Association Brain Food Weekly: 1.17.20

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

Association exec Mark Golden explains why a future-focused profession needs full participation from all people to reach its potential—the reason diversity, equity and inclusion cannot fall off an association’s strategic agenda. He also addresses unconscious bias and privilege: “We need to see and acknowledge the costs and missed opportunities that the biases at work in our personal, professional, and societal lives impose before we can address them.” Well worth a read and reflection.

Synchronicity in my Twitter stream this week with two posts—one from Beth Kanter and one from Amanda Kaiser—discussing the need for introspection and reflection routines. Another pair came to mind—Celisa Steele and Jeff Cobb of Tagoras—because they often discuss reflection as part of the learning process.

Make time soon to reflect upon the tasks and processes that eat up your time every day, says MemberSuite. They provide advice for identifying and eliminating the pesky chores that take your focus away from more important work.

WBT Systems shares 11 issues that should be on every association’s radar in 2020 and beyond, especially those offering online learning programs, including learner self-reliance, market expansion, competition, learning pathways and more.

Chapter websites can be an embarrassment and, even worse, a crisis the national association must handle. Billhighway describes how to prevent several chapter website disaster scenarios.

I like looking outside the association world for examples of communities that deliver value to their constituency. Here’s one you might not know much about but could find of interest: online fan fiction learning communities. “They’re finding community, establishing identity, and exploring new trends that have not yet found mainstream acceptance.”

Quick hits before we get to the list of this week’s free education:

  • Gen X women get less sleep than any other generation. What’s keeping them up? (Ada Calhoun, Time)

Good eats—skip down to the list of free webinars if you’re not into cooking:

  • I wish I could eat pasta every night. Sigh. This pasta al limone from Bon Appetit reminds me of a dish I had for lunch one day in a restaurant in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco. Bright and comforting, so good to have that flavor experience again.
  • Another excellent Bon Appetit recipe, peanut noodles with ground pork and collard greens. I doubled the peanut butter, increased the soy sauce and vinegar, used linguine instead of rice noodles and palm sugar (simply because I had it) instead of white sugar. Another keeper, especially with all the collards I buy.
  • One of my other favorite sources of recipes, besides Bon Appetit, is the New York Times. I pay for a subscription just so I have access to their recipes. This spicy white bean soup with kale (instead of broccoli rabe) from Alison Roman was excellent. I added chicken chorizo because my feller loves his meat, and used parmesan instead of feta. Having the leftovers tonight and you know how leftover soup or stew is even better the following days.
  • I think I subconsciously let bananas sit around so I can freeze them to make banana bread later. I decided to try this banana bread recipe from Bon Appetit because why not, all their recipes are so good and I had all the ingredients already. This might be my go-to recipe from now on, although next time I may add some whole wheat flour to the mix. So good especially with fancy (read, expensive) salted butter.
  • I had one large purple and one large orange sweet potato hanging around so I chopped and tossed them in olive oil along with broccoli stems, red onion, bacon, garlic and salt. Roasted them on a sheet pan at 400 and served them with runny fried eggs. Now that’s a breakfast!

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 1/20 at 12 p.m.* – Community Integration into the Total Organization Ecosystem

Take a closer look at some of the community trends identified for 2020. This trend represents a movement wherein online communities are recognized by departments within organizations to play a central role in achieving their business goals. More info/register.

Host: Vanilla

Presenter: Todd Nilson, Founder and Digital Strategist at Clocktower Advisors

*All times are Eastern Standard Time unless otherwise noted.

Mon 1/20 at 1 p.m. – 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.


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

Tue 1/21 at 12 p.m. – Maximize Your Advocacy Efforts by Aligning your Policy Positions and PAC Giving

What happens when your association is ready take a very public position on a key issue? Are you prepared to be in the spotlight? If you move forward, everything about your organization will be under intense scrutiny—from your membership, to your positions on other important issues to your political action committees. Are you supporting candidates whose platforms align with your association’s values? How will this affect your overall advocacy efforts? 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Government Relations and Advocacy Professionals Community

Presenter: Dr. Jeremiah Schuur, Chair, Emergency Medicine, Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School

Tue 1/21 at 12 p.m. – Community Goes Green

Take a closer look at some of the community trends identified for 2020. The green trend will see the collective and unified effort of online communities and community professionals make changes in how they conduct business in 2020. More info/register.

Host: Vanilla

Presenter: Tim Falls, Director of Community at Digital Ocean

Tue 1/21 at 2 p.m. – Association Chat on Twitter (#assnchat)

Join an online tweet chat with fellow association professionals by following the #assnchat hashtag on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. If you’re interested in moderating a future #assnchat, contact KiKi. More info.

Host: KiKi L’Italien, founder, Amplified Growth

Tue 1/21 at 2 p.m. – Why Your Association Needs a Mentoring Program in 2020

Get insight from a first-hand account of the Grant Professionals Association’s experience with rebuilding their mentoring program. Learn the benefits of starting a mentoring program at your organization, find out the steps behind laying the foundation of a successful program, and hear about the real-life experiences and results from an association living the process. More info/register.

Host: Higher Logic


  • Barb Boggs, Events and Volunteer Relations Manager, Grant Professionals Association
  • Calista Rollogas, Senior Customer Success Manager, Higher Logic

Tue 1/21 at 2 p.m. – Four Gates to Peak Team Performance

Recent discoveries in neuroscience illuminate what differentiates high-performing teams from the rest. Learn how safety, inclusion, purpose, and belonging create the necessary conditions for true collaboration and team excellence. This groundbreaking approach will give your learners new tools and strategies they can implement immediately to consistently create peak-performing teams. More info/register.

Host: Britt Andreatta Training Solutions

Presenter: Dr. Britt Andreatta, CEO, Britt Andreatta Training Solutions

Tue 1/21 at 3 p.m. – The Culture of Lean Innovation: Small Changes, Big Impact

Join us for a conversation about how we can make small changes to create big shifts in how we work. Let’s talk about how to develop the right approaches, policies, and processes to create deep value and impact for our members and all our stakeholders. Three nonprofit/government leaders—who’ll tell us how they adopted Lean Innovation and achieved powerful outcomes by changing the way they work—will lead the conversation. More info/register.

Hosts: Associations Catalyzing Entrepreneurship (ACE) and Scott Oser Associates


  • Heather Hiscox, co-founder of Pause for Change
  • Johanna Hernandez, administrator in the Office of Innovation & Strategy at the office of the city manager, Tucson, Arizona
  • Joe Buehrle, vice president of organizational planning for Social Advocates for Youth, San Diego

Wed 1/22 at 12 p.m. – Nonprofits and Elections in 2020 (online and Washington DC)

This month’s webinar will focus on how 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), and 501(c)(6) organizations and their leaders can be involved in election-related activities. By attending, you will learn how to be involved in the process without tripping over IRS or federal, state, or local campaign finance rules. Location: online and Washington DC. More info/register.

Host: Venable LLP


  • Janice M. Ryan, Partner, Venable LLP
  • Meg Rohlfing, Co-Chief Corporate Counsel, ACLU

Wed 1/22 at 12 p.m. – Rise of the Branded Community Over Social Media 

Take a closer look at some of the community trends identified for 2020. Social media platforms aren’t the best place to build a long-term, controlled and engaged online community, and in 2020, this trend will be increasingly realized by organizations. More info/register.

Host: Vanilla

Presenter: Sophie Bujold, Founder of Cliqueworthy

Wed 1/22 at 1 p.m. – The Business of Customer Education – How to Cultivate Sustainable Growth

Educating members and nonmembers about your professional development programs is not just good business. It’s also profitable business. They’ll put your products to use faster and more effectively. Speed counts because successful customers are more likely to buy again from you and recommend you to others. Learn what it takes to build a successful customer education program, the kind of structure that will scale well with your business, and how you can win executive approval for this approach. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Talented Learning


  • John Leh, Lead Analyst, Talented Learning
  • Khalid Shaikh, Head of Customer Learning Services, DataStax
  • Bill Cushard, Director of Marketing, ServiceRocket

Wed 1/22 at 1 p.m. – Mentoring Programs – The Secret to Member Engagement

Get expert tips for starting and growing a mentoring program at your association. Hear a fresh perspective on the impact of mentoring and its benefits, steps and considerations for starting a mentoring program at your association, and insights for growing your mentoring program if your association currently has one. More info/register.

Host: MCI Group

Presenter: Lauren Harley, Assistant Director of Education and Certification, MCI Group

Wed 1/22 at 2 p.m. – How to Craft RFPs That Make Your Events More Profitable

Learn how to craft a concise RFP that illustrates the total economic value your event will have to the venue and destination. Get tips on how to cut costs and negotiate better amenities (i.e. better room block terms). Understand how to track and control overall event spend and demonstrate ROI. 0.5 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: MeetingsNet

Presenters: Laura Puglisi, Director, Venue Sourcing & Partnerships, and Paulina Curto, Manager, Meetings & Events Team, Cvent

Wed 1/22 at 2 p.m. – How to Train and Manage Your Booth Staff

Learn how to train and manage an effective booth staff that properly engages and qualifies attendees. Hear how to qualify an attendee, engage in effective conversations, select motivated staffers, and find staff training resources and worksheets. More info/register.

Host: Skyline Exhibits

Presenters: Sofia Troutman, Sr. Digital Marketing & Product Innovation Manager, and Danny Pace, Services Product Manager, Skyline Exhibits

Wed 1/22 at 3 p.m. – Nonprofit Technology Trends Round Table: 2020

Join an “ask the experts” free-wheeling discussion–a nonprofit technology trends roundtable 2020 on trends we expect to deliver new impact this year, including cybersecurity, implementation projects, cloud computing, and IT management strategies and budgeting. More info/register.

Host: Community IT Innovators

Presenters: Community IT Innovators’ CTO cybersecurity expert Matt Eshleman, Chief Operating Officer Johanny Torrico, Director of IT Consulting Steve Longenecker, and President and CEO Johan Hammerstrom

Thu 1/23 at 11 a.m. – Right Sizing Reserves – More Important than Ever Before

Learn about the history behind reserve funds, from the “why’s?” to the “how much?”; the importance of “bucketing” reserve funds; using Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) to identify risks and opportunities unique to your organization; and how one association (NCARB) used ERM to ‘right size’ its reserves. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Finance and Business Operations Professionals Advisory Council


  • Christian Spencer, RSM audit partner
  • Rob Dickinson, Vice President of Finance at National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)

Thu 1/23 at 12 p.m. – Shift Towards Executive Interest in Community

Take a closer look at some of the community trends identified for 2020. It’s predicted that in 2020, we will finally see a solid shift in how executives view online community and the value that they have on organizations. More info/register.

Host: Vanilla

Presenter: Marjorie Anderson, Founder of Community by Association and Manager of Digital Communities at Project Management Institute

Thu 1/23 at 1 p.m. – LMS Selection: Mastering the Process, Avoiding the Pitfalls

Hear about a time-tested process for selecting a learning management system and the pitfalls to avoid. Get a clear understanding of how to lead your organization in choosing the right learning technology. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Tagoras

Presenters: Celisa Steele and Jeff Cobb, co-founders of Leading Learning and Tagoras

Fri 1/24 at 12 p.m. – Privacy and Data Management

Take a closer look at some of the community trends identified for 2020. Privacy and data management will be top of mind for most communities in 2020 and will not only shape how communities operate, but also how members view the community as a whole. More info/register.

Host: Vanilla

Presenter: Nicole Banks, Community Manager at Synopsys’ Software Integrity Group

Fri 1/24 at 1 p.m. – Unlocking the Member Voice: An All New Member Benefit and Revenue Generator

You can help your members make smarter buying decisions, give them a place to voice opinions on products and services they use at work all while creating a new unexpected source of non-dues revenue for your organization. Learn how to use a review site to elevate your organization and industry. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Matrix Group


  • Matrix Group CEO Joanna Pineda
  • 100Reviews Co-Founder Teri Carden

Tue 1/28 at 2 p.m. – Knowledge Management in Practice (Arlington VA)

Join a discussion about ways that organizations are using SharePoint to share information. We will have broad insights across multiple associations as well as an insider view of one association’s knowledge management journey. We will also consider what technologies and approaches work when associations want to share information with members, and how content modelling helps tie different data sources together. Location: Arlington VA. More info/register.

Host: Association Women Technology Champions


  • Lisa Quirk, PMP, Director of Technology and Electronic Information Resources, NALP
  • Liz Rumsey, CAE, Director of Information Strategy & Business Analysis, SFN
  • Mukta Kori, MS, System Analyst, ATS
  • Moira Edwards, MS, CAE, President, Ellipsis Partners

Thu 1/30 at 8:30 a.m. – New Year, New Digital Strategy (Coffee Talk, Alexandria VA)

1 CAE credit. Location: Alexandria VA. More info/register.

Host: Results Direct

Thu 1/30 at 2 p.m. – Association Data Summit (Washington DC)

I normally don’t share events with registration fees, but this fee is affordable even if you’re paying out of pocket.

Led by association professionals who do this every single day, this intensely practical how-to event will explain how to gather and act upon data-driven insights. Learn how to operationalize your data assets in a single afternoon. 2.5 CAE credits. Location: Washington DC. More info/register (fee).

Host: Gravitate Solutions


  • Galina Kozachenko, Managing Director, Strategy, Analytics & Technology, Association of Financial Professionals
  • Vidya Gadang, PhD, Senior Data Analyst, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Fri 1/31 at 3 p.m. – Small Staff Association Book Club: The Power of Moments

Join a discussion of the book, The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. This book explores “why certain brief experiences can jolt us and elevate us and change us—and how we can learn to create such extraordinary moments in our life and work.” During book club, we’ll explore how we can apply the book’s lessons to our work. For example, how can you ensure the opening reception at your conference is memorable, not just ho-hum? More info/register.

Host: ASAE Small Staff Association Professionals Community

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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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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