GSAE eNewsletter

Georgia Society of Association Executives

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University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education
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Tom Cunningham, vice president, senior economist, and regional executive for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, will give us an economic update.

Prior to his appointment as regional executive, he was associate director of research. He has served as a vice president in the research department, where he has been responsible for the regional and Latin American research teams.  He has served on the Bank's Personnel, Information Technology, and Risk Management Committees and as a member of the Federal Reserve System's Information Security Group and Technology Services Council.  He also was the acting director of the Bank's Center for Real Estate Analytics and the interim head of the finance group.  Learn more about Dr. Cunningham here.

10:30-11:30 am - New Member Orientation (open to all new and prospective members)
11:00-12:00 - Participation Fair & Networking Reception
12:00 - 1:30 pm - Luncheon featuring Tom Cunningham

GSAE Participation Fair
Arrive early to meet with the 2014 Committee and Shared Interest Group leaders, learn about the important work these groups are doing, and get involved in GSAE!

GSAE Committees: Engage, Connect, Support
We understand your time is valuable, and we strive to make volunteer service convenient and rewarding. From welcoming new members to helping experienced ones prepare for the CAE exam, planning the education programming to making recommendations to the Board of Directors, GSAE volunteers truly do the work of the organization.  You may learn more about our Committees here.

GSAE's Shared Interest Groups (SIGs) offer one of the best resources for association executives and professionals.  These self-directed groups of GSAE members focus on a particular area and delve into various topics within that area.  In addition to learning from the "experts" in a particular area of interest, GSAE's SIGs offer members a place to discuss with peers issues of personal relevance.  You may learn more about our Shared Interest Groups here.

GSAE Member: $25 Early Bird; $40 Late (after Feb. 14)
GSAE Guest: $35 Early Bird; $50 Late (after Feb. 14)

Thank you to our sponsor:
Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort

Thank you to our host property:
Hotel Capitol Park Atlanta
Nancy Wilkerson, Director of Regional Sales
Sharon Johnson, Senior Sales Manager

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

As a CAE Approved Provider educational program related to the CAE exam content outline, this program may be applied for 1 credit toward your CAE application or renewal professional development requirements.

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 timeframe 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.

Associations strive to be the source of education and knowledge to help members reach their professional and industry goals. It’s becoming increasingly important for association staff to remember to keep theirown knowledge banks filled when it comes to continuing education. In this episode of GSAEtv, we’ll hear from association executives how they ensure their staff receives the professional development they need to grow.

With Valentine's Day coming up next week, it's a good time to examine how you can show members more love, if not your never-ending affection. Kelly Donovan shares how, member engagement, another term for "member love," is constantly at the forefront of your staff’s and board members’ minds. Members are the foundation of associations. They fund association activity, volunteer to keep programs and events going, and advocate for the success of the association and industry at large.
Member News
One hundred forty-two association executives recently received their Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential from the CAE Commission of ASAE, joining more than 4,000 industry leaders worldwide.   "On behalf of the CAE Commission, it is with great pleasure that I recognize the achievements of the 142 newly-certified association executives who have attained the highest level of professional competency in the area of association management," said Steven C. Echard, IOM, CAE, chair of the CAE Commission.  GSAE's newest CAEs are:
  • Kristen Hartman, CAE, Director of Member Value & Experience, Professional Photographers of America (PPA)
  • Angela Holland, CAE, Vice President, Association Services, Georgia Association of Convenience Stores
  • Sharon Shuford, CAE, CTC, CITE, LEED GA, Director of Events & Professional Development, Building Owners and Managers Association of Georgia
  • David Waldrep, CAE, CEO/Executive Director, Medical Association of Atlanta
The Healthcare Convention & Exhibitors Association (HCEA) is on a path of reinvention with a number of new initiatives focused on membership growth, value and education.  To help lead the charge, HCEA recently announced the addition of Mike Pennington, CAE, seasoned association and event management professional, to the HCEA team.  Mike will serve as Executive Vice President and will focus on strategic direction, goals and achievements for the association.  HCEA leaders praised Pennington’s background as an association management leader and business development expert, as well as his penchant for achieving strategic objectives, and said he would be an asset for the association as it takes on ambitious initiatives.  Read the full press release here.
Leslie Avery, National Sales Manager, is delighted to share that Shepard Exposition Services has acquired Arizona-based US Expo & Convention Services.  Both of US Expo's operations in the Phoenix and Tucson areas will be integrated into Shepard's countrywide system of branch operations, adding to Shepard's national footprint and presence in the U.S. trade show industry.  Read the full press release here.
The fantastic sales team at our host hotel for the 2012 Annual Meeting was recently named Sales Team of the Year for JHM hotels, their ownership group.  JHM recognized the team as one that "has strived and worked together with great effort to achieve their revenue goals, and RevPAR Index target, and has shown great effort and results."

The sales team also recently received the Hyatt Franchise Sales Team of the Year award.  Congratulations to our GSAE representative, Hollie Young, and all her colleagues at the Hyatt Regency Greenville.
Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau
Macon Marriott City Center
GSAE News & Events
Tuesday, February 11


GSAE-Kellen Company Discussion Group - Innovations in Member Development
8:00 - 9:30 am
Kellen Company - 1100 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite 300, Atlanta
Register online.  Breakfast will be provided.

Thursday, February 13
GSAE Small Staff SIG Lunch - New Member Retention: A Year in the Life of a New Member
12:00 - 1:30 pm
Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center - 800 Spring Street NW, Atlanta
Please RSVP by Monday, Feb. 10 to or

Thursday, February 20
Webinar (sponsored by GSAE and Colorado Society of Association Executives): Five Elements of a World Class Board
2:00 - 3:00 pm EST
$45 members; $75 non-members
Register online
A great board is achieved through deliberate design and does not happen accidentally. We will explore the specific components required to make the transition from a good board to a great board. This framework is required to keep the board operating strategically and will optimize the board/staff relationship.

Tuesday, February 25
Tax Exempt Association (T.E.A) Group Luncheon - Board Policies, Responsibilities and Orientations
11:15 am - 1:00 pm
Maggiano's - 3368 Peachtree Road, Atlanta
$25; RSVP by Feb. 20 to or (404) 262-7920

Thursday, March 20
Webinar (sponsored by Ohio Society of Association Executives): Reading, Understanding and Presenting Financial Statements to the Board: Part 1
2:00 - 3:00 pm EST
$45 members; $75 non-members
Register online

Tuesday, March 25
Webinar (sponsored by Ohio Society of Association Executives): Reading, Understanding and Presenting Financial Statements to the Board: Part 2
2:00 - 3:00 pm EST
$45 members; $75 non-members
Register online

As an association executive, one of your most important responsibilities is to understand and present your organization’s overall financial picture to the Board of Directors.  Join Jason Elliott, CPA, controller, The Ohio Society of CPAs and OSAE for an informative, 2-part discussion on reading, understanding and presenting financial statements - even if you’re not a financial expert.
Thank you for your membership in GSAE in 2013!  We remain committed to building a sense of community within the association management profession and among our corporate suppliers.  By offering a wide array of member activities, we strengthen our connections with one another.  Renew your membership online or email Jane Anne if you have any questions.  If there are multiple members from your company/organization, contact Jane Anne for a group invoice.  If you'd like to pay your invoice with a credit card online, you can always use our secure payment form.
Our tiered-dues structure makes it easier and more affordable than ever for multiple people from the same organization to take full advantage of GSAE membership!  If you have any questions, please let us know.  We look forward to a fantastic 2014 with you!
News Briefs
The only legislative fly-in for association professionals is fast approaching.  On March 25–26, 2014, association executives will visit Washington, DC to advocate for vital association issues.  Last year, a record number of participants came from 36 states, and this year the issues facing the association community and our exempt purposes are even greater.

This year’s sessions will feature briefs on timely issues like tax reform and nonprofit governance as well as a primer on getting the most out of your congressional meetings.  In addition, get valuable face time with colleagues from your home state, association CEOs, the ASAE Board of Directors, and other leaders in the association community.  To help make this a geographically diverse event, ASAE is offering a scholarship to those outside the DC-metro area.  To RSVP for this year’s fly-in, contact Mary Kate Cunningham at or by phone at (202) 626-2787.
GSAE is proud to partner with Institute for Organization Management, the U.S. Chamber’s professional development program for non-profit executives, and offer two $500 partial tuition scholarships to one of Institute’s 2014 sites.  The two scholarships, available to any Georgia Society of Association Executives’ members, will be awarded to students attending Institute for the first time to assist with enrollment fees and cannot be combined with any other Institute scholarships.

For over 90 years, Institute has educated association and chamber leaders across the country through its national program, highly rated curriculum and high caliber instructors.  Thousands of executives have attended Institute sites across the country to strengthen their management skills, learn industry best practices, and gain a broad national perspective from peers.  Institute has helped them build stronger organizations, become strong business advocates and better serve their members.  In addition, you can earn up to 96 credit hours toward your CAE certification as Institute’s curriculum is directly tied to the CAE’s body of knowledge.

Upon completion of the Institute program, graduates receive the IOM recognition which allows them to use the letters "IOM" in public mention and professional correspondence.  The IOM recognition signifies the completion of 96 hours of course instruction in nonprofit management and commitment to the industry.

If you are interested in this scholarship opportunity, contact Wendy at by April 21st.

Early registration deadline for Midwest and Southeast Institute is April 25th.
Early registration deadline for West and Northeast Institute is May 30th.

For more information about Institute’s curriculum, sites, and dates, visit the Institute Web site and Prospective Student Toolkit to help you gain insight into the program.
The Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP) supports individuals from under-represented identity groups in the association community, to advance into the ranks of leadership in the association profession.  DELP scholars participate in an accelerated leadership program of education, mentoring, and volunteer service in the association community.  Learn more here.

DELP online application to the next DELP class, 2014–2016, is now available.  All online applications must be received at ASAE by March 14, 2014.  Questions? Call (202) 326-9527 or email
When you’re hanging around your association executive fellows, it doesn’t take long for the conversation to digress to the topic of the association management system (AMS).  And when it does, no association exec is lacking emotion about the technology that they have to use every day.  

Selecting an AMS is one of the most important investments an association has to make.  And as humans, we highly value the opinions of our family, friends, and peers.  With these two things in mind, Review My AMS has been born.  Review My AMS is a website where executives can speak openly and honestly about their experiences with their AMS.

The site allows association executives to anonymously review, comment on, and rate their AMS based on customer service, ease of use, reliability, and customization.  End users share their review for free then they get to read all the reviews of their peers for free.  It’s a beautiful thing!       

Share your review now at  Please note that all reviews are rigorously monitored for legitimacy.

As an association executive, it’s been exciting to share the story of how this site was incarnated and even more exciting to gain great advice from many respected leaders who have this site on their radar.  If you want to chat more about Review My AMS, I’d love to hear from you. Please contact me at or (850) 491-1390.
The Georgia Chapter of Meeting Professionals International (GaMPI) announces a strategic partnership with nine of the SoutheastĀ's most influential associations, including GSAE, to produce Eventeract April 23-24, 2014 at AmericasMart.

A revolutionary event evolving from the DNA of the Meetings Exploration Conference (MEC), Eventeract is an exciting new experience that will challenge the way the event and hospitality industry relate.  The event opens Wednesday, April 23, 2014.  Eventeract will feature 90,000 square feet of education, innovation and networking covering a variety of disciplines including, but not limited to: Corporate and Association events, Food & Beverage, Meeting Design, Decor & Event Design, Meeting Planning Strategies, Tactics & Design, Technology, Audio Visual, Incentives, Revenue Management, Sales, and DMC Services.  Partners include: SITE, GSAE, SGMP, PCMA SE, SPIN, NSA-GA, HSMAI, GMIC Atlanta and ISES.  Learn more!
Hiring National Guard members and other veterans creates real benefits for your company, your community and veterans and their families. The nonprofit American Jobs for America’s Heroes (AJAH) campaign gives you free, direct access to of highly trained National Guard members and other vets who are transitioning to civilian jobs.
Send us your event photos and captions to!  Sign-up for our Expanded Digital Magazine that includes videos and slide shows as well as our Hot Deals eBlast!
Georgia Society of Association Executives
1270 Caroline St. NE Ste. D120 #359 Atlanta, GA 30307