A Day in the Life - Account Executive
Melanie Bowzer, CAE, Executive Director for the Association of Medical Illustrators, National Academies of Practice, and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals
A few of the email subject lines in my inbox today:
- Strategic Goal Check In
- Duck noise at Peabody
- Long-Term Investments
- RegOnline Testing
- Membership Committee Meeting
- Sponsor Info
- January Financials
- Scheduling a call
This glimpse into my email inbox provides a good overview of the variety of issues an Account Executive for a non-profit association deals with every day. While Account Executives have a distinct role to play in member interaction, finances, conference planning, membership, and committees, it largely comes down to communication. We are constantly communicating throughout the day with co-workers, volunteer leaders, members, and external vendors. Account Executives have to have their finger on the pulse of all the moving parts of the association in order to do their job well.
On top of all the constant communication, we are also in charge of governance and strategic direction. Governance isn’t just the number of members on your Board or your list of committees. Governance is the heart of your association. If the heart is strong, it helps propel the rest of the organization. Solid governance centers on mutual respect among Board members and staff along with the understanding that everyone is working toward accomplishing the same goals - which is where strategic direction comes in.
Strategic planning is a key exercise for Boards not only because it gives them an opportunity to openly discuss why belonging to the organization is important, but because it focuses the group on core goals that everyone can support. In association management, we work with volunteers who are passionate about their field and naturally, their ideas can often go in many directions at once. Strategic goals give clarity and focus to everyone’s efforts to make the absolute best use of limited resources to in turn make the biggest impact.
And a final note about working with enthusiastic volunteers: while the email inbox can seem overwhelming at times, it’s subject lines like this one from a volunteer leader or association member that put everything back into perspective as to why we do what we do every day.
Thank you so much!