Each seminar, whether virtual or in-person, offers at least one hour of educational content. Topics cover nearly all aspects of association management including communications, leadership, membership, strategic planning, and so much more.

VSAE is an approved provider of CAE credit 
hours. See the CAE Information page for more information, including a printable chart to track your CAE credits. 

Upcoming Seminars:

Stronger Under Pressure
Chris Barras
June 6, 2024

There are 4 go to survival skills that our brains use to process uncertain and stressful situations. What are they and how do we recognize when we are using them? What would be gained if we purposely did the opposite of those survival skills. What might be gained? What new growth could we experience? There are also 5 ways to approach stress and uncertainty that will help us move from merely surviving uncertainty to actually thriving during it. We will unpack these 5 ways and give examples of how we can do this in our work and personal life. This talk will conclude with some inspirational ideas about hope and how we can have hope even when we don’t know what is coming next.  

Innovation Pulse

Shira Lotzar and Mary Power
June 11, 2024

How do we avoid legacy thinking when facing our association’s toughest challenges? Organizations and their leaders increasingly are applying design thinking to shift their perspectives on problem-solving.

The design-thinking methodology focuses on understanding and empathizing with your community's user's needs (your members and non-members). It's a human-centered approach to designing programs, services, and solutions.

Unlike traditional peer groups or “sage on stage” presentations, these mini-innovation summits will allow association CEOs, executive directors, and senior staff to leverage design thinking principles in addressing the challenges facing their organizations and their members.


Past Seminars:

Communications In a Crisis – Reputation Protection

Nicole McAllister and Mark B. Hubbard
April 11, 2024

Join us on understanding the Media – what they want vs. what you want. Learn three critical message delivery techniques and the essential DO’s – these will make you – and the essential DONT’s – these will break you when it comes to protecting your association’s reputation during a crisis.

Keys to Leadership Success for New Association Managers
Christopher R Jones

March 7, 2024
Join us in this engaging presentation as we unveil a strategic framework for transforming association managers into leaders within your association. Discover the leadership potential within your current teams and master the art of developing potential leaders. Through real-world examples, explore the concept of creating experiences for your team before they step into a new role. Cultivate trust and increase engagement across your entire association by building working relationships without hierarchies. Witness the remarkable shift from dependence to a culture of empowered and autonomous action. As you embrace this framework, you'll equip your association with the tools they need to flourish.

After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • Uncover leadership potential in your existing team and develop future leaders with examples of offering opportunities to gain experience before moving to a new role.
  • Develop valuable working relationships that build trust and increases engagement with your entire team.
  • Focus your efforts on uncovering obstacles and then removing them as your team moves to next level performance.


ASAE Public Policy: Advocating for a Stronger Workforce
Dr. Bobs Holsworth, DecideSmart and Jeff Evans, ASAE

January 5, 2024

Kick off the new year with VSAE's most popular monthly seminar! The expert on all things Virginia politics, Dr. Bob Holsworth, with DecideSmart, will enlighten us with his analysis of the recent statewide elections and his prognosis for 2024.

Joining Dr. Holsworth is Jeff Evans, ASAE's Director of Public Policy, to discuss "ASAE Public Policy: Advocating for a Stronger Workforce". Learn about important workforce development efforts to help build up all industries and professions while increasing access to career-building credentials and skills training. 


"The New Volunteer Lifecycle: Maximizing Value for Your Champions"

Megan Kuhman, M.Ed, CAE, AVIXA, and Michelle Runge, MA, CAE, The American Inns of Court Foundation

December 6, 2023

From onboarding to evaluation, volunteers are the lifeblood of associations. How do we, as association professionals, make a compelling case for a volunteer's most limited resource – time – and effectively prepare them to succeed in their roles? Join us as we discuss how defining and communicating the volunteer value proposition from invitation to onboarding to evaluation can drive volunteer recruitment and retention and move your association closer to realizing its mission.

After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • Define volunteer ROI from the staff perspective, the volunteer perspective, and the organizational perspective.
  • Effectively communicate how volunteering with your association creates missional impact and adds value to the member experience.
  • Move volunteers from strictly operational functions to strategically supporting the association’s mission throughout the volunteer lifecycle, from onboarding to evaluation.

"Association Boards and Technological Harm "
Jeff De Cagna FRSA FASAEForesight First LLC

November 2, 2023

The recent global explosion of interest and adoption of so-called "generative AI" and its enabled tools creates complex and serious new questions for association boards. As the growing use of these tools accelerates, boards must be prepared to fulfill their responsibility to safeguard their organizations, stakeholders, and successors from technological harm. In this 90-minute interactive session, participants will learn about the critical risks and harms of emerging technologies and what actions their association boards must take to address them.

After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • Explain "generative AI," its enabled tools, and other emerging technologies of concern.
  • Address the critical risks and harms of emerging technologies and their implications for associations.

Help their boards act on the responsibility to safeguard their organizations, stakeholders, and successors from technological harm.  


"Leveraging Generative AI to Revolutionize Association Work"

Christina Lewellen, MBA, CAE and Dr. Ashley CrossATLIS

September 21, 2023

Join us as we delve into the world of generative AI and explore how the Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools (ATLIS) is harnessing this transformative technology to work smarter and achieve unparalleled efficiency. With "technology" ingrained in our association's name, ATLIS is at the forefront of embracing bleeding-edge innovations, and generative AI has been a game-changer in redefining our approach to work.

During this session, we will share real-world examples of how ATLIS utilizes generative AI to create significant impacts across various aspects of our operations. Learn how we saved hours and elevated email communications to a professional level, repurposed video content into entirely new mediums, and effortlessly generated unique images for our marketing team.

 1.50 CAE Credits 


What Every Leader Should Know to Catalyze Higher Team Performance

Kimberley ParsonsCEO of Bamboo Teaming

September 7, 2023

In today’s complex organizational environments, interdependent teamwork is not just desirable - it’s essential. Effective team-based collaboration drives agility, resilience, and adaptability, as well as employee satisfaction, engagement, and morale. This combination is what yields exceptional, consistent results. Yet for many leaders, the challenge of managing the intricate dynamics of teams—on top of their other leadership responsibilities—can be daunting and overwhelming. In this session, we’ll cut through that complexity to make the basics of teaming practical and accessible. Grounded in more than 25 years of theory and practice, you’ll learn a time-tested approach that distills team functioning into four interrelated dimensions, with concrete guidance you can implement right away to improve team performance.

After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • Learn the four key dimensions of team functioning, and how to maximize your team’s specific strengths and opportunities in each dimension.
  • Understand what you need in your leadership role to catalyze team high performance.
  • Learn common “hot spots” that can make or break team functioning, and the corresponding team leadership behaviors.
    you can cultivate to overcome them. 

 1.50 CAE Credits 


Coffee and Muffins: Case Studies and Lessons Learned

Christina Lewellen, MBA, CAE, Executive Director, Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools 
June 8, 2023

Feeling drained and overwhelmed by the rapid pace of change and uncertainty? If so, take a moment to catch your breath and enjoy conversation with your peers over coffee and muffins.

No PowerPoint presentations at this event - instead, attendees drive the discussion on the issues facing their organizations (e.g., workplace issues, volunteer leadership, member engagement, technology issues), focusing on quick case studies and lessons learned. 

This approach makes the most of your valuable time, providing a comprehensive overview of the trends you should be tracking and opportunities you may not have thought of. The topics are big, but the discussion will be nimble.

1.5 CAE Credits 

 Hard Choice Habits – A New Way to Consider Decision-Making 

Blake Carleton
June 1, 2023

Any significant level of achievement is directly correlated with the total number of HARD decisions a person is willing to make. The Hard Choice Habits is a belief that the highest levels of growth, prosperity, and advancement are earned through an accumulation of hard choices. The Hard Choice Habits are anchored in a binary framework of rules that creates a simplerepeatable processes that can be adapted to any situation.

Hard Choice Habits are developed because they are repeatable and in essence can be practiced.   Because all of our decisions can be reduced to the binary state of “easy or hard”, humans are afforded the opportunity to practice making hard decisions. Join Blake Carleton as he will use the latest research to illustrate the importance of choosing the harder of two choices and how this granular approach to decision-making can impact every area of life. 

After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • Explain why it is so hard to make good decisions on a regular basis.
  • Understand how you can build your decision muscle. 
  • Identify the foundational decision choice that can be used for every decision. 

1.5 CAE Credits 

 Building Member Value in a Post-Pandemic World

Pete Zimek, CAE, Founder & CEO Novi AMS
April 13, 2023 

Join Pete Zimek, CEO of Novi AMS for a deep dive into how the pandemic has affected our organization and how associations are emerging from the pandemic to serve members in smarter, leaner, and more mission-focused ways. We’ll start with an examination of membership trends and finish with a group discussion of the paradigm shifts needed to create the future.
After attending this session, participants will be able to:
  • Identify the leadership traits that served their organizations well during the pandemic and how they may continue to spark innovation moving forward.
  • Think more creatively and intentionally when developing everyday member outreach programs.
  • Recenter members and membership staff on the "why" of the organization. 

1.5 CAE Credits

 Jumping In Puddles: Using Data to Better Inform Decision Making

Alex Mouw, CAE., Principle Strategic Advisor for Membership & Charities, AWS Nonprofits
March 9, 2023 

Remember being a kid during a heavy summer rain? You pulled on your boots and ran out in search of puddles to jump in. So, why as nonprofit leaders, do we fear the data puddles lurking in the corners of our organizations?

Alex Mouw, Principal Strategic Advisor at Amazon Web Services (AWS) explores the concept of data puddles. You’ll recognize them as decentralized repositories in your AMS/CRM, LMS, Excel spreadsheets, registration data, website logs, email clicks, and rogue databases. She will examine the causes of these distributed data sets and their impacts on our organizations. She'll also share tips for data management success, including:

• Analyzing data across different sources to better understand member history, needs, and trends
• Using AI to predict what's going to happen (churn, renewal, registration, giving)
• Segmenting data and personalize member interactions to provide more relevant calls to action
• Exploring ways to monetize data to create new member value or products 

1.5 CAE Credits

The Advantages of Diverse Leaders: A Unique Leadership Approach
Moira Lethbridge, M.Ed., Principal & Owner, Lethbridge & Associates
March 2, 2023

This seminar identifies unique leadership opportunities and challenges facing women professionals to equip them with strategies to lead with clarity and purpose and assist those who work with them to better understand how to support their leadership.  Identifying the strengths and abilities of women leaders can provide valuable insights for everyone in the workplace. All association professionals, regardless of gender, are encouraged to attend.

During this interactive session, attendees will:

  • Identify their personal "Zone of Genius" to lead with greater clarity and purpose
  • Recognize challenges and obstacles that hold them back
  • Acknowledge the unique qualities female leaders offer their teams and learn how to leverage them for the benefit of the team
  • Learn proven strategies to enjoy both professional achievement and personal balance
  • Explore ways to build a supportive peer network

Leaders who lead with increased self-awareness and intentionality from their Zone of Genius build trust, gain influence, increase productivity and innovation, produce increased financial returns for their organizations, and have greater satisfaction and joy in the journey. Who Should Attend? All association professionals are welcome, regardless of gender. 

1.5 CAE Credits

Creating and Sustaining a Strategic Board of Directors
Dean WestFounder & President, Association Laboratory, Inc.
December 8, 2022

Chief staff officers and senior staff spend too much time managing Boards that are tactical and short sighted. The solution is to create and sustain a strategic Board of Directors that can positively contribute through their unique insights into the industry or profession and their desire for the association to function as a platform for member success. 

To study this issue, Association Laboratory conducted research targeting association chief staff officers. This research, published in the white paper Creating and Sustaining a Strategic Board of Directors highlights the main challenges facing strategic board leadership and introduces solutions to improving the quality of Board decision-making. From Board selection processes to staff competencies and support, participants will learn the building blocks of strategic board creation and leadership. 

Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the white paper and access to the Association Laboratory Looking Forward Dashboard. The Dashboard provides access to all of the company’s association sector research studies ranging from environmental scans to strategy assessments and DEI research.

1.5 CAE Credits

2023 Virginia Economic Outlook
Joe Mengedoth, Regional Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
November 4, 2022

Joe Mengedoth will provide an overview of current national and state economic conditions and what economists expect to see going forward as we recover and adjust from the shocks of the last few years. Joe has deep experience in Virginia, having been with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond since 2013. His remarks will be informed by both the data and conversations with businesses throughout Virginia.

1.5 CAE Credits

Tapping into "An Age of Acceleration" For a Brighter Future
Tim Hopkins, CAE, Practice Director, McKinley Advisors
September 22, 2022

The data in the latest edition of McKinley’s Association Viewpoint, titled “An Age of Acceleration,” reveals that there is an optimistic outlook among association leaders that is fueling a transformation, and the areas of concern that impacted association leaders in 2021 have decreased significantly. During this session we'll explore research content from a macro level and then work through what it means for attendees and their organizations. 

During this session, you will gain insights on: 

  • Workforce issues, digital transformation, expansion of programs, the return to office and impact investing
  • Associations’ outlook for the year, including drivers of optimism and concern
  • Where associations plan to invest and what priorities have shifted
  • How to tap into research insights to create an action plan for your association 

 Remote Work Arrangements: Establishing Expectations and Mitigating Risk
Jennifer Jackman and Jordan Halle, Whiteford Taylor Preston, LLP
Thursday, June 9, 2022

Throughout the pandemic, many employers allowed and/or required employees to work remotely to mitigate against the risks associated with Covid-19. As we ease out of the pandemic and as remote work increasingly becomes an employer provided benefit, how do you ensure that your business needs are met while remaining competitive in the workplace? What actions are required to ensure clearly defined employee expectations and to mitigate risk to your organization related to remote work?  

2.00 CAE Credits

How To Create Your Own Personal Board of Directors
Dr. Holly Sullenger, Dr. Holly Speaks
Friday, June 3, 2022 

How do so many people get ahead in life? How do so many organizations and entrepreneurs succeed? Is it luck? Is it money? Is it reputation? It might be a bit of all three. However, most do not get ahead without the help of others. The synergy that is present when many minds and talents come together usually propels all involved to new heights. This seminar will help you intentionally assemble your own personal “Board of Directors,” a board that can help you as you are navigating the business world with success in mind! Bring your questions and your curiosities – we will explore and learn together.  

1.5 CAE Credits

What Master Managers Do: Creating Your System of Management
Jeremy Wall, GoalMakers
April 1, 2022

Does everyone at your organization come to work, every day, knowing what their individual goals are? More so, could they tell you what the company goals are for this year? Learn how successful executives align their organizations around shared goals, while also supporting and empowering managers and teams to focus on daily actions and decisions that move the organization closer to achieving those goals. 

1.5 CAE Credits

Unpacking and Addressing Your Big Issues
Christina Lewellen, MBA, CAE - Facilitator
March 10, 2022

VSAE introduces a fresh style of knowledge sharing and engagement for Northern Virginia’s association community, designed to unpack big issues quickly and provide insights and tools that are scalable across associations. This rapid-fire program will move through the most pressing issues facing associations, focusing on quick case studies and lessons learned, and providing a comprehensive overview of the trends you should be tracking and opportunities you may not have thought of. 

2.00 CAE Credits

Leading Imperfectly: The Value of Being Authentic for Leaders, Professionals, and Human Beings
James Robilotta
March 4, 2022

It is time to own who you are so you can be real to others and lead through your faults. This deep but hysterical session will leave you feeling introspective about the person you show to others and recognize the rapport and trust-building power of authenticity in your communication and relationships. Examine who you are personally as a leader and as a partner and master the art of courageous feedback and authentic relationship building. 

1.5 CAE Credits 

Stop Looking for the Unicorn! How to Expand Your Candidate Pool 
Shira Lotzar
February 4, 2022 

When searching for the right job applicants, it takes foresight and strategy to be competitive in today’s candidate-centric market. Job seekers have shifted their priorities to focus on work-life balance, remote work, culture, and compensations. This facilitated discussion will encourage you to rethink your hiring approach so that you can expand your candidate pool and continue moving your association’s mission forward. 

1.5 CAE Credits 

2022 VA Political Outlook and Panel Discussion
January 7, 2022

Dr. Bob Holsworth, with DecideSmart, discusses the recent statewide elections and provides his political prognosis for the coming year, including how associations can expect to be directly affected. He will then participate in a panel discussion with other government relations experts examining the issues, challenges and unknowns of lobbying in 2022. 

1.5 CAE Credits 

Develop Your Executive Presence
Christine Clapp
November 5, 2021

Whether you’re in a videoconference meeting, on the phone, at a networking event, attending a virtual or hybrid conference, or anywhere else: your ability to speak with confidence will drive your career forward — just as a lack of confidence will frustratingly hold you back. This session will give you a set of powerful insights and practical strategies that will rapidly elevate your online and in-person presence. Get ready to develop your speaking skills in a way that will transform your career — and even change your life! 

1.5 CAE Credits 

Increasing Membership Engagement via Effective Learning Strategies
Holly Whitaker, Ph.D.
September 16, 2021

Associations are facing an increasingly competitive landscape, and the need to clearly differentiate to show value to members has become the number one priority. Providing membership with on-demand access to innovative learning experiences can be that differentiator. Turn members into advocates by providing continuous, self-directed learning opportunities no matter where they are and what device they are using. This allows them to build a closer connection with the organization, while supporting their individual career advancement. 
1.00 CAE Credit

OK Boomer: How Generational Marketing is Holding You Back
Sarah Mattes Marshall, CAE
September 2, 2021

For many years we have segmented our members into generations to better understand them and in the hopes of marketing to them more effectively. What was once a productive solution, however, has turned into an approach that is limited our potential and our relevance as an industry. The last year has accelerated change in many areas and now is the time to create a more positive path forward in association management. This session will discuss trends in career-level segmentation marketing, providing examples along the way and discussing how anthropological and sociological concepts can help you get in the minds of your members. 

1.5 CAE Credits 

Creating the Future of Meetings & Events
Randy Cummins, Stewart Hinckley, and Eileen Johnson, CAE 
June 4, 2021

Hosting in-person meetings and events in a world still affected by COVID-19 requires new thinking and new approaches. From adopting safety protocols to running a hybrid meeting, there are more moving parts to plan and execute. Learn what steps hotels, venues, and planners are taking to host in-person and hybrid meetings. Participants will gain insight on others’ experiences, and take part in a discussion and Q&A.  

1.5 CAE Credits 

Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace
Ryan Dunn; Christina Lewellen, MBA, CAE; and Stephanie Peters, CAE
May 19, 2021

A recent Harris Poll found that nearly 78% of adults say that COVID-19 has been a significant source of stress in their lives, while 60% say the number of issues facing America is overwhelming. These high levels of stress and anxiety can be long lasting and often spill into the workplace, challenging employers to address the mental well-being of their employees and, for associations, the members they serve as well. Learn from three association leaders about the initiatives undertaken by organizations to support their teams and members. 

1.5 CAE Credits

Reimagining the Office and Workplace
Maureen Dingus, CAE; Lisa Noon, CAE, RCE; and Patricia Trudeau, SHRM-SCP
April 23, 2021

COVID has disrupted how we think about work and "going to the office". For some, working virtually has been a great experience, for others not so much. Determining how, when, or even if we should return to in-person presents many issues and challenges; it also provides opportunities to reimagine the office and work life. Hear firsthand accounts of organizations that are addressing these issues and explore the HR considerations that need to be taken into account. 

1.5 CAE Credits