Education Sessions


Why We Are All AI Ethicists Now

Grab your favorite morning refreshment and a bite to eat, and then join us for a facilitated discussion on a timely topic.

No matter how we participate in the association community and the larger world, each of us must be an AI ethicist. As the adoption of AI everywhere and in everything accelerates, it is essential that we are all prepared for vigilance to ensure that AI contributes more to advancing the human experience than to undermining it. Discuss reasons why we are all AI ethicists and return to your organization with the right questions to spark meaningful AI conversations and valuable next practices to shape ethical AI outcomes.

Jeff De Cagna AIMP FRSA FASAE, Executive Advisor, Foresight First LLC

How to be an EPIC Leader and Pioneering the Future of Associations

In this power-house session, first hear from emcee and thought provocateur, Marli Williams, as she demonstrates four main areas to hone as an effective leader. Uncover your unique leadership drive and be inspired to step into your purpose and activate the leader within you, everywhere you go. Walk away with the confidence to create EPIC experiences and moments wherever you go.

Then, dive into an illuminating panel discussion where Marli will engage three dynamic young association CEOs who are leaving an indelible mark on leadership. As this new wave of leaders assumes C-suite roles, they bring fresh ideas, talent, and diverse experiences into the landscape. Ascending rapidly to the summit, however, presents unique challenges. Gain valuable perspectives on navigating the unique hurdles faced by the next generation of leaders and learn how they are shaping the future of associations through their innovative approaches and distinct leadership styles.

Emcee & Moderator: Marli Williams, Chief Inspiration Officer, Marli
Williams Leadership Training

Nigel Bocanegra, Executive Director, CA Farm Labor Contractor

Angela Kisskeys, President, Associations North
Amanda Parsons, CAE, Executive Director, Oregon Recreation & Park

Coaching the Next Generation of Leaders

Emerging leaders confront distinctive challenges, often requiring skills beyond their prior experience. Investing in coaching for the next generation is an effective tool that can accelerate both individual and organizational success. This approach builds essential skills like communication, fact-based decision-making, strategic thinking, and emotional intelligence. Leaders in any setting can elevate their efforts through coaching. Learn how to bring the power of coaching to emerging leaders within your organization by following five steps to ensure that your strategic investment in your staff has the potential to pave the way for enhanced leadership and organizational growth.

Cheryl Procter-Rogers, MCC, APR, Fellow PRSA, Executive Coach and Associate Director, Ernst & Young


Communicating Effectively Across Cultures

According to a recent survey, there are more than 100,000 jobs open across the nation. The "Essential Workers for Economic Advancement Act" aims to address this by providing a new pathway for legal employment in the United States for foreign-born individuals. Focused on the hospitality sector, the bill seeks to fill challenging vacancies. However, with an expanded international workforce, the risk of misunderstandings rises. With a little training, you will be able to avoid cultural blunders by understanding key differences in communication styles. Gain strategies to enhance effectiveness when communicating across diverse cultures, crucial for navigating the complexities of a globalized workforce.

Luiza Dreasher, Ph.D., Founder and CEO, Mastering Cultural Differences


Navigating the Future of Work: Intentional Leadership

Leading with intention involves creating an environment where individuals express mutual intent, fostering a sense of value in their work and understanding their place in the organization's culture. It's about crafting an ecosystem where individuals embrace their roles and recognize their significance in the broader organizational context. As associations grow in complexity, nurturing this understanding becomes a cornerstone for success. Explore how intentional leadership strengthens team cohesion, boosts employee engagement, and shapes the overall organizational culture.

Jessica Rivera, MBA, PHR, SAHRA, Sr. Trainer, California Employers Association


Technology Alignment: Diagnostics, Strategy, and Execution, Oh My!

Many associations require multiple technology platforms to perform everyday work in serving members and keeping the organizaion running. But, with so many system at play, tech issues and inconsistencies can inevitably happen. It’s not enough to know that you have tech problems, you need to understand why, and how to fix them. Learn how to master the art of diagnosing tech issues by understanding their origins so that you can successfully implement the right solutions. And leave with a process to clearly align your organizational goals with your technology strategy to address not only current needs but also anticipate future needs.

Christopher Kasmark, Sr. Strategic Consultant, DelCor Technologies

Creating and Sustaining Positive Organizational Change

Organizations are inundated with change. Remote, hybrid and in-person work have led to frustration, operational challenges, and adjusted expectations. Learn how to adopt a change framework to navigate compounding change, and break negative habits grown from disruption with the READY approach. Gain the strategies needed to increase camaraderie and develop positive workplace practices. Learn lead successful organizational change to improve culture and reinforce behavior which promotes a positive, productive work environment.

April Callis-Birchmeier, CSP, CCMP, PMP, CEO/President, Springboard Consulting


Designing an Organizational Relationships Communications Strategy

Discover the art of crafting a versatile communications strategy applicable to various organizational relationships, including sponsors, partners, members, and chapters. A robust communications plan is essential for fostering and sustaining successful relationships, integral to an organization's overarching strategy. Gain insights into strengthening existing relationships and cultivating new ones. Walk away equipped with key elements for a relationship communications strategy adaptable to your organization, positioning it for stability and growth. Don't miss the opportunity to enhance your relationship-building skills and contribute to your organization's thriving future.

Jeanette Gass, CAP, ACNP, DES, Senior Program Manager, Global Engagement, ICMA


Improve Your Influence

They say the more people you know, the better. But as an organizational leader, having a vast network is only half the battle. Your success is ultimately determined by your influence over the select few who sit on boards, hold key roles, or sway mass opinion. These gatekeepers and decision makers are the key to affecting change, and if you can’t collaborate with them, your job will be much more difficult.

In this dynamic, interactive program, you will discover who in your network is truly critical to your success. Additionally, you'll uncover three straightforward communication techniques designed to ENHANCE those relationships and foster positive collaborations.

David Ackert, MA, CEO, Pipeline Plus


Unleashing the Potential of Project Charters

What is a project charter and what's the point of doing one? A project charter is a comprehensive document that outlines your project’s purpose, scope, stakeholders, and objectives - which can be referenced throughout the project's lifecycle. Hear all about project management basics to instill a collaborative work culture aimed at achieving the project goal. And, uncover ways to hack common project management tools to make your work easier. Facilitated by experienced project managers who have also developed custom project management training curriculum for their nonprofit organizations, this session will arm you with the tools you need to tackle your next project.

Touda Bentatou, Director of Member Engagement & Marketing, CITE (CA IT in Education)

Laurel Nava, CAE, Director of Education & Partnerships, CITE (CA IT in Education)

CTRL + ALT + Believe: Reboot For Success

At the 24/7/365 pace of life today, do you feel your organization is spinning out of control? Do you ever wish rebooting your organization was as simple as hitting CTRL+Alt+Delete? In this session, learn simple strategies to build the future of your organization. If you are overwhelmed as a CEO, director or manager, take an hour to slow down and gain simple strategies that will reboot and redirect your organization to not only meet, but exceed its vision and mission now.

Holly Duckworth, CAE, CMP, CEO, Leadership Solutions International


Cultivating Authentic Belongingness

Belongingness. What exactly does it mean and how can your association cultivate it amongst members and staff? Delve into the world of inclusion to examine the recent research findings on how individuals define belongingness and identify the factors that contribute to a sense of belonging. Redefine the notion of being "in association" for diverse members through examples and stories from prominent associations. Leave the session with some first steps to elevate the idea of how being "in association" can steward belongingness in an era where people feel less and less connected to one another.

Melanee Cottrill, MBA, CAE, DTM, Executive Director, Head Start California

Oyango Snell, Esq., CAE

Jeffrey Wilcox, CFRE, President & Chief Mission Advancement Officer, Third Sector Company

Shannan Young RDN, SNS, Partnerships and Programs Officer, Dairy Council of California


Rules of the Road for your Board & Staff

Ah… the board and staff relationship… it’s a great one to navigate, isn’t it? Embark on an engaging exploration of board and staff relationships in this hands-on interactive session hosted by two industry favorites.  Gain valuable insights and practical tools to build a resilient framework, propelling your board and staff to unprecedented heights. Walk away with newfound knowledge and a playful roadmap for success. Don't miss this opportunity to join the fun and enhance your organization's potential for growth.

Stephanie Stephens, CAE, Executive Director, California Park & Recreation Society

Steve Swafford, IOM, Balance Warrior + CEO, Leadership Outfitters


Thriving In A Hybrid Workplace

Despite hybrid work being prevalent for years, some organizations still grapple with this norm. Trust, transparency, and employee engagement are persistent challenges. How can we propel organizations and employees towards thriving? Building a successful hybrid workplace requires foundational elements. No magic formula exists, but consistent practice and habit embedding ensure long-term success. Discover how to craft a flourishing hybrid workplace, emphasizing clear communication, efficient operations, employee engagement strategies, and leadership development. Move beyond challenges to cultivate an environment where organizations and employees thrive in the evolving landscape of hybrid work.

Rebecca Achurch, PgMP, PMP, CSM, CAE, CEO, Achurch Consulting

Anne Ornelas, MA, DES, Senior Manager, Business Systems and Strategic Initiatives, CASSS

Mission-Critical Research: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Research is the essential nutrition and exercise regimen for your association—known to be beneficial, perhaps not enjoyable, yet immensely impactful. This session unveils case studies from various associations, unveiling their industry, perceived needs, and the revelations uncovered by research—exposing (mis)perceptions, unmet needs, and potential issues. We delve into effective questioning techniques in interviews, surveys, and board retreats to unveil critical issues, steering associations clear of impending challenges. Learn best practices, avoid common mistakes, and discover low-cost guerrilla analysis methods to stay empowered and informed. Elevate your association's awareness, ensuring you possess the vital insights needed for both short- and long-term success.

Kevin Whorton, MA, President, Whorton Research


Stress-Proof Leadership & Life

We all know that stress is an inevitable part of life, and it can have a significant impact on us. But does it need to beat us up and burn us out? With all of the usual stresses of life and work, with the intensity of our days and demands, we can get worn out, and at the very least we often show up less than our best. Add to that all of the post-pandemic changes to our world, and it can be overwhelming. In this engaging presentation, learn from a seasoned leadership and human performance pro! Chris will share his own journey of burnout and recalibration, so you too can use these easy-to-apply tools to create a stress-proof life and team.

Chris Failla, Founder, Spark Speaking & Coaching


Working Smarter with Your New AI Assistant

Yearning for a personal assistant? While budgets may not allow it, AI is stepping in to assist those who know how to ask. In this session, we move beyond AI's risks and potential, exploring how to harness it for daily efficiency without sacrificing authenticity. Join us live to gain practical skills and discover free and affordable AI tools available at your fingertips. Uncover their potential beyond content creation, utilizing platforms you already use. Learn how to maximize these tools, focusing on aspects AI can't handle. Walk away with actionable tools and skills, ready for implementation in your role today.

Cory Althoff, SVP, Software Development Programs, CompTIA


The Untapped Competitive Culture Advantage That’s No Joke

Research shows that if there is no positive laughter in a culture, there is no trust. That has a chilling effect on safety and engagement. In this session, we aim to showcase how small acts of humor significantly impact trust experiences. Engage in activities illustrating that humor isn't just about being funny; it creates a workplace where people feel safe expressing playful ideas and adapting. This approach is the future of work, a competitive edge in the age of AI, allowing humans to excel at building safety, trust, and empathy for bolder work. This transformative session illuminates how humor is a strategic human advantage. Come ready to tap into it!.

Kathy Klotz-Guest, MA, MBA, Founder, Keeping it Human, Inc., Keeping it Human