2020 Connect Association 40 Under 40: Christina Smith, MPA, CAE

Christina Smith, MPA, CAE, 37, is owner and principal at Smith Strategies Association Management. She is based in Birmingham, Alabama.

Christina Smith 40 Under 40 Connect Association

Christina Smith describes herself as dedicated, goal-oriented and passionate. Learn more about her.

How I got here:
After many years working in marketing, public relations and event management in the banking world, I was given the opportunity to interview as the executive director for the Alabama Chapter of the American College of Cardiology in January 2016. Since that time, I have onboarded and partnered with a new group almost every nine to 12 months to go from one local association to almost 10 (one pending!) nationally.  

Greatest career accomplishment:
The overhaul of conferences given the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been working every day to mitigate damages to our clients, but also provide real solutions— such as statewide and regional virtual platforms for physicians to have that opportunity to speak on working treatments and best practices for treating COVID-19 patients. Now is the time for innovation!

Specific improvement I’ve made:
I inherited a large conference that built a reputation of a forced corporate-focus, instead of member-value, education-focused. I took a deep dive with the board and created a culture upheaval, not just average event management. We completely changed the “why” and matched it to the mission statement of the association. 

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