We believe in the 3 essential elements of association effectiveness:

Our Team

Jeffrey Arnold, MAM, CAE

Jeffrey Arnold, MAM, CAE


Jeff Arnold, MAM, CAE is an association leadership strategist and author who helps association CEOs and their Boards of Directors build world-class strategy, world-class boards and world-class board/staff relationships. He is President and co-owner of Leading Associations, a company that provides training, consulting, and management services, helping organizations provide visionary leadership, establish an aspirational culture, and produce remarkable results.

Robert D. Spangler, MPA

Robert D. Spangler, MPA

Chief Operating Officer

Rob Spangler, MPA, CSC is a leadership confidant who helps CEOs and their Board of Directors to clarify strengths and areas of challenge so they can build stronger leadership teams and organizations. He is co-owner of Leading Associations, a company that provides training, consulting and management services to organizations, showing them how to provide visionary leadership, establish an aspirational culture and produce remarkable results.

From training to group dynamic improvements Rob is an experienced speaker and facilitator for both large and small groups. By “meeting you where you are” he is skilled in clarifying issues and needs as well as helping a group to identify intermediate steps toward a stronger leadership teams.

Deborah Kay Reece, CMP

Deborah Kay Reece, CMP

Marketing and Events Director

Debbie is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), sales manager, and event marketing strategist. She is Owner of DLK Marketing and Events, LLC. Her major accomplishments are in event architecture, marketing, social media, sponsorship and fundraising management, contract negotiation, and strategic planning.

Leon Cerna, SPHR

Leon Cerna, SPHR


Leon has held leadership roles in Fortune 15 and 300 companies and served in the public sector as a Chief HR Executive. He has provided strategic oversight of human resources departments and established foundations of respect, diplomacy, high ethical standards, and collaboration that have promoted the overall success of the organizations.

Kate Frazier

Kate Frazier


Kate has spent over 20 years working in Human Resources partnering with various business executives, managers, and organizations as a leader in Organization Development, Talent Management, and Human Resources. She is an experienced strategic partner who is able to translate business goals to achieve high impact performance. She has extensive experience in organizational effectiveness and leadership development. In her roles at DCP Midstream, Willis, MillerCoors, and McDATA, she developed and implemented human resources programs in the areas of leadership development, organization development and effectiveness, talent management, training, M&A integration, and change management.

She is certified in the EQi 2.0, EQ360, and EQ Leadership Report measures of emotional intelligence and also as an Emergenetics Associate. She uses these types of assessment tools in working with teams and individuals to help them better understand themselves and their teams to achieve extraordinary results.

She has a Master’s of Science in Communication from the University of Denver and a Bachelor’s of Arts in International Studies from the University of the Pacific.

Francine Butler, PhD, CAE, CMP

Francine Butler, PhD, CAE, CMP


Francine Butler has over 30 years of experience in association management serving as Executive Director of a number of associations and building an association management company with 20 staff that served a client list representing health care, scientific and engineering professional societies. Many aspects of association development were under her direction.

Jessica Schaller, MBA

Jessica Schaller, MBA


For more than 10 years, Jessica has been specializing in the accounting of start-ups, ongoing businesses and non-profits that don’t require a full-time controller, but do have accounting needs. Her focus is on the building of client data files, all bookkeeping functions, sales tax returns, payroll and related filings, and assistance in tax filing preparation, budgeting, cash flow and financial projections.

“Circle, Triangle, and Square” – Sengai (1750-1838)


In Zen art, the Square, Triangle and Circle represent the three fundamental forms of the universe. The circle represents the infinite (heaven), the triangle represents bodily existence (man) and the square the objective world (earth). With the the overlapping forms, the triangle (man) has one foot on earth and the other in heaven. Thus, the image represents the potential of Human-kind to stand on earth and reach toward heaven — both physically and metaphorically.

Leading Association’s Application of the symbols:



Present Reality

(objective world)


Strategic Focus

(human potential)






Leading Associations believes in association. For that reason, we are involved in the professional associations that represent our industry and our profession.



Associated General Contractors of America Executive

Leadership Council

Advanced Metallurgical Group

Colorado Chambers of Commerce Executives

Colorado Optometric Association

Concrete Association

Council for State Executive Directors

Grand Foundation

Mountain Top Children’s Museum

Museum Store Association

National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting

National Cannabis Industry Association

Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society

Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association

Statewide Colorado Youth Detention Continuum

Summit Colorado Interfaith Council

Summit County Preschool

Summit Foundation

Veterinary Medical Association Executives

World Sign Association


In June 2016, Jeff Arnold was awarded the “Association Professional of the Year”  by the Colorado Society of Association Executives.