Timeless Innovation Since 1925

Charles F. Kettering

NMA was founded by Charles F. Kettering in 1925. Kettering was a prolific inventor, businessman, and holder of 186 patents. He is most famously known for developing the electric starter for automobiles. Kettering pioneered numerous auto-industry innovations including leaded gasoline and the style of auto paint still used today. He also discovered the coolant Freon which ushered in refrigeration and air conditioning.

Kettering was the founder of the Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company (DELCO) which became a subsidiary of General Motors. He realized early on that his supervisors, known as Foremen in those days, needed training to develop the necessary skills to effectively lead others. Thus, the Foreman’s Club was born.

As the Foreman’s Club gained national recognition, with members from different management and supervisory levels, the name was changed to The National Management Association to better reflect the organization’s role in crafting innovative leaders across industries.


NMA offers leadership development products and creates opportunities that maximize the potential of our members, sponsoring organizations, and communities.


NMA is the recognized worldwide partnership of people and businesses, inspiring outstanding leadership, and cultivating highly productive workplaces.

Continuing Education History

In 1974, NMA and the International Management Council created the Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM) located on the campus of James Madison University. Today, NMA and ICPM continue to work together to offer NMA members exclusive pricing a close relationship with NMA NMA members enjoying exclusive pricing on critical professional certifications like Certified Manager (CM) and Certified Supervisor (CS).

Learn more about our certification discounts and other continuing education resources below!

Committed to the next generation

The NMA Educational Foundation is committed to developing the next generation of leaders as the global economy changes ever rapidly. This comes in the form of continually evaluating and updating NMA’s existing professional development resources as well as looking for new materials, courses, platforms, and technology on which to deliver them.

For nearly 100 years NMA has been on the cutting edge of innovation and growth, both personal and professional. The NMA Educational Foundation will provide the funding for the next century of great leaders.


NMA annually recognizes its members with awards and recognition at its Annual Conference. National awards include the Member of the Year, the National Management Hall of Fame induction, and the Executive of the Year. 

The Association occasionally awards the prestigious Wilbur M. McFeely Award, which recognizes outstanding individuals who have made profound contributions to leadership and management development while gaining national and international recognition for their work.

Since 1988, The Association has sponsored a speech contest for high school students awarding over $500,000 in scholarship funds.


Darrell Wacker

Director of Operations

Abbie Funke 

Director of Member Services

2023 Executive Committee

Matt Zelman
2023 Chairman of the Board

BCBSM Leadership Development Assoc. Detroit, MI

Matt has worked at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in Detroit, MI for the past 22 years, with the last five years as a Senior Finance Specialist for one of BCBSM’s largest customers.  He joined NMA in January 2009 to improve his leadership skills.  After rising through the chapter ranks on the finance side, he was added to the NMA Board in January 2018.  Matt is currently serving a 2-year term as the 2022-2023 NMA Chairman of the Board. Matt holds a BBA degree in Finance from the University of Michigan – Dearborn.

Deborah Davis-Leicht
2023 National Vice Chair

Lockheed Martin Leadership Assoc. Fort Worth, TX

Deborah is an experienced professional that has worked in the aerospace industry for over 37 years. She has been an active member of her NMA chapter since 2011, where she served as Vice President of Professional Development which led her to being a National Director. She joined the NMA Board of Director in 2019 and is currently serving as the 2023 NMA Vice Chair. She holds a BS Degree in Mathematics from University of Texas at Arlington and a Master of Science in Engineering Management from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX.

Amanda Lamson, PMP
2023 National Treasurer

Individual Member, Hartselle, AL

Amanda has been a professional in the aviation and aerospace industry for 18 years. She is currently part of Boeing’s Project Integration, Space Launch System in Huntsville, AL. She has been an active member of NMA since 2016 and a member of the board since 2018. Currently she serves as the NMA National Treasurer and as Treasurer for the newly formed Individual Member Leadership Association chapter. She holds an Associates Computer-Aided Drafting, a BS in Business Quality Management, and a Master’s in Business Administration. She is also a certified Project Management Professional.

Rayford Horne, CM
2023 National Secretary

Lockheed Martin Leadership Assoc. Marietta, GA

Rayford is an experienced professional in the manufacturing industry with over 26 years of expertise. Since 1999, he has been an active member of NMA and has held leadership roles at the chapter level since 2012. He began serving as an Associate Director in 2016 and a National Director in 2021. Currently, he serves as the 2023 NMA National Secretary. He holds a BS Degree in Electrical Engineering from South Carolina State University, along with Master’s in Business Administration and Project Management from the Keller Graduate School of Management. He is also a Certified Manager.

Nancy Bennett, CM 
2023 Immediate Past Chair

BCBSM Leadership Development Assoc. Detroit, MI

Nancy has been a professional with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for over 33 years. Currently she leads the Service Operations Training business unit which is responsible for leading the training delivery function. This position allows her the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues within her organization and also build relationships with business partners. Nancy has been a member of NMA for many years and served in many leadership roles including as the 2015 Chairman of the Board. She is currently serving as the 2023 Immediate Past Chair. She holds a BS in Business Management from the University of Phoenix and a Master’s in Management from Bellevue University.


Committee Chairs

Monica Tucker 
Membership & Community Committee Chair

Individual Member, Flintville, TN

Shelly Menke
Communications & Marketing Committee Chair
Palmdale, CA
Scott Chesnut
Professional Development Committee Co-Chair

Individual Member, Oakpoint, TX

Steve Van Ostenbruggee, Ph. D., CM  
Professional Development Committee Co-Chair
Harrisonburg, VA
Wendell M. Pichon, CM
Recognition Committee Chair

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics (Retired), Fort Worth, TX

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