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2018 Annual Meeting Agenda
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Wednesday, May 30, 2018 

Board of Directors Meeting  6:00 PM - 8:00 PM 

Thursday, May 31, 2018


Golf Outing at the Cape Neddick Country Club Morning

Registration and "Welcome Mingle"


Join us for informal networking with new members, committees, volunteers, and staff before the opening general session.



12:00 PM - 1:00 PM 





Opening General Session


Fueling Exceptional New Member Experiences: 3 New Strategies for Onboarding, Engagement and Retention

Speaker: Amanda Kaiser, MBA | Chief Path Finder, Kaiser Insights, LLC

Does your data tell you that your new members renew at a lower rate than other members? Have your retention metrics plateaued even though you are improving your renewal process? Do you wonder how to engage both new and long-time members even more? Members think far differently about joining, engaging and renewing than we do. While fielding qualitative research conversations with over 313 members I’ve learned that our membership process is not a year-long cycle in their minds. Instead, the decision to renew is highly influenced by their experience when they first join. Learn how associations, small to large, are successfully engaging all members by focusing far more on their newest members. These associations are focusing on providing their new members not just the specific value they need but on creating exceptional experiences as well, cementing engagement. Key insights from the research reveal how you can too.


1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Break  2:00 PM - 2:15 PM 

Deep Dive Sessions


Association Trends

Speaker: Donna Dunn, CAE | Senior Consultant, Tecker International 


From board size and engaging volunteers to board selection and the role of the executive committee, things are changing in contemporary associations. Many organizations are seeking to streamline decision-making. There is a desire and often a need to increase volunteer engagement. Structural realignment may be seen as the answer. With structural changes often come challenges in getting the right people in the right positions. Join Donna and your peers in a conversation about the latest trends in association governance and volunteer engagement. What is really happening now in the association arena? Identify trends that have significance for your organization. Take away some new ideas that could affect your organization in the future. 


Turning Your Members into Your Best Political Advocates
Speaker: Stefanie Coxe | Principal, Nexus Werx, LLC – Learn to Lobby

Whether they're facing local regulations or state or federal lobbying, many associations need the support of their membership to be successful in politics. This workshop will walk participants through the specific steps that they need to take to turn their members into political advocates in the run up to making a political request. Participants will learn how to get their members to build relationships and increase their influence with decision-makers. They will also learn how to ease their supporters into the role of advocate for their organization. During the session, they will work on their own Advocacy Integration Plan. This workshop is ideal for Executive Directors/CEOs or anyone with an external affairs role.


Crisis Communication and the Role of the Supporting Association

Speakers: Diana Pisciotta | President, Denterlein Worldwide and Kerin O’Toole | Vice President, Public Affairs, Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers 


This session will focus on how your association can assist its members in both planning for and responding to high-profile organizational crises, including instances of sexual harassment or bullying. The session will address the importance of having a solid crisis communications plan in place to effectively manage messaging to a range of stakeholders, including media, association members, funders and regulators. It will also explore how to recognize trends and build capacity for managing crises from within the association and when to engage outside media experts, particularly when a single incident can impact the reputation of your entire member network.

2:15 PM - 3:45 PM 
"Brew Break"  3:45 PM - 4:00 PM

Breakout Sessions


Using Business Process Improvement to Engage & Empower Employees
Speaker: Warren Rutherford | President, Rutherford Advisors, Inc. 

If anything in associations (and business) is constant – it’s change. How we successfully create and manage change helps define our ability to serve our customers better. This fast-paced, interactive session will overview business process improvement (BPI) as a management tool to engage, motivate, and empower employees to help association executives, boards, and staff navigate your changing business culture. We’ll use several BPI tools during the session to illustrate their relevancy and application to engagement, empowerment, motivation, and cultural change in your association. Sounds like it might be too much? Pick a project your association needs to work on - we will select several to model at the workshop. Come ready to use your talents to engage! Audience participation will be expected.

Volunteer Appreciation Panel
Panelists: Michael Bevilacqua (Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce) and Joe Bevilacqua (Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce)


Volunteers give a lot of their time, knowledge, and skills to their professional associations. But, are those associations showing their volunteers real appreciation in return? What does appreciation look like? Attend this session to learn about what our panelists’ organization are doing to show appreciation to their Board members, committee members, and other volunteers. Come prepared to share your own ideas and experiences, and leave this session with great new ideas on how to show that your association appreciates its volunteers.

Interested in participating on this panel? Email to let us know!  

The Secret to Sales Panel

Panelists: Bettina McCrady (Woodstock Inn & Resort), Michael Stam (Sheraton Needham Hotel), Eric Szymanski (Disney Destinations, and Meg Tereniak (MemberClicks)


Association professionals are always selling something – whether it’s memberships, event registrations, sponsorship packages, or more. How can association professionals approach sales most effectively? How can they build relationships with members, sponsors, and other stakeholders that will lead to sales and help grow their organization’s bottom line? Join our panel of Industry Partners to hear how these sales professionals approach their work, and to learn the secrets to sales that they think association professionals should know to sell successfully!

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
On Your Own  5:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Reception and Exhibits, Hosted by Cliff House Maine 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM 
Dinner - On Your Own  7:30 PM 
Young Professionals Meet-Up (Informal Networking) 9:00 PM

Friday, June 1, 2018 


Breakfast and Exhibits  8:00 AM - 8:30 AM
Annual Meeting and Awards  8:30 AM - 9:00 AM

Breakout Sessions 


A Primer for Building a Strategic Board
Speaker: Sherri Oken, CAE | Principal, The Association Advantage 

What is a strategic board? It is a board takes the long rather than the short view. It creates a vision for an organization and the means to realize that vision. It insures the availability of necessary resources to fulfill the organization's mission and goals, and so much more. But, without the right people on your board (no seat warmers!), none of this can be accomplished. Who are those people and how do you identify, recruit and retain them? At this session, we will explore the characteristics of and a process for creating your strategic board.

Association Research Reveals the Stickiest New Member Engagement Programs
Speaker: Amanda Kaiser, MBA | Chief Path Finder, Kaiser Insights, LLC

Our members say they key to engagement is engaging them immediately after they join. Members become more deeply engaged with the association when they are actively engaged within the first 3 days, 3 weeks, or 3 months after joining. So, how are associations creating value and curating experiences specifically for our most at-risk members? Dynamic Benchmarking and Kaiser Insights LLC teamed up to find out. We conducted the first ever New Member Engagement Study to discover the new member onboarding, welcoming, and orientation habits of all types and sizes of associations. The data reveals many new and interesting insights. Learn the secrets of the most effective new member onboarding programs. See which tactics work best and what associations have tried that does not work. Hear about the unusual but successful practices your peers have tested.

Success with Sponsors

Panelists: Christy Dancause (ACG Boston), Patty Houpt (New England Employee Benefits Council) and Amy Tetreault (Tree Care Industry Association)


There’s a lot of money to be paid by offering sponsorship opportunities to your associations’ supporters. There are also a wide variety of sponsorship models, structures, benefits, and more. Where do you begin to develop sponsorship opportunities? How do you communicate the value of these opportunities? And how do you keep your sponsors coming back year after year? During this panel session, you’ll hear about the unique sponsorship opportunities several NE/SAE members have developed at their own associations – to great success. Come prepared to share your own sponsorship success (and even failure) stories!

Interested in participating on this panel? Email to let us know!  

9:15 AM - 10:15 AM
Break and Exhibits  10:15 AM - 11:15 AM

Breakout Sessions 


Cybersecurity and Your Association 
Speaker: Russell Kuhl | Director of Technology, 1 Point Networks


Ransomware, botnets and keyloggers, oh my! Join Russell Kuhl, a certified IT security professional with over a decade of association experience, for a discussion about the cybersecurity challenges faced by all associations and what you can do to protect your organization.

New programs, no money. Finding financial resources in existing activity

Speaker: Donna Dunn, CAE | Senior Consultant, Tecker International


In associations there are always more ideas and potential programs than there are financial resources. Since money comes from three places - new sources, investments or reallocation - every association needs to find the appropriate way to evaluate existing programs with an eye toward identifying the potential for reallocation of resources. Strategic program assessment uses a unique set of criteria to critically, unemotionally, look at your current portfolio of programs and identify those most mission critical and those that might be better done by others. Take away a set of tools to implement an assessment program in your organization. 

Engaging Millennial Members, as Told by Millennials

Panelists: Alexander Gutin (Web Scribble Solutions), Samantha James (New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission), Kathryn Magnoli (Mass. League of Community Health Centers) and Kevin Monteiro (Massachusetts Dental Society)


Millennials join associations for the chance to develop professionally, to find jobs, and for networking and mentorship opportunities. Millennials’ first few jobs set them up for the rest of their career. Associations should be Millennial’s first stop for career resources and job search assistance - not an afterthought. How do you successfully engage young members in your association and offer them the tools and resources that they need to launch their career? This panel will discuss the variety of ways you can effectively engage young members - all from the perspective of millennials.


11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Lunch, Exhibits, and Live Auction  12:15 PM - 1:30 PM

Closing General Session

Tame Your Brain Game: Lead a Team that Rocks
Speaker: Jessica Rector, MBA | Tame Your Brain Game


Creating a team that rocks starts at the top! Do you have what it takes to lead your team to victory? Do you have a few players that stopped playing the game, but are still on the board? Exceptional leadership is at the core of successful organizations. Jessica shares how to lead a team by communicating confidently and promoting authenticity. If you develop a team that loves their work and their leader, everyone wins! Expect Attendees to: Lead in a way that encourages authenticity and courageous conversations, inspiring greater trust and engagement Develop “tribes” (teams) that thrive on open and honest feedback, leading to improved relationships and performance Establish a culture of appreciation, celebration, and purpose, resulting in decreased turnover.

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM 
Thank You and Adjournment  2:30 PM   
Enjoy Cliff House Maine On Your Own

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