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Check out our Rock Star Map of sponsors & exhibitors, provided by MapDynamics

Meet the 2018 Annual Meeting Speakers and view the session descriptions
Keynotes and breakout sessions will be led by nationally known geniuses like Jeff De Cagna FRSA FASAE, CAE, Cynthia Mills, FASAE, CAE, CMC, CPC, CCRC, Dale Brown, CAE, Bob Harris, CAE, Tyra Hilliard, PhD, JD, CMP, Aaron Wolowiec, MSA, CAE, CMP, CTA, CTF/AT, Lowell Aplebaum, CAE, and our own fiery GSAE rock stars. Our speakers and facilitators will offer information you need about board governance, education, communications, membership, meetings, aspiring to the top job and so much more. Download the full schedule here.

Special Events

  • 3rd Annual GSAE Foundation Beer Pour (tickets still available for the 12:30 tasting)
  • Silent Auction donations include hotel stays, Tiffany & Co. jewelry, golf putter and other great prizes and experiences!
  • Charitable beneficiary for Pay the Pig is Sandestin Foundation for Kids. Grand Prize includes Disney Park Hopper Passes and a gift card
  • Wednesday dinner & reception at the Sandestin Marina; Thursday reception on the Grand Lawn

As a CAE Approved Provider educational program related to the CAE exam content outline, the Annual Meeting may be applied for up to 11 CAE credits (if you attend a pre-conference workshop) toward your CAE application or renewal of professional development requirements.

Donating to the silent auction is a great way to show your support and help raise funds to continue GSAE’s mission of advancing the profession of association management and enhancing the professionalism of association executives. Donations of any size will be most appreciated and welcomed – we can even package smaller donations together to create a fabulous gift basket or experience!

New in 2018: Gift Card Pull! Consider donating a $20-$100 gift card from any national chain (Target, Whole Foods, Amazon, iTunes, TJ Maxx, etc.). Attendees can purchase as many "pulls" as they’d like – with a guaranteed win every time! Gift cards will be drawn throughout the conference.

Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau
University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel
Member News

Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau Director of Sales Missy Brandt Wilson was awarded the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Businessperson of the Year at the 2018 Georgia FBLA awards ceremony. The FBLA Businessperson of the Year is awarded to the individual who best connects business and education in an effort to prepare future generations for success, provides insight into an industry and grows the state chapter of FBLA.


Congratulations to LeeAnne Minnick, Director of Technology, on her 10th anniversary with SAIS! She has also been a GSAE member for 10 years and has supported the organization in numerous ways: she is a past chair of the GSAE Foundation, recipient of the Sharon Hunt Emerging Leader Award and a graduate of GSAE's Leadership Academy. Thank you for your dedication to the association profession, LeeAnne!


James Touchton, Director of Policy & Government Affairs, Council for Quality Growth, received the 2018 Outstanding Alumni of the Year Award from Kennesaw State University.



Erica Powell, CMP, Senior Meetings and Events Manager for the Georgia Municipal Association, married Cole Grier on April 21, 2018 at Southwind Plantation in Attapulgus, Georgia. Erica also serves as chair of GSAE's Peer Connections committee.  

  • Lee Alford - Director of National Accounts, Saddlebrook Resort Tampa
  • Kathryn M. Stempler - Executive Director, NARI Atlanta (National Association of the Remodeling Industry, Atlanta Chapter)
  • Dennis Kemp - Director of Sales, Visit Sandy Springs
  • Cece Corbin, CMP - Events Manager, SAIS

Chris Hendrix, CMP, Director of Sales, Explore Charleston, is excited to share that two Charleston restaurants won awards at the James Beard Foundation's annual ceremony in Chicago. FIG picked up the national award for Outstanding Wine Program and Rodney Scott of Rodney Scott's BBQ won for Best Chef: Southeast. Read The Post and Courier article here.


Missy Wilson, Director of Sales, Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau is excited to share that Athens was recognized as one of the "Best College Towns to Visit Across America" by Culture Cheat Sheet and Fodor's. "Athens numbers among the Southern towns where football completely takes over on game days. So if you’re in town on the day of a home game, don’t miss the chance to take the game in. Take in a concert at the Georgia Theatre or an art show at the Georgia Museum Of Art. And check out some of the restaurants in town, or head to a bar or two."


Kevin Bird, former Vice President of Sales Operations, has been appointed Executive Vice President of Sales. This new role oversees and champions innovation in sales, marketing, and new product and service deployment with a focus on driving profitable growth and customer satisfaction. Bird joined Shepard in 2009 and has played an instrumental role in establishing a sustainable infrastructure to drive business efficiency, sales productivity and client satisfaction.


Dennis Kemp, Director of Sales, Visit Sandy Springs, is delighted to share that the Sandy Springs Lantern Parade was named the Top 20 Festival and Event Champion at the 2018 Southeast Tourism Society's STS Connections meeting. The 3rd annual parade took place on April 21. The parade started at Steel Canyon Golf Club and ended at Morgan Falls Overlook Park. Once the parade reached the river, paddlers from High Country Outfitters escorted select lanterns to the river for a floating parade.


Kiawah Island Golf Resort
Peachtree City Tourism Association
GSAE News & Events
In addition to our Annual Meeting, mark your calendars and plan to join us for upcoming events, including the T.E.A. Group Luncheon on May 22, GSAE Meetings SIG social on June 21, GSAE Summer Luncheon on July 11, webinars and more. More SIG dates will be added soon!

A live webinar is scheduled for June 5 worth 1 CAE hour. Did you know? More than 94 CAE-qualifying recorded webinars are available 24/7 on our GSAE website. More coming soon!

June 5 - Emotionally Intelligent Leadership


Wouldn't it be great if you could tell cold callers exactly how you'd like to do business without having lots of phone calls? Would you like to explain to vendors what your needs are - before you meet them? How about managing their expectations for getting your business? Today you can! Spend a few minutes and take this short, confidential GSAE-sponsored survey. Be as bold as you'd like! We want to know what you really think about doing business with suppliers.


To create your account in the new website, if you have not already: 

Thanks to our friends at MISBO for this great "show me" video.  
  1. Create an account here.
  2. Check the "I agree to the terms and conditions" box (you may read those here).
  3. Enter your email of record with GSAE and create a password. Note: you also have the option to login via your Facebook or Google account. This does not allow us to login to your social networks.

Once you’ve created an account, please upload your headshot and update your interests and expertise so other GSAE members can connect with you!

  • Pro tip for a great-fitting headshot: Staff is finding that LinkedIn photos are nearly perfect  download yours and then upload it to your GSAE profile. It’s a breeze.
  • Or, visit a spot like Canva to resize it to the preferred 300x300.
Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
News Briefs

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law in December has several provisions which affect associations. ASAE and a number of our members have expressed concern about the taxation of parking and transportation fringe benefits included in the law.

ASAE and a delegation of association representatives recently met with Treasury officials to share our concerns on this issue. While the provision applies to all employers, the new law disproportionately hurts tax-exempt employers by requiring them to pay a new unrelated business income tax (UBIT) on the value of benefits. ASAE contends this is a new tax on an expenditure, not a revenue-generating activity.

In the course of our meeting, it was recommended that we put our concerns in writing and share those with Treasury as the agency works to provide guidance to employers on this portion of the tax law. To that end, ASAE has drafted this sign-on letter for organizations that wish to weigh in on this issue. If you would like to add your organization’s name to this letter email Mary Kate Cunningham, Director of Public Policy, at The deadline to add your organization's name is Tuesday, May 15.

If you have additional questions about this letter or the fringe benefits provision in the tax law, please contact ASAE’s Public Policy team at


The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the primary law regulating how companies protect EU residents’ personal data. Any association – and association vendor or partner – that handles an EU resident’s data must comply with these new standards, even if the association is not based in Europe. GDPR was approved by the EU Parliament on April 14, 2016 and goes into effect on May 25, 2018. Organizations that operate outside the rules of compliance after May 25 can face heavy fines: up to 4 percent of annual global turnover or $20 million, whichever is greater. Read the full Association Adviser article here.

H/t to Naylor's Association Adviser feature, April 20, 2018

Plan to join AENC, FSAE, SCSAE, TNSAE, VSAE, and GSAE members for an attendee reception on Monday, August 20 before The Classic. Drop by between 5:15 and 6:30 p.m. for the opportunity to connect with your Southern SAE peers and industry partners over munchies and your choice of beer and wine selections.
Thank you to our sponsors (and be sure to stop by their booths during the Expo):
ASAE Annual Meeting is where association professionals go to get focused. Join 5,000 of your colleagues from across the country for three full days of powerful networking, thought-provoking education sessions and innovative business solutions. August 18-21, 2018 in Chicago, IL.
A live webinar from Venable on May 17 plus a new recorded webinar, a new blog post from MemberClicks about staying relevant and a new Association Adviser podcast plus Doug Eadie's new podcast about the Board Chair-CEO partnership.
Panama City Beach CVB



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