Yesterday, I arrived in St. Louis for my first ASAE annual conference. It would be an understatement to say that I was fired up to be here. To be honest, I was (and still am) more excited to be at my first ASAE annual conference than I was the first time I went to Disney World. If Disney World is the happiest place on Earth then what does that make ASAE?
ASAE has been an amazing professional home to me since I joined the association world after college. I’ve been fortunate to have an organization who supports my professional development and a professional home that has welcomed me open arms.
How Did I Get Involved With ASAE?
Association of the Future. I first got involved with ASAE when I applied (and was accepted) for a new pilot project, the Association of the Future, . The Association of the Future (AOTF) was collaborative project that created a mock association “staffed” purely by young association professionals. Mock staff and board of directors participated in a yearlong simulation address a variety of current and future association trends. After participating in this project, I was hooked on ASAE.
Leadership Academy. After AOTF, I was encouraged to apply for ASAE’s Leadership Academy, a two-year program designed to provide learning opportunities and develop the next generation of association executives. I’m only 8 months into this program, but I’m serious when I say; this has been a career altering experience for me already. I’ve met amazing classmate whom I now call friends, connected with veteran association executives whom I would have been had the opportunity, and learned so much about myself and what I am able to achieve.
Why Do I Love ASAE so Much?
Reason 1. The thing that has made my professional home absolutely amazing has been the people; the members, the staff, the volunteers have been so open and willing with their time. I’ve been paired up with a handful of mentors (both officially and unofficially) whom have provided so much personal and professional guidance to me. Complete strangers in the association world have taken time out of their busy schedules and lives to sit down with me and provide me with valuable insight, direction, and wisdom which would have taken me years to figure out (and probably a lot of hardship along the way)
Reason 2. The staff at ASAE is top notch. As association professionals, we all know what’s involved in doing our best to service our members. Members who work in a variety of industries from aerospace to zoology. Each day we strive to provide the best professional home we can. The interesting thing about ASAE for me; their members are also their industry colleagues. I can’t imagine what it is like having your members work in the same field as you. On the flip side, it’s interesting to me to have a professional home full of staff who do the same things as me. It creates an interesting dynamic on both sides of the fence.
I’m looking forward to a great annual conference this week and a life long relationship with ASAE. They won’t be getting rid of me anytime soon. What are you looking forward to this week?