In 2021, AMS was pleased to welcome several new clients to the fold, including the American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI), U.S. Farmers and Ranchers in Action (USFRA), Women in DSO (WinDSO) and the Center for Baby and Adult Hygiene Products (BAHP). And, for the third year in a row, in our annual client satisfaction survey, we are proud to report that 100% of respondents said that they would recommend AMS to another organization in need of association services.
Our clients celebrated some big wins this year too:
- The National Association of Dealer Counsel (NADC) held a successful in-person conference October 24-26 in Chicago, IL – their first in-person conference in two years! Not only did NADC double their budgeted sponsorship revenue but they almost hit record breaking attendance numbers as well.
- State Law Resources (SLR) secured a new member in Wisconsin, which means for the first time in SLR history all 50 states are represented in their membership.
- The American Board of Wound Management (ABWM) successfully transitioned to a new testing partner, and a new certification management platform, improving the efficiency and ease of their application and testing experience.
- The Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA) developed, produced, and met all financial goals for its first fully virtual Annual Investor Conference held in March. Besides a strong program featuring unique perspectives for LISA’s event audience, the team also successfully produced a hybrid whiskey tasting during the event, which was enjoyed by all who participated!
- The Pharmaceutical Product Stewardship Work Group (PPSWG) implemented a digital marketing plan for a member sponsored website, MyOldMeds.com, which educates consumers on proper use, storage, and disposal of unwanted or expired household pharmaceutical products, which resulted in a significant increase in unique website visitors. PPSWG also recruited 40 new members, attained a greater than 98% member retention rate, and achieved its highest ever attendance during its online 2021 Annual Membership Meeting.
- And many more!
AMS welcomed six new members to the team during 2021 – Kira Forster, Briana Willingham, K. Malaika Walton, Shaliah George, Stephanie Dernek and Maria Vasquez. In addition, AMS launched a new performance management system, a voluntary benefits program and a mentorship program for the AMS team.
A key focus for AMS in 2021 was continuing with our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative focusing on strategy and integration, with input from our DEI partner NonprofitHR. Our DEI Committee worked on creating a DEI statement and iconography for the AMS website; set up a “DEI Digest” thread on our team messaging platform where staff could share thoughts, ideas and news items pertaining to DEI with colleagues; began monthly DEI presentations; and implemented a DEI calendar to educate staff on important days of recognition and awareness throughout the year.
We celebrated a number of exciting professional achievements, including Lily Davidson’s promotion to Vice President of AMS, Irina Butler to Senior Account Executive, Jen McCadden to Account Executive and Caoimhe Kenny to Senior Associate.
Perhaps the biggest AMS development in 2021 was the shift to a location flexible approach to work. As soon as staff members began working primarily from home in March 2020, AMS set up a “Future of the Office” taskforce to discuss what role – if any – AMS’s physical office space would have post-pandemic. Informed by survey results and focus group feedback, the taskforce helped AMS pivot to a remote-first model. In this new model, current (and new) staff may continue to work remotely from their preferred location, in addition to having access to the Washington, DC office when needed.
Staff increased the collective amount of professional development hours with an impressive 525 hours logged in 2021, up from 500 in 2020. Christina McGrath took her professional development to another level, graduating from Georgetown University with a Master of Professional Studies in Design Management and Communications and Maria Vasquez will finish her Master of Science in Human Resource Management from the University of Maryland Global Campus in December 2021!
Involvement in the association management industry was also a focus for staff members in 2021. Richard O’Neill completed his first year as a member of the AMC Institute’s (AMCI) Emerging Leaders Committee (ELC), a group of a dozen association management professionals supporting the growth of the industry among new and aspiring industry leaders. Together, the group produced multiple sessions at in-person AMC Institute events in the Spring and Fall and executed six Engagement Lounge webinars featuring executives exploring current industry trends. Jen McCadden participated on a number of ASAE committees, including the Young Professionals Advisory Committee, Lily Davidson participated in the AMC Institute’s Accreditation & Standards Committee, and Carrie Hoffman and Caoimhe Kenny both presented sessions at ASAE’s 2021 Marketing, Membership and Communications conference.
On a personal level, two AMS babies were born – congratulations to Jen Polo-Sherk and Christina McGrath – and two AMS staff members relocated to other states, facilitated by AMS’s new location-flexible policy.
Our Social Task Force, initially set up in 2020 to help our staff feel more connected and engaged while working from home, continued to plan fun and engaging activities throughout 2021, including the AMS Virtual Olympics, Halloween Bingo, and our ongoing Association Ant project – a variation of the Flat Stanley project you might remember from school! The highlight of the year was undoubtedly our 2021 Summer Outing, where the entire staff got to hang out in person for the first time since March 2020 – or, in the case of our newer staff members, for the first time ever! We gathered outside in DC’s beautiful Rock Creek Park for lawn games, BBQ and long-overdue catchups.
AMS is grateful to our clients and staff for making 2021 such an exciting year, filled with growth, innovation and success. Looking ahead, AMS will continue to build upon the momentum we gained throughout 2021 by expanding our service areas, deepening our talent bench and, as always, centering our core values of integrity, professional development and collaboration.