We Asked, You Answered: What New Staff Role Would You Like to Add?

The new work of associations often requires adding new staff positions to the org chart. Association pros shared the roles they think would most benefit their organizations—from digital strategists to revenue experts and career-focused professionals.

In our latest digital Deep Dive package, we looked at new staff roles that associations are introducing to better align better with goals and strategy. With that in mind, we asked readers what new position their organization could benefit most from. The responses covered everything from data to revenue to engagement, but what they all have in common is adding people to the team that would benefit members or organizational effectiveness. Read on for what your colleagues had to say. 

James Thomashower

CEO, American Guild of Organists

Revenue manager. Just as airlines and hotels engage revenue managers to maximize their revenue for each seat on a plane and each night in a hotel room, I’d like to engage a revenue manager to help us optimize the revenue we earn for each of our programs and services—from the fees we charge to different segments of our membership to register for our events, to the amounts we charge for products we sell, application fees to participate in our certification and competition programs, and advertising rates in our journal and on our website.

Chris Williams, CAE

Executive Director, VPPPA

I would love to add a career-development coach position to our staff. This is a position that provides an underappreciated member benefit in helping employees of VPPPA members develop their long-term career strategies in environment, safety, health, and sustainability (EHS&S). With a chronic skilled labor shortage among the EHS&S profession, career development is, surprisingly, an underserved market for member companies looking to support a program that, while potentially costing them employees, helps in training their own future workforce in a mindset that reflects their own high-performing values.

Leslie Whittet

Chief Membership Experience Officer, RIMS

Director of digital strategy. Everything we do is digital, and while we still do traditional marketing (e.g., print collateral, print ads), we need to up our game in digital marketing to engage with new audiences. It’s a very noisy market, and we need digital expertise to stand out and increase market share.

Glenn Tecker

Chair and co-CEO, Tecker International LLC

Mentor in residence. Associations are hiring staff with little or no association experience, but working in a voluntary environment requires a peculiar set of skills above and beyond functional specialty expertise. The mentor in residence would be available to coach individual staff members on a case-by-case basis on the dynamics and interactions that they may encounter in a voluntary organization. Training in knowledge-based decision-making, participatory strategic thinking and planning, conflict resolution and positive problem solving, and earning and sustaining a professional brand could be provided in groups or individually as needed.

Chris Beaman

Corporate Partnership Officer, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing

Chief partnerships officer (CPO). I think it’s critical for associations to see partnerships as a strategic initiative just as we do membership, finance, marketing, etc. The CPO would be responsible for helping to cultivate and build win-win-win partnerships for the association that are supportive of other key strategic areas. In my opinion, the CPO should be expected to be highly connected and networked to build effective partnerships and create value for the association in meaningful ways.

Leona Scott

President, JEP Marketing Communications          

Visual graphics content creator. In a fast-changing and distraction-filled world, creating content for prospects and members that grabs their attention is critical. Having a staff member who can condense and decipher key ideas and benefits, calls to action, and membership value and then translate them visually—through graphics or video—is necessary.

(Andrii Yalanskyi/iStock)

Samantha Whitehorne

By Samantha Whitehorne

Samantha Whitehorne is editor-in-chief of Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!