Work/Life: What is Your Organization Doing Today to Plan for Tomorrow?

Read responses to the Work/Life question from the fall issue of FORUM Magazine.

By About the Author

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Associations provide immense value through education and professional development. With education, one area where associations can really prepare for the future involves leveraging fast-evolving technologies to create original, high-quality content efficiently. Generative AI technologies like ChatGPT, Bard, and Jasper, for example, help us convert one form of content, such as a webinar, into another, such as a job aid or blog article. This process allows us to present valuable information in different formats, broaden our audience reach within and beyond our membership, and crucially, save staff time for other creative and strategic endeavors.

“We are building an office culture that appeals to our future workforce. Our association has transitioned to a completely remote work environment with flexible hours, generous PTO, parental leave, and more. We have prioritized a diverse and inclusive team, mental health and wellness, and professional development for our staff. These internal changes have reflected outward, to our members-at-large and they have also attracted Millennial and Gen Z members.”

Jessica Struve, CAE

Deputy Executive Director, Radiology Business Management Association

“Generative AI technology is of particular interest to the information management and governance professionals that ARMA represents. As such, we are heavily focused on providing resources and content that help our members understand the technology, how it impacts the way they work, and how they can best leverage now and the future. Everything from how we develop our conference sessions to webinar offerings to job aids and publications is focused on keeping our members informed about the direction of their profession and how they can be prepared for it.”

Erica Poff, PMP, CAE, IOM

Vice President of Education, ARMA International

“We’re leading by example and advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives embedded in the organizational culture and performance. We advise our Fortune 1000 corporations and other organizations on the emerging multicultural trends across the country with an emphasis on the rapid growth of the U.S. Hispanic segment. We leverage thought leadership, best practices, strategies, and resources to elevate talent, customers, suppliers, community relations, and employee resource group (ERG) initiatives.”

Eduardo Arabu, MSPPM, CDMP

Chief Executive Officer, National Hispanic Corporate Council

“I recently transitioned to a new organization, post-COVID-19, and have been pleasantly surprised by the commitment to a strong work-life balance. We’re encouraged to take PTO, participate in weekly staff walks and mindfulness and meditation coaching, and are required to be in the office just once a week. The Joint Commission is committed to whole-person wellness allowing me to realign my personal balance in a healthy way.”

Jen Swanson

Associate Director of Segment Marketing, The Joint Commission

“At ICMA, we are working to ensure our organization remains relevant to all local government professionals worldwide. This prepares us for the future as we are growing our network and developing globally-relevant products and services to help address today’s biggest challenges.”

Jeanette Gass

Senior Program Manager, Global Engagement, ICMA

“AI is evolving rapidly, affecting how members do business and how my associations operate. To stay ahead, we are regularly reviewing how the technology space is changing and integrating it into our strategic plans and operations.”

Sara L. Wood, MBA, CAE

Executive Director, North American Association of Commencement Officers and Public Media Business Association

“Association partnerships have always come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s time to add even more. The reality for association leaders is that sponsorships and partnerships cannot be one-size-fits all anymore. As decision-makers diversify and corporate partners’ goals evolve, we must have open conversations with our partners to create customized win-win-win scenarios for our associations, members, and partners. When considering the financial resources provided through these partnerships, it’s important to remember that companies aren’t looking to just give you money for special recognition anymore; they are looking to collaborate and invest in organizations and partnerships that can help them achieve their business goals and generate ROI—a metric likely measured differently by each company.”

Chris Beaman, CAE

Corporate Partnerships Officer, Sigma Foundation for Nursing

“Generative AI has the potential to revolutionize association membership models by offering unprecedented value to members. Drawing from SaaS business models, a new approach to member value could provide differentiated value at each tier, flexibility, and organizational-level offerings. For example, an AI-powered digital assistant familiar with the entirety of an association’s content could offer basic access at the entry-level, with premium levels offering broader content access and advanced features. Inspired by Slack and other tiered pricing models, associations can offer AI services at different price points, accommodating diverse needs while opening new revenue streams.”

Amith Nagarajan

Chairman, Blue Cypress

“As the Corporate Housing Providers Association (CHPA) looks ahead, we are thinking about the purpose of our events, how we support the attendees, and ultimately how to increase the ROI while meeting the strategic needs of the association. We realize that not every event suits every audience, but holistically we have the ability to provide value for all our member and non-member audiences. We’re also quickly realizing that in order to increase the ROI and overall attendee experience, we are going to have to explore expanded revenue streams to increase our ability to deliver these enhanced experiences.”

Nick Estrada, CAE, CMP

Deputy CEO, Corporate Housing Providers Association

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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