I just returned from the annual American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) conference. Sounds rather dry and dull compared to attending a NANPA Summit, but these meetings are huge (this year’s attendance was 6,000) and are jam-packed with educational and inspirational sessions to help association leaders do their jobs. This was my third time attending an ASAE conference and what I’ve taken back each time is that even though NANPA is a tiny drop in a huge ocean of organizations, thanks to our forward thinking boards and contractors, we are ahead of the innovation curve in many areas.
NANPA was forced to make some tough decisions in 2011 when we had only $8,000 in our checking account and owed more than $200,000 to our former management company and bills from the 2011 McAllen Summit. Rather than shut down, a group of dedicated volunteers pooled our resources and gave it everything we had. We couldn’t afford office space or employees so we started working remotely out of necessity. We paid our debts off in 18 months, regrouped, and slowly added or improved programs and hired contractors to provide services. Six years later, we are a model of how an organization can function in a completely virtual environment. As I talked to other directors at ASAE recently, I realized that NANPA is doing what others dream that their organizations could do.
For those of you who have been around for a long time, you know what we’ve been through—and you’re still with us, which tells me we’re doing something right. For newer members; just by joining, you’ve told us that you saw something you liked well enough to gamble your annual dues payment to join NANPA. We are grateful for all of you, but more importantly, we’re proud that NANPA has evolved into a stronger organization that all of you value. As I review my notes from the ASAE meeting, I’m excited about sharing the latest trends, products, and ideas that I discovered at this year’s meeting. I know the board, our volunteers and our contractors will use this information to make NANPA even better.
NANPA Executive Director