Harvest Highlight

Our Harvest Highlight is where Association Professionals and Business Partners can gather to reap the benefits of colleagues willing to share many years of ideas, insights and experience. This year's program will focus on moving your association forward. What should you be on the look out for? Join your colleagues for a full day of discussion and walk away with ideas to take your business to the next level. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017
Radisson Hotel Albany
205 Wolf Road | Albany, NY

Agenda | Event FeesAccommodations & Event Policies | Session Descriptions | Speaker BiosSponsors

Attend the ESSAE Harvest Highlight and be entered to win the Niagara Falls USA $5,000 Give Away!

Keynote Speaker

New York State was key to the national movement for women’s suffrage. From Seneca Falls to New York City’s Lower East Side, from Buffalo to Brooklyn, from Canton to Cattaraugus, people in New York State were leaders in the woman suffrage movement from 1848 until 1917 when suffrage was legalized in New York State and on to 1920 when the federal government passed the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote and to finally fully participate in the civic life of the nation.

In November, as New York State celebrates the centennial of women’s suffrage, the ESSAE Harvest Highlight offers you excellent opportunity to consider the impact, attitudes, and interactions of women on our history and as leaders in the workforce. 

Eve Waltermaurer, PhD
Epidemiologist/Senior Research Scientist, Benjamin Center for Public Policy Initiative, SUNY New Paltz
Member, NYS Women's Suffrage Commission

Dr. Waltermaurer has conducted violence, women’s health, youth risk, and evaluation research for over 20 years. She has published numerous academic papers in highly respected journals on topics such as: violence against women, women’s health, and methodology. Her documentary film on women’s sexuality, First, is distributed through the Films for the Humanities and Sciences, and her book, Epidemiological Criminology (Routledge/Taylor & Francis) looks at the intersection of crime and public health. Dr. Waltermaurer is the lead researcher on the Women @ Work, View on Women (VOW) Poll a New York State survey of 1,050 randomly selected adults conducted just after the 2017 Presidential election. This inter-disciplinary, multi-investigator poll, is the first comprehensive, single source metric focusing specifically on social perceptions of women, and the gender gaps that remain in the legal, political, social, economic and “private” sphere.

Dr. Waltermaurer’s talk will briefly explore the history of the women’s suffrage movement in New York State 100 years ago. She will use this movement to contextualize the contemporary attitudes toward women, how they have changed and remained unchanged over the next century drawing from data derived from the New York State View on Women (VOW) Poll. She will further use the suffrage movement to outline the directions we must go in New York State and nationally if women are to achieve true equality. Suffragists women like women today were prominent in the workplace (albeit factories and farms) and took leadership positions in their regions; each was germane to their success. As with then and today however, they were not equal. It is through equality and equity in work and leadership that we can hope to see the dial move toward a better balance today.

We love our event partners! Thank you to... 

Host & Event Partner: Radisson Hotel Albany
Lunch:  Niagara Falls USA

Keynote: Turning Stone Resort
Breakfast & Coffee Break: Albany Capital Center
Coffee Break - Holiday Inn Saratoga Springs
Audio/Visual: CMI Communications 
Breakout Session: Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce & CVB

Event Schedule (Subject to Change)
8:00 AM - Registration & Breakfast

8:30 to 10:00 AM - Opening General Session

10:15 to 11:15 AM - Concurrent Sessions (2)

  • Are You Ready? NYS Paid Family Leave 
  • Managing Disruption and Threats to the Contracted Room Block

11:30 to 12:30 PM - Concurrent Sessions (3)

12:30 to 2:00 PM - Networking Lunch

Why YOU should attend:

  • Professional development and networking with your industry peers
  • Three hours of Professional Development
  • Healthy Breakfast, Buffet Lunch, and Coffee Breaks!
  • Complimentary WiFi, parking, and program materials
  • Entered to WIN a $5,000 shopping spree!
  • Save $30 if you register for the Full Day!
  • Discounted Overnight Room Rate at the Radisson Hotel Albany – $99

Event Fees

Full Day (Sessions & Lunch) - Members: $85 | Non-Members: $120
Sessions Only - Members: $70 | Non-Members: $95
Lunch Only - Members: $40 | Non-Members: $50

Breakout Sessions Descriptions

Are You Ready? NYS Paid Family Leave
Speaker: Kristen Smith, Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC
Last year, the New York State Legislature enacted a new Paid Family Leave law which, at the time, was to start far in the future. Now, 2018 is just a few months away. There are substantial differences between the federal Family and Medical Leave, which only affects employers with 50+ employees, and New York's Paid Family Leave. NY's huge new program affects almost every employer across New York State, and many of them aren’t clear on what distinguishes one from the other. What can this leave be taken for? How are these leave requests determined, and by whom? How are payments handled during this leave period? Does your nonprofit’s current paid leave policy comply with the new law? Now that the final regulations have been issued by the New York State Workers Compensation Board, employers are scrambling to understand the logistics of this new requirement. This session uncovers the seeming mysteries of this mandatory program.

Managing Disruption and Threats to the Contracted Room Block
Speaker: Alisa Peters, CMP, CMM Senior Global Account Manager for Experient, A Maritz Global Events Company
Attendee and exhibitor preferences are changing, but are your event management strategies keeping up? The impact of the sharing economy, housing disruptors, and the dynamic nature of room blocks have forced event managers to shift the way the work. Whether it’s poaching, AirBNB, or lower rates that are threatening your room block, proactive management will be key to ensuring a positive customer experience. Learn from an industry expert and former MPI International Board Member on the future of room blocks and analyze seven strategies to manage your room block effectively.

A Simple Approach to Meet Your Critical Goals
Speaker: Cameron Erickson, Principle, Camelot Solutions, Inc
An interactive workshop on how to correctly operationalize a plan from concept through implementation. Participants will be taught the importance of clearly identifying the “What” and “Why” of a concept.  Studies have shown that this alone is the number one reason why projects, goals, and strategies fail. Once this have been identified, participants will learn how to use specific tools to demonstrate the “How” and “When”. This simple process will increase productivity, eliminate wasted time, and improve results of the individuals and companies that implement them. 

Result: Participants will gain a better understanding of how to turn goals into daily activities in an easy to use and results based framework.


  • The class will provide simple overview and understanding of the following concepts:
    • Clarifying Goals
    • Creating a simple and easy to track action plan
    • Understanding of how to track and monitor progress to allow for necessary changes    
  • Best practices and tools will be reviewed to optimize results.
  • Participants will be guided through a systematic approach to clearly define and develop a plan to achieve and track progress on their goals.

Everything You Should Know About Pricing in Your Association
Speaker: Kevin Whorton, President, Whorton Marketing & Research 
"If you're good at something, never do it for free." –the Joker 
Is he right? Do super-villains sometimes make good management consultants? Pricing is one of the most powerful financial tools available to associations. 

  • Your pricing decisions decide how well-funded your operations are. 
  • Pricing conveys value to end-users, members and non-member alike. 
  • Pricing helps capture the benefit that sponsors, exhibitors, and advertisers get from exposure.


  • How to measure your value perception, overall, by audience segment, and by product/service/opportunity, regardless of your size and relative complexity or simplicity of structure. 
  • How to assess and determine when re-pricing, increasing or decreasing is appropriate for specific services, and how to set that level.
  • How to secure approval for pricing changes and learning when, if and how to communicate pricing changes to your constituency.

Leveraging Component Organizations for Success: Affiliates, Chapters, Districts, Regions & Locals
Speaker: Brian Buff, Vice President, Association Management Operations, Capitol Hill Management Services, Inc.
Almost every national and state association provides a level of service or governance at a more local level. Whether as affiliates, chapters, districts, regions or locals, these component organizations present their own unique challenges in working together for success. They also can be very effective partners in moving the association’s mission forward. Like any relationship, it takes vision and hard work to maintain a healthy relationship.

This presentation will discuss practical ways an association can conduct an assessment of its component associations in order to ensure compliance with applicable laws, such as the New York State Non-Profit Revitalization Act, as well as to ensure that the local organizations are achieving their missions, operating under best practices, providing promised services, and providing protection to the volunteers who serve these organizations. A well-organized assessment will also help an association and its local operations make sure that they have an effective and efficient partnership for growth and success.


Speaker Bios

Alisa Peters, CMP, CMM Senior Global Account Manager for Experient, A Maritz Global Events Company
Alisa specializes in strategic sourcing and contracting of international and domestic US meetings for Associations and Corporations with located both here in the US and abroad.  Her sub specialties include Meeting Design & ROI Metrics and Measurement, Meeting Marketing & Pacing and Attrition Prevention. She has been recognized by Experient and Maritz as their Trusted Advisor of the Year in 2017 companywide, and has been one of the top three Account Managers for the past 5 years with the company.  She served on the MPI International Board of Directors from 2012 thru 2016, and is a Past President of the MPI Chicago. She served on MPI’s Chapter Advisory Council in 2010-2011, MPI's Foundation US Council in 2011-2012, and facilitated Board Retreats across the US for Chapters in Distress for MPI.  

Cameron Erickson, Principle, Camelot Solutions, Inc
Cameron C. Erickson founded Camelot Solutions, Inc. in 2009 so he could follow his passion for helping people.  Cameron is committed to ensuring the success of the people that he works with and for.  He has spent over 15 years working on Process Improvement, Operations, Project Management, and Data Analytics. Cameron has supported the Capital Region Chamber's Entrepreneur Bootcamp since 2009.

Cameron's personal vision is to provide a significant, positive impact to his clients, community, and seeking to have a global impact.  Developing a large scale vision has been influential in how he attacks his personal and professional life.  This vision allows Cameron to identify a short term need and ensure that it aligns with long term success.

His professional career has allowed for a deep dive and understanding of business from all levels throughout an organization. Bringing change and improvement into an organization can be the most challenging for small or large businesses. Over the years Cameron has learned that clear communication, aligning goals and behaviors, and applying simple tools and metrics are game changes. 

Kristen Smith, Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC
Kristen works with employers, large and small, to help ensure compliance with the complex maze of labor and employment laws. She provides practical, tailored advice to help clients avert costly and damaging employment-related claims. Kristen’s prior experience working in human resource management with several large corporations (including Exelon and Bose) gives her a unique and helpful perspective into the day-to-day realities of being an employer. She merges this practical knowledge with her legal experience to provide each client with a realistic, pragmatic approach to solving employment law challenges. For example, Kristen helps employers solve confusing employee accommodation and leave issues, conducts wage and hour and employment policy audits, and assists in the implementation of reductions in force

Kevin Whorton, President, Whorton Marketing & Research 
Kevin has worked with a wide variety of charitable organizations and associations with a strong track record in diverse fields including:industry and marketing research, database marketing and analytics, strategic planning and management consulting  & communications and marketing strategy

His experience includes executive staff roles within four large organizations, serving as: Head of direct response fundraising for Catholic Relief Services; Head of marketing and research for American Society of Health-System Pharmacists; Director of member programs and VP of retailer relations for National Association of Chain Drug Stores; and Director of market research for the National Association of Home Builders.

Over the years Kevin has conducted more than 180 quantitative and qualitative research projects for 100 association and nonprofit clients, including needs assessments, compensation studies, public opinion polls, industry wide analyses, and product launch/market feasibility. Kevin has a long history of commitment to the practice of nonprofit management including presenting to more than 90 national audiences, and serving volunteer roles with the ASAE, DMA Nonprofit Federation, and other organizations. 

Brian Buff, Vice President, Association Management Operations, Capitol Hill Management Services, Inc.
Brian Buff is the Vice President of Association Management Operations at Capitol Hill Management Services (CHMS), where he oversees staff development and client resource development for the firm’s 54 clients. Capitol Hill Management Services is one of New York State’s oldest association management, government affairs and public research firms.

Brian is also a trained strategic planning facilitator, where he utilizes association management and organizational leadership best practices in providing context for long-range planning and board leadership development sessions. He serves as Secretary of the Board and Chair of the Government Affairs Committee of the Empire State Society of Association Executives. He has also volunteered his time to ESSAE as a faculty member for strategic planning and association benchmarking of the Association Leadership Academy, presenter at conferences and Autumn Ideas Markets, and Master of Ceremonies for ESSAE’s 2016 Annual Meeting & Awards Banquet.

Brian previously served as Executive Director and senior staff at several heritage/cultural agencies in New York State. He holds a masters degree in Public History with a concentration in historic/cultural agency management from the University at Albany. In the community, Brian serves as the Coordinator for the History & Heritage Program at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany, where he also served on the Pastoral Advisory Council.

Win a $5,000 Shopping Spree

Attend the ESSAE Harvest Highlight & Holiday Party and be entered to win the Niagara Falls USA $5,000 Give Away!

One lucky winner will receive a $5,000 shopping spree at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls USA! The Fashion Outlets feature over 200 designer outlets offering great savings of up to 75% off every day. The Outlets are anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, Forever 21, Nike Factory and Marshalls and is home to world-class brands like Burberry, BOSS Outlet, Coach, Cole Haan, Disney, Kate Spade NY, Michael Kors, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Under Armor, Vera Bradley, Victoria’s Secret and more. You’ll be able to treat yourself to anything your heart desires.

But wait - that's not all. You'll be picked up and brought to Niagara Falls in style for your shopping excursion, we'll even carry your bags for you! 

How do you enter?
Attendees of the Niagara Falls USA reception in Albany were the first to be entered into this drawing. 

How to do get more entries? Any Association Executive, Association Staff, or Meeting Professional who attend the Empire State Society of Association Executives (ESSAE) Harvest Highlight on Thursday, November 9 or the Holiday Party on Thursday, December 7, will receive one entry for each event.

Have an RFP* you want to share with Niagara Falls USA? You get an extra entry. Have two? You get THREE entries! Have three? You should start thinking how to spend that money because you get SIX entries!

Terms & Conditions: The $5,000 shopping spree winner MUST be present to win at the ESSAE Holiday Party on Thursday, December 7, 2017. *The first qualifying, eligible RFPs are for a booking with 500 or more cumulative room nights. Once a qualifying RFP has been submitted, additional RFPs have no such minimum. Contest applies to new RFPs submitted through Niagara Falls USA between October 27, 2017 through December 7, 2017.

Submit your RFPs online! Questions regarding the give-away should be directed to Lori White, CMP, Director of Convention & Meeting Sales at [email protected].

Accommodations and Event Policies

The Radisson Hotel Albany is offering a special discounted rate of $99! 

You can book online!

  • Enter the Date
  • Click: More Search Options 
  • Rate Type: Promotional Code
  • Code: ESSAE
  • Click "search" and the room block rate will appear on the next screen. 
  • Or simply call 1-800-333-3333
Social Media: Connect with us! @EmpireStateSAE - Event Hashtag: #ESSAEHarvest

Event Fees: 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. 

Cancellation Policy: Registrations must be made and paid for by October 26, 2017. Registration cancellations received prior to the deadline may be eligible to receive a refund less $25 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. 

Credits: This event will offer up to 3 credit hours towards the CAE/CMP designations. 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: http://www.essae.org/cae-cmp/

Questions? Contact ESSAE: 518-463-1755 or [email protected]