History & Values

Dear Association Friends, Colleagues, Current and Former Clients, and Partners,

2024 marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of Association Laboratory.

I am thrilled to reflect on the company’s journey since 1999, when I felt inspired to establish a company that would bring forth fact-based advice, critical thinking, and creative insights, much like the strategy firms that served the for-profit sector.

Before Association Laboratory, I felt constricted by a company culture that was slow and too bureaucratic. It focused on the hours worked, not outcomes achieved.

In addition, the consultants I hired as an association executive told me what they did at their last job instead of helping me look at my problem dispassionately or sharing what worked or didn’t.

Everything was opinion-driven.

My vision was to help association leaders make better decisions using the highest quality information and practical strategic insights and collaborating with them, not reporting to them.

Today, I am proud that Association Laboratory has become an award-winning organization with an award-winning team, serving leading state, national, and global associations. From strategic planning to membership, and from education to DEI and everything in between, we have had the privilege of helping industry leaders deal with some of the most complex strategic questions.

One of the cornerstones of our success has been our steadfast commitment to several guiding principles:


Association Laboratory has been purposefully built to be an effective partner, standing alongside association leaders to help them comprehend complex issues and make informed strategic decisions.

We are deeply committed to preserving the original vision upon which this company was founded and remaining true to the guiding principles that have shaped our success.

As we embark on the next chapter of our journey, I am optimistic that our continued dedication to these principles will enable us to assist associations in developing successful and sustainable strategies for many years.

We eagerly look forward to the opportunity to work with you, collaborating closely to achieve your goals and aspirations.

Warm regards,

Dean West
Dean West
President and Founder of Association Laboratory