CEO & Senior Staff Retreat



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This exclusive two-day event for association CEOs and other senior staff leaders is focused on equipping you to lead your association now and into the future. Disruptive thinkers like Scott Wayne will push you to think differently about how you lead your organization, its board, and your members. The event will also include a presentation on ASAE’s ground breaking research into the 41 Drivers of Change. Attendees will receive a high-level overview of the research then will be organized into small-groups with like colleagues for a deep-dive into the information and discussion on what it might mean for your association or industry.

NEW – This year’s event has been extended to include content specifically designed for association staff leaders AND the volunteer leader. The content of day two is devoted to board management. Bring your board chair or incoming chair for an entire day of content organized around building the crucial relationship between CEO and chief elected officer. You will learn about trends in the association industry and what they may mean for governance. You will learn how to be deliberate about your board culture and the importance of strategic foresight. Even if your board chair is unable to join, you will gain tools and information to be a more effective board manager.

At the end of this retreat, you will walk away with new energy and ways to approach your association leadership. You will have a strong sense of the disruptive trends of which you need to be aware. You will have the tools to enable a stronger relationship between staff and volunteer leaders. And you have the opportunity to earn up to 12 CAE credits. All of this while spending two days at the luxurious and newly renovated Cavalier hotel, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection.

If you are an association CEO, Executive Director, or senior staff member, this is an event you do NOT want to miss.


Monday, September 17
(CEOs and Senior Staff attendees & sponsors only)

9:30-10:00 a.m. - Welcome & Introductions

10:00-11:00 a.m. - Market Disruption: Where Innovation and Negotiation Intersect
Scott Wayne
During this session you will gain an understanding of the difference between market innovation, product innovation, and the underestimated power of markets and human behavior. Attendees will learn how to build partnership with other organizations rather than going head-to-head with direct competitors. You will learn how to negotiate with internal stakeholders in your association and industry to be sure that innovation makes it into your association.

11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - The Insight Curve: A Negotiation Exercise
Scott Wayne
Scott will present a relevant case study relevant and deploy the insight curve model to target both ends of the innovation spectrum. Participants will generate new association products and service ideas based on the perspectives and activities of both ends of the spectrum. At the end of the time, attendees will have ideas for a new products and services for your association.

12:00-1:00 p.m. - Lunch

1:00-1:30 p.m. - Networking Break

1:30-4:30 p.m. - Association Trends: A Presentation & Discussion from ASAE's 41 Drivers of Change Research
Kristine Metter, CAE
Attendees will be given a brief overview of the report from ASAE’s Foundation then be organized into small groups of like colleagues for a discussion and a deep dive into the trends. At the end of the session, groups will share back to the larger group for a robust conversation on how association CEOs can be responsive to these trends.

5:30-6:30 p.m. - Perspectives from the For-Profit World; Interviews & Cocktails with 3 Dynamic Local Business Leaders
JJ White, Moderator
Hear from three local leaders in the for-profit world in a fun environment while enjoying cocktails with your association colleagues.

               Bruce Thompson - CEO, Gold Key, PHR
               Eric Brown - CEO, / Mobile One Courier & Logistics
               Kim Curtis - President/CEO, Tidewater Home Funding, LLC

6:30-10:30 p.m. - Reception, dinner, dessert, cocktails, & networking

Tuesday, September 18
(Chief elected leader included)

7:00-8:00 a.m. - Breakfast

8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. – Reflections on the Horizon and In Your Association
Lowell Aplebaum, CAE & Rhea Steele, CAE
The second day of learning, where Chief Staff and Chief Volunteer Officers are invited to learn together, will consist of three parts:
  • Scoring Your Board of Directors: A Self-Assessment
  • Chief Volunteer/Chief Staff Officer Dialogue: Association Specific Disruptors
  • Creating Culture and Foresight in Your Association
12:00-1:00 p.m. - Lunch

1:00-4:00 p.m. - Continuation of content from morning


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This retreat is limited to chief staff executives and senior staff leadership for associations and non-profits, including account executives from association management companies (AMCs). Registration is all-inclusive with a sleeping room on September 17; breaks, lunch, reception, and dinner on September 17; breakfast and lunch on September 18; and all educational sessions. Registration for Volunteer Leaders attending Day 2 can only be completed within the registration form filled out by the CEO/Senior Staff.



(By July 20)


(After Jul 20)

VSAE Members

$550 $600


$700 $750

Volunteer Leader (must accompany a CEO/Senior Staff registration)

(Day 2 only)*

$100 $150


$99 $129
* Volunteer Leader registration includes Day 2 content and lunch only. It does not include hotel room or any of Monday's activities.
** Spouse/guest registration includes the dinner and reception only. All other functions are limited to attendees only.


Refund Policy

Cancel by Thursday, August 9, $500 refunded.
Cancel by Thursday, August 16, $400 refunded.
Cancel after Thursday, August 16, no refund.

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Content Leaders

Lowell Aplebaum, CAE
CEO & Strategy Catalyst | Vista Cova


Lowell Aplebaum, CAE is the CEO and Strategy Catalyst of Vista Cova - a company that partners with organizations on strategic visioning and planning, creating stronger stakeholder connections, and reimagining value and engagement. Lowell frequently provides dynamic sessions to organizations - conducting deep-dive interviews and getting members and volunteers involved through experiential learning approaches. He currently serves as the Chair-Elect for the overseeing commission for the Certified Association Executive certifications, and chaired ASAE's Task Force on CEO Pathways. He is the creator of a master-level learning series called Through the CEO Lens and Association Charrette - a co-creation retreat experience. His work on global efforts for associations has included experience across five continents, hundreds of volunteer groups, and all 50 states in the U.S. 

Eric Brown
Mobile One Courier & Logistics / Fulfilltopia

Eric Brown is the founder and CEO of Mobile One Courier & Logistics which he established in 1996, and in 2010, he began a second company, Fulfilltopia. Though Eric’s personal and business roots are in Hampton Roads, he has grown these businesses and now has locations in Richmond and Roanoke areas as well. Eric’s leadership has earned him invitations to participate in the US Air Force Air War College National Security Forum as well as the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative. In 2010, the Hampton Roads business journal Inside Business included Mobile One Courier on its Roaring 20 list recognizing it as one of the fastest growing companies in Hampton Roads, and since that time, Mobile One has been included on Inc. Magazine’s “Inc. 5000” list of fastest-growing privately held companies five times. Eric currently serves as a Lead Mentor and Executive Board member of 757 Accelerate, an incubator for new businesses. 

Kristine Metter, CAE
Senior VP of Member Experience | America's Essential Hospitals

Kristine Metter, MS, CAE, has worked in the nonprofit and association industry for 30 years, primarily in the healthcare arena. She is currently Senior Vice President for Member Experience with America's Essential Hospitals, a national trade association that represents hospitals serving vulnerable populations. As a key member of the association's executive management team, she is responsible for strategic planning and program management with a focus on membership, education, and corporate relations. Ms. Metter currently serves as co-chair for the ForesightWorks advisory committee and has previously served on a variety of councils, sections, and ad-hoc activities, including the Research Committee, Health Care Committee, Membership Council, the Greater Washington Network, the Associations Now writer's pool, and the CAE Immersion Course.

Rhea Steele, CAE
Vista Cova


Rhea uses her strategy, governance, and facilitation expertise to build dynamic teams that anticipate business needs and meet or exceed organizational goals. She uses her more than 13 years of experience in associations, non-profits, education, and museums to cultivate a dynamic, trustworthy, and inclusive culture.

Bruce Thompson
Gold Key | PHR

Bruce L. Thompson is the founder and chief executive officer of Gold Key | PHR one of the largest privately held hospitality and real estate companies in the Mid-Atlantic. Gold Key | PHR’s portfolio of world-class restaurants, hotels and resorts generate annual revenue exceeding $100 million, employ over 2,000 associates and attract nearly a million guests to the local economy each year. In 2017 PHR opened one of Coastal Virginia’s most distinguished hospitality properties with the completion of the Hilton Norfolk The Main hotel and conference center and in 2018 with the completed renovation of the grand historic Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach. Thompson has been an ardent supporter and advocate of the travel and tourism industry serving as a director of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) and on the boards of tourism and development organizations including seven years on the Governor’s Travel Advisory Committee, American Resort Development Association Board, Resort Area Advisory Commission, Resort Leadership Council, Virginia Beach Festivals Committee, and the Virginia Small Business Financial Authority.

Scott Wayne
Co-Founder | Envoy

Scott Wayne is a speaker, negotiator, and moderator. He's co-founder of Envoy - a negotiation and market influence firm that works on a small portfolio of discrete initiatives to deliver outcomes that mutually benefit business, environment, and society. A former British diplomat, Scott has spent his career investigating opportunities, building partnerships, and negotiating outcomes in both the private and public sector. Scott is the author of The Cartography of Negotiation, a hands-on guide to negotiating and is in the midst of writing his second book on how to use negotiation techniques for business innovation. 

JJ White
Chief Engagement Officer | Dale Carnegie VA

JJ White joined the Dale Carnegie organization as a franchise owner in 2000. He holds certification in the Sales Effectiveness, Leadership, Team Engagement, Presentation Effectiveness and Process Improvement curricula. In 2007 he received the Global Dale Carnegie Superior Trainer Award. His recent accomplishments include induction to the Dale Carnegie 2010 Millennium Group, a collection of the top 20 franchises in the world. In 2006 he was part of the Blue Ridge Business Journal top 20 under 40 business leaders in the region and most recently was ranked a top 25 sales professional by Valley Business Front Magazine. JJ serves as a Board Member of the Virginia Council for CEOs and also as Past-President of the International Dale Carnegie Franchisee Association. 



The Cavalier | 4200 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, Va. 23451 | | (757) 425-8555

For nearly a century, the grand Cavalier has stood sentinel over the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Perched on a grassy hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Virginia's most iconic hotel has welcomed ten U.S. Presidents, countless celebrities, and distinguished guests from around the world. The history within the stately architecture reveals a sense of timeless elegance and glamour and earned the Cavalier a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Now, The Cavalier has been re-imagined and re-invented to bring you an experience that marries grand tradition with a warm, contemporary feel.

Room reservation for CEO and Senior Staff attendees for the night of Monday, September 17 is included in your registration and will be made for you. Room reservations for Sponsors and Volunteer Leaders are not included in registration.

Attendees can request to extend their stay at The Cavalier (based on availability) upon registration for $209/night (plus taxes). They will be responsible for all additional room nights. A credit card is required.

**Special Offer for CEO & Senior Staff Retreat attendees**
The Cavalier's SeaHill Spa is offering 45 minute massages or pedicures for just $60, only for VSAE attendees. Call the Spa at 757-425-8555 to book your appointment and mention the CEO & Senior Staff Retreat to secure this special rate. Click here to view the SeaHill Spa fact sheet.

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