Posted By Joseph Sapp, CAE, Wednesday, Nov 1, 2017
Much like others who find themselves in Association Management, I was completely in the dark about the industry until I found myself right in the middle of it. I did not study to become an Association Executive and I have never joined a membership society before therefore I did not know that there was an abundance of associations for almost anything.
At the start of my career in association management I was at the bottom – learning membership protocols, staffing a booth at a tradeshow, returning phone calls to the office, and stuffing envelopes. As I improved my understanding of what this industry was, I sought resources that would give me more opportunity. That first resource was DVSAE and, subsequently, MASAE.
I attended a half-day workshop in Philadelphia and there I met a few people, heard some things that made no sense to me at the time and left overwhelmed. A few months later I attended the Annual Conference. I saw someone that I had met at the previous workshop, and they remembered my name. They welcomed me and said it was good to see I had decided to attend the conference.
That was an “Oh Sh*t” moment that changed everything. I was no longer working in Association Management, I had a career in Association Management. I had found a community, one that gave me the tools I needed to grow professionally.
Since that day, I have been to nearly every MASAE event. I have met colleagues and friends. People that I trust, that I can call with a question and know without a doubt I am getting honest and professional feedback.
I have seen what impact I can have on the industry as well. From calling a member about renewal to planning the Annual Conference, I have seen the value the organization brings to people and their career. I think about the different industries our members serve and the type of value they are bringing, and from time-to-time it still gives me that same “Oh Sh*t” moment I had years ago when I realized the value that MASAE gave my career.