MILWAUKEE ― Milwaukee-based Executive Director, Inc., one of the top five association management companies in the United States, will celebrate its 50th anniversary this month. EDI’s 140 professionals manage 25 national and international medical, scientific and professional societies, associations and certifying bodies. The company provides management, administrative, financial and technical services for its clients, including domestic and international meeting management, website design and maintenance, database administration, marketing and communications, and accounting and financial services.
EDI President Kay Whalen, MBA, CAE, credits EDI’s decades of success to “quality people and an abiding commitment to the unique vision of each of its clients.”
“We strive to foster sustainable relationships based on trust and results. We enjoy client relationships that range from new to 46 years,” said Ms. Whalen.
Since its founding in 1962, EDI has emphasized innovation and quality, noted Vice President of Finance Dan Nemec, MBA, CAE. “EDI has never been about being the largest. It has always been about delivering whatever our clients require to achieve success. Today we happen to be one of the largest association management firms, but that comes from a desire to create the scale and infrastructure to provide the very best support, service and counsel to our clients.”
“By managing administrative and technical tasks for its clients, EDI enables the leadership of its client associations to focus on strategy, not tactics,” said EDI Vice President Tara Withington, CAE.
“While there may be some exceptions, we believe that associations with annual budgets of less than $15 million are better served by an accredited association management firm of our size than by going it alone,” added Chief Operating Officer Dave Baumann.
EDI’s client associations’ budgets range from $100,000 to more than $10 million and their memberships run from 400 to 21,000 members or certificants. In the past three years, EDI has planned and managed about 80 domestic and international meetings for its associations. These meetings, which have attracted anywhere from 400 to 8,000 participants, have been held in 32 countries on six continents.
EDI has always been committed to the highest standards in association management, Mr. Baumann said, and its senior leaders served on the AMC Institute committee that developed the standards for association management company accreditation.
Donald L. McNeil, a public relations executive who worked with the Wisconsin Medical Society, established the company in 1962. In 1993, Ms. Whalen and Mr. Baumann purchased the business from Mr. McNeil. Vice President Dan Nemec and Vice President Tara Withington later became partners.
EDI has been recognized for its outstanding service to its clients with numerous association management awards. In 2006, Ms. Whalen received the Wisconsin Society of Association Executive’s Industry Advocate Award for her work in promoting the importance of associations and the benefits of association management companies. Both Ms. Whalen and Mr. McNeil have received the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s (AAAAI) Outstanding Layperson Award for their superb management of AAAAI. Mr. Baumann was honored with the Agriculture and Applied Economics Association’s President’s Award for his leadership during AAEA’S transition to an association management structure. He also served for two years as president of the AMC Institute.
EDI will observe its 50th anniversary with a staff luncheon at Milwaukee’s venerable Pfister Hotel. In addition, in honor of its anniversary, the company will be a platinum sponsor of WSAE’s Innovation Summit and will make donations to the American Society of Association Executives Foundation and the Milwaukee Hunger Task Force.
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Executive Director, Inc., located in Milwaukee, is one of the oldest and largest association management companies in the United States. EDI’s staff of 140 experienced professionals provide management, financial, information technology, meeting planning, events management, communications, marketing, graphic design, and website design services to 25 medical and scientific organizations. More information is available at www.execinc.com.