Why SAM?

Strategic Association Management (SAM) was founded in 2011 in Austin, Texas. Today, we're a team of more than 30 experienced association and nonprofit professionals serving local, statewide, and national partners.

SAM is dedicated to serving nonprofits and associations by designating a team of executive, managerial, and administrative professionals to provide operational and programmatic support based on the defined needs of the organization. Our model is simple: We take care of the day-to-day activities of managing an organization's services and programs, increasing efficiency, enabling scalability, and allowing the volunteers to spend more of their time focused on meaningful mission-driven work. 

SAM's approach provides our clients with a dedicated team that performs like an in-house staff for less cost, primarily due to shared overhead and staffing expenses with other organizations. Through long-term partnerships, our clients experience organizational sustainability, growth, and ultimately, transformation. 

SAM was founded in 2011 by Founder & Co-CEO Megan Woodburn, CAE, and in the first five years of the company, she built a foundation for growth on the principles of building trust, developing expertise, and a service-first approach. In 2017, Co-CEO JJ Colburn, CAE, joined as a partner in the firm, bringing two decades of association executive-level experience to SAM. In the last six years, SAM has doubled the staff team and the number of client partners we serve. While our company has evolved and grown in size, scope, and services over the last decade, what has remained constant is our commitment to trust, expertise, and service in our partnerships with associations.

Above all, we are association professionals running a business rather than a business doing association management, and we are deeply committed as a company and a team to the association industry. SAM and our team members maintain memberships and are actively engaged with the AMC Institute (AMCI), the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), the Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE), Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO), Meeting Professionals International (MPI), and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). More than half of the members of the SAM team have been conferred with and maintain respected association management certifications, including the Certified Association Executive (CAE), the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), the Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), and the Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional (CNAP). Each of the six SAM executive leadership team members served at senior levels of standalone associations before joining SAM. We invite you to learn more about the SAM team, our honors and credentials, and what we do.

Our Team

Our Honors and Credentials

What We Do