Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Become a Member
Community Search
2017 AM Speakers
Share |

Explore our Annual Meeting  speakers

Full schedule download

Wednesday Workshops


Greg Fine, FASAE, CAE, Turnaround Management Association

Executive Presence for Aspiring CEOs

Wednesday, 1:00 - 4:00 pm (3 hours)

Are you a senior association professional who is ready to climb the slippery slope to the top? Designed to empower senior association leaders who aspire to chief executive, this high-level learning program builds upon existing strengths and introduces tools to expand your leadership capabilities, build your confidence, and transform your effectiveness. In an interactive session, the facilitators will provide insights as provocateurs, practitioners, and story-tellers; while crowdsourcing this session live with you in order to:

  • Understand the full scope of the chief executive function.
  • Master the difference between executive presence and leadership presence
  • Build your leadership and strategic capacity to maximize organizational dynamics
  • Develop your leadership presence to enhance your potential as a future chief executive
  • Answer those burning questions about what it’s really like to be CEO in a safe space

Breakout: Building and Nurturing a Culture of Innovation

Thursday, 1:30 pm

Innovative practices are essential to the continued success and growth of our organizations. As such, the ingenuity that results in brilliant ideas for enhanced educational programming, compelling new products, or more valued member benefits cannot be left to chance. Innovation takes process and a supporting culture. In this fast-paced and entertaining program, Greg Fine, CAE, global CEO of the Turnaround Management Association, shines a light on the qualities and practices that characterize a culture of innovation. Learn why trust is an essential element, find out what is the greatest enemy of innovation and how to combat it, and learn when it's best for the CEO needs to stay quiet and stay out. Best of all, learn why we can all innovate. Walk away with new ideas for unlocking innovation in your association today.

Cynthia Mills, FASAE, CAE, CMC, CPC, CCRC, The Leader's Haven

Executive Presence for Aspiring CEOs

Wednesday, 1:00 - 4:00 pm (3 hours)

See above.


Breakout: CEO Alchemy for the 21st Century: Culture, Competency, & Chemistry

Thursday, 10:30 am

Everything is changing so fast, leaving leaders excited and yet overwhelmed. The CEO is charged to be the one point of stability for everyone – the place the Board can turn to with confidence, the key to focus for the staff, the source of trust as a lobbyist, and the Sherpa for the volunteer eager to engage.  CEO’s must master new competencies, design relevant cultures for diverse memberships, and be chameleons of chemistry to maintain credibility and likeability.  Built around experiential tales of mastery and failure, this session provides an opportunity for CEOs to talk honestly together about how challenging the position is and to walk away with insights on 21st century demands to successfully lead and continuously transform their associations.

Sponsored by The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa.

Tyra Hilliard, PhD, JD, CMP

Understanding Difficult Contract Clauses – the Big Three & the “Other” Clauses Workshop

Wednesday, 2:00 - 4:00 pm (2 hours)

Performance clauses like attrition and cancellation are challenging to negotiate and sometimes expensive to exercise.  Force majeure is the very definition of a “grey area.”  Using provided scenarios as well as examples from the audience, we’ll talk about the law that supports (and doesn’t support) common contract language and minor changes in wording that can yield huge dividends in protection. The second part of the program will address issues like construction and remodeling, conflicting in-house groups, surcharges and fees, environmental issues and more.

Sponsored by The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa.

Callie Walker, MemberClicks

5 Steps to Creating an Inbound Marketing Strategy for Your Association Workshop

Wednesday, 2:00 - 3:00 pm (1 hour)

With the changing information technology landscape, the old ways of reaching new members aren’t as effective these days. Intrusive marketing techniques such as advertising or email marketing are drowned out in a sea of noise. Enter inbound marketing, a powerful way to attract new members and keep current members engaged. Inbound marketing techniques are all about offering valuable content as a way to engage with potential members. And associations are particularly well positioned to benefit from these techniques, because they already have the expertise to offer this content. Best of all, inbound marketing won’t break the bank – it’s a cost-effective way to reach a huge audience. By following these five steps, association professionals will be able to tackle this new source of members as well as augment all of their other acquisition efforts.

Keynote speakers & their sessions


Beth Z. Your Nerdy Best Friend

Keynote: A Day in the Life of an Office Nerd

Thursday, 9:00 am

We have mind-blowing technology everywhere we turn, but how does it all work together to make you more productive, organized and awesome?


This fast-moving, laugh-filled session takes you hour by hour through a day in the life of a tech-savvy executive. You’ll learn how an office nerd solves a security crisis before 10 a.m., learns to make more of a lunch hour with an extra set of virtual hands, saves money on software before the staff meeting and brings the team together online before the day is done.

Sponsored by Lanier Islands Legacy Lodge.


Breakout: 29 Tech Tools to Create Cool Content for Social Media

Thursday, 10:30 am

The most popular posts on social media are pictures and videos, and with a few easy (and free!) tech tools, you can transform your messages into share-worthy graphics that your members will love. This action-packed session will give you dozens of sites and apps that will help you elevate the quality of your social media posts and other material. 

Sponsored by James H. Rainwater Conference Center.


Shelly Alcorn, CAE

Dispatches From a Disrupted World

Friday, 9:00 am

"The future is already here, it's just unevenly distributed."  - Author William Gibson


In today's technological world, exponential change is the rule not the exception. 2016 and the first few months of 2017 have given us a veritable explosion of new breakthroughs thought impossible just a few short years ago. Join us as we take a fast paced look at everything from insurance companies replacing their staff with IBM's Watson to entrepreneur Elon Musk's plan to bring "neural lace" computer-to-brain interface to an "installation facility" near you and everything in between. "Deep tipping points," are growing ever closer and we have some thinking to do. Let's explore some of the deeper philosophical questions around how technology is changing us and what key questions we should be asking ourselves as we move into this new frontier.


Breakout: The Integral Association

Friday, 10:30 am

Although many may consider association governance to be a 'static, policy based' system, the fact is your association's success is highly dependent upon the social system in which it operates and the larger societal context in which it finds itself. Truly effective governance strategies must drill down past the obvious and embrace the fact that any system is only as healthy as its participants and the world around them. If we begin to see the association itself as a living system, we can develop tools to help us meet our members where they are and get them where they need to go. We will explore the use of components from philosopher Ken Wilber's AQAL model as a new way to evaluate our current processes and see how we can use it to calibrate our approach to a rapidly evolving future. Sponsored by Marietta Wealth.


  confirmed Additional speakers & Breakouts

Lowell Aplebaum, CAE

Breakout: Creating the Member Story

Thursday, 10:30 am 

When is the last time you bought something because of the product brochure?  Yet, the majority of association’s marketing budgets still go to traditional sales medium.  This session will focus on how we capture, enhance, and expand the member story – highlighting the association experience through their authentic voice.  Walk away with new ideas on how to create the association evangelists that will tell your story for you.

Breakout: Membership Case Study Part II

Thursday, 3:15 pm

Hear a dialogue between Lowell Aplebaum, CAE and Trevor Mitchell, MBA, CAE about membership models, and the process of membership model evaluation and transformation. Interactive *and* enlightening.

Sponsored by Sheraton Memphis Downtown.

Tracy King, MA, CAE, InspirEd

Breakout: Learning Leadership - Meeting Disruption with Design

Thursday, 10:30 am

Associations are facing an increasingly competitive continuing education market, and our member-learner expectations for what they want, when they want it, and how much they are willing to pay for it are shifting. Which next steps will yield the greatest impact? Let's talk about a model for designing our success that sharpens our focus upon three critical components of learning leadership. If education is central to our value proposition, our future success depends upon meeting disruption with design.

Panelist, Tele-and Virtual Work, Thursday, 3:15 pm

Ragan Cohn, CAE, NCCPA

Breakout: Facilitators Tool Kit

Thursday, 1:30 pm

Whether you are leading department meetings, board retreats or ground-breaking summits, practical facilitation tools and techniques can boost your effectiveness and make your meetings more productive, meaningful, and fun for participants. During this interactive session with Ragan Cohn, CAE, participants will get a behind the flip chart view of several tried and true facilitation strategies and how to put those same methods to work in your own meetings.

Trevor Mitchell, MBA, CAE, American MENSA

Breakout: Leveraging Project Management for Success

Thursday, 1:30 pm

Explore the fundamental principles of project management that every professional should know and how to put the information to use for your organization. We will explore the importance of project management, how to use it for organizational prioritization and buy in, and the skills needed to implement successfully.

Breakout: Membership Case Study Part II

Thursday, 3:15 pm

Hear a dialogue between Lowell Aplebaum, CAE and Trevor Mitchell, MBA, CAE about membership models, and the process of membership model evaluation and transformation. Interactive *and* enlightening.


Christian Hardigree, JD, Kennesaw State University

 Breakout: The ICK Factor: Handling Hotel Disasters

Thursday, 1:30 pm

Bed bugs, hypodermic needles, pools, prostitution, sex trafficking – any number of unsavory problems can plague the hotel industry.  Christian Hardigree served as legal counsel to hotels and casinos in Las Vegas for many years, while also teaching in the hospitality management program at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  Her work in the industry has provided her with countless examples of the issues that crop up when human nature (and bad luck) are at their worst; fortunately, she can also provide solutions.


Tele- and Virtual Work Panel

Thursday, 3:15 pm

Discussion of how and when it's a good idea to "go virtual," strategies to keep a team engaged and in touch, plus tips on how the pros manage their productivity and measure progress. Features Lori K. Spear, CAE, Amy Clark, Tripp McKenney and Tracy King, MA, CAE.

Regina Robuck, Meeting Expectations

 Breakout: Membership Case Study Part I - Build the “Buzz”- Increasing Membership and ROI through Creative Campaigns
Thursday, 3:15 pm
From conception to execution, how do you create a “bee”autiful, impactful membership campaign? In this session, we will discuss the unique way that complimentary memberships can lead to actual dollars. Hear how the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) attracted 1,500 new members in one week! We will discuss the process of developing a creative campaign, the buy-in factor from the board, the results and “lesson learned” insights. Sponsored by Sheraton Memphis Downtown.

Various GSAE Rock Stars, moderated by Mike Pennington, CAE

Breakout: Tech Ninjas Explore Social Media Case Studies

Thursday, 3:15 pm

Avoid Social Media Mayhem! The GSAE Tech Ninjas will be looking at social media use and marketing and going over what works and what doesn't. We've pulled some great examples and will delve into best practices.   Come hear how to get likes and engagement, and bring your questions for us to explore together!


Matt Gunning, CPA - new accounting standards

The Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2016-14 will change how nonprofits classify net assets and present financial statements.

Matt Mallory, CWCA - insurance check up

A 60,000 and up close look to for associations risk management needs: What do association executives need to be aware of in the marketplace? What is happening in the current market? What are the relevant coverage today, compared to 3,5,7 years ago?

Breakout: What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You

Thursday, 3:15 pm


Jim Thompson, IOM, CAE, Capital Hill Management Services

Breakout: Qualities of Highly Performing Boards

Friday, 10:30 am
It doesn’t take very long working with boards to understand the difference between boards that are high performing and those that are not. This session will review the habits of high performing boards and talk about the outcomes of poorly performing boards versus highly effective boards.

Various GSAE Rock Star Speakers

Breakout: Set GSAE on Fire with Your Great Ideas

Friday, 10:30 am

Back by popular demand! Join 8 GSAE leaders as they share 5 minutes of knowledge and expertise.


  • Ashley Goodin, CAE - Even I Have Standards
  • Molly Whobrey, CAE - From LA to CAE
  • Damian Kavanagh, Ed.S., CAE - Make the Learning Continue with a Kick Ass Survey
  • Erin Hall - Confessions from the "Dark Side"
  • Mike Pennington, CAE - How to Choose an Ignite Topic
  • Amy Kane, CAE - Passion Planning
  • Russ Webb - Even More Cool Tech


Mary Kate Cunningham, ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership

Greg Melia, CAE, ITN Productions

Breakout: Take it Online!

Strategies to tell your advocacy story to (and with!) the masses

Friday, 10:30 am

Every association has a story to tell about how it helps make the world a better place , but how can you make YOUR advocacy message stand out? In this session, we’ll look at video and social media advocacy tactics from a variety of associations, including an inside look at ASAE’s The Power of A program.  You’ll leave with an understanding of key broadcast journalism and social media tactics, as well as the knowledge to help you craft a strategy that is right for your organization, mission and budget.

Featured Members
Lori K. Spear2017 Chair's Award
Abit Massey2017 Alan R. Johnson Award
Julia Boyd2017 Sharon Hunt Emerging Leader Award

Online Surveys
Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal