To move forward sometimes we must take a step back. Both Dan and I have been very fortunate to have a combined history of over 30 years in the Association Industry.
I started my career back in the day in High School as the editor of a standards engineering publication that my father was a part of. From there I spent a few years in TV which I loved, but hated the hours! My first job in the Association industry was as an event planner organizing education programs, fundraisers and conventions for a local bar association. A few years into that position knowing there wasn’t much room for growth I made the jump to a national association in DC working again as the education and meeting planner but on a larger scale. I loved the event planning and the education sessions were always intriguing to me. Again this fit was good but there was no room for growth. I was then hired by a former colleague to handle his public relations, communications and office events. This was the perfect transition that I needed to determine what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be.
I found my way back to VA about a year later with a national association where I was hired as the Director of meetings. About a year into this our Executive Director left and I was asked to step in during the interim. That interim turned into 7 years as Executive Director. The experience I gained is invaluable. I was honored to be among the less than 2% who earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designate under the age of 30. I continued to work on the meetings (my true passion) while also taking on the roles of finance, human resources, communications, membership and marketing. The hardest part was working with a limited budget and staff.
So taking a step back in late 2014 I decided to resign from this position to become a stay at home mom to my 2 beautiful girls. In doing so I also decided to start The Next Steps, LLC. Two years later our company has grown to include membership and business development with the addition of Dan to the team. We work with companies of all sizes on their membership growth, business development and continue to provide event planning consultation and association management assistance.
What I do know is that I am the happiest I have ever been and I have always said you have to love what you do to do it every day–and I do! So stepping forward we look forward to working with new clients helping them take their next steps.