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Christina w Cert

Get in your time machine and go back two years. Imagine you’re at a dinner with ten peers and an accomplished C-Suite Exec. The food is delicious and the conversation is stimulating. Then someone mentions that they are pursuing their CAE. There is a grand pause. EVERYONE around the table nods their heads in agreement and admiration. For the first-time this evening you feel like an outsider. You have no idea what “CAE” is, but you nod your head too, not wanting appear misinformed, praying no one calls you out. Before long you learn that several others have obtained their CAE, including the C-Suite Exec. Words like “domains,” “LERP,” and “SPIE” spill out in conversation . . . Geez, more acronyms! Curious, you go home that night and look it up: The Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential through the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). Hmmm, sounds intimating.

This is how I first learned about the CAE, maybe you have a similar story? What I did next was most important. Three things stand out as I look back and map out my journey.

1. Ask around
The CAE was foreign to me. I asked a lot of my peers and mentors what it was all about, and why it was worth pursuing. What were their journeys like? At what stage in their career did they take the exam? Did they study? I got mixed responses, but one thing resounded clear: everyone’s journey was unique and personal. Mine was too.

2. Meeting the requirements
I spent a lot of time on ASAE’s CAE webpage. I had already met some CAE eligibility requirements, but did I have enough qualifying professional development activities to meet the 100 hours? To find out, I began meticulously cataloguing my hours in a spreadsheet. I found eligible hours in a variety of places: I looked through my ASAE profile (Login>My Account>Education History). I scanned through my work calendar from the past three years. I searched through my email for “CAE.” And I contacted both ASAE and the organizations that hosted programs to confirm those that were applicable. Sounds like a lot of work, and I’ll admit it was.

I was surprised to find out I had already accumulated 80 hours. Getting the final 20 was fairly easy: I signed up for free webinars.* It’s amazing how many free webinars are out there once you start looking. It doesn’t have to explicitly offer CAE credits to be applicable, programs that touch on any of the nine knowledge domains could count too. You can even count up to 10 CAE hours through mentoring and coaching, like I did.

3. Committing to take the exam
Next biggest decision: to take the exam in December or May? It’s only offered twice a year, and through my chats with peers, everyone encouraged me to take it when the content was fresh in my mind. Since my plan was to include three months of rigorous studying pre-exam, the decision on which month to take it was crucial. What three months were best for me to invest studying time? Were there any conflicts with the exam dates (maybe a work conference or board meeting already scheduled?).

Fast forward and it’s now six months out from the time I would take the exam. Now it’s November, and I was pregnant with my second and due New Year’s Eve. For me I was either committing to taking the exam the following May (studying during maternity leave and a potential job transition) or choosing to wait until the following December (several months down the road, when I’d have two young kids running around). Yeah, I chose May. The nail in the coffin was when a wise woman told me that she studied while going through a massive renovation on her home. Literally, no running water. If she was successful at that time, then I could be too.

If you take anything from this article, know that the CAE is only as daunting as you allow it to be. Smart time invested in learning about the process and other’s experiences can be time well spent. Stay tuned for part 2 of this article, in which I share my study plan and exam prep process.

Congrats to those who have decided to pursue their CAE, and good luck as you begin the adventure!

*Free webinars can be found at ASAE’s upcoming events page, the Wild Apricot blog with a listing of monthly free webinars, Collaborate events page, and the CAE Candidate community.

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McCoy 2016 croppedThe American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) has announced that Christina McCoy, a managing director and meeting planner with AMPED Association Management, has earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE®) designation. The CAE is the highest professional credential in the association industry.

As the managing director of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, she amplifies the voice of an industry of nearly 60 million fantasy sports players in North America, as well as companies that provide programs, products and services to a fast growing $7 billion industry. An ASAE NextGen Scholar, she was recently featured in Meetings and Conventions Magazine as one of 15 young professionals to watch. McCoy also serves as chair of ASAE’s Young Professionals Committee.

“I’m energized by leading and inspiring others,” said McCoy, “and I strive for high impact boards and effective volunteer governance. Earning my CAE provides me with confidence in my knowledge and gives me the tools to be a successful association executive.”

To be designated as a Certified Association Executive, an applicant must have a minimum of three years’ experience with nonprofit organization management, complete a minimum of 100 hours of specialized professional development, pass a stringent examination in association management and pledge to uphold a code of ethics. To maintain the certification, individuals must undertake ongoing professional development and activities in association and nonprofit management. More than 4,200 association professionals currently hold the CAE credential. The CAE program is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

ASAE is a membership organization of more than 35,000 association executives and industry partners representing 7,400 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession, and provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. For more information about ASAE, visit asaecenter.org.

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Patterson 2210 2016AMPED Association Management is thrilled to announce that President and Owner Lynda J. Patterson, FASAE, CAE has been nominated to serve as a Director at Large on the ASAE (American Society of Association Executives) Board of Directors.

Patterson will serve ASAE and the ASAE Foundation Board of Directors for a three-year term beginning September 1, 2017, along with association executives from a wide range of trade and professional organizations.

“It’s an honor to serve the profession I love,” said Patterson. “I’m especially excited about bringing my business/AMC experience and Midwest perspective to the table.”

“Change is constant in association management and I thrive on the diversity of our clients and staff perspectives. It’s necessary and one of the things I like most about what I do,” said Patterson. “Serving on the ASAE Board of Directors will challenge me and give me further opportunities to learn from other leaders in our industry and, by extension, benefit the associations we serve.”

This new role with ASAE is particularly timely as it coincides with the recent opening of AMPED’s DC office, giving Patterson the opportunity to participate on the ASAE Board, while also working locally with the DC staff.

AMPED extends its congratulations to all of the nominees for the ASAE and ASAE Foundation Board of Directors.

Patterson and the new board will be officially installed and join the remaining board members at the 2017 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition, August 12–15, in Toronto, Canada.

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Every day when I go to work, I’m reminded of how lucky I am to have stumbled (like most association management professionals) into a career that I love! Working with my clients gives me a front row seat to view how associations allow people to truly connect around a shared interest.

I’ve worked in the association industry for longer than I’m going to mention in this blog, and I’m constantly amazed at the “Power of A” – the term used by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) to show the reach and impact that associations have on people, the economy, legislation and more.

As an association professional, it’s important to know the impact that associations have and the importance of groups like the ones we serve.

A few of my favorite association statistics from ASAE include:

  • The IRS recognized 66,985 trade and professional associations in 2013.
  • During the 2013 fiscal year, there were 1,524 new applications for 501(c)(6) status.
  • Membership organizations of all types employed more than 1.3 million in 2013.
  • Membership organizations generated payroll of nearly $51 billion in 2013.
  • Associations represent a major piece of the meetings and conventions industry in the U.S., supporting nearly 1.8 million jobs and accounting for $280 billion in direct spending by attendees.

Those are some pretty impressive numbers!

What’s even more impressive is the power associations have to connect people who are engaged in a common business or career, share a mutual interest or are brought together for the good of a mission-driven organization. There’s incredible power in creating a community where we’re supportive of each other and share our knowledge so that everyone has a better chance for success.

I’m excited about the future of associations and encourage you to spread the word about “The Power of A." Your members should know the impact they have on our world! For more information on our collective impact and help spreading the word, some excellent resources are available at http://www.thepowerofa.org/.

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ASAE DELP

On August 10, 2015 I and 11 other 2015 ASAE DELP scholars stood in front of hundreds of association professionals as we were recognized for our achievement during the ASAE 2015 Annual Meeting in Detroit. The Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP) for the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) is a two-year program that recognizes individuals from under-represented identity groups who demonstrate exemplary leadership skills and a commitment to advancing the association community. Our class will participate in an accelerated leadership program of education, mentoring and volunteer service in the association community and I couldn’t be more excited. What motivated me to apply?

Someone believed in me. Every now and then in one’s life you meet someone along the way who exudes deep enthusiasm, and you can’t help but be excited with a project or endeavor that he or she is sharing with you. I met that person a year and half ago. She’s my boss, Lynda Patterson and the owner of the association management company, I work for. I didn’t know about DELP until Lynda told me about it and enthusiastically offered to sponsor me. She recognized my leadership abilities, was proud of my accomplishments, and thought that applying for the scholarship will usher in more opportunities for professional growth, allowing me to go even further in my association management career.

The goals align with growth needs. 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. Having over a decade of association management experience but not much exposure to continuing education, I would benefit greatly from DELP’s benefits.

Far reaching benefit. Association managers in Wisconsin do not have easy access to continuing professional education. DELP would provide learning not just for me personally, but also, indirectly, to other professionals in Wisconsin. I would be able to help broaden the reach by passing on the knowledge with colleagues I interact with in my place of work and also in the Wisconsin Society of Association Executives (WSAE) in which I am currently a member.

Surround myself with rock stars. I believe that if you want to get better than you think you already are, and learn new ways to live a successful professional and personal life, surrounding oneself with people you want to emulate will provide the encouragement and example that will help you reach the next level.

Be an inspiration to others. My eleven years of experience with helping associations live their missions have been very successful, and I am on track for even greater success. I want my success to serve as an inspiration to others who might otherwise think their race or gender is an insurmountable obstacle. Already, I know of some people who have been inspired by my personal story, how I moved over 3,000 miles across the globe while a single mother with four young children. I think DELP can help stories like mine be shared broadly, inspiring many to greater dreams and achievements.

The benefits go both ways. Much as I would learn from well-experienced, connected professionals through DELP, others may benefit from the global experience and attitude of purposeful action that I bring to the table. Three of my top five strengths from the Clifton Strengths-Finder — Activator, Maximizer, and Achiever — identify me as a candidate who would “maximize” the opportunity, continue to advance the goals of the program, and, when given a project, get it done.

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Association Management Partners (AMP) announces that Laura (Ritchie) Portz has earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE®) credential from the American Society of Association Executives CAE Commission.

Portz helps associations with membership development and retention, technology tools, meeting planning, and outreach. A Madison, Wis., native, she holds a bachelor’s degree and Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Laura provides impeccable member service, creative ideas and leadership to several professional associations,” said Lynda J. Patterson, FASAE, CAE, owner of AMP. “We are very proud of her latest accomplishment!”

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.

About AMP: Association Management Partners provides association leadership, strategic planning, meeting planning and management, member communications, financial management, and public relations services to a variety of trade and professional associations. AMP is located at 22 N. Carroll St., Madison, Wis., 53703, phone (608) 251-5940.

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Lynda J. Patterson, MS, CAE, president and owner of Association Management Partners, LLC, has been named a 2010 Fellow to the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and The Center for Association Leadership. Patterson is one of only five association executives nationwide to be honored in 2010.

"Fellows are identified by their demonstration of continual leadership, emotional intelligence and visionary and strategic thinking, as well as having earned certification in our industry. The selection committee agrees that these new Fellows exemplify these attributes," said R. Norris Orms, FACHE, CAE, chair of ASAE and The Center's Fellows Selection Committee.

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