Sharing the Knowledge

Association Forum’s 2020–2021 Welcoming Environment® Initiatives

By the FORUM magazine editors

FRM SepOct ITK Initiatives

As one of our association’s core values, Association Forum is committed to not only creating a Welcoming Environment, but also helping our community learn about inclusivity. Following is a look at some of the Welcoming Environment® programming offered in 2020, as well as what’s to come.

We’d like to thank the partners who have supported these efforts and helped make these programs possible. Vetted Solutions, a recruiting and consulting firm focused on associations, chose to support Welcoming Environment initiatives because they mirror their own values. “What is so appealing to us may not be any one or two initiatives as much as the opportunity it all creates for leverage,” says R. Norris Orms, FACHE, FASAE, CAE, vice president of Vetted Solutions in Chicago. He goes on to say that the initiatives “provide a central mechanism to drive the process in an organized way and to share information and ideas about what works and works well to advance the ‘big idea.’ It’s inclusivity in action — making us more together than we are individually.”

Association Management Center (AMC) has also partnered with Association Forum to support DE&I initiatives. “As our society continues to confront complex social issues that impact our communities, AMC is here to support our staff as well as our association and industry partners,” says CEO Steve Smith, MS CAE FAAMSE. “We stand together with Association Forum to create an environment that is welcoming and inclusive to all. AMC is committed to building a workforce that is diverse across many dimensions including ability, age, gender, gender identity, education, ethnicity, nationality, political opinion, professional experience, race, racial identity, religion, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status. We are proud of the people who have chosen to take this journey with us as we continue to learn and grow together. We also look forward to the learning, shared experiences and changes we will experience as a company because of it.”

In addition, Hilton also supports the work being done with these programs. “As a business of people serving people, Hilton is committed to creating welcoming and inclusive experiences for our team members and guests,” says Amy Clark, managing director for association group sales, Hilton worldwide sales. She adds, “That means creating an environment where all of our more than 420,000 team members feel included and supported, and are able to extend that experience to our guests. Whether it is providing resources for our team members so they are able to reach their full potential, or offering diversity training to all team members to meet our high standards for cultural sensitivity, we are dedicated to ensuring we maintain a Welcoming Environment for all.”

2020 Welcoming Environment Programming:

  • Publication of executive summary addressing research study conducted in 2019 on how associations are creating Welcoming Environments
  • Virtual Summit on Welcoming Environment: July 22, 2020
  • Welcoming Environment Research Findings session at Forum Forward: August 26, 2020
  • This issue of FORUM magazine!

2021 Welcoming Environment Programming:

  • Conversation Circle: February 2021
  • National Summit on Welcoming Environment: Spring 2021

Get the latest details on these events at

Written by FORUM Magazine editors.

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