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October/November 2017



Focus Pocus: The Magic of Single Mindedness pg 8

3 Positive Ways to Effectively Address Employee Mistakes pg 12

Published by


The Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) Delivers Educational Benefits to Members Worldwide

pg 5


Focus North is published 10 times a year by Associations North, 1970 Oakcrest Avenue, Suite 100, Roseville, MN 55113. Phone: 651.647.6388 Fax: 651.647.6416 Website: Email: The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not reflect the opinions of Associations North. Editorial contributors in any area of association management are welcome. Articles accepted for publication are subject to editing by Associations North. Advertising is accepted on a space availability basis. Contact or call 651-647-6388 for further advertising information.

Staff Angela Kisskeys, Co-Director VP of Operations & Communications Sarah Ruzek, Co-Director VP of Finance & Education Amanda Aldrich Events Manager





CONTENTS October/November 2017

As the new Events Manager, I look forward to connecting with you all! :)


Chris Villeneuve Membership & Office Manager


Focus, Local Leaders: 5 Global 7 Advancing Roots Fuel For Forward-



The Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) Delivers Educational Benefits to Members Worldwide

To advance and serve the association management profession in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.


Associations North, our members and their associations will thrive and grow.


Diversity & Inclusion

In principle and in practice, Associations North values and seeks diversity and inclusiveness within the association management industry. Associations North advocates for and promotes involvement, innovation, and expanded access to leadership opportunities that maximize engagement across underrepresented groups in the Associations North membership.

Advancing Engagement + Recruitment: Moving Membership

The Struggle to Maintain Momentum


Moving Forward Together


The Association Life

14 Conversations 15 Calendar of Events 16 Brain Power


Advancing Meetings + Events: In The Details 8 Steps to Successful Mobile App Activation

Focus Pocus: The Magic of Single Mindedness

18 Signature Event 19 The North Experience 20 Et Cetera 21 Spotlight

Advancing 11 Advancing Communications: 12 The Essentials: Stay Connected

Invaluable Insights

If You Aren’t Doing Mobile Video, You Aren’t Doing Anything

3 Positive Ways to Effectively Address Employee Mistakes

Board of Directors What characteristic do you most admire in others? Compassion Cassie Larson, CAE (Chair) MN Nursery & Landscape Association

Angela Kisskeys Associations North

Ann Kvaal, CAE (Past-Chair) AK Communications

Justin Bieganek Mercury Creative Group

Honesty, directness & Sense of Humor

Mark Salter, CAE, ABC (Chair-Elect) CFA Society Minnesota Tara Owens (Secretary/Treasurer) Professional Liability Underwriting Society Sarah Ruzek Associations North



Strategic Thinking

Dave Radziej, CAE Printing Industry Midwest


Dave Renner, CAE Minnesota Medical Association

Sense of Humor

Donnie Brown Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® Amanda Friedrich, CMP Visit Saint Paul


Sense of Humor

Cody Nuernberg Northwestern Lumber Association


Loyalty & Curiosity

David Siegel, CAE, IOM Builders Association of the Twin Cities Robbie Thompson Professional Liability Underwriting Society


Honesty & Integrity



Moving Forward Together: Associations North Partners

Featured Sponsor:

Kahler Hospitality Group (KHG)

Memorable moment with Associations North... This one is easy‌I (Amita Patel) attended my first Associations North Expo in 2016 having relocated from California. This is when the name change and new logo was unveiled at the luncheon. The response from the audience was amazing and I realized that the members were

engaged and understood why the change had to be made. Every organization has to keep evolving to remain relevant and this is what the transition from MSAE to Associations North accomplished.

Why we partner with Associations North‌ The Kahler Hospitality Group (KHG) believes in supporting organizations that have created business opportunities for their portfolio. Associations North is one of those organizations. They have provided wonderful opportunities to be active participants through many networking and signature events while being well represented. Associations North has delivered a strong ROI for KHG and we look forward to our continued and expanded relationship.





Global Experience Specialists | Fargo-Moorhead CVB | Visit Duluth | Visit Saint Paul

The Association Life

Featured Industry: Retail Whoever you are, whatever you do, there is an association working on your behalf.

Marine Retailers Association of the Americas Our mission is to be the single voice of marine retailers, providing member services that include: fostering and uniting relationships; raising awareness and professionalism; protecting common interests and strengthening all members. The MRAA has been looking out for the best interests of marine retailers and the boating public since 1972.

MN Retailers Association The Mission of the Minnesota Retailers Association is to promote, preserve and enhance the retail industry in Minnesota by taking a significant leadership position in development of public policy and regulatory measures that impact Members. MnRA will also work to enhance the public image of the retail industry by providing information, services and support that adds value and profitability to its members.

Upper Midwest Association of Promotional Professionals The Upper Midwest Association of Promotional Professionals is a trade association whose members are companies established in the promotional products industry. The Association’s region covers the states of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Western Wisconsin.

MN Shopping Center Association (MSCA) MSCA is a non-profit trade association that was founded in 1988. MSCA is the largest statewide organization devoted solely to the retail real estate industry. With over 300 companies and 650 members, the association represents developers, shopping center owners, brokers, property managers, retailers, attorneys, architects, appraisers, contractors and all professionals serving the Minnesota real estate industry.


Global Focus, Local Roots The Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) Delivers Educational Benefits to Members Worldwide

As any association may understand, striking the right balance between fulfilling the specific needs of individual members and catering to a broader industry can be complicated. When members hail from not only around the country but around the world, the task can be downright daunting. It’s a challenge that the Professional Liability Underwriting Society takes on with enthusiasm and skillful expertise, all from an office in the heart of Minnesota. 5

“Our members belong to the professional liability niche of the insurance industry, so we try to cater to anyone active in those professional liability insurance networks,” said Robbie Thompson, PLUS’ Executive Director. “From our office in Minneapolis, we serve members in virtually every U.S. city as well as members in places like London, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia.” PLUS strives to help its members learn and grow, as advancing its members’ education is a significant part of its mission. To help reach a broad and diverse membership, PLUS’ 14 staffers work with its extensive network of volunteers to host localized events throughout the country and around the world. Additionally, PLUS delivers large national symposia and a grand annual conference. “At all of our live in-person events, we’re always looking to add new and innovative ways to enhance the educational experience for our members,” Thompson said. PLUS does this by offering different types of educational content. At this year’s annual conference in Atlanta, PLUS will offer shorter bite-sized spark sessions focused on new, emerging topics. It will also offer traditional panel discussions and executive forums for senior leaders.

“PLUS continues to show it’s commitment to its members’ communities, recently donating $50,000 to Hurricane Harvey & Irma recovery efforts.” “We look not only to provide a variety of topics that appeal to different audiences, but also to diversify the session structures to meet the needs of attendees’ different learning styles,” said Thompson. In addition to in-person events, which are enjoyed by members for their educational and networking opportunities, PLUS also relies on other methods to provide education and information to help reach its membership. “One of the challenges we have dealing with a niche of the insurance market – that even within that niche has at least eight to ten distinctive subsets – is that we need to serve each of those subsets uniquely,” Thompson explained. “Webinars and digital learning are a few ways we do that. They allow us to target our content in ways we can’t always do with in-person events.”

PLUS has significantly increased the number of webinars it hosts and will be varying the type, length, and content even more in the coming years. In the last few months, it has also moved its quarterly publication to a completely digital distribution. A new, integrated mobile app provides members with all of the content from the association’s journal. For those who still prefer a hard copy of the journal, PLUS offers a downloadable, printable PDF. Another goal of PLUS is to enhance its delivery channels for its industry-leading educational curriculum. The educational curriculum includes 23 different modules. PLUS is currently embarking on an ambitious effort to move its curriculum, and corresponding designation program, onto a fully interactive platform accessible by any device. “We will begin rolling out the online version this year,” Thompson said. “Members will then be able to earn continuing education credits and take exams without leaving their desks.” Through its separately run non-profit foundation, PLUS has been able to show its industry’s commitment to members’ communities, such as a recent $50,000 donation to assist with the recovery from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. PLUS also endeavors to be a useful resource to its members on a day-to-day basis. In addition to the conferences and digital content, the association publishes a daily news feed to subscribers with industry updates, court rulings, and information on regulations. Its small staff is always available to assist with questions or concerns. “We have a tremendous member services team. Some have been with us for more than 15 years,” Thompson said. “They’re not always face-to-face with the members, yet they have built great relationships.” Whether they’re serving members down the street in Minnesota or around the world, PLUS prides itself on being the premier industry education provider with a voice that members trust. Find PLUS online at


Advancing Leaders: Fuel for Forward-Thinking to be familiar with the decisions of the retreat and have access to the supporting documents such as reports, budget and organizational structure.

The Struggle to Maintain Momentum Bill Pawlucy, MPA, CAE, IOM How many times have you heard someone say or even said it yourself, “we had the best planning retreat but accomplished very little since then.” There is a constant struggle to maintain momentum and the excitement and energy in that room at that moment. Occurring only once a year or less, an association’s retreat is a time for considering the past and planning the future. The outcomes may be inspiring ideas, commitment to new projects or a long-term plan. Participants leave motivated to improve their organization. What happens next is the struggle. Back at their offices the volunteer leaders and staff become consumed with routines. Daily demands soon make the retreat a memory. The good ideas that came about at the retreat are like clouds in the sky, plenty of them quick to disappear. Accountability To be effective, plans should be in writing so they can be communicated and tracked. Without documenting decisions, the ideas, commitments and deadlines fade. To encourage creativity, most retreats do not rely on rules of order and meeting minutes. Thus, someone should be appointed to serve as a scribe. If a facilitator is present, a written report is often their responsibility.


Before the retreat ends, discuss what’s next and how soon participants can access the final report. Persons who

attended will appreciate the summary and those who missed the retreat might like to add input. Put it in Writing There is a distinction between the board’s plan and staff’s next steps. The board develops a strategic plan. It will frame the work of volunteers for multiple years. The staff creates a program of work or management action plan (MAP) based on the board’s strategic plan. It tracks current year assignments, deadlines and performance metrics. Its form is often a horizontal matrix or spreadsheet. The executive director tracks and reports on progress of the action plan. The board of directors, or an assigned “plan champion,” tracks and reports on plan progress. Accountability Partner To expedite retreat results some organizations appoint an accountability partner. Someone whose sole purpose is to maintain an impartial focus on progress and avoid pitfalls in execution and forward progress. This individual may be an entrepreneur willing to provide assistance, a retired leader in the organization or a consultant who is trusted. The role of the accountability partner is to check in with the leadership and staff and ask the question, “How are things going after the retreat?” Whomever accepts the role has

He or she is looking for pitfalls, and encouraging advancement of the priorities. It may not even require a visit by this person but rather be a trusted person that the association president or executive director can call with questions. It will be up to the board how long the position remains. For many groups the first three to six months are critical. Eventually patterns take over and programs advance. The position is not intended to be a long-term volunteer position and should not be treated as one. What to Monitor Now that you have an accountability partner, what should they monitor? Here’s what might be monitored: • Development of an action plan following the retreat. • Transformation of a strategic plan into a marketing strategy. • Analysis of member benefits, return on value, return on investment, return on mission. • Review of committees and their purposes. • Updates to governing documents. • Review nominating processes. • Creation of dashboards to visually communicate data. • Recommendations for benchmarks and resources. • Policy updates. • Implementation of board selfevaluation process. While retreats may be exciting, the struggle to maintain momentum is common. What is uncommon is the follow-up and energy that is generated with that momentum. Accountability should be the platform for achieving results and performance excellence.

Advancing Engagement + Recruitment: Moving Membership

Focus Pocus: The Magic of Single-Mindedness By: Mary Byers, CAE

We live and work in a world filled with distractions. As technology advances, the number of diversions increases exponentially. It’s tempting to believe that the way to succeed is to not only keep abreast of the changes, but to be intimately familiar with what’s going on everywhere. And yet Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, attributes his own success to focus. He said, “My success, part of it certainly, is that I have focused in on a few things.” Bill Gates recognizes the value of “focus pocus” and the magic of single-mindedness. I’ve seen the challenge of being inundated with ideas and suggestions from well-meaning volunteers and the frenetic talent it takes to juggle today’s incoming ideas with yesterday’s. I’ve seen organizations lurch from project to project based on the president’s initiative-of-the year and watched a year later as the project fades when a new leader takes office. And I’ve seen the schizophrenia that occurs when it’s time to figure out how to fund and staff a full menu of programs, some of which may have nothing to do with the association’s mission. Enter focus. At its simplest, focus is about permission-giving. Permission to emphasize one area over another. Permission to let go of programs and services that are under-performing or never lived up to their potential to begin with. And permission to concentrate one’s thinking and efforts in a way that’s going to make a difference for the association. Leaders now see that the way to create meaning and value for members is not to just create something, but to create meaningful and valuable things. In other words, focus on what matters most. Here’s how to harness the power of focus pocus. Build focus into your culture. Practice “The Power of the Pause” and regularly review program and service offerings to identify those you should no longer offer. Doing so naturally and strategically narrows the focus of your work. Clearly articulate your vision and goals. What’s your “putting a man on the moon?” Articulating a vision

simply, and repeatedly, galvanizes people to action. We’re natural-born problem solvers and we like to be part of a team that’s doing something. The more specific, the better. Create interdepartmental teams and actively work to break down any silos in your association. Many (if not most) associations are organized by department. While that’s good for functionality, it may not be the best when it’s time to make a leap (i.e. identifying and deploying new association management software). The tendency is to assign a project to one person or department, which may limit input. It is one thing for the information technology department to select a new software vendor but quite another if they do so after intense research regarding every department’s needs. The latter approach results in a higher probability that the software will meet needs in every department, thereby more fully serving members. Ask a lot of questions. And then ask more. Here are some of my favorites: • How is this helping us reach our goal? • How is this helping us serve members? • Is there another way to do this? • What if we stopped doing this? • Is this really the best use of time/staff/expertise? • Is this program or service meeting expectations? Purposefully limit your “To Do” list. Start each day with a list of three “must dos” and focus on those—and only those—until they are done. Understand, and accept, that human capacity usually allows us to pursue only one or two larger initiatives over and above our daily work at any given time. Many executives render themselves ineffective by trying to do too much. Those who excel, like Bill Gates, do so by limiting how much they juggle at any given time. Practice setting and achieving quarterly goals instead of annual goals. This creates a sense of urgency and momentum that’s easier to sustain (because the sprint is over twelve weeks rather than twelve months). Though it’s counter-intuitive, “focus pocus” produces magic in the form of goals achieved and project realized. Not just done, mind you, but done well.


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Advancing Meetings + Events: In The Details

8 Steps to Successful Mobile App Activation According to the Harvard Business Review, “companies typically realize only about 60% of their strategy’s potential value because of defects and breakdowns in planning and execution.” Clearly, a real execution gap exists between what we plan to do and what actually gets done. What results, unfortunately, is lost opportunity and revenue. Often, the launch of a mobile app can fall victim to this gap. It may be perceived as less important than other five-alarm fires the organization is currently battling. But what we know to be true is that a lackluster launch almost always results in: • Poor user experiences (e.g., users didn’t know there was an app, users don’t know how to download the app and users grossly under utilize the app); and 
 • Thousands of dollars in lost revenue (e.g., from exhibitors, participants and sponsors). 

“Companies typically only realize about 60% of their strategy’s potential because of defects and breakdowns in planning and execution.”

Here are 8 steps to your mobile app strategy, from app launch to pro status. Fundamentally, the eight steps include: • Step 1: Assessment – Determine if and how your organization could benefit from a mobile app by answering a series of 12 brief questions designed to assess your readiness. At the end of the assessment, your ranking will help illuminate where your organization fits along the readiness continuum. • Step 2: Interview – Based on your assessment results, set strategic goals and objectives for launching your mobile app. Additionally, identify key stakeholders and how they will benefit. Our step-by-step process will not only help you identify the right people to interview, but also the right questions to ask. • Step 3: App Features – Determine your mobile app feature set (e.g., communication, education and feedback) based on stakeholder needs and the access level of those features. Moreover, build out your internal app launch management team with clear roles and responsibilities. • Step 4: Marketing – Conduct a mini communication audit and develop a thoughtful marketing strategy to support the intentional launch of your mobile app. • Step 5: Return on Learning – In this step, you’ll begin developing key stakeholder metrics. For example,

if your success metrics include connecting exhibitors with attendees, consider what data is needed and where it’s collected. Following the event, evaluate the outcomes achieved and any possible next steps. • Step 6: App Launch – Plan your mobile app launch and make your app live to your various audience segments. • Step 7: Mid-Lifecycle Touch Point – We’re all busy. That’s the one constant. So it’s easy for major milestones like the mid-point of an important initiative to pass us by undetected. Evaluate successes to date and institute any necessary corrective actions. • Step 8: Next Steps Touch Point – Near the end of the project, leverage the momentum you’ve gained to debrief achievements, check-in with key stakeholders, follow through on all deliverables and identify opportunities for the future. Easy, right? Ultimately, we hope these 8 steps will help to solve some of your biggest app challenges, some of which might include: • • • • • •

Unclear goals and objectives; Undefined audience pain points; Incomplete marketing strategy; Unarticulated stakeholder metrics; Rushed/compressed launch strategy; and Unassigned staff roles and responsibilities.

If you think you are ready to go from basic app launch status to pro, give these 8 steps a try! By: Kim Harwood, MBA and Aaron D. Wolowiec, MSA, CAE, CMP, CTA, CTF. Aaron can be reached at 616.710.1891 or by email:


Advancing Communications: Stay Connected

If You Aren’t Doing Mobile Video, You Aren’t Doing Anything By: Jayna Anderson, Hubbard Interactive Last week, I pulled up analytics on a recent campaign we ran for a client. In that report, the typical overview of what device the ad campaign performed best on was stated. It has become a second nature to assume mobile performed best. Then, a coworker in the room made a comment about the days when desktop dominated the traffic of digital. It got me thinking for a moment on the future and on the past. I remember when long car rides only consisted of listening to an iPod (or even earlier, a Walkman). Another second nature type of occurrence is the usage of my mobile device and all that it presents me. Those long car rides aren’t so “long” anymore, when you’re consumed with content and messaging at the palm of your hand. Specifically, the presence of video on mobile has completely surpassed much of the market for device platforms. And why? Going back to the listening to music on an iPod comment, there was an article in Forbes over a year ago about mobile video and reports from eMarketer which mentioned this phenomenon. “In the U.S. alone, research firm eMarketer reports, one in three consumers watch video on their mobile devices, which means watching video on mobile is already more common than using devices to listen to music.” Imagine what this statistic might look like now. But why? Video is a great way to view a product before purchasing. It is also a way to be more in the moment of something. And for associations, it’s a great way for potential members to see the value of your association - live. Photos are worth a thousand words, but videos are worth a million. Videos help accomplish what visuals or speech alone couldn’t.


And of course, take things “viral.” One of our radio stations puts on the Cat Video Festival in St. Paul. Tens of thousands of people showed up to watch a 45-minute reel of Cat Videos. So, video in general works wonders. But, video on mobile, is even better.

“One in three consumers watch video on their mobile devices, which means watching video on mobile is already more common than using devices to listen to music.” Not only are consumers glued to their mobile devices more than ever, but viewing a video on mobile makes for less distractions than on a TV or PC, according to numerous studies, and has been a great way for advertisers to implement video ads into social media. For a low cost, one can place ads on Suggested Videos In-Stream Videos on social media, or integrated within a mobile app (and more), and get a great bang for your buck by targeting those users on their mobile devices. As social media and mobile app users increase, you better believe mobile video usage will go right along with it. This right here is your reasoning for doing mobile videos. Beyond that, we’ve seen great success in True View Video campaigns. We worked with a non-profit who ended up surpassing their goal in donations after a TrueView Video Campaign (which performed amazing on mobile). With the advances being made by mobile device companies, it will go hand-in-hand with the growth of mobile content, like video. Phones are getting bigger screens, more high definition, and more convenient. People are wanting to show what they are up to, in the moment, via video. Therefore, things like Facebook Live have taken off. Do you remember when your parents filmed you on an actual video camera? What do you see parents filming their kids on these days? Mobile devices. So, try it. Do it. If you aren’t doing mobile video, you aren’t doing anything.

Advancing The Essentials: Invaluable Insights

3 Positive Ways to Effectively Address Employee Mistakes Even in the best-run organizations, things go wrong and employees mishandle their assigned tasks. Sometimes those mistakes are significant and costly, infuriating managers who come down hard and with perhaps a bit of righteous fury on the hapless offender. But as most professionals know, such managerial venting just makes matters worse in the long run. The traditional role of managers is to hold people accountable to timelines, budgets, productivity and other factors, but often that’s done with a fear-based approach where employees perform their duties under threat of some kind of punishment. Such an approach is counterproductive because humans don’t perform to their optimum level when the brain becomes preoccupied with fear and uncertainty. In fact, many believe it’s the opposite. People do a better job of carrying out their duties under positive circumstances, and research shows that individual employees, the team and the organization all are more likely to thrive when leaders are positive. That doesn’t mean managers should ignore problems–things do go wrong and employees need to be held accountable—but it comes down to how a manager handles those situations.

The key is to show managers how to hold people accountable without being negative.

Let the employee know you don’t want answers right away. Say that you’ll get with them the following day to hear their thoughts.

Appreciation with Accountability First, start with showing appreciation. Begin the conversation with appreciation for something positive about the employee that relates to performance, behavior or attitude. The appreciation step is essential, because otherwise the employee will see the entire process as unfair or unbalanced. You can’t focus strictly on failure. Many employees wonder why their manager only connects with them regarding their mistakes. The second step is simply being real. Turn the discussion to what isn’t going well in order to hold the employee accountable for their actions. The goal is to let the person know in no uncertain terms that the project was not successful, but to do this without shaming, blaming or demoralizing them. Start this part of the conversation with a statement such as, “We didn’t get where we wanted to with this project.” That acknowledges a shared responsibility, without the punitive sting. Third, ask thoughtful questions. Inquire about ways their performance could have delivered a better outcome, with questions such as “If we did this project again, what could we do differently to change the outcome?” or “How could I have supported you and your team better?”

Research shows that individual employees, the team and the organization all are more likely to thrive when leaders are positive.

That can change the trajectory of what the employee will do after the meeting. Instead of going home and updating their resume and complaining to their spouse about the unfair treatment, they are more likely to spend their time focused on what they could have done differently since they have to answer that question the next day. This process leads to personal and professional growth for the employee. It can turn a point of failure into an opportunity for future success.

Nancy Manser is a Human Resources Manager at Olsen Thielen & Co., Ltd., a full service accounting and consulting firm serving nonprofits, manufacturing, telecommunications, professional services and real estate. Connect with Nancy at 651-621-8583 or email her at:


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Conversations: In Focus

Different view points. Different solutions.

What are the biggest societal trends that will change the environment in which we operate in the next 5-10 years? How do you feel these trends will impact your association?

Joe Witt

One of the major trends we are thinking about is the retirement of all the Baby Boomers, both internally and with respect to our member banks. As so many key employees retire, there will be so much institutional knowledge going out the doors. Succession planning, documenting job duties and processes, and properly supporting and training the next round of leaders will all be really important.

President/CEO Minnesota Bankers Association

Jennifer Schleter Midwest Region Liaison, Membership and Affiliate Services National Apartment Association

Matt Gruhn President Marine Retailers Association of the Americas

It’s no secret that in the next 5-10 years, many senior level executives will retire and leave the workforce. At NAA, which is the leading voice for the apartment housing industry, our work will continue to spread awareness of the profession at both the high school and college levels. Additionally, there is an opportunity to build on the career development, training, and leadership growth programs already established to specifically target the younger generation as they enter the workforce in our industry and look to us as their career partners.

Societal trends are incredibly difficult to predict. I tend to have enough trouble adapting to the here and now. It’s my opinion, though, that the biggest societal trend we need to address is the divisiveness in today’s society. It permeates our government. It infiltrates our friendships, our families, and our social media feeds. And it strangles our true potential as individuals, as organizations and as a society. As leaders in our businesses and in our industries, we need to push for and emulate real leadership — defined by empathy, collaboration, compromise, and decision making that transcend individual interests. We need to hold ourselves and our leaders accountable to those characteristics every single day. And our question should be: How do we overcome this crippling us-versus-them mentality to effectively address the unpredictable, arguably daunting issues of the next 5-10 years? The answer? Real-world solutions begin with us. 14

For more details and to register, visit:

Calendar Of Events: Mark It + Make It




Webinar: Measuring Your Online Performance with Google Analytics At Your Desk 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm Google Analytics is the window into your website’s performance. If you want to know who’s visiting your site—how they find you, what they consume on your site, where you lose them, how long they linger, etc.—then you need to understand Google Analytics.






Webinar: Conducting a Business Meeting At Your Desk 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Meeting Planners Symposium DoubleTree by Hilton Minneapolis - Park Place 8:00 am - 3:30 pm

Have you ever been to a bad meeting? If you’re like most people, your answer is “lack of organization,” “not knowing what you were voting on,” “the meeting got high-jacked by one or two members,” or “nothing got done.” Learn tips to resolve these issues at your next meeting.

Innovate meetings, create engagement and get inspired at this year’s Meeting Planners Symposium. In addition to the focused education on learning engagement, technology and designing meetings, highlights include a Shark Tank Idea Pitch, Behind the Scenes F&B Tour, Breakfast Breakthrough and more!

Upcoming Events October



Communications Meetup Group


Membership Meetup Group


How DO They Do That? Secret Tech Tips for Association


Webinar: Measuring Your Online Performance with Google





Webinar: Conducting a Business Meeting


Meeting Planners Symposium


CEO Meetup Group



Holiday Celebration & Silent Auction

Watch for details on exciting new programs coming in 2018!


Webinar: Best Practices for Association Publications

Interested in serving on a committee or being more active in


Webinar: Cyber Security and Fraud Prevention Tools and

Associations North? Volunteering is a great way to give back, make a


difference and connect with your peers. If you are interested in being a volunteer, let us know at:


Brain Power

President Preparedness By: Bob Harris, CAE, Is the incoming chief elected officer, aka president or chairman of the board, ready for the job? Transitioning from VP or president-elect to the office of the president requires preparation. He or she assumes responsibility for advancing the mission, serving members, protecting the assets and solving problems, among other duties. The more one prepares --- the better the results. (1) Purpose – The reason for existence. • Duties - Do I understand the responsibilities of the chief elected officer? Is there anything I don’t feel comfortable with for which I should find help? Am I able to inspire others to fulfill out their volunteer roles? • Organizational Purpose – Is the mission statement understood by everyone, including myself, leadership team and stakeholders? Am I ready to ensure that efforts and resources are directed to advancing the mission? • Governance – Have the governing documents been provided to the leadership team, including bylaws, budget and strategic plan?

(2) Plan – The intent or roadmap to achieve results. • Intent – Am I able to communicate a clear vision of a successful year? Have I communicated my vision to the leadership team and staff? • Strategic Plan – Am I and leadership fully versed about the plan? Will it need to be updated or during my term? • Agenda – Do I understand a well designed board agenda is a collaborative effort between the president and executive director? Will the format lend itself to efficient, effective meetings? (3) Performance – The process and behavior for carrying out the plan. • Personal – Am I prepared for my role, able to inspire and readily share the credit with others? Is my leadership style authentic? • Organizational – Am I focused on outcomes and members’ needs? • Results – Will results be achieved by the end of my term? Am I able to lay a foundation for the future? • Succession – Though I am just beginning my term, am I able to identify future leaders? Preparation pays off. The three Ps – Purpose, Plan and Performance, keep the chief elected officer focused.



Post-meeting: That’s often when the best discussions and brightest ideas happen. Great surroundings lead to enthusiastic outcomes and innovative results. With a stargazing rooftop as your backdrop, the possibilities are endless. Book your next meeting in Fargo. Your aha is waiting.


The North Experience: Leadership Conference

Over 120 members, thought leaders and industry experts met in Duluth for this year’s Leadership Conference. Highlights included a surprise speaker Rick Lewis, interactive walking meeting, Silent Disco entertainment, donating over 700 pillow packs and $885 to Second Harvest Northern Lakes, Outstanding Volunteer Award Winners and a spectacular Duluth skyline!

Education, team-building and making connections, all while having FUN!

To see more photos, visit the Associations North Flickr page: om/photos/ associations live


Canal Park Lodge | Minneapolis Northwest CVB | Mystic Lake Center | Olsen Thielen & Co, Ltd


Meeting Planners Symposium

INNOVATION + ENGAGEMENT MEETING PLANNERS SYMPOSIUM | 11.15.17 Discover the secret sauce to make your member’s experiences MAGIC with this year’s featured keynote, Roger Haskett. Shape the future of your meetings by incorporating insider AV tips, revenue generating sponsorship ideas and ways to design more effective conversation spaces. Plus! Shark Tank Pitch Idea | Behind the Scenes F&B Tour Hotel & Planner Debate | Breakfast Breakthrough Details & Register:

Creative Solutions for your Marketing, Print & Signage Campaigns


55 East Fifth Street, Suite 201D | Saint Paul, MN 55101 651-222-8004 | | 651-265-8111 |

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Et Cetera: Association Extras

NEW MEMBERS Meredith Armstrong

MN Trucking Association

Jan Aument

Good Plan Jan

Katy Burke


Michelle Carlson

Minnesota Beer Wholesalers Assn.

Sarah Curfman

Bridge Interim LLC

Jillian Dampier

Kahler Hospitality Group

Fay DeBellis

Northern Lights Group - Morgan Stanley

Bruce DeVries


Rebecca Felland-Syring

ACG Minnesota

Melissa Ferguson

Grain Elevator and Processing Society

Lauren Grady

MN Trucking Association

Randy Herrera


Julie Hubbell

ACG Minnesota

Niels Knutson

Minnesota Medical Association

Ksenia Kuhn

Hyatt Place Minneapolis/Downtown

Lauren Renneke

Sheraton Duluth

Jennifer Schlueter

National Apartment Association

Pam Siebert

MN Assn of Social Service Administrators

Emily Sumner

Fargo-Moorhead CVB

Eric Vandervorste

Courtyard Minneapolis Downtown

Meghann Witthoft

River Falls Chamber of Commerce

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SEEKING WINE & SILENT AUCTION DONATIONS Help HYPE UP THE HOLIDAYS by donating to the silent auction and Wall of Wine. Proceeds from the Wall of Wine support our 2017-2018 community beneficiary, Girls on the Run. The silent auction funds scholarships and education for Associations North. Donate by November 27 at:

INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING? Associations North is gearing up for an exciting 2018 and there is no time like now to help plan our next conference, be a thought leader and contribute an article to Focus North, present at an Associations North meeting, be a CAE proctor, share your photography expertise and volunteer in many other ways! What are you waiting for? Sign up today!

MEMBERS ON THE MOVE Association North members Janel Fick and JoAnn Taie are now Partner/Owners of Global Management Partners, LLC. (formerly L &L Management Services, Inc.). GMP is a full-service association management company whose mission is to empower clients to thrive, grow and advance their missions through long term partnerships to reach their fullest potential.


Spotlight: Member In Motion

Tyler Verry, CAE

Get to know industry movers and shakers.

Executive Director MN Academy of Ophthalmology

My dream car is... I’d love to have the “Bandit” edition of the 2016 Trans Am, but it being 840 HP, I would end up paying a lot of speeding tickets, and with only 77 of them in existence, I’m not counting on it.

My personality in one word: Stoic.

Live by the ocean, mountains or in the woods? Words to live by...

Hard to say. As a kid, I spent a lot of time in the woods, so that definitely centers me. However, every time I end up at an ocean, I find myself just sitting there and enjoying it for hours.

The art of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings (Kakuzo Okakaura)

I recharge by: The most effective way for me to unwind is either to disappear into my garage, working on my latest woodworking project (working on our dining table at the moment, dream project is to build a kayak/canoe) or is just me and my dog, Ike, taking a long hike through a local state park.

My best Halloween costume ever... One year I went as the 2nd Amendment, which really was just me in regular clothes, but with really furry sleeves. The right to bear arms… get it? Actually, I ran into an old acquaintance at the state fair this year that didn’t remember me, but remembered the costume.

One short-term goal of mine After completing the CAE certification, I’ve now transferred my focus to IOM (Institute of Organizational Management) through the US Chamber of Commerce.


Mac or Windows? Macs, all day long. The lack of maintenance, the ease of the OS, and the integration with my phone and iPad are vital to an efficient work flow.

Celebrate the holiday season and help support Associations North scholarship and educational programs! Friday, December 8 Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot 11:00 am - 2:00 pm Details & Register:


NEW MEMBERS It was pretty easy, too. We just used search engine optimization and digital marketing the same way we handle your printing and direct mail — effectively and affordably. We’ve been helping other associations with their marketing for years, and we can help yours, too. Want to find new members? Call us to start. PRINT




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October November 2017