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Operation competencies essential to managing an association

A. Financial Management

  1. Oversee financial and business planning to achieve the organization’s strategic objectives and mission.
  2. Implement systems, metrics, and tools to monitor, manage, and report financial performance and ensure compliance with laws and regulations.
  3. Communicate clear and accurate financial information to leadership and relevant stakeholders to support decision making and ensure transparency.
  4. Manage revenue, investment, and reserve policies to protect and enhance the financial security of the organization.
  5. Apply generally accepted accounting principles for independent review or audit of the organization's finances.
  6. Anticipate the impact of internal and external factors to guide financial planning and policies.
  7. Develop financial modeling to inform decision making and evaluate performance.

B. Human Resources

  1. Foster a safe and accessible workplace through compliance with rules and regulations and development of policies and procedures.
  2. Delineate job roles and responsibilities with clear position descriptions, policies, and procedures.
  3. Ensure fair and equitable treatment of staff and mitigate exposure to risk through compliance with applicable law and regulations in recruiting, hiring, disciplinary, and termination practices.
  4. Evaluate employees using a documented process to support teamwork,performance, growth, and professional development.
  5. Maintain an up-to-date employee handbook to articulate the organization’s policies, values, and expectations and comply with applicable employment laws and regulations.
  6. Ensure diversity, inclusion, and equity are integrated into policies, practices, and culture.

C. Legal Oversight and Risk Mitigation

  1. Manage the organization in compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
  2. Obtain appropriate insurance to protect the organization’s reputation and assets.
  3. Maintain data privacy and security consistent with current law and best practices.
  4. Protect the organization’s intellectual property.
  5. Protect human, technological, and physical assets with an emergency and business continuity plan.

D. Infrastructure and Technology

  1. Align facilities, equipment, and technology with organizational objectives and the requirements of a changing workplace environment.
  2. Determine the organization's ongoing technology strategy.
  3. Ensure technology solutions are appropriate, used effectively, and aligned with organizational goals. 
  4. Establish policies and procedures to ensure appropriate use of the organization's technology assets.

E. Vendor Relations

  1. Assess the organization’s needs for products and services.
  2. Develop selection and evaluation criteria for potential vendors.
  3. Implement objective processes for Requests for Proposals.
  4. Implement contracting procedures that ensure the organization's expectations, interests, and assets are protected.
  5. Enforce contractual compliance.

View entire content of knowledge competencies as outlined in the CAE exam.


Most people will need these New Skills to navigate the changing business evironment.

Archive: Art of Operations

Thursday February 1, 2024

The Art of Financial Management
Mitch Hansen, Clark Nuber
Bob Heck, Kiley-Juergens Wealth Management
Value: 2.5 CAE credits 

This workshop is designed for finance professionals, association executives, and board members seeking an understanding of the financial intricacies specific to associations. Don't miss this opportunity to enhance your financial acumen and empower your association with sound financial management practices. Join us to navigate the financial waters with confidence!

Learning Objectives (or take-aways):

  1.  Review accounting issues unique to associations.

  2. Fund Accounting for Associations: Understand the nuances of fund accounting specific to associations, including the management of restricted and unrestricted funds.

  3. Compliance and Regulatory Requirements: Gain insights into the regulatory framework governing associations and learn how to stay in compliance with reporting standards and legal obligations.

Mitch Hansen, CPA, CMA, CFE, CIA 
Mitch is a long time member and friend to WSAE. He and others from Clark Number regularly respond to invitations to share their expertise with our members. Fun Fact: Mitch was named after a comic character in MAD Magazine. He’s a hockey fanatic and a member of four MINI Cooper Clubs. He and the family also enjoy sea kayaking. You can imagine Mitch is a fun guy to have around the office. He keeps the atmosphere upbeat while maintaining a key role in the firm’s audit practice. As a shareholder, Mitch works primarily with not-for-profit and governmental organizations assisting them with fundraising issues, audits for federally funded programs, and improving operations with best practice, compliance, and internal control consulting. His previous experience as an auditor for the U.S. Department of Commerce and in the accounting department at Yellowstone National Park helped to create an exceptional and well-rounded knowledge base.

Bob Heck, MBA, CFP®
Bob is a Co-Owner/Wealth Advisor at Kiley Juergens Wealth Management, LLC and independent SEC regulated Registered Investment Advisor. He earned his BA from Willamette University and, while serving as Assistant Director of Annual Giving, earned his MBA from Willamette’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management. He has also achieved the designation of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. At Kiley Juergens Wealth Management, Bob leads the non-profit area of the practice, he also advises employer-sponsored retirement plans and works with individual clients. As a firm, Kiley Juergens is the investment advisor to nearly 60 non-profit organizations. He is currently serving as the President of the Willamette University Alumni Association and is a University Trustee. Additionally, he serves on the board of Olympia’s Hands On Children’s Museum where he leads the board advocacy efforts. 

Thursday September 14, 2023

Navigating AI's Impact on Professional Membership Organizations
Brit Kramer, CAE 
Red Barn Communications
Value: 2 CAE credits 

In an era where Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming industries at an unprecedented pace, the realm of professional membership organizations is no exception. The "Navigating AI's Impact on Professional Membership Organizations" workshop is an interactive event that brings together industry experts and professionals from all aspects of association management to delve into the intricate relationship between AI and professional communities. This workshop aims to explore the opportunities, challenges, and strategies that AI presents for these organizations, fostering insightful discussions through engaging roundtable sessions.

Learning Objectives (or take-aways):

  1. Gain profound insights inot AI's influence and impact on membership organizations.
  2. Learn practical strategies for adapting to technological changes.
  3. Network with like minded professionals for current and future collaborations.

Brit Kramer is Founder of Red Barn Communications and Executive Director for the Washington Society of Association Excellence. Brit is a certified association executive who empowers organizations to be better. Brit provides leadership and support for associations, non-profits and community groups who want to take a fresh look at their vision, operating systems and services. Specializing in strategies which will raise the profile of your organization through your public affairs, communications, events and educational programs.

Tuesday November 3, 2020

Reinventing HR and Performance Management
Lynda Silsbee, CPT, SPHR, LDSS, SHRM-SCP 
Performance Dimensions Group
Value: 2.5 CAE credits (total program)

The way people work is changing and workers are asking for something different. Today’s workforce wants clear expectations, accountability, a rich purpose, and especially ongoing coaching and feedback. Lynda will lead a discussion that showcases what forward-thinking organizations are doing to reinvent HR and how to pivot from "performance management" to "performance development" in your organization. Lynda will share the most recent findings and trends in Performance Management and engage Sr HR Leaders in discussions to make the pivot in their organization. 

Learning Objectives (or take-aways):

  1. Learn 5 tenets of [forward-thinking] HR
  2. Understand the difference between Performance Management and Performance Development
  3. Discover what other businesses are doing to reinvent their HR and People Performance Operations

Lynda Silsbee is the Founder and President of Performance Dimensions Group and the creator of the LEAP-Leadership Acceleration Program. PDG is a Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness consulting group that works with organizations of all size and industry in the Puget Sound region.  Lynda started PDG in 1999 after 20+ years of leading from the inside of Fortune 500 Companies including Nordstrom, Genie Industries, and Vulcan. She and her team of consultants have been helping organizations and leaders be the most effective they can be during the good times and challenging times including the Dot-Bomb Era, 911, The Great Recession, and currently the Covid Pandemic. Her mission is to help organizations, leaders and their teams not just survive but to thrive!

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Operations/Cyber Security: Easy Wins for Big Problems
Andrew Healey, MSc, CISSP, OSCP, AWS SAA
NorthCreek Security Group

Many of today’s cyber threats have the capability to severely damage people and organizations, and many do. Most of us have just given up on the idea that we can reasonably secure our business or family from these threats. This talk will provide a brief background of how we got here and what current threats look and feel like. We’ll then cover some easy wins and you’ll walk away with tangible steps you can take to help defend your organization, customers, family, and self.

Andrew Healey’s mission is to identify risks and manage them simply and right the first time. SMBs consistently accept critical levels of risk while having the most to lose. He has 20 years of technology, security, and leadership experience ranging from enterprise Defense contractors, the United States Marine Corps, and now in the small and medium sized business space. He holds a master’s degree in cybersecurity and information assurance.