“AFE has a tremendous opportunity. It is poised at the crossroads for future growth, and I look forward to being a part of that growth,” says Laurence Gration, the new executive director of the organization. “Having some background in managing facility professional associations, I can hit the ground running, and quickly present the mutual benefit of AFE to the professionals who keep facilities running on a daily basis.”
Founded in 1954 as the American Institute of Plant Engineers, AFE’s mission is to provide education, certification, technical information, and other relevant resources for plant and facility engineering, operations, and maintenance professionals worldwide. Earlier this year, the association earned a 92% approval rating from the Dun & Bradstreet Past Performance Evaluations program.
Gration has held executive positions in not-for-profit professional associations throughout the U.S. and Australia for more than 20 years. He brings qualifications from prestigious universities such as University of Sydney and the Queensland University of Technology, as well a practical education through completing a tradesman’s apprenticeship. He is also one of only 3,000 people world wide to achieve professional recognition as a Certified Association Executive. Gration is an active member of the American Society of Association Executives, currently sitting on both its Executive Management Council and the Ethics Council.
AFE National President Ben Berrett, PE, CPE, said Gration “brings an ideal mix of hands-on management skills, education and leadership” to this position. “We believe our extensive search for the right person has paid off. Laurence is the right person in the right place at the right time to lead us forward.”
Further, Berrett said, “As an association professional, Gration has accumulated a significant body of specialized knowledge and experience in the not-for-profit sector. He has supported the creation of new volunteer organizations, guided existing organizations, advised volunteer leadership on governance and strategy, and facilitated alliances and mergers, all of which brings a creative and pro-active approach to Board mandates.
“His range of knowledge and skill includes: education and professional development; conference and trade show management; strategic planning; financial administration; governance; technology implementation; communications; fundraising; membership development and administration; lobbying; marketing; and international growth — virtually every area of not-for-profit management.”
Gration noted that over the past 52 years, AFE has seen a number of transformations. “I now look forward to the next; making it one of cutting-edge services and products to ensure the future of this profession, and continued recognition of the importance of the people we represent in the daily lives of all working Americans,” he said.