• A celebration of knowledge sharing achievements in the association sector in alignment with the Competencies for Association Executives.

    CSAE’s Empowering Leader Award recognizes a member who is focused on advancing association excellence through knowledge sharing in the membership community. The recipient is highly engaged in the community and brings an enthusiastic and creative energy to empower coworkers and association members through knowledge sharing. Examples of knowledge sharing could include teaching/facilitating a course, workshop, webinar, symposium or seminar, developing a new course, workshop, webinar, symposium or seminar, keynote speaker/guest speaker at a professional learning event, authoring a formal professional blog, published article or book, etc.


    • All members, in good standing, are eligible for this award.
    • Preference is given to CAEs.
    • The nominator must be a member.


    • Self-nominations.
    • Nominations for current members of CSAE’s Board of Directors.
    • Nominations for current members of CSAE’s Awards and Recognition committee.
    • Nominations from current members of CSAE’s Awards and Recognition committee.

    Selection Criteria

    Each application is reviewed by two to four volunteers in accordance with the judging guidelines. Volunteers review each application independently and then meet as a team to review, discuss and come to an agreement on the final recipient. All applications will be reviewed based on a set of established criteria using this evaluation rubric.

    • Leadership: The nominee has demonstrated their leadership commitment to at least one of the competencies for association executives.
    • Creativity and Engagement: The nominee has demonstrated a high-level of engagement in the association community and is focused on advancing association excellence with creativity and enthusiasm.
    • Knowledge Sharing: The nominee has made significant contributions in knowledge sharing through formal professional networking in CSAE or the association sector.  
    • Performance: The nominee consistently exceeds all selection criteria.

    Celebration and Entitlements

    The leadership awards are celebrated virtually during National Volunteer Week in April.

    One nominee may receive this award in any given year.

    Empowering Leader Award recipients will receive:

    • An electronic certificate.
    • A personalized image that can be shared on social media.
    • A digital badge.
    • Recognition across communications and within CSAE’s community.

    CAE® Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

    Credit is granted to the nominator for a complete award’s application. Leadership Awards, based on 0.5 hour per complete award nomination (maximum 2 hours per two-year reporting period).

    Become a Judge

    The leadership awards and recognition committee is a working group focused on the development and advancement of CSAE’s leadership awards, bursaries, and recognition initiatives.

    This volunteer opportunity is available to CSAE members. Applications open during the fall with annual appointment. Click here to learn more about the volunteer community and opportunities to get involved.

    Past Recipients

    2023 – Gemma Beierback, CAE

    Learn More

    For awards inquiries, connect with Casey Pope, CAE, volunteer relations specialist at casey@csae.com.

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