Association Brain Food Weekly: 1.3.20

Free professional development resources and events for CAEs, association staff and others in the association community

The weekly list of free educational events and resources for the association community…

Free professional development resources and events for CAEs, association staff and others in the association community

I never thought my livelihood could be legislated away but if California’s AB 5 becomes a model for legislation in my state—as it has been in New Jersey, which Gwen Moran addresses in this article for Fast Company—or it becomes the model for federal regulation, I’m in trouble—as are thousands and thousands of freelance professionals like me.

In trying to address serious gig economy labor issues, legislators are destroying the professional lives of freelancers, like me, who choose to work for themselves. It’s just another example of politicians passing poorly written legislation and wreaking havoc with people’s lives. AB 5 must be amended, and this type of legislation should never be allowed to pass in other states without carving out exceptions for freelance creatives and professional service providers.

Just this week, I read about two companies that went out of business because they were unable to recover financially from ransomware attacks. Stories like these remind us how important it is to educate chapters about cybersecurity risks. In the fourth post in their “chapters in crisis” series, Billhighway provides advice for helping chapters prevent cybersecurity attacks.

Okay, let’s lighten the mood a bit with these ten emerging trends that will unbreak your workplace in 2020, according to work futurist Dominic Price at Atlassian. Many trends lists are predictably meh, but this is a good one.

#4 on Price’s list: “Your ability to focus will determine your success.” You can start honing your concentration muscle by reviewing these 16 strategies from WBT Systems for finding more time to focus on deep work.

Just one quick hit this week because I haven’t been reading much beyond fiction lately:

Lots of good eats to share this week—skip down to the list of free webinars etc. if you’re not into cooking:

  • I’m adding this recipe to my Christmas cookie list from now on: dark fruitcake cookies. We’re enjoying them still along with Russian teacakes (made with almonds this time) and coconut macaroons.
  • Dessert on Christmas Eve included the aforementioned cookies as well as this excellent cannoli dip—it made way too much so unless you’re feeding a crowd, cut the recipe in half. I also made Nigella Lawson’s spruced-up vanilla cake. Yes, it was worth buying the special tin, but the unmolding was quite the nervous moment. Kitchen hack: brush your pan with melted shortening and sprinkle all over with granulated sugar, and let the cake cool before attempting to unmold.
  • I’ve been looking for a recipe that comes close to the stollen at Pastries by Randolph (Arlington VA), which, back in my day there, bought more butter than any other kitchen in the DMV. This almond stollen recipe from Red Truck Bakery comes pretty darn close.
  • I made this tater tot ham and cheese breakfast casserole for Christmas and New Year’s mornings but the second time, I used regular ham instead of country ham, a big improvement since I thought the first version was too salty. I also added poblano pepper and garlic to the mix.
  • On New Year’s morning, I also served bacon cranberry crack. I detest the name, but this recipe is easy to throw together with crescent rolls plus maple syrup, brown sugar, pecans, bacon, dried cranberries and cinnamon. Don’t follow the recipe amounts, they’re way off, just trust your intuition, you’ll need less than what the recipe suggests. You don’t need to bake it as long the recipe says either.
  • For New Year’s dinner—also Jim’s birthday dinner—we enjoyed his favorite: roasted corned beef alongside a cabbage sauté with bacon, red bell and poblano pepper, carrot, garlic and chicken broth. I follow the Pioneer Woman method for cooking the corned beef but use a bunch of dried ground spices (allspice, mustard, coriander, Aleppo red pepper flakes, clove, black pepper, cardamom, ginger and cinnamon) as the rub on top instead of just black pepper, plus several bay leaves.

Here are the educational events scheduled for next week. If you have any free webinars or events coming up, please send me the link. I’ll be happy to feature it as long as it’s not product-centric.

Mon 1/6 at 1 p.m.* – The Keys to Professional Confidence: Chatting with Agnes & Cecilia

This series of 15-minute videos cover hot topics and issues related to 501c organization management. A new episode is posted every Monday by 1 p.m. More info.

Guest: Cathy Pales, Executive Leadership Coach


  • Cecilia Sepp, CAE, CNAP, principal and founder, Rogue Tulips LLC
  • Agnes Amos-Coleman, MBA, CMP, education, conference, event, certification consultant, Amos-Coleman

*All times are Eastern Standard Time unless otherwise noted.

Tue 1/7 at 12 p.m. – Using Artificial Intelligence to Connect with Members

This opportunity is for association professionals who are responsible for reporting analytics to leadership, Boards of Directors, and other stakeholders, to come together in a free-flowing environment to share their lunchtime and discuss topics such as using AI to connect with members. Conversations will include presentations and attendees discussing challenges and key points on each topic. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Organizer: Association Data Analytics Brown Bag

Tue 1/7 at 2 p.m. – Association Chat on Twitter (#assnchat)

The original #assnchat Twitter chat is back. Join an online tweet chat with fellow association professionals by following the #assnchat hashtag on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. More info.

Host: KiKi L’Italien, founder, Amplified Growth

Wed 1/8 at 12:00 – The Journey to Creating Effective Boards & Committee (Association Insights, Alexandria VA)

Hear about the importance of good governance for an association management professional in any role and at any level. This session will emphasize and demonstrate how solid structure and appropriate volunteer leadership development provide the right path for a successful journey to creating effective boards and committees. 1 CAE credit. Location: Alexandria VA. More info/register.

Organizer: Association Insights ASAE Collaborate group

Presenter: Donte Shannon, CAE, CEO of the Association of Equipment Management Professionals

Thu 1/9 at 2 p.m. – 2020 Hospitality Marketplace: Everything You Need to Know

Hear the current industry outlook and critical forecasts that dictate behavior in the meetings industry, including methods to optimize your relationships with hotels, skills you need to thrive in the coming market, and myth vs. reality in today’s meeting environment. More info/register.

Host: Smart Meetings

Presenter: Mike Dominguez, CEO, ALHI

Wed 1/15 at 3 p.m. CST – The Pros and Cons of Having Corporate Partners (Chicago, IL)

Sometimes associations and not-for-profit organizations have a “love-hate relationship” with corporate partners. This session will delineate the advantages and disadvantages of having corporate partners. Then we’ll discuss how to accentuate the advantages and overcome the disadvantages. Join us for an informative discussion followed by a networking reception. 1.5 CAE credits. Location: Chicago IL. More info/register. (free for Association Forum members)

Hosts: Partnership Professionals Network and Association Forum

Association Brain Food Weekly is published Friday mornings. If your organization offers free professional development for the association community, please send me the link via email or Twitter before Thursday afternoon.

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Creative Commons image by Paulius Dragunas via Unsplash

Author: deirdrereid

Deirdre is a freelance writer for companies serving the association market, who after more than 20 years in the association and restaurant industries, is enjoying the good life as a ghostblogger and content marketing writer. Away from her laptop, you can find her walking in the woods, doing yoga, going to shows, journaling, cooking, or relaxing in a comfy chair with a good book and a glass of something tasty in hand.

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