3 Tips for Building a Career in Associations/Non-Profits

By: Rachel Luoma, MS, CAE

Navigating your way through any career can pose significant challenges.  I have always subscribed to the adage – you don’t know what you don’t know.  As an emerging association/non-profit professional I have learned through experience some of the skills that are needed in order to build upon my career.  I wanted to share some of the things that I have learned in my almost 10 year association career that have made me a better-rounded professional.

001Volunteering for Marriott/Renaissance Kids Against Hunger

Continue reading “3 Tips for Building a Career in Associations/Non-Profits”

A Tale of Two Certifications: Not All Credentialing Programs Are Created Equally

By: Rachel Luoma, MS, CAE

As an association professional who has been involved in running a certification program for almost a decade, credentialing has always been important to me.  Certification programs should be based on a particular industry and set the standard related to knowledge or skill of an individual.  Accreditation is an institutional certification program and outlines what a business or company needs to do to meet the standard.

Credentialing is a means to allow an industry to set minimum standards for an entire profession. To me, a credentialing program says – we care about the product or service we produce.  For an individual professional, voluntary certification is a process by which we can learn/grow and show our profession that we are proficient enough in our craft to meet the standard. Continue reading “A Tale of Two Certifications: Not All Credentialing Programs Are Created Equally”

Thanking Donors? Follow your Mother’s Advice!

By: Kasey Patton

In the world of fundraising, donors have come to expect a level of well-deserved care and attention.

1Over the last 5 years, I have worked with all kinds of donors from the smaller level donor who is raising funds with their home-made bake sale, to major donors who are giving small fortunes to your association or non-profit. In both cases your donors are giving to you in hopes of making the world a better place by helping your association achieve its goals. Continue reading “Thanking Donors? Follow your Mother’s Advice!”

Be the Mockingjay: What the Capitol Can Learn from Associations

By: District Three
John Galligan, Sigrid Hazelwood, Danielle Jessup, William Lessley, Rachel Luoma,  CAE

In the dystopian world of the Hunger Games, all resources flow into the Capitol where the rich and powerful greedily refuse to let the resources flow back out to the 13 districts who supplied all the goods and services to begin with. This, of course, is what brings about their downfall. Surely, if Panem were run like a non-profit, they would have never found themselves in such a situation.

The staff in our office bring together resources across all areas of association management which allow us to work as one large team for our clients. The organizations we work with allow us to improve our members’ lives which, in turn, causes the members to give back to the organization. Those Capitol people were really dense! Continue reading “Be the Mockingjay: What the Capitol Can Learn from Associations”

A True Tale of Fear and Loathing in Professional Development

By: William Lessley 

Hello, my name is Will and I’m an introvert. It literally Fortpains me to be in a large crowd of people for too long. In the association management industry, this can be a real liability. Almost everything we do involves directly interacting with other people.

The first five years of my career were spent in the meetings department. I liked working with our members to get them registered, creating the detailed plan of the flow of the meeting, and being on-site problem solving. I did not, however, enjoy the forced relationships with my hotel contacts. This wasn’t because I didn’t like my hotel contacts – I couldn’t understand why I dreaded the interaction, honestly. Looking around at my peers, all I was sure of was that something must be wrong with me. Continue reading “A True Tale of Fear and Loathing in Professional Development”

Love, Exhibitor Style: Starring Meeting Planners & Vendors

By Christina Welty, MA

I’ve worked with exhibitors for over a decade and there’s no doubt that they are the lifeblood of most associations.  Without the support of the associate/industry members through exhibits and sponsorships, most associations could not continue having Annual Conventions each year.

So why is it that some meeting planners seem to focus little energy enhancing the experiences of the exhibitors?  Most likely, this lack of energy is probably not deliberate.  Hosting and managing an Annual Convention is a LOT of work and depending on the amount of staff, you may not have time to focus on everything.  In this blog, I’ll share some strategies I’ve practiced and some tactics I’ve seen exhibitors use that have been successful.  Some take quite a bit of time and money, but others do not and can make a BIG difference. Continue reading “Love, Exhibitor Style: Starring Meeting Planners & Vendors”

6 Things I Learned After Graduation (And Into the Real World)

By Amanda Careygrad pic 2

(A couple of close friends and me after graduation)

The best 4 (or 5) years of your life quickly come to an end when you hear that timeless graduation hymn and receive that (fake) diploma that will shortly be replaced by the real one, also doubling as your golden ticket to the real world.  College is over.  “Real life” is beginning.  The phrase you have been hearing and warned about since grade school.  Although the transition filled me with excitement and fear, I have learned valuable lessons shortly after taking a leap into this next chapter in life, and here are just 6 of them. Continue reading “6 Things I Learned After Graduation (And Into the Real World)”

Update Your Style #FixItFriday

By: William Lessley 

photo 1A small state trade association celebrated their 50th anniversary last year. Many associations, upon reaching such a milestone, will blow out their anniversary year and then retreat the following year. Often, they are recovering from the amount of money they spent celebrating. This is a mistake! You spent an entire year building momentum for your association and then just stop? Did the association cease to exist after this magical milestone was passed? Then, why would you go backwards? Continue reading “Update Your Style #FixItFriday”

5 Management and Life Lessons From the Gym

By: John Ricco, CAE

Like many people, I like being active and doing what I can to stay fit; biking, kayaking, lifting weights, or running — O.K., I’m lying about enjoying running. In addition to the physical benefits, I find these activities help clear my mind and improve my ability to focus. The other day while on a run (not really), I began to think about the parallels that my fitness activities taught me about professional life and vice versa. The same mental framework we use to power through runs and bike rides can help us be more effective and productive at work — here are some that come to mind. Continue reading “5 Management and Life Lessons From the Gym”

THE OLD BALL AND CHAIN: Tips for a Healthy Marriage or Association

By: Rachel Luoma

In April, my husband, Erik and I celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary.  It has been a wonderful seven years! I have a lovely home, two beautiful children and at least 30 extra pounds to show for it!  As I think back on our years of wedded bliss, it makes me think of the parallels between association management and marriage.

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My wonderful husband Erik Continue reading “THE OLD BALL AND CHAIN: Tips for a Healthy Marriage or Association”