Location, Support Network Prompt Holistic Nurses’ Big Move

A desire to be centrally located and to improve the association management resources available to them made moving 1,000 miles from Arizona to Kansas an easy decision for the American Holistic Nurses Association.

After calling Flagstaff, Arizona, home for 15 years, the American Holistic Nurses Association decided it was time to uproot their operation and find a more “user-friendly location.” Their destination: Topeka, Kansas—1,000 miles away.

“We were looking to be somewhere more centrally located, and having only one or two other associations around us [in Flagstaff] didn’t offer great networking for staff,” said Terri Roberts, executive director of AHNA. The location was less than ideal “to help staff learn and get the skills they need to run an association in today’s environment. It was a challenge.”

For its new home, which they settled into last month, the organization selected the capital city of Kansas.

“What was so attractive about Topeka was the strong association support network,” Roberts said. “There we have about 50 or 60 associations located right around us, and the [Kansas Society of Association Executives] offers excellent resources with regular meetings and events. You need that with the rapidity at which change occurs now. You need to stay on top of things to continue to be relevant to your members.”

As with any long-distance move, there was some staff turnover, but Roberts worked to make the transition as seamless as possible. Several staff members—including an IT employee who configured AHNA’s system—continue to work remotely from Flagstaff, while the others who remained in Arizona, prior to resigning from their posts, helped train the new staff members that were waiting in Topeka.

“We had three weeks of remote orientation prior to the move, and that went better than I could have hoped,” Roberts said. “Some of the older staff were very loyal and grateful that they got to help teach the new people.”

Roberts stressed the need to keep member service sharp during a long-distance move—and a remote workforce can be the key to doing it.

“Do your best to critically analyze which staff can work remotely during the transition. Our members got their e-newsletters and everything because we maintained the same staff who were doing those things ahead of time,” she said. “It’s a lot easier now with the technology that we have available to us than it would have been even five years ago.”

Do you have any tips to make moving a cinch? Share them in the comments.


Rob Stott

By Rob Stott

Rob Stott is a contributing editor for Associations Now. MORE

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