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The 2018-2019 Leadership Academy class will feature the most up-to-date curriculum and a Capstone project to synthesize all you will learn. It’s going to be a tremendous experience worth up to 56 CAE hours to sit for the exam or to renew. The class will begin with a kick-off retreat October 25-26, 2018 followed by eight day-long classes from December-June. Additional details and session dates may be found here. Application deadline is September 15, 2018 apply today.

$1,050 covers registration, the retreat, tours and all course materials. Participation is open to any GSAE member or staff (if the CEO is a GSAE member).


Meet Mr. Abit

Guest lecturer: Jennifer Frum, Ph.D., University of Georgia


Jennifer Frum became UGA’s fourth Vice President for Public Service and Outreach in 2012, and the first woman to serve in the role. She provides institutional leadership for UGA’s outreach and engagement and economic development efforts across Georgia, which includes eight diverse Public Service and Outreach units: Carl Vinson Institute of Government, J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, Georgia Center for Continuing Education and Hotel, Archway Partnership, State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Marine Extension Service/Georgia Sea Grant, Small Business Development Centers (17), and the Office of Service Learning (co-managed with Vice President for Instruction). Learn more about Dr. Frum here.

Register today!
GSAE Members - $39 Early Bird ($49 after September 14) 
Guests - $49 Early Bird ($59 after September 14)

9:30 a.m. - CAE Study Group Session IV
10:30 a.m. - Member Orientation
11:30 a.m. - Networking Reception
12 p.m. - Luncheon & Keynote

Thank you to our sponsor:
Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau

Thank you to our host:
Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta
Thank you to our AV Sponsor:
University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel
Member News

GSAE member Deborah A. Bouchea, Cruise and Event Specialist, Riverstreet River Boat Company, passed away on June 5, 2018 at Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, GA. Deborah has been a member of GSAE since 1996 and will be missed throughout our community. Read her obituary here.


The SAIS Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Debra Wilson has been selected to serve as the next SAIS president as of July 1, 2019. Wilson currently serves as general counsel for the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). Wilson is committed to helping schools prevent and mitigate risks before they become crises and is heavily involved in initiatives addressing many of the most pressing issues facing schools today, including promoting good governance, ensuring student safety, fostering equitable communities, and improving student mental health. Read the full press release here.


Anne Chen, TMP, sales manager at Explore Gwinnett, was recognized as a member of Connect Association magazine’s "40 Under 40.” The honor highlights the top young professionals in the events industry. Read more about her accomplishments hereConnect Association is a national, B2B magazine that provides resources and ideas to professionals and planners in the meetings and events industry. The entire list of recognized honorees and individual profiles can be found here.


The Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau named Nick Arnold as Director of Sales. He most recently served as the Athens CVB Senior Sales Manager and has a proven track record of success, as well as a strong background in operations management, sales and marketing. He holds a master’s degree in Sports Management and Policy from the University of Georgia. Prior to joining the Athens CVB, Arnold spent three years leading sponsorship and in-house advertising sales with The Classic Center’s marketing department.


Congratulations to Patrice Williams, Meeting Planner, Association Strategy Group, LLC, for winning the Grand Prize from our friends in Athens, and thank you to everyone who completed the Meetings & Purchasing Survey! If you haven't had a chance to do so, there's still time - simply complete the Meetings & Purchasing Survey to be entered into our next giveaway! Big thanks to the GSAE Supplier Council for helping staff create a useful tool for all our folks.

  • Gary Schneeberg - Regional Sales Manager, Barnsley Resort
  • Staci Stover - The Henderson, A Salamander Beach & Spa Resort
William Pate  

William Pate, President & CEO of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, will serve as the 2018-19 chair of Destinations International's board of directors.

Special congratulations to Jeremiah Cook, Sales & Service Manager, Athens CVB, for being named to this year's 30 Under 30 class. Joe Marinelli, President, Visit Savannah, will continue to provide leadership for the Destinations International Foundation. Cobb Travel & Tourism was recognized for their DMAP reaccreditation.


Every year, T L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe for their World’s Best Awards survey. Readers rated cities on their sights and landmarks, culture, cuisine, friendliness, shopping, and overall value and 4 GSAE members are recognized for being a Top 15 City in the US! Congratulations to No. 1 Explore Charleston and Chris Hendrix, CMP, Director of Sales; No. 3 Visit Savannah and Jeff Hewitt, CDME, Senior Vice President and Jen Thompson, National Sales Manager; No. 8 Explore Asheville and Shawn Boone, National Sales Manager; No. 9 Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation and Brenda Dempsey, Director, Southern Regional Office. See the Top 15 list here.


On behalf of Nancy Wilkerson and the entire Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort Team: It was our pleasure welcoming you to the Beaches of South Walton and Florida’s Emerald Coast for the 2018 GSAE Annual Meeting! We hope you were able to take advantage of the multitude of activities throughout the meeting. More importantly, we hope your experience was filled with opportunities for personal growth, networking, learning and overall fun!

As a token of our appreciation, all GSAE Members are entitled to special incentives when planning your next meeting at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. Book your 2019-2022 meeting with us by December 31, 2018 and realize special GSAE savings


Payscape, a financial technology and payment processing innovator, announced it has extended its partnership with MemberClicks. The two entities have been integrated payments partners for over a decade, and have extended their contract and revenue share agreement. "At MemberClicks, our goal is to empower associations to thrive,” said Mark Sedgley, President and CEO of MemberClicks. "Our Partnership with Payscape is an awesome opportunity to do just that. We are excited to deepen our relationship with Payscape as we work together to move associations into the future.” Learn more here.

GSAE has partnered with the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC) to offer a discount to all GSAE members on their license for showing scenes from motion pictures and other audiovisual programs. Through your membership with GSAE you will receive a 10 percent annual discount.
Kiawah Island Golf Resort
Peachtree City Tourism Association
GSAE News & Events
Mark your calendars and plan to join us for upcoming events, including the ASAE Annual Meeting & Tradeshow (including the Southern SAE reception), August 18-21, T.E.A. Group Luncheon on August 28, GSAE Abit Massey Lecture Series & Luncheon on September 20, webinars and more. More SIG dates will be added soon! Save the dates for some specialized programming coming this fall: October 17, Small Staff SIG Summit, and November 14, GSAE’s first Tech Showcase.

GSAE's CAE Study Group will begin August 13 with an in-person session. There's still time to join and each session is eligible for CAE hours based on instruction time. $79 - GSAE or other SAE members.


We have partnered with culture consulting firm Human Workplaces to bring you a special private, discounted edition of two of their most popular online on-demand courses, Managing Conflict with Confidence and Generational Differences in the Workplace. Taught by culture expert Jamie Notter, each of these courses contain a series of videos, quizzes for testing comprehension, with accompanying handouts and resources. They can be taken individually, or in a small group watching the videos in a room together. They are on-demand, meaning you can take them on your own schedule - all in one day, spread out over a couple weeks, or however you want. Learn more here and register today!

These editions of the courses are for the GSAE community exclusively! More details can be found (including some freely viewable content for you to explore) via the course link. Appropriate CAE hours will be awarded upon completion of coursework and quizzes through GSAE.


Live webinars are worth 1 CAE hour. Did you know? More than 94 CAE-qualifying recorded webinars are available 24/7 on our GSAE website

The GSAE Nominating Committee is soliciting names of members interested in serving on the GSAE Board of Directors. The Nominating Committee will include GSAE Chair Gene Stinson, CAE, PCED, CEcD, HLM, Past Chair Tara Morrison, CAE, CMP and Chair-Elect Bryan Tolar and up to five at-large GSAE association executive members in good standing confirmed: Jennie Nesspor, CAE, Jason Cline, CAE, and Erica Powell.
Four seats for individual association member directors and one seat for a corporate supplier director will be available for two-year terms, beginning January 1, 2019. If you or someone you know would like to be considered, please fill out either a self nomination form or nominate another GSAE member here. All candidates must be members in good standing. Deadline for nominations is September 28, 2018.
The slate of nominees will be offered to the membership for review no later than November 12, 2018. Board members and officers will be accepted and installed at the GSAE Annual Business Meeting on December 12.
Relevant Bylaws:
At least ninety (90) days prior to the annual business meeting, the Board of Directors shall appoint a Nominating Committee of at least five (5) persons, each of whom shall have been an Individual member of the Society for at least two (2) years. The chairman shall be the Immediate Past Chair. Others on the committee shall be the Chair, Chair Elect and two or more other members not currently serving on the GSAE Board of Directors. Names of nominating committee members and an invitation for recommendations for candidates for nomination shall be announced to the membership at least sixty (60) days prior to the annual business meeting. The nominating committee shall submit at least one (1) name for each available elective office of the Society and said slate shall be presented, in writing, to the membership at least thirty (30) days prior to the annual business meeting and again, orally, at the annual business meeting.
GSAE recognizes excellence by presenting a variety of awards to members. To nominate a member for an award, simply email The deadline for nominations is September 28, 2018. Learn more about the awards program here
Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
The Lodge at Gulf States Park
News Briefs

We have partnered again this year with Naylor Association Solutions and Association Adviser on the 2018 Association Communications Benchmarking Study. The annual report gives a comprehensive look into the challenges associations continue to face in the ever-changing communications landscape. The report is available for you to download for free. You can also log into your account and download your customized Best Practices Report Card, which scores your responses against best practices and provides communications recommendations in five key areas to help you improve where necessary.


Steve McWilliams is pleased to announce the formation of the South Georgia Nonprofit Network (SGNN), a regional organization that brings together nonprofits of all sizes and missions that serve communities across south Georgia. SGNN aims to strengthen nonprofit organizations by providing training, management tools and networking opportunities that will enhance their ability to serve their diverse constituencies.

Initially, the Network will be housed at Valdosta State University and supported by VSU’s Office of Student Leadership and Volunteer Services, led by Associate Dean of Students Niki Turley. Complete membership information is available by contacting the Network at (229) 293-6203.


Please join Brian Muia, Jones and Kolb on August 28 from 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. to discuss "FASB New Standard Implementation Web Portal - Revenue Recognition." Tickets are $25 per person. Contact Molly Amos at or call (404) 262-7920 to make your reservation by noon on August 23.

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. Be sure to RSVP!
Thank you to our sponsors (and be sure to stop by their booths during the Expo):

booth 517

booth 1017

booth 423

booth 332


ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership is launching the Professional Certification Coalition with The Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE) to address legislative challenges to voluntary certification across the country.

ASAE also recently launched the UBIT Coalition, a group of associations and nonprofit groups who are urging Treasury to retroactively delay the 21 percent excise tax on transportation and parking benefits provided by many employers. Many organizations are paying quarterly estimated taxes absent guidance from Treasury and the IRS. To read the Associations Now piece on this issue click here. GSAE has been following this issue closely, and continues to forward updates to our CEO members from both ASAE and our friends at Jones and Kolb. Please contact Wendy if you’d like to learn more.

A new blog post from MemberClicks about automating and encouraging renewals; Lodging Leaders is a new podcast for hospitality professionals and much more!



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