Member Update Feb 2024

Greetings ASAE Community, 

Please find a few important updates from ASAE in the past few weeks: 

February is Black History Month 

Did you know that the origins of Black History Month are rooted in our association community? Through the organization now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), historian and author Dr. Carter G. Woodson initiated the first Negro History Week in February 1926. Dr. Woodson selected February because it included the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass, two key figures in the history of Black Americans.  

In 1976, ASALH expanded the commemoration of Black history in the U.S. from a week-long observance to Black History Month. That same year, President Ford issued the first White House message on the observance of Black History Month. In 1986, Congress passed a law officially designating February as National Black History Month.

This is just another shining example of the Power of Associations. To help our ASAE community celebrate Black History Month, I hope you’ll enjoy this inspiring message from Hanif Smith, account executive at Nonprofit Resources, who helped form the Black Association Executives (BAE) community group within ASAE.  


ASAE Audio Series: A Conversation On … the Board’s Duty of Foresight with Jeff De Cagna 

Continuing ASAE’s audio series, “A Conversation On …,” I recently sat down for “A Conversation On the Board’s Duty of Foresight” with Jeff De Cagna, executive advisor for Foresight First LLC, and a longtime friend and colleague. Jeff and I discussed his article on the board’s duty of foresight in the 2024 edition of Board Brief, published by Associations Now

Thanks to Jeff for graciously sharing his thoughts on why this is a milestone year for the board’s duty of foresight. Please enjoy this short audio clip and stay tuned for more conversations! 


ASAE’s Generative AI Usage Guidelines 

Generative AI tools have broad capabilities for associations but it’s proving essential that organizations help their staff understand the role that these tools play as well as where the guardrails are.  

Like many associations, ASAE has developed policies and guidelines around the use of generative AI that will continue to evolve along with the technology. In developing guidelines, ASAE first surveyed its staff on how they are using AI currently, which runs the gamut from customizing the member experience on the ASAE website and augmenting responses to routine member inquiries to everyday administrative tasks such as summarizing meeting transcripts and drafting long emails. Survey responses were shared with the entire ASAE team to allow different departments to see how other team members are utilizing the technology.  

While ASAE champions innovation and experimentation, it also developed working guidelines on AI for staff that prioritize information integrity, information privacy, transparency and truth. ASAE staff are encouraged to think of the output of generative AI as a starting point, not an end product. Everything produced by generative AI tools must be fact-checked and reviewed for accuracy. Additionally, ASAE will always disclose that generative AI has been used to generate content. And most importantly, ASAE will never share personally identifiable information, company or client information that is not generally available to the public. 


Associations and the Culture Wars 

Associations, like their counterparts in the corporate sector, are increasingly under pressure to respond or take stances on a wide array of topics impacting society – many of which are unrelated to their mission. ASAE has the following resources available to association leaders on this continually evolving trend:  

  • Societal Statement Framework
    The ASAE Board of Directors approved a new framework for ASAE to determine when to release a statement on a societal issue. ASAE is sharing this document with our members to use and modify for their own organizations. The framework includes evaluation criteria; decision-making criteria; timeliness; position statement elements; and other actions to consider. 
  • Event Locations- Question for Consideration
    ASAE released our Event Location: Questions for Consideration, a document that includes the questions the ASAE Board of Directors considers regarding locations for meetings and conferences and adverse political issues. 
  • Pillsbury article, Biden Administration Issues Guidance to Universities on Implementing Supreme Court Affirmative Action Ruling
    This article includes a section titled, “Lessons on Lawful DEI for Workplaces and Associations.” 


Congratulations to New CAEs! 

Congratulations to the 127 association executives who recently earned their Certified Association Executive (CAE®) credential from the CAE Commission of ASAE, joining more than 4,500 industry leaders around the globe.  

The Winter 2023 class of CAEs successfully completed the CAE examination administered worldwide December 1-14, 2023. They will be honored, along with the May 2023 class of CAEs, during the 2024 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition in Cleveland, OH, August 10-12, 2024. A full list of the Winter 2023 class, which includes a growing contingent of global association professionals, can be found in ASAE’s Feb 2nd press release.  


Global Meetings Industry Day is April 11 

Organized by the U.S. Travel Association, Global Meetings Industry Day is an international day of advocacy showcasing the undeniable value that business meetings, trade shows, incentive travel, exhibitions, conferences and conventions bring to people, businesses and communities. This year’s activation will take place on April 11, 2024. Last year, GMID saw record engagement, with 45 million impressions worldwide on social media and 70 events held in 35 countries. Find out more about this year’s GMID 


Apply Today for 2024 Power of Associations Awards 

Applications are now being accepted for ASAE’s 2024 Power of Associations Awards, which recognize associations that go above and beyond their everyday mission to undertake initiatives that benefit America and the world.  

The Power of Associations Awards are offered in five categories: Advocacy, Community Support and Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion, Global Development, and Industry/Professional Advancement. View the eligibility requirements. The deadline to apply for this year’s awards is April 30, 2024. View the detailed application guide for more information on the information required to apply. When you’re ready, apply online through our awards application portal. More information can be found at

The 2024 Summit Awards will be celebrated at the ASAE Summit Awards Dinner on Tuesday, September 24, 2024 at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC.  


As always, thank you for your engagement with ASAE and please reach out with any questions.

Warm regards, 
Michelle Mason Signature

Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE 
President and CEO