KSAE Association & Meetings, Vol. 6, Summer 2022

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Amy Dubach, CAE KSAE Board President

hh summer. How the season is calling our name. Grilling out, weekends at the lake, vacations, hanging out with family and friends on the patio or poolside … the bliss of summer is upon us!

For some association professionals, the summer can offer some breathing room and a slower rate of pace to catch up on work and enjoy some muchneeded personal time off. For others, it may mark the beginning of busy time and conference season. Whatever situation you may find yourself in, I hope you make the most of the summer ahead and find the balance you need, and definitely deserve. The last few years have been busy, at times stressful, and full of unprecedented changes to the way we live and work. Mental health and wellbeing are of utmost importance to maintain our fast-paced lives. Unfortunately, finding that balance can all too often crash by the wayside in the wake of progress and just “getting the work done.” Even if you don’t have all the downtime you’d like right now, I encourage you to take a few moments and ask yourself what restores your soul. What can you do for you today? A walk with family or friends? A quiet moment in the sun? Or even binge-streaming a season of your favorite show to relax your mind? A happy, healthy, balanced mind is essential to being at the top of your professional game. Explore the courses KSAE offers on variety of topics (including mitigating burnout) to alleviate stress and find solutions to the problems that are keeping you up at night: www.ksaenet.wildapricot.org/ Events. Watch for networking opportunities through KSAE this summer and fall to reconnect with colleagues who are experiencing similar challenges and successes. Whatever fulfills you and gives you the motivation to continue being the allstar association professional you are, do it. As we embark on the adventures of summer, remember to empower yourself and make the most of every opportunity to find a healthy personal and professional life balance. I look forward to seeing you all at an upcoming event. Until then, thank you for the opportunity to serve as your KSAE president. Please feel free to reach out to me with your ideas of how we can make KSAE better, together. Sincerely, Amy Dubach, CAE, 2022 KSAE board president

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Kansas Society of Association Executives (KSAE) PO Box 4790 Topeka, KS 66604 785.234.0155 • www.ksaenet.org KSAE Board of Directors President Amy Dubach, CAE, Midwest Political Science Association President-Elect Niki Sadler, Kansas Dental Association Secretary-Treasurer Shahira Stafford, Stafford Public Affairs, LLC Immediate Past President Sean Miller, Capitol Strategies Chad Austin, Kansas Hospital Association Christy Classi, CAE, director, KSAE Danielle Hologram, CAE, Kansas Society of CPAs Stephanie Mulholland, Heartland Credit Union Association Alex Orel, Kansas Bankers Association Brad Parker, MBA, CAE, Braden Heidner Lowe & Associates Becky Schwartz, Fuel True: Independent Energy and Convenience Hannah Yeubanks, Kansas Automobile Dealers Association

Published by:

Peterson Media Group 2150 SW Westport Dr., Suite 101 Topeka, KS 66614 Phone 785.271.5801 www.petersonmediagroup.com Editor in Chief Jeff Peterson

Advertising/Sales Vicki Peterson

Managing Editor Dianna Brodine

Editor Erin La Row

Art Director Becky Arensdorf

Circulation Manager Brenda Schell

Graphic Designer Kelly Adams



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Combining Work and Play: Premiere Golf Courses Provide More Than Sport By Cecilia Harris, writer, KSAE magazine

Recruiting and Retaining Talent: It’s All About the Relationship By Kristin Scott, president, Scott Human Resources




How Well Do You Know Your Volunteers? By Lorie Williamson, Blue Pencil LLC


Making the Case Against Monthly Board Meetings By Bob Harris, CAE


To Get the Best Deal, Understand What Speakers Want By Ed Rigsbee, Rigsbee Research

24 FOCUS A Solid Social Media Strategy Can Boost Organizations By Erin La Row, editor, KSAE magazine

DEPARTMENTS 4 10 22 38

Letter from the President Industry News Association News Calendar / Ad Index

29 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: BRADEN HEIDNER LOWE & ASSOCIATES From Boardroom to Statehouse: Topeka-Based Firm Ready to Meet Today’s Challenges By Erin La Row, editor, KSAE magazine

Cover photo courtesy of Colbert Hills


KSAE Magazine • Summer 2022 |





t’s a simple truth: Golf links people together. From teeoff to the last hole, the sport that nearly everyone can play provides an opportunity to connect informally with others while on the course. Sharing information through good conversation between shots develops and deepens relationships; therefore, golf is the perfect outdoor activity for conference attendees. Even if golf is not played, the scenic views from a golf course’s meeting facility are a bonus because studies indicate simply looking at nature together reduces stress and improves cognitive function. Up your game by scheduling one of these five golf courses as your meeting destination:

Colbert Hills, Manhattan

Sprawling across 315 acres in the Flint Hills, Colbert Hills is an 18-hole long and hilly public course with breathtaking views. It has won several accolades, including being ranked the #1 Daily Fee Golf Course in Kansas by Golf Digest,

Golf.com and GolfLink. Five different zoysia tee boxes and treeless fairways with generous landing areas accommodate all levels of skill. General Manager Jeremy Dietz said tournaments may range from smaller events utilizing only tee times to reserving the entire golf course. “Typically, we don’t require tournaments to hold their conference at our facility but we recommend it so individuals do not have to travel after a conference or meeting and would immediately be able to practice and play golf,” Dietz said. Event spaces include the Founders Room that overlooks Hole #1 and holds up to 32 people, a semi-private dining room seating 75 with an outstanding view of Manhattan and the Clubhouse that accommodates 225 individuals. There also is a large sitting area with a fireplace at the restaurant’s entrance and a full-service bar.

The Terradyne Country Club, 1400 Terradyne St. in Andover, has a 6,854-yard Scottish Links style course.

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The charcuterie board, BBQ chicken or pork sliders and the artichoke dip are the menu items most requested by meeting planners as all food and beverages must be purchased through Colbert Hills. Quality food, the quiet location and incredible views are the clubhouse’s biggest attributes, Dietz said.

Terradyne Country Club, Andover

Rated four Stars by Golf Digest magazine and chosen as one of America’s best courses by Golf Week magazine, Terradyne Country Club offers an elite course. “The 6,854-yard Donald Sechrest The Topeka Country Club, 2700 SW Buchanan in Topeka, features a course designed Scottish Links style course designed by world-famous golf course architect Perry Maxwell in the late 1930s. is a diamond in the heart of the nation,” said Leah Doshier, director of membership and operations. “The rolling blue grass fairways lined by the seemingly bottomless native grasses makes for a mentally challenging and rewarding round.” A private country club, Terradyne does not allow public tee times; however, planners may contact Brian Ward, head golf professional, regarding scheduling a group outing or tournament. Three meeting spaces are available Colbert Hills Golf Course, 5200 Colbert Hills Dr. in Manhattan, covers 315 acres in for non-members: the Turnberry the Flint Hills. Room features a wall of windows with blinds and seating for 55 people, the Prestwick Room Although the course only is available to members and their is perfect for a 10-member board or committee meeting and guests, the club bylaws allow for outside golf tournaments St. Andrews Banquet Room suits groups of up to 250 people. to be exclusively scheduled on Mondays, according to Gina Newsham Patterson, director of membership and marketing. “Meeting planners love that we are all inclusive; the meeting and event space, the linen availability, and the food and Situated in the center of the lush golf course, the Clubhouse beverage service is all in one place,” Doshier said. Favorites off provides unique views of the grounds. Among the seven event the extensive menu include the Chicken Alfredo, the taco bar, spaces, ranging in size from 500- to 6,000-square feet, are a brisket, barbecue meatballs, wonton cups and chicken strips. Kansas Capitol-themed Board Room, a living room setting with a large fireplace and a large conference room with drop-down audio-visual capabilities. Patterson said planners Topeka Country Club, Topeka Designed by world-famous golf course architect Perry appreciate the top-notch staff, service and food, with most Maxwell in the late 1930s, the 18-hole Topeka Country Club requesting the pecan chicken and house-made signature traditional parkland style course features narrow corridors lined with trees, zoysia fairways and bent grass greens. continued on page 8 www.ksaenet.org

KSAE Magazine • Summer 2022 |



dessert, which is white chocolate ice cream with raspberry sauce. “Nestled in the center of the city, our rooms feature beautiful views of the golf course amongst the service and tradition only a private country club can provide,” she said. “The Club is a nicely appointed private meeting space for any event.”

The Jayhawk Club, Lawrence

In 2016, the former Alvamar Golf and Country Club that once hosted a number of significant golf championships became The Jayhawk Club and underwent a major transformation. The partially redesigned parkland-style golf course features 27 holes set in the natural landscape. With sloping terrain and tree-lined, zoysia grass fairways, it now is known for its unique combination of playability and tests of skill that provide fun for both beginners and experienced golfers, according to Wes Lynch, general manager/memberships.

The Jayhawk Club, 1809 Birdie Way in Lawrence, features 27 holes set in the natural landscape. The clubhouse, built in 1968, was recently renovated.

The Firekeeper Golf Course, 12524 150th Rd. #8819 in Mayetta, is a par 72 course. It honors the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation’s tradition of retaining the Although a private club, outside golf land’s natural elements with minimal disruption.

events such as a group tournament are allowed but must be approved.

The recently renovated clubhouse, built in 1968, combines rustic charm and a contemporary feel with “lots of beautiful windows with golf course views,” Lynch said, adding that meeting planners say the interior is beautiful and comfortable. The facility’s options and flexible space are its biggest attributes as an event venue, according to Lynch. The Sunflower Room, a bright space with floor-to-ceiling windows, seats 270 people. The Lookout Room handles a group of up to 60, and the 1968 Room holds 25 guests. A modern-style, multi-purpose barn accommodates up to 200 people.

Firekeeper Golf Course at Prairie Band Casino and Resort, Mayetta

With accolades such as best public golf course in Kansas, Top 100 Resort Courses and Top Casino Courses in the country by Golfweek magazine because of its pristine natural bent grass fairways, scenic fairways and greens, and a challenging fescue rough, the par 72 Firekeeper course honors the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation’s tradition of retaining the land’s

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natural elements with minimal disruption to prairie, valley and woodlands. “Showcasing all that Kansas geography has to offer, Firekeeper has become one of the premier golf courses in the region,” said Annette Wheeler, marketing coordinatoradvertising. “Firekeeper is a championship caliber golf course that has hosted multiple professional tour events, as well as multiple high-level amateur tournaments. It is a challenging and rewarding golf course that is a true test of golf for all skill levels.” Options for groups include scheduling a tournament or simply playing a round of golf with multiple tee times booked based on the number of conference attendees. The golf course is adjacent to the Prairie Band Casino and Resort with meeting room sizes ranging from a 14-person conference room to 800 people in a 12,000-squarefoot convention center. The Casino provides additional entertainment with bingo, slot machines and table games. F www.ksaenet.org


Johnson Named FTA Executive Director

The Financial Therapy Association (FTA) announced Brandy Johnson, CAE as their executive director effective June 1, 2022. FTA is an organization comprised of Johnson professionals dedicated to the integration of cognitive, emotional, behavioral, relational and financial aspects of well-being. For more information, visit www.financialtherapyassociation.org.

K1 Hospitality Welcomes Director of Events

Nikki Martinek has been named director of events for K1 Hospitality. Martinek, a Topeka native and Emporia State graduate, has more than 16 years of experience creating and managing successful events. Most Martinek recently, she served as the marketing manager for the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, where she led a creative team to produce datadriven marketing campaigns aimed at building membership and growing its annual tradeshow with over 18,000 attendees and exhibitors each year.

Explore Crawford County Names Executive Director

Dave Looby has been named executive eirector of Explore Crawford County (formerly Crawford County Convention & Visitors Bureau) in Southeast Kansas. For nearly 13 years, Looby served as the president and CEO of Minneapolis Northwest Tourism and has been heavily involved


in industry events and organizations such as the Minnesota Association of CVB’s, the Minnesota Society of Association Executives, Destinations International (where he earned his certification as a Certified Destination Management Executive – CDME), the US Travel Association, as well as many local clubs and business organizations, and he has been a member of Rotary International for more than 35 years.

Visit Topeka President Earns CDME Certification

Sean Dixon, president of Visit Topeka, has completed the requirements to become a Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME), the highest individual certification Dixon bestowed upon professionals in the tourism industry. To become certified, Dixon completed courses covering destination management, sales and marketing, leadership strategies, advocacy and community relations, financial management and more. Dixon will have opportunities to continue his professional education, and he may seek recertification every four years.

Visit KCK Announces Marketing and Communications Manager

Steve Walls is the new marketing and communications manager for Visit Kansas City Kansas. Walls develops and oversees marketing Walls and community relations activities and oversees all marketing activities, including advertising buys, marketing projects and publications, website and social media. Walls also directs all communications and PR functions while helping to raise awareness for Visit Kansas continued on page 12

Do you have industry news to share with KSAE magazine readers? Email erin@petersonmg.com with your news item.

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Reaching NEW

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City Kansas. Walls is a native Kansas Citian. In addition to working with Visit Kansas City Kansas, he is a credentialed sports media journalist and influencer. Walls can be seen and heard on 100.1FM, 810 WHB Sports Radio, KSHB 41, KCTV5, WDAF Fox 4 and many other sports news and radio stations around the country.

Abilene Named in Top 10 Best Historic Small Towns Contest

Abilene has earned bragging rights taking second place in the 2022 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest in the Best Historic Small Town category. This category is for towns with big histories and populations of fewer than 25,000 people. This is the fourth year Abilene has finished in the top 10. A panel of experts partnered with the 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees. The top 10 winners were then determined by popular vote.

Month-Over-Month Increase Indicates Industry is Moving Faster Through Recovery

Knowland, a provider of data-as-a-service insights on meetings and events for hospitality, released its monthly meetings and events data for May with a significant increase of 276% over May 2021. May 2022 rebounded from April 2022 with a 12.5% increase month over month. Average attendees per event continued to outpace 2019 with an average number of attendees at 123 in 2022 compared to 92 in May 2019. Corporate meetings continue to be the dominant segment, representing 62.8% of meeting and event business with technology, healthcare and financial/ banking taking the lead as the largest industry groups. From a recovery standpoint compared to May 2019 levels, online retailer, urban infrastructure, tobacco, and packing/shipping are the segments at the highest level of recovery capture in May 2022. Learn more at www.knowland.com. F

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HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW YOUR VOLUNTEERS? By Lorie Williamson, Blue Pencil LLC Author’s note: Having worked and volunteered for a variety of nonprofit organizations over the past few decades, I have experienced the transformation that is taking place with volunteers across the nation. If we (both nonprofits and volunteers) acknowledge and embrace this change, those who give and receive can benefit more than ever!


t’s well-known that volunteers are an essential element of most nonprofit organizations. An estimated 25% of the adult population – 63 million Americans – contribute billions of hours volunteering, so it goes to reason that organizations should be willing to do whatever they can to retain their volunteers and keep them active. While volunteering offers vital help for those in need or the community at large, the benefits can be even greater for the volunteer. The right match can help volunteers experience personal growth, find friends, connect with the community, learn new skills and even advance a career. People volunteer for an assortment of reasons, so it is vitally important to understand where their

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motivation comes from to retain and grow your volunteer base. How well do you know your volunteers?

Volunteering has evolved

Volunteerism has shifted from a “call to service” in centuries past to an emphasis on individual choices for those who are passionate about giving back to society. With today’s online technology, nonprofit organizations and individuals can easily connect and have access to a wide variety of useful information. This creates endless opportunities for volunteering.1 But, despite the ability to cast a wide net in search of volunteers, many nonprofits struggle to attract, retain and increase their volunteer force. Much of this difficulty stems from not evolving in the same way individuals have when it comes to volunteering. While most volunteers are looking to build a relationship with an organization they can support long-term, there are often other individual motivators at play as well. Among the www.ksaenet.org

top reasons people choose to volunteer are personal growth, gaining a sense of community and skill development. Understanding and accommodating what today’s volunteers are looking for is crucial. It’s no longer enough to just put out the plea for volunteers and treat them all the same. Being aware of what motivates each person to give of their time while fulfilling your mission is vitally important when it comes to retaining and increasing volunteer support.

The heart and mind of volunteering

Personal growth is now a big motivator for many volunteers. People are interested in expanding their horizons or cultivating new interests. There is also more research suggesting volunteering can also have a positive impact both mentally and physically by counteracting the effects of stress, anger and anxiety. Volunteering on a regular basis can help combat depression, increase self-confidence and help keep you physically healthy.2 Keep this in mind when developing volunteer programs or roles. Help volunteers get to know your organization, engage with your mission and feel satisfied with the time they donate. Not only will your opportunity to garner their support increase, but it will also aid in bringing them back and inviting others to join them.

Connections count

A sense of purpose and belonging is a driving force for countless volunteers. Looking for opportunities to serve with like-minded people, through a cause they are interested in, can be a powerful motivator. It is also a wonderful way to make new friends and strengthen current relationships. Volunteering can be especially helpful for those who are new to a community by expanding their social and/or professional support networks. Meeting regularly with the same group of people with a common interest allows everyone involved to practice and develop their social skills and is helpful for those who are shy and have a tough time meeting new people. When nonprofits take the time to ensure they introduce volunteers to one another, it helps break the ice and bring them together from the very beginning of a project. While introductions may not work with a large group or project, providing name tags can help volunteers feel more at ease interacting with one another. The visual of having everyone wearing the same name tag or T-shirt also instills a sense of recognition and inclusion. This can continued on page 16

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KSAE Magazine • Summer 2022 |


NONPROFIT continued from page 15

go a long way in building relationships with your volunteers – and keep them coming back.

Branching out

Asking volunteers to list their skills and experience to place them where their talents can best serve an organization is what most volunteers run into when applying with a nonprofit. For some people, it is exactly what they are looking for. For others (more than you might think), they are eager to branch out and learn something completely new. This may be for personal reasons or to learn a valuable job skill or advance their career. Some people simply want to take a break from what they spend most of their time doing during their normal work hours. When given the chance, many volunteers express an interest in learning something new. Make sure there are opportunities to gain new skills, take on a task that is more challenging or has the potential for advancing to a higher level of service. Don’t assign mundane tasks that no one else wants to do. Organizations who accomplish this level of engagement with their volunteers experience a higher retention rate.

and volunteers who are engaged and dedicated often become generous donors as well. While your main goal should always be to fulfill your organization’s mission in the community, enhancing the lives of your volunteers will help you retain and increase volunteer involvement and retention. F

References 1. 2.

1Hour Blog Team, The Evolution of Volunteering: Today vs In the Past, Aug 15, 2021, 1hourlife.org/ Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. and Lawrence Robinson, Volunteering and its Surprising Benefits, October 2020, helpguide.org

Lorie Williamson, founder and owner of Blue Pencil LLC, combines her business and nonprofit experiences to help small business owners, entrepreneurs and nonprofits communicate effectively and efficiently in today’s ever-changing climate. For more information, visit www.bluepencilagency.net.


Bottom line? It’s not always about what volunteers can do for your organization that keeps them coming back. It is also about what they reap from their experience that keeps them around

VOLUNTEERING HIGHLIGHTS AND TRENDS IN THE UNITED STATES Americorps.gov The following information about volunteering in the United States comes from the 2019 Current Population Survey: Civic Engagement and Volunteering Supplement. In 2019, an estimated 30% of Americans, or 77.9 million people, reported they volunteered for an organization or association. This rate has remained stable over the past two decades.

By the numbers

Kansas ranked 13th in state ranking by volunteer rate with a volunteer rate of 36.5%. Kansas • 811,231 volunteers contribute 61.1 million hours of service • 36.5% of residents volunteer • Volunteer service worth an estimated $1.4 billion • 24.5% of residents do something positive for the neighborhood

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32.5% of residents participate in local groups or organizations • 65.1% of residents donate $25 or more to charity 26.5% of males volunteer; volunteer service worth an estimated $72.4 billion, while 33.8% of females volunteer; volunteer service worth an estimated $94.5 billion By generation • 26.1% of Generation Y Americans volunteer • 28.2% of Millennial Americans volunteer • 36.4% of Generation X Americans volunteer • 30.7% of Baby Boomer Americans volunteer • 24.8% of Silent Generation Americans volunteer


AmeriCorps, Office of Research and Evaluation. (2021). Key Findings from the 2019 Current Population Survey: Civic Engagement and Volunteering Supplement. (by Laura Hanson Schlachter, Ph.D.) Washington, DC: Author.


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ure, you want the best possible speaker for whatever your budget might be. A dynamic or informative speaker generally is a stellar investment in the success of your meeting. But sometimes your budget is not enough for the speaker you want. What’s the solution? Hire a less expensive speaker – squeeze the speaker you want for a better price – think beyond conventional wisdom?

their conference registration dollars. Sometimes the true cost of non-paid speakers is staggeringly hidden.

Thinking beyond conventional wisdom might look like limiting the number of speakers at your meeting. It is always less expensive to have a single speaker do several sessions than to have several speakers present a single session each. Not that every speaker is capable of presenting multiple sessions; however, because of the multiple travel and hotel rooms cost, sometimes it is even cheaper to hire a speaker to deliver multiple programs than to have several non-paid speakers participate in your meeting.

Let’s explore the difference between a professional speaker presenting the same program multiple times vs. presenting multiple programs. The big difference for the speaker is preparation time – including research, handout development and PowerPoint preparation. Unfortunately, few meeting planners take this key time issue into consideration. Speakers are selling both their knowledge and their time. The latter is finite, so the more you consume, the more you should expect to pay. In paying for a speaker’s time, you have to consider presentation time, travel time and preparation time. Unless of course you want a canned speech – then the preparation time is not an issue. Before you jump on the cost savings of a canned speech, remember that today, few attendees will tolerate a canned speech.

Even if these unpaid speakers drive in, thereby eliminating their airline travel expense, they will still want a free hotel room for the conference and free registration. Perhaps they were going to come anyway? You would have then received

This idea of a single speaker presenting multiple presentations for a single fee is growing in the world of professional speakers but is counter to standard operating procedures for most speaker bureaus. If you like this idea, you might have to

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abandon the ease in speaker selection that you have enjoyed when working with bureaus.

The bureau conundrum

Speakers bureaus provide a valuable outsource service for meeting planners that are time squeezed. A planner can contact a bureau, give their budget and the bureau will take it from there. For planners that have to fill a large number of conference session slots and do not have sufficient staff – bureaus can be their solution. Yet, there are many more speakers who are under- or nonrepresented by speakers bureaus, than there are speakers that they recommend. Most bureaus only have a small corral of speakers that they can easily sell and therefore will generally recommend them first. Many of the underrepresented speakers are quite good and are a tremendous value. Another component to consider is that some bureaus serve two masters. What I mean can be illustrated by a recent conversation I had with a planner from a very large biotechnology manufacturer at a meeting industry trends summit. We were chatting at the event’s evening cocktail party and the planner was bemoaning about a request for

“Speakers are selling both their knowledge and their time. The latter is finite, so the more you consume, the more you should expect to pay.” a speaker that she submitted to a very large East Coast speakers bureau. The planner went on to tell me that the information sheets for the speakers that this particular bureau sent her, had no relationship to her submitted speaker request. The planner was upset the bureau didn’t pay heed to what she requested. I explained to the planner that the particular bureau specialized in speaker exclusives – meaning that the bureau was the only place through which a particular speaker could be booked. As such, the bureau would recommend their exclusive speakers first, and if none were selected, would then recommend continued on page 20


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SOLUTIONS continued from page 19

other speakers – even when a non-exclusive speaker would have been a better fit. Unfortunately, this trend is spreading through the speakers bureau industry. For most speakers, speakers bureaus are but one of the many channels by which they go to market. Speakers bureaus need to be viewed as one would view any distributor or sales agency. If two-step distribution serves your needs, and there are a number of reasons that it might, then by all means select that method. The conventional marketing message espoused by most bureaus is that for speaker X, you’ll pay the same price through us as you would booking speaker X direct. That is a nice ideal that frequently may be true. Yet, in a supply chain where a distributor or manufacturer’s representative sales agency receives 25 to 30 percent, the reality is generally not quite the ideal. There was a reason behind Sam Walton championing the idea of Walmart working directly with manufacturers, thereby eliminating the distributors. This was a necessary strategy in order for Walton to continually deliver low prices to his Walmart customers.



One conversation can change everything.

“Never approach a speaker, out of the gate, by asking if they negotiate their fees! What the speaker hears is, ‘I’m calling to ask you for a discount and offer nothing in return.’ That’s a turnoff in anybody’s book.” Go direct?

If you should select to work directly with a speaker, the price you will assuredly pay is time. Time both in your search and selection process as well as time working with the speaker on meeting logistics. If this route is best for you, there are a number of advantages that could make your time investment a profitable one. Some of the benefits to you could be, no lost communication through an intermediary, better negotiation possibilities (the Sam Walton dynamic) and the speaker offering programming ideas and insight that most likely would have never been transmitted through a third party. Searching for a speaker directly has never been easier. To start, there are a number if internet search engines that will do a magnificent job in searching for a speaker by topic or keyword. Remember to look past the first search page because that is most likely where you are going to find the speaker bargains. A great source to aid your search is the website of the National Speakers Association (NSA).

National Speakers Association

NSA is an alternative method for finding speakers. NSA has an open online search capability that anyone can access at www.nsaspeaker.org. It is true that only members of NSA are listed, which does limit your possibilities just a bit, but nonetheless you will find that the NSA website a valuable source in your search for the right speaker. NSA offers its members a certification called Certified Speaking Professional (CSP). While the CSP designation does not guarantee a speaker’s success at your meeting, the process through which a speaker goes to receive a CSP designation is not an easy one. The CSP designation is a good indicator that the speaker is truly a professional.

Approaching the speaker

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Never approach a speaker, out of the gate, by asking if they negotiate their fees! What the speaker hears is, “I’m calling to ask you for a discount and offer nothing in return.” That’s a turn-off in anybody’s book. Besides, everything in life is a negotiation – just assume that they will. www.ksaenet.org

A better approach is to first talk with the speaker about what you want – engage them in conversation. After they have affirmed that they can deliver what you want, then move into the “we have a budget issue” phase. Do this by first suggesting some of the things your organization can do for the speaker to create extra value for them. Also ask the speaker what creates value in their life. Perhaps you have value to offer a speaker that you had never realized? What do you have that costs you very little but delivers high value to professional speakers?

Keynote vs breakout

Believe it or not, more speakers will be willing to talk to you about your budget challenges when you are talking general session (meaning that there is no other session competing at the same time) vs. breakout or concurrent sessions. The reason for this is exposure and product selling capability. If a speaker is going to fly across the country to speak at a meeting, which do you think is more valuable to the speaker – speaking to 40 people, or 400? Naturally, it is the 400. More people that could potentially recommend the speaker for future events and more product will surely be sold to 400 people than to 40 – but, rarely do planners think about this.

In making your decision about how to acquire your next speaker, I hope the above has stimulated your thinking beyond conventional wisdom. Additionally, for more ideas on how to save money at your next meeting, please visit www.rigsbee.com/affordablemeetings.htm. F Ed Rigsbee is the founder and CEO of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity, Cigar PEG Philanthropy through Fun, and president at Rigsbee Research which conducts qualitative member ROI research and consulting for associations and societies. He holds the Certified Association Executive (CAE) and Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) accreditation. Ed is the author of The ROI of Rigsbee Membership-Today’s Missing Link for Explosive Growth, PartnerShift, Developing Strategic Alliances, and The Art of Partnering. Exceptional resources are available at www.rigsbee.com.

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KSAE Magazine • Summer 2022 1/13/2022 7:34:10 PM |



Job Postings Available Through KSAE

If you are an association looking to hire, the Kansas Society of Association Executives is here to help. Send a job posting out on the KSAE email list and have it placed on the KSAE website for only $50 per position for KSAE members and $100 for nonmembers. When you post

To register for events, visit www.ksaenet.org.

with KSAE, you’re placing your open position in front of a talented and experienced pool of candidates with the skills and experience your association needs to achieve its mission. For more information contact Christy Classi at cclassi@ksaenet.org.

KSAE Webinars

Negotiation: Is It Different in a Pandemic?

How to Validate Your Market for Educational Products

Gain a broad intellectual understanding of the central concepts in negotiation. These concepts are the building blocks that can be systematically applied to evaluate any negotiation.

Twice per month KSAE members can participate in national webinars hosted by our fellow state association societies. Check out what’s coming up and register now! Can’t attend live? Registrants will receive a recording link to the program and access to the on-demand version within 48 hours of the webinar.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022 – 12:30-1:30 p.m. CST When your association sets out to create a new continuing education or professional development offering, how sure are you it will sell? If, like many organizations, you often feel like you are flying blind, then join Jeff Cobb and Josh Goldman of Tagoras to learn how to assess your market effectively and launch new educational products with confidence. In this session, we’ll consider the value of traditional assessment approaches like surveys and interviews while also focusing on newer techniques that help you take the pulse of your market on an ongoing basis. Participants will walk away with a clear, templated process for testing the demand for new products before investing significant time and money in full-scale production. 1 total credit – 1.0 CAE

22 | KSAE Magazine • Vol. 6

Wednesday, July 27, 2022 – 12:30-1:30 p.m. CST Understand the nature of negotiation. Interests, goals and cooperation are ambiguous and often do not have “right” answers. Follow a repeatable process to analyze negotiating situations.

Improve the ability to analyze the behavior and motives of negotiators in settings that have both competitive and cooperative elements. Develop high-level experience in the negotiation process, including learning to evaluate the costs and benefits of alternative actions and how to manage the negotiating conversation. 1 total credit – 1.0 CAE

Mitigating Burnout & Preventing Attrition: Bypass the Great Resignation

Wednesday, August 10, 2022 – 12:30-1:30 p.m. CST This valuable and timely deep dive will prepare operations professionals to diagnose unrest and disengagement within their workforce and implement strategies that will help them retain their high-caliber talent. www.ksaenet.org

Using case studies to demonstrate real-world challenges, and discussion about how to use tools in conjunction with institutional knowledge, the attendees will be participants in problem-solving rather than passive listeners. Throughout the presentation, we will engage in live Q&A to troubleshoot specific scenarios in real-time to inspire the whole group.

Competing for Quality: Strategies to Become a Top Talent Magnet

Participants will learn how to leverage their teams’ knowledge and personal investment to create solutions tailored to their organization’s needs.

We will look at effective recruiting strategies across generations, the new recruiting framework in today’s economy, and 11 key strategies to revamp your recruiting message.

Those concerned with reducing friction within the business machine will be able to offer solutions to leadership when problems arise and create reports that qualify and quantify employee dissatisfaction. Furthermore, they will propose and implement solutions that will save time, money, and talent.

To be competitive, organizations must ensure current employees are employment brand ambassadors as well; we’ll talk about what that means and how the marketplace plays a role.

1 total credit – 1.0 CAE

Wednesday, August 31, 2022 – 12:30-1:30 p.m. CST It’s all about reaching and influencing the candidates – wherever they are, whatever they read, hear or see. To be successful in today’s marketplace we must adapt key talent management strategies to changing workforce demographics.

You’ll hear how compensation is impacting the recruiting process and onboarding of new employees. We will look at considerations when designing a pay structure, key retention and motivation drivers, and why plans fail. 1 total credit – 1.0 CAE F


KSAE Magazine • Summer 2022 |





By Erin La Row, editor, KSAE magazine

ove it or hate it, social media is changing the way people and businesses communicate. While some organizations thrive in the social media pool, others bob along trying to stay afloat.

But in a world where 55% of consumers learn about brands or companies on social media, according to Sprout Social’s State of Social Media Report,1 the need for organizations to “go social” grows. Additionally, “91% of executives anticipate their company’s social media marketing budget will increase over the next three years.” If your organization isn’t taking full advantage of social media, it may be falling behind. “The most challenging aspects of social media boil down to committing the time required to manage an account coupled with a limited understanding of the platforms themselves or how to create effective posts,” said Julie Tucker, vice president and CEO at Cogent Ideas Inc., www.cogentideasinc.com. “While a seasoned user of social media can execute posts on the fly, clients also must remember to consider the information they share as part of the organization’s overall promotional strategy.” Some organizations turn to creative firms, like Cogent Ideas Inc., based in Topeka, Kansas, to help manage social media

24 | KSAE Magazine • Vol. 6

Social platforms companies use for marketing purposes Facebook




















Facebook Manager








Google My Business






Credit: “The Future of Social Media: New Data for 2021 & Beyond;” www.sproutsocial.com

strategy. Cogent Ideas Inc. is a full-service marketing resource for agribusiness. The team’s depth of industry knowledge is supported by more than 175 years of collective brand building continued on page 26






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FOCUS continued from page 24

experience. One component of brand management is helping clients build their social media strategy. Tucker oversees the firm’s day-to-day operations and logistic solutions, as well as closely works with clients to blend social media into their overall marketing strategy.

Five Tips for Getting Social Media Right Julie Tucker, vice president and CEO at Cogent Ideas Inc., shares five tips to help organizations succeed with social media. 1. Be consistent and post regularly. This is often easier said than done, particularly in an off-season. Remember this is a conversation with your audience and you want to maintain consistent communication. Posting works to build brand awareness throughout the year. This also applies to comments made on a post. If a response is required, be sure to reply in a timely manner. 2. Share quality photos or videos in your posts which support your message. Don’t include one simply for likes, but ensure it is relevant to the information in your post and provides a helpful visual reference. 3. Quality over quantity. Be sure posts are helpful and relevant to your audience. Simply posting for quantity could result in posts which don’t provide helpful information or are perceived as irrelevant to your audience. Ultimately, your audience may decide to stop following if the posts aren’t of benefit. 4. Post positive content. Nonprofit organizations work extremely hard to build support in the form of donations and volunteers. Kindness and positivity will always attract more of the same both in people and response. 5. Inspire action and share your impact. Social media posts should not only inform, but also encourage involvement and support. Share success stories, help followers know where and how they can get involved as well as what is needed. While doing this, make sure your posts are sharable for followers to share your story as well while expanding your reach.

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“When advertising and promotional budgets are limited, or nonexistent, social media is key to communicating with an audience,” Tucker said. Social media offers a free solution for sharing event information, deadlines or promotions. For a relatively small fee, social media advertising can extend a post’s reach to a larger demographic. Even more important for nonprofits and smaller organizations, Tucker said, is social media can be used to share educational information to an audience. While posts are short in nature to capture a viewer’s attention, they can link to more in-depth articles or videos. “As we evaluate the longer, more extended communications efforts of an organization, social media is merely one tool in the digital toolbox,” Tucker said. According to Sprout Social’s State of Social Media Report, “Social media is nearly as common as TV/radio ads and (word of mouth) for learning about brands or companies.” So where do you start with your organization? “The best place to start is to start simple,” Tucker said. “Ask yourself which platform your clients are most likely to use. Start a conversation with them there.” From Facebook to Twitter, Instagram to TikTok, and the many platforms in between, knowing where to get the most bang for the buck can seem daunting. Tucker said to consider the demographics of your potential audience. Are they teens? Retirees? Parents? Or another group? Use the platforms your audience visits most frequently, Tucker said, and if your audience spans several demographics, using multiple platforms will help reach them. After setting up the account, introduce your organization and be sure to share the social media links on all digital assets, including your organization’s website, email signature, etc. “Keep in mind your organization’s purpose and social media goals – then begin a conversation with your clients,” she said. Tucker noted these considerations are important when deciding what to post: • Does this post support our organization’s goals? • Does this promote our company in a positive light? • Is this post relevant to our brand awareness? • Is this post helpful to our customers or members? continued on page 28









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KSAE Magazine • Summer 2022 |


FOCUS continued from page 26

Also, determine what frequency fits best with your goals. For some, twice a day is necessary, while once or twice a week is effective for others. Tucker said there are plenty of examples of local organizations executing effective social media strategies. Relay For Life Shawnee County (Facebook/@rfltopekaks), she said, is making the most of Facebook with live feeds, links, photos, and question and answer sessions. On Instagram, Topeka Yoga Network (Instagram/@topekayoganetwork) has effectively built a community by sharing tips, class schedules, workshops and inspiration. What’s next for social media? Expect to see more from TikTok. The popular video platform hit a milestone last summer of 1 billion active monthly global users.2 While it may have a place in your organization’s strategy, Tucker said as it relates to nonprofits, most of the TikTok content is simply for entertainment and not educational in nature. Nevertheless, “The use of reels and stories continue to increase,” she said. “Shared content helps a nonprofit expand its reach to new audiences when a follower shares a post.”

n i t e e M

“The best place to start is to start simple. Ask yourself which platform your clients are most likely to use. Start a conversation with them there.” Live feeds on social media are also increasing. “As it relates to nonprofits, it provides an excellent opportunity for online event engagement, fundraising and community outreach,” Tucker said. “Live videos receive a higher preference by various platforms over produced and natively posted videos.” F

References 1.


June 9, 2022, “The Future of Social Media: New Data for 2021 & Beyond, Harris Poll on behalf of Sprout Social,” June 23, 2001, www.sproutsocial.com/insights/data/harrisinsights-report Wang, Echo, Sept. 27, 2021, “TikTok hits 1 billion monthly active users globally – Company,” www.reuters.com/ technology/tiktok-hits-1-billion-monthly-active-usersglobally-company-2021-09-27.


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© Backstory Photography



ike ASAE says, associations make the world smarter, safer and better,” said Travis Lowe, vice president and one of the namesakes behind the government relations and association management firm Braden Heidner Lowe & Associates (BHL) based in Topeka. “(Associations) work to improve people, professions, communities and our state and nation. We help our clients grow their professions’ influence, performance and standards. In turn, their members support and lead their communities and help shape the future by advocating, informing and networking.”

In addition to Lowe, Sandy Braden, president, and Scott Heidner, senior vice president, are principals of the firm. They’re joined by a team of full-time employees specializing in various capacities, such as financial management, government affairs, event planning, communications and association leadership.

BHL’s rich history dates back to 1979. Its name has changed a handful of times, but the firm is the successor of Pete McGill & Associates, the original government relations firm in Kansas. Over time, BHL added full-service association management to serve clients on a state and national basis. In 2018, BHL opened another office in Jefferson City, Missouri.

“It is hard to find a person who truly enjoys every aspect of association management. But with an AMC of our size, we have a different team member who specializes in a specific area and performs those tasks for all our clients,” Lowe said.


Strategic planning, leadership

Lowe said the association management company (AMC) model allows the firm to customize functions and services to each client’s specific goals.

continued on page 30

KSAE Magazine • Summer 2022 |



In today’s ever-changing world, it’s a lot of work for a volunteer board to manage one or several full-time staff members while keeping up with human resources best practices and the regular turnover stress universal to every industry. An AMC provides stability that puts the stress on the AMC so volunteers can focus on the association’s mission. “It’s not for every association,” Lowe said. “But it certainly is a good option for many.” A good option, especially during turbulent times like a pandemic. “Just like everyone, we are adjusting to 2022, which looks closer to 2019, but still very different,” Lowe said. A recent challenge for the firm was keeping its associations’ members engaged over 2020 and 2021, and ready to hit the ground running again. “We wanted to keep them from falling into the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ trap,” he added. During that time, natural board transition ushered in new leaders who had to focus more on navigating the pandemic and less on their associations. Lowe said while it is better now, that time affected leadership transition and new leader development. During it all, BHL helped its clients stay focused and motivated. “In the AMC world, the ‘half servant/half leader’ role means we have to push them, even when it’s different,” Lowe said. But change is not always bad, and the new world opened new doors and new opportunities for growth. Lowe said organizations now have more options for reaching members through technology. Virtual meetings allow for less travel time and more focus on the issues at hand. “It was also a reminder, that even with the use of technology, how important it is to have options for members to network with each other,” he added. BHL is committed to leadership development. In 2007, the BHL team created a leadership program template and began offering the program as a service to clients. The program teachers profession-specific skills and uniquely emphasizes grassroots participation in the political process and peer-to-peer business development. “The program has been a huge success,” Lowe said. “And now we partner with state-level associations in six states to provide customized leadership programs.”

Managing interests from the Statehouse

On the government affairs side, the faces under the dome

30 | KSAE Magazine • Vol. 6

change while each session brings new policy challenges the BHL team is excited to tackle. The team helps clients stay organized and aware, and serves as a resource for policymakers, weighing in on proposed legislation when necessary. “We understand our members have careers, so we look after their interests in Topeka and Jefferson City,” Lowe said. The BHL team helps clients in Kansas and Missouri strategically build government affairs programs, keeps clients aware of activity and actively monitors policy issues, and offers full, proactive advocacy efforts at their statehouses. BHL also manages several political action committees. www.ksaenet.org

“Our company slogan is ‘advancing your agenda.’ This pretty much sums up our approach for our clients’ government affairs,” Lowe said. BHL is committed to helping the next generation interested in government affairs. The Legislative Monitor Internship Program is designed for students interested in learning more about the Kansas legislative process. The spring semester internship, typically running from January through the end of April, gives interns exposure to several policy areas and interaction with Senate and House members. BHL works with university political science departments to meet the needs for course credit. “We really enjoy the program and believe in its value to impact students’ futures,” Lowe said. “Two of our BHL lobbyists, including me, launched our careers as interns. It’s fun to see their enthusiasm to learn more about the process and use it to make careers of their own.” By the end of the program, interns have an enhanced understanding of how to architect the passage of legislation, a solid understanding of the advocacy side of politics and a better sense of their future in politics. Students interested in the program can learn more by going to BHL’s website, www.bhlandassociates.com.

“Success is a byproduct. Our goals are to keep assisting each client – be it a trade association, professional society, coalition, foundation or company – to focus on its mission and not let issues fall through the cracks. It may look different, but that’s OK.” Looking ahead

BHL’s experienced team is ready to offer an expert level of government relations and association management services. Lowe said exceeding clients’ expectations for results-oriented strategies and solutions, and providing the highest level of professionalism, confidentiality and personal integrity propels the firm and its clients. “Success is a byproduct,” Lowe said. “Our goals are to keep assisting each client – be it a trade association, professional society, coalition, foundation or company – to focus on its mission and not let issues fall through the cracks. It may look different, but that’s OK.” F

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KSAE Magazine • Summer 2022 |





By Kristin Scott, president, Scott Human Resources

avvy leaders have always known the secret to recruiting and retaining talent is All About the Relationship! This practice is especially true in today’s employment environment. The core challenge is how do we communicate that we care about and value others? Let’s consider recruitment first. I recently heard a statistic that there are 15 million jobs open and only 10 million individuals seeking employment. This is a huge gap. Organizations will have to get creative in locating and attracting talent to fill positions.

Where did the people go? •

Some workers have decided to take early retirement. The experts say those individuals are not returning to the workforce. I suspect that if inflation continues to rise, early retirees may be forced to come back to the workforce based on the market. There is a childcare shortage across America. If parents are lucky enough to find childcare, the costs can be very

32 | KSAE Magazine • Vol. 6

high. For some families, it makes more sense to be a one-income family because after paying for childcare the financial gain is too low. Many have left traditional jobs and started their own businesses. An article by Small Business Trends shares that there were more than five million small business applications in 2021.1 Three percent of adults in America are working gig jobs.


With the volume of positions available, recruiters must be intentional with recruitment efforts. Here is a list of strategies that many companies are finding successful. • Sign-on bonuses are almost standard now. In the Midwest, we have seen sign-on bonuses as high as $20,000 in the healthcare field for nursing positions. • Consider modifying benefits: extending student loan repayments, enhancing hybrid and remote work opportunities, negotiating time off and much more. continued on page 34


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• • •

• •

The length of the hiring process must be much quicker than in prior years without shortcutting the process. One company had an employee become frustrated with their boss on a Friday, applied for a job, had a phone interview that afternoon, an in-person interview on Saturday and an offer by Monday morning. The company lost an eightyear tenured employee because the relationship with the supervisor went awry … and they lost that employee in just three short days (over a weekend!) Create recruiting cards with QR codes that link directly to the job application. Organizations are re-evaluating if college degrees are necessary. Implement a “Coach K” letter to applicants who reject your job offer wishing them the best and that you are excited for their future. Be sure it is handwritten and follow up in 90 days with a personal phone call to see how the new position is working out. This isn’t new, but a stronger focus is on attitude. You can hire for attitude and train for skills. We are seeing companies hiring retail workers for office setting positions based on their customer service skills, attitude and getter-done behaviors. AI recruitment is great, but we still need a human touch. Step in and review what the software may have missed. At the final interview, take a break at the end to identify the offer and come back to make an instant offer.


Welcome your new hires and ensure that the primary focus for the first 90 days (or longer) is that they will be engaged and trained. • Have a detailed training plan (for a minimum of two weeks) outlining who the new hire will work with and who will train them; have a full schedule with dates, times, who and what. Incorporate a check-off list that acknowledges training was complete. • The manager should also create a Success Plan that includes initial assignments, and goals for 30, 60 and 90 days. • Assign a mentor or buddy to each new hire – again, building that relationship. • HR should follow up with the new hire at the end of the training period for a quick check-in; then again at 30 days, 90 days and one year. Stay connected! • The new hire and their supervisor should be meeting weekly to confirm successes, challenges, are they stuck and what needs to be reviewed. Build the relationship. This MUST be a priority!

“It has been said time and time again that team members leave managers, not organizations. The relationship between the team member and supervisor is essential to long-term retention.” retention. Consistent one-on-one meetings will build that relationship. Other things to consider: • Host career conversations (what does a career path look like for them, how can you help them grow, what opportunities can you provide, etc.) • So much attention can be given to the new hires, we want to consider our long-term team members too. Organizations are taking a hard look at bonuses for long-term staff; being more flexible with needs while balancing organizational needs. • Be intentional to celebrate milestones and wins. Always say thank YOU! • Food always brings people together; host a Friday Food Day once a month. • Organizations are reviewing potential increases and or bonuses to help with the current inflation. The bottom line is that it truly is all about the relationship! F Scott Human Resources service philosophy is to build long-term relationships with clients in northeast Kansas and Kansas City area by providing solid recommendations and business practices balanced with compliance, employee engagement Scott and budgetary considerations. Strategies are customized to improve bottom-line dollars and employee productivity while teaching managers how to lead and motivate staff. For more information, call 785.272.5410 or visit www.ScottHR.com.

References 1.

Pickard-Whitehead, Gabrielle, Jan. 15, 2022, “A Record Number of Businesses Started in 2021,” www.smallbiztrends.com/2022/01/record-number-newbusinesses-started-2021.html.


It has been said time and time again that team members leave managers, not organizations. The relationship between the team member and supervisor is essential to long-term

34 | KSAE Magazine • Vol. 6





Association & Meetings

five top picks in northeast kansas

kay mcfarland japanese garden and venue 635 S.W. Gage in Topeka, 785.783.4264 topekazoo.org The Kay McFarland Japanese Garden features traditional Koi ponds, bridges, lush landscapes and exquisite architectural elements. The contemporary event center provides modern amenities and seats over 200 people at round tables. The dedicated private suite opens to a secluded garden, promoting peace and relaxation. Overlooking the largest pond, an open-air pavilion offers a gorgeous outdoor location for overflow seating.

webster conference center 2601 N. Ohio St. in Salina, 785.827.6565 webstercc.org A place for everyone – camps, weddings, corporate events! Webster features lakes; nature trails; challenge course elements; Frisbee golf; a swimming pool; sand volleyball and basketball courts; archery and target ranges. Meeting space includes a 500-seat chapel, seating capacity for 450, dining facilities and 19 meeting rooms. It’s the perfect setting for family reunions, birthday parties, receptions and many more activities.

GReat overland station

Flint hills discovery center 315 S. 3rd St. in Manhattan, 785.587.2726 flinthillsdiscovery.org Situated in the heart of the Flint Hills, the Center offers an unforgettable venue to host your next event. From elegant weddings to casual gatherings, staff are there to make your vision a reality. Reserve an intimate space for daytime meetings, luncheons and celebrations. After hours, host the ultimate, exclusive event: a private evening in the exhibits and galleries.

701 N. Kansas Ave. in Topeka, 785.251.6945 parks.snco.us Built in 1927 and restored to its original grandeur, this former Union Pacific railroad station offers several event spaces: the Main Waiting Room and Mezzanine (up to 200 people), and the East Gallery (up to 100 people), which together, can hold up to 300 people. A conference room, suitable for small business meetings of up to 12 people, is also available.

riverfront community Center 123 S. Esplanade St. in Leavenworth, 913.758.2948 visitleavenworthks.com The Riverfront Community Center is a beautiful, historic Union Depot Train Station built in 1888 and lovingly restored in 1988 as a multifunctional facility. No matter what type of event you are planning, from receptions to reunions, meetings to promotion parties, we can help you arrange the perfect day! The Community Center is only a 30-minute drive from most areas of Kansas City.




ssociation executives often ask, “How frequently should the board meet?” The best answer is, when there is a reason to convene for the purpose of governance. The majority of boards meet quarterly. It is ironic that some of America’s largest associations get the job done by convening only three times a year. Inversely, smaller associations and chambers find a need to meet monthly or bi-monthly. Why do organizations with small budgets, fewer members or less programs need to meet more frequently? “Don’t be afraid to broach the subject of migrating to quarterly meetings,” says Steve Christian, president, Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce. “We recently added it to our annual planning session, and initially staff had a lot of anxiety over having the issue placed on the agenda at all – concerned that it may be perceived as diminishing the role of our board and changing a decades-old tradition. We were pleasantly surprised at how well it was received by our board members, and the change was approved with minimal debate. This frees up staff time to focus on executing our mission and serving our members.”


Meet too often and complications arise, including wasted

36 | KSAE Magazine • Vol. 6

time, micromanagement and a lack of quorums. Here are the symptoms: •

• •

Always done it this way – We have met monthly for decades. “If we don’t meet often, we forget about the projects and our responsibilities. We enjoy the camaraderie.” Top brass – Boards want to attract senior decision makers. Monthly meetings, coupled with the duties of chairing committees and attending events, may limit top echelon directors from volunteering. They delegate the opportunity to underlings. Management – Meetings require staffing. Supporting the board is a key function, including meeting preparation, attendance and wrap up. They invest a lot of time on agenda preparation, distributing reports, meeting attendance, room set-up and meeting minutes. Socializing – Some directors like the meetings for socializing, seeing friends and exchanging information; not for governance. Micromanagement – When the board meets without a purpose directors may busy themselves with committee work and micromanagement of staff. Remember the adage, “Directors don’t do committee work at the board table.” Similarly, the board should not tackle administrative details. www.ksaenet.org


The transition from monthly to quarterly meetings should not be difficult if approached rationally. A few members will grieve about the change, but most adjust. •

Technology – There are tech tools allowing for notice, online meetings, document collaboration and voting. While in-person meetings are probably best, use technology to streamline governance. Executive committee – If the bylaws allow, convene the executive officers instead of the whole board. They may have authority to make decisions in between meetings of the full board. Agenda design – Is the agenda designed to carry the organization forward just 30 or 60 days? Craft an agenda that works for 90 days. If an issue arises, the board can meet by conference call or rely on the executive committee. Orientation – Directors should fully understand the purpose of board meetings and their responsibilities. When they realize their roles, they may agree to meet only as needed. It would be wrong to have directors think the meeting is a time for socializing and lunch. Postponement – If there is no pressing issue, nor a good

reason to meet, postpone the meeting. By calling for input into the agenda, if none is received it may be a sign that the meeting can be postponed. Nobody will be upset about getting more time in their life because a meeting was canceled. Find a compromise between the state corporate requirements for at least one meeting a year to meeting monthly. When suggesting change, rely on the governing documents, efficient practices, resource management, precedents and culture to determine what works best for the organization. F Bob Harris has more than 30 years of experience with associations, chambers and other nonprofits. He is known around the world for sharing best practices and promoting sustainability of associations and chambers. His specialties include strategic planning, board roles and responsibilities and staff training. For more information, visit www.nonprofitcenter.com.


Don’t miss out – subscribe now! KSAE Association & Meetings is the official magazine of the Kansas Society of Association Executives. The magazine – which is available in print and as a digital edition – includes intriguing articles and news on conferences, meetings and association management that affect Kansas-based associations and other nonprofit organizations in the region. www.ksaenet.org/ KSAE-Association-&Meetings-Magazine www.ksaenet.org

KSAE Magazine • Summer 2022 |


CALENDAR To register or for more information, visit ksaenet.org.


AUG. 31

AUG. 13

SEPT. 27

How to Validate Your Market for Educational Products

Mitigating Burnout & Preventing Attrition: Bypass the Great Resignation

Competing for Quality – Strategies to Become a Top Talent Magnet

5 Steps to Find Your Value Proposition

AD INDEX Boot Hill Casino and Resort..................................... boothillcasino.com.................................................................................................... 25 DoubleTree by Hilton-Lawrence............................ lawrence.doubletreebyhilton.com.......................................................................13 Flint Hills Discovery Center...................................... flinthillsdiscovery.org............................................................................................... 35 Geary County Convention & Visitors Bureau.... marriott.com/mhkcy.................................................................inside back cover Glass Decorators........................................................... glassdecorators.com.................................................................................................27 Great Overland Station.............................................. parks.snco.ks................................................................................................................ 35 Hilton Garden Inn-Topeka......................................... hgitopeka.hgi.com.......................................................................................................17 Hilton Garden Inn-Wichita Downtown................ wichitadowntown.hgi.com......................................................................................17 Hotel Topeka at City Center.................................... hoteltopekaatcitycenter.com.................................................................................12 J.O. Sundstrom Conference Center...................... visitlindsborg.com......................................................................................................27

KSAE Association & Meetings................................ ksaenet.org/KSAE-Association-&-Meetings-Magazine................................37 Kansas Star Casino & Event Center..................... kansasstarcasino.com.............................................................. inside front cover Kay McFarland Japanese Garden and Venue... topekazoo.org............................................................................................................. 35 Marriott Wichita............................................................. marriott.com/ictwe.................................................................................................. 33 Memorial Union at Emporia State University... emporia.edu/union.................................................................................................... 19 Prairie Band Casino & Resort.................................. prairieband.com............................................................................................................9 Riverfront Community Center................................ visitleavenworthks.com.......................................................................................... 35 Springhill Suites by Marriott.................................... marriott.com/FOESH.................................................................................................21 Treefall Marketing (Allen Press)............................. treefallmarketing.com.............................................................................................20 Visit Dodge City............................................................. visitdodgecity.org/meet......................................................................................... 23 Visit Emporia................................................................... visitemporia.com/meet............................................................................................ 19 Visit Kansas City Kansas............................................ visitkansascityks.com/midwestmeetings........................................................31 Visit Leavenworth......................................................... visitleavenworthks.com.......................................................................................... 28 Visit Manhattan.............................................................. visitmanhattanks.org............................................................................. back cover Visit Salina........................................................................ visitsalinaks.org.............................................................................................................11 Visit Topeka...................................................................... visittopeka.com/meetings.......................................................................................13 Visit Wichita..................................................................... visitwichita.com.............................................................................................................3 Webster Conference Center.................................... webstercc.org.............................................................................................................. 35

38 | KSAE Magazine • Vol. 6



Contact The Geary County Convention & Visitors Bureau with all your convention and conference needs. We also help with itineraries and group tour planning. 222 W. 6th Street • Junction City, KS 66441 (785) 238-2885

• 20 hotels including 3 lake front properties • 2 Convention / Conference Centers • Located in the True Heart of the Flint Hills • Fort Riley – Home of the First Infantry Division • Milford Lake – The Largest Lake in Kansas • Great family friendly museums and nature center

Manhattan MEET IN

Our conference center expansion continues to make Manhattan the #1 walkable meeting destination in Kansas

Oh Manhattan !


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