How Association Executives Are Prepping for the New Year

Local association leaders weighed in about their plans, hopes and more for 2022.

By the FORUM Magazine editors

A track and field starting line shows the year 2022.

While the past two years haven’t been easy, there is an undercurrent of optimism among association executives for 2022. Four local association leaders talk about their strategic approaches for the new year. 

Wylecia Wiggs Harris, Ph.D., CAE, CEO, American Health Information Management Association

When I think about 2022, one wWylecia Wiggs Harrisord comes to mind: leadership. We will host dynamic conferences, like our Advocacy Summit and the AHIMA22 annual conference, where health information professionals can grow the skills they need to be leaders in an evolving healthcare ecosystem.

Externally, thought leadership is a priority for AHIMA. Our policy statements impact real people, and we will continue to support public policy that advances equity, privacy, security and affordability.

At AHIMA, our mission is to empower people to impact health. We are living our strategic plan as we lead the industry through this season of change.

Kimberly Eskew, MBA, CAE, executive director, Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates/Smithbucklin

Photo of Kimberly EskewGiven the state of the past two years, the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates (SGNA) reexamined its purpose, mission and vision to hit the ground running on its 2022 strategic plan. In partnership with Smithbucklin staff, SGNA approached the budget process with conservative expectations for in-person events, continued virtual education opportunities and a strong focus on strategic priorities.

Success in 2022 will be defined by meeting the evolving needs of our members and making a positive impact within the nursing community.

Geof Brown, CAE, CEO, National Association of Personal Financial Advisors

Picture of Geof BrownWe’ve spent the better part of the quarter planning for 2022. The last few years have shown us the importance of developing sound annual operating plans to support our strategic framework. 2022 is shaping up to be as disruptive as 2021, and we’re planning to leverage those experiences for the new year.

We’re in the process of taking the following steps for 2022: reviewing our strategic framework, acquiring audience intelligence to inform our decision-making and investing in our staff. We weathered the bulk of the pandemic well and look forward to better financial and engagement outcomes in 2022.

Alpha M. Brady, JD, senior associate executive director and chief governance officer, American Bar Association

Photo of Alpha BradyThe health and safety of the ABA’s staff, members and volunteers are the focus of our efforts as we head into 2022. While telework will still be widely used, in January staff largely returns to the office for one or more days each week. We want our “welcome back” to be as seamless and worry-free as possible. Our mandatory vaccine policy, enhanced cleaning practices at ABA facilities and a more flexible approach to telework are a few ways we’ve positioned ourselves for a successful 2022.

Along with reopening our offices, the ABA returns to primarily in-person meetings in 2022. This includes our Midyear Meeting in Seattle from Feb. 9–14, 2022. We are looking forward to seeing our friends and colleagues in person again — some we haven’t seen in two years; others have never met their coworkers. With the pandemic hopefully moving behind us, we are also eager to focus more on growth, new opportunities and other positive efforts.

In recent years, the ABA has done a successful job keeping spending under control. The challenge, as with many other associations, has been dues-revenue growth, particularly during a historic pandemic.  We’re developing new marketing strategies that showcase the benefits of ABA membership. Our communications are more targeted and meaningful and demonstrate the value of a lifetime of membership for attorneys. We also plan a greater focus on retaining existing ABA dues-paying members, as well as recruitment.

The last two years have been challenging, but also a time of learning and adapting. As a result, the ABA is a more resilient and innovative organization, better focused on meeting our members’ needs and providing them professional value no matter what the national economic climate. We will utilize what we’ve learned and focus our efforts so that 2022 is a successful year for the ABA and America’s legal professionals.


Does your association have big plans for 2022? We’d love to hear about them. Send an email to FORUM Magazine to tell us what you’re planning for the new year. Check out more leadership articles here.

About the Author

Written by the FORUM Magazine editors.

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