About Maren L. Amdal, CAE

For more than a decade I’ve helped people and organizations pair plans with vision, build strategic initiatives and operational direction, and strike a balance between art and administration. As a professional association executive and strategic planning consultant, I unify collective dreams with the complex realities of nonprofit management.

My passion for non-profits is evident in my life and work.  Working with, for, and leading non-profits since 1997, I love what happens when a “small group of thoughtful, committed people” sets out to improve a community, unite under a common cause, change the world.  I get excited when I can offer an idea or framework that allows a group to see itself differently, to envision success, to attain bigger goals.  I like to work with both practical, detail-oriented individuals, but also foster an atmosphere where creativity can flourish.  Working within the confines of limited budgets, small staff and passionate volunteers make my job exciting.  I like seeing the process unfold as new ideas are adopted and long-standing programs are enhanced.

My commitment to my work goes beyond career and professional development; beyond being successful – to being joyful.  Earning the CAE credential and selecting a MSc in Strategic Planning is certainly a testament to my passion for organizational development and excellence; but perhaps more telling is the joy I find in spending a Sunday afternoon in my kitchen with the wall covered in sticky notes, a pot of soup bubbling on the stove, as I work with a colleague through a complete organizational restructure; or a Friday night with a glass of wine in front of the fireplace, laptop tuned to PowerPoint, drafting the first version of an organizations’ new 3-year plan; or a Saturday morning amid markers and easel boards, sharing doughnuts and coffee and dreams in the company of a committed group of volunteers.

No one wants to trudge to success.  So, let’s work together to find the “play” in your organizational planning — I promise the results will be worth it!

Awards, Appointments, & Memberships

To give you a taste of the organizations I’ve had the pleasure to be involved with, and the awards I have been honored to receive, here is a list of some of the many organizations with which I have been affiliated over the past 20 years:

  • Centennial 100 Women of Promise, Girl Scouts River Valley, 2012
  • 40 Under 40 Honoree, The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, Minneapolis, MN, 2011
  • Fellow, Feminist Leadership Fellowship, University of Minnesota, Humphrey Institute, Minneapolis, MN, 2008


  • Member, Oakland Interfaith Community Choir, Oakland, CA 2016-present
  • Member, San Francisco Elks Lodge BPOE #3, San Francisco, 2014-present
  • Member, City Club of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 2013-present
  • Member, CalSAE, San Francisco, CA 2012-present
  • Member, National Association of Professional Women, 2011-present
  • Member, BWN (Business Women Network), Minneapolis, MN 2010-2012
  • Member, American Society of Association Executives, Washington, DC 2009-present
  • Member, Midwest Society of Association Executives, Roseville, MN 2009-present
  • Member, Minnesota Women’s Consortium, St. Paul, MN, 2005-2012


  • Board Member, American Driving Society, United States, 2018-present
  • Board Member, Community Women’s Orchestra, Oakland, CA 2018-present
  • Member, Advisory Committee, The Space Station Museum, 2016-present
  • Board Member, Vermont Street Park, San Francisco, CA 2015-present
  • Board Member, Strategic Advisory Board, CARD, Oakland, CA 2013-2016
  • Member, Advisory Board, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, 2014-2015
  • Board Member, Advisory Committee, Financial Literacy Foundation, San Francisco, CA 2012-2014
  • Board Member, Wirth Community Grocery, Minneapolis, MN, 2010-2011
  • Board Member, ex officio, CFA Society San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, 2012-2016
  • Board Member, ex officio, CFA Society Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2008-2012
  • Board Member, ex officio, Calliope Women’s Chorus, St. Paul, MN, 2005-2012
  • Board Member, other roles, Lake Harriett Spiritual Community, Minneapolis, MN, 2004-2011

Presentation and Facilitation

A recognized speaker and session facilitator, specialty areas include:

  • Organizational Management
  • Leadership
  • Administration, Operations and Finance
  • Knowledge Management & Research
  • Governance and Structure
  • Public Policy, Government Relations, & Coalition Building
  • Membership & Volunteer Development
  • Programs, Products, And Services
  • Marketing, Public Relations, & Communications

The following session titles are examples of 1-hour, half-day or full-day workshop presentations.

  • Taking your Career to the Next Level: The Value of Professional Designations & Certifications,”
    25th Annual Pension and Financial Services Conference, San Francisco, CA.
  • Events and Entertaining: The Recipe for Success,”
    Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Non-Profit Roundtable, Oakland, CA.
  • “Membership of the Future – Alternative Models,”
    North American Regional Conference, Newport Beach, CA.
  • “Comprehensive Volunteer Programs: Recruitment, Retention and Management”
    International Leadership Conference, Hong Kong
  • “Occam’s Razor: Five Rules for Effective Presentations”
    Career & Professional Development Conference, Minneapolis, MN
  • “Developing a Society Sponsorship Program,”
    Society Leader Conference, Washington, D.C.
  • “From Planning to Execution: How to Implement and Adhere to Your Strategic Plan,”
    International Society Leader Conference, Boston, MA