Highlighting Associations Who Maintain a CAE Culture

Highlighting Associations Who Maintain a CAE Culture

How has promoting the CAE in your organization contributed to its success?

Executive Director, Inc. (EDI) is an association management firm serving medical, health, and professional societies and certification boards.  These organizations all place a strong emphasis on certification and continuing education.  It would be hypocritical for EDI as an organization to promote certification and continuing educations for our clients without also promoting it for our own professional staff.  Given the importance of their own credentials, some client board members have asked what the “CAE” credential stands for - and some have had interesting guesses.

Having CAEs on our staff signifies our commitment to our clients to be the very best in providing quality service and counsel in every dimension of association management.

The CAE certification process itself enables both the individual and the organization to stay current in all aspects of association management.  Becoming and maintaining certification also invokes collaboration amongst staff and with our clients.

At present we have 20 CAEs on staff. Other EDI staff are actively pursuing CAE certification.

How do you promote the CAE to your employees?

The most noticeable promotion is our celebration of the “new” CAEs each year.  These individuals are recognized when they pass that exam and at our annual “State of EDI” full staff celebration in December of each year.

Because we encourage career-long learning as a core value of our human resource strategy, we underwrite and support those who aspire to achieve and maintain the CAE or other appropriate credentials. We also provide a monetary reward in addition to the company-wide celebration.

In 2014 we paid for 19 staff to attend the ASAE Annual Meeting in Nashville. We will pay for 22 staff to attend the Wisconsin Society of Association Executives Innovation Summit this year. We are a CAE approved provider and offer CAE programming during the year to our staff, other associations, and other AMC staff to maximize the opportunities for all interested in earning the credential.

We communicate our belief to staff and volunteer leaders that our clients are best served when their executives are CAEs or actively pursuing and maintaining the credential.

How did your organization become so engaged in the CAE Certification?

As mentioned earlier, motivated by the fact that our client organizations highly value certification and lifelong learning in their own fields, EDI’s President, Kay Whalen, MBA, CAE, earned her certification in 1998. Many of our executive staff including our Vice President and VP for Finance subsequently achieved theirs.

Our corporate leadership believes in the value of the CAE and dedicates the resources necessary for our staff to achieve and maintain the credential.