The Summit

Starts:  Oct 26, 2021 08:45 (CT)
Ends:  Oct 27, 2021 12:00 (CT)

WSAE’s annual Summit is the premier event for executives, professional staff and Industry Partners to participate in top-level education programs, earn CAE credit, and personally connect with other members in our association community. Hosted by the beautiful brand new state of the art Brookfield Conference Center over the dates of October 26-27, 2021, attendees will receive two days of relevant education, “experience” style networking events and the opportunity to share ideas among our peers.

The Summit is the perfect opportunity to challenge your thinking and learn from your peers and other association experts.

Location: Brookfield Conference Center


Thoughtfully Fit®: Build Resilience in Uncertain Times
with presenter Darcy LuomaCopy_of_Thoughtfully_Fit_Book_Cover.jpg

Join Madison, Wisconsin’s favorite executive coach as she teaches you how to face any challenge – no matter how difficult – using a model she herself has tested under extreme fire.

In difficult times, it can feel like everything is out of our control and we have no choices. Darcy Luoma knows this firsthand, as she had to deal with the aftermath of her husband’s sudden and shocking arrest for sexual assault of a minor he met online. She put her own teachings of how to be Thoughtfully Fit® to the test for her business, her children, and herself to thrive.

Crises, big and small, are unavoidable. How you handle them is what determines whether you falter or flourish. In this engaging and inspiring session, Darcy will train you to use these same tools to build your core so you can handle any conflict, change or uncertainty. You will leave with a core workout to immediately strengthen your life personally, professionally, spiritually, and emotionally.

Attendees will receive a copy of Darcy Luoma's book, Thoughtfully Fit: Your Training Plan for Life & Business.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021
8:15 - 8:45 am Registration
Continental Breakfast
8:45 - 9:45 am Welcome and Keynote
Thoughtfully Fit: Build Resilience in Uncertain Times
Presenter: Darcy Luoma, Darcy Luoma Coaching & Consulting
9:45 - 10:00 am Break
10:00 - 11:00 am

Intentional Membership Growth
Presenter: Shari Pash, Membership & Growth Strategist, Strategic Solutions for Growth

In this session we discuss and learn about focused areas of strategic membership growth.  Walk away with tips, tools, and best practices to strengthen your membership team and division. Work hands on with developing member personas to enhance your engagement and recruitment strategies.  We will also touch on consistent measurements and accountabilities for member engagement and relevant growth, member recruitment and engagement plan development, and maximizing your member data base to add value to the overall process.

11:00 am - 12:00 pm The Importance of DEI to Associations
Presenter to be announced
12:00 - 1:30 pm Awards Lunch
1:30-2:30 pm Walking the Tightrope: Achieving Member Personalization through Organizational Systems – Don’t Look Down
  • Annette Schott, Director of Education for the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (MDS) a client of Executive Director Inc. (EDI)
  • Ritesh Kothari, Vice President of Digital Solutions, Academy for Continued Healthcare Learning (ACHL)
2:30 - 3:00 pm More info coming soon!
3:00 - 3:15 pm Break
3:15 - 4:15 pm  Meeting Contract Considerations During and Beyond COVID-19: Ask the Association Attorney
Presenter:Nisha Thakker, Counsel, Tenenbaum Law Group PLLC

Associations are dealing with enormous change in the way they conduct events as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a complimentary video webinar that will be audience-driven, association attorney Nisha Thakker – who has extensive experience in this area, having advised over 400 associations on these issues during the pandemic – will address pandemic-related legal issues focused on meeting contract cancellations and attrition and liabilities for in-person meetings, as well as addressing contract provisions to protect associations in connection with future events. Nisha will go beyond force majeure and COVID-specific provisions and highlight contract terms and negotiation strategies and tactics to provide associations with greater flexibility as they continue to navigate an uncertain in-person event landscape.

4:15 - 6:15 pm Industry Partner Showcase
6:30 pm Visit Brookfield sponsored event:

Join us for WhirlyBall and HyperBowling!

Just a short walk from the Brookfield Conference Center- WhirlyBall!  

WhirlyBall is the most fun you can have going 4 miles an hour! A combination of lacrosse, hockey, basketball and bumper cars, WhirlyBall is a game of skill coupled with a touch of chance.  Don’t miss YOUR chance to visit the first WhirlyBall in Wisconsin.  Also available to us are several lanes of bowling, test your skill and compete against your peers for bragging rights.  A variety of food and two beverages are included. 
*$15 fee to attend


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

8:00 - 9:00 am Networking Breakfast
9:00 - 10:00 am

The Positive Power of Servant Leadership
Presenter: Tom Thibodeau

Tom Thibodeau is the Distinguished Professor of Servant Leadership at Viterbo University where he has taught for the past 38 years. He is the founder of the master’s program in Servant Leadership at Viterbo University, the only master’s degree of its kind in the nation. Tom is a husband, father, grandfather, teacher, public speaker, active community member and part owner of a country tavern.

10:00 - 11:00 am

How to Communicate Virtually Across Generations
Presenter: Steve Bench, Generational Consulting

The Covid-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the workplace and both 2020 and 2021 were huge experiments in working from home. So, if we’re working remotely, does that mean that these generational issues go away? The issues are still there, but what the workplace looks like will be forever changed. What will come back, and what will never come back? Some bosses are worried their employees may never want to come back! Eventually we'll find balance again, but in the meantime this session will teach you how to build culture and improve the way you communicate virtually across the generations!

11:00 - 11:15 am Break
11:15 - 12:00 pm

Creating Your Action Plan 
Presenter: Shari Pash, Membership & Growth Strategist, Strategic Solutions for Growth

This session will be hands on with strategy to take the information that you've learned and gleaned from the Summit and put it into action.  We will create an action plan that helps you implement key items from sessions and discuss best practices.  This helps add value to your time away from the office and investment in the Summit.

12:00 - 2:00 pm Board of Directors Meeting

Earn 8.25 CAE Credit Hours!

Health and Safety

WSAE is considering the safety of in-person attendees at the Summit our top priority.  During the Summit, we will be following the current guidelines recommended by the CDC.  If you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 you should follow the CDC’s Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People. People who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, should use prevention strategies, such as wearing masks, physical distancing, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette. Our decisions and preventive measures are guided by the requirements and recommendations by both the CDC and local health authorities in which WSAE will closely monitor changing conditions and decide if protocols will change. The responsibility for a safe and healthy event environment is shared among WSAE staff, venue, and every participant. As part of your duty of care responsibilities, you should NOT attend the Summit if you: 

  • are experiencing, or within the 10 days prior have experienced signs and symptoms of COVID-19;
  • believe that you may have been exposed to a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19; and/or
  • have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are not yet cleared as non-contagious by the health care team responsible for your treatment.

Below is an evolving list of resources that will continue to reflect updates and the current health and safety protocols around Covid-19.

For information on conducting events, CDC Frequently Asked Questions for Events

Brookfield Conference Center
Safety & Sanitation Procedures:  The safety and security of our guests and team members remain our highest priority. The Brookfield Conference Center and Hilton Garden Inn Brookfield are updating our sanitation and operating procedures to ensure guest protection and provide maximum flexibility as the situation around COVID-19 continues to evolve.

Team member health monitoring

  • Prohibiting sick team members in the workplace
  • Daily team member temperature & wellness checks (logged by manager) for unvaccinated
  • Vaccinated Team Members wear buttons.

Cleanliness and sanitation

  • Hand sanitizer stations at each doorway
  • Increased cleaning of public areas, focusing on high-contact surfaces such as doorknobs and counter tops
  • Increased frequency of restroom checks, cleaning and sanitizing all areas

Food safety

  • Team member training on strict handwashing practices
  • Gloves required for all kitchen and service team members and masks required service team members that are not vaccinated

COVID-19 Policy & Liability Waiver
By attending the Summit, you voluntarily assume all risks and accept sole responsibility for any injury related to exposure to COVID-19, and release WSAE from liability for any injury or harm that may result by attending the event. WSAE’s goal is to ensure a safe meeting environment. As such, you also agree to abide by any prevention or safety measures that WSAE, the Brookfield Conference Center, the Waukesha County Public Health Department or the State of Wisconsin may have in place during the event. You also agree not to attend the event if you become ill, are aware that you’ve been directly exposed to the COVID-19 virus within two weeks prior to the event, or exhibit any symptoms of the COVID-19 virus prior to or during the event.

Hotel Information

The Hilton Garden Inn is offering a special rate of $119.00 for attendees of The Summit. Book your reservation online now. 

This rate will be offered until September 25, 2021.

Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee Brookfield Conference Center
265 S. Moorland Road
Brookfield, Wisconsin 53005

Thank you to our event sponsors

Host Sponsors

Brookfield Conference Center  Visit Brookfield
 Event Sponsors  

If you are interested in supporting the Summit, we have industry partner showcase availability, as well as a variety of sponsorship packages, please contact Chris Caple at

Thank you to 2021 WSAE Annual Sponsors