Susan Bell Waters died peacefully at her home on Dec. 16, 2014.
A nationally recognized association executive, Susan was born in Denton, Md., on Feb. 21, 1951, and grew up in Public Landing, Md., on the Chincoteague Bay. She is remembered by her many friends and colleagues for her warmth, compassion and for going out of her way for others.
Susan was appointed CEO of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) in 2010, after serving as deputy CEO beginning in 2007. Her leadership experience is deep and wide ranging, including serving as president of an organizational consulting firm, and as CEO of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the San Francisco Medical Society, and the Prince George’s County (MD) Medical Society.
Susan’s skills as a leader were recognized repeatedly. Among many other recognitions, she was the first woman to serve as president of the American Association of Medical Society Executives and the Board of Directors and as an officer of the American Society of Association Executives.
She was also a trustee and treasurer for the Foundation of the Business and Professional Women’s Federation/USA.
In 2013, she was the recipient of the American Society of Association Executives’ Key Award, which recognizes the association CEO who demonstrates exceptional qualities of leadership and displays a deep commitment to voluntary membership organizations.
Susan earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, a master’s degree in Organization Development from the University of San Francisco, and a doctorate of management from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.
Susan is survived by a twin sister, Marty Pusey; two brothers, Bill Waters, and his wife, Marilyn and Donald Waters and his wife, Linda; nephew, Ryan Waters; nieces Katie Keith and husband, Jon and Sarah Dryden and her husband, Michael.
A funeral service was held Dec. 22, 2014 at Makemie Memorial Presbyterian Church in Snow Hill, Md. Arrangements are being handled by the Burbage Funeral Home in Snow Hill. Rev. Debra Latture officiated. Interment followed in the Makemia Presbyterian Churchyard.
A celebration of Susan’s life will also be held at the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015.
The family asks that donations be made in Susan’s name to two organizations she strongly supported: “So Others Might Eat,” an interfaith, community-based organization that helps the poor and homeless in Washington, D.C., 71 O Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001, www.some.org; and “Smile Train,” an international charity dedicated to addressing children’s cleft lip and palate – www.smiletrain.org.
Letters of condolence may be sent to the family via Burbage@BurbageFuneralHome.com.