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Association Leaders

Donna Harman
President/CEO, American Forest & Paper Association


Memorable projects: Leading association through time of industry transformation in ’07-’08; establishment of sustainability goals, which all members commit to; and gaining industry support for the Paper Check-off promotion program, which highlights the importance of paper and paper-based packaging. 
Lessons learned: Take the “long view.” It takes a long time to change policy in DC, but persistence and good planning usually pay off. And collaboration and listening to others creates greater opportunities for success. 
Why this career: Love politics, even at a young age, and wanted to come to DC. Started on Capitol Hill and later worked as a lobbyist for several companies. Joined AF&PA as VP of government affairs in ’01 and became president and CEO in ’07.
Grew up: Dodge City, KS
Why DC: Came as a college intern and returned to work for former Rep. Henson Moore (LA). 
First job: Parents owned a men’s clothing store and started working there at age 13. Dad paid twice the minimum wage with the promise that half would be saved. 
Free time: Family, gardening and cooking. 
Family: Married 27 years and two daughters. Met husband working on Capitol Hill—he was on the Ways & Means Committee and I was working for a committee member. 
Favorite vacation spots: Hawaii, Greece, Istanbul, London, Alaska and Colorado. Going to Peru this summer.
Daily habit: Can’t start without a cup of coffee.
Startling fact: When I was a young staffer on Capitol Hill, I was shot in the chest in my English basement apartment and lived to tell about it.

Jay Vroom
President/CEO, CropLife America


Memorable projects: High level of member engagement, anonymous biannual member survey, which allows them to respond with 100% transparency, and CropLife’s evolved approach to budgeting and issue priorities. 
Lessons learned: Find an industry to embrace and engage members.
Why this career: Grew up on a farm and participated in youth organizations before starting high school. Perfect precursor to association work. 
Grew up: On a farm in Dover Township, IL. 
Why DC: Came to work for The Fertilizer Institute. 
First job: Bailing hay for $1.10 per hour.
Free time: Waiting to discover free time. 
Family: Married 42 years and two sons.
Favorite vacation spot: London
Bucket list: Attend all golf and tennis Majors—three down, five to go.
Daily habit: Exercise
Startling fact: It’s startling that there’s no startling facts about me.

Did you miss the Association Leaders we profiled last week? Read about them here and here. And don't forget to come celebrate all these amazing Association Leaders on July 9 in Crystal City. Sign up here