Jeffrey Alderman, President/CEO, joined ACBSP in February 2015 coming from the Kansas City Kansas Chamber of Commerce. In addition to his work at the Chamber, Jeff brings an extensive background in association management including serving as executive director of the Kansas Bar Association, a 7,200-member statewide voluntary organization of lawyers, judges, and law students. He served as executive director of the Camden County (N.J.) Bar Association and was assistant executive director of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association. He also served as vice president for Visit Topeka, a destination marketing organization where he oversaw sales of more than $60M in economic impact for the city during his tenure. Jeff has worked with large companies in various branding initiatives as well as collegiate sports governing bodies including the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and has a proven track record in increasing memberships as well as building charitable foundations.
What are your ambitions for ACBSP?
When I saw the position announcement, I immediately felt this was a great match with my skill set. I see infinite opportunities to respectfully grow ACBSP while increasing our visibility and branding efforts. I also feel we can continue to position our organization as a leader in business accreditation by strengthening our ties with the business community. We need to properly articulate the benefits of accreditation and continue to improve our business model. We should expand the reach of our philanthropic activities and continue to grow our influence throughout the world.
As the world of academia continues to evolve, higher education will face pressure on multiple fronts. In spite of these forces, the demand for a business-school educated workforce continues to increase and we must face these challenges with a strategic vision for the future.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and from whom did you receive it?
My first boss and mentor, Roger Lennert, was a great leader. One of the things that I took out of our relationship was his ability to understand that if you give forth the effort, things usually have a way of working themselves out in the end. As professionals, it is easy to get lost in the chaos of life and it’s tempting to forget about and postpone what is most near and dear to your heart. Like Roger instilled in me, I have found it’s helpful to keep asking myself, "What’s really important?""
Who do you most admire as a leader and why??
It would be easy to say my Father and Mother since they were both leaders in their own right and I owe everything to them. I want to introduce everyone, however, to Ann Schmerling Salsberg. I suspect very few people outside of South Jersey have ever heard of Ann, but she was, and still is, a historic figure in women’s rights and a pioneer in the rights of all people. I got to know Ann while working for the Camden County Bar Association and there was surely a lot to know.
For starters, Ann was the second woman ever to graduate from Temple Law School (in 1928). Although less than five feet tall, Ann had to literally fight her way to get to class as male classmates bullied her on numerous occasions. Being Jewish, she also faced religious discrimination. Years earlier, she had accomplished the first in a series of achievements when she became the first woman to register to vote in New Jersey after the passage of the 19th Amendment.