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Woody Bibens and Associates, Inc. is a professional association management company that was founded in 1989. We work with horticulture industry clients on state, regional and national levels, specializing in trade associations. Woody Bibens and Associates provide full spectrum management services, including event management, membership services, governance, marketing, and more.

Our clients include SynRG LLC and the Handpicked for You® trust mark; the Perennial Plant Association; the Western Nursery & Landscape Association; and the ASLA Central States Conference. President and owner Sarah Woody Bibens brings 30 years of experience as an Executive Director, working with local, state and regional trade associations. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri - Columbia with a degree in Forest Management.

Vice President Emily Bibens Chung has more than 10 years of experience as a professional association executive. Emily earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential in January 2013, the highest professional credential in the association industry. In addition, she has an MPhil Management degree from the Judge School of Business, University of Cambridge.

Woody Bibens & Associates primary office is located in Raleigh, NC.



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Trade shows, conventions, fundraisers, board retreats, tours - we've planned all of them.
Even a fashion show with plants on the runway!

From contract negotiation and exhibitor move-in to catering and audio/visual to education sessions and tours featuring international experts, Woody Bibens and Associates understands the attention to detail and planning it takes to ensure these events run smoothly.

Woody Bibens and Associates has managed multi-day conventions for up to 4,000 with a 500 booth trade show, lunch meetings for 50 - 100 guests, single-day conferences for 200 and board retreats for 20.



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With more than 30 years of proven association management and leadership experience, Woody Bibens and Associates has the expertise necessary to support your organization and its volunteer leaders.

Woody Bibens and Associates has managed local, state, regional and national level industry and consumer associations, providing comprehensive, contract-based management services. Our focus is working with trade associations - typically 501(c)6 associations - helping you to support your members and your industry.

The flexibility of contract-based management services ensures you have the right staff in place when you need them; when you don't need them, you don't have the overhead. Our combined 40+ years of experience leveraged by an advanced business degree and background as a small business owner ensure you have knowledgeable and efficient management, making sure your organization runs smoothly, effectively, within budget and supports your members.

In association management, it is an era of changing membership demographics, evolving roles for trade shows and conventions, and the difficulty of planning for a future that must account for much change. Woody Bibens and Associates embraces change, innovation, and the challenge of developing viable short- and long-term plans.


Woody Bibens and Associates' full contract-based association management services include:

  • Board Meetings and Board Retreats

  • Certification

  • Education and Professional Development Management

  • Webinars, Events, Meetings, and Conventions

  • Financial Management

  • Governance

  • Marketing

  • Office Management;

  • Publications

  • Short- and Long-term Planning

  • Sponsorship

  • Trade Shows and Exhibits



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1. To support our nonprofit clients through innovative solutions;

2. To always bring a "can do" determination to overcoming challenges and supporting each clients' members and goals;

3. To maintain an intellectual curiosity and a value for our own professional development, ensuring we bring timely, relevant, industry-leading knowledge to support our clients' goals and practices;

4. To positively impact our client associations' members in their professional success.



Sarah Woody Bibens,
Owner and President

Executive Director, Western Nursery and Landscape Association

B.S. Forest Management, cum laude, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

Sarah Woody Bibens founded Woody Bibens and Associates in 1989. During that time she has served as the Executive Director of multiple associations and consulted on various projects. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Management, affording her insight and interest in the larger horticulture industry.

Sarah is passionate about many outdoor activities, especially running. She has the Abbott World Major Marathons, running in Tokyo, Berlin, London, Boston, New York, and Chicago. She qualified again for the 2019 Boston Marathon.


Emily Bibens Chung,
CAE, MPhil, Vice President

Manages the Raleigh, NC office
Executive Director, SynRG, LLC
Executive Director, Perennial Plant Association

Emily is a second generation association executive and began "helping" plan conferences at 5 years old. Currently, she is Vice President of Woody Bibens & Associates and serves as Executive Director for two of WBA's clients.

Emily is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and has a MPhil Management from University of Cambridge's Judge School of Business. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Language with Honors from William Jewell College where she was part of the Oxbridge Honors Program and a Pryor Leadership Program Fellow.

Emily maintains professional membership with the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the Association Executives of North Carolina (AENC).

Board and Committee work: 
Director, Association Executives of North Carolina

Member of ASAE's Professional Development Section Council for 2013-2016

Past Chair of AENC's Young Professionals committee


Tia Nusbaum,
Events Manager

B.S. Horticulture, Minor in Visual Communications, The Ohio State University

Tia assists all of our clients with event planning and management. She's an expert at working with venues and planning committees to design effective events that run smoothly. Between her knowledge of the horticulture industry and her incredible event planning skills, Tia is a perfect fit with the Woody Bibens & Associates' team!

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Rachaele Andrews,
Membership Manager

M.Ed. Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

B.A. Strategic Communications, Minor in Sport and Event Management, Elon University

Rachaele assists all of our clients with member services and registration management. If you call the office, you'll likely talk with Rachaele! Rachaele also works closely with our young professionals groups, working to engage students and young professionals as new association members.

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Taylor O’Donnell,
Marketing & Communications Manager

B.A. Industrial Design, Summa Cum Laude, Columbus College of Art & Design

A.S. Electronic Media Technology, Honors Graduate, University of Cincinnati, Blue Ash College

Taylor manages all of the marketing and communications for Woody Bibens & Associates' clients. She's a design wiz and creates professional yet approachable brands for our clients.

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Callie Kirkegaard,
Special Projects Manager

B.S. Chemical Engineering, Iowa State University

Callie assists clients with event planning and management and she works closely with Emily on the management of SynRG, LLC and the Perennial Plant Association.

With a technical background, she applies a systems thinking approach and likes using data to drive improvement. Callie is a recent Midwestern transplant working out of Portland, Maine.


Bear Chung,
Canine Mascot Extraordinaire

Bear is Emily's co-worker and side-kick.  A mini-Schnoodle, he is 20 pounds of fluffy energy and cuddles.  In addition to being the office clown, he helps care for the 60+ varieties of plants in Emily and husband Chris' yard.  His hidden talent – only barking when Emily is on the phone!



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Name *


Sarah Woody Bibens, President & Owner 

Emily Bibens Chung, Vice President 
Raleigh, NC