2023 WSAE Annual Convention

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Enjoy our Convention Highlight Video
June 7-9, 2023

The WSAE Annual Convention is the premier networking and educational event of the year for Washington association community.





 Wednesday June 7, 2023

11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Deep Dive, Arel Moodie, sponsored by Seattle Convention Center
3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Self guided/partially interpreted tour of Chief Seattle's grave site and the Suquamish Museum, sponsored by Visit Kitsap Peninsula
5:00 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. AMC Forum (cancelled)
6:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. First Timers Reception, sponsored by Yakima Valley Tourism
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Welcome Reception, sponsored by Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort
8:00 p.m. - late - After Hours

Thursday June 8, 2023

7:30 a.m. - 8:15 a.m. Breakfast, coffee and conversation - hosted table topics
8:15 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. Opening Plenary, Marli Williams, sponsored by Expore Seattle Southside
9:15 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Break & Silent Auction opens
9:45 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Plenary, Arel Moodie
11:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Break
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. WSAE Business Meeting & Awards, sponsored by Tulalip Resort Casino
12:30 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. Break 
12:45 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Sessions (2) See speakers below
2:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Break
2:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m  Plenary, Dan Irvin, sponsored by Travel Tacoma
3:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Break
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Plenary, Dr. Dan Diamond
5:00 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.Team Building
6:15 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Dinner and auction closing
8:15 p.m. - late p.m. After hours on your own

Friday June 9, 2023

7:30 .a.m. - 8:15 a.m. Breakfast, bag check and walkabout
8:15 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Plenary, Tamara Ghandour, sponsored by Visit Tri-Cities
9:45 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Break
10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Sessions (2)
11:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Break
11:30 a.m. - 12: 15 p.m. Closing Plenary, Tamara Ghandour & Marli Williams


Attendees earn a total of 3 CAE credits for the Leadership Deep Dive session and 8 CAE credits for the Convention.

Arel Moodie, Brooklyn, New York

Pre-Convention 4 hour Deep Dive - additional registration required.
11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Sponsored by Seattle Convention Center

How to Lead At Each Development Stage of Your Team: Unlocking the Power of Each Employee Stage of Development at Work

This pre-convention deep dive explains the stages adults develop through life and how each stage has its own unique characteristics, qualities, skill sets, fears, and motivators, helping you to better manage the messiness of leadership. By understanding the stage of development your team is in, you can better lead them and understand them. This work can help unite us based on who we are and appreciate those around us.

All Conference Welcome Reception
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., Wednesday June 7, 2023
Location: Whale Hall
Join this all conference gathering to re-connect and explore our newest GEM members. Pick up your name badge and the latest schedule updates and enjoy a festive welcome to convention. A variety of appetizers featuring the chef's preferences, wine, beer and non-alcohol options will be provided.

Join us after 8:00 p.m. at the fire pit waterside of the resort for marshmellows and entertainment!

Marli Williams, Portland, Oregon

Thursday June 8, 8:30 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
Sponsored by Explore Seattle Southside

How to Confidently Connect with Anyone 

This interactive opening keynote presentation is designed to engage the audience in a meaningful community building experience that helps them connect with each other in a fun and playful way. They will learn the 3 keys to be able to confidently connect with anyone at the conference and in every area of their lives. The audience will kick off their day feeling energized and ready to engage, connect, learn and grow into even better leaders than they already are. 

Friday June 9, 12:00 p.m. - 12:15 p.m.

The One Degree Shift 

This closing interactive keynote is designed to help the audience integrate what they learned at the event so that they can apply what they learned to their life and work when they leave. Through a series of prompts and activities, participants will get clear on the one action they will take and will walk away with support and accountability to make that a reality. 

Marli Williams is an international keynote speaker, play activist, and joy instigator who has worked with organizations such as Nike, United Way, Doordash, along with many colleges and schools across the United States. She first fell in love with transformational leadership as a camp counselor when she was 19 years old. After getting two degrees and 15 years of leadership training, Marli decided to give herself permission to be the “Professional Camp Counselor” she knew she was born to be. Now she helps incredible people and organizations stop waiting for permission and start taking bold action to be the leaders and changemakers they’ve always wanted to be through the power of play and cultivating joy everyday. She loves helping people go from stuck to STOKED and actually created her own deck of inspirational messages called StokeQuotes™ which was then followed by The Connect Deck™ to inspire more meaningful conversations. Marli is also the founder and director of Camp YES!™, a transformational summer camp experience for women. Her ultimate mission in the world is to help others say YES to themselves and their big crazy dreams (while having fun doing it!) To learn more about Marli’s work go to www.marliwilliams.com or www.camp-yes.com and follow her on Instagram @marliwilliams

Arel Moodie, Brooklyn, New York

Thursday June 8 Keynote 9:45 - 11:15 a.m. 

Creating the Ultimate Work Environment: Unlocking Your Potential at Each Stage of Adult Development

Every one of your individual team members is currently undergoing a separate and distinct stage of their adult development. As a leader, your ability to decipher and empathize with the specificities and intricacies of these stages will help you and your team understand how each individual reacts to the world around them and how these reactions drive every action we take professionally. The work of understanding these stages of Adult Development will create a roadmap for your own growth and for those around you as each stage comes with common pitfalls and traps to avoid, but also opportunities to utilize. Understanding these stages will assist in creating a culture of transparency which will inevitably lead to deeper relationships and a higher quality of collaboration organization-wide.

Arel Moodie is known as a “human development investigator” who has extensively studied the intricacies of human dynamics and relationships. He is a best-selling author who has spoken to over 750,000 people throughout 48 states and 5 countries. He is one of the expert hosts on the Disney+ show Family Reboot. He has been invited to speak at the White House twice and on the TEDx stage three times. He has been featured in The New York Times, Inc. Magazine, Essence, USA Today, Forbes, Black Enterprise, Huffington Post, and has been a contributor to the television program The Doctors. He shares the fascinating research on how to use Adult Development Theory to dramatically change how you can effectively build connections with others, understand yourself more deeply, and positively influence those around you. This information works and is proven. Adult Development Theory is based on 60 years of research and hundreds of thousands of data points. Arel grew up in the Projects of Brooklyn, NY, and knows firsthand the power of Community Action Agencies and how they can change lives, programs like yours changed his!


Dan Irvin, M.A.Ed, Dallas-Fort Worth

Thursday, June 8, 2:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

3 Habits of Consciously Intentional Leaders

Being intentional means setting a success framework that packs a serious punch in terms of keeping you and your team motivated and structured. The problem is, most of us fall short in that mission. In this presentation, Dan speaks to leaders looking to sharpen their talents and be more intentional. Relatable insights include how to keep distractions from taking center stage, how to recognize when the same way of doing things doesn’t cut it anymore, and how to establish the SMARTEST goals. Create an ideal roadmap for a focused week.

In this session you will learn how to:

  • Stop wasting time and start planning to do more of the right things versus more things.
  • Gain clarity around goal planning, progress, and achievement using Dan’s SMARTEST framework.
  • Know, remind, write down, and live your priorities in your life to set daily success indicators that result in immediate success!

Dan Irvin is an experienced leader in sales, operations, and building peak performance teams. For over a decade, Dan Irvin has brought proven excellence, experience, and commitment to leadership roles within nationally positioned organizations. Through his dynamic emphasis on sustainable enterprise growth through disciplined focus on leadership development and process efficiencies, Dan has created award-winning results in sales revenue, team growth, employee retention, and internal and external customer relations.


Dan Diamond,  Bremerton, Washington

Thursday, June 8, 3:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Resilience, Purpose, and Innovation: The Keys to Making a Difference When it Matters Most

In this dynamic session, Dr. Dan Diamond, an international disaster physician, will share his proven strategies for thriving in high-stakes environments. Drawing on his extensive experience, Dr. Diamond will reveal how to leverage resilience, purpose, and innovation to overcome obstacles and make a meaningful difference, even in the most challenging circumstances. With unforgettable stories, practical insights, and hands-on tools, you'll discover how to break through barriers and get stuff done. Whether you're part of an association team or hosting big events, this session will equip you with valuable insights and strategies to excel when it matters most.

In this session you will learn how to:

  • Feel connected again!
  • Reconnect to your purpose.
  • Describe a four step strategy to innovate under pressure.
  • Apply the 5-I Appreciative Inquiry strategy to generate some practical solutions to an current issue you're facing (before you leave the room!)

Dr. Dan Diamond is a distinguished physician, speaker, facilitator, and disaster response leader renowned for his ability to create transformational
learning experiences. He works with corporate healthcare, and ministry leaders who aspire to make a difference, empowering them with practical trench-
tested tools that work. Following Hurricane Katrina, he played a strategic role as Director of the Mass Casualty Triage Unit at the New Orleans Convention Center and he has responded to some of the greatest natural disasters of our times. He is recognized as an expert in how to lead high performing, resilient teams.

Tamara Ghandour, Denver, Colorado

Friday, June 9, 8:15 a.m. - 9:45 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Moving at the Speed of Innovation: How to navigate change and drive innovation in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world.

Today's marketplace demands razor edge thinking and nimble responses to change. Strategies change frequently, businesses rise and fall overnight, and leaders adept at thinking on their feet are best positioned to leverage change. Yesterday’s success playbook will no longer suffice to deal with the new pressures, challenges and urgency facing association leaders today. Today, you, and your teams, need to know how to navigate uncharted waters and  pivot fast to meet the new demands and be inspired to bring out your best effort and focus, despite the disruptions and distractions. In this high-energy, high-value session, Tamara will show you how to be the confident Everyday Innovator that navigates forward, finds break-through opportunities and leads strong. Through her pioneering work in human-centered innovation, Tamara will show you how to have the confidence and the tools to step up and meet the demands of today’s “next normal.” 

In this session you will learn how to:

  • Leverage your unique style of innovation to be the strong leader your team, members, and community needs to navigate uncertainty with vision and clarity.
  • Overcome your three major internal resistors to change, minimizing the resistance, stress and push-back that keeps teams spinning in place and unable navigate change.
  • Build and lead a high-performing team of innovators that solve challenges and unearth new opportunities at the speed the marketplace requires.
  • Discover the keys to influencing others, having a strong voice and getting buy-in for your ideas.

Tamara Ghandour: The impact of Tamara’s break-through work on human- centric innovation can be seen in individuals, teams, and organizations across the globe. As the creator of the proprietary Innovation Quotient Edge (IQE) assessment, host of the popular business podcast – Inside LaunchStreet, and the president of LaunchStreet Consultancy, Tamara has helped thousands gain the competitive edge by unlocking the power of innovation. With 25 plus years of business experience, Tamara knows what it takes to truly drive innovation and growth in an ever-changing marketplace.

Interactive Case Study on Alcohol and the Association: Rethinking the role of alcohol at events

DeAnn Hartman, Olympia, Washington

Recently, the popularity of occasions like Dry January and Sober October has increased. Every so often, it's a good idea to take a step back and consider your relationship with alcohol. When did your organization last consider the part alcohol plays in its events? The role of alcohol in events will be examined in this interactive workshop. To encourage association professionals to recognize the extent to which the relationship of alcohol and events are driven by tradition, inertia and perceived societal expectations. To encourage a conscious evaluation of the appropriate role of alcohol at an event in order to best achieve the goals and mission of the association.

In this session you will learn how to:

  • Embrace a deliberate decision making process for all aspects of association events.
  • Frame an issue and explore creative alternatives based on efficiency, not morality.
  • Identify ways to partner with venues to provide win/win solutions if "traditional" models are disrupted.

Associating for Success: A Panel Discussion on the Future of the Association Events Industry


Dennis Galloway, CMP, Four Points by Sheraton Seattle Airport South at Aimbridge Hospitality
Alix Mendoca, Prestige Global Meeting Source
Melia Preedy, Foster Garvey PC, Attorney, Hospitality Law
K'ai Roberts FuMagnus Media Group Video Production
Angela Strecker, Blue Wing Events

This dynamic and engaging exploration of the trends, challenges, and opportunities shaping the events industry in the years ahead is led by industry experts, including intermediary, event planning, hospitality law, hotel, and audio visual. 

In this session you will learn how to:

  • Identify emerging trends and best practices in the association events industry, and apply them to your own events.
  • Navigate the challenges and opportunities of the association events industry, and position your organization for success in the years ahead.
  • Gain insights from a panel of industry experts with diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and apply their insights to your own events and organizations.

Unlocking Collective Genius: Harnessing the Power of the Room for Innovation

Facilitator: Dr. Dan Diamond, MD

Building on the belief we are all creative everyday innovators, this session is dedicated to learning from the expertise in the room. Through interactive facilitated discussions, participants will tap into the collective knowledge and lived experiences of our peers. We will cover techniques for creating a safe and inclusive environment that encourages open dialogue, active listening, and unparalled sharing. 

In this session you will learn how to:

  • Mine the lived wisdom in the room
  • Add to your network 
  • Realize your innovative strengths

Ask the Experts: A Discussion on Association Finance, Nonproft Law, and Ethics


Mitch Hansen, Clark Nuber
Jacob Ferrari, Apex Law Group, PLLC

This session offers a unique opportunity for association professionals to seek advice and solutions from experts in the fields association finance and nonproft law to ensure highest standards of governance and accountabilty. Clark Nuber is an award-winning Certified Public Accounting firm located in the Seattle Metro Area. Regarded as one of the top 100 accounting firms by Accounting Today and Inside Public Accounting, Clark Nuber serves a broad range of clients with operations throughout the world. Apex Law Group empowers nonprofit organizations with tailored legal tools to make an impact in their community. Apex services empower clients to remain both mission focused and legally compliant.

In this session you will learn:

  • What you need to know about navigating association financial opportunities, responsibilities and reporting requirements.
  • What you need to know about the Washington State 2022 Nonprofit Law and process changes.
  • How responsible boards approach ethical finance or governance challenges.

Thank you to our Convention Planning Teams

Convention Task Force
Monette Anderson, CAE, Washington Society of CPAs
Amy Ohlinger, AMI
Angela Strecker, Blue Wing Events
Lara Watkins, Visit Tri-Cities

Education Committee
Tiina Freeman, CAE, Northwest Wall & Ceiling Bureau | Chair
Jeffrey Wilcox, Third Sector Company

Located a short ferry ride from Seattle on the Kitsap Peninsula, Clearwater Casino Resort offers everything you need for a getaway, conference, wedding, golf tournament and more.

Clearwater is the only waterfront casino resort in the Seattle area where you’ll find a wide array of luxurious amenities. We feature a 183 room Hotel-Resort, relaxing spa, high tech meeting spaces, five restaurants, four bars entertainment, 18 hole golf course and the excitement of casino nightlife that offers table games, slots, keno and much more.

In keeping with the vision of the Suquamish people and Chief Seattle, the resort and surrounding area celebrate Northwest Native American culture and tradition. Salish artwork and historical images are featured throughout the property where guests can learn about the distinct history and culture of the Suquamish Tribe.

The Suquamish Tribe – People of the Clear Salt Water

The Suquamish people have lived along the shores of the Kitsap Peninsula for more than ten thousand years. Taking their name from the word for “clear salt water,” Suquamish ancestors thrived by harvesting salmon, clams and other natural foods. Their robust culture is rich with art, dance, song, ceremony and ritual.

[For more information, please visit the Suquamish Tribe website.]