Dallas Fort Worth Association Executives
New Routines for the New Normal PDF Print Email
Wednesday, November 03, 2021 05:19 PM

New Routines for the New Normal

By Eme Augustini

Over the course of this pandemic, we’ve been forced to adapt in countless ways at home, work, and in our communities. While it’s been a difficult and painful time for so many of us, we’ve also discovered adaptations and new habits that are worth keeping.

Things like cooking at home, going for daily walks, and prioritizing time with friends and family. At work, we’ve had to change the way we communicate and stay in sync as a team. For this brief column, I’d like to offer a modest adaptation from my organization that we will keep in the “new normal:" asynchronous, weekly check-ins.

When we worked together in the office, it was easier to stay up to speed on what’s going on with co-workers and departments. We could stop and chat while making coffee or discuss projects while at lunch together. While it wasn’t structured, there was a tacit flow of information running through the office.

To continue the flow of information and help everyone feel they are in the loop, we needed to take deliberate action.

Here’s how it works: Each Monday morning in Microsoft Teams (though any collaboration software will do), each person on the team posts and answers some version of the question “What are you working on this week?” Other variants could be “What are your top priorities for this week?” or “What’s important this week?”

This could be a few lines about your intent for the work week. You could also note anything you’re looking forward to or areas you see potential roadblocks. Long to-do lists need not be shared.

Why it works: Weekly check-ins help create awareness of crunch times for projects and focus areas for the week. Colleagues can share forward motion on projects and keep everyone in the loop.

Creating more ongoing awareness of our focus areas also helped reshape our monthly staff meetings. We didn’t need to share as many status updates (as they were available in the Teams thread) and could focus on strategic questions, shared roadblocks, and learning and training.

What it’s not: An attempt to coordinate tasks on specific projects. Seeing a colleague mention a project for the week could prompt ideas, encouragement, and offers to help, which are great and welcome. However, detailed discussions and work on shared projects continues in their dedicated channels.

Also, this is not a way to monitor the performance of colleagues or see if someone is working on a specific task you requested. Don’t confuse brevity with level of effort. (You wouldn’t share a 50 item to-do list over coffee in the breakroom). One-on-ones, team meetings and project discussions still have their place.

This simple weekly practice has helped our team to stay connected and engaged. Even as we consider a safe return to the office, it’s a routine we’ll take with us.

Which adaptations will you consciously adopt as things return to “normal?” Share it with us in the DFWAEngage Forum.

 
 
The Season of In Between PDF Print Email
Sunday, October 03, 2021 05:26 PM

The Season of In Between

By Cathey Wise, CAE

I was the executive director of a thriving 19,000 member association.

Until I wasn’t. I served a noble mission for 7+ years.

Until I didn’t.

Association staff know we can be in a vulnerable position serving the will of ever-changing Boards. But when the Board wants to go in another direction and you are now looking for your next mission to serve, it’s a kick in the gut.

I’ve defined this career gap as the “season of in between.” It’s a time for reflection, introspection, and catching up.

It feels great and sucks a lot -- all at the same time.

Here are a few things that might be helpful if you face a similar season:

Identity

As professionals, we tend to align ourselves with our work and its noble mission. We find power in our work and it can define our personal identity. Is this a healthy perspective? Probably not. For me, it’s true nonetheless.

When I meet someone new, they ask, “What do you do?” I used to stumble and feel inadequate. Now I say, “I’m in the season of in between looking for a noble mission to serve.” Do I get puzzled looks? Yep! And, I use this as an opportunity to connect and network.

What’s Next?

Realizing what I WANT to do, as well as what I do NOT want to do has tremendous value. Make a list of what you do not want to do. It’s an anxiety-reducing exercise and can get you one step closer to what you want to do.

Feel It and Let it Go

When this happened to me, I allowed myself two days to lick my wounds. Why? If I did not set a limit, I may not have gotten out of bed. While I’m still obsessing over what ifs, I’m striving to look forward. This is a work in progress.

Faith

Strengthening my faith has been my foundation of this season. Slowing down, looking forward and looking up have kept me grounded and reduced my anxiety. I encourage you to connect with your higher power to provide peace and clarity.

Approach This Season Like A Job

Each day, I look for opportunities and connections. Set the alarm, get dressed and tackle the day!

Connect or Reconnect

Have you been planning to visit loved ones, but could not align a trip with your schedule? Plan almost-free trips. For us, we packed a car and headed to friends eager to host us in their homes. While we don’t have the financial confidence to hop on a plane, we are making the most of a few tanks of gas and free places to stay.

Dig deeper with your professional tribe to connect and grow. For me, DFWAE is where I’m making deeper connections. Maybe DFWAE could be for you too?

Projects and To-Do's

I finally cleaned the attic and decluttered our home resulting in a huge yard sale and many donated items. This felt GREAT and made me feel like I accomplished something.

Connect Your Interest with Learning

DEI is an area of interest where I want to grow. I’m exploring courses and certifications to align interests with professional learning. Be a student!

This Season Can Be More than Work

This “season of in between” transcends more than work. It can be transitions in personal relationships, young children, empty nesting, or caring for parents. Or loss brought on by COVID. This season can be unexpected or planned. While it can look different for each of us, it can pack a similar punch. Identify and name this season and what it means for you. It can help you move forward.

Self Care and Self Compassion are Not Just Buzzwords

I used to be an avid reader. I am now reading a book FOR LEISURE! I'm reading for joy and loving it! Be kind to yourself and make sure your self-talk is positive and productive. I’m mindful of my “self talk” to ensure a healthier mental space. Take care of yourself during this season, and let others take care of you too.

Confession

I’m still figuring it out. Some days I move forward and other days I stall. With that said, I am confident that my next opportunity will be fulfilling and my contributions will be valued. I want to maximize this season to better myself, to connect with my beloveds and to remind myself what’s really important.

I don’t wish any of you a season of in between. But if you find yourself in one, you will be OK and might even be stronger because of it. And I’m here as a new friend and someone you can talk to as we figure it out together.

Wanna talk? Hit me up on DFWAEngage!
 
2021-2022 DFWAE Board of Directors Approved PDF Print Email
Thursday, June 10, 2021 09:55 PM

The 2021-2022 DFWAE Officer and Director Positions have been elected by acclamation and are listed below.

The DFWAE Board of Directors comprises five officers, seven Regular members, two Associate members, and one CVB/Hospitality member, for a total of 15 members.

 

PRESIDENT
Shawna Strickland, PhD, CAE – American Epilepsy Society

PRESIDENT ELECT
Valerie Bakies-Lile, CAE - American College of Osteopathic OBGYNs

TREASURER
Alyssa Meek, CMP - Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography

SECRETARY
Shasta Foy, CAE

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
Mollie Pillman, MS-HSM, MBA, CAE - American Osteopathic Association

MEMBER DIRECTOR
Amanda Feil, CAE - American Association for Respiratory Care

MEMBER DIRECTOR
Melissa Ball, CAE - National Athletic Trainers' Association

MEMBER DIRECTOR
Eme Augustini - National Association of Dental Plans

MEMBER DIRECTOR
Beth Roach - American College of Osteopathic OBGYNs

MEMBER DIRECTOR
Kim Hopkins - CREW Dallas

MEMBER DIRECTOR
Cathey Wise, CAE

MEMBER DIRECTOR
Greta Zeimetz, PhD, CAE, - American Association of Professional Landmen

ASSOCIATE MEMBER DIRECTOR
Leslie Shannon - Salmon Sims Thomas

ASSOCIATE MEMBER DIRECTOR
David Ferrer - Alchemer, iDonate

CVB/HOSPITALITY MEMBER DIRECTOR
Amanda Wells - Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau

 

On behalf of the Nominating Committee, we wish to express our deepest appreciation to all nominees and nominators for their interest in serving in a DFWAE leadership role.

DFWAE Nominating Committee Members

Jonathan Kraatz - USGBC Texas Chapter(Immediate Past President / Chair)
Debi Kensell - Restaurant Facility Management Association (Regular Member)
Greg Vaughn - Texas Association of Workforce Boards (Regular Member)
Kris Williams - International News Media Association (Regular Member)
Melanie Hoover - Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB Member)
Leona Scott - JEP Marketing Communications (Associate Member) 

 
DFWAE DEI Task Force organizes into workgroups, seeks new volunteers PDF Print Email
Thursday, June 10, 2021 09:39 PM

By Eme Augustini, DEI Task Force Member 


The DFWAE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force continues its work to analyze DFWAE governance and activities in light of the Association’s statement and commitment to DEI: 

People feel a sense of belonging when differences are embraced and valued. DFWAE is dedicated to nurturing equality by creating spaces for the voices least heard, providing educational opportunities to grow leaders, instilling a greater understanding of diverse and equitable environments, and expanding opportunities to collaborate with one another to ensure DFWAE is reflective of the larger, richer community of association voices. We commit to raising awareness and cultivating an atmosphere and culture that is inclusive for all.


The Task Force meets monthly and organizes its efforts into several workgroups: 

  • Data collection: To assess DFWAE’s currently available demographic information, design information collection processes, and consider benchmarks related to DEI.

  • Bylaws/policy review: To review the DFWAE Bylaws & Policies and whether they cultivate and support a culture of DEI.

  • Website/marketing review: Review the DFWAE website and marketing to determine if they support inclusion and reflect the DEI Statement.

  • Education/resource development: To recommend DEI education and resources that should be developed for members and the organizations they support.


Two additional workgroups related to Nominating Process Review and the DEI Statement have concluded their work. 


The Task Force and four Workgroups listed above are open to new members. Contact Janet Kane if you are interested in volunteering. 


Please stay tuned—the Task Force will keep DFWAE members apprised of its activities and share DEI-related resources in future newsletters.


Eme Augustini is the executive director of the National Association of Dental Plans.  

 
What I Wish I Had Known About the CAE PDF Print Email
Thursday, April 29, 2021 06:24 PM

What I wish I had known about pursuing the CAE designation 

By Kimberly Hopkins, DFWAE Board Member and 2021 CAE candidate

I recently started my 14th year in the association industry.  About 8 years in, I discovered that there was a designation for the industry and started contemplating whether it was something I wanted to pursue, and its value in my career.  In hindsight, I realize I spent much of my early career in association management entrenched in the industry in which the association I work for represents. When I decided to join DFWAE in 2014, it provided an outlet to build my professional contacts and gain access to relevant education for career growth that I had not had before.

 

 

As I attended DFWAE events, I would frequently come across DFWAE members who had earned their designation and it was a constant reminder and inspiration to me.  I continued to question whether I had the time and focus needed to earn my designation and thought about it as being a far-off goal.  

Then, I attended DFWAE A Day in 2018.  I was introduced to Darrin Scheid while browsing the expo booth and there is no way he could have known how encouraging his words were.  He briefly shared his CAE journey and how the designation has positively impacted his career.  It was likely a 6 minute conversation from what I remember, but it inspired me and gave me the first realization that there are study resources available to CAE candidates.  After A Day that year I decided that this far-off goal was something I did desire and for the first time, it wasn’t as overwhelming to think about it.    

In 2019, I wrote down on a sticky note that my career and personal goal was to take the CAE exam in 2020.  The timing for this felt slow and steady and manageable.  I had accumulated about 1/3 of the required continuing education hours in 2017 and knew that the hours were good for up to 5 years so also had a sense of urgency and found the focus that I needed to launch me on the designation path.

2020, you were not the year any of us imagined!  I ultimately decided I was not capable of adding to my responsibilities in my personal life so let my CAE exam goal slide into 2021.

2021 - a new year offers renewed focus and energy!  I registered for the DFWAE CAE Study group, joined ASAE, purchased the recommended reading and for the first time clicked “Start CAE Application” on the website.  Once again, it felt overwhelming as I realized I was not as organized as I wish I had been with tracking my continuing education hours, and literally went on a hunt to gather my hours which were captured in various emails, pdf certificates and account log ins.  I could have easily decided to forego pursuing the exam, I thought “technically we are still in the middle of a pandemic and life is still a bit crazy”.  As I wavered again I attended the first CAE study group meeting and again felt inspired.  The small group conversation and guidance I could envision receiving throughout the spring put a stop to my procrastination.  Before the application deadline, I submitted all of the required items, and four days later I received notification that my application was accepted to take the exam in May or December.  

To other individuals who have thought about pursuing their CAE, here are a few things I wish I had known the first time I dreamingly thought about my desire to work towards my CAE:

  1. You are not alone in the CAE pursuit.  Through DFWAE and other professional groups, there are individuals who are happy to share their experiences and they just might provide the inspiration you didn’t know you needed.  
  2. As a member of DFWAE you have access to one of the most valuable membership resources; CAE’s.  DFWAE members who are CAE’s openly share their wisdom and guide you - whether organically through your interactions on a committee, during networking or more formally such as the study group meetings.   
  3. It is never too early to start tracking your continuing education hours.  Start a spreadsheet and have columns for the date, total hours, title of the education, brief marketing blurb, instructor name(s) and who the continuing education was through (i.e. DFWAE, ASAE etc.).
  4. Take a brief inventory of where you feel you are lacking in knowledge based on the CAE Exam Content Outline and look for continuing education that addresses your gap areas.  
  5. When you register/attend a DFWAE event, your CAE hours are tracked in your member profile, making it easy for you to import into your application.  

Joining DFWAE to be inspired was not something that crossed my mind in 2014 but the opportunities are plentiful!

Congratulations to the 43 current DFWAE members who are Certificate Association Executives!  And, a final thought to anyone who has contemplated their own CAE journey, get a sticky pad and write down “CAE exam ______” and fill in your year and get started.

 

 
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