Work/Life: What is on Your Holiday Wish List?

By About the Author


As we continue to settle into our new realities, we know that all of us have a wish list of items that we would like to have or see happen to make our work life easier and/or further our association’s mission. With that in mind, we asked association executives: what is on your holiday wish list that will help your association flourish in 2023? 

Whether it was an actual product or a tool, or an intangible wish that would help the association as a whole, below are some of the responses we received.  Surely many of us can relate:


“Here’s what is on my wish list: DUEX Lite, mobile monitor, As we’re traveling and working remotely, I’d love to have this tool for all of my staff. 

I’d also love to take my staff on a retreat to celebrate and rejuvenate!”

Annie Storey, CAE
Executive Director, Illinois Section, American Water Works Association 
Naperville, IL

“A long-term hybrid-work dynamic that maximizes the benefits for our employees, members, and the industry. Is that too much to ask from Santa?”  

McKay Daniels, CEO
National Roofing Contractors Association
Rosemont, IL 


“On my holiday wish list is an email ticketing system for our Customer Service Center. We currently use an Outlook-based solution and want to be able to better understand and track our members’ needs as well as our level of service as we head in 2023.” 

Melissa Walling, MBA, CAE, IOM 
Associate Executive Director, ALA Offices & Member Relations 
Chicago, IL 


“I have two things on my Wish list:  Dell 27 Video Conferencing Monitor – C2723H (link): I work from home with two monitors—a big 31.5″ display and my open 13″ laptop on the side of the monitor because it has a webcam. Looking sideways at a webcam all the time during Zoom/Teams meetings isn’t the best thing for your neck, ya know! Hoping to pick up this monitor soon to help straighten things out.  Asana for Business (link) – During the pandemic, I knew that we needed project management software to keep things organized while our team worked remotely. TMA lives in Asana—we build conference planning deliverables, marketing calendars, employee onboarding checklists, and more. We have been using Asana Premium for over a year now and may finally be moving to the business version. Will my finance director approve this one? Fingers crossed!”

Laura Caputo J.D.
Chief of Staff to the CEO, Turnaround Management Association 
Chicago, IL 


“I’d love to see an information sharing and analysis organization focused on associations. We run an ISAO for our membership and the data and community around it have grown exponentially specific threat intel for this community would be especially interesting.” 

Randy Gross
CISO & Chief Innovation Officer, CompTIA 
Downers Grove, IL


“At the top of the list is that our members in each of the associations we serve would have sufficient number of employees in their respective companies and organizations. Three of our associations are in the healthcare industry. They are turning away patients because they can’t find enough staff. The other works in the construction industry. There is so much work to be done to build and repair infrastructure and not enough workers. If they were all fully staffed, more could volunteer in their respective associations and in some cases, more would be able to attend association events.
The other wish is that more people would choose association management or nonprofit management as a career.” 

Janet Seelhoff, CAE 
President and Owner, McBride & Associates 
Omaha, NE 


“All I could wish for is more time in the day to be able to accomplish the far too long task list I have. But that’s the same at any job.” 

Nicole Bradle, MA, CMP, CAE 
Council Director, Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) 
Franklin Park, IL 


“I am interested in finding an affordable alternative technology for board and committee management. We had a platform that we really liked—good, centralized document storage, easy to use agenda packet building minute taking, solid board/committee member communication portal—but their renewal priced us way out of our budget.” 

Mark McSweeney, CAE 
Vice President, Association Strategies, Raybourn Group International 
Indianapolis, IN 


“What is on my holiday wish list? Completely accurate, accessible, and dynamic member data so we could ‘see’ when, where, and how members progress through their careers.” 

Maureen Geoghegan  
Chief Membership and Communications Officer, American Society of Anesthesiologists 
Schaumburg, Illinois 


About the Author

The mission of Association Forum is to advance the professional practice of association management. Founded in 1916, Association Forum serves 3,000 association professionals whose efforts serve more than 27 million members and generate $10 billion in global annual expenditures. Visit for more information.

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