Free Interactive Virtual Summit Join 1000's of association professionals harnessing the power of collective knowledge.

May 2-4th, 2018

Step 1

Register now to begin interacting with fellow association professionals.

Step 2

Immediately start sharing your great ideas, while learning what others are doing.

Step 3

Return May 2-4th to view the sessions, discuss with other attendees, and ask the speakers your burning questions.

Why Attend

SURGE is an interactive virtual summit with a thesis: By joining together thousands of association professionals, we can harness collective knowledge and push our industry forward.

On May 2-4th, choose from a range of expert-led sessions to contribute to the discussions most meaningful to you.

Register now to begin interacting immediately. You can:

Connect with like-minded individuals in our forum.
Contribute video footage for the conference.
Absorb fresh ideas from handpicked resources.
Vote for sessions to appear in our next conference via our pitch competition.

We are a CAE Approved Provider.

Sessions + Speakers

Thanks to our speakers, whose ideas will drive our great conversations.

  • May 2nd 12-1PM EST

    Getting Clear about Culture Change

    Jamie Notter

    Jamie Notter

    Consultant, Speaker & Author
    Human Workplaces

    Anne Nevel

    Anne Nevel

    Senior Director, Industry Education
    Healthcare Distribution Alliance

    Greg Roth

    Greg Roth

    Speaker, Trainer & Creative Consultant
    The Idea Enthusiast

    Michael Grant

    Michael Grant

    Director, Marketing & Communications
    Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science

    Conventional wisdom says culture change is hard, if not impossible, and it takes years and years of hard work, mostly driven by the CEO. As is often the case, conventional wisdom is wrong. In this session, we’ve got both association executives and consultants who have extensive experience in doing the hard (but very possible) work of culture change. They’ll share lessons learned from both their successes and some of their frustrations. We’ll give you some concrete models that you can apply in your context, like how to create a “culture team” to drive the work, writing up culture priorities in concrete language, and developing specific “plays” for a culture playbook.

  • May 2nd 1-2PM EST

    The Association Role in the New Education Paradigm

    Shelly Alcorn

    Shelly Alcorn, CAE

    Alcorn Associates Management Consulting

    Tracy Petrillo

    Tracy Petrillo, EdD, CAE

    Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine

    Elizabeth Engel

    Elizabeth Engel, MA, CAE

    CEO & Chief Strategist
    Spark Consulting

    The US higher education system and traditional pathways into employment are being disrupted by a host of factors, from rising costs and increasing student debt, to the lingering effects of the global recession, to the difficulties the post­secondary environment faces when trying to help students develop the skills they need for employment in today’s hyper­complex world. At the same time, associations are desperate to attract new and younger members. Is this a perfect storm or an opportunity?

    In this session, speakers will share highlights from their research into the dramatic changes occurring in the realms of education and employment; how these changes pose an opportunity for associations; and stories of associations embracing their role as nurturers of the next generation of professionals and members. Attendees will learn about the scope of disruption affecting the US education system and its impact on the future of employment; appreciate how associations can bridge the education to employment gap; and explore practical strategies to implement at associations to make a meaningful difference.

  • May 2nd 2-3PM EST

    Rebranding Revelations

    Sheri Singer

    Sheri Singer

    Singer Communications

    Donte Shannon

    Donte Shannon, CAE

    Executive Director/CEO
    Specialty Advertising Association of California

    Bridget Krause

    Bridget Krause

    Director, Member Relations
    Emergency Nurses Association

    Andrew Navolio

    Andrew Navolio

    Partner & Accounts Director
    David James Group

    Rebranding is more than just changing your logo and tagline. It’s an association’s personality, their promise to members and their value proposition. A successful rebrand could increase visibility, membership, member engagement, and revenue. But how do you know if a rebrand is right for you? And how do you determine the level of rebrand, get buy-in, and measure return on investment? In this discussion, a DELP scholar and executive director, alongside two ASAE award-winning rebranding campaign leaders, will share their real life rebranding stories to help you determine whether your association needs a rebrand, to what extent, and how to launch and measure your efforts.

  • May 2nd 3-4PM EST

    Virtual Conferences: The New Frontier

    Arianna Rehak

    Arianna Rehak


    Megan Denhardt

    Megan Denhardt, CAE

    The Denhardt Group

    Victoria Fanning

    Victoria Fanning, CMP

    Senior Manager, Online Events
    Medical Group Management Association

    Candice Davis

    Candice Davis

    Senior Program Coordinator
    VMUG Team

    Although the magic of in-person events will never be replaced, there is an excellent opportunity to virtually connect your members, substantially broaden your reach and deliver learning content. In this session, the speakers will share their stories running and growing virtual conferences. They’ll discuss the relationship with their in-person conferences, the challenges of operating virtually, revenue opportunities, and the unique forms of connection that the digital space can facilitate among members.

  • May 3rd 12-1PM EST

    Digital Transformation: A Tale of Two Strategies

    Susan Cato

    Susan Cato

    Director, Digital Strategy and Member Services
    American Society of Plant Biologists

    Garth Jordan

    Garth Jordan

    SVP, Corporate Strategy
    Healthcare Financial Management Association

    Maddie Grant

    Maddie Grant

    Culture Consultant & Digital Strategist
    Human Workplaces

    In 2018, it is no longer time to simply think about digital transformation. Technology is changing how we work and how we interact with our stakeholders on a deeper level. Every organization should be on the path. Join us and learn about two different associations and their digital transformation journey. Walk away with insights on how to approach your own digital transformation, as well as risks, opportunities, and lessons-learned.

  • May 3rd 1-2PM EST

    Exploring New Markets: How Research, Analytics and Risk Assessment Can Help

    Kerry Cosby

    Kerry Cosby

    Chapters Manager
    IEEE Computer Society

    Whitney Emerick

    Whitney Emerick

    Marketing & Membership Director
    Petroleum Equipment Institute

    Cindy Simpson

    Cindy Simpson, MEd, CAE, CGMP

    Chief Business Development Officer
    Association for Women in Science

    With broad-based changes taking place in society like globalization, the gig-economy, open-source information and automation, to remain relevant associations must be flexible and focus on new business development. Associations should seek out new markets in the form of products or services, offerings for new types of professionals in their sector, or through international expansion.

    This session will examine how associations can draw on research techniques (surveys, focus groups and interviews), data analytics (internal data, and industry and macroeconomic indicators) and risk analysis (competitor, industry, country and political) in their search for new markets at home and around the world.

  • May 3rd 2-3PM EST

    Building a Culture of Foresight in Your Association

    Sue Pine

    Sue Pine, CAE

    VP Professional Development
    Association Headquearters

    Hannes Combest

    Hannes Combest

    National Auctioneers Association

    Sharon Moss

    Sharon Moss, PhD, CAE

    Chief Research Officer
    ASAE Foundation

    Lesleigh Campanale

    Lesleigh Campanale

    Research Manager

    Board members must ensure that their association weathers the changing landscape and evolves into its own bright future. Association professionals need resources and skills to guide these dynamic conversations. The ASAE Foundation’s new research program is designed to help association leaders handle these challenges. The Foundation’s ForesightWorks initiative provides key information on current business, social, political, economic, global, and association trends and empowers leaders to create a culture of foresight within their organizations.

    The conversation will be facilitated by the volunteers who guided the program to help you understand the research methodology and expertise that powered the project. The session will guide you through the tools used and provide ideas about how to start the conversation within your own association.

  • May 3rd 3-4PM EST

    Five-Star Professional Development Results on a One Star Budget

    David E. Elliott

    David E. Elliott, MSc, CTDP

    Performance Improvement Facilitator
    Pallium Canada

    Dana Murn-Kohal

    Dana Murn-Kohal

    Membership Manager
    American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

    Jennifer Reid, MLIS, PMP, CTDP

    Jennifer Reid, MLIS, PMP, CTDP

    Senior Manager & Learning Partner
    T&O and Corporate Areas (TOCA)

    Allen Lloyd

    Allen Lloyd

    Executive Director
    Montana Society of CPAs

    This session will explore a common challenge in the association world: a team of dedicated staff who need professional development to do their jobs efficiently and effectively, within a context of a very limited budget, or no budget at all, for professional development.

    The speakers will explore the importance of professional development, the role organizational culture plays in being successful with professional development and a long list of opportunities that can be provided to your team, many for free and nothing over $25.

  • May 4th 12-1PM EST

    Innovative Business Models Emerging on the Association Scene

    Geneviève LeClerc

    Geneviève LeClerc

    Association Strategist/President
    Caravelle Strategies

    Brenda Sanderson

    Brenda Sanderson

    Association Executive
    Interaction Design Association

    Disruption is everywhere. It’s affecting how associations operate and making them question their core business models. Exciting new ideas are emerging as associations confound their reputation as conservative late-adopters and embrace innovation.

    During the first part of the session, speakers will discuss four disruptive business models that challenge the way people think about membership organisations; and explore new associations being created by emerging industries, such as cryptocurrencies, autonomous vehicles, and crowdfunding.

    In the second part of the session, speakers will have an open dialogue about how innovation discussions can be scaled in the association space. They will examine how potential models of cooperation and co-creation between associations can be developed outside of traditional membership organizations.

  • May 4th 1-2PM EST

    A Practical Discussion on Driving Rapid Technological Change

    Mark Kibble

    Mark Kibble

    Senior Technology Manager
    American Ceramic Society

    Rhea Steele

    Rhea Steele, MS, CAE, CIP

    Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation

    Tori Miller Liu

    Tori Miller Liu, CAE

    Director of Information Systems
    American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

    René Shonerd

    René Shonerd

    Managing Director of Technology Initiatives
    American Industrial Hygiene Association

    Have you ever gone to a conference session and realized you’ve just heard 55 minutes about something you are excited to implement, then hear a 5-minute disclaimer at the end that it won’t work without the culture to support it? Join this conversation about how the speakers tackled this exact issue and created the culture to support and enable massive technological changes in their organizations.

    They will discuss how culture impacts technological change within an organization, strategies for identifying gaps between the culture you have and the culture you need, how to get others on board, and more. They will also talk about shifting away from a traditional IT support mentality towards a business-centric, partnership-oriented approach.

  • May 4th 2-3PM EST

    Science of When: Discover Your Perfect Timing

    Lowell Aplebaum

    Lowell Aplebaum, CAE

    CEO & Strategy Catalyst
    Vista Cova

    Daniel Pink

    Daniel Pink

    Best Selling Author

    Michelle Lui

    Michelle Lui, CAE

    Executive Director
    Financial Management Association International

    In this interview with New York Times bestselling author Dan Pink, Lowell Aplebaum, CAE and Michelle Lui, CAE explore the science of perfect timing. They will cover how intentional decisions based on timing can optimize staff productivity and satisfaction, elevate board decision-making, revamp conference schedules, and enhance member engagement.

    What impact does our chronotype - our personal biological clock - have on our work day? How can association leaders respond to the demands of the clock when planning office hours, events and meetings? What is the ideal conference schedule and how can attendees optimize breaks between sessions? A deviation from the usual discussions on “how,” this session uses psychological, biological, and economic research to guide us on “when”.

  • May 4th 3-4PM EST

    Cocreation: Building Shared Purpose and Value with Members

    Nick Marzano

    Nick Marzano

    Director of Education
    Society of Hospital Medicine

    Eric Lanke

    Eric Lanke

    National Fluid Power Association

    Sarah Frohnoefer

    Sarah Frohnoefer

    Senior Director, Business Strategy & Development
    Marriott International

    Eric McKeeby

    Eric McKeeby

    Director of Community Engagement
    American Board of Internal Medicine

    Cocreation—the process of engaging members in the joint creation of value—is fun to envision, and hard to execute. Involving membership in decisions about the directions of programs, services, and even strategic direction can produce a strong outcome reflective of diverse perspectives. But without the right process and structure, it can also lead to uninspiring compromise. In this session, the speakers will talk about how associations can use cocreation to solve current problems, course correct, and even envision the future; and why the process might be as valuable to your members as the outcome.

Our Team

Thanks to our volunteers, whose insights are the very backbone of this event.

Mark Kibble

Mark Kibble

Senior Technology Manager / American Ceramic Society
Christopher Hunter

Christopher Hunter

IT Manager / Chartered Professional Accountants of Manitoba
Emery Wolfe

Emery Wolfe

Technology and Multimedia Specialist / Saskatchewan Registered Nurses' Association
Carolyn Hook

Carolyn Hook

Membership and Engagement Specialist
Susan Noell

Susan Noell

Assistant Director of Corporate Relations & Membership / Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy
Bruce Rosenthal

Bruce Rosenthal

Association Coporate Partnerships Consultant / Bruce Rosenthal Consulting
Nick Marzano

Nick Marzano

Director of Education / Society of Hospital Medicine
Garth Jordan

Garth Jordan

SVP, Corporate Strategy / Healthcare Financial Management Association
Amanda Kaiser

Amanda Kaiser

Chief Path Finder / Kaiser Insights
Graham Harvey

Graham Harvey

Executive Director / Brandon First
Mike Moss

Mike Moss

President / Society for College and University Planning
Beth Burchill

Beth Burchill

Meetings and Exhibits Coordinator / American Counseling Association
Allison Ly

Allison Ly

Registrar / ASCE

How it Works

Who is putting on this event?

This event is being run by We are a facilitator of great ideas, so this summit is truly a collection of ideas and insights from dozens of people. Each of our speakers, volunteers, and partners are passionate about seeing the association industry thrive, which is why they have donated their time and resources to making this event happen.

What is the format of the summit?

This is a three-day event from 12-4PM EST on May 2th-4thth. Each session is an hour long, and is pre-recorded. This allows the speakers to spend the entire session period in the attendee chat answering your burning questions. At the same time, you will be able to communicate with the other attendees through the same chat. Join in on whichever conversation is most interesting to you!

How do I access the event?

Once you register, you will enter the event page, where you can immediately start interacting. At the same time, you will be sent an email with the link to return. The event is the finale, but conversations will occur in the platform leading up to it.

Where is this event located?

This summit exists in the virtual space, as it gives us the opportunity to bring together thousands of association professionals from around the world.

Have you made any changes since the last event in November?

We’ve added some fun new ways to connect. You’ll learn more once you register - but we now have a pitch competition, and the chance to submit video content into the sessions. We also have additional resources available to you.

How can I ask speakers questions during the event?

The sessions are pre-recorded so that the speakers can spend the time answering attendee questions. They will be typing away furiously to reply to as many questions as possible in the live chat!

Will there be opportunities to communicate with the speakers after their specific sessions?

This will depend on individual preference of our speakers. For those who are willing to be contacted, they will provide their email addresses.

Can I communicate with other participants?

Absolutely! When you register, you can immediately start communicating with fellow attendees in our forum. Throughout the sessions, there will also be a chat running simultaneously.

Will I have access to the sessions after the fact?

If you register before May 2nd, you will be given access to watch the recorded sessions at any point after the event.

Can I gain CAE credit hours watching the sessions?

Yes, but only if you attend live! We are also crafting bonus “on-demand” sessions that will be CAE approved for self-study.

I would like to speak at your fall conference. Is there an opportunity?

You should enter our pitch competition! Once you register, there are directions to do so. Otherwise, we will release a call for submissions when the event is over!

I would like to volunteer at this event! Is there an opportunity?
Is there an opportunity to sponsor/advertise within the event?
What platform are you using to stream the event?

We are proudly partnered with CE21.

Are there any browsers that your platform does not support?

The quality will be a little funky on Internet Explorer 8. Although we highly recommend Chrome for the smoothest user experience on any website, here’s a handy link to download Edge, which is Microsoft’s move away from IE:

My question hasn't been answered in this Q&A. How might I satisfy my curiosity?