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WSAE members are welcome to post blog articles, pending approval of staff admin. Articles posted here will also be considered for inclusion in WSAE's bi-weekly series of e-blasts. Alternatively, please feel free to submit an article for posting through this form. We will review and, if approved, will post here for you. 

Guidelines:

  • The article content should cover an issue relevant to the association industry and of interest to association professionals.
  • Avoid overt, self-serving commercialism.
  • WSAE reserves the right to edit for styles and formatting.
  • In general, WSAE style conforms to the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary and The Associated Press Stylebook.
  • We can be flexible with regards to article length, but roughly 500-1,000 words is appropriate.
  • Artwork/photos are recommended as they enhance readership. Note that appropriate photo releases may be required if the photo(s) include individuals, copyrighted material or trademarked products.
  • We encourage the inclusion of a professional headshot with your article.
  • Please identify each author, position and place of employment. Further, feel free to include a short bio and contact information (email or website only) at the end of the article.
  • Authors should feel free, even encouraged, to share an article after it's been posted with their online networks and connections, linking to the article here.

This opportunity is exclusive for WSAE members. CAE credit is available toward certification renewal.



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First Impressions Matter: The How (And Why) Behind AEM’s Enhanced New Member Company Onboarding Program By Sara Stromski, Director, Membership & Customer Success, Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) When it comes to onboarding new association member companies and primary membership contacts, it’s like the old saying goes, “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” At the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), we work diligently to put our best foot forward when welcoming our newest member companies to our association, which represents the off-road equipment manufacturing industry. And while we’ve always committed to being ...
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Does Your Org Structure Need a Re-Org? By Lindsay Bullock, CAE , Executive Director Inc. An organizational structure is so much more than a chart. It’s how your association gets its important work done and ultimately how it serves your members. T he Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) – an Executive Director Inc. (EDI) client – undertook a yearlong organizational restructuring. We blew up our org chart. We cut our board in half. We amended our bylaws. And we learned a lot along the way. Starting the conversation with your leadership As SBM grew, its organizational structure became simultaneously more complex and less current. ...
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We asked 2023 Women's Forum committee members why they are excited for this year's Women's Forum , titled Women Empowered, Building a Community , planned for Tuesday, September 19 at the Hyatt Regency in Milwaukee. Here is what they told us: Carrie Berger National Fluid Power Association "The WSAE Women’s Forum will be a great learning and networking opportunity for professional women in all industries. There is an excellent selection of speakers, covering a wide variety of topics. I look forward to attending!” Caroline Bowers Support Community Network "Don't miss out on the WSAE ...
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DE&I And You: How Association Leaders Can Turn Purposeful Words into Meaningful Action By Lydia Riesch, Association of Equipment Manufacturers Stop talking about diversity, equity and inclusion. On its surface, that may seem like a strange position to take on what’s widely considered to be a relevant topic for most organizations today. However, the conversation around DE&I is highly saturated, with so many like-minded individuals making the same case for something already proven to be true. DE&I has been examined from almost every conceivable angle, resulting in published tool kits, training curriculums, podcasts, social media ...
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Mind the Gap: Confronting Wage and Wealth Disparity By Cassandra Krause , Communications Manager, Wisconsin Bankers Association The wage gap, or the difference in earnings between different groups (most commonly women and men) — even in 2023 — continues to undermine the principles of fairness and equality in the workplace and society. The wage gap is compounded by the wealth gap, and the consequences on the economy and upward mobility can be far-reaching. A glance at the numbers The gender pay gap in the U.S. has not budged much over the last two decades. According to the Pew Research Center , in 2022, American women typically ...
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Congratulations to WSAE’s Newest CAEs! The Wisconsin Society of Association Executives is excited to announce our two newest CAEs. We congratulate both Suzanne Fedie, CAE , and Chad Lawler, CAE, on their accomplishment! We caught up with them to ask a few questions about their paths to earning their credentials. Suzanne Fedie, CAE Executive Director, Association Acumen, LLC Why did you decide to pursue your CAE? I strongly believe in the importance of continuing education and professional development. However, I found myself slowing down in this area. The CAE is the gold standard in our industry. I knew the process would be ...
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Get to Know WSAE Member Marissa Lopez, CAE Association Executive at EDI Organization: Executive Director for the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) Chair, 2023 WSAE Women's Forum How did you end up working in Associations? I was referred by a dear friend who told me about a job opening for a program manager position, so I applied. Like many entering the association field, I was unfamiliar with the industry. I really enjoyed working with our members and organizing workshops. EDI was very supportive of my professional development and provided opportunities for me to grow and learn. After seeing how much opportunity the association ...
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Navigating Difficult Conversations By Caroline Bowers , Executive Director, Impact AMC Chair, WSAE Communications Committee In every workplace, conflicts are bound to arise. Whether they stem from differences in opinions, competing priorities, or misunderstandings, handling workplace conflicts effectively is crucial for maintaining a harmonious and productive environment. By approaching these challenges with curiosity, assuming positive intent, and setting clear paths for resolution, we can foster empathy and clarity in the workplace. In this article, I will share strategies for navigating difficult conversations with skill and sensitivity. ...
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WSAE Chair's Message: Summer Continues to Be Busy in the Association World, and at WSAE! By Denise Husenica, MBA, CAE, International Standards Manager, National Fluid Power Association WSAE Chair of the Board of Directors According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, we are officially in the Dog Days of Summer which began on July 3 and continues through August 11. I hope that you are taking time to enjoy the long days and HOT Wisconsin weather with family and friends. Even though this time of year is filled with vacations, relaxation and fun, I also know that some of you may already be counting down the days to when school is back ...
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Why the Future of Marketing Lies in Community Building By Seth Resler, Digital Strategist, Jacobs Media Marketing professionals find themselves at an inflection point. The tactics that have proven successful for decades are providing diminishing returns, in large part because they’ve become ubiquitous. Marketers looking for an edge will need to adopt new strategies. When looking for the next big thing, it’s helpful to understand how we got here… Permission Marketing vs. Interruption Marketing In his classic 1999 book, Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends, And Friends Into Customers , Seth Godin drew a distinction ...
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Thinking About a New AMS? Tips for Small Associations and Non-IT Professionals By Erin Russell, Director of Membership and Communications, Non-Ferrous Founders’ Society If asked to name the most critical piece of software in your association’s “tech stack,” most association professionals would likely point to their Association Management System (AMS). There are hundreds of AMS platforms in the U.S. alone, and that number is rapidly growing. Finding the one that is the best fit for your association is a daunting task for any association, but particularly for small-staff associations and those without in-house technology expertise. The tips below ...
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Why Volunteer?

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Why Volunteer? Did you know that there are over 60 WSAE members currently active on the board, committees and task forces? Well, we asked them for one reason they each serve as a WSAE volunteer. Here are some of the responses: "I learn as much or more than I contribute by hearing the experiences and ideas of other committee members." Erin Russell, Non-Ferrous Founders' Society "Because I really don't have enough meetings and I love to live my life on Zoom! LOL Actually, I like to get exposed to new speakers, new to Wisconsin Associations and enjoy networking and getting other perspectives. You get that by being involved and volunteering." ...
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Identify, Engage, Retain: How AEM Proactively Enhanced its At-Risk Member Program By Sara Stromski, Director, Membership & Customer Success, Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) It’s been said that member engagement is the lifeblood of an association. Active, engaged, passionate members renew their memberships and help bring even more new members into the fold. That’s why attracting and retaining members, not to mention keeping them engaged, should always be a top organizational priority. It certainly is at AEM, where we have several levels of membership and companies ranging in size from the very large to the very small. ...
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Cybersecurity And You: Why You’re Not as Secure as You Think By Sara Truesdale Mooney , CAE Senior Vice President, Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) WSAE 2023 Board Member When it comes to the current landscape of cybersecurity , experts agree it’s not a matter of if, but when, an association will experience a cyberattack. With cybersecurity on the mind of every association leader, WSAE assembled a panel of cybercrime, legal, and IT experts to speak to the topic at the recently held LIVE! @ The Osthoff education event. During the May 23 session, panelists Amanda J. Knutson, FBI Supervisory Special Agent, Joe Ruskey, IT security ...
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Save the Date - September 19, 2023 Women’s Forum: Women Empowered, Building a Community By Marissa Lopez, CAE Association Executive, Executive Director Incorporated (EDI) Women’s Forum Chair On behalf of the Women’s Forum Planning Committee, I invite you to save the date for this year's Women's Forum on September 19 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Milwaukee. The goal for this second annual Women’s Forum conference is to expand on the success of the inaugural event held last September. In surveying our members, we learned about some of the key topics of importance to them which helped shape the program for this year’s event. The theme ...
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Recruiting, retaining top talent requires proactive approach By Kyle Geissler, CAE Vice President, Wisconsin Broadcasters Association WSAE 2023 Board Member There’s no single solution to the recruitment and retention challenges leaders are currently facing, but a proactive approach to talent management can set the stage for success. Dawn Tryba is a professional business coach who spoke at the WSAE Live @ The Osthoff event on May 23. She shared her expertise with a room full of association professionals seeking advice on talent management. All sizes of association organizations are affected by the current talent shortage. About 75 percent ...
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Unleashing Productivity and Focus Insights from CJ McClanahan's WSAE LIVE! @ The Osthoff Session By Caroline Bowers, Executive Director, Impact AMC Chair, WSAE Communications Committee In a world driven by technology and endless tasks, the pursuit of productivity and focus has become a paramount challenge. Recently, I had the privilege of attending an enlightening session by renowned speaker CJ McClanahan. With a focus on optimizing performance and achieving real results, McClanahan shared invaluable strategies to enhance productivity, manage distractions, and reduce stress. These are my key takeaways from the session. Shifting your ...
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Celebrating the Successes of the Wisconsin Society of Association Executives in 2023 Quarterly message from WSAE CEO/President Christina McCoy, CAE Dear WSAE Members, As we move through 2023, we are thrilled to share with you the many successes of the Wisconsin Society of Association Executives (WSAE) to date. Over the past year, our organization has accomplished a great deal, and we are proud to have continued to provide valuable resources and support to our members. Here are just a few highlights of our achievements in 2023: Strong Membership Numbers : We have exceeded our membership budget goal for 2023, and are ...
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Get to Know WSAE Member Caroline Bowers Executive Director, Impact Association Management Company Chair, WSAE 2023 Communications Committee How did you end up working in Associations? My career started in nonprofit communications and fundraising. I have worked at several non-profits in other states including Habitat for Humanity chapters in Tennessee and Texas. My passion has always been giving back, providing opportunities to underserved communities, and making volunteer board members’ lives easier. I moved to Madison in 2017 from Austin, Texas. I stayed home with my first child for a year as I acquainted myself with our new city and ...
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By Shawn Elmore, Client Success Manager, Impact Association Management Company Associations play a critical role in representing the interests of their members and promoting their industries. However, to achieve their objectives, associations need to create a culture of inclusivity that values diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) principles. An inclusive culture promotes a positive and welcoming environment for everyone to succeed regardless of their background, race, gender, abilities, or sexual orientation. In this article, we'll explore how associations can use DEI principles to create a more inclusive workplace culture, along with eight actionable ...
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