You may be surprised to learn there is an association for associations—an organization that offers resources to the small but mighty nonprofits around the globe. ASAE, the Center for Association Leadership, affirms, “Associations make the world smarter, safer and better.” ASAE supports associations, aiding in organizational growth, progress and their goal of mission accomplishment.
Just as Brewers Association (BA) and state brewers guild members are professional breweries and the individuals that work in the beer industry, ASAE’s members are trade associations and individual membership societies that represent nearly every sector of the economy and innumerable professions.
Each year, in effort to support the association industry and its professionals, the ASAE hosts an annual conference, packed full of organizational management seminars with content to support the directors, staff and boards that operate nonprofits. This August, the Brewers Association hosted a brewers guild leadership summit adjacent to ASAE’s Annual Meeting, held this year in Salt Lake City.
Twenty state guilds took the BA up on an offer to participate. Although the time commitment of five full days was significant, the resulting outcome for participating guild leaders was resoundingly successful.
Director of the Ohio Craft Brewers Association (OCBA), Mary MacDonald shares, “It’s really gratifying to attend events like the guild summit. As a guild leader, it is great to gauge how far each of us and our organizations have come, whether we’re still fledglings or well-established craft beer promoting juggernauts. Each meeting offers the opportunity to collaborate and learn from one another, as is common within our industry, to celebrate our successes, to gather the encouragement and mental fortitude to give something another go if it didn’t work out as planned and always to share some great craft beer!”
The first three and a half days were consumed with 120 plus association management seminars covering every topic imaginable in the realm of daily nonprofit functioning. These days were surrounded by evening receptions, private BA-sponsored happy hours and informal gatherings. The next day and a half, guilds came together to dialogue on brewing-industry specific issues of interest.
When asked about the most valuable aspect of the event, Steve Kurowski, marketing manager at the Colorado Brewers Guild articulated, “I can’t even begin to express the value of this week. We shared ideas and collaborated to make all of our guilds smarter, stronger and more creative than before.”
A committee of guild leaders was also organized to develop the plan and content for a possible 2017 guilds summit. More about the event to come in the November/December issue of The New Brewer.