Orlando Shooting Leads to Lessons Learned in Association Crisis Management

By: John Ricco, CAE

Not in a million years did I think that I would find myself connected (even tangentially) to a major event that would grip the nation. This changed with the June 12 Orlando mass shootings. In my role as Executive Director of the Florida Cemetery Cremation and Funeral Association, the FCCFA membership was called upon to aid state and local governments with their process of identification and transportation of the deceased and then later to serve their families by providing funerals and memorials services. Continue reading “Orlando Shooting Leads to Lessons Learned in Association Crisis Management”

The Association Arch Nemesis

By: Kristi Spargo

There’s always one. You know who it is. Shortly after a new member joins the board everyone is up in arms. Whispers of contention ripple throughout the ranks and the battle lines are being drawn. Issues that you never even knew were issues suddenly have the potential to implode the inner workings of your association. In the eye of the storm stands: The Difficult Board Member.  As staff, it can be challenging to determine when and how to step in to keep the business of the association moving forward without getting bogged down in the personality politics. Boards are made up of professionals of many different personality types who donate their time for the good of the cause; it would definitely not be conducive to say “Nah, no thanks” to the difficult board member who wants to volunteer their service. So what’s the answer? Continue reading “The Association Arch Nemesis”

Precision Policies Can Protect Your Association/Non-Profit

By Rachel Luoma, MS, CAE

Let’s face it – if I say policies and procedures, most people will stop reading this blog, another group will yawn or shudder and a few (albeit very few) people get excited.

If you are one of those people who likes details, organization and I heart policyfacts, then this blog is for you.  If you are one of those people that prefers the big picture and doesn’t fancy structure, then this blog is a must read. Below are some things that are extremely important to ensuring that your association has crucial policies in place that will guide your leadership and staff and may help prevent issues with the IRS or other government agencies. Continue reading “Precision Policies Can Protect Your Association/Non-Profit”

It’s Time to Take Your Christmas Tree Down

By: Kristi Spargo

Let me start off by saying that I am not a humbug. I in fact anxiously await the moment when that lazy December Saturday finally arrives, I pull out the ever-increasing bins of Christmas décor, I put on the Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas CD (a childhood tradition carried over, much to my husband’s dismay) and make my house Christmas worthy. By the time I’m done, my children may as well be wrapped in red and green. Yet by the time December 25 concludes, my OCD tendencies have started to prickle me, along with the fallen pine needles now embedded into my carpet. Four days out and I’m fighting a losing battle, everything Christmas must go and my life must get back to normal again. By New Year’s Day, Christmas has been carefully preserved and stuffed in a bin, and I feel like I can breathe easy again. Continue reading “It’s Time to Take Your Christmas Tree Down”

Who Needs Luck?

By Jillian Heddaeus, CMP

I’m not much of one for “luck”. Good luck or bad luck, it just doesn’t hold much weight for me. Luck as defined by Webster’s dictionary is “things that happen to a person because of chance, the accidental way things happen without being planned.”

To me, luck is better defined by Seneca. “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

No matter what the objective or goal is, personal or professional; there are steps you can take to increase your chances of success. Continue reading “Who Needs Luck?”

5th Most Stressful Job in 2014 – Event Coordinator

By: Danielle Jessup, BS

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 When you hear that enlisted military personnel, military generals, firefighters and airline pilots are among the top four most stressful jobs in 2014, you are probably nodding your head in agreement.  Especially since they all deal with the safety of others and are considerably dangerous jobs. Now if I had to guess, you are probably not thinking that number 5 is an event coordinator. Why is it that we love this profession, specifically association meeting management which is the most challenging type of event planning?  For me, it’s the challenge of demanding budgets, tight deadlines and ensuring attendee satisfaction.  Here are three easy tips to help you stay calm. Continue reading “5th Most Stressful Job in 2014 – Event Coordinator”

Crash Course on Non-Dues Revenues – 10 Tips in a 2 Minute Read

By: John Ricco

The non-profit sector is fighting harder than ever for dues, sponsorships and traditional sources of income.  Although it would be nice, let’s face it, we all can’t develop the next Ice Bucket Challenge.  Many of my association colleagues want to start generating more affinity programs for their organization and often times they are not sure exactly where to start. This post addresses some of the things that should be considered when developing affinity programs and should provide food for thought as you look for opportunities to better serve your members and provide additional financial resources for your organization. Continue reading “Crash Course on Non-Dues Revenues – 10 Tips in a 2 Minute Read”

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”

5 Ways to Master Smart Phone Videos

By: Shelly Sobol, B.S. and Kaitlyn Hudlow, M.S.

Lights, camera, action! Being an actor or director sounds really glamorous with red carpets, make-up assistants, the newest technology, and traveling to exotic locations. But since we’re not Michael Bay, and we’re not shooting the newest action film, we’re confined to what we have: an iPhone 4s/5 and an eager staff!

In early July, we attended an incredibly insightful luncheon through the Tallahassee Society of Association Executives (TSAE) on “Video 101: How to Shoot and Edit Videos on Your Mobile Phone”. This small hands-on course was led by Natalie Pierre, a reporter for the Tallahassee Democrat. Continue reading “5 Ways to Master Smart Phone Videos”

Transparency in the Workplace – It’s the Right Thing to Do

By: Bennett Napier, CAE

There are countless articles that have been written about the importance of honesty and transparency in the work environment. The common theme of most of the references is that employer transparency is the cornerstone of building a strong company culture.

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The reasons to do it are obvious. Continue reading “Transparency in the Workplace – It’s the Right Thing to Do”