Christopher Urena Named Endocrine Society’s Chief Learning Officer

The Endocrine Society has hired Christopher Urena, MBA, CAE — a seasoned association executive with more than a decade of leadership experience — as chief learning officer where he will oversee the Society’s education and meeting activities.

As chief learning officer, Urena will bring innovative leadership for the identification, development, and evaluation of learning-based education and products by using instructional design techniques and leveraging technologies for e-learning. He will also oversee and manage the diverse activities of the Education, Programs and Meetings Department to include: the annual meeting (ENDO), Clinical Endocrinology Update (CEU), Continuing Medical Education Symposia (CMES), and patient resources through the Hormone Health Network (HHN).

Urena has a unique combination of nonprofit and for-profit adult education development for large medical associations.  Most recently, he was the director of Professional Development for American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) where he oversaw the operations for the strategic planning, production, marketing, and success measurement for ASHA’s continuing education portfolio. Prior to ASHA, Urena was the vice president, Business Development for COMMPARTNERS consulting firm, which offered synchronous/asynchronous e-learning and content management to associations.

“We are thrilled to have such a respected association professional of his caliber to provide guidance and leadership to develop the Society’s educational resources and to expand our educational programs as well as our impact around the world.” – Barbara Byrd Keenan, FASAE, CAE, CEO, Endocrine Society

“Chris brings expertise, passion, and a wealth of experience to the Endocrine Society,” says Society CEO Barbara Byrd Keenan, FASAE, CAE. “We are thrilled to have such a respected association professional of his caliber to provide guidance and leadership to develop the Society’s educational resources and to expand our educational programs as well as our impact around the world.”

For more than 10 years, Urena has assisted numerous associations advance their continuing education programs with an unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional learning experiences, in-person and online. At CommPartners he helped associations create ambitious learning strategies, backed with achievable blueprints that yielded positive, desired results. While at ASHA, he grew the association’s education department by $1 million (annually) in just two years by leveraging new instructional design frameworks, future-focused business models, and evidence-based intelligence, setting ASHA up to experience another $1 million annual leap in 2020.

“I recognize and take very seriously my responsibility to advance and strengthen the Society’s learning portfolio — that’s critically important and am confident we, as a team, will accomplish fantastic results,” Urena says. “That said, my passion and drive is rooted in something deeper than just increasing the number of learners/attendees and non-dues revenue. I never lose sight that our continuing education programs are ultimately designed to enhance the clinical and functional outcomes of the patients our learners serve.”

Urena received his BA in social sciences from Towson University and his MBA from University of Maryland University College. He is the recipient of a 2017 Forty Under 40, Association Forum of Chicagoland award as well as a Power of A (Silver Award) from the American Society of Association Executives for the “Case Studies by ASHA Professional Development” (a series of high-impact, 30-minute courses available to ASHA members for free – one of ASHA’s most successful good-will, member engagement offerings in its history).

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