Megan Van Petten
CEO & President
Megan Van Petten is a pioneer in the association management industry who provides groundbreaking thought leadership with a proven track record in business development, marketing, and project management. As CEO & President of Van Petten Group, founder/member of multiple innovative organizations, author and keynote speaker, Megan empowers teams, entrepreneurs, and leaders all over North America to enact change in themselves and their surrounding communities. She has spent over 25 years managing, building, and transforming nonprofit associations, foundations, and societies into best of class organizations. Driven by a passion to serve others, Megan Van Petten created an organization that provides clients with a hands-on, personal experience not typically found from other association management companies.
Under her leadership of Van Petten Group (VPG), Megan oversees strategic and operational solutions provided to VPG clients from fundraising and sponsorship to event strategy and execution. An example of the type of development Megan brings to the table is displayed in her article, Three Overlooked Tactics for Growing Association Membership, which was published by Association Forum’s magazine, FORUM. VPG provides the full package of services to meet an association’s needs, working to promote and embody the client’s mission and vision by providing industry collaboration, networking, advocacy, and education for professional and industry growth. Megan was honored by Huffington Post as among the Top 5 Most Influential Women in Fantasy Sports for her association management work with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA). This inspired her to launch of the Esports Trade Association (ESTA). Megan foresaw the Esports industry to be promising uncharted territory and by bringing the players, teams, leagues, & stakeholders together she could support the spirit of team collaboration for all involved. As Founder and Managing Director, Megan works with the Board of Directors to manage all strategic and operational aspects of the organization, including revenue generation, event planning and execution, communications and marketing.
Motivated by the challenging realities of today’s society, Megan also serves as the Managing Director of the Eye Movement and Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Research Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to the advanced research of an evidence-based psychotherapy effective in the treatment of persons who have experienced trauma. EMDR therapy was inspired by psychologist, Francine Shapiro, when she observed that moving her eyes from side to side began to relieve the disturbing experience of negative memories. This innovative therapy is proven to be effective in treating worldwide health concerns such as PTSD, Addiction, Depression and Anxiety. Megan works with the Board of Directors to inform, strengthen, and expand the understanding and effectiveness of EMDR therapy through innovative fundraising strategies, effective communications, marketing, and strong governance. Established in 1987, the Insurance Regulatory Examiners Society (IRES) was founded as a nonprofit organization to enhance the efforts of insurance regulators by ensuring professionalism and integrity among the men and women who serve with state or federal insurance regulatory bodies. As Managing Director of IRES, Megan leverages her experience and proven track record to promote a high code of professional standards for members engaged in the regulation of the insurance industry. Guided by strong governance and leadership, Megan works with the Board of Directors to ensure that fair, firm, honest insurance regulation is maintained.
Megan’s versatile experience as the author of Insights, an ongoing publication that highlights effective strategies for not for profit association management, a volunteer member of various service inspired boards, and Coach/Leader through Landmark Education has allowed her to lead by example. She is also currently writing a series of inspirational journals expected to launch in Summer 2019. Megan holds a Masters degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology which has been foundational in her life’s work along with being a proud member of the Association Forum, AMC Institute, ASAE, IATA, and PCMA.
Favorite motto/quote: The mind is everything; what you think you become When you’re not at VPG, you’re: Engaging with art, church, fitness, volunteering or exploring Chicago.
One person you’d like to meet (dead or alive): Jesus Christ
What do you want to be when you grow up: I want to do what I can to thank everyone who has shared my road and been part of this fantastic journey we call life.
Greatest achievement: Building my company from the ground up with a truly special group of people I respect and love.