Welcoming Environment® Summit


A positive office culture is one of the most important elements of a successful organization. It’s also one of the most difficult to attain. The culture of a modern office is a Welcoming Environment®.

A Welcoming Environment® uses inclusiveness to empower people to do their best and most innovative work. It attracts the best professionals to your organization and creates a team of diverse viewpoints, talents, and ideas.

This summit isn’t just talk. It’s a day packed with real-world examples and data on the impact a Welcoming Environment® has on the growth and sustainability of your organization.

You can’t afford to not attend. We look forward to seeing you there!

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Schedule of Events

8:30 – 9:00 Breakfast and Networking

9:00 – 9:30 Welcome and Introductions
mason-michelle.jpgMichelle Mason, FASAE, CAE, President and CEO, Association Forum

moore-bob.jpgBob Moore, CAE, Chief Operating Officer, American Dental Hygienists Association and Chair, Welcoming Environment Committee

smith-celeste.jpgCeleste Smith, CAE, Director of Education, American Association of Law Libraries and Co-Chair, Welcoming Environment Committee

9:30 – 10:30 Keynote: Making the Case for Welcoming Environment (WE)
  • Creating a culture of inclusion drive innovation, creativity, and results at businesses
  • Inclusion is no longer a choice for the organization as members and staff of the future expect an inclusive environment
  • Speaker TBA

10:30 – 10:45 Networking Break

10:45 – 11:45 Supporting the Case for Welcoming Environment
  • Research-based findings will be provided to support the case at your association.
  • Speaker TBA

11:45 – 12:30 Lunch

12:30 – 2:00 Our WE Journey: Lessons Learned (moderated panel and Q&A)
  • Demonstrate practical application of welcoming environment and inclusion within businesses – both for-profit and associations
  • Learn the successes and challenges that companies have had in their WE journey
  • Highlight key considerations for association leadership in building an inclusive environment and workforce
  • Panelists: 
    • Mesirow Financial: Julie Felix, Assistant Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion Manager
    • Barilla America: Laura Birk, VP, Human Resources
    • Institute of Food Technologists: Nancy Ukpe Gargula, Director of Diversity & Inclusion

2:00 –2:15 Networking Break

2:15 – 3:45 Build Your Own Action Plan
  • Attendees will work as a staff team to build an action plan for when they return to the office to accelerate their WE journey.
  • Attendees will pitch some of their ideas to fellow attendees to real-time feedback to solutions.
    • Co-Facilitator: Jim Huberty
    • Chair Emeritus, Out & Equal Chicago Chapter
    • Co-Facilitator: Bob Moore, CAE
    • Chief Operating Officer, American Dental Hygienists Association

3:45 – 4:00 Call to Action and Closing Remarks

4:00 – 5:00 Post-Event Networking

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Event Details

Location: Institute of Food Technologists
Date: February 13, 2019
Time: 9:00 – 4:00 pm
CAE Hours: 

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