Message from the Chair

As we come to the end of a tumultuous year, I look back on my first six months as chair of NYSAE's Board and realize that even amid the tremendous challenges and uncertainty, we have made great strides in moving NYSAE and the association profession forward.

Bold Steps ... Broad Reach

Weeks after I stepped into this role July 1, the chairs of NYSAE's committees, engagement groups and task forces held their annual retreat - virtually - to discuss goals, strategic priorities, and to begin to plan for 2020 - 2021. Our Spring update mentioned how NYSAE pivoted quickly from in-person meetings to live virtual events. Since the first one on March 20th (Covid-19's Impact on associations) we have held more than 30 programs!  That's nearly one per week, and  many can be accessed here. During the pandemic , programs have been FREE to members, with select programs free to nonmembers as well. We have been pleased to welcome many nonmember attendees from across the country, highlighting our value to association professionals and emphasizing how even while working from home, we are a vibrant and relevant community.

Programs to Help You Succeed Now

Programs, such as Navigating the New Normal and Planning for the Future, have addressed how to manage and survive in tumultuous times. We have covered critical association topics like virtual meetings, special events and trade shows, awards programs, strategic planning, financial management, and membership. We launched a new Coffee Break webinar series, 20 minutes packed with information and tips, starting with Cultivating Powerful Relationships in a Global Pandemic.

The ExecConnect and Executive Women in Nonprofits engagement groups continue to offer timely topics such as Stabilizing and Growing in an Uncertain Time, and Fundraising and Making the Ask During a Crisis. We demonstrated our commitment to helping association professionals earn the CAE (Certified  Association Executive) credential by holding a second program this year for CAE candidates and those considering it, to an attentive audience, and launching a new member benefit, CAE Mentor, to connect those pursuing the credential with the guidance they need to succeed.  And speaking of benefits, Office Hours is exceedingly popular!

Showcasing YOU

NYSAE offers opportunities to be recognized and the Synergy Awards program did just that, with plenty of pizzazz as well as several new awards. Next year's program will include a Crisis Innovation Award to honor six organizations which during the pandemic helped to reduce suffering, mobilized responses, provided solace, and assisted the people of NYC in partnership with government. The 2021 program will be held live in October.

We're Growing

With many thanks to Membership Engagement Co-Chairs Jennifer Ian and Eileen Arnold for their amazing work in recruitment, we continue to attract new members, including many who joined because of the community they found when attending our virtual programs as a guest. This year we also welcomed eight new organizational members, bringing the total to nearly 25. New members enjoy virtual meet  and greets with NYSAE leaders and each other in new member virtual meetings hosted by the Membership Engagement Committee.

Giving Back   

 Many of our activities would not exist without the dedicated support of committee and task force members. Thank you to all our volunteers! We welcomed many new committee members this year. You can now join a committee throughout the year - email us at for more information!

What Else is Brewing (besides the new Coffee Break webinars!) ?

This fall we formed a task force to redefine and resurrect our Foundation, which has been inactive in recent years. We expect the Foundation will re-emerge with a mission to support education, a key to all our success.  Look for updates in 2021! A Racial & Social Justice task force was recently formed to ensure that we advance belonging, inclusion, equity and diversity (DEI) in and through NYSAE. We believe all associations and industries should appreciate and equitably reflect the communities in which they operate and those they serve.   Finally, I am happy to share that our 2021 Meet NY is scheduled live for Wednesday, June 23.

It hasn't been an easy year but I'm so proud of all we have accomplished together, and I look forward to what's ahead. Thank you for your support and participation.

I wish you all well and send my best wishes for a happy new year!


Joanne S. Barry, CAE

CEO/Executive Director, New York State Society of CPAs