About JJ Colburn, CAE
JJ Colburn, CAE, serves as President and Partner with Strategic Association Management (SAM), an association management company (AMC) in Austin, Texas. In this role, he provides SAM clients with executive leadership and strategic counsel, mentor and develop staff, and help to identify and grow business opportunities.
Most recently, JJ served as the Executive Director of the Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented (TAGT) since November 2010. TAGT is a 3,000 member state association dedicated to meeting the unique needs of gifted and talented learners. In this role, he directed the association staff, oversaw the implementation of a wide array of programs and services, facilitated board governance strategies and direction for the organization, and represented the association with multiple local, regional, state, and national entities. During his tenure, he facilitated several transformative changes for the country’s largest state gifted organization. This includes the implementation of an association rebrand, a governance restructure and the development of a new online training program, TAGT On Demand. Additionally, under his leadership, TAGT was instrumental in statewide policy efforts affecting gifted education, established new partnerships and significantly improved resources and programs for members. While with TAGT, JJ served on Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS) Advisory Board, and was the chair of that board. TAMS is a state supported university based residential high school for highly gifted students at the University of North Texas in Denton. He also served on the Texas Commissioner of Education’s Advisory Council (CAC) for gifted education.
Prior to his work with TAGT, he was the director of the Texas Association of Student Councils (TASC), a statewide student leadership organization serving 1,500 secondary school student council programs in Texas. As the TASC Director, he developed and implemented strategies to increase, retain and serve membership, directed paid and volunteer staff through office and field programs, and administered more than 20 events annually, directly serving more than 10,000 participants. While serving as TASC Director, he was elected to serve on the Board of the National Association of State Student Council Executive Directors (2005-2009). He also served on the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Student Activities, a national organization committed promoting the value of student activities in schools.
With nearly 20 years in the association management industry and six years in public education as a social studies teacher and academic counselor, his career has been dedicated to supporting and improving both individual and organizational development. In all positions, JJ has been instrumental in initiating and implementing innovative programs that have resulted in meaningful, lasting change.
JJ is an active member of the Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE), where he currently serves as the 2016-2017 TSAE Board Chairman. He has been active on multiple TSAE committees and task forces, presents regularly at events and was selected to participate in the inaugural TSAE Leadership Academy in 2010.
JJ is also a Director in The Texas Lyceum, the state’s pre-eminent non-profit, non-partisan leadership organization, whose purposes include identifying and developing the next generation of top leadership in the State of Texas.
He has also been conferred by American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) as a Certified Association Executive (CAE). The CAE is the highest professional credential in the association industry recognizing a high level of knowledge, ethical fitness and leadership in the field of association management. In 2013, he was one of 12 association professionals selected from across the country as a Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP) Scholar, a program of the ASAE. DELP supports individuals from under-represented identity groups in the association community, to advance into the ranks of leadership in the association profession.
An accomplished trainer, facilitator and speaker, JJ has developed and delivered personal and organizational leadership development curriculum and presentations to audiences as large as 5,000 at conferences, workshops, and schools across the country. JJ was recognized in 2011 with the Earl Reum Regional Award, a national award presented to outstanding teachers of teachers.
A native of Orange, Texas, JJ was honored as a Distinguished Alumni of the Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD in 2012. JJ has a BA in Psychology and M.Ed. in Educational Psychology, both from The University of Texas at Austin. He currently resides in Austin, Texas.