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Megan Cruz, CAE

Practice Director

Megan Cruz, CAE

Megan is passionate about applying her in-depth association leadership experience, along with her skills in coaching and motivating teams, to help clients articulate and create actionable plans for tackling the future.

As a practice director on the Strategy and Innovation team, Megan empowers associations and their stakeholders to define success, and guides them in charting the best path forward. She is a trusted advisor and clear communicator with an eye to patterns and possibilities. Megan enjoys helping clients envision the exciting opportunities that change can bring.

Megan joined McKinley with 14 years of association experience. As SVP of association partnerships with a DC-area-based association management company, she served as executive director for four associations and supervised the firm’s member services team. While in this role, she formed strong relationships with her clients’ board members and volunteer leaders, partnering to devise creative and future-focused solutions. She also led staff and volunteers in executing boards’ strategic direction.

She began her association career as ASAE’s international program director, helping build relationships between organizations based inside and outside of the U.S. In this capacity, she found it rewarding to help connect people with new ideas and opportunities that spanned the globe.

Megan earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation, the highest professional credential in the association industry, in 2017. She has a BS in business administration from Georgetown University.

She developed her coaching skills in the fitness industry, where she spent five years as a personal trainer and several years as a group fitness instructor. You’ll still find her taking friends and family through weekend workouts in the park or leading chair yoga sessions for virtual conferences.

A Houston native who moved to DC for college, Megan liked the area too much to leave. She enjoys trying new restaurants, playing tourist in DC even after 23 years, and getting from point to point on foot whenever possible. Megan loves getting to know and understand new people and places—whether through sitting down for a drink or getting lost in a new international city.


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