2017 Annual Conference Speakers

Cathi Hight

Cathi Hight is the SVP of Growth Strategy & Investor Relations for the Greater Austin Chamber and President of Hight Performance Group.  Considered as the Membership Guru and the developer of The Member Retention Kit and A New Approach to Tiered Membership, Cathi helps associations meet the expectations of their members.  She provides realignment strategies that help associations of all sizes manage constant change, deliver benefits that members value, leverage volunteer and staff resources efficiently, and effectively communicate the value of membership.

Cathi has a diverse career experience which includes being VP of Operations for the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, Regional Sales and Marketing Manager for both Dole Foods and Dean Foods, national manager for the Kauffman Foundation’s FastTrac Entrepreneurship program, and a Motorola University Instructor for cycle time reduction and benchmarking.

Cathi was a national trainer for ACCE (Association Chamber of Commerce Executives) for membership development and has been an instructor for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organization Management for over 14 years. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Austin Human Resource Management Association (AHRMA), and is a member of the Association Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE).


Harry Dalgaard – Travel Oregon

In Harry’s role as Regional Cooperative Tourism Program Manager at Travel Oregon, he helps advance and implement Oregon’s tourism initiatives. Harry helps foster community relationships and enhances tourism development in rural communities and regions by aiding in the execution of their tourism goals and objectives. Harry is a native Oregonian with extensive experience in tourism product development in the Northwest.  He is passionate about developing the equitable balance between people, place, and economic vitality throughout the state of Oregon…. AND microbrew & singletrack.




Michelle Diamon – GrowthZone/ChamberMaster

Michelle Diamon has been serving businesses for over 20 years with her expertise in accounting, including six years with the Brainerd Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce in Minnesota. She is a QuickBooks ProAdvisor® Program Member, specializing in QuickBooks® software installation and setup (online and desktop).  As a product manager at GrowthZone, Michelle helps associations and chambers maximize membership value with the features of ChamberMaster and Growthzone software.

Those who work with Michelle value her knowledge of ChamberMaster software as an end-user while working for a chamber. Her customer experience provides unique insight and understanding of how to identify and solve problems.

Michelle enjoys the outdoors, whether it’s wind therapy while riding her Harley Davidson, relaxing by a campfire, or appreciating nature in her stand.


Dan Goldes – Consultant, Trainer and Facilitator

Dan Goldes is a consultant, trainer, and facilitator in the areas of leadership, membership, and strategic planning. His clients include trade associations and professional societies, hospitality-related businesses, and local governments. He spent 20 years with the San Francisco Travel Association (formerly the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau), most recently as Executive Vice President & Chief Stakeholder Officer leading a major organizational change initiative. Dan oversaw the membership, PR, and community-relations departments of the organization, and was responsible for a comprehensive restructure of the membership program. Dan has contributed governance and membership documents to the Member Resource Center at ASAE – The Center for Association Leadership.

Dan has served on the boards of directors of the California Travel Association, American Society for Training & Development Golden Gate Chapter, and Northern California Society of Association Executives, and chaired the Northern California Network of ASAE – The Center for Association Leadership. He was an advisory board member of both San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco’s Hospitality Management Programs.

Dan is a graduate of the Institutes for Organization Management, the Coro Foundation’s City Focus program, and U.C. Berkeley Extension’s HR Training & Development Certificate program.


Alison Hart – Oregon State Chamber of Commerce

Alison Hart is the Executive Director for the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce. She works with Chambers throughout on strategic planning, growing advocacy efforts through grassroots engagement and Board and policy management.

Alison also serves as the Director of Coalitions and Grassroots Development for the Public Affairs Council. In this role, Alison manages multiple clients working to grow their members’ value proposition, including issues, advocacy and reputation management, strategic messaging, stakeholder engagement, grassroots development and government relations.

Previously, Alison served as Chief Executive Officer for the Gresham Chamber of Commerce where she drove the Chamber’s economic resilience and prosperity through transformational leadership in fiscal and operational management. Alison designed and implemented government relations and advocacy programs, where she overhauled government affairs policies to advocate for regulatory issues, ranging from sensitive, politically-charged issues to coalition-building campaigns, ballot measures and candidate endorsements.

Alison holds a Certified Association Executive designation from American Society of Association Executives and is a graduate of Western Association of Chamber Executives Academy.


Russell Lahodny – CalChamber

Russell Lahodny joined the California Chamber of Commerce as vice president of local chamber relations in October 2014. He serves as an information resource for and CalChamber liaison with local chambers of commerce.

From 2010 until joining the CalChamber staff, Lahodny was senior vice president, communications for the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce. His role was to maintain the quality and consistency of the chamber’s messaging to its members and the business community. He created and oversaw all Anaheim Chamber communication tools, including a member newspaper, weekly e-newsletters, press releases, marketing materials, and website design. He also oversaw the Anaheim Chamber’s legislative actions and coordinated monthly meetings featuring local elected officials.

Before relocating to Anaheim, Lahodny was vice president of communications at the Irvine Chamber of Commerce. During his seven years in Irvine, he helped the chamber earn 15 communications awards from the Western Association of Chamber Executives.
In his CalChamber position, Lahodny also will serve as vice president of the association.

Lahodny received his B.A. in communications with an emphasis in photojournalism from California State University, Fullerton, where he served as photo editor for the college newspaper, The Daily Titan.


Rebecca Tweed – Grow Oregon

For over a decade, Rebecca has been a top political strategist in Oregon and has worked on more than 40 political campaigns for local government, legislative and statewide candidates, plus county and statewide ballot measures.

In 2016, Rebecca was Statewide Campaign Coordinator for the “No on Measure 97” coalition, the campaign to defeat the $6.1 billion tax on corporate sales that was on Oregon’s November 2016 ballot. The campaign soundly defeated Measure 97, 59% to 41%, in what was the largest, most expensive campaign in Oregon’s history. In 2010, she served as the Political Director for the Oregon House Republican Caucus where she helped lead the Oregon House to a historic 30-30 tie between Republicans and Democrats for the 2011 legislative session.

Rebecca is the Executive Director of Grow Oregon, a business-led nonpartisan outreach effort to help Oregonians understand that growing our state’s economy is the best way to produce new revenue for public services and provide for Oregonians’ personal economic and social prosperity. In addition to Grow Oregon and running her own consulting firm, Tweed Strategies, Rebecca is an Of Counsel consultant to Gallatin Public Affairs and G2 Public Strategies in the Pacific Northwest.

Rebecca’s goal – to make a difference in Oregon’s social and political affairs – goes beyond electoral politics. it’s about playing a role in bettering her community. She currently serves as President of Emerging Leaders for Oregon, and volunteers with Union Gospel Mission, Dress for Success Oregon and the Portland City Club. She regularly speaks at high schools, colleges and conferences about political issues, campaign strategy and the importance of being a leader in the community.

A native Oregonian, Rebecca graduated from Syracuse University where she studied Political Science, Public Policy and Philosophy with focuses in International Relations and Women’s studies.

Rebecca was featured in Portland Monthly Magazine’s March 2015 edition as one of the “10 Amazing Women Who Are Changing Oregon.” Earlier this year, she was chosen as one of the “40 Under 40” rising political consultants from across the country by the American Association of Political Consultants.


JL Wilson – Public Affairs Counsel

JL is the Principal at Public Affairs Counsel. He has a 17-year history in public affairs and lobbying as past Executive Director of NFIB Oregon and Senior Vice President of Associated Oregon Industries (now OBI). JL has been a full time lobbyist representing primarily business interests since 2000. Prior to that he served as Legislative Director for two Speakers of the Oregon House. JL holds a IOM designation from the US Chamber of Commerce.