Opportunity at Association Laboratory: Strategist


Interested in working on leading edge association strategy projects across association domains and professional sectors? Enjoy working from the comfort of your own home? Do you like researching and facilitating complicated discussions that will drive an association’s strategy for years to come?

Do you hate spending all day in meaningless meetings? Tired of being micromanaged? Living most of your life in a car while you commute? Ignoring your family?

Maybe you should work with us. We are looking for a rising star that we can teach to guide associations through challenging conversations.

Association Laboratory is currently recruiting a Strategist to lead client engagements. This is a home-based position with occasional travel.

Characteristics of the Optimal Candidate


  • You need to understand associations. Would love a minimum 5 – 10 years of association experience.
  • You need strong presentation and facilitation skills. You need the capability and/or experience of reporting to and facilitating Board and leadership discussions.
  • You need to be able to prove you know what you’re doing. Please be able to show a demonstrable record of achieving defined outcomes. For example, we don’t care how big your budget was, we care if you increased revenue.
  • You need to be comfortable working simultaneously with different types of engagements. Previous multi-client or multi-association consulting experience would be super.
  • You need to be able to communicate complicated thoughts in writing.
  • You need to be able to communicate complicated thoughts on stage.
  • You can’t be afraid of words or numbers. Experience in qualitative and quantitative research design, analysis and reporting will be your meat and potatoes.
  • You must be able to use a computer. Proficiency with Microsoft Office products, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint are pretty much a given.

Association Laboratory has a development track designed to orient you to the company and train you to be a successful and respected professional strategist, but you need to bring the basic building blocks to the table. We have a great team of people excited to work with you and help you be successful.

Association Laboratory is a research and strategy firm that serves trade and professional associations through offices and staff in Chicago, IL and Washington, DC. The company was founded in 1999 and provides research and strategic consulting services in a variety of domains. The company is the leading source of sector research on the association community and produces astrategic education targeting association leaders.

More information on the company can be found at www.associationlaboratory.com. 



The strategist is responsible for leading client engagements, supporting sales and marketing efforts and managing the resources of Association Laboratory to fulfill the company’s promise to the client while also meeting the business objectives of Association Laboratory. This position reports to the President of Association Laboratory.

Primary responsibilities include the following.

  • Collaborating with the client on the final methodology, scope and objectives of the engagement and successfully managing the Association Laboratory engagement team within this scope.
  • Leading the collection, analysis and reporting of qualitative and quantitative research projects to meet the goals of the engagement.
  • Creating and presenting interim and final reports and recommendation for association staff and senior volunteer leaders.
  • Designing and leading staff and volunteer leader planning sessions and facilitations following completion of research.
  • Project management and coordination of all aspects of a client engagement.

Potential responsibilities based on capabilities.

  • Sector research and the development of white papers to inform company content strategy.
  • Business development and sales activities designed to educate and engage new consulting clients.

Company Culture and Structure


Association Laboratory has a matrix organizational culture and model. There is no central office or vertical hierarchy. To be successful within this environment requires the following:

  • Personal and Professional Accountability

Each person is accountable for the planning, implementation and successful accomplishment of his or her work with minimal supervision.  The company places a priority on the ability of an individual to work independently to complete high-quality work.

  • Team Accountability

Every individual is responsible for the success of the entire team: everyone can rely on you to help them and you can rely on everyone else, as well. This requires consultants to work within the Association Laboratory system and comply with appropriate planning and communication guidelines and schedules.

  • Objective, Critical Thinking

Clients do not engage Association Laboratory for our opinion or statements of “what worked when I was with an association.” Clients engage Association Laboratory to conduct quality research, objectively and thoughtfully consider the information, and apply a collaborative business process to ensure the clients reach their own conclusions on the meaning and use of the information. Although we make recommendations, our focus is on helping clients learn and make their own decisions about their future.

  • Communication Outreach

Within a distributed, decentralized structure, verbal and written communications are paramount to success.  Frequent phone and email interaction with other Association Laboratory personnel assigned to each project are required.


A 4-year degree in a relevant area is required. Certified association executive (CAE) designation would be nice but not required


This position pays, based on experience, $60k – $85k. Association Laboratory has an unlimited PTO policy and employees are eligible for the company’s 401K plan after 1 year of service.

To Demonstrate Interest


If you are interested in this position and think you measure up, send resume and LinkedIn info to the following.

Dean West


Association Laboratory

[email protected].