working with Accent on Management in Columbus, Ohio and the Association Management Group in Tysons Corner, VA.  I was introduced to association management right out of college working with my husband’s grandfather who was the Executive Director of two associations.

What if any changes do you anticipate in NE/SAE in the future?  

I attended a strategic discussion with NE/SAE's Education Committee recently and I am really excited about some changes coming to the educational programming offered by NE/SAE.  Stay tuned!

What opportunities do you see in the larger environment for associations to make a difference in society? 

If the stereotype is accurate, those entering the workforce today want to do work that makes a difference in society.  I think that associations do that every day, empowering our members to do more as “We”.  I think we need to harness this desire in today’s workforce and show them how associations can make a difference in order to attract the best to association work.

Why do you think people should volunteer with NE/SAE and for NE/SAE leadership roles? 

I would say there are two main benefits to volunteering with NE/SAE.  The first being the opportunity to work and learn along side your colleagues, meeting new people and connecting with other organizations.  The second is the opportunity to be on the other side, to see what our members experience as volunteers or in a leadership role.  I think this can only serve to open us up to what it is like on the other side of the table.

What do you do for fun in your spare time?  

I like to walk/hike and travel with my husband and spend time with my beagle, Abby.

Who is your biggest supporter in your life?  

I am lucky to have two, my husband especially because he chose me and my Mom because she is stuck with me.  Both are very supportive of my career and the time I’m away from home for evening and weekend meetings.


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