M. Bernadette Patton, CAE

M. Bernadette Patton, CAE


Shields Meneley Partners


In over 30 years of association experience, Bernadette held a variety of leadership positions with local, state, national and international membership groups. She served as the chief staff officer of stand-alone and managed organizations in interim, turn-around and full-time assignments, including over 17 years as the chief staff officer of her most recent organization, Human Resources Management Association of Chicago (HRMAC).

During her HRMAC tenure, the organization more than doubled its annual operating budget, expanded its program offering to over 70 events each year, established alliances, and attracted employers to the membership roster from all industries, both large and small, profit and non-profit, local and global who were located in Chicago’s six country region and beyond.

At the conclusion of HRMAC’s centennial in June 2016, Bernadette decided it was time to think about a next chapter. She voluntarily resigned in December 2016 providing six month’s advance notice and collaborated with the Board to orchestrate a smooth transition to the organization’s next leader.

As a principal with Shields Meneley Partners since August 2017, Patton represents the firm assisting executives with career changes, leadership development, assessments and board readiness. She is able to leverage her extensive experience in work-force related matters including global human resources and talent acquisition and development to assist clients experiencing professional transitions. She is also remaining active in the association community working with boards and leaders.

A graduate of the University of Northern Iowa with a bachelor of arts in education, she completed certificate course work at Kellogg School of Management, University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and DePaul University. She is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Organization Management at the University of Notre Dame. In 2002, Bernadette earned her Certified Association Executive (CAE). She serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council of DePaul University’s College of Communication and the Board of Directors of Career Transitions Center in Chicago.


Not recently active