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. Three content leaders will guide you through six sessions (for a total of 10 CAE hours), to provide insights and tools so you will walk away with new energy and innovative ways to approach your association leadership style. All while enjoying the luxury of spending two days at Kingsmill Resort.


Registration Opens Soon

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 of all educational sessions and meals, with a sleeping room on Monday, September 14. 


By September 8

After September 8

VSAE Member $495 $545
Non-member $645 $695
Spouse/Guest* $125 $150
* Spouse/guest registration includes the Monday night dinner and reception only. All other functions are limited to attendees only. 
Members who are not attending may substitute a staff member with proper qualifications at the member rate. Email a request to [email protected].

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Sunday, September 13

1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Optional Golf (see below)

Monday, September 14

9:00 - 9:30 a.m. - Registration & Check-in

9:30 - 11:00 a.m. - Leading Through Turbulent Times: An Insights® Leadership Session 

John Sarvay, Founder and Kathy Greenier, Practice Manager - Floricane
The concrete steps you can take now to face obstacles and continue your strong contribution as you navigate change. Never has effective leadership been more important, and never has it been more challenging. This session will help participants build readiness and capacity for the challenges they’re currently facing, and the future ahead. As leaders move through this period of transition, it’s essential to balance multiple perspectives, and deploy concrete skills to influence, support, and drive results. Leaders must act with purpose and in alignment with their organization’s priorities, all while maintaining employee focus, motivation, and commitment. Participants will 1) diagnose their current opportunities to operate on multiple levels, simultaneously: to be reactive, to stabilize and sustain, and to transform; 2) co-create solutions they can use now to face obstacles; and 3) make a plan for the actions, mindsets, and behaviors necessary for effective leadership while navigating through this period of transition with intention.

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - Flattening the Disruption Curve: Strategic Planning Through COVID
John Sarvay, Founder and Kathy Greenier, Practice Manager - Floricane
As your organization continues to work its way through the disruption caused by COVID-19, it will be important to assess your current state -- and strategically plan for both near-term and long-term scenarios. During this 2-hour session, you'll have a chance to diagnose your organization and work through a set of critical planning tools. We’ll use the classic S-curve model to illustrate why it’s essential for organizations to be planning simultaneously along several lanes: 1)A near-term strategy to stabilize and sustain your organization through the evolving COVID-19 landscape; 2) A longer-term strategy that optimizes or transforms your organization in response to emerging trends; and 3) A set of basic scenarios to prepare your organization for the inevitable pivots we’ll all face as we collectively move through both the pandemic and the economic stress associated with it. During this session, participants will have time to work through some key organizational questions (and begin to map out answers) related to Mission and Vision; Members; Services and Products; Employee Engagement and Development; and Marketing and Community Outreach.
12:30 - 1:30 p.m. - Lunch

1:30 - 2:00 - Break

2:00 - 5:00 p.m. - Leading in the Midst of Turmoil
Seth Kahan, Founder 
Pandemic, social distancing, economic disruption, job loss, broken supply chains, racial equity, and a contentious national election - who could have anticipated so much turmoil in 2020? What impact is this having on association leadership? What exactly are association CEOs doing to mitigate the risks or seize opportunities? Since mid-March Seth Kahan has been convening CEOs, conducting surveys, and pulling together resources to share them broadly. In this session he will share what he has learned, provide expert guidance on effective strategy for this time of great uncertainty, and provide resources he has collected from CEOs and other thought leaders. If you are wrestling with strategy, operations, or the negative impact of these national (and some global) disruptions, come to this session ready to participate, contribute and apply what you learn.

5:00 - 6:30 p.m. - Break

6:30 - 7:30 p.m. - Reception

7:45 - 9:00 p.m. - Dinner

9:00 - 11:00 p.m. - Dessert & Cocktails

Tuesday, September 15

7:30 - 8:30 a.m. - Breakfast

8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - Strategic Leadership: Leading Through Strategic Management
Robert Nelson, CAE, President, Nelson Strategic Consulting
Strategic leadership demands that leaders think and act strategically at every turn. It also requires building a culture and institutionalized practices that are grounded in strategic thinking principles and supported through effective strategic management. In the context of strategically leading an association or professional society, during a time of crisis and beyond, this interactive program will explore the dualisms of strategic thinking and strategic problem solving / decision making models. The session will provide you the tools and knowledge you need to strengthen strategic thought at the board level, and to design strategic management processes that integrate organizational strategy system-wide and enable sound, strategic problem solving and decision making.

12:30 p.m. - Boxed Lunch & Depart

Content Leaders 

John Sarvay
Founder | Floricane

John encourages both clients and his own team to make big ideas better and good ideas bigger. He displays a unique ability to weave together seemingly disparate ideas to help groups of people see their challenges in new ways. John has more than two decades of experience in leadership and team development, facilitation, strategic planning, and communications. He has worked in academia and for Fortune 500 corporations. He founded Floricane in 2008 after a decade of leadership development, facilitation and strategic communication work for Richmond-based Luck Companies.

Kathy Greenier
Practice Manager | Floricane

Kathy is a consultant focused on facilitation and training. She is passionate about connecting and developing people, and building community. She thrives on building new programs and new networks from the ground up, and helping people develop skills and achieve their dreams. She is driven by creating shared understanding, and brings a balance of focused discussion, activity-based learning, and facilitated instruction to bear in her work with individuals and groupsKathy is a recovering J.D. and in past lives she's been a teacher, lobbyist, community organizer, program manager, policy analyst, and communications specialist, to name a few.

Seth Kahan
Founder | Visionary Leadership

Widely recognized as being on the forefront of Visionary Leadership® and a trusted advisor to more than 100 association CEOs and world-class leaders like the president of the World Bank, director of the Peace Corps and senior managers at Royal Dutch Shell, Seth Kahan is a sought-after business strategy specialist, respected thought leader, and convener on Grand Challenges. In the association world, he drives catalytic change, helping association leaders to innovate and retool for today’s disruptive and fast-moving environment. His work is highly esteemed. Seth has helped CEOs conceive and execute grand challenges, bold national goals that address massively overarching issues and bring high repute to the associations that lead them. His work includes initiatives with the American Nurses Association, the CFP Board’s Center for Financial Planning, and the Thriving Earth Exchange powered by the American Geophysical Union. Seth has served on several boards in public positions including the American Geophysical Union, Council of Better Business Bureaus and the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind.

Robert Nelson, CAE
President Nelson Strategic Consulting 

Robert Nelson, a Certified Association Executive, (CAE), brings over a quarter-century of successful executive leadership experience, working with Boards and high-powered CEOs in a not-for-profit setting. Nelson brings hands-on experience guiding and facilitating the development of solutions to complex organizational challenges and global grand challenges for national as well as international organizations. He is adept at designing governance structures and an engaging Board trainer. As a former association chief executive officer for almost two decades, Nelson understands the importance of developing practical, strategic solutions that work within the culture of an organization and are aligned with the organization’s capacity potential. He also understands and has hands-on experience transitioning Boards into high performance, strategic thinking entities. Further, his expertise also includes the development of complex government affairs strategies, including referendum strategies, at the local, state, federal and international levels and he has international negotiating experience in a multi-lateral setting.


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 Kingsmill Resort |1010 Kingsmill Road| Williamsburg, VA 23185 | (757) 253-1703

Room Rate: $189 (plus taxes)
Room block cutoff date: August 23, 2020
Reservations: (800) 832-5665 OR (757) 253-1703. Be sure to ask for the VSAE room block.

Attendees will need to make their own hotel room reservations. VSAE will cover the room charge, including taxes, for Monday night, September 14 (not for sponsors).


Sunday, September 13

Course: River Course
Fee: $125 per person, including green fees, cart fees, forecaddie and gratuity. 
Tee time: Begins at 1:00 p.m.
Limited to 12 players.

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