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


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

Sr. 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.


Ian McLaughlin, PhD

Vice President, Government Affairs

A life scientist by training, Ian most recently served as a Policy Analyst in the New Jersey Assembly Majority Office, working as a Committee Aide to the Assembly Health and Aging & Senior Services Committee. During his tenure with the New Jersey Assembly Majority Office, Ian was responsible for analyzing legislation, department budgets and regulations; preparing briefing documents for legislative leadership; and working closely with advocates, lobbyists and stakeholders in preparing and delivering testimony before Assembly committees. Prior to joining the Assembly Majority Office, Ian was a Science and Politics Fellow at the Eagleton Institute of Politics.

Ian’s scientific research focused on understanding the neurobiology of addiction and psychiatric conditions with the goal of identifying novel druggable CNS targets. While in graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania, Ian served as a Vice President of the Penn Biotech Group, which enables teams of MBA, M.D. and Ph.D. candidates to consult for companies in biotech, pharma, health care analytics and venture capital.

As Vice President, Government Affairs, Ian will use his scientific acumen, analytical mind and experience in working with the New Jersey Legislature to lead BioNJ’s advocacy and public policy efforts to help our Members help Patients.


Cheri Hennessy

Vice President, Member Engagement and Strategic Partnerships

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.


Pavita Howe, MBA

Vice President, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Pavita is an entrepreneurial leader with experience in business development, marketing, strategy, program management, new products, launches, business planning, and building ecosystems at start-ups, academic institutions and large organizations. Most recently, Pavita served as Director of Entrepreneurship Partnerships at Rutgers University, where she worked with internal and external partners to grow Rutgers’ entrepreneurial ecosystem, bring visibility to Rutgers affiliated start-ups, and connect them to valuable resources at the university and across the broader New Jersey entrepreneurial network. In addition, Pavita worked with start-ups in the Rutgers community who were bringing innovations to market in a variety of industries, including life sciences, healthcare, technology, digital health, food and agriculture and climate/sustainability technologies.

Prior to Rutgers, Pavita spent her career working in marketing and leadership roles at start-ups in California and New Jersey. Her first entrepreneurial experience was with Forte, a San Diego-based technology start-up which was acquired by Genesys in San Francisco, where Pavita led the Marketing Launch team until the company’s acquisition by Alcatel. Pavita has served as a mentor and advisor at TechLaunch NJ and the NJ Technology Council (now TechUnited) and a co-organizer at Morris Tech Meetup in New Jersey. She has appeared multiple times on the ROI-NJ Influencers in Technology list and was also named on ROI-NJ’s Influencers in Higher Educationlist in 2022.


Debbie Mennito

Executive Director, Conferences, Committee and Workforce

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.


Dawn Piccioni

Director, Marketing and Design

Dawn brings with her 25 years of experience in marketing, digital media, design and trade show management.  As Director, Marketing and Design, she works across the organization to help create and execute all communications and marketing programs. Prior to joining AAI, Dawn spent more than 20 years at the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), the leading trade association for the advertising specialty industry, where she was responsible for content marketing, social media and graphic and web design to create brand awareness, foster brand loyalty and increase engagement; in addition to developing interactive platforms for ASI’s numerous live events and educational programs.


Ann Wieczkowski

Executive Director, Accounting Operations

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

Executive Director, Member 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

Sr. Executive Assistant to the CEO

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. Outside of AAI, she has volunteered in various board positions for her local Parent Teacher Association.


Maria Carapucci

Meeting Coordinator

A graduate of Rutgers University, Maria joined the BioNJ Team as Meeting Coordinator in January 2023. Working closely with the Executive Director of Conferences and Committees, Maria will support the planning and delivery of more than 30 annual BioNJ conferences and meetings. In her role, Maria will liaison with BioNJ’s Members, Team, Volunteer Committees and vendors to ensure the execution of high-caliber programming. With a keen eye for detail and strong organizational skills, Maria will assist in the management of event logistics and Committee communication.