Associations Now Live: Real-World Conversations About Leading Today

In a special five-episode series, Associations Now Live presents insider views on leading associations in 2021 from the executives who are doing the work every day. Don’t miss these revealing conversations, streaming weekly in April and May.

Association leaders are feeling optimistic about the future: You can take that from more than a dozen association C-suite executives who agreed to share how their organizations are building on new opportunities in 2021 while continuing to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic uncertainty, and the implications of racial and social justice movements.

In five Associations Now Live events streaming every Monday in the coming weeks, hear what these leaders have to say about navigating the recovery, elaborating on the important issues covered in our Lead2021 report.

Each episode runs less than 25 minutes. We hope you’ll join us.


Episode 1: Association Recovery Priorities

April 5, 2021, 3pm ET

Associations are eager to bring back in-person events, but they’re taking a flexible approach in the near term that involves a continuation of virtual conferences and experiments with hybrid formats. Meanwhile, they’re leaning into new digital strategies across their organizations.


  • Carla Balakgie, FASAE, CAE, CEO, National Automatic Merchandising Association
  • Prabhash Shrestha, Chief Digital Strategy Officer, Independent Community Bankers of America
  • Denis Painchaud, President, Canadian Organizing Committee, World Petroleum Congress
  • Lou DiGioia, FASAE, CAE, COO, Colorectal Cancer Alliance


Episode 2: Post-Pandemic Business Models

April 12, 2021, 3pm ET

Traditional revenue streams will take time to recover, if they ever return to pre-pandemic levels. Association executives are building new business models for long-term sustainability.


  • Tracy Folkes Hanson, CEO, Canadian Society of Association Executives
  • Bill Casey, Senior VP, Member Experience and Business Development, Healthcare Financial Management Association
  • Chris Busky, CAE, CEO, Infectious Diseases Society of America


Episode 3: Will 2021 Bring Real DEI Change?

April 19, 2021, 3pm ET

Many associations had declared a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion long before George Floyd was killed by police last year. But the Black Lives Matter movement and rising demand for racial justice in 2020 sparked a new level of self-examination and renewed calls to action. What will 2021 bring?


  • Michelle Mills Clement, CAE, CEO, Chicago Association of Realtors
  • Nathan Victoria, CAE, Executive Director, Society for Personality Assessment
  • Janet Smith, President, Ivy Planning Group
  • Robb Lee, Chief Communications and Product Strategy Officer, ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership


Episode 4: How the Pandemic Has Changed Association Advocacy

April 26, 2021, 3pm ET

Traditional association advocacy is all about being in the room where it happens. How did associations adjust when the room was replaced by Zoom? The lessons government relations professionals learned over the past year will make them better advocates beyond the pandemic.


  • Quardricos Driskell, Legislative and Political Affairs Manager, American Urological Association
  • Margarita Valdez, Assistant Director, Congressional Relations, American Society for Radiation Oncology
  • Mary Kate Cunningham, CAE, Senior VP, Public Policy, ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership

Episode 5: The New Association Workplace

May 3, 2021, 3pm ET

Remote work, dispersed teams, and the vanishing line between work and home life means the workplace will never be the same. Association leaders are working through what “going back to the office” will mean in the coming months.


  • Lesley Forneris, People Officer, Center for Health Affairs
  • Jenn Abbott, CEO, ICS International Conference Services
  • Nabil El-Ghoroury, CAE, Executive Director, California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

Series sponsored by Destination Canada Business Events

Julie Shoop

By Julie Shoop

Julie Shoop is the Editor-in-Chief of Associations Now. MORE

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