ALA Bids Farewell to John Chrastka
John Chrastka in his ALA office. Photo by Jenny Levine
John Chrastka, ALA’s director of membership development, is leaving the Association effective August 31 to become a partner in a Chicago-based association consulting agency. His immediate supervisor, ALA Associate Executive Director for Communications Cathleen Bourdon, says of John:
He was the friendly face of ALA to thousands of ALA members and a true colleague to ALA staff.
Here’s a summary of John’s career at ALA, as told by Bourdon:
Nine years ago, John started at ALA as a sales rep in ALA Graphics and promoted Read products and group and special sales. After a year of doing that, he became the manager and then the director for membership development. In that role, he built membership revenue to nearly $6 million while constantly working to improve the member experience and increase member satisfaction. He supported the work of the divisions, round tables, and offices, and represented ALA around the country to chapters and other groups. John proposed and began the AL Direct Student edition, the Membership blog, and the ALA Facebook presence. He put together a staff team called Basecamp to use social media to promote the activities at Midwinter and Annual Conference. He was instrumental in organizing the ALA Pavilion which unified ALA groups on the exhibit floor.
Bourdon explained that John’s new work “will focus on helping associations with marketing, outreach, planning, and strategy, and that he will continue to work with libraries as a trustee of the Berwyn (Ill.) Public Library and on the board of RAILS, a new multitype library system in Illinois.”
ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels remarked on the ALA governing Council discussion list this morning:
John’s new position reflects a long-standing dream, and one which he has been working toward for a number of years. We do expect to be making use of John’s expertise and experience with ALA in his new capacity, and will be searching for a successor who can both continue and build upon his great work.