ATLANTA, May 5, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has been awarded a 2016 Gold Circle Award in the website category by ASAE: The Center of Association Leadership. The Gold Circle Awards competition is the premier association marketing, membership and communications award that recognizes excellence, innovation and achievement in association/nonprofit marketing, membership and communications programs.

"With the industry landscape quickly changing, our site had become dated, cluttered, frustrating to navigate and challenging to manage," said Joan Roth, Senior Director of Communication, Marketing and Technology for the ACR. "Going into the project, our overarching goal was to develop a user-centered site that would be intuitive to visitors and offer enhanced access and visibility to valuable content that was previously difficult to find – the focus was on creating a great user experience."

The ACR partnered with Engage, an enterprise-level web development firm, and Protech Associates, Inc., a provider of cloud-based association management software (AMS), to help develop a completely new architecture for the website, integrate the organization's existing third-party platforms, and create custom features to increase the functionality and usability of the website.

"Not only are our visitors finding information more easily, but they are spending more time on the site overall and exploring content that was inaccessible in the past," said Roth. "We are extremely proud of our staff and external partners for the outstanding effort given to deliver a site that reflects who the ACR is today and provides our online visitors with the experience they deserve. And having our work recognized by ASAE is a tremendous honor."

This year's competition received more than 163 entries across 11 categories, with 19 entries in the website category. The ACR is the first medical society to win the category in at least five years.

"We received exceptional submissions this year in all the categories, and the judges had a hard time selecting which organizations received the Gold Circle Awards," said Tom Quash, CAE, VP, Marketing, Communications and Publications at the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric & Neonatal Nurses, and chair of the Gold Circle Awards Committee.

For more information on the winners, visit the Gold Circle Awards website, and to see a video walk-through of what the website looked like before the redesign, visit

About the ACR
Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., the American College of Rheumatology is an international medical society representing over 9,400 rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals with a mission to Advance Rheumatology! In doing so, the ACR offers education, research, advocacy and practice management support to help its members continue their innovative work and provide quality patient care. Rheumatologists are experts in the diagnosis, management and treatment of more than 100 different types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases. For more information, visit

About ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership
ASAE is a membership organization of more than 21,000 association executives and industry partners representing 9,300 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession, and provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. For more information about ASAE, visit

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