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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:

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.

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

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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


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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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