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Czosek Named Managing Director of Society of Wetland Scientists

Czosek 2014 2 headshotThe Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) is pleased to announce that Michelle Czosek, CAE has been appointed as its new managing director.

Czosek, who has been an associate director of SWS since 2013, succeeds Lynda J. Patterson, FASAE, CAE, president and owner of AMPED-Association Management Partners & Executive Directors, a full-service association management company that manages SWS. Patterson will continue supporting SWS in an advisory role.

“I’m excited for this opportunity to take on a leadership role and further my involvement with SWS,” said Czosek. “Being entrusted to work at a high level to advance an organization of this stature is a true honor.”

Czosek has nearly 25 years of experience managing a variety of professional and trade associations, including the North American Building Material Distribution Association, International Association for Human Resource Information Management, Information User Association, International Women in Boating, and The Harmonie Group.

She earned her Certified Association Executive (CAE®) credential from the American Society of Association Executives CAE Commission in spring, 2015. Czosek holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Illinois.

In addition to her role with SWS, Czosek is the president/CEO of the Wisconsin Society of Association Executives, a regional association with over 500 members dedicated to the profession of association management. Czosek also represents the National Air Filtration Association as its executive director.

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About SWS: The Society of Wetland Scientists is an international organization of nearly 3,300 members dedicated to fostering sound wetland science, education and management. From its inception in 1980, the society has provided a forum for academic scientists, government employees and private consultants to meet and work together.

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A thousand miles away has never felt closer: How to make remote employees feel like part of the team

remote polar bear

As technology rapidly changes and makes working from anywhere easier, more people work remotely than ever before. Working remotely can be a challenge. Trust me, I know this from experience, having worked almost 13 years from home in a previous association management life.

When AMPED recently transitioned in a new client, the National Air Filtration Association (NAFA), we were fortunate to add NAFA's long-time staff person, Terry, to our team. Terry happens to live in another state, over 1,000 miles away. In addition to everything associated with bringing on NAFA, we wanted to be sure that Terry felt like a part of the AMPED team right from the start, regardless of the fact that we didn't share office space.

How can you make a new, remote employee feel welcome? Here are a few tips:

Convo
Terry was included on our staff instant messaging system, Convo, right away. This allows us to quickly and easily communicate. It’s faster than email and means we don’t have to pick up the phone every time we need to share a bit of information.

Skype
No one looks good on the web cam, which is why I was hesitant when it came to making the leap from phone to Skype. But once we started holding our weekly check-in meetings via camera, I quickly realized the value of seeing the person on the other end. That one once-a-week, “in person” catch-up helps us feel more connected and strengthens our relationship.

The Cloud
Our cloud-based server through Egnyte allows Terry to access all of the NAFA files the same way we do in the office. We’ve moved to the cloud and already see the benefits. There’s no need to email files back and forth.

Meet the Team
It was important for Terry to see the new NAFA headquarters and meet her co-workers, so we invited her to Madison for an onboarding visit. We took advantage of the few days she was here by holding our annual AMPED photo shoot and rescheduling our weekly staff meeting so Terry could hear about all of the things the staff was working on. We also spent meal time with her, included her in our "$2 Latte Tuesday" tradition and got to know each other on a personal level – a big part of the AMPED culture.

In the end, the benefits of having a remote worker who is passionate about the organization far outweigh the challenges. Technology allows us to communicate just as effectively as if we were in the same office. As long as we remember the importance of incorporating the relationship building and the human touch into our daily routine, we can make the most distant worker feel like a part of the team.

Do you allow employees to work remotely? I’d love to hear how you’ve made them feel like a part of the team.

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AMPED Selected to Manage National Air Filtration Association

NAFA Logo 281AMPED - Association Management Partners and Executive Directors an accredited full-service association management company (AMC) based in Madison, Wisconsin, has been selected to manage the National Air Filtration Association (NAFA).

AMPED's mission is to perfect operations and accelerate growth for the associations they manage, by creating a true partnership with them.

NAFA is a dynamic, non-profit trade association comprised of individuals and companies engaged in the sale, service and manufacture of the air filtration products. NAFA’s 900 members include air filter and component manufacturers, sales and service companies, and HVAC and indoor air quality professionals across the United States and in several foreign countries.

“What made AMPED different was the people,” said Jeron Downing, president of NAFA and member of the search committee that unanimously approved the hiring of AMPED. “AMPED President Lynda Patterson has assembled an all-star team to meet the needs of our growing association, including new NAFA Executive Director Michelle Czosek. Their energetic attitude is inspiring and contagious! There are three aspects that drive business: product, process and people. You can fix products and process, but without people you have nothing.”

Michelle Czosek, CAE, NAFA’s new executive director, has nearly 25 years of experience managing a variety of professional and trade associations. She is currently the president/CEO of the Wisconsin Society of Association Executives and associate director for the Society of Wetland Scientists.

Earlier this year, she earned her Certified Association Executive (CAE®) credential from the American Society of Association Executives CAE Commission. Czosek holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Illinois.

“One of the goals of NAFA is to continue to be the source for expertise, education and standards in air filtration” said Downing. “We believe AMPED will take us to the next level with their experience in online marketing and internal processes to engage our existing members. We look forward to building a long lasting relationship with AMPED.”

In addition to NAFA, AMPED’s client community also includes the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis, Control System Integrators Association, Environmental Design Research Association, National Association of Professional Allstate Agents, Society of Wetland Scientists, and Wisconsin Society of Association Executives.

Volunteer leaders can focus on advancing their association and its mission with confidence, knowing that management and operations are in experienced hands. AMPED’s services include membership management, governance, financial management, website development and maintenance, conference planning and management, communications and strategic planning.

For more information about NAFA, visit www.nafahq.org.

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Czosek named President/CEO of Wisconsin Society of Association Executives

Czosek 2014 2 headshotThe Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Society of Association Executives (WSAE) and AMPED - Association Management Partners & Executive Directors are pleased to announce Michelle Czosek, CAE as the new president/CEO of WSAE.

Czosek, who has been an associate director of WSAE since 2013, succeeds Lynda J. Patterson, FASAE, CAE, president and owner of AMPED-Association Management Partners & Executive Directors, a full-service association management company that manages WSAE. Patterson will continue supporting WSAE in an advisory role. 

“I’m excited for this opportunity to take on a leadership role and further my involvement with WSAE,” said Czosek. “Being entrusted to work at a high level to advance an organization of my peers is a true honor.”

Czosek has nearly 25 years of experience managing a variety of professional and trade associations, including the North American Building Material Distribution Association, International Association for Human Resource Information Management, Information User Association, International Women in Boating, and The Harmonie Group.

She earned her Certified Association Executive (CAE®) credential from the American Society of Association Executives CAE Commission in spring, 2015. Czosek holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Illinois.

In addition to her role with WSAE, Czosek is the associate director for the Society of Wetland Scientists, an international organization of more than 3,100 members dedicated to fostering sound wetland science, education and management. Czosek will also be representing the National Air Filtration Association as its executive director beginning in September 2015.

About WSAE: The Wisconsin Society of Association Executives has over 500 members dedicated to the profession of association management. Its mission is to serve as a forum where the association community thrives and grows. To learn more, visit www.wsae.org

 

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Czosek achieves prestigious certification as association executive

Czosek 2014 2 headshotAMPED - Association Management Partners & Executive Directors announces that Michelle Czosek has earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE®) credential from the American Society of Association Executives CAE Commission.

Czosek has nearly 25 years of experience managing a variety of professional and trade associations. She enjoys collaborating with clients to find innovative ways to assist them in reaching their organizational goals in regard to education, events management, membership and governance. Czosek holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Illinois.

“Michelle is a consummate professional with many years of experience. She provides strategic advice and sits ‘at the table’ with our client boards who respect her and admire her warm approach with members and leaders,” said Lynda J. Patterson, FASAE, CAE, owner of AMPED. “In my mind she has always been a ‘CAE’ – This confirms what I already knew!”

The CAE program serves to elevate professional standards, enhance individual performance, and designate those who demonstrate knowledge essential to the practice of association management.

To earn the CAE credential, candidates must first submit an application satisfying professional experience and education requirements. Successful applicants must then pass a challenging examination on all aspects of association management. Candidates undertake rigorous study sessions in preparation for the exam, and only those who are able to achieve the passing score earn the CAE credential. Once earned, the certification must be renewed every three years through additional studies and leadership activities.

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Marechiel Santos-Lang named DELP Scholar

MSantos-Lang 596 87--162x216  FOR EDRAAssociation Management Partners & Executive Directors (AMPED) is very proud to announce that team member Marechiel Santos-Lang has been selected to be a member of the 2015-2017 class of Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP) scholars for the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). DELP is a prestigious two-year program that recognizes individuals from under-represented identity groups who demonstrate exemplary leadership skills and a commitment to advancing the association community. The twelve scholars selected for this class will participate in an accelerated leadership program of education, mentoring and volunteer service in the association community.

“I am impressed by ASAE’s commitment to support diversity and to provide opportunities to under-represented groups so that we may access professional education and a deep network of strong leaders,” said Santos-Lang. “Having over a decade of association management experience, but not much exposure to continuing education, I know I will benefit greatly from DELP’s benefits.”

The DELP Program recognizes exemplary leaders
from under-represented groups in association management

During the two-year program, DELP scholars will experience membership and volunteer service in ASAE; registration to ASAE’s Annual Meeting & Exposition and two other ASAE education programs selected by the DELP scholar, including travel and lodging; waiver of the Certified Association Executive (CAE) examination fee; and access to industry leaders who could serve as career coaches or mentors.

In her role at AMPED, Santos-Lang serves as associate director of the Americas Committee for Treatment & Research in Multiple Sclerosis and executive director of the Environmental Design Research Association.

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AMPED earns certificate for Woman-Owned Business Enterprise

certificate 005

Association Management Partners & Executive Directors (AMPED) has been designated and certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise. The certificate was bestowed by the State of Wisconsin and the Department of Administration Division of Enterprise Operations in April 2015. 

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AMPED Named Small Business Award Winner

Association Management Partners & Executive Directors (AMPED) is pleased to be named a winner of a 2015 Dane County Small Business Award (DCSBA). The award celebrates small businesses and the contributions they make to the Dane County community and economy.

"I am personally honored to be recognized with this award," says Lynda J. Patterson, FASAE, CAE, AMPED owner and CEO. "It reflects our commitment, not only to the community, but also to our employees. AMPED provides a responsible, fun and rewarding workplace environment. But it is the teamwork of all our employees that make our company and the services we provide a success."

AMPED will be honored at a breakfast program on June 4 at the Sheraton Madison Hotel along with nine other DCSABA winners.

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AMPED Selected to Manage Environmental Design Research Association

Association Management Partners and Executive Directors (AMPED), an accredited full-service association management company (AMC) based in Madison, Wisconsin, has been selected to manage the Environmental Design Research Association Inc. (EDRA). 

AMPED's mission is to perfect operations and accelerate growth for the associations they manage, by creating a true partnership with them.

The purpose of EDRA is to advance the field of environmental design research in both its scientific and applied forms. EDRA encourages the highest quality of research related to improving environmental design methods and techniques, as well as increasing understanding of the social and behavioral aspects of relationships between people and environments. EDRA has over 500 members.

“EDRA’s AMC Search Committee was impressed by AMPED’s strong team that not only provides good support to their clients, but good support to each other. As a medium-sized firm, AMPED is able to provide all the benefits and services of a fully-accredited AMC, as well as provide personalized service to all of their clients” said Shauna Mallory-Hill, EDRA Board of Directors chair. “AMPED came to us with enthusiasm and clear ideas of how to make our organization and membership experience even better, and we cannot wait to get started,” she added.

Santos 2014 3 headshotAMPED’s Marechiel Santos-Lang has been named executive director of EDRA. Santos-Lang has experience providing leadership and program management for national and international medical, trade and scientific associations. “I am really looking forward to having Marechiel Santos-Lang as the new Executive Director of EDRA. In addition to being an experienced association management executive, she exudes a high level of professionalism, persistence and positive energy. I have no doubt that she will get the job done, no matter how difficult the task,” Mallory-Hill commented.

For more than a decade, Santos-Lang has helped organizations grow membership, raise revenue through dues and meetings, and train and manage volunteers. She has helped leaders achieve personal and group excellence. In addition to EDRA, Santos-Lang is also the associate director of the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS).

“EDRA is an international, interdisciplinary organization founded by architects, landscape architects, interior designers, engineers, technologists, social scientists and facility managers committed to facilitating the creation and stewardship of environments that are responsive to human needs and that improve overall quality of life and place,” Marechiel Santos-Lang, EDRA’s new executive director, said. “What I love about association management and EDRA is that I am able align my personal values and make use of my professional experience to help advance a mission centered on people. Nothing is more rewarding than doing a job that won’t feel like one because your personal convictions meld with it. This new partnership is exciting for us. We get to work together with the EDRA leadership, volunteers and members to provide a strong association management structure, deepen member engagement and nurture organizational growth,” she added.

In addition to EDRA, AMPED’s client community also includes the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis, Control System Integrators Association, National Association of Professional Allstate Agents, Society of Wetland Scientists, and Wisconsin Society of Association Executives. Volunteer leaders can focus on advancing their association and its mission with confidence, knowing that management and operations are in experienced hands. AMPED’s services include membership management, governance, financial management, website development and maintenance, conference planning and management, communications and strategic planning.

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Patterson to serve on Indianapolis advisory board

AMPED President and Owner Lynda J. Patterson, FASAE, CAE has been invited to serve on Visit Indy’s Customer Advisory Board. Among her directives as a member of the Indianapolis-focused group will be reviewing the city’s regional tourism plan which includes such topics as convention center expansion, future hotel and attraction needs, and other topics of interest to Indianapolis convention customers.

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Just keeps getting better! More growth, enhanced programs on tap for 2015

President's message from WSAE VantagePoint magazine, Winter 2015 — As we jump into 2015 with exciting new initiatives and a “changing of the guard,” I want to briefly highlight the Best of 2014 from my point of view.

Membership growth – WSAE hit 500 members! Yes, that is a great accomplishment and not only represents well the association workforce in our state, but also interest in WSAE from members outside of Wisconsin, ultimately strengthening our position for all members to engage, innovate and network among their peers. WSAE is a unique society with a unique value proposition. Our continued growth reflects our excellence in leadership and innovation, coupled with year-round opportunities for face-to-face interaction at a reasonable price – often, free!

Innovation Summit – We made people uncomfortable. Check! That was our intention with the new, interactive format and casual setting, requesting all attendees to come in their jeans – and they did! The two-day event mixed education with innovation and opportunity thinking using hands-on, team building workshops. Next year we will take those experiences into the field. More to come!

Engagement – A buzz word for all associations now in a changing world. WSAE did away with traditional committees and hierarchical volunteer options several years ago. Today members can engage online, in person, individually, in groups, for a short time or up to a three-year term. WSAE offers a very dynamic association, welcoming to all!

Up next – 2015…..
New tiers in our organizational membership – As part of our overall plan for growth, we want to make WSAE accessible and relevant for all organization staff – not just “association professionals.” Our multi-tier organizational membership encourages experts from throughout your association (marketing, sales, fund raising, finance, IT, and so on) to get involved, acquire new skills and share some of their own. This is a great benefit for organizations of all sizes, whether you have a staff of 5 or 500.

An enhanced mentoring program – This peer-to-peer initiative is an opportunity for all members to learn from and share with each other, in a variety of subject areas important to associations and our industry partners (think marketing, social media, member engagement, international growth, whatever you’d like to discuss). Unlike a traditional mentoring program, this one goes in all directions and across all levels of experience.

Attracting talent – This is a challenge we’ll all face as the workforce tightens and generations exit and enter the workforce. The “War for Talent” white paper, developed in cooperation with Executive Director, Inc., and the subsequent webinar offered in January are a catalyst toward developing resources and ideas to help you prepare for this workforce shift. Watch for more on this in 2015.

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WSAE outgoing chair credits Patterson and AMPED team for their vision

During his farewell address, Eric Lanke, CAE, CEO of the National Fluid Power Association and 2013-2014 chair of the Wisconsin Society of Association Executives (WSAE) thanked Lynda Patterson and AMPED for their leadership and forward thinking.

"I want to thank Lynda Patterson and her team at AMPED. Lynda very much shares the vision our Board has for this organization. Indeed, she has led the charge in many ways we could not, acting with energy and passion in everything she does. I remember my first volunteer experience in WSAE—leading the task force that developed the evidence-based white paper on innovation for associations. We broke a lot of rules on that project. I came in wanting to do something different, something that I hadn’t had the opportunity to do before. I already knew the topic I wanted to learn more about, but I didn’t want to wait around for an old-fashioned association to figure that out and then try to develop the content I needed. Instead, I wanted leverage that association’s network and its resources to develop my own content, targeted on my own self-assessed educational needs, and then freely share what I learned with the rest of the membership. And that’s exactly what I did. It was an exciting and, in some ways, a career-changing experience, and it would not have been possible without Lynda’s forward-thinking and experimental vision for how associations can and should work. So, Lynda, thank you."

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Happy New Year to our clients, families and friends

Mark up 12-9-14 FINAL low rez w caption

We Resolve . . .

  • To deliver the highest level of professionalism and responsibility
  • To operate with open communication, trust and respect
  • To work as a team to provide innovative solutions and meet strategic objectives
  • To constantly focus on ways to improve operations, communications, meetings, programs and governance
  • To maintain the highest standards in the association management industry
  • To consistently meet or exceed expectations for all client members and leaders
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AMPED manages medical meeting of nearly 9,000 participants

Boston, Massachusetts – Nearly 9,000 participants from leading organizations in Europe, North America and other regions of the world convened to share, discuss and advance research in multiple sclerosis (MS) at a meeting managed by Association Management Partners & Executive Directors (AMPED) in September.

AMPED is the association management company for America’s Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS). ACTRIMS hosted the triennial joint meeting with Europe’s Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) in Boston, Massachusetts. The joint meeting, MSBoston2014, was the largest gathering of its kind for multiple sclerosis researchers and clinicians.

“Our team, led by Marechiel Santos-Lang, did a tremendous job of choreographing the many facets of a meeting of this size,” said Lynda J. Patterson, FASAE, CAE, owner and president of AMPED. “Every step – from choosing the venue to the final accounting – takes careful planning and attention to detail. The ACTRIMS board of directors was very pleased with the success of MSBoston.”

The meeting was a financial success, as well. Sponsorship sales were double the goal set. Net revenue for the event was $4 million.

The next triennial meeting will be hosted by ECTRIMS in Paris, France in 2017.

 

MSBoston by the numbers

Meeting

  • 8,806 participants from 92 countries
  • 59 sessions
  • 206 speakers and chairs
  • 50 exhibitors
  • $10 million revenue

Posters

  • 981 posters
  • 22 late breaking e-posters

Media

  • 146 reporters from 22 countries
  • 60 original articles
  • 85 video and TV interviews
  • 1,000+ Tweets reaching 1 million timelines
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Time to get uncomfortable: Innovation Summit inspires participants to step out of comfort zone

President's message from WSAE VantagePoint magazine, Fall 2014 — The 2014 Innovation Summit Task Force really outdid themselves this time. Charged with creating an event that would be truly innovative and different from the first three successful Summits, they understood that breaking away from the previous model was a must. The task force, board and staff had to be willing to take a risk and step out of their comfort zone.

Starting immediately at the top of the program, we opted to stray from the usual opening session/keynote presenter in favor of a room full of kick-off activities: a book signing, a community service project book drive, assistance in updating wsae.org profiles and demographics, a professional photographer taking headshots, and a networking ice-breaker in which attendees could share the things they “rocked” at. Participation was a must in this environment and I saw some normally shy people connecting with others over commonalities on their oversized “I Rock At” buttons.

The Innovation Labs at Discovery World had everyone talking. These self-selected labs allowed attendees to explore areas of interest or push themselves out of their comfort zones. I heard some great stories about the molecular gastronomy workshop in which participants combined chemistry and food science to come up with something that looked like fried eggs and spaghetti, but tasted anything but. Talk about getting uncomfortable! Eww!

My personal favorite was the video production lab. Here, attendees wrote and starred in their own 30-second videos, promoting their associations, services, events – anything they wanted their audience to know about. Most of us are totally self-conscious in front of the camera, so this was an area where people really had to push themselves. The results were wonderful! Those who participated received copies of their videos and were even willing and able to share them with other registrants during the final session on Innovation Application.

Speaking of which, we were lucky enough to have Michelle Mason, president and CEO of Association Forum of Chicagoland, moderate our final Innovation Application session. After a brief introduction from Michelle, Dana Murn-Kohal of CUES gave us a quick overview of her takeaways from the Innovation Summit, in a format she’d never presented in before!

For some, networking and meeting new people can be uncomfortable. During this last session, attendees were challenged to introduce themselves to participants they’d never met before and exchange contact information. These would be their “accountability buddies” and help them stay on track to implementing at least one idea from the Innovation Summit before our 2015 event.

While you take time to step out of your comfort zone, whether it’s to explore a new opportunity, make a new acquaintance, or discover a hidden talent, we’ll start planning the next Innovation Summit. It’ll take a lot of stepping out to make it even more innovative next year, but we’re up to the challenge! We’d love to hear any ideas you have for making the event even better in 2015.

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Patterson elected chair of Association Societies Alliance

 Lynda J. Patterson, FASAE, CAE, president and owner of AMPED has been elected chair of the board of the Association Societies Alliance (ASA), a national federation of societies of association executives. Patterson serves as president and CEO of the Wisconsin Society of Association Executives (WSAE), a client of AMPED.

As chair of ASA, Patterson will represent the Alliance on issues of common interest to associations and lead the organization’s strategic initiatives.

“ASA provides an invaluable forum to share ideas and innovation in association management. I’m honored to serve as its chair,” says Patterson.

ASA is a voluntary membership organization comprised of local, regional, multi-state, independent, autonomous society association executives. The purpose of the Alliance is to be the knowledge leader of the profession of association management, preparing society association executive-CEOs for future success.

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So much more to come: WSAE Board has innovative plans for growing, engaging members

President's message from WSAE VantagePoint magazine, Summer 2014 — This issue of VantagePoint focuses largely on the Innovation Summit scheduled for Sept. 25-26 in Milwaukee. And I guarantee it is going to the best ever! Put away your suits and ties — come in your jeans to participate in labs that will help you expand your thinking outside of your comfort zone. Hear from experts and learn from your peers practical ways to consistently improve your organizations, create a culture of innovation and embrace opportunity. Plus, enjoy the city’s spectacular venues, including the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, Discovery World, and an optional sail on Lake Michigan.

Our facilitator and keynote speaker, Pam Henderson, focuses on opportunity thinking and we will all get a copy of her book, You Can Kill an Idea… But You Can’t Kill an Opportunity! How to Discover New Sources of Growth for Your Organization. I recently heard Pam speak at a business event and she says, “Opportunity thinking goes beyond innovation driven by the market, technologies, new business models or design thinking – to look at all of the sources of growth.” I was impressed by the examples she shared of the work she’s done with companies like North Face and Kellogg’s.

Coming up . . .
The WSAE Board embraces innovation and opportunity, listening to members and being very flexible and proactive, taking measured risks. Some of the new things you will be hearing about include:

  • focus groups to understand our future workforce needs, skills and training.
  • expanded CEO roundtables, as well as the development of peer groups built around other specialized areas. Reach out to us if you have an idea for one of these groups in your area of interest.
  • peer-directed learning in various formats
  • an advisor or mentor program to help connect you with members who can help you with immediate needs or membership questions
  • enhanced comunication with CEO members and staff leaders and deeper connections into all member organizations

Lots in store. And I have to say, I continue to feel challenged and am impressed with the level of engagement and strategic direction provided by the leadership of WSAE and all our members.

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AMPED retained to manage national insurance agents association

The National Association of Professional Allstate Agents, Inc. (NAPAA) has retained AMPED to provide all association management services, effective July 1, according to Lynda J. Patterson, FASAE, CAE, president and owner of AMPED. Nancy Fish will continue to serve as the association’s executive director.

NAPAA, founded in 1990, is dedicated to the success of Allstate exclusive agency owners and to advance the independence and entrepreneurial spirit of its members. NAPAA offers a variety of resources for members, including an annual conference, education, an online forum, member-to-member referrals, and a quarterly magazine distributed to more than 9,000 Allstate insurance agents.

The association’s current headquarters will move from Gulfport, Miss., to Madison, Wis.

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New online community created to promote members’ businesses

Exchange home page 4-29-14

 

A new online community where association members connect with prospective clients recently was launched by Association Management Partners & Executive Directors (AMPED) on behalf of its client, the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA).

CSIA, a global trade association for companies that design and implement sophisticated control systems for manufacturing and industrial facilities, created a website two years ago that features content for members and prospective members, plus information directed to members’ prospective clients. The website included a link to an online buyers guide.

While the CSIA website enjoys high search engine rankings, members wanted to take their joint marketing effort to a higher level.

“Our members told us they wanted more dynamic ways to tell their stories and make connections with industry partners and prospective clients,” said Lynda J. Patterson, FASAE, CAE, owner and president of AMPED and president of CSIA. “The Industrial Automation Exchange offers many more features than an online buyers guide, including the ability to display areas of expertise, supplier affiliations and key contact people.”

AMPED conducted an extensive search for a developer to build and host a site that would meet all of the requirements specified by a member task force. A perfect match was found with Diamax, a Washington, D.C.-based software engineering studio and interactive agency that combines creative and technical expertise to produce multichannel communications products and digital solutions for associations and other clients.

“Our technology allows us to create specialized digital communities that connect people who need solutions to people who can provide them through content that answers their questions. When a customer finds the right person, they also find the right company, in this case a control system integrator,” said Derek Rector, president of Diamax. “Ultimately, all B2B commerce is really P2P, or people to people.”

Four levels of profiles
The Exchange displays four levels of profiles – basic, bronze, silver and gold. Nonmembers’ names and addresses will be included in the basic listing. Nonmembers will be able to purchase one of the higher level profiles, however, pricing is structured to motivate nonmembers to join CSIA.

“The Exchange might be a system integrator’s introduction to CSIA, but we will encourage them to join and enjoy all of the association’s benefits, which include best practices for managing a system integration business, a certification program, an annual conference and a members-only social media site,” said Patterson.

The site is integrated with CSIA’s association management software, Avectra netForum, so members’ profiles are prepopulated with demographic information. Members can log in, expand their company profile, add on optional features, preview and check out, using PayPal. Advertising, in the form of tower ads, featured companies and category ads in search results, may be purchased by contacting CSIA.

All current members will receive a bronze-level profile free for the first year. “Having a robust site with many companies featured is critical to the site’s success. We want visitors to bookmark the Exchange and come back frequently,” said Patterson.

Information storehouse serves dual purposes
The Find an Answer section of the site allows Exchange members to present videos, slides, whitepapers and case studies. Plus, visitors and members can ask and answer questions in an online forum.

“Even if a company doesn’t have a lot of whitepapers or case studies, they still have an opportunity to show their expertise by answering questions,” said Eric Huemmer, who joined the AMPED staff in January as exchange community manager.

Furthermore, a large repository of frequently updated information will improve search engine optimization and boost rankings in search results. Amassing a lot of information about control system integration in one location creates a “large footprint” that can actually be found on the web, according to Rector.

“By aggregating our resources as an association, we are going to garner more attention than any one of us can alone,” said PC Romano, president of Avid Solutions and chairman of the CSIA board of directors. “The Exchange has the potential to change the way we market ourselves by creating a dynamic hub where integrators, suppliers and end users meet.”

View the Industrial Automation Exchange or contact AMPED for more information.

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When You’re the Attendee: Making the most of your membership, meetings and connections

President's message from WSAE VantagePoint magazine, Spring 2014 — We all run associations and know the importance of engaging members at every level. It is so helpful to take time to not only continuously learn, but think from our members’ perspective.

At most WSAE meetings, I am greeting members and speakers and working with onsite staff. I take in the content as a member when I can. Recently, Michelle Czosek and I attended the Association Forum of Chicagoland Women’s Executive Leadership Program. We shared ideas, learned from experts and made many new connections. It was so nice to be an attendee and not have to worry about the details of the meeting. We have stayed connected with other association execs from Chicago and look forward to engaging in their online community and attending next year.

Last month I also attended the Association Management Company Institute (AMCI) annual meeting. And while I served on the program committee and participated in much of the planning from a volunteer perspective, I was able to fully engage in the meeting, take walks instead of checking room sets, and enjoy the receptions and many networking opportunities.

This brings me to WSAE. WSAE offers so many ways for you to advance your career, network with your peers and try new things to take back to your organization. The variety of offerings continually changes and I encourage all of you to create an experience and engage in the way that will give you the greatest value. Register for the newly revived CEO roundtable in Milwaukee; volunteer to help with the Innovation Summit; come to Lake Geneva to golf, play tennis or enjoy the spa during our Spring Outing. Or tell us what works best for you — we will make it happen.

New innovations, ideas and leadership always welcome!

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