Nationally known leader in association and non-profit management and governance. Her calm, positive, and inclusive style and her success in building, leading and sustaining a membership organization during constant change have earned broad respect in the industry. She is passionate about inspiring cultures that achieve results, foster creativity, cross boundaries, encourage risk-taking, and nurture individuals to grow and contribute.
As former executive director of the 5,400-member Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) (1995-2014), Knapp worked closely with senior-level leaders throughout higher education—in all types and sizes of colleges, universities, and professional firms—who share a commitment to strengthening and transforming the institutions they serve. SCUP advocates integrated planning, which engages all sectors of the academy and involves stakeholders from students, faculty, and staff, to external partners. It is this deep expertise that Knapp offers to help organizations thrive.
A representative list of Jolene’s accomplishments includes:
- Partnered with two major higher education management associations to host an unprecedented joint annual conference. In 2006, more than 4,000 higher education leaders participated in “Campus of the Future: A Meeting of the Minds” in Honolulu, HI. Its innovative programming received rave reviews from attendees and the higher education press.
- Promoted and advanced sustainability throughout higher education by launching SCUP’s annual Campus Sustainability Day, now in its 14th year of programming.
- Elevated SCUP’s strategic position by designing a new and more nimble governance structure.
- Created a smaller and more strategic board.
- Harnessed the energy of passionate volunteers by creating the SCUP Council—a representative body of volunteer and staff leaders charged with environmental scanning and planning.
- Achieved a vote of approval from SCUP membership and effectively transitioned from a governance model of over 45 years.
- Successfully migrated from a university-affiliated professional society to a stand-alone organization within six months. Established new, comprehensive staff benefits program, payroll processing, and human resources support.
- Championed and consistently nurtured the leadership partnership between the chief staff officer and chief elected officer, ensuring continuity of vision and strategy across annual turnover in presidential (board chair) terms.
Knapp has been active in the non-profit sector for over 35 years. Before joining SCUP, she led a quality assurance program for Florists’ Transworld Delivery Association (FTD). While at the Battelle Seattle Conference Center (a component of Battelle Memorial Institute), she was instrumental in transforming Battelle’s full-service residential conference center from an internal think tank to a regional retreat center that achieved the industry-high standards of the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC).
Knapp is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) through the American Society of Association Executives. She has held leadership positions in numerous organizations including as chair of the Council of Higher Education Management Associations (CHEMA), founding steering committee member of the Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium (HEASC), and founding member and vice president of the Washington State Chapter of Meeting Professionals International. She holds a BS in education from the University of Memphis.