June 6-8, 2018
Yakima Convention Center
10 N 8th St, Yakima, WA
(509) 575-6062



The WSAE Annual Convention is the premiere networking and educational event of the year for Washington association community.  Association executives and industry suppliers gather formally and informally, to discuss the most important trends and traditions in association management.  Speakers with broad and diverse backgrounds travel from near and far to participate and share their expertise and inspiration.

Attend the WSAE Annual Convention for thought provoking and inspirational experiences that carry long lasting value this year and well beyond.

Total CAE credits 12.25  (Wednesday = 4; Thursday = 5.25; Friday = 3)

Registration Options 

Pre-Convention Deep Dive

  • Deep Dive & Convention member combined special rate is $524/Non-member rate $704 -  After 4/26 add $52
  • Deep Dive member $149/Non-member rate $199 - After 4/26 add $25 

Convention Registration Options

Full Convention registration includes Wednesday welcome reception, Thursday continental breakfast, lunch and dinner; Friday brunch.

  • Full Convention Member $425 /Non-member rate $575 - after 4/26 add $42
  • Full Convention Member - 2nd person from same organization $360 

One Day options

  • Thursday Only (Includes Thursday breakfast, lunch & dinner) $315 
  • Friday Only (Includes Friday breakfast & lunch) $179 

Additional Ticket options: Must be accompanying a registered attendee

  • Wednesday reception/additional ticket: $24 
  • Thursday dinner/additional ticket: $48
Wednesday, June 6, 2018 Thursday, June 7, 2018 Friday, June 8, 2018
9:00 am tentative start: Golf Session
Apple Tree Golf Course 
7:50 am - 8:30 am: Continental Breakfast Breakfast on your own/Coffee service provided.
12:00 pm - 4:30 pm: Pre-convention Deep Dive, at Treveri Cellars 8:30 am - 9:50 am: Opening Keynote 8:00: am - 12:00 pm: Meydenbauer Meeting Lounge Open
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm: Past President & Honorary Member Social 9:00: am - 4:00 pm: Meydenbauer Meeting Lounge Open 8:30 am - 9:30 am: Sessions
6:00 pm - 6:30 pm: First Timers Welcome/Executives 10:00 am - 11:00 am: Sessions 9:50 am - 10:50 am: Sessions
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm: Welcome Reception 11:15 am - 12:15 pm: Sessions 10:50 am - 12:30 pm: Business Brunch/Closing Keynote
8:30 GEMS photo opp 12:15 am: Lunch & Awards Program  
8:30 pm - 10:00 pm: After Hours! 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm Sessions  
  2:45 pm - 3:45 pm Sessions  
  3:50 pm - 4:50 pm Bunco mixer  
  4:30 pm Silent Auction closes  
  5:30 pm Board buses  
  5:50 pm Buses depart for off-site dinner  
  6:30 pm Dinner & private concert at Gilbert Cellars Winery at the Hackett Ranch  
  9:00 pm Arrive Yakima Convention Center  

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

12:00 pm - 4:30 pm: Pre-Convention Deep Dive
Located at Treveri Cellars
Lunch included

Harnessing the Trust Edge: How Top Leaders Gain Faster Results & Grow Deeper Relationships
Bev Parnell, MS Edu
Leadership Development Consultant

Among all the attributes of the greatest leaders of our time, one stands above the rest: They are all highly trusted. You can have a compelling vision, rock-solid strategy, excellent communication skills, innovative insight, and a skilled team, but if people don’t trust you, you will never get the results you want. Leaders who inspire trust garner better output, morale, retention, innovation, loyalty, and revenue. Mistrust fosters skepticism, frustration, low productivity, lost opportunity, and turnover. Trust affects a leader’s impact and the company’s bottom line more than any other single thing. In this session you’ll become equipped with evidence-based, practical strategies to forego the time–killing, bureaucratic check–and–balance processes so often deployed in lieu of actual trust.

5:30 pm - 6:30 pm: President Social

6:00 pm - 6:30 pm: First Timers

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm Welcome Reception

8:30 pm - late - After Hours Post Reception

Thursday, June 7, 2017
8:30 am – 9:50 am

Opening Keynote

One More Thing and I'll Explode! - Managing Change
Jean Steel
Happy People Win

Change is stressful, no question. But it is as unavoidable as death and taxes, so we might as well embrace it. In this refreshing workshop, participants are led through the common responses to change, what change can mean, and the various affects it can have in our homes, at work, and in our relationships. Jean Steel is well prepared for this topic, having led a life with more change in it than most. She asks us to take care of ourselves, to reframe our thinking, to make strong commitments, and to see the opportunities in all the changes of our lives. Find out how the one-minute vacation and the “tombstone technique” can, well, change the way you think about change.

Thursday, June 7, 2018
10:00 am – 11:00 am

Taming the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Bev Parnell, MS Edu
Leadership Development Consultant

Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness and Stonewalling—the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse can wreak havoc in your work life! Do these words sound familiar? Do you find yourself or team stuck in patterns that leave you exhausted, frustrated or puzzled? Learn to use down-to-earth antidotes to guard against the “cost of incivility” to stop these Four Horsemen- Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness and Stonewalling--in their tracks. What’s in it for you?  Targeted strategies to more effectively influence partnerships, teamwork, engagement and service with world-class results.

The BlindSpot Zone – The hidden blind spots association executives and industry suppliers need to know about to lead from influence, not position.
Kevin McCarthy
Making Better Happen

If you have ever said to yourself, “I didn’t see that coming!” then you have already experienced The BlindSpot Zone™!  Kevin McCarthy spent 33 months in a federal prison for a crime he didn’t knowingly commit… because he had blind spots? What are your blind spots doing to you? In Kevin’s presentation, you will discover how blind spots can place a lid on your influence, innovation and creativity.

Thursday, June 7, 2018
11:15 am – 12:15 pm

Coming Up for Air: Learning to Manage Stress and Lengthen Your Life!
Jean Steel
Happy People Win

It’s true: these days stress is blamed for everything from cancer to the common cold. But this modern villain has earned its reputation. And unless we learn to manage it, we’ll live our shortened lives with our fists and our teeth clenched. In this important address, Jean discusses the misleading myths of stress, and why you need to care.


Driving Results Through Employee Engagement
Tom Tomasevic, MBA
T2 Team LLC

Todays’ executives have incredible challenges – driving and delivering results against ever-increasing competition, the speed of business, and decreasing profit margins. The most difficult area to master is human capital engagement, yet everything depends on it. Learn why driving Employ Engagement is a must in today's economy (statistics); how to achieve and maintain high Employee Engagement through employee analytics; and why long-term employee engagement starts with smart hiring

12:15 pm - 1:30 pm Lunch & Awards Program

Thursday, June 7, 2018
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Creating Win/Win Solutions
Learn How to Become a CAE


Thursday, June 7, 2018
2:45 pm – 3:45 pm

Leading a Culture of Trust & Compassion
Danna Beal
International Speaker, Leadership Coach & Author

Learn the secrets of great leaders who engage, inspire and energize those they lead. Learn the path for creating a culture of trust and cooperation, where individuals work at their highest potential.  Discover the essential steps leading to open and authentic communication. Gain insights to your own leadership style and how to be an authentically empowered leader who builds teamwork instead of internal competition. Be the leader who helps everyone rise together, creating motivation and synergy.  Find your own inner courage, wisdom and genuine confidence to be a powerful leader who creates an extraordinary workplace.

Plan the Work, Work the Plan
Brenda Orffer
Washington Health Care Association

Brenda Orffer will be joined by meeting planning and hospitality professionals to provide insight on the various aspects of meeting planning. This hour will be filled with ideas, inspiration, validation, and fun!

Meeting planning involves a variety of venues, logistics, deliverables, and people, and meeting planners learn to juggle all of the moving parts to create a seamless experience for attendees.  Whether you are planning a meeting for five or five thousand, there are certain areas of planning and preparation that are the same. Every meeting needs a budget, a venue, a schedule, an agenda, possibly food, beverage, audio/visual equipment, and most certainly people. During this session, learn about the major aspects of meeting planning, how to approach each aspect, and ways to ensure that all the details are covered. We will also discuss what happens when the unthinkable or disaster happens – how can the meeting planner remain cool as a cucumber and ensure attendees still have an amazing experience.

3:50 pm - 4:50 pm


5:50 pm - 10:00 pm

Dinner & private concert at Gilbert Cellars Winery at the Hackett Ranch

Friday, June 8, 2018
8:30 am - 9:30 am

Level-Up Your Leadership: What We Can Learn from the Science of Game Design
Scott Crabtree
Happy Brain Science 

To be successful, leaders must provide interaction and fun to engage and retain stakeholders. Learn how to ‘gamify’ your organization so your people have more fun, deliver better results, and see you and your association as highly engaging. Learn from the masters of engagement – game developers!  If you don't feel the pull of video games, someone near you does. Over 155 million players play, and they spend over $15 billion each year, and that's just in the USA!

The Art of Running More Effective, Efficient and Engaging Meetings
Arden Clise
Clise Etiquette

Do you feel frustrated by how much time you spend in meetings; many of which are not productive? Would you like to stop having your meetings run off course? In this fun and interactive workshop, you’ll discover how to facilitate and participate in gatherings that actually accomplish something. You’ll walk away with tangible skills to make your meetings effective, productive and maybe even fun.

Friday, June 8, 2018
9:50 am - 10:50 am

Collaboration through Candid Conversation: The Science of Difficult Dialogue
Scott Crabtree
Happy Brain Science 

This session will help you collaborate better by more candidly conducting difficult conversations.  You will reflect on how you relate to conflict, your organization’s culture around conflict, and how conflict might be useful. See how a healthy mix of assertion and cooperation leads to true collaboration. Learn how emotional intelligence can help anyone better navigate difficult conversations. You will leave with an improved ability to make the best of any conflict and find your way to better collaboration.

The Best Success Strategy for 21st Century Organizations
Donna Cameron, CAE

There’s a business strategy that will increase annual profits by 16%, enhance employee performance by 20%, and reduce employee turnover by 87%. That same strategy will help businesses land new clients and associations attract new members. It’s been shown to significantly improve customer/member service, increase employee engagement, and reduce absences, as well as create an atmosphere where learning, collaboration, and innovation flourish.   The strategy is kindness.  Once viewed as an optional workplace behavior, abundant recent research has shown the very opposite to be true. Businesses with kind cultures enjoy greater success, stability, and profitability.

Friday, June 8, 2018
10:50 a.m. – 12:00 pm    

Brunch & Closing Keynote

There’s a Better Way to Get to Great
Dean Savoca
Savoca Performance Group

In the frenetic pace of the associations industry, personal drive and ambition are vital to success. Type A’s thrive.  Being indispensable is tantamount to being great.  But when you find yourself frantic, distracted and overwhelmed instead of staying grounded, focused and fulfilled, you may have reached a tipping point that can be counterproductive to your success.  You may have an outcome addiction – the “doing more gets you more” mindset, which can blind you to your own intuition and insight, and actually inhibit your productivity.  There is a better way.

How to Reserve Your Room 

Hilton Garden Inn: Book by April 20, 2018 to reserve your room!
Group Code: WA Society of Association Executives
Address: 401 E Yakima Ave, Yakima, WA 98901
Phone:(509) 454-1111
$149 Single/Double (King and Double Queen) +11.2% tax, and $2.00 tourism assessment fee per room, per night
Check in is 3:00 pm.  Check out is 12:00 pm.
Parking is complimentary for reservations made within the block.
book online

Holiday Inn: Book by May 2, 2018 to reserve your room!  
Group Code:WSAE 2018
Address: 802 E Yakima Ave, Yakima, WA 98901
Phone: (509) 494-7000
$134 +11.2% tax, and $2.00 tourism assessment fee per room, per night
Breakfast is not included.  
Check in is 3:00 pm.  Check out is 11:00 am.
Cancellation policy: Individual reservations may be cancelled 24 hours prior to day of arrival.
book online

2018 Convention Committee 

Brenda Orffer, Washington Health Care Association, CHAIR
Jeff Bowe, Experience Olympia & Beyond
Brynn Kloster, Visit Yakima
Shannon Long, Visit Spokane
Susan Renner, Skamania Lodge
Marcy Salo, Sun Mountain Lodge
Connie Thorpe, Red Lion Jansen Beach