New Ideas Annual Conference

2023 Education Session Descriptions



Opening Session (2:30 – 3:45 PM)
Go Beyond Engagement: Cultivate a Happy and Fulfilled Workforce

Diane Allen, Speaker, Violinist

How can you create a culture where your people want to bring their best to work? When you know how to connect what your people love to do, with what they do for work, everything changes. This gives them the path to “get into” their work the same way a musician “gets into” the music. It all comes down to learning how to access a natural state of mind that increases engagement, productivity, creativity, peak performance, purpose, and happiness simultaneously.

Diane Allen, a Violinist and Flow State Thought Leader, shares her three-step Flow Strategy™ system in this highly experiential program. You’ll learn three simple questions that connects what people love to their work.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Gain basic knowledge and neuroscience of the Positive Psychology of Peak Performance.
  • Learn the 3 Questions that gives people the path to love their job.
  • Discover how work can refuel (not drain).
  • Ignite fresh thoughts for problem solving and ideation.


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

Diane Allen, Speaker, Violinist

Imagine what's possible when your people tap into their genius experiencing flow in their everyday work. With a deeply engaged culture, effortless collaboration, and innovative outcomes, your people will leave each day inspired, fulfilled, and eager to tackle tomorrow's challenges. This isn't just a fantasy - it's a natural outcome of unlocking your genius.

In this workshop, Flow State Speaker and Violinist Diane Allen, will share how to apply Flow Strategy™ in the workplace, and how the interplay of skill and challenge unlocks genius in yourself and the people you serve.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Discover new ways to increase employee engagement, retention, and recruitment.
  2. Learn how to empower Middle Management and Frontline workers to love what they do.
  3. Gain steps to ignite ideation, team synergy and group flow.
Making the Most of Your AV Budget and Leveraging the Power of Partnerships

Tim Altbaum, CMP, CMM, CEO, Vario
Julie Marshall, CAE, CMP, DES, Director of Education, Texas Library Association

Every AV budget is unique, but if you know where to look, you could achieve significant savings and avoid costly fees. Whether working with the in-house AV provider, or traveling with your own preferred supplier, building a trusted partnership, and leveraging your relationships are key to increasing the value for your budget. Let's take the stigma out of AV and deliver a wow to your attendees, without breaking the bank.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Identify, evaluate, and learn how to leverage your partnership with an AV team to reach your desired event design and key performance outcomes.
  2. Identify common AV elements and review crucial Contract Terms that will help avoid costly pitfalls.
  3. Discuss how to design your events for the experiences attendees want today and how to implement those experiences while staying within your unique budget.
Five Point Framework to Inclusive Marketing | MMC

Michelle Ngome, Inclusive Marketing Consultant, Line 25 Consulting

Marketing is evolving and expanding into other departments. D&I doesn’t start and stop at the HR department and marketing is not only for your consumer base. Believe it or not, we are marketing to more than one audience. In this presentation, Michelle informs you how your content impacts different components of your business. Any organization committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion will enjoy this marketing perspective on the topic.

We will explore:

  • The significance of content and communications to internal and external audiences.
  • Strategies for recruiting diverse candidates who desire to work for your organization.
  • Enhancing a culture of belonging for productivity and success.

Establishing brand awareness beyond your consumer base and into the community.

Purposeful Abandonment: Why You Need to Shrink to Grow

Cathi Hight, President, Hight Performance Group

You serve a diverse membership and by being everything to everyone, your resources are maxed, and your staff is burned out. Calendars are full of events, meetings, and a constant demand to do more and more. It is difficult to decide what to stop doing. Letting go of tried-and-true programs should not be seen as failure—it is a sign of progress.

You can focus on strategic priorities, be an essential leader for stakeholders, and grow revenue to support the mission. But it requires focus and a commitment to purposeful abandonment. Discover why it’s important to shrink to grow and how to implement change for a better future.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Recognize why doing too much and trying to please everyone is unsustainable for real growth.
  2. Discover how purposeful abandonment is the key to innovation for your organization.
  3. Explore strategies to practice purposeful abandonment to eliminate programs, focus on key priorities, and grow your organization.
The Power of Mentoring for Association Professionals

Alex Richardson, CEO and cofounder, Art of Mentoring
Tiffany McGee, CAE, Chief Executive Officer, Texas Trial Lawyers Association
Tracy Tomson, CAE, Past Chairman, TSAE

In this session Alex Richardson, CEO and cofounder at Art of Mentoring, will facilitate an interactive and engaging discussion with two association executive mentors on their previous experiences of mentoring. The power of mentoring, especially post pandemic and during economic uncertainty, is becoming more mainstream than ever before as a method to assist professionals endure difficult circumstances, gain clarity, and navigate career changes. Mentoring, done well, has the capacity to create lasting impacts on people’s careers and lives.

Mentoring could be a game changer if you’re a CEO, an aspiring CEO, or an association professional, and you are navigating the difficulties of highly involved board, wrangling budgets due to substantially increased cost base for core non-dues revenue such as conferences, if you recently joined your association from a smaller one or from the corporate/government sector, or even if you are simply looking to take your professional game to the next level.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Identify the characteristics that make mentors successful in building relationships.  
  2. Identify the benefits of being mentored and mentoring others.
  3. Discuss the process navigating a mentor/mentee relationship.
TSAE's Better By Association LIVE Podcast Recording: Let's Talk Non-Dues Revenue

In this episode of Better by Association, join us for a LIVE episode recording as we dive deep into the dynamic world of non-dues revenue with our expert guest, Carrie McIntyre, with Navigate, a seasoned professional in the association industry. Join us as we talk about the latest trends, uncover common mistakes, and learn how to master the art of sales in the post-pandemic landscape. Don’t miss this enlightening episode to gain expert insights into the world of non-dues revenue, master the art of sales, and discover how associations can thrive in an ever-evolving landscape. Whether you're a seasoned professional or new to the industry, there's something for everyone in this episode of Better by Association, an original podcast series from the Texas Society of Association Executives. Plus, there may be audience participation or NOT, but you will have to attend to find out!

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Learn how to identify trends you are seeing right now in the non-dues revenue space.
  2. Learn what mistakes to avoid in navigating non-dues revenue.
  3. Learn how to identify the best non-dues revenue offerings for your association/members.


Thought Leader Session (4:15 – 5:15 PM)
Association Trends: Hear What Your Peers Have to Say

Scott Robertson, Sales Manager, GrowthZone AMS

If you’re curious what other association pros are doing – this session is for you. If you like winning prizes – this session is for you. We’ll review GrowthZone AMS’s 2023 Association Survey Results and share trends, ideas, recommendations, and tips related to what your peers have to say about:

  • Challenges/Concerns/Worries
  • Reinstatement Strategies
  • Non-Dues Revenue Sources
  • And a LOT more!

We’ll also be playing trivia for several great prizes!

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General Session (9:00 – 10:00 AM)
Futureproof Yourself: Innovate and Thrive in Fast-Paced Change

Crystal Washington, Speaker

The new normal of consistent change leaves association leaders concerned about being left behind. Instead of implementing half-baked, panic-driven’s time to identify the Easter eggs the future has left for us. In this talk, technology futurist Crystal Washington will show you and your team how to innovate and thrive while minimizing stress.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Understand how humans are changing and why our approach to stewardship must change.
  2. Identify the most under-utilized Easter eggs of innovation...which you already have in your basket.
  3. Create a basic framework to future-proof your career and organization.


Extended Education Session (10:15 - 11:30 AM)
Developing a Meetings RFP (Request for Proposals)

Leanne Hallisey, Senior Account Executive, Association, Marriott International
Robin Morris, Association Manager, Strategic Association Management
Vanessa L. Stewart, CMP, VisitDallas | Regional Director of Sales

This session will focus on creating customized, high-quality RFPs to help planners obtain the best possible hotel bids for future conferences and events. An RFP is typically the first impression a hotel will have of a new group - make yours a great one!

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Creating a timeline for your proposal & decision process.
  2. What to include in your RFP and why
  3. Evaluating proposals to find the best fit for your group


Concurrent Education Sessions (10:30 – 11:30 AM)
Mastering the Art of Negotiation

Lawrence Eichen, Esq.,  Attorney, First Class Speaking & Consulting

Stemming from successfully negotiating and mediating well over 1,000 cases, Lawrence D. Eichen, Esq. has created a unique formula, E=MC5 (modeled after Einstein’s Theory of Relativity E=MC2, but without the physics) which is guaranteed to obtain excellent negotiation results consistently. Each letter of the formula is presented with an emphasis on achieving Excellent results by Mastering the formula’s 5 core components, which are: Commitment, Confidence, Courage, Compassion, and Calmness. Each component is discussed in detail including insightful advice, strategies and tips that can be implemented immediately to improve one’s negotiation abilities “exponentially.”

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Obtain confidence and courage to ask for what you want.
  2. Learn how to remain calm and compassionate when handling difficult objections.
  3. Learn how to remain committed to your position yet be mindful of compromise.
The Missing Piece in Your Retention Strategy | MMC

Bill Conforti, Senior Vice President of Strategy & Solutions, Association Analytics

Member retention is always top of mind for association professionals, but surprisingly, few are using their data to help guide their retention strategies. Knowing why members join, why they stay, why they leave and what they value most are vital to a great retention strategy and the only way to get this type of granular information is through analytics. During this session, we’ll share how to standardize your retention calculation, segment your members by demographics and behavior, NOT treat all renewals equal and track and test for continuous improvement - all leading to more targeted and successful retention strategies.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Identify drivers of member retention.
  2. Discover target retention efforts based on member segments and personas.
  3. Learn to prioritize retention efforts using member LTV.
Check Your Couch Cushions:  Increasing Non-Dues Revenue From Existing Programs

Carrie McIntrye, Principal, Navigate Customer Experience and Sales Consulting

No sales skills required! Relevant for all sizes of associations and all levels of staff.  The speaker accepts full responsibility if you start to enjoy wearing your sales hat a tiny bit more after attending this session. Since we’re all still waiting for the day that associations don’t need more non-dues revenue, and everyone could use a break from evaluating and implementing new things, this session will show you how to generate more non-dues revenue from your existing programs for sponsors, exhibitors, and advertisers. Think of those programs as your couch, and in those cushions – just waiting to be found – is additional revenue from (1) delivering exceptional experiences and strong results, (2) increasing retention and expansion, and (3) developing champions that attract new customers.

This session will outline simple changes to your website, collateral, sales conversations, and fulfillment processes that will enable you to attract, convert, deliver, and renew more efficiently and effectively:

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Discover what website and collateral revisions that will increase sales opportunities.
  2. Identify tips for better sales conversations to close more business.
  3. Learn about changes to your fulfillment processes for a better customer experience.

Optional Pre-Session Activity:

Attendees that want to get the most out of this session can join a webinar prior to the New Ideas Conference where we’ll use a self-assessment tool to identify and prioritize areas for improvement. During the New Ideas session, time will be focused on areas with common pain points among the webinar participants.

Unlocking the Impact and Power of Mood

Gregory Fine, Principal Consultant, Tecker International

Exploring emerging methodology around how mood impacts learning, this interactive and engaging session reveals how to increase personal influence, build/manage more cohesive teams, improve volunteer management, and understand triggers that drive responses and behavior.

Areas of Focus:

  • Mood and Leadership - the secret ingredient to super charge leadership skills and take you to the next level.
  • Managing Mood – the key to managing your mood and how to interrupt and act upon the moods of others.
  • Servant Leadership – discover the impact mood has on being a servant leader.
  • Overcoming Resistance to Change – tactics to help people overcome a natural resistance to change.

The program includes the opportunity for participants to identify their own unique pain points and work collectively on strategies and tactics. Engaging, interactive and personal, this program is designed to create a space for personal reflection and provide optimism, hope and actionable tips for affecting change.

Grab the Mic: Is Your Association Ready to Podcast?

Colby Horton, CEO, Association Briefings
Steven J. Stout, FASAE, CAE, Executive Director, TSAE

As one of the fastest growing digital mediums today, podcasting presents a great opportunity for associations to educate, influence and entertain an industry audience of members and non-members alike. But, is podcasting right for your association? From getting started to identifying the right type of podcast for your association, this session dives into specific ways to strategize, produce and promote your organization’s podcast, providing examples of successful association podcasts and how non-dues revenue comes into play. And we'll get insights along the way from Steven Stout, FASAE, CAE, executive director of TSAE and co-host of the Better By Association podcast, about what works (and doesn’t work) when starting a podcast.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify how a podcast can enhance the overall member journey.
  • Discover whether podcasting is right for your association and complements your communication strategy.
  • Dive into relevant examples of how associations are using podcasting


Thought Leader Session (10:30 – 11:30 AM)
In Search of Member X: Confessions of an Association Technology Professional

Rick Rutherford, Vice President of Industry Outreach, CE2

Simon Sinek famously declared that people don’t buy what you do - they buy why you do it. True for companies; truer for associations. In a journey that has lasted over 35 years Rick Rutherford continues reflecting on and refining the “why” of his professional life working for and with associations. On that journey he found his “why” wrapped up within a simple question: Who is Member X? Join Rick as he discusses his journey, how technology, digital disruption, the pandemic, and personal tragedy has redefined his “why”. He will reveal how these discoveries can apply to your organization; and yes, learn just who is Member X.


Concurrent Education Sessions (1:45 – 2:45 PM)
Reining It In: Overcoming scope creep and managing change to keep your project on track

Mollie Pillman, SVP, Member Engagement, American College of Emergency Physicians
Tracy Vecchio, Director, Membership & Marketing, USFN, America's Mortgage Banking Attorneys
Ryan Byrd, Member Services Director, Restaurant Facility Management Association
Keith Gentry, Director, Member Engagement & Insights, American College of Emergency Physicians

Associations often lead ambitious changes for the industries they represent, and yet internal project management can be a challenge in the face of big ideas, resource constraints, and resistance to change. Join a panel discussion with your peers to unpack how three local associations have overcome many of the common pitfalls to effectively implement meaningful change.

 Learning Outcomes:

  1. Discussion common reasons for scope creep and how they can be addressed early, without losing the ability to incorporate ideas for future improvement.
  2. Discover low-cost tools and techniques for moving projects forward with limited resources; and
  3. Examine methods for managing change and recognizing when to push forward and when to slow down.
A Trusted Source: Ethical Considerations for Association Content Curation

Sarah Sain, CAE, Vice President of Content, Naylor Association Solutions 

Associations often rely on a mix of original content creation and the curation of industry news from various outlets and technologies to keep members informed. When distributing content on behalf of other organizations though, associations take on the responsibility of vetting sources that value truth, honesty, and respect. Take a closer look at the ethical considerations that you should keep top of mind when curating relevant industry content to share with members. Discuss specific questions to consider before sharing content within your member communications to ensure the highest quality.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Participants will understand the responsibility of associations to act as trusted sources of information.
  2. Participants will learn best practices for vetting and selecting trustworthy sources of information.
  3. Participants will develop skills in curating diverse and inclusive content using new tools and technology.
Membership Peer Conversations | MMC

Brandon Owens, Membership & Engagement Director, TSAE

Join your peers for a purposeful dialogue about the challenges and hurdles keeping you up and night. This session will mix small and large group conversation, so you leave with practical next steps. Connect, problem solve, share resources, and build a network with colleagues.

The Future of Event Experiences

Sandra J. Bench, CMP, CASE, Senior Business Development Director, Freeman Company, San Antonio
Christopher L. Williston VI, CAE, President and CEO, Independent Bankers Association of Texas, Austin
Moderated by Lindsay Thompson, Senior Director of Education and Governance Programs, Texas Hospital Association, Austin

Explore the future of event experiences in this illuminating session on post-pandemic innovations in sponsorships and exhibits to not only boost non-dues revenue for your association, but also increase value for the vendor. The speakers will discuss how associations are reshaping traditional event landscapes, adapting to meet changing vendor and attendee needs, and embracing creative strategies to forge deeper connections between exhibitors, sponsors and attendees. Join us to discuss current challenges and the dynamic possibilities that lie ahead in the evolving meeting landscape.

TSAE's Better By Association LIVE Podcast Recording: Leading Associations - Navigating Career Growth & Industry Dynamics

In this episode, we sit down with Leslie Midgley, CAE, Executive Vice President and CEO of the Texas Land & Title Association, an industry veteran who has witnessed the transformation of association management over the years. We’ll take a look into leadership styles, both past and present, offering a chance to explore the evolution of leadership within association management. Leslie, a mentor to many, shares invaluable advice for those looking to thrive in this ever-changing landscape. Discover leadership challenges and learn how to find your unique leadership voice. Plus, how to maintain your sanity amidst the increasing demands of leadership. We’ll discuss a comprehensive guide to skill development. We’ll share essential skills for future leaders, helping you chart your path toward career advancement in association management. It's a moment of profound insight and inspiration for listeners, particularly those just starting their careers in the field. Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting your journey, there's something here for everyone looking to thrive in this dynamic industry.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discover how diverse backgrounds and experiences shape career paths in association management.
  2. Gain insights into the genuine passion that drives professionals in association management and explore what makes this industry so rewarding.
  3. Explore the evolution of leadership styles within the association management landscape and understand the key skills needed for career advancement.


Thought Leader Session (1:45 – 2:45 PM)
CAE Informational Session

Tiffany McGee, CAE, CEO, Texas Trial Lawyers Association
Alex Winslow, CAE, Director of Communications, Texas Trial Lawyers Association

If you are curious or serious about earning your Certified Association Executive credential, join our member CAEs who will walk you through the essentials steps of preparing or planning your road to the CAE.


Deep Dive Education Session (1:45 – 3:45 PM*)
Topics in Association Financial Health: A Two-Part Session

Neely D. Duncan, CPA, CFE, Partner / National Nonprofit Advisory Services Leader Nonprofit, Higher Education & Public Sector
Sarah Loghin
CPA, CMA, CFE, Senior Managing Consultant, Nonprofit Advisory Services FORVIS

Financial Statement and Metric Evaluation: Every nonprofit niche has its own unique financial drivers. This session will focus on evaluating association financial statements, with an eye towards long term financial health, as well as creating and reporting on relevant KPIs and metrics using financial and nonfinancial data.

Internal Controls and Fraud Risk for Associations: Fraud happens in associations more often than we know or may care to admit. This session will explore best practice control structures for various organizational structures. We will also point out some of the areas of associations that are most prone to fraud and misuse and include case studies.

Learning Outcomes:  

  1. Evaluate association financial statements for indicators of long-term financial health.
  2. Set appropriate metrics.
  3. Recognize common fraud schemes in associations.


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Concurrent Education Sessions (8:30 – 9:30 AM)
10 Initiatives to Reassert the Value of Membership (MMC)

Sarah Sain, Senior Director of Content Services, Naylor Association Solutions

Despite offering a range of benefits that help people and companies grow and connect, according to a recent industry survey many associations today still struggle with how to effectively communicate the value that comes with being a member. Whether it’s furthering an industry through education and advocacy, creating a community of like-minded professionals, or providing a range of services and solutions that solve real-time problems, every association needs to clearly define the value it provides through its benefits and offerings – at every step through the member journey. By understanding your audience, identifying their needs, and communicating through timely messaging, you can not only meet members where they are today but impact their experience into the future. In this session, we’ll introduce 10 initiatives that your association can undertake that will amplify your current efforts to ultimately increase member value, drive engagement, and create connections.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Identify the current challenges to maintaining and enhancing membership engagement and retention.
  2. Explore strategies to evaluate and analyze the value proposition of existing membership offerings.
  3. Identify key trends and emerging technologies that can be leveraged to enhance the membership experience.
When to Call the Lawyers: Common Legal Issues for Associations | Back by Popular Demand!

Jonathan Blum, Attorney, Shareholder, Polsinelli PC

Associations, just like most businesses, have legal needs. Some associations use outside counsel extensively, while others may use attorneys infrequently. This session will address the most common association issues and when and how to use outside counsel to help address those issues.

Hands-On AI Experience for Organizational Leaders

Lori Gracey, Executive Director, TCEA
Kent Prickett, MBA, CAE, Executive Director, Infinity Management for Professional Associations & Societies

Discover the rapidly changing world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and all that it offers, from the good to the bad. Bring your own device and experience some of the most powerful AI tools available today. Then join in a discussion with your peers about if and how these tools might have value for your organization in the short, medium, and long term. Learn how to embrace AI to free your time and focus on higher-order tasks.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Understand what AI is and what it isn't.
  2. Sample some current AI tools to see what the possibilities are.
  3. Discuss what AI may mean to organizations now and in the future.
Maximizing Non-Dues Revenue: Strategies for Sustainable Growth

Join us for an engaging panel discussion, where we will explore innovative strategies and best practices for generating non-dues revenue. In an era of evolving business models and increasing competition, associations are seeking new avenues to enhance their financial sustainability. Pick up insights on leveraging non-dues revenue to drive growth and support the mission of their organization. From sponsorship opportunities and event monetization to strategic partnerships and digital revenue streams, we will delve into a wide range of proven strategies.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Identify strategies to attract and retain sponsors, create compelling packages, and deliver measurable value.
  2. Discover innovative ways to generate revenue from conferences.
  3. Explore how strategic collaborations with industry partners, vendors, and other organizations can unlock new revenue streams
Building Better Board Reports

Neely D. Duncan, CPA, CFE, Partner / National Nonprofit Advisory Services Leader Nonprofit, Higher Education & Public Sector
Sarah Loghin
CPA, CMA, CFE, Senior Managing Consultant, Nonprofit Advisory Services FORVIS

Standard financial statements often do not meet the Board’s need for decision support. This session will focus on setting KPIs based on relevant revenue and expense drivers, best practices in data visualization, and strategies for presenting complex financial information to the board.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Assess informational needs of stakeholders for decision support.
  2. Explore relevant financial KPIs for associations.
  3. Learn how to employ best practices in data visualization.
The New Normal: Adapting to the Changing Demands of Planning Events

Abby Mund, CMP, Director of Meetings & Events, Strategic Association Management

Is it taking more time than ever before to plan an event? Are you finding that your tried-and-true timelines for everything from contracting to securing basic meeting supplies is not just less predictable – but completely out the window? Whether you are an association professional with planning responsibilities or a supplier partnering with associations, if you are feeling like the crunch time before an event has gotten crunchier – you’re not alone. There is a compressed curve impacting event planning, and we are all trying to adapt while still delivering outstanding experiences. Through interactive discussions, we’ll identify what’s happening, explore the root causes and what it means for planners, suppliers, and all association staff.  You’ll leave this session able to articulate this industry shift, with a shared understanding of impact on all sides, most importantly, with strategies and solutions to meet the changing demands!


Closing Brunch Session (9:45 – 11:00 AM)
You're Not Listening - A Conversation with Kate Murphy

Moderator-Trevor S. Mitchell, MBA, FASAE, CAE, CDP, Executive Director/CEO, American Mensa

Kate Murphy is a Houston, Texas–based journalist who has written for the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Agence France-Presse, and Texas Monthly. Her eclectic and widely shared pieces have explored an extraordinary range of topics including health, technology, science, design, art, aviation, business, finance, fashion, dining, travel, and real estate.

Her book—You’re Not Listening—is equal parts cultural observation, scientific exploration, and rousing call to action that's full of practical advice that will elevate your conversations. While you might take listening for granted, how well you listen, to whom, and under what circumstances determines who you are and the paths you take in life.

It’s time to rediscover the lost art of listening.


CAE Hours: 7.25
Additional Hours from Deep Dive: 3

*The Deep Dive Education Session can be attended in lieu of an Excursion

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