Meeting and Events Manager at AFS headquarters in Bethesda, Shawn Johnston heads all aspects of meetings management at the Society. At this year’s Annual Meeting in Atlantic City, Shawn was given the AFS Distinguished Service Award (DSA). The DSA is given to individuals who have provided outstanding service to AFS.
“Shawn has rendered distinguished and exemplary service and furthered the mission of AFS in significant ways,” said former President Steve McMullin. “…Shawn’s experience, dedication, and unique skillset have significantly increased meeting revenues, minimized legal and financial risks, and elevated the quality and attendance at annual meetings.”
“It is no coincidence that the two largest AFS Annual Meetings, both in terms of attendance and tradeshow sales, in the 150-year-long history of our organization took place under Shawn’s watch…It is largely due to Shawn’s example and effectiveness that AFS leaders have conferred greater responsibility upon AFS staff members in the planning and execution of Annual Meetings.”
Shawn Johnston joined AFS as the Administrative Coordinator in 2007 and is currently the AFS Meetings Manager, the lead contact for managing AFS meetings and coordinating meeting contracts with Chapters and Divisions. Shawn graduated from UMDNJ with a Bachelor’s of Science in Emergency Management, obtained his national registry flight paramedic license in 1997, and attended Rutgers University for business management. He also managed safety conferences for a large manufacturer in New Jersey for seven years.
Outside of the Bethesda headquarters, our staff are making their mark as well. In August, Katrina Dunn, Director of Development at AFS, was listed among the Association Forum’s 2018 Class of Forty Under 40 award winners. This is a national award to “outstanding association and non-profit professionals for their accomplishments, commitment to the industry, leadership skills and continued potential,” said the AF web page. Awardees will be honored on Wednesday, December 12 at a private awards ceremony, in the presence of more than 1,000 association and meetings executives at the Holiday Showcase Keynote and Networking Brunch.
Katrina joined AFS in 2016. Before coming to AFS she spent 10 years working in various capacities for associations. Her work included fundraising, meetings and events, and marketing. As Director of Development, Katrina finds the funding that allows AFS to continue the important work of advancing and strengthening fisheries. She also participates in several working groups in the areas of meetings, marketing, and membership.
Founded in 1916, Association Forum has nearly 4,000 members representing more than 44,000 association professionals from nearly 1,600 Chicago organizations.
One more staff member has been acknowledged for his professional accomplishments. You may have seen Steve Kambouris in Atlantic City, working alongside Shawn Johnson, as our Meetings and Programs Coordinator. He was chosen this year to receive a Pat Tillman Foundation Scholar Award from among thousands of applicants nationwide within the U.S. military. Some 60 of the best-poised leaders, who show strength in character, academic excellence and incredible potential, are chosen as Tillman Scholars every year. They are “individuals who apply the best lessons they’ve learned in life and the military to impact our country for years to come in medicine, business, law, science, education and the arts.”
After 12 years of military duty in the Army, Steve received an undergraduate degree in political science and sociology from Augusta University in Georgia. He is now in the process of completing a master’s degree in public management at Johns Hopkins University. He frequently competes in fishing competitions, most recently in a snakehead fishing competition on May 26th. These competitions are not just to claim a win, but to help reduce the number of snakeheads, an invasive species, in Maryland waters.