In January, Justin Bonestroo, CBIZ Senior Vice President, took over as ASPPA president for calendar year 2023, replacing Immediate Past President Natalie Wyatt.
“Justin brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the role of president,” ASPPA Executive Director and ARA Chief Counsel Allison Wielobob said. “He very much did so while president of ASEA with a foundation in strategic thinking, and I know that he has some great ideas for ASPPA in 2023 and beyond.”
The Southern California-based Bonestroo detailed some of his ideas recently, including shortening the learning curve for new leaders.
“ASPPA, ASEA, and all the sister organizations are member-driven, and the leadership is member-driven,” he said. “In any situation like that, you have this inherent turnover of leadership, and you have a window where you can participate and make an impact, but it takes a little while to really understand the landscape and strategic goals.”
He mentioned conferences as an example and his own realization about the increasing competition to lure attendees.
“There’s competition for attendance, but competition for sponsorship as well,” Bonestroo explained. “There are strategic decisions that are made in planning to focus on meeting goals. For instance, ensuring you have a sponsorship that is excited to be a part of your conference. There’s so much behind it.”
His involvement with ASEA leadership helped, but nonetheless, it took time to understand the different leadership tracks.
“We can’t be stagnant. Our membership has changed. I started with ASPPA when it only had one P. Between consolidation and so many other factors, our membership has changed. It’s about getting new people up to speed as quickly as possible but ensuring they know our strategic history. One of my goals is to establish some paths to consistency in leadership so future leaders can step in and begin making an impact from the beginning.”
Diversity and inclusion is another initiative, something he says has “multiple branches.”
I think we’ve come a long way in gender equality, over the last 10 years especially,” he said. “We haven’t done as well on cultural diversity and diversity of thought. Diversity has so many areas; diversity of thought, our segment practices, and culture and gender. I want newer members who attend conferences to know that they’re not only welcome here but that we need and encourage them. I want to make sure ASPPA leadership reflects our membership.”
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