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By Patty Hampton – One of my favorite events of the year, ASAE’s Annual Meeting, is fast-approaching! Members of our leadership team are gearing up to attend what I know will be a memorable experience. There’s so much to talk about this year as is indicative on the event’s agenda. I encourage you to check it out for yourself, as most of the topics discussed during the Annual Meeting will guide nonprofit-focused conversations for the year, especially regarding talent. You’ll see me and my colleagues, Sidney Abrams and Myra Briggs in the crowd. Be sure to stop by the Nonprofit HR booth (#1806) in the exhibitor hall as we always welcome meeting forward-thinking leaders of associations.

This year’s focus, LEARN AND PLAY ON PURPOSE, speaks to me on a personal level. The theme is fun and energetic which my team tells me are my default states. From connecting with new and old friends to attending the Annual Awards Luncheon and networking activities, I will not be short of ample play time. Regarding the learning aspect, the annual meeting never fails to satisfy my insatiable appetite for content that makes my work easier and more fulfilling. I am constantly exploring innovative ways to tackle my day-to-day tasks with my sights set on meeting the goals established for myself and my team. For most of us, it is rare to experience this type of stimulus daily but many of us still crave the chance to be continuous learners and networkers.

So fellow learners, here are the top three learning opportunities I’m looking forward to at #ASAE19:

See the agenda and who’s speaking: https://annual.asaecenter.org/attendee_registration.cfm
  • The opening keynote, The Future of New Power, jumped out to me as a timely topic for leaders like myself and budding leaders alike. I won’t lie the title reminds me a bit of subtitle for a superhero film, but I digress. I really am curious to hear how Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, co-authors of the bestselling book New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World, tackle the connection between power and leadership in the years ahead. Actually, the topic has been top of mind for me since my colleagues Myra Briggs and Mark Fefelov penned an article on Millennials in the C-Suite some weeks ago. In the article, Myra and Mark discussed how many of the values central to younger generations translate in the workplace today and will shape workplaces in the future. My experience has taught me that the future of the sector and our workspaces do not take place by happenstance. As leaders, we must continue to actively develop future leaders by creating avenues for their growth and development. We also need to constantly reassess the way we show up as leaders. This recent Leadership Self-Assessment is a timely resource for leaders that need a pulse check . Also, kudos to ASAE to providing the conference pathway of Young Professionals as Future Leaders with masterclasses and other interactive leadership-building sessions.
  • Nadya Okamoto’s session, Let’s Talk about Movements. Period., also caught my eye. Nadya has a fascinating story. As the founder and executive director of PERIOD. The Menstrual Movement, she has created the dialog around a taboo topic that has so many implications for the way women and girls show up in our society. She has mobilized the younger generation and inspired them to have their voices heard. The gusto of women charging forward for causes and missions they hold dear is something that Nonprofit HR recognizes each year in our Women to Watch list. On our 2019 Women to Watch list, we recognized Claire Coder for similar work with her social enterprise Aunt Flow. Aunt Flow stocks free menstrual products in businesses and schools and has donated over 350,000 menstrual products to organizations across the U.S. Hats off to Nadya and Claire for weakening the menstruation stigma and crafting solutions to a problem impacting billions of women across the globe.
  • Finally, I hope to round out my learning and inspiring moments with the triple threat, Alton Fitzgerald White. Fitzgerald White is a singer, actor, and dancer that calls people to “consistently give their best performance each and every day.” Many of us are too busy focusing on the requirements for opportunity versus thinking about the way we show up for each task. We forget to sprinkle in healthy and regular doses of fun ever so often. We discredit the benefits of making time for play. Be it nature or nurture, we as individuals should remember the joy and openness that play brings. Play will likely reconnect you to your passions and definitely take the edge off. And as employers, we should aim to create environments that make room for play for our staff.  

It’s in settings like this we discover and rediscover the passions that help shape the communities we serve but more importantly, environments like them create a safe space for us to practice how to LEARN AND PLAY while we accomplish our daily tasks.

If you plan to attend #ASAE19, I hope to speak to you there. If you spot me in a session, don’t hesitate to say hi. Better yet, stop by the Nonprofit HR Booth (#1806) for a little play. If you’ll miss #ASAE19, I still welcome the opportunity to connect. Please let me know how Nonprofit HR can help you LEARN AND PLAY. 


Patty Hampton
Vice President
Nonprofit HR

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