Interview with Maureen Dingus, CAE, VSAE's Incoming President

What drew you to the association industry?

A $5 per hour paid internship at the VSCPA!

What goals do you have during your presidency of VSAE?

I hope to keep our strategic plan moving forward as we discover the next normal for VSAE and our members.  A new element to our strategic plan revolves around diversity, equity and inclusion. It will be important for VSAE to model the way.

What are your top three tips for association executives?

1. Develop a network of peers you can lean into for support, brainstorming, and reality checks.

2. Do all the things you ask your members to do—join your association, volunteer, learn, and engage.

3. Be eternally curious. Look outside the association world and your specific profession for inspiration, ideas, and connections.

What are you working on that’s new and different?

VSCPA is starting a yearlong intensive leadership coaching program with our senior management team. Although we’ve always been focused on leadership development, this will be a great opportunity to grow as a team as we move toward our strategic vision.

What is your greatest challenge at work?

Continuing to evolve our business model and mindset to be even more innovative and adaptable as we strive to launch new products and services.

What success stories do you have about communicating with your membership?

The pandemic allowed us the opportunity to do more virtual roundtables with smaller groups of key members which created deeper connections and discussions. We were able to engage with members who never came to our in-person meetings and gave them the chance to see our value in action.

What do you enjoy doing in your time away from work?

Knitting, reading, and yoga. Yes, I’m an introvert!

What were your streaming binges this past year?

New Girl, Schitt’s Creek, and Call the Midwife.

What’s on your music playlist?

I’ve been streaming The Current from Minneapolis Public Radio. They play a lot of local music, especially their hometown heroes (Prince, the Replacements, Lizzo), but also a lot of great new music like Fiona Apple, Low Cut Connie, and Sturgill Simpson.

What sports/teams do you root for?

Detroit Tigers, Lions, and Red Wings, plus VCU Rams.

What books have you read lately?

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah, Caste by Isabel Wilkerson, and Parisian Lives by Deirde Bair.

What was the last great piece of advice you received?

Before jumping into a discussion, WAIT—and ask yourself Why Am I Talking?

What are three things on your bucket list?

I’d like to walk the Camino De Santiago, and see a performance at the Metropolitan Opera House and the Ryman Auditorium.

What are you most proud of?

This past year has been challenging and altered a lot of perspectives. I’m super proud of my husband who I believe found his calling teaching high school English this past year. I also am proud of my kids who are finding their own way as unique, amazing young adults in this crazy time without a good roadmap.

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