Our Staff

All staff can be reached by phone at 314.878.2304.

Vernon Schmidt, Executive Vice President
Cell: 314.775.8899 

Vernon started with the Association as Director of Membership Services in 1995.  He has also served as Convention Manager and Director of State Legislative Affairs and continues to work with lobbyists to ensure our members’ voice is heard in state capitals.

In early 2009, the Board of Directors announced that Vernon would become Executive Vice President upon Bob Schnell’s retirement in late 2009. On November 9, 2009, the office opened with its first new leader in over a quarter of a century and only the third Executive Vice President in the Association’s history.

In addition to managing the Association, Vernon has served as President of the Association’s  Services Corporation since his election by the Board of Directors on November 6, 2009.


Matt Rice

Matt Rice, Director of Member Services
Direct Phone: 314.720.4234

Matt started with the Association in August of 2020 in the midst of a global pandemic. Matt works to recruit new members to the Association and retain current members through finding new services for the Association.

He comes to the Association from the world of government and politics where he served as a senior district staff person for two Illinois Congressmen and as a public affairs manager for the Office of the Illinois Comptroller.


Gina Clark, Communications Manager/Publications Editor

Gina is excited to rejoin the world of Association Management. She will manage the production of the Association’s print and electronic publications and create content for marketing materials and conference collateral.

Gina has held communications roles at St. Louis based companies including Enterprise, Bayer and SSM Health. Previously, she worked for Drake & Company where she managed communication and membership responsibilities for the National Christmas Tree and the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Associations.


Tricia Kidd,  Accounting and Meeting Services

When members contact the Association office by phone, chances are Tricia’s pleasant greeting will be the voice you hear. Some of her daily duties include all of our accounting functions, maintaining membership records and being ready to direct members to any and all of the many services the Association offers.

If you have attended one of our conventions since 1999 the smiling face behind the registration desk was likely Tricia. From entering your meeting registration to dealing directly with hotels on our rooming lists, she does a great job of making sure our meetings run well and that have the sleeping room for the nights you request.


Sarah Stevener, Director of Meetings and Conventions

Sarah returned to the Association in December 2017 after several years of serving her family as “Chief Home Officer”. Sarah handles contracting with venues, session and event planning, and execution of the Association’s meetings and conventions.

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