Leonard J. Brenner

Leonard J. Brenner



Leonard concentrates his practice in corporate and business matters on behalf of for profit and not for profit organizations. Mr. Brenner is licensed to practice law in both Illinois and Wisconsin. Mr. Brenner graduated from the University Of San Diego School Of Law in 1984, from Northern Illinois University in 1979 with a degree in accounting, and practiced in public accounting before attending law school. Mr. Brenner is admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Tom Conway

Thomas P. Conway, M.B.A., C.P.A

Chief Financial Officer


With more than 30 years of association management experience, Tom currently provides executive oversight for AACE’s financial management, technology and special projects.  Prior to joining AACE in 2017, Tom was Chief Operating Officer for the American Society of Anesthesiologist and during his tenure provided executive oversight for information technology, finance, human resources, business development, marketing, strategic planning and facilities. Before joining the ASA in 2008, Tom served as executive director of the Catholic Press Association and vice president of business operations for Moose International. He also has held senior positions at the American Academy of Dermatology—including associate executive director of finance and planning, interim executive director and executive director—and at the National Futures Association as vice president and treasurer. Tom, who began his career in public accounting, is a member of the American Society of Association Executives and Association Forum of Chicagoland.

Nicki Augustyn



Nicki Augustyn is a nonprofit executive dedicated to identifying new ways to match beneficial information to the audiences who need it most, in usable and impactful formats. Through oversight of marketing, communications, and publishing for the American College of Chest Physicians, Nicki works with internal staff teams, member leaders and volunteers, other associations, and partners across sectors to identify knowledge and skill challenges and craft solutions that allow healthcare providers to better serve their patients. With more than 14 years association experience, Nicki held previous roles with the American Marketing Association and the Society of Critical Care Medicine.

Rob Miller

Rob Miller



Rob Miller, MPA CAE, is the SVP of Revenue at Gravitate Solutions where he helps guide corporate strategic direction, product vision, and oversees customer relations, sales and marketing. Prior to Gravitate, Mr. Miller served as the Senior Vice President of Business Development, Strategic Planning and Operations at 340B Health, an association of over 1400 hospitals.

Mr. Miller has extensive experience identifying and implementing industry-best practices at associations. Prior to joining 340B Health, he was the founder and president of several software and consulting firms that provided solutions to associations including Avectra (now Abila), which he grew to 200+ staff. Earlier in his career, he worked for the National Association of Broadcasters and the White House Office of Management of Budget. He was a Presidential Management Fellow at OMB.

Mr. Miller received his Master of Public Administration from The American University in Washington, D.C., and his Bachelor of Arts from the Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota.

Sharon Rice

Sharon Rice


Sharon specializes in strategic nonprofit planning consulting including facilitation of board planning, development of long-term business plans, as well as product and service planning. Prior to focusing on consultancy, Sharon led APICS as VP of Strategy. Earlier in her career, Rice served as both an association executive and a consultant to nonprofit organizations working specifically in the areas of strategic planning, program development, complex project management, as well as training and development. Additionally, Rice’s professional association experience includes the American Society of Clinical Pathology; Krajewski & Associates, an association management consulting firm; the National Association of Minority Engineering Program Administrators; and the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants. Rice holds a bachelor's degree from Manchester College and attended the University of Illinois.

Mark Thorsby

Mark Thorsby


Mark Thorsby is responsible for providing effective guidance and leadership to organizations that are creating strategic plans, examining governance structures and cultures, defining relationships between organizations and their constituents and evaluating organizational effectiveness. Mark is a subject matter expert in the field of governance, leadership development and strategic planning/thinking. He is an experienced senior association professional and is a polished, professional facilitator and presenter. In addition to his practical experience in the field, Mark has made a significant personal commitment to the study and the teaching of volunteer organization leadership and strategy development. He provides his audiences with the benefits of his theory research combined with the day-to-day practical experience of association management.

In addition to his professional responsibilities, Mark also has served on the boards of directors and as an officer of more than two dozen organizations. His view from the volunteer perspective makes him a valuable consultant to the not-for-profit community. His service as a volunteer spans both private and public organizations, from Rotary Club to convention and visitors bureau to elected city council member, including service as a member of the Board of Directors of the Association Forum.

Rupa Brosseau

Director of FAER

Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research

Rupa is a dynamic nonprofit executive with proven results in leading both 501 (c)(3) and 501 (c)(6) organizations for more than 16 years. Dedicated to advancing associations and their foundations, Rupa has worked for both associations and foundations throughout her career. Prior to joining FAER, Rupa served in development, membership, education and marketing roles at the International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and IAOMS Foundation, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Veterinary Medical Foundation, American Academy of Dermatology, and SmithBucklin. Rupa’s varied experience includes strategic planning, marketing plans, website development, planned giving, membership recruitment and retention, branding, and learning management platforms. She is particularly skilled at strengthening brands, building new relationships, change management, and managing teams to exceed organizational and fundraising goals.

Sandy Marsico

Sandy Marsico

Chief Executive Officer

Sandstorm Design

When Sandy was 24, she founded the kind of company she always wanted to work for—a boutique agency that thrived on exceptional and strategic work, with high energy in an environment where there's always room for growth and change. Since then, she has grown Sandstorm into Chicago’s leading digital marketing and user experience agency for organizations including: Crown (NYSE CCK), American Medical Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield, MathWorks, Rotary and Discovery Education. With more than 3,000 in-depth interviews and usability studies conducted, Sandy leads a company that has mastered the art of uncovering insights to elevate brand experiences. Sandstorm also has been named Chicago's 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For. In addition, Sandy has spoken to hundreds of CEOs on culture as a growth and brand strategy. Her specialties include strategy, UX design, content, web development, analytics and optimization.

Jennifer Pitts

Director, Products & Programs

National Association of Healthcare Quality

Jennifer Pitts is a seasoned association leader with over 13 years of progressive experience in non-profit healthcare membership organizations. Strategy-focused with an extensive background in directing the business of education and certification, as well as, developing talent. Jennifer has a natural ability to orchestrate people and resources to maximize effectivities and drive results. She has expertise in project management, educational planning, faculty development and outcomes measurement. Jennifer has a strong desire to learn and improve and thrives in complex dynamic organizations posed for innovation and growth.