Member Spotlight

Ruth Abrahamson

Ruth has spent over 30 years in the association management, non-profit, charitable and consulting fields. She has lived and worked in Canada, the UK and France and speaks English, French and German. She is CEO of Base Consulting, located in Toronto, Canada.

Her areas of expertise include strategic planning, business and partnership development, marketing, programming, association administration and operational oversight, organizational financial planning, board development and governance, international convention management and senior not-for-profit and charitable sector recruitment. 

Ruth participates in several industry associations including the Canadian Society of Association Executives, American Society of Association Executives, Association Management Companies Institute (where she serves on the Board of the AMCI Canadian Chapter), Meeting Professionals International and Tourism Toronto, where she has held various volunteer leadership roles over the years. Ruth serves on Ryerson University’s “Magnet” Advisory Council (a digital resource project), and on committees of the Mackenzie Health Foundation. She is a Past Chair of the Board at social services agency JVS Toronto.

Given her vast range of experience in the industry, we asked Ruth for her perspective on the current state of the industry, the value of an AMCI membership, and what she sees coming down the pipe for Base Consulting.

What issues/challenges are you focusing on with your clients and how are you addressing them?

 Most of our clients are professional associations, largely representing individuals and organisations who are practicing in, consulting to or selling products and services to a specific sector. I don’t know that any of our ongoing challenges change much over the years, and there are so many.  But if we had to identify a couple of our current priorities, they would be:

1) To support various associations in keeping their roles as the key resource venue for their sector – through events, activities, information sessions, outreach, updating content in member areas and public areas of their websites and engaging with partners of varying descriptors. We do this through constant support, bringing new ideas to the table, planning and driving agendas and strategies, as well as supporting and managing their implementation.

2) We stay on top of best practices, technology, etc. in association management – on the technology side this usually translates into things like ensuring the association moves onto a good integrated AMS platform & website, or using a conference app. As for best practices, we bring along ideas and knowledge we have learned from keeping abreast in our industry and the general business world.

What do you think is the primary value of your membership in AMCI?

AMCI helps us keep abreast of what is going on in the industry, filling gaps for us and helping us learn about top and current association management best practices, from a multi-management perspective.

We find the international perspective and connections are always of interest, as we have international clients; and of course, coming from Europe, I have specific insights and points of contact. Also, we particularly appreciate the collegiality of fellow members, which seems to get better from year to year. Or is it that the more engaged we become, the more familiar we are with our colleagues and more comfortable in asking for information? You know, the lesson that we teach all of our clients and constantly remind ourselves is that you get more out when you put more in.

Are there any upcoming milestones for you/your organization?

As a matter of fact, yes. In 2018 we turn 30! That’s not really an exact number, as my father had been running the company a few years prior in a somewhat different capacity, but I joined it in 1988 and we started to strategise and focus on association management from then on. He retired in 1998 by the way, so it is also 20 years since I bought him out!

For more information Ruth and Base Consulting’s work, go to