New Ideas Annual Conference

2021 Education Sessions

New Ideas Safety Plan 

Session Handouts


Newbie Orientation (12:45 - 1:30 PM)


Opening Session (2:30 – 3:45 PM)

Spark Next Level Leadership

Simon T. Bailey, Speaker, Author, Life Coach and Entrepreneur
Businesses are changing at the speed of light. The leadership skills of yesterday will not carry the day in the new and rapidly evolving business landscape. Innovation will win over tradition and is driven by forward-looking thinking that starts with your association.

The most successful organizations must reposition themselves and their organizations to think differently. In this keynote experience you will learn:

  • Creating a Culture Where Everyone Matters
  • Leading at all levels
  • Going beyond a job description to elevate your skillset

Simon T. Bailey’s purpose is to help you find your purpose. With three decades of training experience, he ignites transformation in organizations, systems, schools, and nations by inspiring the people within. His content is based on more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry including serving as sales director for Disney Institute based at Walt Disney World Resort. Simon’s viral video posted by Goalcast to Facebook has almost 90 million views and LinkedIn Learning features three of his online courses that reach professionals in 100+ countries.

Concurrent Education Sessions (4:15 – 5:15 PM)

Spark Self-Care

Simon Bailey, Speaker, Author, Life Coach and Entrepreneur
As we recognize the pressure cooker experience this year has been, it’s important to remember that we are human, and we do business, life, etc. with other humans. The prolonged adjustment of the pandemic has many on the verge of burnout and mental exhaustion. Now, it’s time to prioritize wellbeing. How could you be kinder to yourself?

With so much time spent online, how could you disconnect to decompress. In this breakout session you will learn the following:

  • How to flourish through simple micro-practices
  • Discover the four domains for energy management
  • Learn 50 easy and simple self-care recommendations
Level Up Your Negotiation Skills to Influence More Outcomes Necessary to Reach Your Annual Goals

Shakira M. Brown, Branding & Business Communication Strategist and Professional Speaker, SMB Strategic Media LLC
Whether you’re working with a client/partner to secure a deal or seeking a new employment opportunity, negotiating is a fundamental fact of life. Unless you outright reject an inquiry, you will likely be on a trajectory that will include some negotiation. Any deal that you ultimately reach will be the result of numerous actions – and non-actions – along the way. Your initial moves and your mindset matter a great deal and sharpening your skills with best-practice sales negotiation tactics that can influence the process will help. Learn techniques for implementing effective communication strategies to resolve the differences in understanding that often cause negotiations to break down. Participate in this presentation to gain strategies and techniques to influence conversations and achieve success at any bargaining table.

Leaders Walk the Talk: Creating and Living Your Association's Values

Steven Stout, CAE, FASAE, CEO, TSAE
Jodi Ann Ray, CAE President & CEO, Texas Society of CPAs
Nick Weynand, Founder & CEO, Mighty Citizen

Company values help define who you are and what's important to your organization. They should stem from your personal values as a leader and be thoughtful and authentic. They should also be infused throughout your entire association to establish a company culture that leadership, staff, members, and even future members see and believe. But, building core values and creating a culture where leadership and staff truly live by these guiding principles is hard to do. In fact, it is extremely hard to do. It requires intention, dedication, and alignment from leadership and often requires changed behaviors and processes—something even more difficult to accomplish.

In this panel discussion, you'll hear from leaders in the Texas association community about their processes and challenges when it comes to creating core values as well as their perspectives and ideas on living them out. This session is best suited for executive leadership interested in establishing, revamping, or living out their association's values.

Leading with Integrity: Instilling Organizational Ethics

Julie Hart, President & CEO, CFO by Design
As a non-profit, the leaders in your association including your staff and board are held to a higher standard of accountability.  This session will help you to identify tactics that will support the implementation of your own organization’s guidelines for ethical decision-making. These practices will help you ensure fiduciary responsibility and to instill confidence in your processes to members and stakeholders.

Future of Work

Lori Gracey, CAE, Executive Director, TCEA
Jill McClure, CAE, Executive Director, Association of Progressive Rental Organizations (APRO)
Trevor S. Mitchell, MBA, CAE, CDP, Executive Director/CEO, American Mensa

The impact of Covid-19 on the business community continues to disrupt office operations, service delivery and staffing issues. While no one can predict the future, our panel of forward-thinking association professionals discuss what some of their new approaches include and what elements they are keeping their eye on as the future unfolds.

Newbie Reception (6:00 – 6:45 PM)

Opening Night Party Hosted by Corpus Christi CVB (7:00 – 9:00 PM)



CAE Breakfast (7:45 - 8:45)


Continental Breakfast (8:00 - 8:45)


General Session (9:00 – 10:00 AM)

The New Next: Plan, Prepare, and Future-Proof Your Event Strategy

Beth Surmont, CAE, CMP, Vice President, Business Event Strategy & Design, 360 Live Media
It’s time. For those of you who have been wanting to make a change to your events, now is the moment. For those of you who are wondering what’s next and how to go forward in a smart and strategic way, let’s get started. For those of you who need new approaches, new tools, and new ideas, here is your opportunity to learn from what some of most innovative organizations are doing. From architects to astronauts and banking to biotech, 360 Live Media is leading organizations through the next generation of event and tradeshow design. Beth Surmont will share real-world examples of how event strategies are evolving to meet changing audience demands and industry dynamics. This is your invitation to what you need to know now.  Not everyone is ready. Are you?

As an event planner for more than 20 years, Beth Surmont’s innovative approach and out-of-the-box thinking began turning heads, generating buzz, and building audiences from the outset of her career.  She learned early on that she’s at her best when faced with daunting problems in need of fixing.  Comfortable with intelligent risk, she jumps at the chance to explore new challenges and the opportunity to try out creative new ideas.

Concurrent Education Session (10:30 – 11:30 AM)

The Future of Exhibits

David DuBois, CMP, CAE, CTA, FASAE, President and CEO, International Association of Exhibitions and Events
Amy Prenger, CEM, Director, Expo Exhibits and Membership
Kevin Staples, Vice President, Business Development, Freeman

Beth Surmont, CAE, CMP, Vice President, Business Event Strategy & Design, 360 Live Media
As organizations return to in-person events, many tradeshow and exposition managers are reconsidering the elements and functionality of their tradeshow. How can the experience be improved for vendors and attendees? What approaches should be taken into consideration as the industry moves forward and everyone reassesses the value they offer? Join our panel of industry leaders to get insight so you can start planning your future shows.   

Embracing Our New Reality! Adapting and Transforming the Member Experience with Design Thinking

Shakira M. Brown, Branding & Business Communication Strategist and Professional Speaker, SMB Strategic Media LLC
One lesson learned from leading through a global pandemic is that when necessary, innovation happens in rapid pace to adjust to market conditions. Because of this, going forward leaders at all levels will be expected to be more proactive in strategic problem solving, a key skill that everyone clearly must master. Design Thinking is a popular approach to problem-solving across public, private, and nonprofit sectors for solving tomorrow’s problems, fueling growth, and delivering unique stakeholder experiences.

Shakira M. Brown introduces Design Thinking as an effective approach to optimizing and enhancing your association’s member experience. You will discover how this mindful ideation process promotes collaborative communication across functions and departments to harness the power of collective thinking outside the box. Depart with the fundamentals of how this forward-thinking process helps association leaders devise viable, with the fundamentals of how this forward-thinking process helps association leaders devise viable, user-centric solutions—ultimately resulting in faster execution, improved stakeholder retention, and ROI.

How to Use Systems Thinking to Spark Innovation and Resolve Messy Problems

JJ Colburn, CAE, President, Strategic Association Management
Michael Reed, Principal, Bloch & Reed LLC

You can’t solve your messy problems the same way you do your simple ones. System thinking challenges leaders to see multiple perspectives and consider the broad impact of various decisions. It is especially helpful for association leaders who need to address issues with internal systems while staying focused on solving problems for the associations. This session will demonstrate several system thinking strategies and discuss how leaders can use systems thinking principles to build a culture of engagement, creativeness, and blameless problem-solving.

Government Affairs: Lessons from the Pandemic

Kenneth Besserman, Director of Government Affairs and Special Counsel, Texas Society of CPAs
David Mintz, CAE, Vice President of Government Affairs, Texas Apartment Association
Jennifer J. Mitchell, CAE, Governmental Relations Director, Association of Texas Professional Educators
Andy Teas, CAE, Vice President for Public Affairs, Houston Apartment Association

Successful government affairs programs are all about personal connections, interacting with policymakers and being present at meetings where decisions are made. How did associations remain effective during the pandemic, and what lessons learned can help us in “normal” times?

Thrive Through the Five: Practical Truths to Powerfully Lead through Challenging Times

Jill Siler, Author and Speaker
This past year, in the midst of a global pandemic, has brought about some of the most challenging work in leadership as we were tasked with making complex decisions in an ever-changing environment. While the work we do as leaders is incredible, it is not without cost. Dr. Jill Siler, superintendent, and author of Thrive Through the Five: Practical Truths to Powerfully Lead through Challenging Times will share strategies to not just survive difficult seasons, but to truly thrive!

Women's Summit Session Sponsored by:


Awards Luncheon (12:00 - 1:30 PM)

Concurrent Education Session (1:45 – 2:45 PM)

Leading in the Experience Age: An Executive’s Guide to the New Workforce Paradigm

Ed Krow, Talent Transformation Expert, Ed Krow, LLC
Our workforce has entered the Experience Age. Our employees now expect work to help them grow as people and they are no longer focused on information anymore. The lines between work, play, and personal growth are blurred. In the Experience Age, organizations must know how to attract, motivate, and retain talent that helps people grow and experience more of who they are. Successful organizations in this age build People Strategies that are compatible with Growth Strategies, making rapid growth smooth and sustainable. Organizations still using “churn and burn” Information Age tactics to hire and motivate employees will experience a talent shortage and the hallmark “people problems” that prevent them from breaking through their revenue ceiling, causing negative growth.

At the end of the session, you will be able to:

  • Attract the best and brightest talent
  • Compensate and reward in a way that fits with who your employees are and what they really want
  • Create and sustain a culture that encourages people to show up as their best selves
  • Succession plan to always have an abundance of highly skilled and specialized talent
  • Become the workplace that no one wants to leave

Meeting Planning Roundtable

Facilitated by Abby McCulloch Mund, CMP, AM Planning
Meeting and event planners face a broad range of challenges as they work through the impact of Covid-19. This facilitated roundtable will dive into those challenges and lean on your experienced colleagues for options, solutions, and insights. Be prepared to engage and bring your ideas and questions!

Best Practices in Membership

Angela Brutsche, Vice President of Communications & Marketing, Texas Realtors
Amanda Feil, CAE, Membership Development Manager, American Association for Respiratory Care 
Lisa Sedgwick, Director of Membership Development
, Austin Apartment Association
Join a panel of association membership professionals to tackle your most challenging roadblocks in retaining members, creating meaningful engagement, communicating effectively, and gathering feedback so you can continue to provide on-target member services.

The Situation Room: Thinking Through Ethical Dilemmas

Tracy Tomson, CAE, TSAE, Immediate Past Chair
Processing complex and nuanced ethical dilemmas doesn’t come easily for everyone. Your organization should develop a thoughtful process for addressing ethical issues. Following a process will also demonstrate to your members, staff, and stakeholders that your organization takes accountability seriously and provides confidence in the staff and board roles of the association. Join us for an interactive session geared to any association professional, that will explore some of the most common ethical dilemmas your organization may face.


Deep Dive Education Session (1:45 – 3:45 PM*)

Innovate to Elevate: Going Deeper with DEI

Mariama Boney, LMSW, CAE Achieve More LLC
Are you ready to Go Deeper with DEI? How can you make a power move and apply change leadership at the next level? This session assists you to identify diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies at the next level plus ways to create safe spaces for inclusive or difficult conversations, understand triggers, and cultivate an inclusive environment so you can maximize on the talents and strengths of all stakeholders. We will share tips to incorporate DEI into your programs, products, services, and professional journey. Stand in your courage to hear the voices least heard and keep moving forward to be better and do better. Let’s advance accountability for inclusive leadership and get results for your organization – Together!

*Attending the Deep Dive prohibits you from participating in an excursion. Deep Dive attendees earn an additional two (2) CAE hours.

Excursions in Corpus Christi (3:45 – 6:00 PM)

Omni Dessert Reception (8:30 – 10:30 PM)



Early Riser Yoga (6:30 - 7:30 AM)


Grab & Go Breakfast (8:00 - 8:30)


Concurrent Education Session (8:30 – 9:30 AM)

CEO Roundtable

Facilitated by Steven Stout, FASAE, CAE, CEO, Texas Society of Association Executives
Chief executives face a broad range of challenges in maintaining and growing their organization. This facilitated roundtable will dive into your challenges and lean on your experienced colleagues for options, solutions, and insights. Be prepared to share what is keeping you up at night and some words of wisdom.

Becoming a Person of Influence

Ed Krow, Talent Transformation Expert, Ed Krow, LLC
Everyone influences others. Whenever your life connects with another person, you exert influence. Everything you do -at home, at work, or at play- has an impact on the lives around you. No matter what your goals are in life, you can achieve them more effectively and efficiently and the contribution you make can be longer lasting if you learn to increase your influence. Learn 10 universal principles and empower yourself to positively impact the lives of those around you.

Following this program, you will be able to:

  • Describe how people of influence positively affect others
  • Explain the relationship between integrity and influence
  • List and explain the 4 stages of influence
  • Apply 10 proven principles to become more influential

Membership Roundtable

Facilitated by Becky Faulk, Director of Member Experience, Texas Association of School Business Officials 
Membership Directors face a broad range of challenges as they work through the impact of Covid-19 and recover from dwindling members to meaningful ways to engage and rethink what membership will look like as we move forward to whatever the new office looks like to members. This facilitated roundtable will dive into those challenges and lean on your experienced colleagues for options, solutions, and insights. Be prepared to engage and bring your ideas and questions!

Subtle Ways to Encourage Volunteer Speakers to Implement Adult Learning Principles

Jason W. Meek, CPTD, Chief Learning Officer, Texas Association of School Business Officials
Booking volunteer subject matter experts (SME) to speak at your events is a key part of providing quality professional development opportunities for your members. This session will explore ways TASBO’s Chief Learning Officer works with SME’s to convey expectations and increase the likelihood speakers will incorporate adult learning principles in their presentation. Included in this session are tips, tricks, and lessons learned using these tactics for in-person, virtual, and hybrid learning events.

Mastermind Roundtable: Sponsorship and Business Development

Jennifer Lee, CAE, Business Manager, Texas Environmental Health Association (TEHA)
Engage with your peers as our facilitator stewards a process that focuses the topic, question, or challenge or situation that is most important to you. Receive feedback from your community, identify options and create an action steps specific to your concern. 


Closing Brunch Session (9:45 – 11:00 AM)

Deep Kindness

Houston Kraft, Speaker and Author
We all know Kindness is a great thing — and something the world needs more than ever. In this paradigm-shifting talk, Houston will help us understand the gap between what we know is important and what we are currently practicing with a series of stories and questions that help us ask, “What gets in the way of a more Kind world?” No matter what conference you are planning, connection is at the core. This interactive keynote will set the stage for laughter, new friendships, and meaningful self-reflection.

Houston is a speaker, author, and kindness advocate. In 2016, he co-founded CharacterStrong - curriculum and trainings that help teach social and emotional skills. To date, they have worked with over 2500 schools globally serving over 2 million students. In 2019, his face was featured on Lays BBQ chip bags as someone who helps "spread smiles.” In 2020, his first book, Deep Kindness was released. His mom is his hero and her best life lesson is to “hug like you mean it.”

*Schedule subject to change.

CAE Hours: 7
Additional Hours from Deep Dive: 2

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