John F. DeLillo, Jr.

Chief Executive Officer

I’ve been tasked by my marketing manager to write my bio for our website. I have successfully put this off for about six months now because the task seemed a bit daunting. In my mind, I needed to create a boiler plate bio that is a reflection of my relevant experience, and why I am the best choice for your association (blah, blah, blah). Wow, that’s a lot for me to wrap my head around and, quite frankly, not something I am comfortable with.

After putting many hours of thought into it, I have decided that my bio is going to tell you who I am, why I do what I do and my vision for Association Development Services. This way, if you decide to explore ADS as a potential association management company, you will know the passion that drives my business.

First some background, I am the oldest and only son out of my 3 siblings.  My mom, for the majority of my childhood, was a stay at home mom who found a way to make everything special.  My dad worked hard every day as a financial professional in Long Island City, but still found a way to attend my soccer and baseball games.

I recently celebrated my 25th wedding anniversary with my beautiful wife Michelle and, from what I hear, this is a great accomplishment.  Although, I never looked at it that way.  We were fortunate to find each other at St. John’s University, where we both studied accounting (exciting, I know).  Michelle and I have had the great fortune to raise two fabulous daughters, Christen and Lauren, who make us both very proud.

The first 10 years of my working life was spent as a public accountant and controller.  At the 10 year mark I made the decision that this was not the career for me so I became an executive recruiter for accounting and finance professionals.  I loved this, it really incorporated my background in accounting and the sales side revealed my competitiveness.

Okay, so how did I get here? After the market crashed in 2008 and the staffing business changed forever, I approached my dad with an idea. At that time, he was a CPA with his own practice in Oyster Bay and, as part of that practice, he was the Executive Director of some trade associations. I carefully rehearsed my pitch, mustered up the nerve and asked him if he would like to build the association business.  He said emphatically, NO. Undeterred I continued and said I will commit 100% of my time to this.  He then said okay, but I can’t pay you. Now we are getting somewhere, a full time job with no pay (sounds good so far). Then I said if I grow this business can I pay myself with the new business.  He said yes, and a partnership was born. 

Since then I have tripled the size of the business, built a dedicated team of professionals who care, and cultivated a culture of always being better today than we were yesterday.  I do this work because my clients need me. Associations are businesses too and need to be managed that way.  Who better equipped to do that than an accountant with a sales background?

My vision for ADS is to continue to grow and provide great guidance and service to our clients without losing the core values that got us to where we are.

- John F. DeLillo, Jr.


Association Development Services


John F. DeLillo, Jr.