About Us

Management solutions customized for non-profit associations

AEMI’s goal is to provide professional, flexible, creative, and cost-effective services to non-profit organizations. We take pride in providing personalized, quality service to our client groups and their members.

Management Designed for your Needs

AEMI adapts and allocates management services to meet your needs. Supporting the work of your Board and Committees will be shared by the AEMI team depending on the talent required. We ensure the appropriate level of expertise is available to your association.

Our Approach

We believe that volunteers giving their valuable time should concentrate on what offers them the most enrichment.

At AEMI, we remove everything that is not related to a particular area of interest, speciality, or expertise from the shoulders of volunteers.

This strategy is demonstrably effective at engaging members and avoiding volunteer burnout.

A Cost-Effective Option

Knowledge, Experience, Flexibility and Creativity are the pillars that allow our team to provide your organization with a comprehensive and cost-effective approach to manage your needs and achieve strategic goals.

Our offices serve as the headquarters for your association, providing infrastructure for day-to-day activities. Our team serves as your staff, providing the expertise you need.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Diversity is a core value at Association and Events Management International. We are passionate about building and sustaining an inclusive and equitable environment for all. We lead with values and beliefs that enable team members to develop their potential, bring their full self to the workplace, and engage in a world of inclusion. We know that having varied perspectives helps generate better ideas to solve the complex problems of a changing and increasingly diverse world.

Our Team


Don Andrews

Director of Client Services

Don has 10+ years of experience in the non-profit/association sector. During his time within past associations, he brought his passion and energy to focus on membership and external relations – facilitating the achievement of strategic goals to make a positive impact.
He has a Master’s degree in Communication and New Media as well as a combined Honours Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Labour Studies.
A true people person, he is always happy to connect with new people and forge strong relationships.
Fave Cuisine: So hard to choose! Japanese with Thai a VERY close second.
Fave destination: Chiang Mai, Thailand and Halifax, Nova Scotia 

Gabriel Bacani

Association & Membership Administrative Assistant

Gabriel brings over eight years of experience in the not-for-profit sector. A primary focus of his past work included addressing 2SLGBTQIA+ within program management and coordination roles. Their dedication extends to preserving and celebrating Indigenous Filipinx culture, driven by a profound desire to honour their ancestry. Gabriel actively champions inclusivity and accessibility within organizations and workspaces.

Fave Cuisine: Their mom’s Filipino cooking and Italian
Fave Destination: Rome, Italy


Romina Cortina

Manager, Government & External Relations

Romina is a government relations and policy professional with non-profit/association experience in pensions, postsecondary education, retirement home living, and the Ontario Public Service. Always ready to consult and collaborate with members and colleagues, Romina channels her positive energy into real advocacy and results.

She has Master’s degrees in Public Administration and Theatre & Performance Studies, and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Theatre-Performance.

Fave Cuisine: To appease the ancestry, I will say Italian
Fave Destination: New York City


Michael Dargavel

CEM, Director of Operations

Michael has over twenty years of experience providing association management services to several trade, professional and healthcare organizations. He brings considerable membership services and event/meeting experience to our team. He has an extensive strategic planning background and would be available to facilitate retreats. For the past decade Michael has served as Certified in Exhibition Learning Program (CEM) faculty for the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and is a past member of the International CEM Commission. Michael was awarded the prestigious 2018 Hall of Fame Industry Builder Award from Meetings + Incentive Travel Magazine. He was recognized for his outstanding contributions to the Trade and Consumer Show Industry in Canada, including his ongoing leadership and support of the CEM (Certified in Exposition Management) program in Canada.

Fave Cuisine: Plant-based
Fave Destination: Santorini, Greece

Chris Dawkins

DES, Manager of Member Services

Chris is responsible for supporting many client events, including webinars as well as virtual and in-person conferences. He oversees membership recruitment and retention as well as other member services. He also brings considerable social media experience to our communications efforts. Previously he was the National Operations Manager for a small fast-food company where he utilized his 15 years of skills in hospitality, budgeting, food & beverage, coaching, sales, and labour relations. He serves on the Canadian Society of Association Executives’ Trillium Council. He has an Honors diploma focused on Community Outreach and Development from Sheridan College. He is currently working on obtaining his Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation and has achieved the Digital Event Specialist (DES) designation.

Fave Cuisine: BBQ
Fave Destination: The Netherlands

Wil deGast

Wil deGast

IT Administrator

Wil has designed and maintained dozens of association websites over more than two decades. He also has extensive experience with database management systems and e-commerce solutions.

Fave Cuisine: Dutch (yes, I know, odd, but that is my home country after all)
Fave Destination: As Dorothy said, “there’s no place like home!”


Faith Featherstone

DES, Manager of Client Services

Faith has a decade of experience providing committee support, designing brochures, developing marketing plans and overseeing broadcast email communications for a number of associations, primarily in the financial and health sectors. Faith has a Bachelor of Journalism Honours degree from Carleton University and has worked as a staff reporter for some of Canada’s major daily newspapers. She has extensive experience in public relations, media communications, marketing and design, primarily in the toy and game industry. Faith brings this skill set to her role in many ways, from diligence in recording minutes to communicating with members and coordinating email campaigns. She works closely with committees on building educational opportunities such as webinars and conferences, new web resources, member surveys, research papers, newsletter content and advocacy. Faith speaks French and conversational Spanish.

Fave Cuisine: Indian, Thai a close second
Fave Destination: La Manzanilla, Mexico


Matthew Ford

Manager of Programs

Matthew earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto. After working in administration at the school, he discovered the world of Associations. Working with members to meet and exceed their needs is his constant goal, and he is always available to connect. For him it is a great joy to find more efficient processes and procedures to make all our lives a little easier. Matthew has a well-deserved reputation as a problem solver and someone members turn to and volunteers love working with.

Fave Cusine: Italian
Fave Desitination: Niagara


Gabriel Hoang

Finance Intern

Gabriel is an enthusiastic and dedicated student in the final year of his Bachelor of Commerce Degree (Specialized in Accounting) at York University who has a passion for numbers and a keen eye for detail. Eager to expand his knowledge and skills in the dynamic world of finance, he is committed to excellence and driven by a curiosity to understand the intricacies of financial systems and contribute meaningfully to organizational success. With a strong foundation in accounting principles and a thirst for continuous learning, he is looking forward to embracing the challenges of not-for-profit management. Gabriel thrives in a collaborative and growth-oriented environment.

Fave Cuisine: Italian and Japanese
Fave Destination: the comfort of my home, surrounded by the loving people in my life

Serge Micheli

Serge Micheli

CEM, CAE, Principal

Serge provides strategic, collaborative and inspirational leadership that elevates and motivates members, volunteers, and staff. Serge has over twenty years of measurable success in association management, advocacy, association law, international negotiations, events, and strategic leadership.

This covers all components of industry, professional, and charitable organizations. He became passionate about association work while completing undergraduate studies. This passion extended to the development of key administrative, financial, leadership, and events management knowledge. Seeing the need for running associations like a ‘business’, he combined this association knowledge with the development of entrepreneurial skills. Serge was awarded the prestigious Association Executive of the Year Award by the Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE) in 2015.

Fave Cuisine: Italian
Fave Destination: Palm Springs, USA

Cessy Muenker

Cessy Muenker

DES, Senior Association &
Membership Coordinator

Cessy has over twenty years in the hospitality industry, where she began her career in destination management in Hawai’i. Cessy said Aloha to the many incentive and corporate programs she developed and executed from start to finish. Once she returned to Canada, Cessy continued working with clients in planning and coordinating their events, meetings, conferences, trade, and consumer shows. Now, with her considerable experience, Cessy continues to ensure excellent service and support to our directors, committees, and members, coordinating Board and Committee meetings, preparing meeting minutes, updating corporate files, filing incorporation renewals, maintaining bylaws, guidelines and policies, processing membership renewals and new membership applications.

Fave Cuisine: German, Hawaiian/Asian local cuisine – anything seafood!
Fave Destination: My second home, Hawai’i, where my mom, brother & family, daughter & two grandsons still reside. Tied for second are Rhineland, Germany, and Paris, France. Number 1 on my bucket list is to take my husband and two grandsons atop the Eiffel Tower.


Dan Nguyen

Account Director

Dan has nearly a decade of experience in the non-profit sector and a verifiable track record of streamlining processes, maximizing staff performance and exceeding growth targets in his various operational and people management roles. From events and operations to motivational speaking, food bank management, and more recently, certification and council management; Dan is always eager to bring his strategic thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills to the table to elevate any organization he has the privilege of connecting with. One of his greatest joys in life is seeing how his work can enable the success and growth of others!

Fave Cuisine: Vietnamese & Japanese
Fave Destination: Anywhere with mountains to climb, sights to see, and food to eat!

Barry Smith

Barry Smith

Executive Director

Barry has spent most of his career in the business events industry, holding leadership positions in four significant public assembly venues. He has considerable experience working with associations and industry boards. Barry served as the Metro Toronto Convention Centre CEO for 20 years before working with AEMI. In addition to being an Executive Director, Barry is on the Meetings Means Business Board and is active on several industry task forces. He has demonstrated superior leadership skills and has helped organizations develop and implement their strategic vision.

Fave Cuisine: Italian
Fave Destination: Paris

Peter Waite

CAE, Principal

Peter is a seasoned association executive with broad experience in program development, service delivery, marketing, budgeting, human resources, government and public relations. His four decades of association management have seen him lead provincial, national and international organizations. He has run meetings on five continents and helped found numerous entities which have gone on to thrive. He has received the Arbour Award from the University of Toronto and made an Honorary Member of the Canadian Chiropractic Association.

Fave Cuisine: Thai with Italian a close second! But in terms of cooking, I love my crock pot…
Fave Destination: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico… but we are so lucky to have Niagara, Stratford and Haliburton so close to TO.