Leader’s Center

Handling the extra responsibilities that come with a leadership position requires vision and know-how. This webpage is designed to help you realize your full potential as an AAMA volunteer leader, beginning with inspirational messages from other leaders like you.

Leader Spotlight 

Candy Miller, CMA (AAMA)

2018–2019 Oregon Society of Medical Assistants (OSMA) President


What is one characteristic you believe all leaders should possess?

Self-awareness. Good leaders need to be aware of their behavior—as well as the behavior of others. They need to understand how these behaviors can affect their team. They need to be able to control their emotions in all circumstances. Self-awareness also plays a part in professionalism, another important characteristic that all leaders should possess.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of your AAMA volunteer leadership experience?

Seeing the members that I have mentored over the years step up and take on leadership roles themselves. This is very special as it reflects upon the job I did, along with others, in mentoring, training, and, most of all, leading by example.

What advice would you give to a new leader?

Don’t be afraid to be wrong. We all have insecurities and make mistakes. Leaders grow from their challenges. It’s how we handle ourselves after the situation that is important!

How have the people in your life helped you become the leader you are today?

By encouragement. My LCMA [Lane Chapter of Medical Assistants], OSMA [Oregon Society of Medical Assistants], and AAMA [American Association of Medical Assistants] family have always been there, sometimes prodding me along the way. Their positivity has made a major influence in my life, the way I lead, and who I am.

Judy Kronenberger, PhD, RN, CMA (AAMA)

2019–2020 Ohio State Society of Medical Assistants (OSSMA) President


What is one thing you’ve done as a leader that you would do differently?

I think I would have liked to become a leader sooner than I actually did—I believe I always had leadership qualities, but, like many people, I was unsure and lacked the self-confidence that I could actually lead anything. Since my first leadership role, I have learned that I love being a leader because ultimately I love people!

What advice would you give to a new leader?

Be flexible and humble! You are only a leader if you have followers—no leader does everything for an organization. It is the members who will ultimately determine what direction the organization takes—the leader just presents options for that direction that reflect the best interests of the organization and serves to keep everyone grounded!

How do you encourage and inspire others to take active roles?

Although I do not have a lot of time to mentor upcoming leaders on a frequent basis, I make myself available to answer questions or give feedback as needed to all members, including those who may be future leaders. When I encounter someone newer to the organization and see evidence of leadership qualities (e.g., a willingness to want to participate more, thoughtful input per comments or suggestions in meetings), I make sure I speak personally with the individual and suggest … getting involved at a their chapter level as an officer and/or at the state level as a district councilor or alternate district councilor. I also make sure they have my contact information, and I make an effort to personally acknowledge them at future meetings.

Summer O’Neal, CMA (AAMA), CDT

2019–2020 North Carolina Society of Medical Assistants (NCSMA) President


What has been the most rewarding aspect of your AAMA volunteer leadership experience?

Meeting new people and learning who they are and what they do. It’s a humbling experience to talk with those who share so much with their community and put their credentials to good use.

What advice would you give to a new leader?

Ask questions and rely on your mentors and the seasoned members. They will help you more than you realize. The organization would not be what it is today without them. So, respect and appreciate them all.

What has been the best advice given to you by a mentor or another AAMA leader?

This AAMA leader told me to be myself and not worry about doing it wrong. It’s all a learning curve, and we are not perfect, and we all make mistakes. When you do things, do them to the best of your ability, and it will all work out.


View previously published interviews with many other state leaders: 2018–2019 State Leader Spotlights Archive.