Spring Fore-ward

Starts:  Jun 7, 2021 1:15 PM (CT)
Ends:  Jun 8, 2021 4:30 PM (CT)

It is with great excitement that we will be offering the 2021 Spring Fore-ward in-person June 7-8, 2021, hosted by the beautiful Grand Geneva Resort and Spa. This event centers around professional development and the long-awaited networking opportunities and reconnecting with fellow association executives, meeting professionals and industry partners.

In lieu of an organized golf tournament, we are offering tee times for anyone interested in taking advantage of the beautiful Grand Geneva Golf Course.

Outstanding education will be front and center at the Spring Fore-ward, including the following sessions:

  • Tough Decisions in a .org World - Association Ethics in 2021 with presenter Karl Alrichs, CSP
  • Next Steps – Recruiting, Retaining and Engaging Members with presenter Jim Lindell, CSP, Thorsten Consulting Group, Inc.
  • Increase your Performance Through Self-Compassion with presenter Debbie Vyskocil
  • The World Is Changing – How do 2021 Trends impact us and how do we keep up with presenters Sherry Budziak and Jennie Socha, CAE

Lake Cruise
Thank you to Lake Geneva Cruise Line and Lake Life Catering for sponsoring our networking social on Monday, June 7th! We will be cruising the stunning Geneva Lake onboard the beautiful Steam Yacht Louise. Food and libations will be provided courtesy of our wonderful sponsors. 

Link to virtual tour: https://real.vision/812-wrigley-dr---louise

Safe and Healthy
WSAE staff and Board of Directors hold our members' health and well-being as a top priority, and we understand the financial challenges that many of you within our membership community have faced over the past year. We also recognize that it is critical to support our members to stay connected and provide practical resources that will help you and your business thrive, even in the face of adversity.

COVID-19 Code of Conduct

WSAE is preparing for the Spring Fore-ward event so that all individuals on-site attendees, speakers, staff and venue personnel remain safe, healthy, and comfortable throughout the event. The health and safety of our members is our top priority.

Masks will be mandatory during the Spring Fore-ward, regardless of the state of Wisconsin lifting the mandatory mask mandate. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own masks. Please be sure you are comfortable with our Code of Conduct, which outlines our mask policy, and are willing to sign the COVID-19 Waiver before registering for WSAE’s Spring Fore-ward event.


In lieu of an organized golf tournament, we are offering tee times for anyone interested in taking advantage at the beautiful Highlands Golf Course at the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa. The Highlands is a Scottish-inspired, links-style course, complete with a beautiful landscape of scenic hills, bubbling creeks and lush foliage. This Lake Geneva golf course was originally designed by Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus and transformed in 1996 by Bob Cupp.

The course provides an outstanding golf experience, weaving and rolling through the glacier-formed terrain of Southwestern Wisconsin yet transporting golfers to Scotland, without them having to own a passport or "hop the pond."

Masks will not be required on the golf course but will be required when indoors or in an enclosed space and other people are present in the same room. Please see the resorts’ Message for Golfers as it relates to health and safety measures for COVID-19.



1:15-1:45 pm


1:45-3:15 pm

Tough Decisions in a .org World - Association Ethics in 2021
Presenter: Karl Ahlrichs, CSP

Leadership is held to a higher standard on decision-making, especially in the very visible world of association management. In this discussion, we will cover making the right decision under the pressure of modern society, and then we will share what leaders can do to develop others in these issues.

Association executives know that getting ethics right is a big deal. An organization’s ethics is directly connected to its reputation in the community, and solid ethical principles are crucial for the long-term success of any organization. This facilitated discussion goes face-to-face, beyond a lecture on ethical principles – it is a series of executive level case study challenges that offer “real time” practice in resolving dilemmas, with participants sharpening their skills. 

Key learnings include:

  • Ethics under pressure, and how to do the right thing.
  • Understanding the specific unconscious biases that affect our judgement.
  • Using these skills to resolve ethical dilemmas under pressure.
  • Train the trainer using adult learning methods to transfer wisdom and change behaviors.

This will be a strategic session mixed with sharing some tactics that can be implemented immediately, offering the view from 35,000 feet with occasional dips to ground level. Participants will get effective tactics for keeping their biases in check, and their values and ethics aligned with the vision of their association and their members.

    3:15-3:45 pm


    3:45-4:45 pm

    Next Steps – Recruiting, Retaining and Engaging Members
    Presenter: Jim Lindell, CSP, Thorsten Consulting Group, Inc.

    2025 will be here in a heartbeat. In today’s “new abnormal” environment, association leadership needs to execute three critical things to make their association sustainable. In a world of hybrid meetings and shifting member expectations, association leaders have to adapt quickly. What works? What fails? This fast-paced keynote covers the topic from both the leader’s viewpoint and from the member’s side of the desk.

    This presentation aims to motivate association leadership to meet the needs of their members and focus on the key issues facing their members. What in the future will be different? What will be the same? Jim will make the key issues simple and understandable and share the skills and processes needed to recruit, retain and engage members.

    Getting this right is essential and becoming more crucial as the membership evolves – the new normal followed the great recession and current data trends show that we have entered the “new abnormal.” Association leadership needs to be proactive in how we handle it. Our presenter is a CEO and Executive Coach working directly with multiple state associations and has direct personal experience in the issues facing modern leaders.

    5:30-7:15 pm

    Lake Cruise 
    We will be cruising the stunning Geneva Lake onboard the beautiful Steam Yacht Louise. Food and libations will be provided courtesy of our wonderful sponsors. Thanks to Lake Geneva Cruise Line and Lake Life Catering for sponsoring this event. Boarding begins at 5:30 pm, and we cruise from 5:45 pm-7:45 pm.  Docking location is at Riviera Docks, 812 Wrigley Dr., Lake Geneva, WI 53147. For more information, please click here: https://www.cruiselakegeneva.com/.


    8:30-10:00 am


    8:30-9:30 am


    10:00 am-3:00 pm Golf Tee Times

    10:00 am-
    12:00 pm

    Increase Your Performance Through Self-Compassion
    Presented by Debbie Vyskocil

    Two factors can stall creativity and curb productivity: 1) being self-judgmental and 2) being self-critical. For leadership, the need to be resilient and self-compassionate is crucial; those who are constantly judging themselves cannot perform at their best. Leaders must be creative in their forward thinking and be able to bounce back quickly from adversity in order to best serve members and the organization.

    Learn how self-compassion can elevate confidence and resilience, and ignite motivation. Work on skills to open your awareness and bring self-kindness into your life. When you leave you will have developed skills to implement and understand the science behind them.

    We are emotionally exhausted, developing self-compassion is necessary to create our optimal performance and true happiness.

    12:00 pm-1:00 pm
    1:00 pm-3:00 pm


    The World Is Changing – How do 2021 Trends impact us and how do we keep up
    Presented by Sherry Budziak and Jennie Socha, CAE

    In this session, you’ll hear about some of the trends affecting associations and how they influence our organizations as we move through the remainder of 2021 and beyond. Trends explored include hospitality, meetings, marketing and more. These trends will impact how we operate, our expectations in the financial area and the way we plan for the future.

    Once trends have been explored, we’ll have plenty of time for discussion and scenario planning to help you move forward though these changing and often challenging times.


    The last day to register is Thursday, June 3.






    Golf, Twosome*


    Golf, Foursome*


    Monday Only


    First Time Meeting Planner


    *Contact Chris Caple (ccaple@wsae.org) to register a twosome, foursome. It is strongly encouraged to invite association professionals to fill your twosome or foursome.

    Registration Benefits

    • Enjoy a 20% discount at The Well Spa.
    • Receive a waived resort fee for all room reservations.
    • Receive a 20% discount of green fees, Sunday, 6/6/21, Monday, 6/7/21 and Wednesday, 6/8/21.
    • Want to lengthen your stay? A special discounted rate on Sunday, June 6, 2021 of $79.00 is offered along with group rate available up to three days after the event.
    • Golfers, check your golf bag at the clubhouse when you arrive, and staff will place on your cart for the golf tournament.
    • Most importantly, the opportunity to network and receive education in-person!
    Grand Geneva Resort and Spa
    7036 Grand Geneva Way
    Lake Geneva, WI 53127

    A block of rooms is reserved at a special rate of $79.00 on Sunday, June 6, and $120.00 on Monday, June 7, 2021.  

    To make a reservation, contact group reservations at 262-248-8811 and refer to group code WSAE.


    Several sponsorship levels are available to support the Spring Fore-ward. Review the support prospectus. Customized ideas are also welcome!

    Please consider donating a door prize showcasing your products or services.  Door prizes will be awarded at the Golf Awards and Closing reception on Tuesday, June 7th.  Tickets are available for purchase on the registration page and also on-site during the event. A limited number of prizes will be available.

    To discuss sponsorship, reserve a space and/or donate a door prize, please contact Chris Caple.

    For more information about our event sponsors, visit their websites by clicking on their logos!

    Presenting Sponsor
    Grand Geneva Resort and Spa
    Event Sponsors


    Janesville Area CVB Experience Rochester, MN
    Lake Geneva Cruise Line Lake Life Catering
    Manitowoc-Two Rivers Wisconsin%20Dells%20rgb.jpg

    CAE_approved_web_icon.jpg   This activity is worth up to 6.5 CAE credits:
    • Monday  Sessions: 2.5 CAE Credits
    • Tuesday Sessions: 4.0 CAE Credits