While the association community flies this weekend to St. Louis for the annual ASAE conference, I’ll be driving a few hours to spend a week with lots of family and friends at beautiful Ocean Isle Beach here in North Carolina. I’m sad about missing the opportunity to spend time with friends at ASAE, but I’m easily consoled by the thought of a coastal breeze, warm water and sand between my toes.

I’ll leave you with something to read while I’m gone.

Tasty Recipes

On my Grabbing the Gusto blog, there are three new chicken recipes to check out – blueberry chipotle, Milanese and rosemary walnut. I’m always on the hunt for good fish recipes. Recently I made sweet spicy glazed salmon, citrus coconut tilapia and Mediterranean braised cod.

If you’re looking for a potato salad recipe that doesn’t use mayonnaise, I have two options – southwestern and lemon spinach herb. In the veggie department, try haricot verts (green beans), broccoli rabe or summer vegetables with pesto. One of my favorite new recipes is Mexican shrimp cocktail. If you’re looking for other truly delicious appetizers, try eggplant caponata or white bean dip with homemade pita chips.

Meaty Blog Posts

Every week I write a blog post for my client Avectra, an association management software and online community platform vendor. I love how Avectra uses their blog to share association success stories, and I’m very happy to be a part of that.

Be the Host with the Most: Twitter Chats for Associations

Imagine a weekly conversation with newfound friends about topics that inform and inspire. That’s the power of a good Twitter chat. Read more at Avectra about how two associations host and participate in Twitter chats with their members.

I Gave at the Office: Community Service at the Association

Community service events provide a membership experience that’s more rewarding and memorable than the usual association networking, meetings and education. Here’s a closer look at an association (ACC) experimenting for the first time with community service at its conference and a communications firm (Capstrat) whose staff organizes and participates in an annual week of community service. Read more at Avectra about how ACC and Capstrat pulled off successful and fun community service events.

Associations: Follow the President and Librarians to the Virtual Town Hall

President Obama held a Twitter town hall that was broadcast via a live webcast. More than 70,000 tweets were sent to him. But he wasn’t the first one to do this. The librarians were way ahead of him. The American Library Association held their first Virtual Town Hall in June. Read at Avectra how virtual town halls give members the opportunity to feel and act like members.

Six Association Lessons from the Tour de France

For three weeks I was glued to my TV for the live morning broadcast of the Tour de France. In thinking about why I love (okay, obsess over) the Tour so much, I realized it illustrates principles that apply to the association industry. Read more at Avectra about what the Tour de France can teach us about management and leadership.

Secrets to a Tightly Knit Association Community

Ravelry, an online community for knitters, crocheters and other lovers of the fiber arts, was launched in January 2007 by a husband-wife team, she’s the knitter and he’s the coder. It’s a gigantic community of 1.4 million registered members — 400,000 of whom visit monthly. Every day the founders invite 1,500 new users from a waiting list. What could an association possibly learn from such a behemoth? Read more at Avectra about lessons from Ravelry for your online community.

Virtual Work in the Association World

At a workplace flexibility forum President Obama said, “Work is what you do, not where you do it.” I live that principle as a freelancer, but, for most of you, ‘work’ is the association office. Maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. Read more at Avectra about how virtual work can benefit both an organization and its employees.

raleigh freelance writer

While the household staff packs my trunks for the beach, I'll see what's happening on Twitter. Ta ta! (photo by Mike Licht)