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2016 Winter Newsletter

February 4, 2016

In this Issue:

A Word from AzSAE's 2016 President

Are You Free for Lunch? Attend TODAY'S AzSAE Luncheon!
Collaboration vs. Competition: Creating Win-Win-Win Solutions for You, Your Partners, and Your Members

Interview with AzSAE’s Executive of the Year, Kimberly Kahl, CAE

AzSAE TV & New eLearning Opportunities Help Member’s Stay Current with Industry Trends

How Association Members Benefit from Collective Impact Initiatives

Save the Date for AzSAE’s 2nd Annual Golf Tournament – May 20th
SPONSORED BY: The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch

The 2015 Member Survey Prize Drawing Winner is . . .

2015 Holiday Gala & Awards Dinner - Event Highlights

January Mixer @ Culinary Dropout - Event Highlights

CAE Corner

Key Partner Spotlight - Support those that support AzSAE!

 A Word from AzSAE's 2016 President

Hello AzSAE Members,

I am excited to begin 2016 in my new role as President of the AzSAE board of directors. 2015 was an incredible year for the Society, and I owe much to my predecessor Suzanne Lanctot, as well as our entire board of directors. Last year, we developed several new valuable benefits for AzSAE members, including a brand new website and member community; AzSAE TV; e-learning programs; and upgraded monthly luncheons following the CAE domains. Now, it is time to share these great benefits with the entire association management industry in Arizona!

As association professionals, we are constantly focused on providing opportunities for our members to make connections and develop their skills; but we sometimes neglect to do the same for ourselves. This is why AzSAE is so critical to our success! Make a new year's resolution to not only engage in the Society's programs and events, but to also invite a colleague to join with you. I heard a quote at an event last fall that stuck with me: If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go with others. Let's go together and go far this year! Hope to see you soon at an AzSAE event.

Are You Free for Lunch? Attend TODAY'S AzSAE Luncheon!
Collaboration vs. Competition: Creating Win-Win-Win Solutions for You, Your Partners, and Your Members

Big business versus small business. 501c3 versus 501c6. How do we find common ground when we face unique challenges? Do opposites still attract? Our February monthly luncheon panelists certainly have answers to these questions and more as we explore "Collaboration vs. Competition: How to Create a Win-Win-Win Solutions for You, Your Partners and Your Members" on February 4 at Venue 8600 in Scottsdale. We will hear about two greatly successful collaborations between the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona Small Business Association, as well as between AzSAE and the Organization of Nonprofit Executives.

WHEN: Today, Thursday, 2/4/2016 | 11:30am - 1:30pm
WHERE: Venue 8600 | 8600 E. Anderson Dr. | Scottsdale
COST: Member Fee: $35 | Non-Member Fee: $50
Walk-in Registrations will be accepted!

Interview with AzSAE’s Executive of the Year - Kimberly Kahl, CAE
Interview conducted by: Katie Elsberry, AzSAE's Marketing Chair

During last month’s Annual Gala held at the Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center, Kimberly Kahl, CAE was awarded AzSAE’s 2015 Executive of the Year. Kahl is currently an Executive Director of National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA), but she has quite a history in the association management industry and the things she as accomplished and her drive to continue learning are really quite impressive. 

Learn more about her journey, how she stays up with current with industry trends, and hear her advice for those just beginning their association management career below:

ELSBERRY: I understand your path in the association management industry started as Director of Education for the Mason Contractors Association of America. How did this come to be? 

KAHL: I started out as an admin at the Mason Contractors Association of America. I had been laid off from my last job and was pretty much just looking for anything. The temp agency with which I had signed up sent me there on an interview. On my very first day, the Office Manager announced that she wasn’t returning to work after having a baby so I was moved into her office. Two months after that, the Director of Education left and I filled in her position while the Executive Director was looking for a replacement. Fortunately for me, I was able to fill her shoes so well that the Executive Director made it permanent even though I did not have all of the qualifications listed in the job description. I think because of that, I worked extra hard and did everything I could to learn about association management and masonry because I didn’t want to let him down, which led to a very successful four years in that position.

ELSBERRY: Did you fall into it as many of us do or were you involved in the masonry industry or with nonprofits in general prior?

KAHL: I had no nonprofit or even construction experience prior. In fact, I had spent most of the previous two years working for a home health / hospice agency. Fortunately, by starting out as an admin in an association office, I had a couple of months to learn a little prior to moving into a management position and once there, I had a very supportive Executive Director and Board of Directors who paid for me to attend the ASAE Annual Conference every year as well as numerous other ASAE sessions. I also found many supportive members and related industry groups who were willing to teach me about masonry. Members of the National Masonry Instructors Association taught me to lay brick and block, manufacturers took me on tours of their plants, and members took me to job sights to show me the day-to-day workings. In other words, like most association professionals, I fell into it, but did what I could to learn quickly.

ELSBERRY: Why make the transition from the masonry industry to supporting and championing for exclusive buyer agents? I assume it required a lot of education on your part to become acquainted with a new industry.

KAHL: I needed a change and actually had job offers from four very diverse organizations ranging from construction to the arts. I have found that most associations are actually very similar. Once one knows how to manage an association, the skills are not difficult to adapt to a new industry. In fact, I have advised several association boards during their search for management that they need someone that knows association management more than they need someone familiar with the industry. I can use my own case as an example. Although I did have some experience in the mortgage and appraisal arenas, I did not have experience with real estate agents; however, I knew things like volunteer management, human resources, nonprofit taxes, lobbying, membership recruitment and retention, meeting planning, and association marketing – the things a successful Executive Director needs to know and can be adapted to any organization. Even more importantly, these are the things the association board members don’t know and need to know if the association is to be successful. Yes, I needed to learn a lot about my new industry, but I had plenty of people around, my board and membership, to teach me about their industry. With my association management background and their real estate background, we are able to have complete knowledge and complement each other right from the beginning, which has led to our success.

ELSBERRY: What advice do you have for other executive leaders coming from a background different from the subject matter of their current organization?

KAHL: Take classes or read up on the industry as much as you can, even if it means doing it on evenings and weekends. It’s not forever, but at least until you’re pretty knowledgeable.  Perhaps more importantly, find a champion or two from the board or the membership who are willing to take the time to teach you not only what you need to know, but also day-to-day stuff about the industry in which you are working. I have found that earned me the respect of key people leading to respect from the membership very quickly. With the mason contractors, the fact that I learned how to lay brick and block was looked upon very favorably especially since I didn’t really need to know that for my position. With my current position, the fact that I got my real estate license has led to numerous members contacting me and telling me how great they thought that was even though I don’t use my license nor have I ever sold or helped someone buy a home.

ELSBERRY: What did your association accomplish in 2015 that you’re proudest of?

KAHL: In late 2014, we opened a for profit subsidiary and throughout 2015 made improvements to it. This subsidiary is allowing us to do so much more. We have a lot more income so have increased staff from 2 to 6, which, of course, allows us to get more done. We have increased our media relations, which has resulted in numerous contacts and stories in major media outlets. In fact, Kiplinger magazine’s list of the top financial products of 2015 stated, "In the market for a new home? Associate Editor Pat Mertz Esswein, who covers housing, recommends that you consider hiring a member of the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents, who represent only buyers and don't list homes for sale.” Who wouldn’t be proud of a glowing endorsement of their organization like that?

ELSBERRY: What are your goals for NAEBA in 2016?

KAHL: My biggest goal for NAEBA in 2016 is to capitalize on the media success we are now seeing. I want to revise our consumer website,, to make it more user-friendly and help more people navigate the pitfalls of purchasing real estate, especially now that we are getting more visitors to our site. I also want to increase our membership so that we can help more consumers who want someone who will remain solely on their side during their real estate transaction. I hear too many consumer complaints about real estate agents or brokerages who tried to work with both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction. With the conflict of interest, it can easily not end well for the consumer. Since our members agree to only work with buyers and never sellers, the potential for that conflict is removed.

ELSBERRY: What has been your biggest challenge during your association management career?

KAHL: My biggest challenge has always been dealing with different personalities and keeping them all on the same page. In all of the organizations I have worked for, I find that the volunteers are very passionate. That’s probably what led them to volunteer in the first place. Problems can arise when two people are passionate about something but have very different ideas on what is best. Problems can also arise when that passion causes people to do things without consulting staff or the board or their committee. As an Executive Director, I feel I am constantly needing to find ways to work within the association structure without squelching that passion because that passion, when used as part of our team, can really propel the organization forward.

ELSBERRY: How do you stay current on association management trends?

KAHL: There are many different ways, but mainly through involved membership at ASAE, AzSAE, and BoardSource. It can be time consuming, but I actually read (or at least skim) the newsletters and magazines. I purchase at least three new books each year and read them. I belong to two ASAE online discussion groups and at least read the digests. When I can, I also attend educational sessions. I attend the ASAE Annual Conference nearly every year, last year I attended ASAE’s CEO Symposium with my President and President-Elect, I attend several AzSAE events each year, and try to fit in one or two BoardSource or ASU Lodestar sessions each year as well.

ELSBERRY: I see you have your CAE – what lead you to pursue this certification?

KAHL: In my career, I created two certification programs and my current association has one. How could I effectively market these programs if I didn’t see the value in earning credentials? It would seem odd to me that I push my members to get a certification while I didn’t even pursue the one offered for my profession. While that’s why I pursued it, it has turned out to be a tremendous benefit for me. In studying for the exam, I learned so much more about association management than I would have otherwise. In addition, when applying for my current position, I learned that several of the organizations to which I applied would not consider candidates if they didn’t have the CAE. I think that may be especially true for professional organizations whose members find value in their own accreditations. Finally, the continuing education requirement "forces” me to continue learning, which I’ve found is not only beneficial for me, but for the organization I work for as well.

ELSBERRY: Why are you a member of AzSAE and how long have you been one?

KAHL: Other than a small gap, I have been a member of AzSAE since moving to Arizona in 2002. As to why, for me it’s a "no-brainer” decision. I run an association because I believe in the benefits an association can bring to an industry, and I joined AzSAE for the same reason. I agree with House Speaker Paul Ryan when he said, "Every successful individual knows that his or her achievement depends on a community of persons working together.” I truly believe that I would not have been as successful as I am today without the connections I have made and education I have received through AzSAE as well as ASAE.

ELSBERRY: What advice do you have for those beginning their association management industry?

KAHL: Never stop learning and get involved. Association management is constantly changing and can be quite demanding. By continuously learning, you will stay on top of association trends and be successful. By becoming involved in groups like AzSAE, you will not only be able to continue learning, you will develop a network of people who not only will help you succeed, but who also truly understand the ins and outs of your profession so can help you celebrate successes and provide moral support when needed.

ELSBERRY: Finally, if you don't mind, what do you do when you’re not at work?

KAHL: From all of my answers to the earlier questions, it must sound like I do nothing but work, but that is not the case at all. I actually have a travel blog which provides travel tips as well as reviews of places I’ve traveled or travel gadgets I’ve used. It was developed because of my love of travel and I travel a lot. I have found that by traveling, I am forced to leave work and the responsibilities of home behind for a much needed respite and spend quality time with my husband and 11-year-old son.

I also do a lot of volunteer work. For three years at two different schools, I was President of the PTO. I also spent one year as Vice President. I assist with or attend numerous charity events and make donations. I am proud to say that my son is learning by example. For the last two years, instead of birthday presents, he has asked those attending his birthday party to bring dog food and treats that he donates to a local animal rescue. 

Finally, on those rare occasions I have quiet "me” time, I love to either read or play the piano.


AzSAE TV & New eLearning Opportunities Help Member’s Stay Current with Industry Trends

Have you checked out these new AzSAE resources? If not, what are you waiting for?!

Both can be accessed on AzSAE’s website under "Resources".

AzSAE TV provides short videos on relevant association management topics. Two new video episodes will be available each month and old episodes can be searched for particular topics. 

eLearning Opportunities 
Through an online education partnership with other state societies (SAEs) across the country, AzSAE members to have convenient access to the most relevant topics and speakers from across the country. With two live webinars a month and more than 70 self-study courses available, it’s never been easier for our members to train staff, increase their knowledge, earn CAE hours and preview potential speakers for their own events.

How Association Members Benefit from Collective Impact Initiatives
by Kevin Holt, Founder, Co.Innovation Consulting

Association executives can deliver significant benefits to their members by catalyzing a collective impact initiative or introducing their members to an on-going initiative. The purpose of this article is to explain the benefits. But before we get into that, let’s first take a look at the concept of collective impact initiatives.

Download full article

Save the Date for AzSAE’s 2nd Annual Golf Tournament – May 20th
SPONSORED BY: The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch

Friday, May 20, 2016 | Troon North Golf Club
1:30 p.m. Shotgun/Scramble with Dinner/Awards and Silent Auction & Raffle to follow

Come play and enjoy an afternoon on the green at Troon North Golf Club in Scottsdale! The tournament will feature “Big Cups” inviting the most novice golfer to participate - making putts never looked so easy!

If you not ready to try your hand at a full 18 holes, register for our 2-hour short game clinic to include putting, chipping, pitching and bunker play with Professional Instructor Bobby Eldridge! Only 8 spots are available, so reserve yours today!

An awards dinner, silent auction and raffle will follow the tournament and is included with both a player and golf clinic registration. Dinner only tickets are also available for those unable to drag themselves away from the office for an afternoon.


A few Sponsorship Opportunities are still available for this unique and fun event! For more details visit the Tournament’s event listing or contact Karen L. May at with W Production Group at 602-296-8000 or at

The 2015 Member Survey Prize Drawing Winner is . . .

Congratulations to LINDA LANG with the Arizona Association of Community Managers for winning AzSAE's Survey Prize Drawing! Linda receives a complimentary AzSAE 2016 Lunch Meeting Registration AND a Complimentary Overnight Stay in a Premier Room at Sedona’s tranquil Poco Diablo Resort.

Thank you to everyone that took the time to complete the survey - we received a lot of valuable feedback!

2015 Holiday Gala & Awards Dinner

The 2015 Holiday Gala was held on December 2 at the newly renovated The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch. Over 120 people gathered to celebrate Excellence in Association Management. The evening’s Emcee LinSue Cooney assisted Suzanne Lanctot, CAE, 2015 AzSAE President, in presenting the 2015 Executive of the Year to Kimberly Kahl, CAE, Member of the Year to Barbara Bruce and this year’s Excellence in Association Management Recipients:

Excellence in Communication

“Numbers Game Conversation Starter”
National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents
The objective of this program was to get conversations started among conference attendees. Each attendee was given a list of 10 questions and each answer had a numeric answer. The winner was given a $25 VISA gift card.

Excellence in Creative Funding
“Arizona Gives Day 2015”
Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits
Arizona Gives Day is an annual 24-hour online giving event designed to generate online donations to Arizona nonprofit organizations and shine a spotlight on Arizona’s nonprofit community. The program started in 2013 and continued its growth with this year’s event on Tuesday, April 7, 2015.The average donation amount increased by 41% from $61 to $86 and the total amount raised increased by 47% to $2,054,417 which exceeded the $1,750,000 goal by 17%.

Excellence in Education
“Abogados a Su Lado (Attorneys on Your Side)”
State Bar of Arizona
Program Objective: To educate the immigrant community by quickly organizing two town halls and one phone bank.

Excellence in External Affairs
“Buy a Heart. It’s a Start. Swimming Lessons Save Lives”
Association of Pool & Spa Professionals Central Arizona Chapter
The objective of this program was to create a way for children of low-income families be financially able to take swimming lessons. The chapter created three ways to fund the project. To date it has provided swimming lessons for 70 children.

Excellence in Membership
“Navigator Program”
Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations
Program Objective: To retain first year members. Committee of three, The Navigators made themselves available to meet with new members at their request for coffee or lunch, and meet them at a regular meeting to help introduce them to other members.

Thank you to our event sponsors and Key Partners for their continued support of AzSAE and this annual event. We had a very successful event grossing over $10,000 for AzSAE.

If anyone is interested in volunteering for the 2016 Gala committee, please contact the AzSAE office.

January Mixer @ Culinary Dropout

The AZSAE January mixer held at the Culinary Dropout in Phoenix was a success! First, the venue had a great patio with a fantastic drink and appetizer menu. Most importantly, the outdoor covered patio provided a great environment conducive to networking. These events are a wonderful opportunity for Association leaders and vendors to meet, network, and talk about ideas for associations to succeed.

Attendees included past and present AZSAE leadership and allowed for sharing of resources, historical perspectives and trends in association management. Meeting current and potential Key Partners (our organizational sponsors) helped open our eyes and ears to potential partnerships to make our associations more profitable. Nowhere else will you get to mix of professionals across diverse membership bases and professional scopes while sharing a common association management language. You just might find a new bank to handle your accounts; a data security consultant; association management companies; an events and meeting planner; and hotel and venue management--all who share a passion for making the job of association management a success!

CAE Corner

The Certified Association Executive (CAE) program is designed to elevate professional standards, enhance individual performance, and designate association professionals who demonstrate the knowledge essential to the practice of association management.

Upcoming Dates & Deadlines
Friday, Feb 26, 2016 | Applications Due
Friday, May 6, 2016 | Exam

For eligibility requirements, click here.
Click here to download a CAE application.

Study with your California buddies! The study group is complimentary for AzSAE members! The next CalSAE CAE Study Group begins February 22! .

California Society of Association Executives

CalSAE offers a peer-driven CAE Study Group for those preparing to sit for an upcoming CAE exam. The group is self-directed with participants and CAE mentors meeting virtually on Monday afternoons. The study group is complimentary for AzSAE members ($150 for non-members). All participants must purchase the CAE Study Guide published by ASAE.

If you are interested in joining the CalSAE CAE Study Group, please contact CalSAE at

There are several recommended books in addition to the CAE Study Guide.  All books can be purchased from ASAE.  Click here to see CAE Core Resources.  Check the CAE Candidate Preparation Checklist for CalSAE mentor recommended materials as well as other helpful tips.

Did you know AzSAE holds a study group to help members prepare for the test?

Contact 2016 Study Group organizer Suzanne Lanctot, CAE for more details.

Key Partner Spotlight - Support those that support AzSAE!

Sechler CPA, P.C. - The support you need. The service you’re looking for!

Sechler CPA PC is a virtual nonprofit CPA firm with 26 remote team members serving over 500 nonprofit organizations. We are client-focused, supportive, innovative, attentive, and accountable. Sechler CPA PC provides support for nonprofit organizations by filing Form 1023 to obtain exempt status, accounting and bookkeeping services, tax compliance, visioning, consulting needs, and coaching.

Our team believes in building lasting relationships with our clients by serving them with care and purpose.

Visit our website for FREE tools and information, including sample policies, archives of our content-rich newsletter, Nonprofit Agendas (view latest issue here), and much more!

For more information call 602.230.2700 or email

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