CMA Association Management Celebrates 30 Years

By CMA Posted January 1, 2017

Founder Jeffrey Barnhart’s ‘Growth Engine’ Strategy Keeps Advancing Trade Groups

PRINCETON JUNCTION, N.J.–Jan. 17, 2017– One of Jeffrey Barnhart’s first marketing clients was an association, which helped the visionary entrepreneur expand his business model in the early days.

Then, he picked up another association client and another. After working with a credit card manufacturer, Barnhart decided to create and launch a new association—the International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA)—which represents the majority of transaction card manufacturers and personalizers worldwide.

As his company celebrates its 30th year anniversary this year, Barnhart remembers the work and the special people along the way who have transformed CMA Association Management into a full-service, award-winning association management firm with a strategic marketing and integrated communications division that delivers best practices in leadership, governance, member services and financial services.

“I see every association challenge as an opportunity to help,” said Barnhart, who is the founder and CEO of one of the 75 association management companies accredited worldwide by the Association Management Company Institute. “The secret is hard work, but if you love what you do, it is true you will never work a day in your life. It has been said that if you get excited about Friday, you have a job, but if you get excited about Monday, you’re following your passion. I love Mondays.”

CMA provides leadership and governance, association headquarters, membership and member programs, growth-engine platforms, financial oversight, event-management and full-service marketing. .

Unlike other association management firms, Barnhart continues to create services that solve problems for his clients. For example, he created an entire marketing and communications division that builds an association’s value proposition, motivates members and prospects, and grows attendance at conferences around the world.

In 2016, CMA’s strategic communications team generated a total reach of 28,094,012 with 50 media placements to improve the value proposition for the New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA). As a result, the association increased its membership by 12 percent, stemming a five-year decline.

Barnhart’s company practices a “Growth Engine” mindset, which leads to association growth through creative strategies, such as royalty and affinity programs, strategic plan development, non-dues revenue generators and increased member resources.

In addition to ICMA and NJSNA, CMA manages many other associations, including, but not limited to, Healthcare Manufacturers Management Council, North American Association of Commencement Officers, Event Service Professionals Association and the National Association of Innovative Lighting Distributors.

CMA’s senior leadership has recruited a collection of passionate, talented professionals who take responsibility for advancing their clients’ businesses. To ensure all employees fit the mold, the company has created a list of core values it believes captures the essence of its client-centric culture:
• Passion
• Excellence
• Professionalism
• Teamwork
• Enthusiasm
• Accountability
• Solution-Oriented

“I’ve been fortunate to work with many talented professionals along the way who have proven we can all do more together,’’ Barnhart said. “We have done our part to make associations throughout the U.S. and abroad work more effectively and efficiently for their respective members.”

In addition to earning more than 325 awards for the work CMA has produced throughout the years, Barnhart was named the first Entrepreneur of the Year by the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce in 1993 and CMA was named 2016 Outstanding Small Business of the Year by the MIDJersey Chamber of Commerce.


About CMA Association Management
CMA Association Management is a firm that utilizes its services to achieve measurable results for regional, national and international association clients for 30 years. CMA is triple-accredited and one of only 75 association management companies worldwide accredited by the AMC Institute and provides leadership and governance, association headquarters, membership and member programs, growth-engine platforms, financial oversight, event-management and full-service marketing. If you’re expecting results, call 800.852.4269 or email us at

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