2019 Summit



2019 Summit - Register Now!

Please join us October 28-29 in Milwaukee for WSAE's 2019 Summit held at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in their beautiful brand new state of the art meeting space. The Summit, held annually, is the premier event for our association community to focus on professional development, information sharing and networking. Educational sessions (CAE credits) offer modern and timely information to help you stay ahead in the ever-changing world of association management. Come prepared to learn and enjoy networking and community with fellow association peers, meeting professionals and industry partners.

A solid line-up of speakers will be complemented by ample opportunities to network:

  • The Industry Partner Showcase and Reception - Visit our industry partner tables to learn about their products and services while enjoying beverages and appetizers.
  • The Awards Lunch will recognize WSAE peers who inspire us through their commitment and contributions to the industry.
  • The Networking Breakfast will provide an opportunity to explore common areas of interest and brainstorm strategies and solutions with your peers.

The Summit is the perfect opportunity to challenge your thinking and learn from your peers and other association experts.

Register today!



8:15 - 8:45 am

Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:45 - 9:45 am


Developing a Connective Mindset – Smart for Business and Smart for You
Allison K. Summers, Host, Disruptive CEO Nation Podcast

The speed of business is moving fast. The problems and challenges we will face in the coming years are not likely challenges that even exist today (think blockchain, AI expansion or the entrance of iGen’ers into the workforce). If our ability to identify, evolve, and adapt to new business scenarios is lacking as leaders and organizations, we will not survive. Simply put, if you don’t move on your members will move on.

Based on the book, Connect to Influence, this interactive discussion will ask you to consider why:

  • We all need to think about being futurists
  • You need to cultivate the right relationships in both the human space and the digital space
  • You must establish a ‘connective vision’ and know how to measure your connective score
  • How leveraging the right connections can bring about accelerated insight and advancement
  • That growing your network quickly and vastly is probable if you know the insights and steps to become a super connector
  • How setting your connective course will enable you to be professionally positioned for the next opportunity in life
Smart business leaders know connections move you from where you are to where you want to be. So, are you ready to think beyond the space you currently occupy in order to remain essential in our rapidly changing world?

9:45 - 10:00 am


10:00 am - 12:00 pm


  • C-Suite - Destination: Dignity
    Joe Kledinger, Prophit
    Designed for the C-Suite, this is a 2-part session.

    Part I: Doing Life Together
    The turn of the century saw the Industrial Revolution where efficiencies were king. We then moved into the Digital Revolution followed by the Information Age.
      Today, we are entering the Connection Age. People are starving for real connection and guidance for their life, not just their job. Leaders who understand this can produce outstanding organizations.

    Part II: How You're Emotionally Wired
    In order to get real with people and connect, we must understand how we are emotionally wired. This interactive workshop will lay out fundamental truths about our humanity that get in the way of communication.
      By understanding the science of how we’re emotionally wired, leaders have the ability to gain clarity and understanding faster with their teams.

  • Meetings 
    Linda Gulrajani, Vice President, Revenue Strategy and Distribution, Marcus Corporation 
    Facilitated by Tom Graybill, Tri-Marq Communications, Inc.
    Meeting planning professionals and industry partners are invited to join this breakout focused on association meetings and events. 

  • Membership Marketing - How to A.C.E. Your Membership Marketing Initiatives 
    Michael DiFrisco, CAE, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry 
    Facilitated by Tony Veroven, AMPED Association Management
    By focusing on the fundamentals of Acquisition, Conversion, and Engagement, you can recharge your membership marketing and be better prepared to navigate the changing association landscape. 
      This presentation and round table discussion with Michael DiFrisco, CAE and facilitated by Tony Veroven of AMPED Association Management, will challenge your assumptions, and bring new clarity to your recruitment and retention efforts. 


12:00 - 1:30 pm

Awards Lunch & Annual Business Meeting
Join us for a celebration luncheon as we recognize WSAE peers who inspire us through their commitment and contributions to the industry. We will also hold our annual business meeting.

1:30 - 2:30 pm

Peer Successes, Challenges and Tools
Facilitated by:
Kathy Raab, CAE, CNAP, Executive Director, Metropolitan Builders Association
Annette Ashley, J.D., Director, Professionalism & Engagement, State Bar of Wisconsin
Lisa Fitch, CAE, Director, Charitable Foundation, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Charitable Foundation
Brett Kell, MSM, Director of Business Development, International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society

Who knows what you do and the challenges you face every day better than those doing what you do every day? When you're looking for new tools and ideas where do you turn? In this session you'll hear from an invaluable resource - your peers! Join us to hear about successes, challenges and tools being used by your peers in association management. You're guaranteed to walk away with an idea you can borrow (isn't imitation the sincerest form of flattery?), a tool you can implement or a challenge that you can learn from.  

2:30 - 3:00 pm

Legislative Update
Mary Kate Cunningham, CAE, Vice President of Public Policy, American Society of Association Executives

Mary Kate will provide an update on the latest legislative and regulatory challenges for associations, as well as insight into how the elections might shape the agendas of both Congress and the Administration going forward. From the fight to repeal the 21% tax on employee transportation benefits and other challenges in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, to Association Health Plans and professional certification in the states, there are no shortage of issues at stake for the association community.

3:00 - 3:15 pm

Standing Break

3:15 - 4:15 pm

Artificial Intelligence: An End to Work as We Know It
Nick Myers, Founder & CEO, RedFox AI

Work as we know it is about to change. For years humans have been tied down by the mundane tasks within the realm that we have come to know as “work.” However, a new frontier in how we think about and how we practice work is emerging that will disrupt everything we have come to know about the typical 9–5.

The rise of Artificial Intelligence is ushering in a paradigm shift that is expected to surpass both the Iron Age and the Industrial Revolution combined. Ever job in every industry is going to change as the age of AI begins to take hold.

In this thought provoking session you will:

  • Learn about the current state of AI and where the technology is headed.
  • Understand what AI and The Singularity mean for the world of work and how every job in every industry is going to change.
  • Learn about the core industries that AI is rapidly disrupting.
  • Learn about how you can start preparing today to ensure that you and your organization is ready for the AI era.

4:15 - 6:15 pm

Industry Partner Showcase and Reception

7:00 - 8:30 pm

After Party Hosted by VISIT Milwaukee

Continue the evening with networking and fun at the After Party, sponsored by VISIT Milwaukee. Transportation will be provided from Potawatomi Hotel & Casino to the North South Club, where our group will have the option to experience the ambiance of the rugged northwoods of beer, flannel and axe throwing or the laid-back vibe of southern shores with palm trees, beach and shuffleboard. Or, both! Appetizers, drinks and shuffleboard will be included. Axe throwing is available at an additional charge. Note: Transportation begins at 6:30 pm.



8:15 - 9:15 am

Networking Breakfast

9:15 - 10:00 am

Take Advantage of LinkedIn's Many Opportunities 
Chantel Soumis, LinkedIn Expert and "Brand Sorceress"

With over 645 million profiles worldwide, LinkedIn is the number one choice for professionally relevant content, outranking online news sites, Facebook and Twitter. Furthermore, LinkedIn is 277% more effective for B2B sales than Facebook & Twitter - so if you aren't mastering your digital reputation online, you're missing out on endless opportunities. Hear how your digital reputation can impact your association or organization and what you can do to ensure that impact is positive.

10:00 - 10:45 am

Crafting the Future Proofed Association
Dean West, FASAE, President, Association Laboratory Inc.

Associations operate in a complex and dynamic environment. Knowing what works and will not work moving forward is critical.

This session highlights information collected from more than 200 association CEOs by Association Laboratory through, Looking Forward™, the nation’s most comprehensive and sophisticated environmental scan of the association strategy environment.

The study assesses more than 50 environmental factors in five domains and more than 50 implications on association strategy. From workforce and technology to economic implications and the changing role of government, you will learn about the most substantial factors impacting association members and how these changes are influencing association membership, meetings, education and government affairs strategy.

For the first time ever, sector-wide data has been collected on more than 30 strategies associations are implementing to successfully adapt to a changing environment to improve Mission-based and business outcomes. Review what your peers in associations believe is essential to success and to position associations for continued growth.

Educational Objectives:

  • Identify key environmental changes impacting association members
  • Understand implications on association strategy
  • Understand key strategies associations are pursuing to adapt to a changing environment

10:45 - 11:00 am


    11:00 am - 12:00 pm


    Creativity on Cue - Creative Power Tools for Anyone Who Needs to be Capital 'C' Creative NOW!
    DP Knudten, Chief Collaborator, COLLABORATOR Creative

    In today's crowded market, cut-through creativity is needed for everything you do. Whether it's planning mind-blowing meetings; attracting hordes of past (and brand new) attendees to your events; marketing, recruiting and engaging your current membership; or serving products and services to the thousands of associations out there, to demand attention in our increasingly 'shiny object' culture, on-demand creativity is a must.

    In this highly informative, entertaining, and most importantly, actionable presentation, long-time Creative Director, author and podcaster D.P. Knudten will share a 'you can do it' toolbox full of tips, tricks, and techniques that can help you churn out great ideas every time you need them. Don't miss this fast, fun, informative, and immediately actionable presentation—because your success depends on it!

    Noon - 2:00 pm

    Board of Directors Meeting



    Regular registration expires October 7. So, register early and save!

    Association Executives, Association Staff, Consultants
    (Regular / Late)

    • Members (1st registration) $350 / $395
    • Members (2nd registration +)* $295 / $340
    • Student member $75 / $100
    • Non-members** $450 / $495

    *Special rates are available for associations that register multiple staff. Please contact WSAE staff to receive your multiple registrant discount. 
    **Non-member registration fee includes WSAE membership through 12/31/2019. 

    Industry Partners (includes tabletop exhibit)
    (Regular / Late)

    • Members $450 / $495
    • Non-members* $600 / $645
    • Additional exhibitor** $125 / $170

    *Non-member registration fee includes WSAE membership through 12/31/2019. 

    **Industry partners may include additional exhibitor registrants at the rate of $125 per person. Please contact WSAE to add additional registrants from your organization.

    Full-time students please contact the office at 608-310-7850 to take advantage of a $75 member/$100 non-member registration rate. 

    Confirmed registrations must be canceled in writing by Monday, October 7 to receive a full refund, less a $50 cancellation charge. No refunds shall be made for cancellations after October 7. Substitutions are allowed.

    Potawatomi Hotel & Casino

    1721 W Canal Street
    Milwaukee, WI 53233

    Potawatomi Hotel & Casino is offering a special guest room group rate of $119.00 for attendees of the Summit. The cut-off date to make reservations at this discounted rate is Monday, October 21, 2019.

    • Call the hotel at 800-729-7244 (PAYSBIG) to make your reservation. Be sure to mention the group booking name to agent: WSAE 2019 Summit.
    • You can also book online. Note that when booking online you need to select arrival/departure dates within booking dates.
    • Parking: Valet parking is complimentary to all hotel guests and free self-parking for those not staying at hotel.


    Industry Partner Showcase and Reception

    The Summit will provide 2 hours of exhibit time on Monday, October 28. Reserve your booth during the online Summit registration process or learn more about the Expo.

    Grand Prize
    Generously provided by Visit Milwaukee, the Grand Prize drawing is a Milwaukee Experience


    Sponsor packages available for exposure at the Summit. You can view sponsorship opportunities here!


    Thank you to our 2019 Summit Sponsors! 

    Host Sponsor:

    Featured Sponsor:visitmilwaukee.png

    Gold Level:
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    Silver Level:

    Bronze Level:
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