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Keynote Speaker: Nikki Belmonte – Flying Together for a Greener Georgia: How Birds Can Unite Us for a Better Future

Everyone has a story about birds. Talking about birds is common ground, and ultimately, birds can unite us because where birds thrive, people thrive. We’ll discuss ways that Georgia’s birds can unite us in our businesses and in our communities. Nikki will reveal some of the challenges that birds face in Georgia, and discuss the surprising ways we can all participate in conservation actions that benefit birds, wildlife, and people. Nikki Belmonte is the Executive Director of Atlanta Audubon, a Georgia nonprofit organization dedicated to building places where birds and people thrive.
10:30-11:30 a.m. - Member Orientation
10:30-11:30 a.m. - Supplier Council meeting
11-12 p.m. - Participation Fair & Networking Reception
12-1:30 p.m. - Luncheon and Keynote
GSAE Members - $39 Early Bird ($49 after February 15)
Guests - $49 Early Bird ($59 after February 15)

Thank you to our Sponsor:
Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau
Host of the 2021 GSAE Annual Meeting

Thank you to our Host:
City Springs

GSAE is a CAE Approved Provider
This program meets the requirements for fulfilling the professional development requirements to earn or maintain the Certified Association Executive credential. Every program that we offer which qualifies for CAE credit will clearly identify the number of CAE credits granted for full participation, and we will maintain records of your participation in accord with CAE policies. For more information about the CAE credential or Approved Provider program, please visit This luncheon program may be applied for 1 credit toward your CAE application or renewal.

Note: This program is not endorsed, accredited, or affiliated with ASAE or the CAE program. Applicants may use any program that meets eligibility requirements in the specific time frame towards the exam application or renewal. There are no specific individual courses required as part of the applications – selection of eligible education is up to the applicant based on his/her needs.

It's never too early to start thinking of ways to expand your GSAE involvement! Learn more about our committees and SIGs below and plan to join us February 20 for the Quarterly Luncheon & Participation Fair to network with GSAE volunteer leaders and learn more about their role.
Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel

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Member News

The AMC Institute (AMCI) is delighted to announce that Charles Hall, Founder and CEO of Association Services Group, is the 2019 recipient of the prestigious Glenn W. Bostrom Award for Service, Quality & Excellence. Through this honor AMCI recognizes colleagues with distinguished lifetime career accomplishments and noteworthy contributions to the association management company (AMC) industry. Nominees must be current/past AMC Principals whose individual accomplishments have been clearly visible and significant within the industry.

"Charles Hall is a force in our industry and we’re so proud to recognize the extraordinary leadership that has led to his numerous professional achievements and his invaluable service and support to our Institute," said Jeanne Sheehy, AMCI Chair. "He defines what we all aspire to be - a trusted advisor to clients, colleagues, and friends."


GSAE was well represented at the Georgia Trend 2019 Georgian of the Year Luncheon. Karen Bremer, CAE, CEO of the Georgia Restaurant Association, and Michael "Sully" Sullivan, JD, President & CEO of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia, made the list of 100 Most Influential Georgians

William Pate, President & CEO of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, Jay Markwalter, TMP, Executive Director of the Georgia Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus, and Katerina "Kat" Taylor, President & CEO of DeKalb Chamber, were named as 2019 Notable Georgians.

Karen Bremer, CAE Michael "Sully" Sullivan, JD William Pate Jay Markwalter, TMP Katerina "Kat" Taylor

Holly Wright was recently named Omni Hotels & Resort's 2018 Group Sales Associate of the Year (over 501 rooms). She is the Senior Sales Manager, Remote - Atlanta for the Omni, Amelia Island Plantation and serves as Chair of GSAE's Supplier Council. Congratulations, Holly!


Steven Schumacher, Director of Sales, is delighted to announce the new identity of the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Dunwoody: Discover Dunwoody. The new name encourages visitors to discover the unexpected experiences found in the community and speaks to the mission of promoting Dunwoody as a compelling travel destination for business and leisure. Hidden gems like the Dunwoody Nature Center’s hammock garden, Spruill Gallery’s Everything Will Be OK mural, and East 48th Street Market’s mouthwatering sandwiches are just a few reasons why visitors will want to rediscover Dunwoody again and again.


The Myrtle Beach booth won 1st place and Best in Show at the Religious Conference Management Association's EMERGE 2019 conference in Greensboro, NC. What a team! Kathy Flowe, CMP, National Sales Manager Alabama Theatre Myrtle Beach; Dawn Fromo, Group Sales Manager, Myrtle Beach Area CVB; Ursula Pavlik, CEM, CGMP, Sales Manager, Conventions/Expositions, Myrtle Beach Convention Center.






Matador Network's list of the 25 Coolest Towns in the US includes two GSAE members: Greenville, South Carolina (Adam Berrios, Sales Manager, Visit Greenville SC) - host of the 2019 GSAE Annual Meeting!! - and Orange Beach, Alabama (Mary A. Statkewicz, CMP, Sales Manager, Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism). They took a look at towns with populations under 100,000 and have curated the ultimate collection of towns where people can have the weekend of their lives - and maybe even stay for good. See the whole list here.

Kiawah Island Golf Resort
Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa
GSAE News & Events

Please contact us ASAP if your property would like to host a luncheon and show off your meeting space in 2019!

Luncheons in February, April, July, September and November are $39 for all GSAE members. The 2019 Annual Meeting is at The Westin Poinsett Hotel in Greenville, SC, May 29-31. Registration fee for the first association executive attendee - $399; corporate supplier exhibitor and sponsor packages range from $659-$2909; additional attendees from the same organization - $299 each; room rates at The Westin Poinsett Hotel - $179 run of house (before taxes).

Did you know? A growing body of research demonstrates that experiential learning enhances student learning, success in the classroom, on-time graduation, and transition to the workforce. Many UGA students already engage in experiential learning, and ensuring that all students do so prior to graduation will take the world-class learning experience that UGA provides to an even higher level. GSAE is partnering with the University’s Experiential Learning program staff to help associations and CVBs connect with potential interns for the spring or summer. Contact President Wendy Kavanagh, CAE for more information.


Any organization in Georgia that employs at least one GSAE member may apply. The applications are due May 1 and will be judged on the quality of the internship experience described in the application rather than on the qualifications of the student who will fill the internship. It is the responsibility of the organization to recruit a qualified student to fill the internship, but this may be done after the GSAE Foundation announces which applications will be funded. Watch this video and visit to learn more about the internship grant program. And, please consider making a donation to the GSAE Foundation.

  • Begins July 10 before the summer luncheon, then meets via ZOOM through the end of August
  • $79 for GSAE members
  • Includes Review session and Mock CAE Exam
  • Based on ASAE's Study Guide
  • Alternate CAE courses are available at the member price in partnership with Michigan Society of Association Executives
The Lodge at Gulf States Park
News Briefs

GSAE has partnered to help build an interactive virtual conference called SURGE Co-Creation that is taking place May 1-3. hosts this free bi-annual online event for association executives across the globe, with the aim of assembling like-minded professionals under one virtual roof for meaningful and productive conversations about change (you can access their most recent event here). 

The call for speakers closes on Friday, February 22 at 5 p.m. EST, and we highly encourage you to apply and proudly represent us in the global discussion! (From the event page, click the "Call for Speakers" button, where you can learn more about it, and apply.)

Mark your calendars and come join GSAE on May 1-3! You can learn more and pre-register for the event here!


Wednesday, March 13, 2019
8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Georgia Museum of Agriculture, Tifton, GA
If you would like additional information about registering or participating in the South Georgia Nonprofit Network, please contact Niki Turley or Steve McWilliams.


Plan to join GSAE in Washington, D.C., March 28-29, 2019 to participate in American Associations Day, the only legislative fly-in where association professionals can connect with Congressional offices and share stories on important association issues. This year our issues will be the value of association meetings to the economy and society along with association tax issues.

The event is open to any association executive, staff member, or leadership volunteer that is passionate about association issues and wants to make a difference, as well as meet and network with fellow advocates from across the country. Registration is free, and out-of-town attendees are eligible to receive a scholarship of up to $300 to reimburse travel costs if they visit their members of Congress. The education session on Thursday, March 28 is worth 3.5 CAE credit hours. Please note that this year the Hill visits will take place on Friday, March 29. Congress will be in session.

We need Georgia delegates to cover our legislative visits effectively; contact Wendy for more details. Register here.

River The Non-Obvious Guide to Employee Engagement by Maddie Grant and Jamie Notter, past GSAE Annual Meeting speakers, will teach you:
  • How to define employee engagement in a way that connects directly to what makes both your organization and your employees more successful.
  • Why culture is more important than engagement and what the relationship is between the two.
  • Real, proven, and actionable advice on how to actually improve engagement.

    Learn more or order here.

As part of our ongoing partnership with Association Laboratory, a full-service research and consulting firm serving the association industry, GSAE members can participate in a three part webinar series focused on the 2019 results of the Looking Forward, the longest running environmental scan in the association industry. Attendees will get a deep dive into the survey results and Association Laboratory spot-on analysis, including:

  1. Trends impacting the association environment
  2. The Implications of these factors on your organizations
  3. Top solutions to face these trends head on and be well-prepared
A new blog post from MemberClicks on matching rising member expectations; new podcast from Extoradinary CEO on a very effective generator of "out of the box" change initiatives; and free webinars from Venable, LLP (with CAE credit) Associaiton Advisor and more!



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