About SAM

Our services include strategic planning, fundraising, communications, marketing, advocacy, event production, financial management and membership management. Some clients want us to take care of everything; others prefer help in just a few areas. SAM takes care of the practical details of running your organization which increases your efficiency and allows you to spend more of your time and money doing good work.

Megan Woodburn, CAE

Megan Woodburn is a seasoned association professional who has worked with national, statewide and local associations during her seventeen year career with non-profits. Megan began her career in 2000, organizing grassroots fundraising campaigns for various non-profit organizations throughout the country. After a few years, she directed the administrative functions of over 64 offices and worked on a national campaign team.

Since moving back to Texas in 2005, Megan has made her career in association management. She has managed statewide leadership boards, while overseeing many local association affiliates. In 2010, Megan earned her Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential, awarded by the American Society of Association Executives.  In 2011, Megan was awarded with the Young Professional Leadership Award given by the Texas Society of Association Executives.  This was the same year that she began the association management company, Strategic Association Management.  In 2014, she served as the volunteer leader of the YMCA of Austin’s Annual Fundraising Campaign, where they raised over $1.1 million dollars.

Megan is a passionate traveler and has visited every continent, except Antarctica. She once lived in Tanzania for a year where she worked with the Jane Goodall Institute. Megan currently serves as a Director with the Texas Lyceum and as a board member with the Texas Society of Association Executives.

She is a graduate of the Colorado College in Colorado Springs.

JJ Colburn, CAE

J. Colburn Crop Headshot (BW)- 2016JJ Colburn serves as SAM President & Partner. In this role, he provides clients with executive leadership and strategic counsel, mentors and develops staff, and identifies and grows business opportunities. With nearly 20 years of executive level experience in the association management industry and more than six years in public education as a teacher and counselor, his career has been dedicated to supporting and improving individual and organizational development. In each role, JJ has been instrumental in initiating and implementing transformation that has resulted in meaningful, lasting change.

He served six years as the executive director of the Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented (TAGT), a 3,500-member statewide association dedicated to meeting the unique needs of gifted learners. Prior to his work with TAGT, he spent 11 years as the director of the Texas Association of Student Councils, a statewide student leadership organization serving 1,500 Texas secondary school student council programs.

JJ is the 2016-2017 Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Texas Society of Association Executives and is also a Director in the Texas Lyceum. He has been conferred by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) as a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and was selected as Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP) scholar with ASAE in 2013.

A native of Orange, Texas, he was honored as a Distinguished Alumni of the Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD in 2012.  JJ is an avid reader and a diehard Texas Longhorn fan. He has a BA in Psychology and M.Ed. in Educational Psychology, both from The University of Texas at Austin.

Tiffany Martz, CNAP

As Finance Director, Tiffany implements the financial strategy of eTiffany Martzach client and oversees daily bookkeeping including accounts payable and receivable.  She offers insight regarding cash flow when creating budgets and prepares the monthly financial statements.  As Account Director, Tiffany manages the various aspects for some of SAM’s clients.  She advises boards about techniques they can use to improve their associations and ensures that all programmatic and fundraising efforts are exceeding expectations.

Tiffany graduated from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California with a degree in Math Education and teaching credentials in Math and Spanish. Her love for service and the non-profit world developed while at Pepperdine through her involvement in planning the school’s American Cancer Society Relay For Life and in her leadership roles with Alpha Phi International Fraternity. Tiffany is still a dedicated member of Alpha Phi and gives back through her service in a leadership role in the Austin Alumnae Chapter, community events, and volunteering with the University of Texas Collegiate Chapter.

She moved to Austin, Texas in 2012. Previously, Tiffany coached a competitive gymnastics team in Los Angeles. After joining SAM, she discovered that her role was the “dream job she never knew she wanted”. It offers variety and excitement during the day-to-day activities and cultivates her love for numbers and analytics. She also enjoys providing structure and creating efficient processes for clients.

She has participated as a member of the Texas Society of Association Executives, the Kappa Delta Pi Education Honor Society, and the Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Society. She has earned her Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional (CNAP) designation as well, through the FMA Institute.

Lauren Swetland, CAE, CMP

Lauren Swetland is an Account Director at SAM.  She hasL. Swetland Crop Headshot (BW) - 2017
more than twelve years of experience managing local, state and regional associations within the AMC model.  She specializes in meeting planning and loves the ability to provide conference attendees with memorable experiences that combine education and enthusiasm.

At SAM Lauren serves as the Director of Meetings for the Science Teachers Association of Texas (STAT). She manages event logistics for their convention of 7,000 attendees and more than 600 breakout sessions. She has spent almost her entire career working with teacher associations, including nine with STAT, and is passionate about providing services to our teachers in Texas.

Lauren has earned the designation of Certified Association Executive (CAE) as well as the designation of Certified Meeting Planner (CMP).  She has been a member of the Texas Society of Association Executives for more than ten years and also participates in MPI and ASAE.

Lauren graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in Journalism.  She is originally from Sugar Land, Texas but has called Austin home since 2001.  She enjoys cooking her mom’s family recipes and spending time with her fluffy children, Brodie and Junior.

Adam McKeivier, CAE

A. McKeivier Crop Headshot (BW) - 2017Adam McKeivier serves as Account Director at SAM, where he helps clients fulfill their mission through a diverse range of fundraising and development strategies. For nearly six years, Adam has applied his passion for creating innovative, meaningful opportunities for individuals and companies to connect with mission-driven organizations.

Prior to joining SAM, he led all fundraising and development efforts for the Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented (TAGT), an organization dedicated to meeting the unique needs of gifted and talented individuals. Before joining TAGT he served as the Director of Corporate Partnerships at the Texas Restaurant Association and Education Foundation, a state-wide organization working to support educational opportunities for high school culinary arts and management students.

Adam currently serves on the board of directors with the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Austin Chapter. He is also a graduate of the 2015 Leadership Austin Emerge Program, and a graduate of the 2016 Austin CityWorks Academy.

He remains active in both community and professional organizations including the Young Men’s Business League of Austin, Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM), Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE), the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce (AYC) and Black Fret.

Olivia Tibiletti

Olivia TiO. Tibiletti Crop Headshot (Grey) - 2015biletti is an Account Manager at SAM. She coordinates the membership and communications strategies for SAM’s various clients.  She also assists in the planning and coordination of monthly programs, fundraisers and major conferences.  She spends most of her time working with the Real Estate Owned Managers Association (REOMAC) and the Fast Growth School Coalition, but also helps plan the Capital Area Dental Foundation and AFP Austin events.

Olivia graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations. During her time there, she was a member of Texas Spirits and Alpha Phi sorority.

Olivia is from Longview, Texas. She is passionate about rescuing animals and loves to travel. In her spare time, she helps coordinate weddings and volunteers at her church. She loves her work at SAM because it enables her to give back to others. Olivia is currently a member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE) and Young Nonprofit Professionals Network Austin Chapter (YNPN).

Jovita Pardo

J. Pardo Crop Headshot (Color) - 2017

Jovita Pardo is the Account Manager at SAM, managing the day-to-day operations, membership, and communications for the Sylvan Franchise Owners Association and the Texas Captive Insurance Association.

Prior to joining SAM, Jovita earned her Bachelors Degree in History with a minor in Spanish from Austin College in Sherman, Texas. After graduation, Jovita worked on a number of electoral campaigns in Austin, focusing on fundraising, finance, and compliance.

Jovita is a proud Austin native. She has continued her involvement with the political community since joining SAM. Jovita is currently a member of many political organizations and the Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE). She enjoys voting, tacos, and traveling.

Rachel Grant

R. Grant Crop Headshot (BW) - 2017

Rachel Grant is the Operations Manager at SAM, coordinating daily logistics, reporting, human resources and financial management. After graduating from Edgewood College in Madison, WI with a B.S. in Communication Studies, Rachel worked in the communications department at Special Olympics Wisconsin for three years, solidifying her penchant for nonprofit work. She moved to Austin in 2012 and spent three years working in admissions and programs at Jeremiah Program, a holistic model for helping single mother families out of poverty. Prior to joining SAM, Rachel became Salesforce certified and worked as a project coordinator for a Salesforce consulting firm for nonprofits.

Rachel has served on the Austin Young Nonprofit Professional Network’s (YNPN) Communications Committee for the past four years, most recently serving as the vice-chair of the committee. She is also a member of the Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE). She enjoys volunteering at Austin City Limits Music Festival, being active outside and cheering for Wisconsin sports.

Aleem Merchant

Aleem Headshot - BWAleem Merchant is the Finance and Programs Assistant with SAM working interchangeably with all members of the staff to provide support for client finances. In addition, he works with the Capital Area Dental Foundation and EMDR Research Foundation to help coordinate their various programs.

Aleem graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor’s of Science in Neurobiology, where he was also part of the Health Occupation Students of America and Students Advancing Society. While volunteering with these student organizations, Aleem coordinated members of his organization, as service chair, with non-profits such as Marathon Kids and The American Heart Association to help promote the message of community health and well being from childhood to adulthood.

After graduation Aleem worked at Seton Family of Hospitals as a nurse assistant on the orthopedics/neurology, cardiovascular, and oncology units. Here, his passion for the non-profit world grew by interacting with patients who conditions were associated with non-profits that he had worked with in the past. In his spare time he works on his startup, Napkin LLC, as the Chief Operating Officer and enjoys playing basketball. Aleem is a member of the Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE).

Jaala Davis

J. Davis Crop Headshot (BW) - 2017

Jaala Davis is the Administrative Coordinator at SAM, assisting clients with their membership databases, event preparation, and website development. After graduating from Virginia State University with a B.A. in Communications with a concentration in Television and Radio Production, Jaala went on to work for the US Department of Security as a contractor Passport Support Specialist for four years in Boston, MA. Jaala, is passionate about youth development and in 2009 had the opportunity to work as the Training Coordinator at GRLZradio.org, a non-profit youth development radio station for adolescent inner-city girls in Boston.

Jaala is from Boston, MA and moved to Austin in Spring 2015. She loves volunteering, mentoring youth, and enjoys the outdoors. She is still very active with GRLZradio.org and is a member of the Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE).

Kristen Whaley

Kristen Whaley serves as the Gala and Grants Manager with SAM, managing the development efforts of non-profit clients including the Capital Area Dental Foundation.

Prior to joining SAM, Kristen earned her Bachelor’s degree in advertising from Texas Tech University while simultaneously working for a full-service marketing agency in Lubbock, Texas. After graduation, she found her love for non-profit work while serving as the Membership Services Manager then Special Projects Manager of the Oklahoma Dental Association. At the ODA, Kristen had an array of responsibilities, but primarily planned and executed the Oklahoma Mission of Mercy, a two-day free dental clinic held once a year around the state of Oklahoma.

In the community, she serves as a member of the Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE) and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Kristen is new to Austin and enjoys spending time exploring all it has to offer with her husband, Trey, and their dog, Easton.