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Juneteenth is short for “June Nineteenth” which marks the end of slavery in the United States. It was on June 19, 1865 when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to take control of the state and to ensure that all enslaved people be freed. This was two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 stating that all enslaved people be freed in the confederate states. The 155-year-old celebration of Juneteenth is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee day, and Emancipation Day. It grew with more participation from slave descendants as they acknowledged this as their Independence Day and spread to other states. ...
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CHICAGO (June 9, 2020)— Association Forum and ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, have formed a strategic partnership to help Forum members prepare for, respond to and recover from the novel coronavirus and other infectious agents. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ISSA and its Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) division released two new programs to train individuals and accredit facilities, respectively. As part of the partnership, Association Forum will leverage its voice in the Chicagoland area and beyond to promote: The GBAC Fundamentals Online Course, an e-learning course that trains cleaning professionals on infection and ...
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"I Can't Breathe" are three words that changed the world. These are the final words spoken by George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis. These are the final words heard from Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who died in New York City from excessive force used by law enforcement. These despicable crimes are happening far too often. The black and brown communities cannot breathe until there is a greater level of accountability in addressing the systemic racism in America, and all communities unite for a cure. As a black female, I grieve because these words could have been spoken by my brothers, uncles, cousins and friends. ...
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CHICAGO (June 1, 2020)— Association Forum has embarked on the next phase of its Welcoming Environment initiative through completion of a national research study to validate practices and assumptions on diversity, equity and inclusion. A Welcoming Environment is part of Association Forum’s core values and defined as the creation of a sense of belonging and connectedness that engages individuals in an authentic manner in which uniqueness is valued, respected and supported through opportunities and interaction. “A Welcoming Environment drives deeper engagement and increased participation within the association community and will ultimately increase revenue and ...
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A Message to Our Members

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Dear Association Forum Members, Let's remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." This weekend, we were shaken by the destruction our beautiful City of Chicago experienced. We strongly support freedom of speech and peaceful assembly. We advocate for human rights and equal opportunities for all. We know that positive and collective voices impact change. We ask for hearing, healing and strength to unite our Chicagoland community and other cities across the nation to emerge above this moment in our history. We know that hearing requires ...
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CHICAGO (May 28, 2020)— Association Forum and PCMA are pleased to announce an education partnership. With over 7,500 members and a global audience of over 50,000, PCMA is the world’s largest network of business events strategists. Association Forum will leverage its voice in the Chicagoland area and beyond to promote PCMA’s Digital Event Strategist (DES) certification and Digital Events Fast Track course to its members. A unique code will allow Association Forum’s members to purchase the products at the PCMA member rate. “Training in digital events is more relevant now than ever before,” said Michelle Mason, president and CEO of Association Forum. “Our ...
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By Paul Bergeron Here’s a checklist of a few dozen questions and critical things meeting planners and their CEOs might not have considered when looking to plan their first virtual meetings, based on comments from a veteran Assn meeting planner. Caution: There’s not a lot of uplifting points made on this list. Rather, it’s a sober dose of reality. ZOOM FATIGUE Right now, it’s all-aboard for most associations when it comes to holding a virtual meeting now, but what tolerance will your members have for laptop-based communications such as Zoom a month from now, much less in the fall or by year’s end? When does Zoom fatigue set in? It’s only mid-April ...
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By Jeff De Cagna FRSA FASAE, Executive Advisor, Foresight First LLC Join Jeff for his webinar, "Developing Your Association's COVID-19 Scenarios of the Future," on Wednesday, May 6 from 2-3:30 p.m. CDT. Please use this link to learn more and to register. The webinar is free for Association Forum members and $39 for non-members. As association decision-makers strive to navigate the most serious disruption of our lifetimes, there is a crucial question they must ask: how can we better understand, anticipate, and prepare for a full range of plausible futures created by the COVID-19 pandemic? The most generative answer is the development of provocative ...
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The COVID-19 crisis is unusual. It is extraordinary, heartbreaking, unsettling and worrisome. It is also an opportunity for the meetings and travel industry to show the world why we are duty-bound to our core mission. During this time we have attended more virtual meetings than ever before. I have been so impressed with organizations like Association Forum, PCMA, MPI and more who have swiftly adapted to correspond, present vital information and continue to do what is most important -- bring us together. We are very fortunate as a community to have virtual meetings. They allow us to extend what is necessary while reinforcing why we need to get together once ...
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CHICAGO (April 17, 2020) — Association Forum and the Illinois Society of Association Executives (ISAE) are pleased to announce their strategic partnership. Through a new agreement, ISAE’s more than 400 members will now receive Forum Plus membership. “This partnership brings together the two pre-eminent organizations representing association professionals across the State of Illinois and Chicagoland,” said Sara Decatoire, executive director of ISAE. “It also provides access to diversified thought leadership, allowing for greater innovation and education for all of our members. State and federal advocacy efforts will be enhanced by the increased number of ...
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Working from home this past month has given our team the opportunity to fine tune our techniques and workspaces, so we wanted to take a second to share some things we’ve discovered. We also encourage you to share your own tips in the comments section below. Sabrina Adams Membership Coordinator Have a designated workspace. I found that separating my workspace from my living space allows me to turn off my working brain when the day is over. Caryn Adolph Manager to the Executive Office Spending long periods looking at computer, phone, or tablet screens can strain the eyes. Using the 20-20-20 rule can help to prevent this problem. The rule says that ...
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Why Are Associations Important Right Now? By Amy Thomasson, Marketing Director, Congress of Neurological Surgeons Currently, association management professionals are reinventing, repurposing, and redefining our products, services, roles, and organizations in the midst of uncertainty. Changing times are trying times, and it can be difficult to find positivity in a pandemic. Personally, when facing chaos and confusion, I find that leaning into my ‘why’ or purpose provides me with clarity. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you ...
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March 19, 2020 Contact: Danny Chun 847-736-0108,  dchun@team-iha.org ILLINOIS HOSPITALS ISSUE PLEA FOR MEDICAL SUPPLIES N95 Masks Critically Needed to Protect Healthcare Workers As They Care for COVID-19 Patients Naperville and Springfield – The Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA) today issued a plea to the leaders of associations for the construction industry, dentists, veterinarians, and other groups that may be able to help the state’s more than 200 hospitals protect their healthcare workers as they care for COVID-19 patients. IHA is asking the organizations to donate face masks or N95s to their local hospitals. “Hospitals ...
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By Bob Moore, CAE, Executive Director, American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians Hi all, I've replied to some posts and have received a few questions so I pieced together how we at the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians launched our virtual conference this week. It was to start 3/18 in New Orleans with record registration just over 2,000. We held out until 3/11, but had no choice but to cancel given the escalation of COVID-19. Seeing that COVID-19 was going to affect our on-site attendance we started talking about ways to have a hybrid event a week or so before we canceled. This helped give us a running start when we canceled the in-person ...
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Association Forum takes the health and wellness of our professional community very seriously. Based on current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to halt gatherings of over 50 people , the following Association Forum events have been postponed and/or moved to a virtual format: All SIGs and Conversation Circles will be held as webinars. We will send registrants login information prior to these events. March 25- CEO Exchange will be held as a webinar. We will send registrants login information prior to the event. March 31- SmartTech Conference® 2020 has been postponed. We will keep members informed when a new date is determined. ...
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Everyone can do their part to limit the risk of exposure to the Coronavirus. Everyday preventive actions can help keep people from getting and/or spreading the virus. Stay home when you are sick. Stay home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use at least a 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects. Employers also play a key role by preparing for various elements that may affect ...
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  Take time to understand each department’s tasks and the timeframe. What reports are they preparing, for whom and when?   Each staff member who is receiving help should list the tasks they get help with.   Have your AMS expert sit down with each member of staff to review how they provide the help.     Note:  The association power-user may feel threated about this exercise, so leaders must reassure the AMS expert that they won’t lose their job. This exercise is about keeping the association from struggling during a long absence.   The staff and the power user should walk through the exercise, getting screen ...
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Comments from Simona Rollinson, Chief Technology Officer, ISACA: No matter an organization’s size or level of sophistication, its level of maturity in business continuity and disaster recovery will vary. However, one thing that applies to all organizations is that the best time for sound planning is before a crisis develops. I can never stress enough the importance of planning for a pandemic, cybersecurity breach or any other major incident. Technology can be a great equalizer and provide enterprises with the ability to conduct business remotely. This is the good news. The bad news is that this is not the time to start setting up the remote access infrastructure ...
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With the impact the Coronavirus is currently having on the travel industry, Association Forum would like to share the following informational articles to keep our members informed.   How Coronavirus Is Affecting a Meeting Near You , Smart Meetings Answers to Travelers’ Questions About the Coronavirus , The New York Times Coronavirus: Morgan Stanley’s Hong Kong summit goes virtual amid virus fears — as it happened , Financial Times Poll: Coronavirus fears create travel planning chaos , SF Gate Some Japan investors worry as coronavirus puts question-mark over Tokyo Olympics , Reuters Smartphone convention nixed over coronavirus fears hits ...
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CHICAGO (FEB. 19, 2020)— Association Forum’s Awards & Scholarship Committee met earlier this month to review and judge award applications for five of the association’s most prestigious awards. The following honorees will be recognized at Association Forum’s Honors Gala on June, 18, 2020 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown-Magnificent Mile. “We are very excited to acknowledge these honorees,” said Association Forum President and CEO Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE. Each year, the association community gathers at Association Forum’s Honors Gala to celebrate the profession and honor the leaders who strengthen it. The Honors Gala supports the Association Forum ...
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