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Meet Mr. Abit

2019 Abit Massey Lecturer: Cynthia Mills, FASAE, CAE, CMC, CPC, CCRC


Cynthia Mills is the Founder, President & CEO of The Leaders' Haven, a consultancy serving clients as a business strategist, board consultant, business and executive coach, succession planning and change management guide, leadership development catalyst, speaker, and facilitator for small privately held and family-owned businesses, corporations, associations, not-for-profits, NGOs, and faith-based communities. Cynthia is a past president of GSAE's Board of Directors and frequent GSAE Annual Meeting speaker.

Register today!
GSAE Members - $39 Early Bird ($49 after September 13) 
Guests - $49 Early Bird ($59 after September 13)

10:30-11:30 a.m.: Member Orientation
11:30-12:00 p.m.: Networking Reception
12:00-1:30 p.m.: Keynote Luncheon and recognition of the 2019 GSAE Leadership Academy graduates

Thank you to our sponsor:
Discover Dunwoody

Thank you to our host:
Wyndham Atlanta Galleria
Thank you to our AV sponsor:

The new Continuing Education Transcript feature allows you to access, add to, and export your educational history on demand, right from your member profile! It's simple:

  • Log in at
  • Click the "Track Your CAE Hours" link
  • From there, you can sort by date, export to pdf and add additional hours you've earned outside of GSAE events!

Learn more...

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center
Member News

The Association Forum of Chicagoland/USAE’s Forty Under 40 award recognizes outstanding association and nonprofit professionals for their accomplishments, commitment to the industry, leadership skills and continued potential. Congratulations to GSAE Board of Directors member Kamilah Greene, Senior Director, Annual Meeting, American College of Rheumatology, on her selection. The 2019 group will be recognized in Chicago Monday, December 16 before the Forum’s annual Holiday Showcase. Read more


Congratulations to Jayne Tannenbaum for joining the Board of Directors at Society of Government Meeting Professionals - Georgia Chapter.


Steven Schumacher, Director of Sales, Discover Dunwoody, has been named to the “In-Crowd,” the 2019 Connect Association 40 Under 40. “This year’s group celebrates the diversity inherent in the events industry. Honorees range from company presidents to budding CVB stars. They come from myriad backgrounds, using different strengths to advance their organizations and careers.” Read more


A quick reminder from GSAE member Betsy Wilson that the hotel formerly known as Marriott Grand in Pointe Clear, Ala. is now Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa. The property completed a huge renovation last year along with the name change, and we want to be sure all our members have the correct contact information.


TCF Bank announced the successful merger of equals with Cobo Center's naming rights sponsor, Chemical Bank, creating a new name for Detroit's convention center, Cobo Center: TCF Center. Former GSAE volunteer Greg DeSandy is TCF Center’s Director of Sales & Event Services.


GSAE is pleased to announce Jennie Nesspor, CAE accepted the position of Director of Membership & Communications. Her email is and her phone extension is 2. Read more





As of September 9, Shan Haugabrook is the Director of Membership for the Atlanta Apartment Association.



Kiawah Island Golf Resort
Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa
GSAE News & Events
The GSAE Foundation is proud to partner with the University of Georgia on their Emerging Leaders Program. The program seeks to provide paid internship opportunities to first generation college students and students from diverse racial and economic backgrounds. These interns will spend 8 to 11 weeks in the nonprofit sector or local or state government offices in Georgia. This is an incredible opportunity to gain experience in the areas of public policy, public services, public safety, and public well-being in the State of Georgia. Please reach out to Wendy over the summer if your organization would like to hire one of these interns.

Thank you to Adam Paige, Internship and Recruiting Coordinator, UGA School of Public & International Affairs, for joining us at the Summer Luncheon to talk more about these opportunities. You may connect with him at or (706) 542-2924.
Mark your calendars and plan to join us for upcoming events, including Wine & Webinars on October 2, Meetings SIG on October 23, Quarterly Luncheon & Tech Showcase on November 5, webinars and more!
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.

•     September 26 - Ethics in the Association Work Place
•     October 9 - Fuel Member Engagement with Feedback - How to Listen at Scale
•     October 10 - The MPLC Umbrella License-Are you compliant?
•     October 24 - Practical Cybersecurity for Association Leaders
•     October 30 - The Successful Mentoring Mindset - What Mentoring Can Do for You and Your Association Business
•     November 7 - Association Storytelling
•     December 12 - Creating Fans, Not Just Clients
•     September 18 Quarterly Luncheon, The Abit Massey Lecture Series featuring GSAE past president Cynthia Mills, FASAE,CAE, CMC, CPC, CCRC, sponsored by Discover Dunwoody
•     *Date Change: Tuesday, November 5 Quarterly Luncheon & Tech Showcase at the Sonesta Gwinnett Place Atlanta,  sponsored by Richmond Regional Tourism
•     December 11 Holiday Luncheon, Awards Show, Silent Auction & Annual Business Meeting at the Atlanta Marriott Northeast/Emory Area. Sponsored by Jekyll Island Authority Convention &  Visitors Bureau and The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds-Lake Oconee

Please contact us ASAP if your property would like to host or sponsor a luncheon for 2020!
The GSAE Nominating Committee is soliciting names of members interested in serving on the GSAE Board of Directors. The Nominating Committee will include up to five at-large GSAE association executive members in good standing (Pat Dunwoody, CAE, Amy Kane, CAE, Tangela Monroe, MBA, CAE, Kevin Perry and Russ Webb) in addition to GSAE Chair Joel Peacock, Past Chair Gene Stinson, CAE, PCED, CEcD, HLM and Chair Elect Mary J. Wheatley, CAE, IOM.
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, 2020. 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 27, 2019.
The slate of nominees will be offered to the membership for review no later than November 8, 2019. Board members and officers will be accepted and installed at the GSAE Annual Business Meeting on December 11.
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 27, 2019. Learn more about the awards program here.
The Lodge at Gulf States Park
News Briefs
The Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) study group will meet on Monday, September 16 at 6-7:45 p.m.
South Georgia Nonprofits Network’s 2019 Nonprofit Leadership Conference is Tuesday, September 24 in Valdosta, Ga. Visit for more information.
The Georgia Group Sales Symposium will be on November 13-15, 2019 in Sandy Springs.
This month marks the start of year two for ASAE’s Professional Certification Coalition (PCC). Created by ASAE and the Institute for Credentialing Excellence - and with support from the Pillsbury law firm - the PCC informs policymakers about the importance of voluntary professional certification and helps uphold responsible standards to certify professionals in all lines of work. Check out the Coalition’s great work from year one.
$149 Members $199 Non-Members

This survey is conducted every two years by a group of state, local and regional societies of association executives with support from Whorton Marketing & Research.

•     Nearly 1,000 associations across the U.S. participated in this year's survey, including members and non-members of 23 SAEs.
•     Each SAE report features its own data, state-wide or for its region.
•     The national study compares compensation across states for 39 positions.

The full national and state reports present detailed compensation overall by budget and staff ranges, geographic scope and membership structure, and by state. Available in PDF format. Order online - GSAE members should sign in to your profile for the discounted rate.
If you need to lead discussions about the future of your industry or profession with volunteer leaders or staff, this is the resource for you. Looking Forward™ 2019 is the association sector's most recent, relevant and useful environmental scan of the association strategy environment.
A new video blog from Partners in Association Management on member needs, a new blog post from MemberClicks on improving your online membership application, a podcast from Lodging Leaders on hotel safety and preparing for an active shooter and more!
University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel
Wild Dunes Resort
GSAE Membership Directory & Buyers' Guide
The 2020 GSAE Membership Directory & Buyers' Guide will go to print soon and we want to make sure everything is exactly how you want it! Did you get a new job? Is your name spelled correctly? Do you have new contact information? Please update your profile by September 20.
Advertising space in the annual GSAE Membership Directory & Buyers' Guide is now available! Make sure your company has a lasting presence in front of GSAE members all year long. Ad sales close October 4. To be included, contact Debbi McClanahan, Media Director, at (352) 333-3490 or at
The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) is a non-profit membership organization that serves the needs of tree care professionals, and promotes the profession of arboriculture around...
Elevanta, an Atlanta area association management company, has experienced significant growth over the past several months with additional full-service association client groups. This is an...
We are looking for someone who can "bring the sunshine!"  The Home Builders Association of Georgia is entering a new phase in which we focus on service to the local associations around Georgia as we...



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