Over the last several months, SSP has been transitioning from working with Kellen, an association management company, for operational and staff support to a new structure that includes new partners and new staff members. This new team of talented individuals will help drive growth and ensure the ongoing success of SSP. Many roles have shifted and we would like to give you the opportunity to get acquainted with the newest members of the SSP team who will be working to support our members and programs.
“I’m pleased to finally have our new team assembled and ready to take on not only the day-to-day operations of SSP, but also to contribute to new and exciting programs that will provide value to our membership in future years,” said Melanie Dolechek, SSP Executive Director.
Mary Beth Barilla, Program Director
Mary Beth joined SSP as Program Director in November 2018 to support the development and strategic direction of educational and training programs for the Society. In her expanded role, she now also serves as event manager for all SSP events other than the Annual Meeting. This includes webinars, seminars, regional events, and adjacent events.
With more than 20 years of experience in the scholarly publishing community and more recent experience as an educator, Mary Beth brings a broad perspective on advancements within the information industry to SSP. She enjoys using both her publishing background, which includes extensive sales and marketing experience, as well as her training in research-based educational approaches, to help SSP’s committees to develop programming that appeals to a diverse group of stakeholders. During her career she has worked at RedLink, Inc. as the Publisher Relations Director, Emerald Publishing as Sales Manager, and in various sales and marketing roles at Cambridge University Press, Blackwell Publishing, and Indiana University Press. She has also been an active volunteer, co-chairing SSP’s Annual Meeting Program Committee in consecutive years and leading the SSP Programming Audit Task Force. Email
Jen Zolkos. Marketing and Operations Manager
Jen joined SSP at the end of January as the Marketing and Operations Manager. She’s responsible for all marketing and communications and provides support for the Fellowship Program, Mentorship Program, Peer Group Networks, the Board of Directors, and the Nominating and Awards Committee. Jen also oversees SSP’s operations and provides administrative support for the Society.
Jen comes to SSP with more than 15 years of association and non-profit management. As a non-profit leader and consultant, she is an experienced project manager with a focus on marketing and communications. Jen began her career in association management as the administrator of the Rhode Island chapter of The American Institute of Architects where she was instrumental in the creation a vibrant professional development organization and a 501(c)3 scholarship program. She resides in Providence with her husband, son, dog, and chickens. Email
Becky Carroll, Membership & Registration Coordinator
Joining SSP in January of 2019, Becky provides friendly and timely membership and registration support to members and non-members of SSP. She manages the membership database and provides administrative support for meetings and events. She has worked in the non-profit and association management industry for more than 10 years and has her American Society of Association Executives Certificate in Association Management. Becky has a bachelor’s degree in Communications and a minor in Women’s Studies from Stockton University where she played on the Women’s Volleyball team.
Becky lives in New Jersey with her husband and son. She volunteers as the editor on her homeowner’s association monthly newsletter and with a local animal rescue. She looks forward to when her son is a little older so she can begin fostering dogs again (and hoping ‘love at first sight’ doesn’t strike twice with another balding, deaf, 8-year-old senior poodle). Email
Christina DeRose, Industry Relations Associate
Christina joined the SSP team in June 2018, just after the Annual Meeting. She has a great deal of experience in working with associations to build client relationships and possesses the necessary experience and knowledge needed to see SSP excel in driving revenue generating activities. Christina is responsible for selling exhibits, sponsorships, and advertising opportunities, while liaising and collaborating directly with all key leaders involved. Email
Tracy Mitchell, Meeting Manager
For management of the SSP Annual Meeting, SSP has partnered with the international event management firm, Conference Direct. Tracy will coordinate all logistical and project management aspects of Annual Meeting. Tracy has more than 25 years of experience working in event planning and management with a strong emphasis in association and not-for-profit events. Prior to joining the association community, she worked for the national public relations firm of Golin/Harris Communications assigned to Ronald McDonald House, the McDonald’s All-American High School Band and many other programs for McDonald’s Corporation. She began her association career when she joined the association management firm of PM Haeger & Associates in 1988 and worked, most recently, as Vice President of Operations and Client Services for the firm of Williams Management Resources.
In addition to a strong background in operations, Tracy has served as the event planner for many organizations. She earned her Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation in 2001. Tracy has been the Committee Chair for the Meeting Professionals International – Chicago Area Chapter CMP Study Group and served on the AMC Institute’s Accreditation Taskforce. She is currently a member of the American Society of Association Executives.Email
Melanie Dolechek, Executive Director
Melanie joined SSP as the Executive Director in August 2015. She will continue to provide leadership and strategic direction to the Society. Email
Please help us welcome the new additions to the SSP staff. You’ll have an opportunity to meet them in person at the Annual Meeting coming up May 29-31 in San Diego.