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Save the dates!
May Lunch & Learn: Wednesday, May 20 – CAE Discussion Groups
Presented by Michele Packard-Milam, CAE, Executive Director, The Mended Hearts, Inc.
To overview and discuss questions that may appear on a CAE exam. This Lunch and Learn will focus on how becoming a CAE is good for you and your career.
11:30 a.m. - 12 p.m – Registration and Networking
12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. – Luncheon and Presentation
Please Note: The May luncheon venue has moved just a short distance to the Austin Ranch, 2009 Anderson Gibson Rd, Grapevine, 76051. For full details and to register, please click here.

DFWAE Choosing Leadership program
Will you choose to be a leader? This program for DFWAE members is designed for those wanting to brush up on their leadership skills, and it is so named because we know leaders are made, not born. To learn more about the program, look for Choosing Leadership under the Events tab at or contact Judy Pulice, program coordinator.

DFWAE Toastmasters
DFWAE Toastmasters meets 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at National Athletic Trainers’ Association, 1620 Valwood Parkway, Suite 115, Carrollton 75006. Learn More

DFWAE Readers Group (Online)
You're invited! See reviews and recommendations from member participants, while sharing your favorite reads! Click here to engage with the DFWAE Readers Group. Connect using your existing Goodreads account, or join for free!
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DFWAE New Member Spotlight

Getting to Know: Secilee Powell, Apartment Association Greater Dallas

What I Love About DFWAE:
I am fairly new to DFWAE, but after attending “DFWAE Association Day” I am eager to become more involved. I learned a great deal of new information that I shared with my supervisor, Gene Kriska - Director of Membership, and hope to incorporate in our systems at AAGD.

What was your first job?
My first office job was working as an administrative assistant for a company that specialized in the buying and selling of new and used machinery. My duties included answering and directing phone calls, A/P & A/R, contacting prospective customers, inventory and an array of other clerical responsibilities.

What was your favorite movie in 2014?
My favorite movie in 2014 would have to be “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (TMNT). This happened to be the only movie I actually saw in 2014. I’d like to say I went for my children, but since a child I’ve always loved the TMNT lol.

Who inspires you in the business community and why?
The person who inspires me most in the business community is a close friend named Phyllis Nichols. Phyllis is an exceptionally successful Human Resources Manager for a prominent marketing firm in Dallas. Through dedication, determination and perseverance she attained her Master’s degree while working full time and raising two children. There are numerous reasons why she inspires me, but what inspires me most is her level of success while still being an active mom.

How did you go about deciding to work in the association industry?
While searching for work in 2011 I received a call about a position as “Supervisor of Products & Forms” at AAGD. After reading the job description I knew immediately I’d be a perfect fit because I had a considerable amount of experience with many of the job requirements. Although I’d never worked in a supervisorial role I assured Scott Ferman- Controller that if given the opportunity I wouldn’t disappoint….I think it’s safe to say almost 4 years later and in a new position as “Manager of Member Services” that I didn’t let either of us down.

What is your biggest roadblock/issue to growing your association?
Although there’ll always be hurdles and roadblocks with any successful organization, I’ve been fortunate to have not experienced many issues with our association growth. The 2014 fiscal year was one of the most profitable we’ve seen here at AAGD and I’m thrilled to have been a part of such an outstanding year.

What do you consider the greatest challenges in your work?
My greatest challenge in my work is coming up with ways to get our members more engaged. While in my current position as “Manager of the Member Services” I am constantly trying to think of innovative ways to get our members more involved with the association.
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Aspiring to be data-driven
Many associations aspire to be “data-driven.” But what does that mean, exactly? Is your association data-driven because it conducts surveys and focus groups? And what impact does being data-driven have on your members and staff? Are you asking the right questions at the appropriate times to capitalize on insights and avoid survey fatigue? Do staff members have an established protocol to ensure that data collection efforts are consistent and accurate, not redundant and flawed?
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Managing your expectations and workload during strategic planning
By William D. Pawlucy
Every day there are many nonprofits in the world moving through the beginnings of a strategic plan. In every one of these sessions, nonprofit boards are creating the road map for their organizations, which is exciting. But there are many executive directors who are dreading the possibility of overloading their staff with too many initiatives. How can an executive director effectively manage expectations during the strategic planning session without putting a damper on the board's enthusiasm?
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword PLANNING.

The missing link between membership and professional development
Associations Now
Clearly, professional development is one of the biggest drivers of people toward associations, if not the biggest. And yet the typical method for tying an association’s education programs to its membership package is through a simple member discount. Can we do better? Is there a way for associations to get greater leverage out of their most-valued product (education) and make it more integral to the membership package? Or, more simply, if nonmembers value your education so much, how can you get them to join, too?
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Easy ways to increase attendee interaction
Event Manager Blog
As an event planner you thrive on seeing your guests connect with other attendees and engage in the content or experience being presented. You would love for every attendee to leave your event saying “That was an amazing experience! I am so happy I attended and I met so many wonderful new people.”… but as we all know, that isn’t always the case. So what can you do as a planner to ensure your guests leave feeling connected? How can you improve their level of engagement and provide a more enjoyable experience?
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Besides being Shakespeare characters, what do the following names have in common? Rosalind, Belinda, Cressida, Puck, Portia, Bianca, Juliet, and Desdemona.

The correct answer is...

Join Mensa | Mensa Home Test | Mensa Benefits

How to optimize your customer experience by surveying your online community members
In the field of online community management, we talk a lot about data-driven decisions and reading online community metrics. The analytics tools that track community members’ behavior get the lion’s share of the attention. However, seasoned community managers know that, while understanding your data is critical, communities are ultimately about people. They know that there are some things that behavioral metrics can tell you and there are some things that you need to “get your hands dirty” to measure. This means actually reaching out to members to survey and interview them.
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Association professionals, don't hit send!
Smooth the Path
Member marketing is in a downward spiral. Better technology gives us inexpensive email and free social media, which allows us to message our members whenever we feel like it. Our members are literally being attacked by messages. Every day they receive more promotions and content than they could ever possibly read. Whether a promotional email, ad, post on social media or direct mail before it is sent outside your association’s doors ask yourself these questions.
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6 ways to boost event attendance
There’s nothing more frustrating than spending countless hours planning an event only to have a poor turnout. In fact, for event planners, the sight of empty chairs can often be downright painful. That’s why we’ve put together a list of tactics to help your association boost upcoming event attendance.
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Should you hire industry or association experts?
The Demand Perspective
In this post, Anna Caraveli writes, “Are associations an industry/sector or a profession? Andrea Pellegrino and I pondered over it during lunch at an outdoor restaurant in Old Town Alexandria — where of course the world’s greatest ideas usually emerge, right? We concluded that the confusion between the two and the ‘professionalization’ of association management was a problem for associations.”
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DFWAE Leadership Briefings
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Shawn Smajstrla, Senior Business Editor, 469.420.2644   
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