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Certified Association Executives (CAE) Program

A voluntary certification effort founded in 1960, the CAE program is designed to elevate professional standards, enhance individual performance and designate those who demonstrate knowledge essential to the practice of association management. 


Michelle Dekker, CAE, CMP with Iowa Medical Society
Robert Palmer, CAE with Iowa League of Cities
Kailah Schmitz, CAE with Association Management, Ltd.

Have questions about the CAE Group or want to attend a CAE breakfast, contact the CAE Coordinator Linda Goeldner at


Interested in joining a CAE Study Group? 

Contact Brenda Neville, CAE: 

Brenda Neville, CAE
Iowa Motor Truck Association
717 East Court
Des Moines, IA  50309
PH: 515-244-5193


ISAE is interested in hosting the CAE study group again, thanks to the effort of Brenda Neville at the Iowa Motor Truck Association.     


FALL 2020: Please notify Brenda Neville BY SEPTEMBER , 2020, if you are interested in participating in the Study Class for the FALL 2019 CAE Exam.  There is a minimum of 2 participants in order to conduct the study class.


2020 Dates TBD


2019 Dates of Importance

CAE Exam Date: Friday, December 6. 2019

  • Application Deadline: Friday, September 27, 2019


2019 CAE Fall Study Group Dates

Orientation will be on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 and the first class is scheduled for Tuesday, September 17th, based on the minimum of 2 participants.
More information about the study group is listed below.


CAE Study Group Orientation Session: Wednesday, September 11th from 8:30 – 9:30 AM.

Class Location: IMTA Office. Please RSVP to Brenda Neville at OR CALL 515-244-5193.


Study Class Schedule:

Wednesday, September 11 - Orientation Session – 8:30 – 9:30

Tuesday, September 17       8:30 – 10:00 AM

Tuesday, September 24       8:30 – 10:00 AM
Tuesday, October 1             8:30 – 10:00 AM
Tuesday, October 8             8:30 – 10:00 AM
Tuesday, October 15           8:30 – 10:00 AM
Tuesday, October 22           8:30 – 10:00 AM
Tuesday, October 29           8:30 – 10:00 AM 

Tuesday, November 5         8:30 – 10:00 AM
Tuesday, November 12       8:30 – 10:00 AM
Tuesday, November 19       8:30 – 10:00 AM
Tuesday, November 26       8:30 – 10:00 AM
Tuesday, December 3         8:30 – 10:00 AM

Wednesday, December 4    8:30 – 10:00 AM


CLICK HERE for a printable copy of the dates and details. 


FRIDAY, December 6, 2019 - 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location TBD/ # will dictate location for testing.

If 3 or more people from Iowa are going to take the class, we can set up a location for the entire group. The group testing has been held at the IMTA office in the past. If under 3 people, then you will be required to set up a testing site. Brenda Neville has location information for individual testing.

Study Group Facilitator/Leader:
Brenda Neville, CAE, President & CEO, Iowa Motor Truck Association 
*Brenda invites other Iowa CAEs to facilitate the study sessions, as well, so class participants get a variety of association leaders to help make the preparation even more meaningful.

Location of the Study Group sessions:
Iowa Motor Truck Association

717 East Court Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50309

Study Group Leader: Brenda Neville, CAE


Study Group Information for the Spring/Fall Sessions:

Format: Typically about a 60 – 90 minute session with discussion/sample quiz.
We will be focusing more on the reading w/specific reading assignments each week. Quiz will be sample questions that may or may not relate to the reading for that week but will prepare you for the test and get you acclimated to “multiple choice test taking” as well.
There is NO CHARGE to participate in the Study Sessions. 


You will be tested over nine “domains” that cover the following areas:
1. Organizational Management

2. Leadership

3. Administration

4. Knowledge Management

5. Governance Structure

6. Public Policy, Government Relations & Coalition Building

7. Membership Development

8. Programs, Products & Services

9. Marketing, Public Relations & Communications


The books listed below are considered essential in covering the CORE CURRICULUM. These are the books that are used for the study group sessions. All of these books can be purchased from ASAE or Amazon. You may also reach out to some of the most recent CAE study group participants to see if you can borrow those books.

1. Association Law Handbook – 5th Edition
2. Professional Practices in Association Management - 3rd edition
3. The Jossey-Bass Handbook of Nonprofit Leadership and Management – 3rd Edition
4. How to Read Nonprofit Financial Statements – 2nd edition
5. Membership Essentials: Recruitment, Retention, Roles, Responsibilities and Resources


Want to find out more about the CAE program and the Study group – Contact some of these most recent participants or any of the Iowa CAEs that are identified in the ISAE directory or find them under Member Search on the ISAE website.



  • Michelle Dekker, CAE, CMP with Iowa Medical Society
  • Robert Palmer, CAE with Iowa League of Cities
  • Kailah Schmitz, CAE with Association Management, Ltd.

Congratulations to some of Iowa's recent CAEs!

Cindy Baddeloo, CAE 
Chief Operating Officer
Iowa Health Care Association
West Des Moines, IA


Megan Baker, CAE

Director of Operations
Association of Boards of Certification
Ankeny, IA

Darcy Burnett, CAE

Senior Education Coordinator
Iowa Bankers Association
Johnston, IA


Cara Corkrean, CAE

Director of Membership & Operations
Iowa Grocery Industry Association
Urbandale, IA


Jessica Dunker, CAE
President/ CEO
Iowa Restaurant Association
West Des Moines, IA


Robert Hartwig, CAE
Legal Counsel
Iowa Bankers Association
Johnston, IA


Joe Hrdlicka, CAE
Executive Director
Iowa Biotechnology Association
West Des Moines, IA


Melissa Primus, CAE

Senior Account Executive
Diversified Management Services, Inc.

West Des Moines, IA


Nicole Russell, CAE

Manager, Government Affairs

Des Moines, IA


Andy Warren, CAE
Vice President for Operations
Associated General Contractors
Des Moines, IA



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