PAI was formed in 1984 when a national medical professional society asked PAI’s president to help move its headquarters from Minneapolis to the Washington, DC, area. This organization, founded in the 1920s, wanted to re-establish itself as a strong international society with an effective and responsive professionally managed headquarters. It recognized that to achieve its objectives, staff leadership and modern technology would be needed, and locating in Bethesda, Maryland, near the National Institutes of Health (NIH), would add to its identity as a major society in clinical research and practice.
Over a 12-year period we helped this professional society:
Increase its budget from $400,000 to over $2 million;
Grow its membership by over 70% to almost 5,000;
Build attendance at its annual conference from 1,800 to over 3,500;
Expand the scientific exhibition from zero to 200 booths;
Add a foundation to support research by young investigators; and
Initiate a successful biennial conference outside North America.
From this initial experience and our successes since then, we have learned that the organizations we can help most are professional societies in the health professions and biomedical research disciplines with memberships between 500 and 2,000, budgets between $400,000 and $2 million, and attendance at annual conferences between 300 and 2,000. Many societies of this size are seeking ways to increase membership, improve conference attendance, and establish a stronger financial base.
So, if your society fits this profile and you believe it is not fulfilling its potential, please contact us for a no-obligation and confidential consultation. We will be very candid about our impressions and what actions you might take, both with and without PAI’s management.
Our Guiding Principles
Ethical business – to join with our clients in an honest, reliable and trustworthy business relationship, through ethical, transparent business practices.
Delivering for our clients – to earn the continued loyalty of our clients by consistently demonstrating why we are the first choice for quality, service and value in association management services.
Developing our people – to recognize the diversity and contribution of our people. Acknowledging our challenging work, we seek to provide opportunities and support for everyone to develop, learn and succeed.
A focus on performance and efficiency – to deliver the highest quality services while driving efficiencies on our client's behalf.
Openness, trust and integrity – we set the highest ethical and professional standards – always. We want all our relationships to be based on honesty, respect, fairness and a commitment to open dialogue and transparency.
Passion for quality – we are passionate about delivering on superior association management services to our clients and take pride in achieving this. We look to replicate success, learn from mistakes and develop the ideas, innovation and practices that will help us improve.
Teamwork – we work as a team. We value the expertise, individuality and contribution of all colleagues, working in support of each other and readily sharing good practice, in pursuit of shared goals.
Responsibility – we take responsibility for our actions, individually and as a company.
Can-do attitude – we take a positive and commercially aware "can-do" approach to the opportunities and challenges we face.
PAI is an AMCI-accredited management company
As a firm with extensive experience with credentialing programs, PAI has long understood and believed in the value of accreditation programs as a means of quality assurance of association management companies (AMC).
The Association Management Company Institute (AMCI) administers the international accreditation program for AMCs. Under the guidance of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), AMCI developed a Standard of Good Practices for the Association Management Industry. The ANSI/AMCI Standard was designed to collectively enhance management practices across AMCs and to assist professional AMCs in the establishment of internal quality service systems.
The AMCI Accreditation Program provides a detailed process for evaluating and improving internal operating procedures and service delivery methods from which every AMC (and its clients) will benefit. AMCs who have adopted the Standard have made a commitment to uphold and deliver the highest level of customer service using a documented set of best practices in these areas:
Client Contracts: Review Procedures and Requirements
Servicing the Clients and Service Delivery Procedures
Evaluation of Services
Financial Management and Internal Controls
Employee Recruitment and Selection
Employee Training and Professional Development Procedures
Subcontracting and Purchasing Requirements
Record Keeping Requirements/Continuity of Operations
Internal Audit Procedural Requirements
An AMCI accredited-AMC has invested significant time and money to meet or exceed the requirements, and organizations can be assured that accredited AMCs demonstrate a high level of professionalism and responsibility. Achievement of AMCI Accreditation demonstrates an AMC's commitment and ability to deliver consistent quality service to present and prospective clients.
The AMCI Accreditation Program is the most comprehensive and rigorous in the association management industry. Among the 500-plus AMCs worldwide, less than 80 have achieved AMCI Accreditation.
PAI originally achieved AMCI Accreditation in 2012 and was re-accredited for another five years in March 2017.
Senior Management Team
Mark Epstein, ScD, is a senior account executive. He received his graduate education from the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Missouri-Columbia and he has more than 30 years of senior management experience with non-profit organizations, including national and international health membership associations and professional societies. Dr. Epstein is a member of the American Society of Association Executives.
Inge Guen, PsyD, is vice president. She received her graduate and professional education from Antioch College and California Southern University, and has been honored by the Daughters of the American Revolution for her work with wounded warriors from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Dr. Guen is a member of the American Psychological Association and the International Neuropsychological Society.
Melissa Castan, MA, CMP, CAE, serves as an account executive and PAI’s director of meetings. In this latter capacity, she plans the logistics of the major meetings for all PAI’s clients, drawing on her extensive planning background and Certified Meeting Professional qualification. Prior to joining PAI, Melissa spent three years at another association management company. She is a graduate of Virginia Wesleyan University and earned her MA from American University. She was awarded the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation in 2017.
Tom O’Hora, MBA, CPA, is PAI's controller. He received his graduate education from Marywood University. He has been the controller of all PAI clients since 1991 and also provides consultation services to a number of associations and other non-profits in the Washington, DC, area. Mr. O'Hora is a member of the American Institute of CPAs; the American Society of Association Executives; and the Greater Washington Society of CPAs, where he serves on the Not-for-Profit Committee.
James Vrac, CAE, is director of operations and a senior account executive. He has over 20 years association management experience with a variety of professional medical associations, and was executive director of an international network of professionals operating in 82 countries with headquarters in London. As PAI’s director of operations he is responsible for the ongoing business support services for all PAI clients. Mr. Vrac is a member of the American Society of Association Executives.
Norman Wallis, PhD, is president and a senior account executive. He received his professional education and clinical training from City University, London, and his graduate education from Indiana University. He was president of a health professional college and executive director of the national board of a primary health profession. Since founding PAI in 1984, he has helped assure the success of many PAI client societies. Dr. Wallis is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (UK) and a member of the American Society of Association Executives.