Large Association CEOnly Program: Identification, Cultivation and Succession

When:  Feb 8, 2018 from 11:30 to 18:00 (CT)

Date: Thursday, February 8, 2018

Location: Association Forum, 10 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606

Career Level: CEOs and Executive Directors

Credit Hours for CAE: CAE Domain and Credit Hours: – Domain 2: Leadership; 4 hours

Fee: Complimentary

Time: 11:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 

CEOnly® Forum: A Forum for Large and Mid-Size Association CEOs

The pace of change is getting faster.  The solutions are becoming more innovative.  No one understands the challenges, needs and requirements of an association CEO better than your peers.  Identify, cultivate and develop succession to support talent development and retention is key.

Attend this intimate program to discuss the pressing challenges Executives are facing on talent management and receive first-hand peer feedback on how to maintain a competitive advantage!  

This program is designed for you to bring a key business issue or challenge for the community of peers to help you solve.  We encourage you to bring your Chief Human Resource Leader.

We begin with a working lunch to socialize and discuss issues and end with a networking reception to further the conversation.

We believe in the power of collaboration and how different perspective can lead to effective solutions. 






11:30 a.m.

Registration Opens


Noon to 1 p.m.

Networking Lunch


1:00 to 1:10 p.m.

Welcome and Introductions


1:10 to 2:10 p.m.

Identification: Steps to Attract to Retain High Potential Talent

Dwain Celestin, Managing Partner and Leader of the Global Diversity Practice for DHR International

2:10 to 2:25 p.m.



2:25 - 3:25 p.m.

Cultivation: Practices to Develop High Potential Leaders

Valeria Stokes, EdD, Interim Execuitve Consultant, The Affluence Group, Inc. 

3:25 to 3:40 p.m.



3:40 - 4:40 p.m.

Succession: Creating a Succession Plan for Your Association

David Westman, CEO, Westman & Associates Consulting, LLC

4:40 to 5:00 p.m.

Thoughts and Reactions


5:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Networking Reception

 Continue your conversations and end this energizing and collegial day with an interactive reception. Share stories and make connections that will extend your CEOnly Forum experience beyond the day!


About the Presenters:
Dwain H. Celistan, serves as a Managing Partner and leader of the Global Diversity
Practice for DHR International in the firm’s Chicago office.  He is also a member of the Consumer, Marketing,
Financial Services, Industrial and Private Equity practice areas.
Mr. Celistan has conducted searches for senior leaders across a range of firms and industries.  Over 50% of his placements are diverse candidates.
His clients have included over ten Fortune 500 firms, an assortment of family-owned, private equity-backed firms and universities.  His consultative approach and significant corporate leadership experience have helped clients refine their position specifications and better clarify the “right” candidate.
Prior to recruiting, he held senior Marketing, Sales and General Management positions in the US
and UK, for large firms in the consumer, industrial and retail arenas.  His experience includes roles of Vice-President
Marketing and Sales with a staff of nearly 100 professionals and budget of $100MM, and as a Senior Vice-President of Marketing for a $1B division. Importantly, during his career he has reversed declining businesses and accelerated the growth of businesses in multiple roles.
Dwain has coached leaders to help them realize their career goals and improve their productivity.  As part of this work, he has published four books, including Recruiter’s Guide to Hiring Diverse Leaders and You’re Hired! Actions to Get and Keep the Job of Your Dreams.
He supports young people on many levels.  This includes speaking to groups of students
from middle school to graduate level while also actively mentoring and supporting
high school students through Link Unlimited and the Illinois Mentoring Project.

Dwain is a graduate of LoyolaUniversity and has an MBA from AtlantaUniversity. He has done postgraduate
work at Cornell and Stanford universities.  

Valeria Stokes, EdD, Associate Executive Director, Chief Human Resources Officer of the American Bar Association (ABA). In this position, she is responsible directing all of the human resources functions and diversity initiatives for ABA administrators and staff of the Association. Her position, reports to ABA Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer Jack Rives.  

She has over 20 years of experience as a strategic HR thought leader.  She has served as an executive leader, vice president and corporate HR officer for Fortune 100 companies that includes, ACCO Brands, K-Mart, AT & T Wireless and Tata Corporate Services, (TCS).  Additionally, she has demonstrated accomplishments in not for profit associations.  As a global HR executive, Dr. Stokes has designed HR/OD strategies for globalization, developing and launching learning and development centers in Europe, Asia, USA, Canada, and Mexico.  She is co-founder of the Institute of Inclusion and served as co-chair for the Academy of Human Resource Development “Global 100” corporations. 

Dr. Stokes earned her BS at Creighton University, MS from University of Nebraska, Medical Center, and EdD in Adult Continuing Education, HR and Organizational Development from Northern Illinois University.  She has served as a member of the Northern Illinois University Foundation Board of Directors and College of Education board.    She is a published author, former academic assistant professor at Creighton University and Rush University, guest lecturer for Washington University School of Business; Lake Forest Graduate School; DePaul University, and currently adjunct faculty for Northern Illinois University, College of Education.  Additionally, she was Sr. Director for Human Resources at Howard University where she was responsible for the President’s Cabinet; Office of the General Council; Diversity; and assisted with the faculty phase retirement program.  Dr. Stokes has presented both internationally and nationally on leadership development, diversity, human capital planning, corporate learning organizations, and designing culturally competent leadership competencies and metrics.


David Westman, CEO, Westman & Associates Consulting, LLC. Previous to his current role at W&A, David served for nearly 10 years as CEO of two professional societies – the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) and the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA). At both societies he also was the staff leader of the affiliated foundations. At ENA he was also CEO of the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing. As a CEO, David facilitated development of comprehensive strategic plans, which resulted in significant growth and operational improvements at the societies and their affiliates. During his tenure at ENA the society was recognized by the National Association for Business Resources as one of Chicagoland’s top 101 “employers of choice” for four consecutive years.


Prior to his role as a CEO, David served for 15 years in leadership capacities at two large national accounting firms – KPMG and McGladrey. At McGladrey he led the Chicago-land’s Strategy & Human Capital Consulting practice and served as Performance & Compensation Consulting Practice Champion for the firm. In his various capacities, he doubled the size of his assigned business unit, personally sold and subsequently managed over 100 consulting engagements, wrote numerous articles on performance improvement topics, and served as a speaker at meetings of various associations and societies.


David received his undergraduate degree from Augustana College (Illinois), where he was a triple major and class valedictorian. He subsequently earned his MBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of Chicago. He is both a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Association Executive (CAE).

David is active with the American Society of Association Executives, where he is a past chair of the Key Professional Association Committee (KPAC), consisting of 40 large association chief staff executives. He is also active with Association Forum, where he is led an initiative to form a large CEO networking and best practice sharing group. In 2013 he was recognized as the Forum’s Inspiring Leader of the Year.
All attendees must be pre-registered.
Note: This program is not endorsed, accredited, or affiliated with ASAE or the CAE program. Applicants may use any program that meets eligibility requirements in the specific timeframe towards the exam application or renewal. There are no specific individual courses required as part of the applications – selection of eligible education is up to the applicant based on his/her needs.
The CEOnly: A Forum for Large Association CEOs is proudly sponsored by:



10 S Riverside Plz Ste 800
Chicago, IL 60606-3709