Meet the Honorees

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The Association Partner

The Association Partner (TAP) propels trade associations and professional societies Upward, Onward, and Forward, by helping them solve extremely complex challenges such as declining membership numbers, declining membership participation across important events and programs, and declining sponsorship revenue. 

Founded in: 2018

County

St. Johns County

Industry

Advertising, PR & Related Services

Employee Growth 2019-2022

1600% increase 

Revenue Growth 2019-2022

589% Increase

Brian Donohoe

CEO

Was there an ah-hah moment that led you to your entrepreneurial journey or the idea for your company?

The ah-hah moment for starting The Association Partner came as a result of desiring to add more value in disrupting an industry that has historically been very traditional in its approach to marketing, media, and sponsorship sales by completely changing the way the game is played. The goal from day one has been to get forward-thinking associations who are willing to embrace new tools, tactics, and technologies for growth, and for the last five years, we’ve demonstrated a consistent track record of producing results for associations who embrace our vision, tactics, and expertise!

Our company culture is special because the people of The Association Partner are special! Naturally, we have great people who are high performers, and high performers are willing to be stretched, pushed, and molded to achieve more in their careers!

Everyone in our company has failed in some aspect of their job, starting with our senior-level leadership team (many times!), and we encourage honesty, transparency, and humility within our staff and teams to not only embrace failure but to truly learn and grow from it.

Apologies and admitting when we have made errors or mistakes from leadership to the employees has fostered a culture of being open and honest about our failures, and most importantly, has propelled team members to be solution-oriented in coming up with new ways to achieve better results in our interpersonal relationships and with our work in general.

One other practical way that we keep our culture strong includes monthly Rest Days, which are mandatory paid days off for our team to spend extra time with loved ones, or in general doing something that they feel will bring extra joy and energy to their lives!

The Association Partner’s competitive edge is that every single person in our company has embraced a unique mindset of perseverance and determination in turning problems into opportunities. I have not seen a company in our space (or in many other spaces for that matter) that is as determined to conquer challenges and WIN in every aspect as the group of people we have. In fighting for the growth of associations, it’s essential to have a never lose mentality, and our positivity, optimism, and general desire to grow in every facet has allowed us to have an edge over many other companies in our space!

Over the next five years, I’d like to see our company make a difference on a micro level by helping individuals and families in need in our local communities, and I’d also like us to be able to make a difference at a macro level by significantly contributing to causes that help impoverished and needy youth, teens, and young adults.

My proudest moments as CEO are seeing all of the instances where we’ve truly been able to help people find a place to start their careers and/or grow their careers. Most of our employees have been able to grow both professionally and financially in their time with The Association Partner. Some have paid off student debt, others have purchased their first homes or new homes, and others have been able to save money and make investments for the first-time in their careers due to their career growth here! Furthermore, as a business, we’ve been able to be generous with our proceeds, donating to local families who are going through difficult times in our community in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine areas.

What does it mean to be selected as a GrowFL FLCTW Honoree?

The Association Partner is incredibly honored to be selected as a GrowFL Honoree because we know we are part of an elite group of other deserving companies who are also growing and innovating! We are excited to learn from the other GrowFL Honorees, and we look forward to getting to know them!

Is there anyone you’d like to thank for getting you to where you are now?

I’d like to thank my wife, Miranda, for supporting and encouraging me to take a step out into the chaotic and challenging world of entrepreneurship and being the rock and backbone I’ve needed to continue showing up every day to be CEO of this company. She has been patient, kind, and loving in allowing me to pursue building and growing this business!  I’d also like to thank our CFO and my business partner, Jake Gregory, for being disciplined in helping keep the business on track and focused on mission-critical priorities. Jake is an innovator and special talent who is also uniquely gifted in managing others and helping them grow in their skills and abilities. The Association Partner would not be where we are today without his contributions, as well as the contributions of every single person on our team (past and present)!

What is your advice for aspiring or fellow business owners?

“Put the ‘Person’ before the ‘Pitch’ and the ‘Power’ before the ‘Product’.”No person will care about what your business has to “Pitch” to the industry, marketplace, or economy in general, if you cannot first establish trust and rapport with the “Person” that you’re trying to enroll in your ideas… Relationships come before revenue, and revenue only grows if you keep your relationships right!

Once you establish these things as you attempt to get people on board with your business and where you’re headed, focus on the “Power” of your vision and solutions before you focus on the “Product” or solution itself. Most customers, partners, and other stakeholders you need to enroll in your growth care more about the end goal, the power and disruption you’re going to bring to the industry, more than they do the technical details and specifications of the product or offering itself. Connect your big picture in a meaningful and impactful way with the person, establish the power of them having a relationship with your business, and you’ll be on the right track!

Join us for the celebration!

February 15, 2024 | Hard Rock Live - Orlando, FL
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