Did watching the recent U.S. Open golf tournament on TV bring back memories of playing at Pinehurst yourself while at the Professional Forum? What an opportunity that was! That’s a story you can tell that few golfers can match. The course was undoubtedly world class. And the Professional Forum, likewise, was among IAMC’s best.
Let’s take stock. Pinehurst was our biggest ever, exceeding the previous record holder Charleston’s attendance by four percent; Pinehurst also hosted the largest ever contingent of Active members. General session presenters Commander Kirk Lippold, who captained the USS Cole that was attacked by al-Qaeda in Yemen, and Art Murray, an IAMC Founding member, were highly rated by their audiences. Attendees scored the Forum overall as second best ever (tied with Charleston in the spring of 2013). In addition to the fine program, the ratings no doubt benefited from Pinehurst’s more relaxed schedule, new networking opportunities and the Member Central meeting area introduced there.
I’m proud of these accomplishments, but we’re not without challenges. For instance, we need to work very hard to increase the proportion of Actives to other Forum attendees to ensure all enjoy a balanced Forum experience.
I extend my thanks to IAMC staff for the professionalism they demonstrated in the planning and execution of Pinehurst. The Program Delivery, Education & Research and Industry Groups Committees deserve recognition for the outstanding programs and speakers. And the North Carolina Host Committee and all Forum sponsors are to be thanked and congratulated for their vital support.
Please register for the Québec City Professional Forum (Sept. 13-17) if you’ve not already done so. Just go to IAMC’s Web site and click the Forum heading. You’ll find everything you need to sign up and reserve a hotel room.
When you’re making travel plans to Québec, note that IAMC staff has negotiated a reduced charge for the train fare from Montréal to Québec City. Make sure to check out the “Traveling to Québec City” Web page that’s under the Forum header for more helpful information.
As we reflect on the success that was Pinehurst and look forward to Québec City, I’m reminded of Intel co-founder Andy Grove’s often quoted quip, “Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.” If we become complacent and gloat over our success, we’re goners. I challenge myself, the committees, board of directors and staff to redouble our efforts to experiment, critically evaluate plans and programs, routinely ask the members what they want and seek outside perspectives. Maintaining IAMC’s position in its dynamic marketplace demands vigilance, innovation and a willingness to change.
Roger Nesti, Chair, IAMC Board of Directors
Director, International Real Estate, Kellogg Company
AMC's staff, provided by Conway Data, consists of 12 professionals who bring dozens of job skills and well over 100 years of association management experience to the service of the members. The group is ably led by Interim Executive Director Randy Cardoza. Each staff person is listed below along with selected information, including responsibilities, what they most enjoy about their jobs, service time with IAMC and other background they have chosen to share.
Marketing & Conference Programs Specialist
Marlene dedicates most of her time to Professional Forum programming. She joined IAMC staff in October 2013. Marlene brings with her 15 years of professional experience in administration and marketing, inventory control and purchasing. She says, "In my free time, I enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, off-roading, camping and biking with my fiancée and daughter."
Emily, who joined the staff in January of this year, holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of North Georgia. She likes getting to see several months of work come to fruition at the biannual Professional Forums and assisting with the Forum registration process. A favorite part of her job she says is "interacting and building relationships with our members."
Michelle Burke is a meeting planner who assists with the Professional Forums and steps in as needed to support events put on by IAMC Local and IAMC International. She came on board January 2014 and works with Paula Korowin, Director of Meetings and Event Planning. Michelle has a diverse background in planning, including logistics, creative design and implementation of events and meetings and is excited to bring her skill sets to IAMC and join a great team. She graduated from Georgia College & State University with a B.A. in Mass Communication and a concentration in Public Relations. She says, "When I'm not working on planning the next Forum or Board Meeting, I enjoy exploring the local cuisine of Atlanta, taking my dog to the dog park or planning my next vacation to a new destination."
Director of Marketing & Conference Programs
Rya says, "The very best part of my job is getting to work with my talented colleagues at IAMC and Conway Data - having a great team elevates both work product and work experience. As far as specific job functions, I especially enjoy collateral development and identifying exciting, relevant keynote speaker candidates for future IAMC Professional Forums." She's been with the organization about 10 years. Rya is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, where she double majored in English Literature and Spanish Linguistics and spent her junior year in Madrid. She has marched in the Rose Bowl Parade and performed at Carnegie Hall.
Director of Meeting & Event Planning
Paula, who's been with IAMC two years, says, "My job satisfaction comes from three key areas: working with a dynamic IAMC team to come up with great solutions and new ideas for supporting our members; witnessing an event come together beautifully after months of planning; and hearing positive feedback from staff and members during and at the conclusion of any event or project where I've had a leadership role." She holds a Master's degree in "Performance Improvement and Instructional Design" from the University of Michigan. She has created and run a successful small business; worked for Hilton for ten years - some of that time as a Catering Manager; and served as Education & Events Manager for the Michigan Credit Union League. Among her avocational activities, Paula has taught ballroom dancing, ballet, tap and jazz; served as ESL teacher for Ford executives from Mexico; and run three marathons.
Ty, a recent addition to IAMC staff, says, "I like engaging problems with solutions that yield a result greater than the sum of the parts. In my previous job, I enjoyed assisting industry growth and facilitating workforce development using innovative solutions to more efficiently create new jobs." Before joining the team at IAMC he worked in business development for the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, primarily in site selection. Ty hails from the greater metropolitan area of Rayne, La., (pop. 7,953). Prior to joining IAMC, he reports the only two times he had been to Georgia were to watch LSU play football.
Director of Research & Education
Joel, who's been with IAMC since its inception, says, "I enjoy organizing groups of members to advise and accomplish IAMC's work. Getting people involved so they enjoy what they're doing, meet members they don't yet know and feel a sense of accomplishment in the work is a real challenge. Also, a part of my job involves writing for IAMC's publications. I like telling about the organization's events and committees to provide insights into how we work to encourage on-the-sidelines members to get involved." Joel earned an M.A. in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and before IAMC worked nine years with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's Research Department, where he was Manager of Research Operations. Outside of work, he's an avid outdoorsman, including hiking and backpacking. He's a lifelong runner who's completed 11 marathons.
Director of Member Relations
Cathy says, "The favorite part of my job is watching our organization evolve and grow. We have the very best members, and spending time with them is such a joy. As a member of the founding staff, I like to say 'I've been with IAMC when we had zero members and it was just a dream.'" Her professional experience includes serving as associate executive director of two medical associations and director of education for a third. She's worked in association management for over 25 years. Family is very important to Cathy. She enjoys volunteering at her church, from singing in the choir to participating in community service projects, and she enjoys participating in the annual 4th of July Atlanta Peachtree Road Race.
Joy M. Pooler
CEcD, Director of Sponsorships
Joy says, "The favorite parts of my job are working with IAMC's membership and staff, meeting and exceeding IAMC's sponsors' expectations and retaining and identifying new sponsors." Joy was a member of IAMC's founding staff group. Away from work, she enjoys raising yellow labs, flower gardening, cooking, reading and bird watching.
CFO, Conway Data, Inc.
Debbie says, "The favorite parts of my job are providing financial data that others find helpful to perform their jobs, the people that I work with who are passionate about making IAMC successful and, this may sound weird, but I enjoy reconciling and getting into the detail of the numbers." She's been with Conway Data in an accounting role for over 30 years and has been able to watch IAMC grow from its inception to its current strong financial position. She says, "I'm married with one daughter, who is a Pre-Professional with Atlanta Ballet. I've spent many hours volunteering to sew costumes and help backstage with sets. In my free time I enjoy spending time on the lake with my family."
Director of Membership Development
Brenton joined IAMC in May as the Director of Membership Development. He will team with Cathy Pierce, who will focus on member services as the Director of Member Relations. Brenton has a strong sales and service background. Hailing from Marco Island, Fla., he holds a bachelor's degree in history from Florida State University.
he IAMC Local team in Pittsburgh produced its first event on June 3 in nearby Canonsburg, Pa. The program kicked off with lunch sponsored by Cresa, Fischer & Co. and the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance. Jeff Kotula, president of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the 27 IAMC members and potential members in attendance. Active member Bill Jenkins of Thermo Fisher Scientific introduced the program and gave an overview of IAMC. Bill Uhl of MarkWest Energy Partners spoke to the group on "Marcellus Shale Effects on Real Estate and the Community," followed by a tour of the MarkWest gas processing and transportation facility. The attendees rated the event at 9.6 out of a possible 10 maximum points, indicating the program fully met their expectations. One attendee said, "The tour was extremely informative and worth the time spent at the event. The group that planned the event deserves our congratulations."