Thoughts on ASAE12 from DELP

My last post was about my experience in Dallas during ASAE12. This time, I wanted to give you the highs and lows of the conference from the perspective of my colleagues in the Diversity Executive Leadership Program aka DELP.  Outside of our annual reunion, ASAE annual is the only other large gathering of DELP scholars.

During the conference, DELP held its annual breakfast Sunday morning prior to the opening general session. The breakfast, attended by ASAE volunteer leadership, staff and colleagues from the Detroit CVB, celebrated the achievements of DELP scholars in the association community over the past year. In case you missed it, it was announced that we are now 123 strong since the program began in 2000. Of the 123 scholars, 56 are CAEs. 36 of our CAEs earned their credential through DELP. This is proof of the caliber of talent we have in this program. We also had a reception that evening hosted by ASAE’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

For the third year in a row, we had a DELP Lounge where perspective applicants met with DELPers and learned more about the program. The lounge also gave us DELPers an opportunity to reconnect, relax, and share ideas from sessions. If you missed us in Dallas, feel free to stop by when we’re in Atlanta next year. But enough of me babbling. Let’s hear what some of my fellow DELPers had to say about ASAE12.

My favorite part about attending ASAE’s annual meeting was being able to sit down face to face with other association executives and discuss best practices. My best experience was presenting my Ignite session and having people come up to met afterwards and tell me how my message impacted them. – Valerie Fries Wade CAE, class of 2010-2012

What I loved about ASAE12 was the atmosphere, it was electric. People willing to show you around and talk about the previous session or what was upcoming. I especially enjoyed the unique sessions in the form of Ignite presentations and learning labs. I wished the opening keynote session had incorporated more aspects of how the political climate and economy will impact the non-profit/association world. – Sikha Singh, class of 2012-2014

Loved the fact DELP/Diversity was getting massive props through multiple mentions from sessions speakers, John Graham, Peter O’Neil and my mentor Joe McGuire! Rather than getting the “what’s DELP?” question, I got a few more, “how do I get into that program?!” question. – Renato Sogueco, class of 2011-2013

This was my 5th annual meeting, but first as a DELP Scholar. What a difference! What a boost of energy and support!  – Pierre Desy CAE, class of 2012-2014

This was my first ASAE conference as a DELP Scholar. I have to admit, I was bracing myself for the discussion on “relevance”. What was intriguing to me this year was that I heard more stories about organizations that have already begun to transform.  – Teshia Briscoe Birts, class of 2012-2014

I’m FURIOUS! James Carville should never have been paired with Karl Rove! Rove presented with one fact after another. Carville was unable to focus, could not be still or state in significant facts and in my jaded opinion did more harm than good. – Greta Stewart, class of 2002-2003

The opening night party in Cowboys Stadium took me back to my 11-year old self when all I wanted to be was a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. Memories of sitting on the floor at my daddy’s knee watching the Cowboys play inundated me all evening. Ending the night with a great concert truly made this event one to remember for a lifetime. I can check this one off my Bucket List!  – Marsha Kiner, class of 2011-2013

This was my 4th annual meeting, but I felt much more connected to the ASAE community than before as a result of DELP, which made the whole convention experience richer. The broad variety of programming that occurred throughout, was terrific. Because there is so much – and because the Twitter back channel is amazing – I sometimes struggle with almost a “buyer’s remorse” about the sessions I pick. – John Segota CAE, class of 2012-2014

ASAE and the Dallas CVB pulled out all of the stops this year!  In speaking with other conference attendees, they echo my sentiments…. The educational programming was superb and sessions were well attended.  And, open access to the Cowboys Stadium—that was PRICELESS! – Agatha Johnson CAE, class of 2006-2007

After a slow start with the political opening general session, the conference picked up steam.  I made some valuable connections in the exhibit hall, had some great conversations around innovation, and got to spend valuable time with  colleagues from around the country. – Stephanie Doute CAE, class of 2009-2011

ASAE12: The aftermath

This will be the first of two posts about ASAE12. I have so many thoughts about the last few days that I needed to spread them out. Today’s post is about my time there and a very special afternoon I had.

Overall, I enjoyed ASAE12. I loved seeing my association friends and DELPers as well as making new contacts. It’s like a family reunion mixed with summer camp over four short days. The sessions were top notched as usual. From the mobile playground to having at least one GR session per day, ASAE truly listened to their members. I liked the opening session. I know politics isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I saw the Carville/Rove interaction for what it was: two men putting on a show for the audience. I had to miss most of the closing session but was happy to see my former association’s CEO Arlene Pietranton become Chair-elect of the ASAE Board and Chair of the Foundation.

However, what made ASAE12 so special for me were the actions of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau (@visit_dallas). As many of you know, my first day in Dallas was not that great. My flight took off 1 1/2 hours late causing me to miss my connection. When I finally arrived in Dallas, I learned that my bag containing my Redskins jersey for the opening party was left in Houston. My friend and fellow DELPer Alison Heron decided to wait with me at our hotel for my bag to be delivered once it arrived at DFW. Unfortunately, by the time we realized that the bag was not going to arrive in time for the opening party, we had missed the last shuttle to Cowboys stadium. For these two die-hard ‘Skins fans, we were heartbroken.

Fast forward to Monday. By accident, we learned that tours of the stadium were available to the public through Ticketmaster. We promptly got tickets for the VIP tour Tuesday afternoon and looked for a way to get to and from the stadium. Cabs would cost upwards of $50 each way. So I got on Twitter and contacted the Dallas CVB about our situation. Dallas promptly messaged me to say that a ride was arranged to pick us up from our hotel to take us round trip to the stadium. Imagine our surprise when we went outside and found this.

Yes, Dallas CVB sent Alison and I to Cowboys Stadium in a limo!!! We were overwhelmed by the gesture. Once inside, we were like two kids in a candy store. We had so much fun at the expense of our tour guide and security guards who couldn’t believe we showed up in our Redskins jerseys for a tour of Cowboys stadium.  Ali and I want to thank Dallas CVB for one of the best afternoons we’ve ever experienced. When they say everything is bigger in Texas, they obviously meant their hearts.