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ASSOCIATION CAREERS MAKE A DIFFERENCE Here’s why associations are so valued by business leaders, industries, and professions.



First introduced in 1992, the balanced scorecard methodology still has applications for managing business risks that could jeopardize an association’s success if not addressed.

# Associations are CONSCIOUS

of risk.


so they can share the pride.

Pictured on the cover (l to r) Barbara J. Barden, Amy L. Smith, CAE, AAP, Kris Nicholoff. Read the Hall of Fame interview on page 10.

Keep Learning in Third Thought®

Visit to enhance your membership experience. You can search through more than 1,200 MSAE magazine articles, MSAE podcasts, and sample documents all tagged by subject area. Or find resources categorized by the following areas: ▸▸ Personal Awareness — improving your leadership abilities and self-awareness ▸▸ Association Knowledge — gaining expertise in all aspects of association management ▸▸ Industry Understanding — understanding the importance of the industry, profession, or cause your association represents


Cheryl Ronk, CAE, CMP

( is the president of MSAE. President's Message is a regular feature in Association IMPACT magazine. If you’d like to stay up to date between issues, follow her blog posts on LinkedIn at

Association Careers Make a Difference I

n 2002, MSAE prepared a brochure to encourage college coeds to consider association management as a career. The messaging in that brochure is still true today. Association management is unique in that you are working with the leaders of the industry or profession and advancing their careers and businesses. Michigan is home to more than 3,000

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associations — ranging from trade, professional, or philanthropic — and about 500 of those are staffed. Every profession, every business group, every special interest… there’s an association for that. This profession is not for those who don’t want to work. Association managers work hard and on a variety of projects. Each day is different, especially at different times of the year and from year to year. Although some tasks are the same, many aspects are new. Associations are recognized for their costsaving programs by bundling the collective purchase power; for providing more adult education that any other entity (once you are in a profession, you stay current by learning from peers and colleagues); explaining the economic impact of the sector; conducting research that provides valuable insights for benchmarking; and for being the spokesperson with business or government leaders. These programs evolve as the needs of members evolve. As a result, association managers understand the value of strategic planning and thinking and keeping things relevant for members. Association managers listen and learn from members to identify common needs and concerns. They also stay current with upcoming trends and how to prepare members for future changes. Association management is valued by business leaders and their teams. Over 13 million people are involved in Michigan’s association industry. As part of the staff that coordinates these activities, you add value to their collaboration. I am proud that you work for an association. You make a difference! 


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Using a Balanced Scorecard Approach to Association Risk Management

First introduced in 1992, the balanced scorecard methodology still has applications for managing business risks that could jeopardize an association’s success if not addressed.

By David A. Westman and Jim Hagestad


isk management continues to be one of the key fiduciary duties boards of directors face, and the importance of this duty has been reinforced as many associations grapple with diminished membership levels and revenue from their products, services, and programs. However, risk management should extend beyond the financial prism to considering a balanced scorecard of risks. The balanced scorecard concept has been around for nearly 20 years. Introduced by Robert Kaplan and David Norton in the January/February 1992 issue of the Harvard Business Review, the balanced scorecard has since been embraced by organizations worldwide to manage and improve performance at the individual, departmental, and organizational levels. It includes four perspectives from which to analyze performance: ++ Financial ++ Customer ++ Internal Business Process ++ Learning and Growth


As helpful as the balanced scorecard methodology can be in addressing performance issues, it also has applications for managing business risks of all kinds — risks that could jeopardize an association’s success if not addressed. Many association board members and staff might conceptually agree that a balanced scorecard to risk management is appropriate. However, they may also feel overwhelmed with the task of constructing and subsequently maintaining a scorecard. Time, after all, is a precious commodity for board members and staff. So how can an association identify the risks it faces? How should the association categorize these risks and determine what risks to focus on? What process should be used to address identified risks and keep the board informed of progress?

Identifying Risk Through ERM

Enterprise Risk Management is a process developed by David A. Westman (one of the authors of this article), while serving as the executive director for the Emergency Nurses Association, to help ENA manage

its risks and take advantage of opportunities to advance the organization’s mission. Using balanced scorecard concepts, it helps ENA identify key risks and opportunities so that limited resources can have the greatest impact. ENA has used ERM since 2004, expanding its scope and applicability over time as the operating environment for associations remains challenging and more risks are uncovered. ERM is useful in any association. Implementing and maintaining the process may seem a lengthy and time-consuming undertaking. However, ENA managed to accomplish first year’s tasks within a few months, with no individual staff member overly burdened with assignments. The first step involved the project leader facilitating individual meetings with all director-level staff. During those meetings, participants brainstormed any potential risks that ENA could be exposed to relative to their products, services, and programs. They also looked at risks that could impact their location, their ability to attract and retain staff, potential competitors both within and outside of the association

Risk Assessment Scorecard (November 2010) Risk Factor


Current Status/ Risk Assessment

Anticipated Future ___ Risk Management

Risk Level

PEOPLE – members, board members, volunteers, employees, clients, donors, and the general public Membership – Competition

Organization X

Organization X is an association that will always be monitored. At this time Organization X does not appear to be a significant threat to ___ membership revenue.

Organization X activities are monitored for potential partnership opportunities and potential risks to ___ revenue streams.

Based on 20XX survey data, 4% of Organization X members (approx. 2,600) report their primary practice area to be ___ – down from 5% reported in 20XX. Current survey data continues to be sought. Board Member Liability


___ currently maintains Director and Officer liability coverage through ______ insurance company. Reimbursement levels vary depending upon the incident.

___’s insurance will be reviewed annually relative to coverage levels and competitive pricing.

Key Staff Executive Continuity


Risk Factor


___ does not have a key executive succession plan (i.e., identification of internal candidates to succeed ___ staff officers and/or action steps to take in the event of an unanticipated vacancy in any of these positions). Current Status/ Risk Assessment

A plan pertaining to the top two executives was developed in 20XX and will be further refined in 20XX. The remainder of the Anticipated Future Executive Team will ___ be Risk Management addressed in 20XX.

Risk Level

INCOME – conference and course registrations, product sales, grants, contributions, investment income, etc. Course 123

Course D, offered by Organization Y

___ Annual Conference

Organization F Conference

Risk Factor


INCOME – conference and Internal Financial Controls


___ staff once viewed this to be more complimentary as opposed to competitive to Course 123. Course D used to focus exclusively on _____ whereas Course 123 is more comprehensive. However, the most recent version of Course D includes additional modules that serve to make it more competitive with Course 123.

Staff executed a marketing plan that highlighted Course 123’s competitive advantage over Course D.

Offerings presented at the Organization F conference are of interest to ___ members, particularly _____. Continuing Education credit can be earned by attending Organization F’s conference.

No action at this time.

Anticipated Future ___ Risk Risk Current Risk Assessment Level ___ has aStatus/ collaborative relationship with Organization Management F and does not view the conference as significant course registrations, sales, grants, contributions, investment income, etc. competition to the ___product Annual Conference. Comprehensive internal controls are in place to help mitigate financial management risk. The controls are reviewed annually by ___’s external auditor.

The auditor will continue to review internal controls and undertake annual audits.

___ has a financial management system and software (i.e., ______s) which also serves to mitigate risk.

The auditor will continue to be available to respond to board member questions or concerns regarding financial management

The audit firm undertakes comprehensive financial audits annually, with results presented in-person to the Board by the engagement partner.

Advertising – Product Revenue


The revision of Course 123 is underway. With the revised content projected to require more than 2 days of a student’s time, select modules are being put online. Market research was conducted in 20XX to ensure content delivery meets the needs of students, providers, instructors, and directors.

The auditor is available as needed to the Treasurer and other board members to address questions or concerns regarding financial management. ___ accepts advertising in ___ and elsewhere for products that directly compete with our own. Such advertising will continue to be allowed given the assumption that ___ products are superior, or at least perceived by our members to be superior.

The Executive Director will benchmark practices with other ___ associations relative to this issue.

Keep Learning in Third Thought® Search for the resources listed below in the digital library on MSAE’s knowledge management platform:

Read ▸▸ Risk Management for Directors and Officers ▸▸ Strategizing Against Disaster – How to Plan for the Unexpected ▸▸ Protecting Intellectual Property Assets ▸▸ Association Annual Risk Assessment


▸▸ Should Organizations Have a Crisis Plan?


industry, and other key metrics. From the initial laundry list of potential risks, ENA staff placed them into categories. These were fine-tuned over the years to now include the following: ++ People: members, board members, volunteers, employees, clients, donors, and the general public ++ Income: conference and course registrations, product sales, grants, contributions, investment income, etc. ++ Goodwill: reputation, stature in the community, and the ability to raise funds and appeal to prospective volunteers ++ Property: buildings, facilities, equipment, materials, copyrights, and trademarks Once categorized, the next step involved executive team members undertaking research and analysis to assess each risk’s magnitude, such as what the potential

negative impacts to ENA might be and the likelihood of these impacts happening in the near future. These same individuals were then asked to identify action steps, if any, to respond now or in the future to each of the identified risks. All of this information was captured in a risk management scorecard, similar in concept to the Nolan and Norton balanced scorecard, which over time has grown to include nearly 50 distinct business risks (See page 7 for a sample scorecard. Visit and search for risk assessment scorecard to view the complete risk assessment scorecard.) In addition, ENA recently added a visual dimension to its scorecard — faces that range from big smiles for minimal risk items to big frowns for high-risk items. The scorecard is incorporated in board orientation materials and is updated and discussed annually at the board level. ENA staff collaborates to keep tabs of the environment and, if appropriate,


updates the scorecard for new risks and/ or actions contemplated in response to current risks. In addition, the association’s accounting firm and legal counsel identify general risks for ENA to keep in mind. The ERM process must not be viewed as a means to assign blame for the fact that risks exist, or the individuals best able to identify and respond to risks may choose to remain silent. A key to ENA successfully implementing ERM was the board’s and staff ’s willingness to identify vulnerabilities, risks, and areas of concern, and also maintain a candid environment. By embracing ERM, ENA’s board and staff have focused resources on key areas. Their scorecard also keeps ENA’s staff from being complacent in its products, services, and program offerings and encourages continuous progress in risk abatement. “We have a vigorous marketing and member research program. By being attuned to our business risks, especially as

they relate to our educational programs, we can better frame and focus our research agenda,” says Beth Bernardi, ENA’s marketing and membership officer. “This includes constructing survey and focusgroup questions to better understand the risks we face from competitors and how we can improve what we offer.” From the board’s perspective, ERM gives ENA’s directors an efficient and effective way to monitor risks and assure that staff is partnering with them to protect the association’s ongoing health. ENA Board Member Mitch Jewett, who has five years’ experience with the ERM approach, says, “Each year when I review and analyze the scorecard, I have peace of mind that staff is on top of the risks that ENA faces as an organization. It helps me focus my attention on risks of greatest concern and makes me feel more comfortable that I am fulfilling my fiduciary duties.” Keep in mind that the ERM process for

one association might not be the best fit for another. Your association has its own key risks and performance measures that demand your board’s and staff ’s attention. By using ERM, you can best identify and manage those risks and opportunities so you can allocate resources for the greatest impact. This article was originally published in the October 2011 issue of Association Forum’s FORUM Magazine and is reprinted here with permission. David A. Westman ( is CEO of Westman & Associates Consulting. Jim Hagestad ( is senior manager, Blackman Kallick. tel 517.372.0268


fax 517.372.4922

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By Carla Kalogeridis and Thomas Marcetti


n this final installment of our 2017 article series on the key concepts from the book SPARK: How to Lead Yourself and Others to Greater Success, Association IMPACT caught up with our three 2017 MSAE Association Hall of Fame honorees and asked them to share how they manage their time, prioritize, and build consistency in their leadership. Written by entrepreneurs, business


consultants, and military veterans Angie Morgan, Courtney Lynch, and Sean Lynch, SPARK explores how anyone can become an extraordinary leader by embracing certain key behaviors. In the chapter titled “Demonstrate Consistency,” the authors state that the best leaders have a high standard of consistency in their everyday work because they understand the value of readiness

and have the courage to own their time. “Consistency is your ability to always adhere to your values and intentions regardless of your circumstances,” the authors write. “It determines whether you are a ‘sometimes person’ or an ‘always person.’” And being an ‘always person,’ they say, is what opens the doors to opportunities.


MSAE was honored to recognize three thought leaders with induction into the Association Hall of Fame; Amy L. Smith, CAE, AAP, vice president and executive director, The Clearing House Payments Authority; Kris Nicholoff, CEO and executive director, Michigan Osteopathic Association; and Barbara J. Barden retired, Livingston County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Smith created the role model in training and lead her team to become the leader nationally. Barden put the Livingston County CVB “on the map” through her innovation and leadership with numerous Michigan travel organizations. Nicholoff has ensured the osteopathic perspective is heard and at the forefront of public health issues. Here’s a look at how 2017 Association Hall of Famers have built their reputations as consistent leaders.

SPARK states that leaders must “own their time.” How important has time management been in your success? SMITH When you think about leadership, what it takes to be a good leader, those things all take time. If you can’t manage your time, you can’t do your job. I schedule those things in. I budget time to even just be in a human resource space, to be available to my staff. I schedule calls to check in with them on projects, but also just to ask, “Do you need anything from me? Do you need time to chat?” I also carve time for myself. There is so much happening every day in the banking world, I can’t do my job if I don’t know what’s going on. So, I schedule time to read what’s in the headlines and new studies, time to research what I heard at the water cooler. It’s like exercise: It can seem daunting to commit to doing something every day, of putting in all that work. But if you carve out 30 minutes here and there, it’s much easier. NICHOLOFF One way I’ve learned to own my time is to ask direct, well-intended questions at meetings. Meetings take up a lot of time, so I try to cut through to the real point. When someone is really pushing something, and everyone is just nodding along, the issue is often glossed over because all they really want to do is get back to their

own work or get out of there to get their kids to the soccer game. So, at times like that, I’ll say something like, “I’m overwhelmed. Let’s identify what is the main message here. What do you want? What are you trying to do?” When I come in to a meeting, I will often explain that I have to be somewhere else in 30 to 40 minutes, right at the beginning of the meeting. Sometimes, the place I have to be is at my desk, and I let everybody know that. Many times, other people in the meeting are glad I said it, because they need to get back to their desks, too.

BARDEN Time management is important to everyone’s success. It doesn’t matter what position or what job. To make sure I had time to do what I needed to, I would make sure I delegated certain tasks. If something came my way that didn’t require my specific attention, I would delegate it and make a reminder to follow up to make sure those tasks were completed. Anything that I felt was a sensitive issue or that required executive decision-making would fall to me. Other tasks like communications, social media, etc. would be delegated to others. How do you adhere to your intentions, regardless of what’s going on in your day or work load? SMITH It starts with having a plan

from the beginning. It is easy in association management — and in most jobs — to work with what’s on the desk. Take care of whatever lands there. Move the pile from right to left. Before you know it, the day is done — and you feel like nothing got done. If you don’t have a strategic plan, if you don’t have priorities, there is no metric for where you should spend your time. When something hits my desk, I ask: Does this add value for our members or does it match with our goals or calendar? I am a heavy user of Outlook calendar. I’m an extrovert. I’m drawn to the 30,000-foot view. I like to be nimble. So, I have to be intentional to move the ball down the field. My schedule reflects that. I schedule just about everything. It is easy to want to put out fires. We call them fires for a reason. But doing that doesn’t move the association




forward. You need a fire hose, for sure. But you need to use it strategically, and you can’t do that without a strategy.

BARDEN In my industry, interruptions and unforeseen circumstances happen daily. Putting out fires is something you almost have to anticipate if you want to have any hope of accomplishing your goals for that day. I would schedule free time into each day, and that worked great for me. My schedule was 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. So, between 5 and 6 p.m., when everyone else was gone and the phones didn’t ring, it was the perfect time to play catch up, finish up something that I was interrupted on earlier, or get a head start on the next day. NICHOLOFF I learned early on that the key thing is follow through. And yes, it’s a challenge. It’s always going to be a



“You don’t need to commit to talking about everything important that someone brings to your attention today.” — Kris Nicholoff, Michigan Osteopathic Association challenge. Just when you think you’ve got it down, it becomes more challenging. The immediacy of today’s communications regimen requires us to juggle so many things. No one is perfect at follow through. We’re human, and we forget. It’s OK to say that, if that’s what happened.

How do you keep from getting over-committed?

SMITH I don’t let myself too scheduled. I get invited to participate in a lot of things, committees, boards, etc. I gauge those invitations on what is important to the association or to my passion, and I’ve learned to say, “Not this time.” I either say, “I can’t this time. Will there be another opportunity in the future?” or “Instead of me, there is a member of my team who could add to this.” That also gives someone from my team a chance to benefit and learn. BARDEN I am very aware of my

personal limitations. It is critical to realize that everyone must choose their priorities. People certainly will understand if you don’t commit to some things. We can’t commit to everything. I always make sure to say I won’t commit unless I am sure I can and will be there. There is nothing worse than people counting on you, and you aren’t able to follow through.

NICHOLOFF Technology helps, if you use it to your advantage. Years ago, if I lost my Franklin Planner, I was out of luck. With today’s technology, you’re less apt to lose something. Today, if I misplace my phone, I can go to my tablet to get the information


back. But when you open yourself up to technology, you get bombarded. I’ll admit, I’m frequently over-committed. Sometimes, I give in and just plough through. And some days, it’s impossible not to be over-committed. Look carefully at each thing that comes your way. If someone says we need to meet, I used to say, “Sure.” But now I say, “Let’s talk about it or schedule a call.” Nine out of ten times, things can be resolved that way.

How do you make sure to keep the commitments you’ve made to others? NICHOLOFF Communications have changed so much. When I started 30 years ago, I had a typewriter with a carbon copy and WhiteOut. If someone called while you were busy or away, a teammate took a message and gave you a slip of paper with the message . When you returned the call in 24 hours that was really impressive. And you rarely communicated with someone after hours or on the weekends. Then email came along. I didn’t even know I had email for the longest time — how to access it at work, let alone how to access it off-site. Next I had a computer at home, so I could continue working, and soon, I had a computer to take on the road, so I could continue working. I did all this to maintain the commitments I made to others at work. Now I’m older, with less energy and even more coming at me. There’s so much change in technology, and all these changes have complicated and simplified things. The key to consistency as a leader and keeping your commitments is to follow up. SMITH Once I make the commitment, I’m all in. I don’t take it unless I know I can do it and I know it’s of value to the association or to me. When I’m asked to join something, especially a board or committee, I want to know how often we will meet, what the scope of my role will be, and how does it align with the overarching priorities important to the association? Again, coming back to knowing how to be strategic because you have a plan to refer to. It’s important, coming into a commitment, to know what you’re getting

into. When I first join a board or committee, I ask questions right away. I want to know what the objective or goals of the group are. I want to know what success looks like. When we’ve done what we’re setting out to do, what does that look like? What is required of my part? I want to be a model contributor, so I need to know what is expected of me.

BARDEN I make sure whatever commitments I make become priorities. Because I made those commitments a priority, I honor those commitments and schedule additional time to put fires out without jeopardizing my commitment. It’s important to schedule some breathing room for fires. It’s been my experience that when you have to put out a fire, the best procedure is to pause, take a deep breath, and make sure your response is adequate and appropriate instead of a knee-jerk reaction. You have got to get the right extinguisher for the fire. You don’t want it coming back, which is what can happen with a knee-jerk reaction. How do you make sure to keep the commitments you’ve made to yourself? NICHOLOFF It’s not easy. I have to schedule, and fight for the things that are important to me. I schedule time for just reading. Any moments of downtime I have, I’m reading something. That’s a commitment I’ve made to myself. SMITH I don’t always keep the commitments made to myself. I try really hard, but it’s like a daily contest — can

“It doesn’t matter if you have a plan and priorities if you allow life and fire drills to get in the way of them. Your organization won’t grow. Your team won’t grow.” — Amy L. Smith, CAE, AAP, The Clearing House Payments Authority


I get through my to-do list as I made it? Sometimes it seems easier to stay a little late, do one more thing. You have to be flexible, ask yourself what can be shifted when something else comes up. I do believe that I’m more successful at it than not, but I don’t let it make me crazy. My family really helps. I can absolutely just run, run, run. I can fill my entire day with work. But when you are saying yes to everything, when you are flying across the country and all over, there are people who notice. If you’re not balancing your professional and family life, people will suffer. It helps to be surrounded by people who want me around. It’s a great reminder, a sort of back up for when I’m tempted to over-commit.

BARDEN I keep commitments to myself by not overscheduling. I rarely overscheduled myself, because I had the time to be flexible already scheduled in. I rarely scheduled anything after 4 p.m. to make sure I had time to take care of follow up or anything else that popped up. That doesn’t always work for meetings. In that case, I made sure to schedule time after the meeting. Invariably, every time you have a meeting, it almost always leads to more work. So that time at the end of the day is important to wrap those things up. SPARK suggests that having less to do makes you more available for what matters most. How do you identify your true priorities when the day gets busy? SMITH I’ve learned that I don’t have to be at every table. As a leader, it’s important that I take on fewer assignments. This is part of the importance of carving out that time for yourself. It sounds funny to say that you should schedule times for flexibility, but that’s exactly what you have to do. I can shift things on my schedule because there is time already allotted to do so. In my organization, my calendar is public. If I don’t block time off on my calendar, someone will get on there. It’s important for people to able to do that, but it’s important for me to have time blocked off for myself. They can’t see that I’ve marked the time for reading; they just

“If an organization is not achieving its goals, it can scare people away.” — Barbara J. Barden (Retired), Livingston County Convention & Visitors Bureau know they need to find a different time. When it comes to putting out fires, I refer to our plan. What is the value to our members or how does it relate to our goals? I then look to see if it is something I can get a staff member involved in. Maybe they can move something forward for me while I fight the fire, or they can take the fire. We’re always trying to balance against the priorities that we established in the first place.

BARDEN My to-do list is kind of my bible. Within that to-do list, there are deadlines. They rise to the top, but even they can be made flexible. If there is a press release I need to have done and to the traveler writer by 3 p.m., I’ll put it down for 1 or 2 p.m. That way, I’m either ahead of schedule or I can push back a little without risking the actual deadline. This is particularly helpful for those unforeseen circumstances. When things get hectic, I know which priorities I can shift and by how much. NICHOLOFF Prioritizing comes from identifying the immediacy of something. If it truly needs to be addressed quickly, if it’s a problem that needs fixing, then that gets first priority. If it’s more of an idea that needs to be discussed — even if it’s very important — I’ll schedule the time later. You don’t need to commit to talking about everything that someone brings to your attention today. The key is not to react. Ask a few questions and find out what the situation really is. If it’s follow-up to keep consistency going, then those are the things that are my second priority. What is the consequence of not being a consistent leader? BARDEN Without leadership

consistency, the organization would suffer. You can’t achieve a mission if you are not a consistent leader. One way an organization suffers from inconsistent leadership is that it’s difficult to recruit and keep good board members. If an organization is not achieving its goals, it can scare people away. Being a great leader means setting a good example for board members and staff. You can help them honor their commitments by showing that you honor yours.

SMITH If you stop being consistent, you stop being strategic. It doesn’t matter if you have a plan and priorities if you allow life and fire drills to get in the way of them. Your organization won’t grow. Your team won’t grow. The people on my team want to be part of something strategic. They don’t want to be holding the fire hose forever. They want to grow. I’m always reminding them that they have to be strategic. Even when things are hectic and you are feeling overwhelmed, you have to carve out that time to prioritize, to plan. They ask, “How can I do that when my email is full, the phones are blowing up, and three other things are going on?” You have to put that time in your schedule. I know that if I don’t put human resource time on the schedule, I won’t have time for it. That means I won’t be able to reach out to my team, to see how they are doing, to help them. When the leader isn’t consistent, doesn’t set the right example, you end up with a team that is just moving the pile from one place to the next.

NICHOLOFF Things fall through the cracks. It happens. But if you fail at consistency, it affects your reputation as a leader. I try not to let things linger. Say, “I’m not moving ahead on this until I hear back from you on x, y, and z.” Then people are clear on your expectations, and they know what to expect from you. Consistent leadership is directly linked to being a clear communicator — every time. Carla Kalogeridis (carlak@arion-media. com) is editor of Association IMPACT. Thomas Marcetti ( is a contributing writer.






Diamond Banquet

Thank you to the MSAE 2017 DIAMOND AWARDS TASK FORCE Chair: Kathleen Lomako, CAE, Chairman, Southeast Michigan Council of Governments Kate Barber, CMP, Suburban Collection Showplace Tammy Dankenbring, CMP, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Cathy Galbraith, AGC Michigan Donna Pardonnet, Architectural Contractors Trade Association Stacy Yerby, Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau



SAE members celebrated

excellence in association products, publications, and initiatives at the 16th Annual Diamond Awards held September 14, 2017 at The Henry Autograph Collection in Dearborn, Michigan. As the state’s most prestigious gathering of associations and leaders, MSAE’s annual Diamond Awards applauds Michigan’s top associations for innovation, achievement, and excellence in 13 program categories. More than 52 entries competed for top honors. Diamond Awards were given to entries that met the scoring threshold in each category (classified by budget size — Less Than $1 Million and $1 Million and Greater). Gold Certificates, Silver Certificates, and Honorable Mentions were presented in each category. MSAE’s Diamond Awards are selected by a judging panel of association peers and experts relevant to each category. In addition to organizational winners, the evening also recognized three Association Hall of Fame inductees as well as the Emerging New Leader, Strategic Association Leader, and Supplier Partner. Celebrating its 16th anniversary

this year, the MSAE Diamond Awards included a reception, dinner, and ceremony for nearly 250 association professionals and supplier partners. Kathy Bart, CMP, CTA from DeVos Place and Bob Thomas, CAE, CMP, IOM from the Michigan Chamber Foundation served as the evening’s emcees. Before the awards presentation, Denise McGinn, CAE, president of Association Guidance and chairman-elect of the MSAE board of directors, reflected on the 16-year history of the Diamond Awards event. “2002 was a monumental year as MSAE celebrated its 75th anniversary with the kick off of Diamond Awards. It was the first year of the Hall of Fame as well as the Strategic Leader and Emerging Professional Awards,” said McGinn. “Fast forward 16 years, and I am so proud of the accomplishments of my peers. I am truly honored to be surrounded by such a remarkable group of people.” The following is a list of the 2017 winners. If no entry met the scoring threshold for a Diamond Award in a given category, that category’s highest recognition may be Gold or Silver. Congratulations to all the associations who won awards this year!


2017 Key Award

Pictured from l to r: Stephan Currie, Executive Director, Michigan Association of Counties; Amari Myles, CTA, Sales Manager, Flint & Genesee Convention & Visitors Bureau; Aaron D. Wolowiec, MSA, CAE, CMP, CTA, CTF, Founder & President Event Garde, LLC

STRATEGIC ASSOCIATION LEADER Stephan Currie, Executive Director, Michigan Association of Counties The Strategic Association Leader award is given to an individual who has demonstrated the ability and commitment to go beyond the expected standards of service and professionalism. Stephan Currie received this year’s award for his visionary leadership in moving the MAC toward being a 21st Century association.

EMERGING NEW LEADER Amari Myles, CTA, Sales Manager, Flint & Genesee Convention & Visitors Bureau The Emerging New Leader award symbolizes exceptional contributions to the association industry and the promise of future accomplishments within the association management profession. MSAE

honored Amari Myles with the Emerging Leader award because she strives to lead change in her organization through her collaborative spirit, professionalism, and devotion to improving service.

SUPPLIER PARTNER Aaron D. Wolowiec, MSA, CAE, CMP, CTA, CTF, Founder & President, Event Garde, LLC The Supplier Partner award recognizes an individual supplier’s exemplary service and support to the association/not-for-profit profession and MSAE. Aaron D. Wolowiec, MSA, CAE, CMP, CTA, CTF earned this award for his countless hours of service along with some of his best thinking donated to MSAE, ASAE, and local charities. He is continuously generous with his input, actions, and contributions to advance the association profession, especially during the recent CMP prep course redesign.

Amy L. Smith, CAE, AAP, vice president and executive director, The Clearing House Payments Authority, received the 2017 Key Award. MSAE’s Key Award is presented to an individual MSAE board member in recognition of and appreciation for dedicated service that has surpassed the high expectations placed on the board of directors. Smith is the recipient due to her leadership with the new membership model, the help with the process for selecting the transition committee, and the expansion of MSAE’s engagement model.

Carved from Ambition, Built from Inspiration The Hotel Indigo Traverse City reflects the life and vibrant energy of our downtown waterfront Warehouse District neighborhood. Unique designs at every turn pay homage to the area’s logging past; inviting guestrooms feature hard surface flooring with area rugs, oversized murals and spa-inspired showers. You can taste the local flavor in the seasonally inspired farm-to-fork restaurant, the warehouse kiTChen + cork, which features the regions wines and microbrews as well. Unwind at the inviting and relaxing H&L Social, our open-air rooftop bar with expansive and picturesque views of Grand Traverse Bay. 5,500 square feet of meeting space.

Hotel Indigo Traverse City

@hotelindigo 263 W. Grandview Parkway Traverse City, MI 49684 t: 231.932.0500 Reservations: 877.8.INDIGO (846.3446)


Diamond Award Winners


Diversified Revenue Program



Diamond Award Michigan Association of School Boards Greater than $1 million

Michigan passed legislation requiring that school superintendents be evaluated annually. As part of its 2015–17 strategic plan, MASB trainers conducted more than 350 workshops on superintendent evaluation, reflecting a market penetration of more than 60 percent. These trainings resulted in gross program revenue over $400,000 and net income just over $140,000. Equally important, MASB’s Superintendent Evaluation furthered the perception of the organization as friendly experts in governance, increasing demand for MASB’s traditional governance workshop by 40 percent.


a law that would move all school board trustee elections to November of even years, it forced MASB to develop a plan to ensure these new members were engaged early and often. The law meant MASB could potentially see one-third of its membership turn over every two years. As part of its 21st Century Communications Plan — which includes print, digital, and video — StoryBoard, a videobased e-newsletter, has allowed MASB to tap into a segment of its membership that might not otherwise have been reached. This past fiscal year of 2016–17, MASB completed close to a dozen videos for local districts, bringing in an additional $15,000 in revenue.

Gold Michigan Association of Counties — Michigan Counties; Michigan Restaurant Association — MRA News Now Silver Associated General Contractors of Michigan — Mid-Week Briefing; Michigan Association of School Boards — DashBoard Honorable Mention Michigan Osteopathic Association — MOA Pulse


Less than $1 million Diamond Award Michigan Association of School Boards Greater than $1 million When Michigan passed


Honorable Mention International Society of Primerus Law Firms — Primerus XPRESS and Primerus Globe

Government Relations Project


Diamond Award Michigan Restaurant Association Greater than $1 million The Michigan Restaurant Association is the leading advocate for the hospitality and food service industry at the Capitol in Lansing. The Legislative Primer was created to efficiently inform new legislators about MRA and to demonstrate how its legislative action affects every aspect that the MRA represents. The booklet provided legislators with relevant information on issues important to MRA members and the influence that legislators have on the industry’s reality. The Legislative Primer was delivered by hand during introductory meetings between the legislature and MRA’s vice president of government affairs, Robert O’Meara.

Gold Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel — Preserving Public School Employee Pensions Grassroots Campaign


Innovative Collaboration 6

MiMfg Magazine July 2017

PRIME® Initiative Gains First Michigan Program with Shape Corp & Grand Haven Partnership The first in a new series of employerdriven, customized curriculum options for local communities was announced during a 6/19/17 press conference as Grand Haven-based manufacturer Shape Corp. and Grand Haven Area Public Schools struck a deal to participate in MMA’s Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education (PRIME®) initiative. PRIME is a national effort from the SME Education Foundation designed to build a collaborative network of students, educators and industry professionals to provide high school students with advanced manufacturing career pathways. In 2016, MMA began a partnership with the SME Education Foundation to implement its nationally renowned method of skills training in Michigan to help develop talent pipelines for manufacturing. “We really want to complement the vision of harmonizing the missions of the school with the local business community…and delivering not only talented workers for the business community but creating careers for students,” said Mike Johnston, MMA vice president of government affairs. “At MMA, we’ve noticed that manufacturers and school districts don’t speak the same language. We partnered with the SME Education Foundation because we recognized them as translators — they communicate between the business community and educators so we can actually deliver what is needed in local communities.” The collaboration between Shape Corp. and Grand Haven Area Public Schools began through Shape Corp.’s participation at MMA’s 2016 MFG Talent Summit where they were first exposed to the PRIME initiative. Following the Summit, Shape Corp. began sending representatives to local meetings hosted by MMA and the SME Education Foundation and connected with Grand Haven Area Public Schools on a potential partnership. “The MMA and SME’s PRIME program caught my eye because that’s the

Diamond Award Association Guidance/ Property Management Association of Michigan Less than $1 million With the support of the National Apartment Association, Property Management Association of Michigan created the Legislative Action Center, an online member advocacy portal that helps members stay informed and take action. With this digital grassroots advocacy system, PMAM can alert members quickly with a message explaining why they should act. Members can modify a ready-made message that prepopulates their legislators in seconds. The Legislative Action Center also tracks campaign progress with real-time activity reports that break down the information to provide detailed, easy to read, actionable data.

I’m really proud that Shape is supporting technical training in high school — kids have a lot of important decisions to make after graduation and these types of classes can help them determine what they like and learn about different career options.

• Superintendent Andrew Ingall, Grand Haven Area Public Schools • Mike Johnston, MMA vice president of government affairs

Diamond Award Michigan Manufacturers ” Association Greater than $1 million — Amy King, SHAPE Corp.

missing link — someone who understands both ends of the employer-educator partnership,” said Julie Davidson, talent acquisitions manager for Shape Corp. “I’m looking forward to this because it creates a unique employer-driven curriculum and allows us the chance to see the excitement of students as they explore new career opportunities.” The press conference, held at Shape Corp.’s Grand Haven Tech Center, featured:

• Jeff Krause, CEO of SME

• Representative Jim Lilly (R-Macatawa) • Roger Curtis, director of the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development

Two members of Shape Corp.’s next generation workforce and former apprentices, Amy King and Kyle Gould, also spoke of the influence programs like PRIME can have to allow young people to leverage education to further their career aspirations. “I’m really proud that Shape is supporting technical training in high school — kids have a lot of important decisions to make after graduation and these types of classes can help them determine what they like and learn about different career options,” said King. “There’s a lot of high paying, in-demand jobs in manufacturing…[the PRIME program] can help them find their passion early and provide them options they may not consider otherwise.” For more information on bringing a PRIME school to your local community, contact Mike Johnston at 517-4878554 or

To combat misperceptions about 6 the industry, MMA reached out to the SME Education Foundation. The SME Education Foundation inspires, prepares, and supports young people in pursuit of advanced manufacturing career pathways. Together they developed the PRIME program, which recognizes that manufacturers come in all shapes and sizes, creating customizable tools that meet the unique needs of each community. Manufacturers can provide sponsorships, serve on advisory boards, offer job shadowing and apprenticeships, engage employees with students through mentoring, and provide employment opportunities to graduating students. • Mark White, president of Shape Corp. • Doug Peterson, vice president of human resources for Shape Corp.

• John Siemion, president of Grand Haven Area Public Schools Board of Education

Diamond Award Michigan Council of Nurse Practitioners Less than $1 million

With a goal to increase Michigan adult immunization rates through professional organization collaboration, the Michigan Association of Osteopathic Family Physicians, Michigan Council of Nurse Practitioners, Michigan Association of Family Physicians, Michigan Pharmacists Association, Michigan Association of Physician Assistants, and Michigan Medical Group Management Association joined forces to implement a continuing education event. The event was designed for various system and practice sizes and focused on strategies for enhancing adult immunization uptake rates, practice efficiencies, and profits.

Honorable Mention Traverse City Tourism — Cherry Capital Collaboration

MICHIGAN COUNCIL OF NURSE PRACTITIONERS Mary Serowoky & Director Olivia McLaughlin

Magazine Publishing

TRAVERSE CITY TOURISM Beth Hobbs, Sarah Barnard, Terese McInnis, CMP, GMS


Small Business Association of Michigan — Building Bridges


Diamond Award Traverse City Tourism Greater than $1 million Traverse City Tourism prints 300,000 copies





START PLANNING NOW TO SUBMIT YOUR DIAMOND AWARD ENTRIES FOR 2018 It’s never too early to start planning your next Diamond Award-worthy project or initiative. The deadline for submitting entries for the 2018 Diamond Awards is Friday, June 29, 2018. More information will be printed in the March/April 2018 edition of Association IMPACT. Winners will be announced at the Diamond Awards banquet at Suburban Collection Showplace, Novi, Michigan, on Thursday, September 20, 2018.


of an annual guide, Traverse City Magazine, which is distributed in area hotel rooms, Michigan Welcome Centers, visitor centers, regional bookstores, and area conferences. With stunning imagery, engaging articles, and helpful information on where to eat, shop, stay, and play, this guide is the main marketing piece for Traverse City Tourism. The guide was created to be more than lists of places to go. Instead, it incorporated magazinestyle articles to captivate the potential visitor and encourage them to experience Traverse City for themselves. The guide was funded through advertising sales of $230,000. Downloads of the online guide continue to grow as well as positive feedback from visitors who enjoy reading it.

Gold Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau — Visit Detroit; Michigan Association of School Administrators — MASA Leader; Michigan Association of School Boards — LeaderBoard; Michigan Restaurant Association — Michigan Restauranteur Silver Michigan Brewers Guild — MiBrew; Michigan Milk Producers Association — Michigan Milk Messenger; National Association of College and University Food Services — Campus Dining Today

Honorable Mention Michigan Chamber of Commerce — Quarterly Report; Michigan Osteopathic Association — The TRIAD

Less than $1 million Silver Michigan Osteopathic Association Honorable Mention Michigan Manufacturers Association; Michigan Milk Producers Association

or expand their own cybersecurity strategy. The 2017 MFG Forum saw industry member registration increase 53 percent over 2016. Sponsorship revenue increased 61 percent over the same time period.

Gold Michigan Osteopathic Association — 118th Annual Spring Scientific Convention

Meetings and Expositions Diamond Award Michigan Safety Conference (managed by Association Guidance) Less than $1 million Diamond Award Michigan Manufacturers Association Greater than $1 million For more than a decade, the MFG Forum has provided a format to educate manufacturing leaders on emerging issues impacting their business. MMA partnered with the National Center for Manufacturing Science to help small, medium, and large manufacturers understand the growing importance of operational cybersecurity risks. Attendees heard manufacturing best practices and gained valuable resources to help them develop

This year, the Michigan Safety Conference staff and board made seven major changes to the event, including adding a preconference. The conference realized profit of $53,000; sold out the 245 booth spaces at the Suburban Collection Showplace for largest show in the conference’s 87-year history; sold $29,000 in Sponsorships for the highest in the conference’s 87-year history; reached a 6-year attendance high; offered 114 training courses; and gave over $10,250 in scholarships to students studying occupational health and safety at Michigan colleges/universities.


Member Engagement Greater than $1 million Gold

Michigan Association of School Boards — MASB’s Member Engagement

Membership Development

new acquisitions and retention rates for institutional members.

Gold Michigan Manufacturers Association — Reimagining Association Membership Recruitment & Retention Strategies Professional Development Greater than $1 million Gold

Michigan Association of School Administrators — MASA Horizon Leadership Academies

Honorable Mention

Diamond Award National Association of College and University Food Services Greater than $1 million NACUFS’s institutional membership has been on the decline since 2008 despite a retention rate of around 90 percent or above each year. The myNACUFS campaign was built on members sharing personalized stories of what NACUFS means to them. One platform was a video recording 19 institutional members. From directors to nutritionists to chefs, they were intentional about asking people of both sexes and a variety of ages and races. They had specific questions that guided them to explain NACUFS’s top member benefits and how they value those benefits. The myNACUFS campaign improved

Michigan Association of School Boards — MASB Certified Board Member Award Program; Michigan Milk Producers Association — Outstanding Young Dairy Cooperator Program

Public Relations Campaign

MITA’s earned media strategy generated 51 infrastructure news stories, and, along with social media and native advertising, helped drive traffic to the Fix MI State website. More than 1.1 million people saw Fix MI State content on Facebook, with over 280,000 taking some sort of action on the post (sharing, commenting, clicking to view a website story, watching a video, etc.) The legislature agreed to not only restore $20 million in the fund, but also legislative leaders appropriated $35 million into the fund. The MITA advocacy campaign compelled 582 people to contact their state representatives and senators, with a total of 1,146 direct communications with lawmakers. Through a mix of Facebook and Google advertising, MITA generated 3 million ad impressions, more than 22,000 link clicks, and 33,000 views of the video spot.

Gold Michigan Association of School Boards — Get On Board

Diamond Award Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association Greater than $1 million

Silver Michigan Restaurant Association — Michigan ProStart Competition; Southeast Michigan Council of Governments — Walk Bike Drive Safe Education Campaign

Social Media Campaign

Diamond Award Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association Greater than $1 million In late April 2017, the Michigan House cut — and the state Senate completely eliminated — $20 million proposed in the 2018 state budget for the Michigan Infrastructure Fund. MITA galvanized Fix MI State’s social media followers to contact lawmakers and demonstrate Michigan voters’ desire to invest in our state’s infrastructure. The campaign grew awareness and advocacy around infrastructure issues through social media marketing. MITA’s Michigan Infrastructure Facts campaign published 15 fact graphics that were shared and promoted each week. Promoted posts also allowed content to exist on the MITA Facebook page rather than only in newsfeeds, essentially creating a digital library for users to reference when visiting the page and establishing MITA as a credible source for infrastructure news and information.

Gold Associated General Contractors of Michigan — Michigan Construction Careers Silver Michigan Osteopathic Association — Opiod Awareness Honorable Mention Traverse City Tourism — Meetings Market Social Media

The Fix MI State campaign created a network of voters who care about infrastructure.



Volunteer Service

Diamond Award Michigan Milk Producers Association Greater than $1 million MICHIGAN MILK PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION Allison Stuby Miller, Wanda Perez, Therese Tierney, Ken Nobis, Joe Diglio, Sheila Burkhardt, John Fritzler, Carl Rasch

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Since 2015, MMPA has donated a total of 137,950 gallons of milk to Michigan food banks. Included in that total is 36,000 gallons donated to Flint in the wake of the Flint Water Crisis because research shows a healthy diet that includes nutrient-rich foods can

help protect children and families from the harmful effects of lead poisoning. In March 2017, as part of its Milk for the Hungry project, the association announced a milk donation of 150 gallons per day for one year to the Food Bank Council of Michigan. Following the announcement in the spring, the donation reached people in all 83 Michigan counties when school is out for summer and the need for nutritious foods increases. As a perishable and nutrientdense food, milk is one of the most requested food bank items.


Diamond Award Traverse City Tourism Greater than $1 million

Traverse City Tourism’s website is uniquely designed with four sites — one for each season. This way, visitors can look at what a vacation would be like in winter when they are planning a trip in the summer. This year, the site added video to the headers of all the seasons and enhanced many of the inside pages with video content. It also has special landing pages created for specific audiences like a spring blossoms page, a beer lovers page, a wine traveler page, and a winter sports page.

Gold Michigan Association of School Administrators — Silver Michigan Manufacturers Association —; Michigan Milk Producers Association — Less than $1 million Silver Troy Chamber of Commerce —


Thank you Sponsors


The Property Management Association of Michigan, staffed by Association Guidance, earned the Best-in-Show Award for its Diamond Award-winning Legislative Action Center. The Best-inShow Award recognizes the top score in all program categories, and the winner receives the Hope Diamond Award for this significant achievement. PMAM received a nearly perfect score for its entry in the Government Relations Project category.










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BOARD OF DIRECTORS MSAE STAFF Barry Cargill, CAE, Chairman Executive Director Michigan HomeCare & Hospice Association

Cheryl O. Ronk, CAE, CMP President/CEO

Denise E. Amburgey Chief Financial Officer of MSAE & General Manager of Denise McGinn, CAE MSAE Service Corporation

Chairman-Elect Maryanne F. Greketis, CMP President Career Enrichment Manager Association Guidance

Shawnna Henderson

Lorraine Goodrich, CPA Strategic Marketing Manager Treasurer CFO Angela DeVries Automotive Industry Action Group Association Community Cynthia H. Maher, CAE Secretary Executive Director Michigan Plumbing & Mechanical Contractors Association



Kelly Chase, CMP Member Service Coordinator Kristy Carlson, CMP Certification Manager

Mike Wenkel, CAE, Past-Chairman Taylor Benavente Executive Director Association Industry Advocate Michigan Potato Industry Commission


Jared Burkhart, CAE Executive Director Carla Kalogeridis Michigan Council of Editor Charter School Authorizers

Shawnna Henderson

Steve Carey, CAE Graphic Design Executive Director BRD Printing National Truck Equipment Association


CONNECT WITH NEW PEOPLE THROUGH ASSOCIATION IMPACT MAGAZINE Did you know associations represent most industries, from homebuilders to healthcare? Take a second to think of an industry and we bet there’s an association for that! There’s even an association for associations — MSAE is proud to be Michigan’s. Our publications represent the most effective, inexpensive way to market to the association sector in Michigan. Contact for a personalized quote or complete marketing plan.

Scott T. Ellis Executive Director Association IMPACT® is published Michigan Licensed Beverage Association bimonthly by the Michigan Society of Association Executives, 1350 Paul A. Long Haslett Road, East Lansing, President & CEO MI 48823, (517) 332-6723. Michigan Catholic Conference Subscribers should direct all Michael Moss, CAE inquiries, address changes, President and subscription orders to that Society for College & University Planning address. Articles written by outside authors do not necessarily Andi Osters reflect the view or position of the Assistant Director Michigan Society of Association Michigan High School Athletic Executives (MSAE). MSAE’s Association position on key issues will be clearly stated. Manuscripts are Kimberly R Pontius, CAE accepted at the approval of MSAE, Executive Vice President which reserves the right to reject Traverse Area Association of or edit. Appearance in Association REALTORS® IMPACT® does not constitute Jack Schripsema, CTA endorsement of the advertiser, President & CEO its products or services, nor ® Greater Lansing Convention does Association IMPACT make any claims or guarantees as to & Visitors Bureau the accuracy or validity of the Richard P. Seely, CAE advertiser’s offer and reserves Account Executive /Medicare Advisor the right to reject any advertising Member Insurance Solutions, Michigan deemed unsuitable. Advertising Dental Association rates available at Bob Thomas, IOM, CAE, CMP Vice President of Operations © MSAE 2017 and Executive Director, Michigan Chamber Foundation Ara Topouzian President/CEO Troy Chamber of Commerce


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Association IMPACT: Building Consistency as Leader  
Association IMPACT: Building Consistency as Leader  

The 2017 Hall of Fame Inductees link consistency to their success. Also featured: 2017 Diamond Awards Banquet Coverage and Risk Management S...