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Reimagining Associations for a Post Pandemic World – Part I – A Conversation Primer


Whether we want it or not, change is here to stay. We can fight it or embrace it, but be certain, returning to what we thought of as “normal” may be the least likely of all the scenarios.

With that as a backdrop, Fonteva is excited to welcome some of the most influential minds in the association industry to talk about the future and how associations can position themselves to thrive moving forward. As part of our Association Tech Experts Series we will be hosting expert panels in August and September of this year.

On August 25th, Fonteva shared the mic with Lowell Aplebaum, FASAE, CAE, CPF, Mary Byers, CAE, CSP, Jeff De Cagna FRSA FASAE, and Gayathri Kher to tackle some of the big questions facing associations as they look toward and plan for the future.

To jump start the conversation we asked each of our panelists to answer three questions that set the table for our conversation, which was moderated by Fonteva Director of Marketing, Erin Lemons.

Please follow the link for each question to see the full responses from our panel.

  1. How do you think associations need to reimagine themselves for the next decade?
  2. What do you think the biggest obstacle is to associations reimagining themselves?
  3. What role do you think technology needs to play in reimagining associations?

If you haven’t had a chance to hear from this can’t miss panel, you can do so now.

Get to know our panelists

Mary Byers, CAE, CSP
Association Advisor
& Author of Race for Relevance

Mary Byers, CAE, CSP, is the author of Race for Relevance: 5 Radical Changes for Associations and Road to Relevance: 5 Strategies for Competitive Associations. Race for Relevance is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year and ASAE just released a special anniversary edition, expanded for a post-pandemic world. Mary is a former association executive, is a consultant, professional speaker, and association advisor. She is a skilled retreat architect and helps groups gain clarity and focus through leadership conference training, board orientations, and generative discussion facilitation. Mary coaches association CEOs and board chairs and leads CEO MasterMind groups.

Lowell Aplebaum, FASAE, CAE, CPF
CEO & Strategy Catalyst
Vista Cova

Lowell Aplebaum, FASAE, CAE, CPF is the CEO and Strategy Catalyst of Vista Cova – a company that partners with organizations on strategic visioning and planning, creating stronger stakeholder connections, and reimagining value and engagement. As an IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator, Lowell frequently provides dynamic sessions to organizations – getting volunteers, members, and staff involved through experiential learning approaches.

Lowell currently serves on the ASAE Research Committee and is a past Chair for the overseeing commission for the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential. He chaired ASAE’s Task Force on CEO Pathways, and previously served as Chair for ASAE’s Component Relations Council. He is the creator of a master-level learning series, Through the CEO Lens, and Association Charrette – a co-creation retreat experience.

Gayathri Kher

Gayathri Kher has extensive experience evaluating business processes and technology infrastructures and assisting associations in implementing solutions that are scalable based on future needs. Prior to co-founding fusionSpan, Gayathri spent over 10 years working in the association industry. She has a Masters of Science Degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the University of Maryland.

Gayathri is an active participant in the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and previously served as the Chair of the ASAE Technology Council.

Jeff De Cagna FRSA FASAE
Executive Advisor
Foresight First LLC

Jeff De Cagna FRSA FASAE, executive advisor for Foresight First LLC in Reston, Virginia is an association contrarian, foresight practitioner, governing designer, stakeholder and successor advocate, and stewardship catalyst. In August 2019, Jeff became the 32nd recipient of ASAE’s Academy of Leaders Award, the association’s highest individual honor given to consultants or industry partners in recognition of their support of ASAE and the association community.

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