Greetings ASAE Community,
Happy Spring! I hope you and your organizations are thriving in these changing times. In the seven months since I assumed the President and CEO role at ASAE, I have had many conversations with industry leaders to understand the challenges ASAE’s members are working to overcome, their business objectives and how ASAE can help position them for success moving forward. I thank those of you who have shared your candid insights with me and I wanted to share a few updates that reflect how ASAE is aligning its own growth strategies to advance the association community we serve.
In the past seven months, ASAE has redesigned and created new programs and activities that align with the goals outlined in our strategic framework. Everything we are doing is designed to support at least one of our three strategic objectives: to deeply understand and serve the needs of association CEO and C-suite leaders; to build meaningful community through omni-channel platforms and events; and to strengthen leadership pathways for association professionals.
The following are just a sampling of new programs, initiatives or developments underway that we believe will add value to ASAE’s culture and your member experience:
- Conscious Inclusion Strategy: ASAE broke new ground in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) with the development of our Conscious Inclusion Strategy. With this strategy, we have laid the foundation for unlocking the full potential that a diverse workforce and membership offers associations. The new program advances beyond DEI training to provide organizations with a practical, action-oriented framework and resources to develop their own systemic, integrated approach to establishing a diverse culture of respect, inclusion and belonging. Coming soon is a CEO Conscious Inclusion Pledge that outlines a specific set of actions signatory CEOs will take to cultivate a culture and environment of organizational diversity, inclusion, and belonging, and a ReadyMe DEI Bootcamp to prepare leaders for upward mobility and executives who are responsible for hiring decisions.
- Association Insight Center: AIC will be a hub for association executives to access timely, actionable research and market-based insights on the most central topics impacting association management today. AIC will also provide innovative and meaningful opportunities for exposure and engagement for industry partners. Association Forum will serve as a strategic partner in this initiative and will assist in the development of this program. Association consulting firm McKinley Advisors will provide research, strategy, and facilitation services for AIC as well as access to its subject matter experts for additional context and depth in specific topical areas of focus. We look forward to engaging a distinguished thought leadership panel of participating organizations that is shaping research agenda.
- Global Collaborations with ESAE, ICCA: A collaborative agreement between ASAE and the European Society of Association Executives will leverage the strengths of both organizations to expand opportunities for engagement and knowledge sharing between U.S. and European association leaders. A similar collaboration was established with the International Congress and Convention Association to enhance access to content and community engagement for the global meetings industry. We are excited to connect with these global leaders and others at the first ASAE Global Summit: State of the Association Community on August 20, 2022 in Nashville.
- Rebranded Power of Associations: The rebranding of “Power of A” to “Power of Associations” goes beyond a simple name and logo change. By shifting brand positioning to align with our new strategy, “Power of Associations” will demonstrate key value propositions and differentiators to support organizational growth. “Power of Associations” will strengthen perception and broaden awareness on the critical role associations play in society. The Power of Associations rebrand launched at the American Association Fly on March 31.
- Redesigned ASAE Volunteer Experience: ASAE’s volunteer leaders contributed to a redesign of ASAE’s volunteer program at the Leaders Retreat last fall that will better reflect today’s changing business environment and engage and support volunteers more effectively. Applying learnings from our Customer Behaviors study and Foundation research on volunteerism, participants explored ways to enhance the volunteer experience through increased flexibility, training, and use of technology. They collaborated on ways to maximize volunteer engagement through micro-volunteering and recruiting earlier-career professionals and retirees. The steps being taken will better align volunteer activities with ASAE’s new strategic goals.
As ASAE continues to evolve to meet your changing needs, we also know you need high quality business solutions that will help you achieve your mission. ASAE Business Solutions continues to strengthen its portfolio of reliable, competitively priced solutions to help associations address real-world operational challenges. I encourage you to learn more about the solutions that can help simplify your work at asaebusinesssolutions.org.
We're also just a few weeks from welcoming marketing, membership and communication professionals back to an in-person MMCC! We have a tremendous lineup up of speakers and an Exhibitor Showcase on both days to help association professionals connect with solution providers invested in their success. Registration is strong based on past years. Make sure to resister now at Marketing Membership & Communications Conference (MMCC) .
Lastly, we hope you are making plans to reunite with colleagues and business partners at ASAE’s 2022 Annual Meeting and Exposition in Nashville Aug. 20-23! This will be our first in-person Annual Meeting since 2019 and we are working hand-in-hand with our partners in Music City to ensure you have an unforgettable experience. To learn more about all of the learning opportunities, events and housing options, visit the 2022 Annual Meeting website. In just a few days, on April 21, we’ll be accepting applications for the ASAE-USAE Travel Scholarship, made possible through the generosity of Ross E. Heller and his late wife Anne Daly Heller, founders and publishers of USAE weekly newspaper. This new scholarship program will help support ASAE’s Conscious Inclusion strategy by opening doors for dedicated association professionals to expand their knowledge base and make connections at ASAE meetings that will benefit their careers and the organizations they serve. We hope to see you this summer!
Reflecting on the progress of the past seven months, I am proud of what the ASAE team has accomplished. I am optimistic about the future and the exciting journey ahead. We will continue to work with a sense of urgency to accelerate our strategic goals and create sustainable near-and long-term growth for the ASAE community. As always, thank you for your investment and engagement in ASAE. Onward!
Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE
President and CEO