The death of ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE, earlier this week prompted an outpouring of condolences, memories, and tributes to the longtime association chief executive, offering a glimpse into the scope and depth of his impact.
The association world took to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social platforms this week to remember John Graham.
President and CEO of ASAE since 2003, Graham died early Monday after a battle with cancer. ASAE’s announcement on Monday afternoon prompted a stream of tributes and memories from members, industry partners, and others in the association and nonprofit community on whom Graham had made an impact over the course of a 50-year career in nonprofit management, including 24 years at the American Diabetes Association and nine at the Boy Scouts of America.
“I had the privilege of working with John, and he was a great friend, mentor, and supporter,” National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay, who served as ASAE board chair in 2017 and 2018, said in a statement. “He was a constant cheerleader for me like he was for so many others. There was no one more passionately dedicated to the association world and nonprofit community. He embodied the very best of what it means to be a service leader and will be deeply missed by all of us who knew him.”
These were among the many reactions shared on social media channels this week:
Mark Dorsey, CAE, CEO, Construction Specifications Institute
Tracey Brown, CEO, American Diabetes Association
I am saddened to share the passing of the longest serving CEO for @AmDiabetesAssn John H Graham IV, a wonderful human being who impacted the lives of many. His contributions to those living with #diabetes will not be forgotten. My thoughts & prayers are with his family & friends. pic.twitter.com/j2mYX7bnDa
— Tracey Brown (@Type2CEO) January 14, 2020
Nicholas Oliver, CAE, Executive Director, Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care
Deeply saddened to learn of the passing of John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE, President and CEO @ASAEcenter. I appreciated John's friendship and mentorship, as well as his vision and commitment to the future of association management. #RIPJohnGrahamIV #ASAE #AssnChat pic.twitter.com/Y4HP8FNMZ3
— Nicholas Oliver (@NichOliver401) January 13, 2020
Stefanie Reeves, CAE, Executive Director, Maryland Psychological Association
View this post on Instagram
When I was elected to the ASAE Board In 2018, John Graham was one of the first to congratulate me. He was always a welcoming presence whether you were new to ASAE or a long-standing member. John’s impact on @asaecenter and the association community will be felt for years to come. Safe home John. You will be missed.
Neal Denton, CAE, chief government affairs officer, YMCA of the USA
Many of us in the #nonprofit #charity #association sector are remembering our friend, John Graham @ASAEcenter @Power_of_A. We grieve his passing and yet celebrate a life well-led. He was an inspiring leader and a good friend. (John on the left, @mhrywna @NonProfitTimes on right.) pic.twitter.com/BScqedC6Z7
— Neal Denton (@NealDenton) January 14, 2020
Helena Lehman, senior vice president, Leading Authorities, Inc., And Glenn Tecker, Chair and Co-CEO, Tecker International
John ..no words…💔💕💖💥
— Glenn Tecker (@glenntecker) January 14, 2020
Susan Robertson, CAE, worked closely with Graham as executive vice president of ASAE and president of the ASAE Research Foundation. She is currently serving as ASAE’s interim president and CEO.
“John’s passing is a tremendous loss for all of us at ASAE, and a loss that will be felt throughout the entire association profession,” Robertson said. “He was a passionate advocate of the power that associations have to create a positive impact on society. And he was a passionate advocate for the people that comprise the community. I am fortunate, honored, and humbled to have been able to work so closely with John for all of these years. He was my colleague, mentor, and friend. I extend my deepest sympathies to his beloved family.”
The ASAE statement noted that the Graham family will hold a private service in Pennsylvania. A memorial service in Washington, DC, will follow.
Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, echoed a theme running through many reactions to Graham’s death.
“Throughout his career, John brought people together. Now, we come together to mourn his passing,” Timmons said in a statement. “It is a testament to his legacy and impact that so many people of diverse backgrounds, from an array of industries and nonprofits, are affected by this loss.”