Surge Spring 2018

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Sessions and Speakers

Thanks to our speakers, whose ideas were the very backbone of this event.


Anne Nevel

Senior Director, Industry Education Healthcare Distribution Alliance

Greg Roth

Speaker, Trainer & Creative Consultant The Idea Enthusiast

Jamie Notter

Co-founder and Culture Expert Human Workplaces

Michael Grant

Director, Marketing & Communications Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science

Conventional wisdom says culture change is hard, if not impossible, and it takes years and years of hard work, mostly driven by the CEO. As is often the case, conventional wisdom is wrong. In this session, we’ve got both association executives and consultants who have extensive experience in doing the hard (but very possible) work of culture change. They’ll share lessons learned from both their successes and some of their frustrations. We’ll give you some concrete models that you can apply in your context, like how to create a culture team to drive the work, writing up culture priorities in concrete language, and developing specific plays for a culture playbook.

The Association Role in the New Education Paradigm

Elizabeth Engel, MA, CAE

CEO & Chief Strategist Spark Consulting

Shelly Alcorn, CAE

Principal Alcorn Associates Management Consulting

Tracy Petrillo, EdD, CAE

CEO Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine

The US higher education system and traditional pathways into employment are being disrupted by a host of factors, from rising costs and increasing student debt, to the lingering effects of the global recession, to the difficulties the post­secondary environment faces when trying to help students develop the skills they need for employment in today’s hyper­complex world. At the same time, associations are desperate to attract new and younger members. Is this a perfect storm or an opportunity?

In this session, speakers will share highlights from their research into the dramatic changes occurring in the realms of education and employment; how these changes pose an opportunity for associations; and stories of associations embracing their role as nurturers of the next generation of professionals and members. Attendees will learn about the scope of disruption affecting the US education system and its impact on the future of employment; appreciate how associations can bridge the education to employment gap; and explore practical strategies to implement at associations to make a meaningful difference.

Rebranding Revelations

Andrew Navolio

Partner & Accounts Director David James Group

Bridget Krause

Director, Member Relations Emergency Nurses Association

Donte Shannon, CAE

Executive Director/CEO Specialty Advertising Association of California

Sheri Singer

President Singer Communications

Rebranding is more than just changing your logo and tagline. It’s an association’s personality, their promise to members and their value proposition. A successful rebrand could increase visibility, membership, member engagement, and revenue. But how do you know if a rebrand is right for you? And how do you determine the level of rebrand, get buy-in, and measure return on investment? In this discussion, a DELP scholar and executive director, alongside two ASAE award-winning rebranding campaign leaders, will share their real life rebranding stories to help you determine whether your association needs a rebrand, to what extent, and how to launch and measure your efforts.

Virtual Conferences: The New Frontier

Arianna Rehak

Community Evangelist

Candice Davis

Senior Program Coordinator VMUG Team

Megan Denhardt, CAE

President The Denhardt Group

Victoria Fanning, CMP

Senior Manager, Online Events Medical Group Management Association

Although the magic of in-person events will never be replaced, there is an excellent opportunity to virtually connect your members and deliver learning content.

In this session, the speakers will share their stories running and growing virtual conferences. They’ll discuss the relationship with their in-person conferences, the challenges of operating virtually, revenue opportunities, and the unique forms of connection that the digital space can facilitate among members.

Digital Transformation: A Tale of Two Strategies.

Garth Jordan

SVP Healthcare Financial Management Association

Maddie Grant, CAE

Culture Designer | Digital Strategist Human Workplaces

Susan Cato

Director, Digital Strategy and Member Services American Society of Plant Biologists

In 2018 it is no longer time to simply think about digital transformation (See definition).  Technology is changing how we work and how we interact with our stakeholders on a deeper level.  Every organization should be on the path. Join us and learn about two different associations and their digital transformation journey. Walk away with insights on how to approach your own digital transformation, as well as risks, opportunities, and lessons-learned.

Exploring New Markets: How Research, Analytics and Risk Assessment Can Help

Cindy Simpson, MEd, CAE, CGMP

Chief Business Development Officer Association for Women in Science

Kerry Cosby

Chapters Manager IEEE Computer Society

Whitney Emerick

Marketing & Membership Director Petroleum Equipment Institute

With broad-based changes taking place in society like globalization, the gig-economy, open-source information and automation, to remain relevant associations must be flexible and focus on new business development. Associations should seek out new markets in the form of products or services, offerings for new types of professionals in their sector, or through international expansion.

This session will examine how associations can draw on research techniques (surveys, focus groups and interviews), data analytics (internal data, and industry and macroeconomic indicators) and risk analysis (competitor, industry, country and political) in their search for new markets at home and around the world.

Building a Culture of Foresight in Your Association

Hannes Combest

CEO National Auctioneers Association

Lesleigh Campanale

Research Manager IEEE

Sharon Moss, PhD, CAE

Chief Research Officer ASAE Foundation

Sue Pine, CAE

VP Professional Development Association Headquarters

Board members must ensure that their association weathers the changing landscape and evolves into its own bright future. Association professionals need resources and skills to guide these dynamic conversations. The ASAE Foundation’s new research program is designed to help association leaders handle these challenges. The Foundation’s ForesightWorks initiative provides key information on current business, social, political, economic, global, and association trends and empowers leaders to create a culture of foresight within their organizations. 

The conversation will be facilitated by the volunteers who guided the program to help you understand the research methodology and expertise that powered the project. The session will guide you through the tools used and provide ideas about how to start the conversation within your own association.

Five-Star Professional Development Results on a One Star Budget

Allen Lloyd, CAE

Executive Director Montana Society of CPAs

Dana Murn-Kohal

Membership Manager American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

David E. Elliott, MSc, CTDP

Performance Improvement Facilitator Pallium Canada

Jenn Reid, MLIS, PMP, CTDP

Senior Manager & Learning Partner T&O and Corporate Areas (TOCA)

This session will explore a common challenge in the association world: a team of dedicated staff who need professional development to do their jobs efficiently and effectively, within a context of a very limited budget, or no budget at all, for professional development.

The speakers will explore the importance of professional development, the role organizational culture plays in being successful with professional development and a long list of opportunities that can be provided to your team, many for free and nothing over $25.

Innovative Business Models Emerging on the Association Scene

Brenda Sanderson

Association Executive Interaction Design Association

Damian Hutt

Executive Director Association of Association Executives

Genevieve LeClerc

Association Strategist & President Caravelle Strategies

Disruption is everywhere. It’s affecting how associations operate and making them question their core business models. Exciting new ideas are emerging as associations confound their reputation as conservative late-adopters and embrace innovation. 

During the first part of the session, speakers will discuss four disruptive business models that challenge the way people think about membership organisations; and explore new associations being created by emerging industries, such as cryptocurrencies, autonomous vehicles, and crowdfunding.

In the second part of the session, speakers will have an open dialogue about how innovation discussions can be scaled in the association space. They will examine how potential models of cooperation and co-creation between associations can be developed outside of traditional membership organizations.

A Practical Discussion on Driving Rapid Technological Change

Mark Kibble

Senior Technology Manager American Ceramic Society

René Shonerd

Managing Director of Technology Initiatives American Industrial Hygiene Association

Rhea Steele, MS, CAE

Chief of Staff School Nutrition Association

Tori Liu, CAE, MBA

Director of Information Systems American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Have you ever gone to a conference session and realized you’ve just heard 55 minutes about something you are excited to implement, then hear a 5-minute disclaimer at the end that it won’t work without the culture to support it? Join this conversation about how the speakers tackled this exact issue and created the culture to support and enable massive technological changes in their organizations.

They will discuss how culture impacts technological change within an organization, strategies for identifying gaps between the culture you have and the culture you need, how to get others on board, and more. They will also talk about shifting away from a traditional IT support mentality towards a business-centric, partnership-oriented approach. 

The Science of When: Discover Your Perfect Timing

Daniel Pink

Best Selling Author  

Lowell Aplebaum, CAE

CEO & Strategy Catalyst Vista Cova

Michelle Lui, CAE

Executive Director Financial Management Association International (FMA)

In this interview with New York Times bestselling author Dan Pink, Lowell Aplebaum, CAE and Michelle Lui, CAE explore the science of perfect timing. They will cover how intentional decisions based on timing can optimize staff productivity and satisfaction, elevate board decision-making, revamp conference schedules, and enhance member engagement. 

What impact does our chronotype – our natural sleep schedule – have on our work day? How can association leaders respond to the demands of the clock when planning office hours, events and meetings? What is the ideal conference schedule and how can attendees optimize breaks between sessions? A deviation from the usual discussions on “how,” this session uses psychological, biological, and economic research to guide us on “when.”

Cocreation: Building Shared Purpose and Value with Members

Eric Lanke

President/CEO National Fluid Power Association

Eric McKeeby

Director of Community Engagement American Board of Internal Medicine

Nick Marzano, MEd

Director of Education Society of Hospital Medicine

Sarah Frohnhoefer

Senior Director, Business Strategy & Development Marriott International

Cocreation–the process of engaging members in the joint creation of value–is fun to envision, and hard to execute. Involving membership in decisions about the directions of programs, services, and even strategic direction can produce a strong outcome reflective of diverse perspectives. But without the right process and structure, it can also lead to uninspiring compromise. In this session, the speakers will talk about how associations can use cocreation to solve current problems, course correct, and even envision the future; and why the process might be as valuable to your members as the outcome.

Our Partners

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Association Success is a CMP Preferred Provider. The program(s) identified with the CMP Preferred Provider logo meet the requirements to receive continuing education (CE) credit for the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) credential. The use of the CMP Preferred Provider Course logo is not an endorsement by the Events Industry Council of the quality of the session. For more information about the CMP credential or CMP Preferred Provider Program, please visit