Our Team

Our Team

What if you could create your own management dream team?

Association Associates, Inc. (AAI) built its team with experienced meeting planners, publication managers, copywriters, graphic designers, grant writers, and financial professionals who are well versed in their respective fields ensuring that services are delivered at the highest possible level to meet and exceed your expectations.

Debbie Hart, MS, APR

President and CEO

Debbie Hart established Association Associates, Inc., after six years with New Jersey’s then largest association management firm, where she worked as an account executive and as director of an award-winning Communications Department. In addition to providing association management, public relations, and communications services to a variety of clients since beginning her career in 1984, Debbie has consulted on the start up of numerous associations.

She holds a master’s degree from the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University where she graduated cum laude in 1983 and a bachelor’s degree from The College of New Jersey (formerly Trenton State College), where she graduated magna cum laude in 1981.

Debbie is accredited in public relations by the Public Relations Society of America. She served as a member of the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Society of Association Executives (NJSAE) and in various officer and committee chair capacities. Debbie served on the Conference Planning Committee for the International Association of Association Management Companies Annual Conference. Debbie was a presenter at the American Society of Association Executives Annual Conference. She served on the faculty of the New Jersey Society of Association Executives Association Management 101 Program and served on the American Society of Association Executives Credentialing Commission.

Former co-chair and eight-year member of the Planning Committee for the Annual 500-mile Anchor House Bike Ride for Runaways, Debbie is also a 15-year Ride participant. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Anchor House. She was recognized by her peers in the New Jersey Society of Association Executives with a Points of Light Award for her work with Anchor House. She is a past recipient of the NJSAE Excellence in Association Management Award, which recognizes outstanding performance in the field of association management. Debbie was also among the 1998 Business News New Jersey Magazine’s article “40 Under 40”, a compilation of 40 up-and-coming NJ residents in the business world.

Debbie has been honored by the Women’s Fund of New Jersey as a Woman Advancing Science in the biotechnology industry, and Debbie and BioNJ have been recognized by the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) with a New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame Award. In 2009, Debbie has been recognized as a Woman of Achievement by the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders and was named as one of New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business by NJBiz as well as a recipient of the Community Spirit Award from the New Jersey Council of Community Colleges.

Donna Gibbons

Sr. VP, Operations

Having started with AAI in 1995 and bringing several years of operations experience with her, Donna has been instrumental in developing internal controls and systems, which continue to meet and exceed our accreditation standards. The ability to streamline systems while tailoring our services to our association partners’ needs is one of Donna’s strongest, natural talents. Donna oversees all aspect of our operations, improving efficiencies, service levels and closely monitoring operation costs for all clients as well as AAI. Donna ensures compliance with all client contracts and coordinates planning, scheduling and general oversight of our internal operation.

John Brodowki, CPA

Accountant

John Brodowski is a graduate of Lynchburgh College in Lynchburg, Virginia. His presence as a member of our team ensures that clients’ finances are being managed accurately and effectively. A CPA with more than 25 years of financial analysis and audit experience, his oversight ensures that reporting is accurate and thorough and clients’ funds are maximized to help them reach their financial goals.

Debbie Mennito

Director of Meetings

Debbie joined AAI in January 2011 as the Meeting Manager for BioNJ. As the Meeting Manager, she works with the BioNJ team and its member committees to plan and execute forums, briefings, and events that bring the New Jersey biotech community together to exchange ideas and develop relationships. Debbie brings 8 years of event and conference planning experience from her previous role as an Event Planner at Merrill Lynch. She also serves as a volunteer co-chair on the planning committee for Anderson House to plan the Annual Comedy Night event.

Dana Sacco

Executive and Public Policy Assistant

Dana joined AAI in 1996 after working at Covance for five years as Assistant to the Director of Personnel. Dana maintains client database information, meeting and conference preparation and all general administrative support. She also works to ensure positive client relationships and excellence in customer service.

Ann Wieczkowski

Manager, Accounting Services

Ann joined AAI in September 2009. She received her bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts with a Minor in Psychology and graduated Cum Laude from York College of Pennsylvania in 1993 where she was selected as a member of the Senior Honor Society.  In addition to her pleasant nature and sense of humor, Ann brings several years of experience as a licensed administrator in health care operations. Ann manages various aspects of our financial management systems and oversees the accounts receivables function. In addition to her role here, she is actively involved in the community as a volunteer on the Board of the Bordentown School PTO, as a coach for recreational sports teams, and as a volunteer for various civic organizations.

Cheri Potts

Office Manager

Cheri Potts has worked as an administrative assistant for 20 + years.  She started her career working in the dental field providing assistance to Dental Hygienists and Dentists in their practices.  She then moved on to become the Director of a Children’s Daycare center, where she oversaw the daily functions of the facility including compliance, safety and the well-being of 150 children and 11 Team Members.  Most recently, Cheri worked as an administrative assistant in a Trenton, NJ based medical office.

Edie Esposito

Member Services Manager

The ultra-high energy Edie Esposito joined the AAI team in September 2012, as a Member Services Coordinator working with BioNJ.  Edie joins us after 5 years of Association Management experience with the New Jersey Chapter of Community Association Institute, where she worked with the organizations’ members as Membership Services Coordinator.  Outside the office, Edie has served in several leadership roles with the Cub Scouts and with the PTA.

Kristin Hassan

Sr. Managing Director

Kristin Hassan came to AAI in 2007 with over 10 years of experience working with trade associations.  Kristin has served in various roles of increasing responsibility since beginning her AAI career including Member Relations & Meetings Manager and Business Development Manager before being promoted to her role as Managing Director working with HRNY and CREW. With her inborn customer service mentality, Kristin delivers excellence in her oversight of all aspects of the day to day management and strategic oversight for her clients. Her work at AAI is carried through to her interests outside of AAI, where she volunteers for a number of different charities and organizations, serves on the Parent Teacher Association and is an active member of her community.

Denise Machado

Manager, Operations

Before joining AAI in August 2013, Denise spent 20 years at a New Jersey based pharmaceutical company holding several positions including Executive Administrative Assistant, Marketing and Sales and, Administrator, Visiting Faculty in the Medical Education Division. She also spent several years working for a marketing communications company as the Director of Meeting Planning. Denise has an active role in the accounts payable area along with involvement in various client activities. Outside of AAI, she has volunteered in various board positions for her local Parent Teacher Association.

Matthew Alcade

Director, Talent Network

Matthew Alcalde graduated from Rutgers University in 2006 with a B.S. in Biological Sciences.  Since graduating, he has worked in the non-profit realm, coordinating various federal and state workforce development grants. In 2009, he was the Grant Coordinator for the Bio-1 Fellowship Program, an internship initiative to help recent grads get on-site training in the life sciences industry.  He then transitioned to become the Grant Director for a workforce development grant in green energy, which specialized in helping companies in the renewable energy industry find talent and incentives to build their business in NJ.  In mid-2011, he joined AAI as a Business Development Manager for the Life Sciences Talent Network at BioNJ.  In this position, he wears multiple hats, including business outreach to New Jersey’s robust pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, recruiting top talent for career opportunities in life sciences, coordinating career and networking events and assisting professionals during their challenging time in transition. His commitment to quality and excellence make Matt a vital part of our team.

Peggy Schell

Talent Network Coordinator

Peggy joined AAI in June 2010 and brings 40+ years of administrative experience with her. She is a graduate of Fordham University, College of Business Administration with a BS degree in Marketing & Management.  Peggy has a wide variety of experience supporting senior executives in the finance, pharmaceutical, trade association and government industries and brings a strong work ethic and attention to detail to her current role.  Prior to joining AAI, she was a Strategic Communications Associate at Schering-Plough Corporation supporting the Head of Corporate Strategic Affairs.  In her current role, she provides various levels of support in administration, communications, and public policy.

Randi Bromberg

Vice President, Communications and Marketing

Randi brings more than 20 years of experience working as a marketing and business communications professional. Her extensive experience includes managing media relations and writing and executing forward-thinking marketing strategies and initiatives that foster member engagement, build awareness and drive growth. With a strong analytical and market research background, Randi has a keen eye for identifying and developing new marketing opportunities. Most recently, Randi was the Executive Director of Marketing for ASI, the leading trade association within the advertising specialty industry. Randi’s broad-range of experience includes business intelligence, branding, marketing communication, customer relationship management, social media and public relations.

Linda Brown

Vice President, Engagement
Linda brings more than 25 years in clinical research and drug development in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries in the U.S. and as an expatriate internationally. She has worked both in early stage and large company environments, including 13 years with Merck and Company in roles spanning manufacturing, clinical research and drug development, public and investor relations, fund raising, marketing and business development. Throughout her career, Linda has held leadership and liaison positions engaging teams and organizations to provide strategic direction to emerging companies and new business initiatives. Most recently Linda served as a global team leader for a contract research organization developing strategic partnerships with pharmaceutical companies to support their needs to expedite clinical development to get important treatments to market.

Rebecca Perkins

Vice President of Government Affairs
Rebecca Perkins is a public policy and communications strategist with over twenty years of experience. Since 2004, Rebecca has been President and CEO of The Perkins Partnership, a public policy consulting firm focused on advocacy, stakeholder engagement, strategic communications and nonprofit organizations, with special expertise in healthcare and life sciences. Previous positions include Senior Vice President at the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey, where she led communications, legislative and philanthropic initiatives focused on healthcare; Special Assistant to the President of the University of Medicine & Dentistry for External Affairs, where she promoted private/academic research relationships and represented the University to the life sciences community; and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Prosperity New Jersey in the administration of New Jersey Governor James McGreevey, where she led policy and mission initiatives.

Katina Pearl-Blando, MPH

Managing Director
Katina brings with her more than 20 years of project management experience, including an extensive background in planning and implementing a wide breadth of education programs and policy initiatives for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. Katina also served as a Project Director for Genecom, serving their pharmaceutical clients by overseeing the development and execution of various programs to broaden medical providers’ awareness of certain medical conditions, including Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), and fostering the appropriate diagnosis and treatment of patients in need.

Nicole Composto

Communications Manager
Nicole brings over 5 years of creative marketing experience to our communications and marketing team. Prior to joining AAI, Nicole was the Production Coordinator for Physician’s Weekly, Graphic Designer for Pet Age Magazine and NJBIZ and the Communications Manager at Special Olympics New Jersey. She is a graduate of Rider University where she received a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership in Communications, as well as Bachelor of Arts in Radio & T.V. Communication, with a minor in Graphic Design & Multimedia.