Episode 24 • 03/16/2023

Gretchen Steenstra, Chair and President of AWTC, on Creating a Thriving Association with an All-Volunteer Staff

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How do you create a thriving association with an all-volunteer staff? How do you create and maintain momentum as the organization grows and matures? How do we plan our professional and volunteer lives so our personal lives don’t get short-changed?

In this episode of Associations Thrive, host Joanna Pineda interviews Gretchen Steenstra, Chair and President of Association Women Technology Champions (AWTC), who introduces AWTC, shares her journey to becoming Chair of this all-volunteer organization, and talks about what we can expect from AWTC in 2023. Gretchen discusses:

  • The origins of AWTC and how the organization is by and for women association execs who create and use technology, not just CTOs and CIOs.
  • How AWTC started out as a meetup and is now a full-fledged 501(c)(3).
  • How Gretchen plans her volunteer activities based on the intensity of her personal life. Next year, when her son will be a senior in high school, we won’t see much of Gretchen. But until then, it’s full steam ahead at AWTC and DelCor.
  • The amazing AWTC planning meeting that will power the organization in 2023.
  • Recent changes to the programming committee.
  • The upcoming awards ceremony.
  • Possible expansion of AWTC to other cities.
  • A new membership application process.
  • The new branding and website launching soon.


About Gretchen Steenstra

Gretchen Steenstra is an association professional who worked for several associations before joining DelCor. She works with association teams to connect technology assets to business goals. Gretchen has the expertise to span the boundaries between association staff members and technology and help clients to understand how applications ‘think’ and empowers them to use systems to their full potential to align with the organization’s goals.

Gretchen is a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and a PMI certified Project Management Professional (PMP). She is also a trained Professional Facilitator. Most recently, she earned the CIO Certificate from Carnegie Mellon University – Heinz College. Gretchen is a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the ASAE Technology Section Council. Ms. Steenstra is a founding member of Association Women Technology Champions – a forum to share ideas and experience. She has conducted educational sessions at ASAE and other organizations, including recent sessions on Project Management best practices and is the co-developer of Project Management Poker™. Gretchen is also a strong supporter of Girls Scouts and Computer CORE, a nonprofit organization to provide computer and life skills to low income adults.

About Association Women Technology Champions

AWTC is Association Women Technology Champions. We are a networking and educational group, providing knowledge and support to advance women in association technology. The group is open to anyone who works in or serves associations, whether as staff or supplier, consultant or partner. Anyone who is interested in advancing technology will benefit from our sessions, even if she doesn’t work formally in IT. This group is designed to be a safe space to ask basic questions.

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About Associations Thrive

Associations Thrive podcast is hosted by Joanna Pineda, CEO & Chief Troublemaker at Matrix Group International. Joanna’s personal mission and the mission of Matrix Group is to help associations and nonprofits increase membership, generate revenue and thrive in the digital space. 

We believe that every association has a unique mission and unique story that demonstrates how they’re serving their members, impacting their industry, and ultimately changing the world. Every guest is an association Chief Executive, Executive Director or President. We’re here to help amplify their stories so all associations can learn and thrive, together.

If you and your organization have a great story,  apply to be on Associations Thrive!