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Since 1976, AML has provided leadership and professional management services through experienced staff, best practices and shared resources. AML currently provides management solutions for international, national, regional, and state associations. The AML staff team currently serves over 600 company members and 2,800 individual members. The company's personnel have 100+ combined years of association experience in all facets of organizational management to provide member services. AML’s vendor partners are innovative, reputable, dependable and affordable and value the AML business relationship to bring benefits to our association clients.

What Distinguishes Us From Our Competition?

  • Quality - AML is AMC Institute internationally accredited (ANSI standards), validating systems, processes and best practices.
  • AML serves a diverse association client base (lighting management companies to qualified intermediaries/1031 exchange companies, economic developers to sporting goods wholesalers, chiropractors to rural electric and telephone cooperatives, and defense attorneys to public airports).
  • There is mutual trust and respect between AML and our association client leaders.
  • Technology – Our main platform is an iMIS association management database with sound security and remote access. Discussion can take place about alternatives based on client needs.
  • Demonstrated growth of association client partners’ for their increased fiscal stability.
  • Personal customer service for members, a human approach versus automated menu options.
  • AML’s business longevity (40 years), recognized nationally in the association community.
  • Clients’ longevity (average 18 years) Association management is a career, not just a job.
  • AML supports professional development: Certified Association Executive (CAE), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Meeting Professional (CMP).
  • AML staff is active in our association industry at state and national levels, as speakers, authors and volunteer elected leaders serving on boards of directors.
  • AML awards - Recognized as a positive workplace environment and successful Iowa business.
  • Staff awards - Association Professional of the Year, leadership and involvement awards.
  • New business referrals come from satisfied existing AML association client volunteer leaders and other association management companies who trust that AML delivers on our promises.
  • Headquarters in Iowa, affordable cost of business, business values, integrity, strong work ethic.
  • Ample in-house meeting space (four conference rooms seating six to 40 people board style).

Mission:

Provide solutions that unleash the potential of our clients’ organizations, members and leaders.

Vision:

With unwavering commitment to relationships built on trust and strategic vision, AML is a professional association management company that leads organizations to a higher level.

AML is AMC Institute internationally accredited through the AMC Institute (international trade association of the association management company industry). AMC Institute accreditation is American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved for standards of measurable performance practices, ensuring AML clients that AML operates with the highest level of professionalism and exceeds industry requirements.

ANSI requires an independent outside auditor to review of measureable performance practices:

  • Contract
  • Service delivery
  • Employee recruitment
  • Training and professional development
  • Financial management
  • Internal controls and systems/processes
What does accreditation mean to AML’s association partners?
Associations are assured that AML operates with the highest level of professionalism, responsibility, and consistently meets or exceeds all industry requirements.
 
What does accreditation mean to AML as a company?
  • AML is one of 80 accredited association management companies out of over 500 registered companies worldwide.
  • AML was the first internationally accredited association management company in Iowa.
  • AML staff achieved an important company goal, through a demanding process.
  • AML earns re-accreditation every four years.
  • For information on accreditation, visit http://www.amcinstitute.org/?page=aboutaccreditation.

AML takes a team approach with staff. Cross-training and communication is critical to our successful staffing structure.
Kirk Leeds, CEO/Strategic Advisor

Kirk Leeds is the CEO of the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) and the CEO of ISA Management Solutions (ISAMS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of ISA. ISAMS acquired Association Management, Ltd. (AML) as a division of ISAMS in 2011.

Kirk has a fascinating and unique combination of non-profit and profit career experiences. He has a demonstrated record of self-motivation and team achievements, with a strong history of innovative approaches to management and organizational leadership.

Since 1989, Kirk has been in association management serving members of a $15 billion industry. His leadership has been instrumental in the development of an industry-wide vision for all segments of the soybean industry in the U.S. Previously, he spent ten years in a retail business with responsibility for all phases of operation including: personnel, payroll, expansion financing, training and accounting.

  • Celebrated his 25th anniversary with ISA.
  • Earned his BA in Political Science from Iowa State University.
  • Attended University of Iowa Law School.
  • Currently serves on the Boone Community School Board.
  • In early 1987 and 1988, served as Organizational Director for the Kemp for President Campaign in Iowa. Responsible for recruiting, training and motivating supporters in 99 counties.
  • In 1986 and 1988, was a candidate for the Iowa House of Representatives; lost both races by less than 5% of the vote.
  • Member of the American Society of Association Executives.

Molly Lopez, CAE, President

Molly Lopez became the President of AML in 1999 and owned the company for 11 years. She began her career in association management in 1991 and has become a nationally recognized resource in the industry.

Molly handles marketing, overseeing day-to-day operations of AML, maintaining client retention and seeking new business development. Molly currently serves as Executive Director of the Iowa Chiropractic Society.

Molly’s areas of expertise include: association management, global trends analysis, public speaking, business development, marketing, human resources, leadership development, volunteer management, meeting planning and communications.

  • Earned her MS in Professional Studies/Higher Education Administration and BA in Leisure Studies/Commercial Recreation from Iowa State University.
  • Received her Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from the American Society of Association Executives in 2002.
  • Involved member of the Iowa Society of Association Executives, American Society of Association Executives, AMC Institute, Greater Des Moines Partnership, and the National Association of Women Business Owners – Central Iowa Corporate Partner.
  • International Conference Speaker at AMC Institute conferences. (2001 – Present).
  • National Events Catch Des Moines Champion – Greater Des Moines CVB (2014).
  • AMC Council Past Chair (2012 – 2013) for the American Society of Association Executives.
  • Association Management Council Editor of AMC Connections newsletter for the American Society of Association Executives (2008 – 2009).
  • Honored as a Des Moines Business Record’s Central Iowa - Forty Under 40 Class member.
  • National Rural Economic Developers Association President’s Award Recipient (2008).
  • Actively participates in a monthly CAE Breakfasts with peers.
Donna Donovan, CPA, CFO/Financial Manager

Donna Donovan started her career at the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) in 1991. ISA is the parent company of ISA Management Solutions, Inc. (ISAMS), a wholly-owned subsidiary in which AML is a Division.

Donna’s dynamic background allows her to observe all aspects of an association, enhancing the financial management and growth of AML’s client partners. She serves as Chief Financial Officer for AML and Financial Manager for many of AML’s association clients, working directly with volunteer-elected Treasurers and AML staff Account Executives.

Donna’s areas of expertise include: accounting, financial management, budget planning, grant management and non-profit association compliance. With over 24 years of experience, she is an extremely valuable member of the AML team.

  • Certified Public Accountant.
  • Earned her BS from Upper Iowa University with an emphasis in Accounting.
  • Member of the Iowa Society of Certified Professional Accountants.
  • Member of the American Society of Association Executives.
Darcy Watson, CAE, Information Technology Manager

Darcy Watson began her career in association management in 1987 as an Associate Meeting Planner and Database Administrator for a national association.

Darcy joined AML in 1990 as an Associate Director. Throughout her tenure, she has served in various roles, including Executive Director and Executive Vice President for a state association, Trainer and Webmaster. Now, as AML’s Information Technology Manager, Darcy is focused solely on meeting the technology needs of AML and its association client partners.

Darcy’s areas of expertise include: strategic technology planning, website development and maintenance utilizing HTML and various content management systems, database programming and management, report programming and integration of emerging technologies.

  • Earned her BA in Marketing/Merchandising from Iowa State University.
  • Received her Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from the American Society of Association Executives in 2004.
  • Iowa Society of Association Executives Technology Roundtable Speaker (2009).
  • Graduated from the Iowa Society of Association Executives’ Inaugural Leadership Class.
  • Active Member of the Iowa Society of Association Executives.
  • Member of the interNational iMIS User’s Group.
  • Member of the American Society of Association Executives.
Kelly Kipping, Member Services Administrator

Kelly Kipping started her career in association management and customer service in 1990. She worked for AML from 1990 – 1993, relocated to Missouri for several years where she worked in office management, and then relocated back to Iowa in 1998 to rejoin the AML team.

She has served as an Account Executive for many AML clients. Her in-depth understanding of associations and experience as Account Executive make her uniquely qualified for her current role as Member Services Administrator for all of AML’s association client partners.

Kelly’s areas of expertise include: developing efficient and cost-effective programs, financial and office management, technology, and organizational management.

  • Earned her BS in Textile and Apparel Design from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
  • Graduate of the Iowa Society of Association Executives Leadership Class.
  • Member of the American Society of Association Executives.
Lynn Harkin, CAE, Account Executive

Lynn Harkin started her career in non-profit and volunteer management in 1986. Prior to joining AML in 2001, Lynn worked in fundraising for Orchard Place-Child Guidance Center and United Way of Central Iowa.

Lynn currently serves as Executive Director for the National Rural Economic Developers Association (NREDA), the Federation of Exchange Accommodators (FEA) and the Professional Developers of Iowa (PDI).

Lynn’s areas of expertise include: board and volunteer management, strategic planning, communications, global trends analysis, board orientation and training, fundraising, group facilitation and meeting planning.

  • Earned her AA in Business Administration/Accounting from AIB College of Business and BA in Marketing from Upper Iowa University.
  • Received her Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from the American Society of Association Executives in 2012.
  • Certified in Volunteer Management from the Des Moines Area Community College.
  • Graduate of the Iowa Society of Association Executives Leadership Class.
  • Iowa Society of Association Executives Board Member (2014 – 2016), Membership Committee Chair (2013 – 2015), Committee (2012 – 2013).
  • Member of the American Society of Association Executives.
  • Graduate of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute.
  • Actively participates in a monthly CAE Breakfasts with peers.
Heather Tamminga, CAE, Account Executive

Heather Tamminga started her career in association management in 1998 as a Communications Director for a state association.

In 2005, Heather joined AML as an Account Executive. She currently serves as Executive Director for the Iowa Water Well Association (IWWA) and the Iowa Defense Counsel Association (IDCA), and Executive Director/LM&M Editor for the interNational Association of Lighting Management Companies (NALMCO).

Heather’s areas of expertise include: leadership and volunteer management, strategic planning and visioning, print and e-publications, membership services, education program development, and meeting and event planning.

  • Earned her BA in Journalism/Mass Communications and BA in International Studies from Iowa State University.
  • Received her Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from the American Society of Association Executives in 2007.
  • Awarded the 2014 Iowa Society of Association Executives Association Professional of the Year.
  • Graduate of the Iowa Society of Association Executives Leadership Class.
  • Active Member of the Iowa Society of Association Executives.
  • Iowa Society of Association Executives President (2015 – 2016), Vice President (2014 – 2015), Board Member (2009 – 2016), Program Chair (2010 – 2011), Vice Program Chair (2009 – 2010).
  • Member of the American Society of Association Executives.
  • Toastmaster Treasurer (2012 – 2013).
  • Actively participates in a monthly CAE Breakfast with peers.
Denise Hoffman, CMP, Our National and International Meeting Planner

Denise Hoffman joined the AML team in March 2015. Denise has worked in association management positions for 16+ years gaining experience in various positions including Interim Executive Director. She spent the last 11 years planning the continuing education events for the Iowa Chiropractic Society.

As Meeting Planner, Denise is responsible for the organization, execution and success of the various conferences, seminars, trade shows, and special events conducted for AML’s client associations.

She specializes in administrative and on-site event management including: site selection, convention production, sponsorship programs, trade show management educational programming, and virtual meetings.

  • Earned her Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) through the Events Industry Council.
  • Graduate of Iowa Society of Association Executives Leadership Program.
  • Member of Iowa Society of Association Executives.
  • Iowa Chiropractic Society’s Champion of Chiropractic 2008 and 2015.
Kristen Dearden, Meeting Planner

Kristen Dearden began her career in association management in 1990. Throughout her many years in association management, she has experienced all aspects of an association such as meeting planning, continuing education, the legislative arena including public and professional affairs, fundraising, strategic planning and management, and has a strong background with healthcare organizations.

Kristen joined the AML team in January, 2017. She helps lead several of AML’s client associations’ state conferences, conventions and trade shows and seminar efforts. Her role will continue to expand with AML association clients.

  • Member of Meeting Professionals International – Heartland Chapter.
  • Member of Iowa Society of Association Executives.
  • Nominated for 2012 University of Iowa Staff Employee of the Year Award.
Kailah Schmitz, Administrative Assistant

Kailah Schmitz joined the AML team in August 2015. She has worked in customer service, office operations, social media management and administrative support since 2009. She provided assistance for all of AML’s association client partners.

Her education background and experience makes her valuable in her role as Administrative Assistant with AML and all for the members of our association client partners. Performing meetings assistance, membership services, research and data reporting, and administrative support are all a part of her position on the team.

  • Earned Bachelor of Arts degree from Iowa State University.
  • Graduate of the Iowa Society of Association Executives Leadership Class.
  • Member of the American Society of Association Executives.
Easton Kuboushek, Program Manager

Easton Kuboushek is Program Manager, Data & Market Intelligence for AML, serving wholesale and manufacturing members of the National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers (NASGW) since 2017.

Easton has experience and has excelled in a wide variety of project development, strategic planning, event management, marketing, communication, public speaking and sales roles in non-profit and association careers. Most recently he served Iowa Soybean Association as communication specialist, developing content, programs and mutually beneficial relationships to keep soybean farmers competitive.

• Earned BA in Public Relations for Loras College.
• Earned Certificate in Business Analytics from Loras College.
• Currently earning Master of Public Administration (MPA) from Drake University.
• Serves on Leadership Iowa University board.
• Served on Drake University College of Business and Public Administration Graduate Association.

Do AMC-Managed Associations have an advantage in a Recession?

An association management company (AMC) is a professional service firm of skilled professionals who provide association expertise, guidance and specialized administrative and management services. Currently, association management companies serve as strategic partners and headquarters resources to thousands of international, national, regional, state and local organizations representing more than $3.4 billion in annual activity.
Whether an association has 100,000 members or 10 members, the management structure can make or break it. Managing associations has become increasingly complex, and association management companies are able to handle the rapid changes taking place in professions, the economy, technology, legal issues, and government regulations. Employing individual staff also has become a professional liability for some stand-alone associations, and with an association management company, that liability falls back on the company.