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.

Our Team

michael-dargavel

Michael Dargavel

CEM, Director of Operations
(he/him)

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
(he/him)

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
(he/him)

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

Faith Featherstone

Manager of Administration
(she/her)

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

Maki Klotz

Maki Klotz

Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper
(she/her)

Maki has more than a dozen years of not-for-profit bookkeeping experience. She performs the preparatory work for the monthly financial statements as well as all the documentation for annual audits. In addition, she proficiently administers the member databases for all client associations. She graduated from Kobe College in Japan, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in science. After her graduation, she came to Canada to study English and obtained a diploma in Business Accounting from George Brown College. During her previous employment at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, in addition to her bookkeeping responsibilities, she was also an editor for the monthly newsletter and assisted with events through ticket sales, marketing and liaising with talent from Japan.

Fave Cuisine: My Mom’s cooking!
Fave Destination: Home to Japan or anywhere on a road trip.

Serge Micheli

Serge Micheli

CEM, CAE, Principal
(he/him)

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

Senior Association &
Membership Coordinator
(she/her)

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.

Barry Smith

Barry Smith

Executive Director
(he/him)

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
(he/him)

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.