Thank you to EVERYONE who contributed to the success of the 2017 Convention.  

May 31 - June 2, 2017
Semiahmoo, WA
9565 Semiahmoo Parkway
Blaine, WA, 98230, US


The purpose of the WSAE Annual Convention is to be the premiere networking and educational event of the year for Washington association industry.  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 10.75  (Wednesday = 4; Thursday = 3.75; Friday = 3)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 Thursday, June 1, 2017 Friday, June 2, 2017
9:00 am start: 9 hole golf tournament, Semihamoo Golf Course  7:00 am - 8:30 am: Continental Breakfast 7:00 am - 8:00 am: Continental Breakfast
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm: Pre-convention Deep Dive 8:30 am - 9:15 am: Opening Keynote 8:00 am - 9:00 am: Sessions
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm: Welcome Reception 9:00: am - 3:00 pm: Meydenbauer Meeting Lounge Open 8:00: am - 12:00 pm: Meydenbauer Meeting Lounge Open
8:30 pm - 10:00 pm: After Hours! 9:30 am - 10:30 am: Sessions 9:15 am - 10:15 am: Sessions
  10:45 am - 11:45 am: Sessions 10:30 am - 12:00 pm: Brunch/Closing Keynote
  11:45 am - 1:15 pm: Business Lunch & Awards Program  
  1:15pm - 2: 15 pm Keynote  
  3:00 pm - 5:00 Bunco mixer/silent auction closes  

5:15 pm Buses depart for off-site dinner

  6:00 pm Port of Bellingham Tasting  
  7:00 pm - 9:30 pm Dinner Cruise  
  9:45 pm Buses depart for Semiahmoo  
  10:30 pm Arrive Semiahmoo  

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

9:00 am - 11:00 am - 9 Hole Golf  Tournament

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm - Pre-Convention Deep Dive

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm - Welcome Reception

8:30 pm - late - After Hours Post Reception

Thursday, June 1, 2017

8:30 am - 9:15 am

Opening Breakfast & Keynote

How to Have a Great Day Every Day!
Steve Beck, Beck Seminars
Grand WSAE Ballroom

  • Learn an ARMY Ranger technique that gets you through tough situations
  • Learn how important having a great day every day is in your success
  • Learn five things you can do to have a great day every day
  • Learn how to go from negative to positive by doing one simple exercise

‘How to Have a Great Day Every Day!’ is about realizing that if you have a Great Day Every Day, everyone around you will benefit as a result.  Discover that you job is not just a job, but in fact a performance on ‘How to Be Their Best Every Day by Having a Great Day Every Day!  This session gives you the knowledge that you set the tone for every interaction.  Learn the insights and methods that will assist you in understanding your ability to make a positive difference on a daily basis in every interaction.  Learn tools to change your attitude and mindset so that you can make your day flow smoothly with your customers, coworkers, family and everyone in your life.

Thursday, June 1, 2017
9:30 am – 10:30 am


Lead Like a Coach and Move Your Team to Winning Results
Dean Savoca, M.Ed., BCC, Savoca Performance Group
Location: Northern Quest

  • Explore how to transform yourself from a manager to a coach
  • Discover the key skills to becoming an effective coach
  • Identify the six steps required for a successful coaching conversation

Business leaders often draw their motivation from inspiring coaches.  Great coaches have the ability to push their teams beyond what they think possible to achieve winning results – again and again.  Coaches hold players accountable – whether the team wins or loses.  The fact is that employees who clearly understand expectations and know they’re accountable, enjoy a higher level of job satisfaction, stay longer and produce better results.  It’s about how you approach relationships and critical conversations with accountability that drives performance.  Based on the findings from nearly 10,000 coaching sessions with executives, managers and business owners, this session will reveal the mindset and tools to influence and lead effectively.

Professional Development

Spinach in Your Client's Teeth and Other Etiquette Dilemmas
Arden Clise, Clise Etiquette
Location: Seattle Southside

  • How to handle the most common etiquette dilemmas to be more confident, comfortable and successful in business and social situations
  • How to mingle at receptions, events and conferences with ease
  • How to navigate the placesetting at a business or social meal, use server codes to signal your eating status and eat with grace
  • How to make a great impression through your handshake and introduction even when you've forgotten someone's name

Have you ever wondered what to say to a client with spinach in her teeth or which bread plate is yours at a crowded table? Maybe you’re not sure how to introduce someone whose name you forgot. Perhaps you wonder how to gracefully exit a conversation at a networking event.  In this interactive presentation, these questions and more will be addressed. You will learn practical skills you can use immediately to feel more confident and at ease in many business and social situations.

Event Planning

Great Ideas- PechaKucha Style
John Cooper, Yakima Valley Tourism and six industry presenters
Location: The Tulalip

  • Provide issues and how they were solved in a quick format
  • A program format that entertains and keeps audience interested
  • Learn some new stuff to use back home
  • Be inspired and have fun

Ready for a fast pace, fun and informative session with great ideas? PechaKucha 20x20 is a simple presentation format where each presenter will show 20 images, each for 20 seconds.  During this time they'll talk about what you're watching on the screen. That's about seven minutes per presenter.  It's like an elevator pitch, but a bit longer.  The idea, though, is the same: short, concise presentations with images not charts, bullet cluttered PowerPoints or lots of words. It could be about a project, a new program, an idea they're exploring, a new website...any number of exciting ideas for you to explore. Due to their brevity of each program, we don't want to give the topics away by describing them. Just come and be blown away!

Thursday, June 1, 2017
10:45 am - 11:45 am


Building and Energizing Your Team To Achieve and Exceed Your Association's Goals
Scott Hildebrand, Starboard Startegies, LLC
​Location: The Tulalip

  • What to screen for in building a team
  • How to communicate so your team is informed and energized
  • How to get everyone rowing enthusiastically in the same direction
  • How to manage conflict in small groups without losing sight of your strategic objectives

Have you ever wondered why some teams are extraordinarily effective and why some are dysfunctional?  Why do some organizations work like fine-tuned machinery while others struggle to turn gears?  This presentation will shed some light on why some teams succeed and others don't. allow attendees to hear about best practices in team building while sharing some of their best and worst experiences on and with teams.  If you are an association executive, you manage a team, perhaps several. You likely have a volunteer board, standing committees, ad hoc committees and probably some staff. Getting the right people into the right jobs with the right guidance to perform enthusiastically is a trick you will need to master to be a success in association management.    In this presentation, you will learn how to recruit the right players to play the right positions and how to communicate effectively in group settings so everyone knows the objectives of the organization. You will also leave with some better ideas about managing the small group dynamic that is efficient and effective when things work; it's uncomfortable and depressing when the dynamic is allowed to undermine objectives.

Professional Development

Time Management-Fitting a 10 hour day into 8 hours
Steve Beck, Beck Seminars
Location: Northern Quest

  • Learn three easy steps to being more focused and productive
  • Learn the #1 rule of Time Management
  • Learn 20 successful time tips
  • Learn the importance of delegating

The Time Management Workshop is about getting a lot more completed in the same amount of time. Participants discover that by stopping and observing their workday, they find pockets of time in every day in which time is wasted. They will realize the importance of how to say “No” without offending anyone and how to handle interruptions before they happen.

Event Planning

The Ten Things Your Venue or Meeting Planner will Never Tell You
​Location: Seattle Southside

Meeting planner and sales professional work together to create flawless meetings in a variety of settings. While the relationship is a partnership, and each needs the other, there are some things that neither likes to tell the other.  During this session, learn ten things that meeting planners rarely tell the sales professional at the hotel or venue of their choice, and learn the ten things sales professionals do not immediately offer up to meeting planners.  Just when you thought they had told you everything, you find out there are ten things they didn’t!

Rob White, Director of National Sales, Riverhouse on the Deschutes, and Brenda Orffer, Director of Member Services for Washington Health Care Association, will provide insight on what hotels and venues and meeting planners opt to keep their lips sealed.  This unique approach to enhancing your negotiation skills will reveal how what is not told can be just as significant as what is.

Thursday, June 1, 2017
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

WSAE Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon
Grand WSAE Ballroom

During lunch WSAE;s Annual Meeting will be held and business of the Association conducted including GEMS recognition, introduction fo the 2017-2018 Board of Directors, and the outgoing and incoming President's remarks.

1:15 pm - 2:15 pm

Afternoon Keynote

Branding Your Association Culture
Jaime Nolan
Grand WSAE Ballroom

"Have you considered the difference between staff culture versus membership culture? The two go together but don’t always look the same. Understanding and being intentional about establishing culture within the staff and also within the membership will impact employee retention and membership satisfaction. During this luncheon keynote, hear from Deep-Dive presenter, Jaime Nolan as she discusses at a high level how Branding Your Association Culture can strengthen the brand and perception of your association, membership satisfaction and employee retention."        

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Bunco & Silent Auction

5:00 pm - 10:00 pm

San Juan Crab Feed Dinner Cruise


Friday, June 2, 2017

8:00 am - 9:00 am


Associations Changing the World
Jude Larson, JML Real Solutions
​Location: Seattle Southside

Discuss in detial specific examples for how associations can show their members how to connect and create new professional relationships and opportunities, develop better engaging meetings and engage in new ways to give back that can widen the interest in the overall organization. Discover best practices for dynamic events!


Professional Development

How to be More Persuasive, Productive and Happier at Your Job
Shari Storm, Category 6 Consulting
​Location: The Tulalip

  • Three best practices for excelling during times of change
  • Hear case studies on the best way to stay motivated and help others be more productive
  • Tips for better communication within your team as often small changes in the way we interact with others can bring big results
  • Various ways to enjoy your job more and to help your team enjoy theirs

Learn techniques to help others – and yourself – cope during times of change. All workplaces are constantly evolving. If you can grow with your company, you’ll stand out as an exemplary team player and leader.  Learn the art of motivating others – and yourself – to be more productive, more effective and to enjoy your job more.  Become an asset to your company and become more successful in your career.  Learn how to put your best foot forward both online and in real life. We’ll discuss tips on acting with grace so that you stand out – in a good way!  This lively and interactive presentation is great for people at all levels of an organization.

Event Planning

Everybody Hates AV.  There, I Said It.  Now, Let’s Fix It!
Stephen O'Connor, O'Design Productions and Consulting
Location: Northern Quest

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain an overall understanding of the perplexing world of AV
  • Learn some of the most important basics in planning for AV – venue considerations, shopping for vendors and labor
  • A better understanding of the fine print of venue and AV contracts and how to adjust them to satisfy your meeting’s objectives and budget

Talk to any group of meeting planners or association executives who have to deal with meetings and conferences and they’ll tell you that one of the most frustrating elements of planning and executing any conference is the AV.   From planning to budgeting to on-site issues, AV is what often keeps them up at night.  It’s mysterious and complicated.  It’s changing all the time.  It’s expensive, and frankly, it can make or break an event.  The flip side is, AV can add sizzle and create an emotional connection between your event and message and your audience.  It can take the overall impression of your conference from “met expectations” to “mind blown”.   But how do you harness the beast that is AV?  In this interactive session, AV and event producer Stephen O’Connor will unlock some of the basic mysteries of AV in order to improve your overall knowledge and control.

9:15 am - 10:15 am


Accelerate Your Problem Solving
Kevin May, Sticks LLC
​Location: Seattle Southside

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize the warning signs that you are asking the wrong question
  • Employ techniques to hone in on the right questions to ask
  • Better use the resources and talents of your team to accelerate problem solving
  • Practical solutions in today's workplace

When trying to address a new issue or challenge facing your business, are you asking the right questions?  When facing new situations, it’s easy to fall into the trap of jumping into action based on our history and expertise.  But what if you aren’t asking the right questions before you begin to problem solve?  It wastes time and money and ultimately may not fix the issue.  Better to do some work up front to get the right questions framed so that the answers can accelerate you to a solution.

Professional Development

IMPROVE Your Presentation Skills…with IMPROV!
Eris Weaver, Graphic Facilitator & Group Process Consultant
Location: Northern Quest

  • Increased confidence when speaking or presenting
  • Greater self-knowledge and body awareness
  • Toolkit of ideas and practices for ongoing self- and team-development

Whether you are an association professional advocating for your members or a sales rep promoting your product or service, success depends upon the ability to present your message with confidence, clarity and ease. Memorizing speeches or preparing PowerPoint slides can only take you so far. When you run into a potential member or client in an unexpected place and time, you  have to be able to wing it!  In addition to improvisation games and  exercises, this workshop will include “homework” assignments designed to help you hone your message and deliver it clearly and effectively, anywhere, anytime!  Participants will learn – and PRACTICE: Warm-up exercises to relax and energize, using body posture and language to create & convey confidence, vocal techniques, including how to project and simplifying your message so anyone can understand it.  Our motto for the day will be: “Don’t work at it, PLAY with it!”

Event Planning

Untangling The Web for Associations & Non-Profits
Dave Parkhurst, GreenHaven Interactive
​Location: The Tulalip

  • Reduce confusion about modern web best practices
  • Discuss the priority order for associations of web, social media, search engines, directories and reputation management
  • Review member management web communications strategies and best practices
  • Review Web Security concerns for associations and members

Greenhaven Interactive welcomes you to the information packed “Untangle the Web for Associations” where we’ll show you many of the interesting and practical ways you can implement all the web has to offer for your organization and your members.  You'll learn the current, best practices for website marketing, social media engagement, search engine optimization and reputation management.  You'll walk away with a prioritized outline of what to do first, second and third. In addition, Dave will present critical information about web security in the ever worsening internet climate. All of this information will be fresh, engaging and fun! Get your questions answered by a 20-year web marketing veteran than has worked with associations, businesses and non-profits throughout the Northwest since the beginning of the commercial internet!

Friday, June 2, 2017
10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Brunch & Closing Keynote

Life-Work Balance
Steve Beck, Beck Seminars
Grand WSAE Ballroom

  • 12 action steps to ‘create balance’ in their everyday life
  • The fundamental secrets of all successful people
  • 10 tips to ‘reduce stress’ at home and at the office
  • How to create mental/physical balance so they are more present in every moment of the day

Technology is supposed to make our lives easy.  Last century, inventions like the washing machine, vacuum cleaner and dishwasher promised to give us more free time and a better quality of life. The same guarantees are now being made for the latest computer systems, newest social networking website and even our trendy smartphone.  Unfortunately, these advances will do exactly what the gadgets before them did: take away from our leisure time.  If you’re like most of us, life moves faster and is more complex now than just five years ago.  E-mail, BlackBerrys and cell phones have blurred the lines between your work life and personal time by making you constantly accessible.  Sadly, many people mistakenly believe that this is necessary to get more accomplished and advance their careers. Life/Work Balance is about learning how to structure your life to improve your attitude, mood and performance both personally and professionally.












Thank You Sponsors!

  • Golf Tournament: Visit Olympia & Beyond and Great Wolf Lodge
  • Deep Dive Pre-Convention: Washington State Convention Center  
  • Name Badge: Meydenbauer Center 
  • Welcome Amenity: Red Lion Hotels
  • Welcome Reception: Semiahmoo Resort & Spa
  • After Hours Post Reception: The Bellevue Bunch 
  • Opening General Session: Visit Tri-Cities 
  • Room Hosts: Northern Quest, Seattle Southside, and The Tulalip
  • Business Lunch Meeting/Awards Program: Yakima Valley Tourism 
  • Thursday Afternoon Keynote: Great Wolf Lodge
  • Pre-function at the Port of Bellingham: Stones Throw Brewery, Masquerade Wine Company, and Chuckanut Bay Distillery
  • San Juan Dinner Cruise: Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
  • Guest Room Turn Down Amenity/Thursday: Tacoma Team
  • Meeting Lounge: Meydenbauer Center
  • Closing General Session and Brunch: Snohomish County Tourism Bureau  
  • Convention App: Apps4org
  • Convention Signage: Triumph Expo & Events
  • 2018 Convention Promo Video: Magnus Media Group Video Production
  • Full Service AV Support: AVMS