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, CAE, 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 startup 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

Senior Vice President, 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 Brodowski, CPA

Accountant

John Brodowski is a graduate of Lynchburg 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.

 

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.

 

John Slotman

Vice President, Government Affairs

John Slotman brings nearly two decades in the health care and public policy sectors with broad strategic and tactical experience in government relations and policy, advocacy, communications and association management. As Vice President of Government Affairs, John leads BioNJ’s state and federal government relations efforts, working to ensure that Patients come first via innovation and growth in New Jersey’s life sciences sector. Most recently, John served as the Vice President for Graduate Medical Education Policy and Teaching Hospital Issues at the New Jersey Hospital Association. In this role, John was responsible for association activities in medical education, accountable care organizations and other state and federal policy issues. During his NJHA tenure, State support for medical education more than doubled and all four of the State’s medical schools joined NJHA as members.

Prior to coming home to his native New Jersey, John spent more than 14 years in a variety of positions in Washington, D.C., including roles on the federal relations teams with the American Hospital Association and the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (now known as the Association for Accessible Medicines). As GPhA staff, John led the association’s policy and advocacy efforts on drug shortages, working with policymakers, regulators and others to develop strategies aimed at solving ongoing shortages of critical treatments. In his role with the American Hospital Association, John worked with national leaders in rehabilitation and long-term care, assisting in shepherding legislation through Congress to provide inpatient rehabilitation facilities relief from the so-called 75% Rule. John also served as staff to a senior member of the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations and as an advisor to clients from across the health care spectrum with the multinational law firm DLA Piper.

John is a graduate of Drew University in Madison, NJ, with a double major in French and Political Science. John is currently working to complete his Master’s in Health Care Management.

 

Cheri Hennessy Durst

Executive Director

Experienced association professional with a demonstrated history of working in operations, organizational management, strategy, marketing and business development in start-ups, corporate, and non-profit organization management industry. Skilled in team leadership, mentorship, operational systems and management. Strong community and social services professional with a Bachelor of Arts from The College of New Jersey.

 

Debbie Mennito

Director, Talent Services & Events

Debbie joined AAI in January 2011 as the Director Talent Services and Events for BioNJ. As the Director, 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.

 

Kim Minton

Director, Member Engagement

As Director, Member Engagement for BioNJ, Kim brings more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, business development and membership services. She has worked with a wide variety of organizations, including the Philadelphia Business Journal, Bancroft, the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey, American Heart Association and JEVS Human Services. Kim has successfully helped build corporate communities while developing new value-based programs for member groups. In her role at BioNJ, Kim will support membership development, while also working to build BioNJ’s Purchasing Consortium Program which offers Members savings on services such as laboratory supplies, shipping, insurance, research publications and news distribution.

 

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.

 

Samantha Bamberger

Manager, Committees and Events

Samantha brings nearly 10 years of administrative, financial and project management experience supporting executive functions in multiple corporate environments, including Boston Consulting Group, Heritage Investment Partners, LLP and Sterling Resources International. She has significant experience in managing daily office operations, event management and special projects in client-facing roles. As Manager, Committees and Events, Samantha provides project management support to BioNJ’s advisory committees, programming development and event planning.

 

Erika Herbstman

Social Media and Design Manager

 Erika works with departments across the organization to create and execute Marketing and Communications strategies. She is also responsible for building BioNJ’s social media community. Prior to joining BioNJ, she worked in magazine publishing creating 360 marketing programs and developed strategic partnerships for luxury and lifestyle brands. With a diverse media background, Erika brings years of experience in brand advertising, B2B content marketing, social media and integrated design to facilitate brand awareness and revenue growth.

 

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.

 

Denise Machado

Manager, Membership 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.

 

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.

 

Peggy Schell

Talent Services & Public Policy Assistant

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.

 

Dana Sacco

Executive Assistant

Dana joined AAI in 1996 after working at Covance for five years as Assistant to the Vice President, Regulatory Affairs. 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.