Sponsorship Options

The Empire State Society of Association Executives’ Association Leadership Academy Master’s Level offers a unique, executive-level learning experience over a series of five monthly educational sessions led by accomplished association and corporate leaders. Each three-hour session will include a lecture and interactive discussion and/or exercises to promote strategic thinking, engagement and peer collaboration. Participants will emerge with enhanced knowledge and critical decision-making ability on timely and significant topics relevant to association management.



ALA Master's Level has been designed specifically for executive and senior-level professionals, including ALA Alumni, from all association practice areas, as well as industry partners.

Take advantage of education specifically designed for executive and senior-level association professionals! It is vital to keeping abreast of the ever-increasing and changing opportunities and challenges ahead.  Executives cannot rest on their laurels and must constantly demonstrate leadership to staff, boards and members. The ALA Master’s Level will help participants hone skills, anticipate problems, seek resolution and plan for the future. It also will support new executives, helping to ensure that they are prepared, innovative, and forward thinking as they seek opportunities to better serve their constituents.


Open Enrollment: September 4 - October 19, 2018
All sessions are approximately three hours in length and will be held 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Sessions will be held at the New York State School Boards Association offices, 24 Century Hill Drive, Latham, NY.

November 16, 2018  (NOTE: This session ends at 12:30 PM)
From Orthodoxy to Foresight: Unlearning the Past, Learning for the Future
Jeff De Cagna, FRSA, FASAE, Executive Advisor, Foresight First LLC

To prepare our organizations for the future, association  decision makers must first unlearn the past. Orthodox beliefs – the deep-seated assumptions we make about how the world works – keep associations anchored in the past. In this session, we will collaborate in applying foresight approaches and tools to build a better understanding of the issues influencing the future direction of associations. You will discuss the importance of both thinking and acting beyond orthodoxy, and gain critical foresight questions to bring back to your association for deeper exploration with your board and senior team.

January 25, 2019 
9:00 AM to 12:00 PM      
Beyond 2020: Technology’s Impact on Associations
Reginald “Reggie” Henry, CAE, Chief Information & Engagement Officer, ASAE

Concrete that can last up to 200 years – teeth that are always white and with no cavities – clothes that are always fresh without washing – thoughts translated from brain waves – mixed reality – collaborative platforms and more. How will the rapid changes in technology, such as robotization and artificial intelligence, change the jobs we do and the way we work?  How will this affect the way associations conduct their business, the programs they offer and the skill sets that will be needed? Get answers to these questions and more as this session explores the future impact of technology on associations, anticipated changes, cost implications, and how to adapt to the ever-changing world of technology.

March 8, 2019
9:00 AM to 12:00 PM               
Insider Secrets of Member Engagement
Amanda Kaiser, Chief Path Finder, Kaiser Insights, LLC

Does your data tell you that your new members renew at a lower rate than other members? Have your retention metrics plateaued even though you are improving your renewal process? Do you wonder how to engage both new and long-time members even more? Using data gleaned from a unique new member engagement study and insights gathered from more than 340 association members, learn how to create a new member engagement program that will create life-long member engagement. Understand the key changes your association can make to improve an existing onboarding, welcoming or orientation program. Hear about some unusual, but successful – and unsuccessful, practices tested by your peers.

April 12, 2019
9:00 AM to 12:00 PM    
Associations and the Law: What to Avoid, What to Fix
Thomas W. Simcoe, Esq., Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC

What are the pros and cons of creating a new subsidiary? Are you unclear about when and how changes to articles of incorporation or bylaws need to be filed? What are the legal implications, if any, of not following bylaws? Do you know what, when and why to copyright, or when you need permission to play music at an event? How should you prepare for a potential lawsuit? These are just a few legal questions that can get associations into trouble if not handled properly. Prepare to discuss these and more! The session is a great opportunity to enhance your legal knowledge in order to better protect your association from legal challenges.

May 10, 2019
9:00 AM to 12:00 PM    
Leadership Under Fire: Expecting the Unexpected
Timothy G. Kremer, Executive Director, New York State School Boards Association

As an executive director, you strive to lead your association in a clear, well-defined direction with goals you believe in, and the support of your board and staff. But life isn't always smooth sailing, as an effective leader knows. It's how well you navigate your association through those rough waters that defines success.  This session will draw on real-life scenarios and experiences – including your own – to help you plan for the unexpected and bring your association back to smooth waters.  Come prepared for a lively discussion. 

Enrollment in the Association Leadership Academy Master’s Level is a commitment to learning and professional development in the association management field. To be recognized as an ALA Master’s Level graduate, you must attend all five sessions. Participants who are unable to fulfill the full attendance requirement in one year may apply for consideration to make up missed sessions the following enrollment year. Call ESSAE (518) 463-1755 for details.

All Master’s Level graduates will be recognized for their achievement and commitment to excellence at ESSAE’s annual conference on Thursday, June 6, 2019, where they will be awarded a certificate and graduation pin, then listed on the ESSAE Academy website by graduating class. Each class will be asked to evaluate the program and be part of shaping the program’s future.

Three CAE credits will be awarded for each session. CAE candidates, and/or current CAEs, who have attended the full program will obtain 15 credits toward their CAE or CAE recertification. ESSAE is a CAE approved provider, formally registered with the CAE program and committed to providing education that meets the CAE Commission's standards for helping individuals earn or maintain the Certified Association Executive credential. CAE Approved Providers have received guidance on such standards and pledged to properly represent course eligibility for CAE credit. Details on how to track your points/clock hours, visit:

$500 for ESSAE members; $1,000 for non-members; includes materials, light refreshments and 15 CAE credits. Non-members are encouraged to join ESSAE and receive the full benefit of membership in the organization plus the member program rate. 

You must be listed as an ESSAE member representative (and in good standing) to receive member rates for registration to ESSAE events, webinars, etc. If you are not yet a member, you must submit a membership application with your registration. To do this online, complete the membership application and pay dues. After your dues are paid, complete your registration. (PDF of Membership Application)

Substitution Policy: Substitutions of attendees are permitted for paid registrations. The difference between the member and non-member price will apply if a non-member replaces a member. 

Enrollment opens September 4, 2018. Application and payment must be received no later than October 19, 2018. 
Registrations must be made and paid for by Friday, October 19, 2018. Registration cancellations received prior to the deadline may be eligible to receive a refund less $100 service fee. Cancellations received after the stated deadline will not be eligible for a refund. Refunds will not be available for registrants who choose not to attend an event (no-shows). Cancellations will be accepted in writing only and must be received by the stated cancellation deadline. All refund requests must be made by the attendee or credit card holder. Refunds will be credited back to the original credit card used for payment. 

$150 per session (members); $300 per session (non-members); only one audited session allowed per program cycle. For more information, contact ESSAE at (518) 463-1755.

Rita Lashway, MBA, CAE (retired)
Barbara Bradley, CAE, Deputy Director, Online Communications and Project Planning, New York State School Boards Association
Vanessa LaClair, CMP, Executive Director, Empire State Society of Association Executives, Inc.

Vanessa LaClair, CMP, Executive Director
Empire State Society of Association Executives, Inc.
1A Pine West Plaza | Albany, NY 12205 | (518) 463-1755 | @EmpireStateSAE | #ESSAEALA