About

Who is Governance Gal?

Marie Stravlo, IOM, CAE is the owner of Association Development Services (ADS) an association management company and is passionate about governance. With 14 years of experience in non-profit governance helping associations reach their potential, Marie proudly bears the moniker, “Governance Gal™”.  She holds a certificate in Organizational Management issued by the US Chamber of Commerce which is indicated by the credential IOM. She is also a Certified Association Executive (CAE) as issued by ASAE. She is a member of ASAE, VSAE, Board Source, and TAB. Finally, she aspires to obtain her Register Parliamentarian (RP) credential.

During her career she has:

  • overseen marketing and registration for 30 annual summer programs
  • oriented and led up to ~1,000 volunteers a year
  • coached many Board of Directors on how to operate at strategic levels
  • officiated over association elections
  • facilitated strategic planning meetings
  • led Board orientations
  • guided associations through drafting original bylaws as well as periodic bylaw reviews and amendments
  • planned events for thousands of attendees
  • drafted and implemented policy and procedure manuals
  • raised PAC funds
  • brought awareness to advocacy efforts
  • rolled out rebranding on multiple occasions
  • and more!

She is passionate about:

  • Governance – something that puts most people to sleep, energizes her! Governance is the structure of the association and Marie is watchful that the structure and foundation of the organizations ADS and Governance Gal serve are strong.
  • Ethics – morality is the key in life. She is personally guided by her Christian values and principles.
  • Family – The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works, is the family. – Lee Iacocca

Personally, she:

  • is originally from Edmond, Oklahoma so sometimes the word “y’all” slips into her conversation
  • has three children and is nearing an empty nest with two of her older children having flown the coop
  • enjoys the outdoors, particularly in the warmer months
  • aspires to hike the Triple Crown


Recent Governance Leadership by Marie:

  • May 2022: American Wine Society Board Orientation
  • April 2022: Quoted in CEO Update’s article: More than Managing Board Meetings: Governance Officers Guide to Leadership
  • March 2022: American Wine Society Bylaw Consult
  • February 2022: Virginia Society of Association Executives: Governance Course for CAE Exam
  • February 2022: APTA Virginia Board Orientation
  • January 2022: APTA Virginia Policy Review and Amendments
  • December 2021: Virginia Society of Association Executives CEO and Senior Staff SIG Meeting: Finding Governance Balance and a New Way Forward
  • December 2021: APTA Virginia Board Orientation
  • November 2021: APTA Virginia Bylaw Review and Amendments
  • September 2021: Virginia Society of Association Executives: Governance Course for CAE Exam
  • August 2021: American Wine Society Bylaw Consult
  • February 2021: Academy of Aquatic Physical Therapy Bylaw Review and Amendments
  • January 2021: APTA Aquatics Board Orientation
  • November 2020: APTA Virginia Student SIG Bylaw Review and Amendments
  • November 2020: APTA Virginia Board Orientation
  • April 2020: Academy of Aquatic Physical Therapy Strategic Planning Session

Since 2016 through the present, Marie has worked with APTA Aquatics. Here is what one of their presidents said about Marie.

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