I Am Honored to Serve You, So Here’s the Plan
The rumble of an L train overhead. The cool lakefront wind on a hot summer day. The boats passing in the river just below Association Forum’s office. That first bite of deep-dish pizza. A fresh Italian ice. Chicago is truly a beautiful city bursting with diverse and rich experiences. I moved here from the DC area nine months ago, and it’s been a joy to immerse myself in these experiences.
My favorite experience since I moved to Chicago? Serving this great organization and plugging into a vibrant and dynamic association community. I am both amazed and humbled by the opportunity.
“Listen. Learn. And then you can lead.” That was the advice of Cie Armsted, MPA, DBA, Director of Diversity at the American College of Surgeons. I took Cie’s words to heart and I’ve been on a listening tour these past nine months. I’ve heard how Association Forum has impacted the career journeys countless leaders. I’ve been inspired and energized each time I meet another member who feels a deep connection to this organization.
Association Forum hired me to bring the new business strategy to life. That strategy consists of three main pillars—community, content, and consultation. But what does this mean for you, our members?
It means investing in developing content, events, and opportunities to empower leaders at ever career stage. Whether you’re a CEO, middle management, or a functional expert, we want our education to be the spark that ignites your best work yet.
It means telling powerful stories of current and emerging leaders within our community and making way for the next generation of association leadership.
Association Forum wants to help you transform. How? We’re focusing on four core areas:
- Using learning and content to help you find solutions to solve problems within your current work;
- Leveraging networking to help you find the support needed to navigate the ever-changing landscape of association business;
- Elevating your career through credentials and volunteerism;
- Helping you move through your career journey and achieve your own personal grand purpose.
How great is my job? I am excited to lead Association Forum as we begin to transform this organization, and ultimately, help you transform yourself too. Though we are at the very beginning of this journey, I am proud of the foundational work that the Board of Directors, committee leaders, and Association Forum staff have done this year.
Here are some highlights:
Approved changes to our bylaws to create more equity for our consulting members. We did this by creating a new Supporting Member category, which gives consultants an opportunity to serve Association Forum in new ways.
Invested funding to enhance Association Forum signature events and create unique learning experiences.
Invested in organizational infrastructure to help deliver higher quality, higher valued content and experiences.
Revamped our partnership program to add more win-win-win-win opportunities that better align with everyone’s long-term goals and visions for the industry.
Worked with the Welcoming Environment© Committee to create new focus and a call to action for the association community.
Partnered with non-traditional organizations and partners—such as universities, identity-based groups, and other non-profit organizations—to provide access to new thought leaders and resources to better support our members.
As we look ahead to the future, we need you! I believe that every single member has something to contribute. Whether you’re just starting your career and learning the ropes, or you’ve been doing this since memberships were sent through the U.S. mail, we want your insights. Association Forum is only as strong as the community we serve, and you are a key part of that community.
Make the decision to invest in yourself in the new year. If you haven’t done so already, this is a great time to renew your membership. If you really want to level up, resolve to volunteer with us! That could mean serving on a committee, taking part in our shared interest groups (SIGs), or writing an article for our magazine. The future of Association Forum is now! Your voice and your experience matter.
I look forward to seeing you in the new year. Whether it’s at an event, a Forum After Dark, or on a Zoom meeting, be sure to say hello! I am committed to making this organization the best it can be, and I want you to be a part of that. In the meantime, I’ll be soaking up this big, beautiful city!
Six Association Forum members earned their CAE this summer!
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Association Forum members have access to professional practice statements. A committee reviews these statements annually....