Nonprofit Execs Talk about Strategic Assessment

Problem Statement

This interactive panel discussion will feature nonprofit execs sharing how strategic assessments changed their organizations.

A strategic assessment is like a check-up for your association. Specifically, a strategic assessment will help you:

  • Create a plan for moving your association or nonprofit in a forward direction toward your goals
  • “Clean out” those unwieldy processes that build up over the years
  • Identify where staff training would be helpful
  • Identify if a change in technology or Association Management System (AMS) may help your organization

A strategic assessment is especially helpful when you have one or more of these situations confronting you:

  • You need to work your strategic plan
  • You’re frustrated with your AMS
  • Department silos keep you from getting things done
  • You know “there’s got to be a better way”
  • You think at a third-party opinion might make a difference to your board

In this session, you’ll learn how one association is creating a digital culture that empowers staff members to make strategic decisions based on their own credible data. You’ll also hear from another who is breaking down silos and getting staff members all on the same page and working towards the same strategic goals. Another exec will share their determination to kick their AMS to the curb, only to discover technology was not the problem.


Mark Jones, CAE
enSYNC Corporation
Mark Jones, CAE, is the founder and president of enSYNC Corporation, a company serving association and nonprofit organizations. He has served on the board of a regional chapter of the American Red Cross, and has been on the board of the Texas Society of Association Executives. He has won numerous awards including TSAE's Strategic Partner of the Year and several from the National iMIS User's Group for his contributions to that community. He has been a speaker at several conferences in the association community, including the TSAE, NIUG, and the Dallas Fort Worth Association Executives.

Steven Stout
Texas Society of Association Executives
Executive Director
Steven was recently named as the new Executive Director for the Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE). He earned his BBA at Baylor University in Business Communication as well as Public Relations in Waco, TX. Before entering the association world, he worked as a radio disc-jockey from the age of 15 to 23 working at various top 40 and adult contemporary stations. He has been selected as 1 of 10 US Nationwide Diversity Executive Leadership Program Scholars (DELP) by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) professional designation, awarded the Texas Society of Association Executives' (TSAE) Young Professional of the Year Award in 2010, named as one of USAE Magazine & The Association Forum of Chicagoland's 40 Under 40 in the association industry, and most recently selected as one of Association Trends Magazine's Young & Aspiring Association Professionals. He has served on numerous councils for the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE): the Young Professionals Committee, the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, and currently the Meetings & Expositions Section Council. He has also been a featured speaker at hospitality conferences as well as association management conferences throughout the years.

Christopher Williston
Independent Bankers Association of Texas
Senior Vice President
Christopher Williston VI, CAE, is Executive Vice President of the Independent Bankers of Texas where he develops strategy for member communications and helps tell the story of community banking to outside audiences. He also assists in their government relations efforts as a registered lobbyist in the state of Texas. Christopher is incoming chairman for the Texas Society of Association Executives.

Shawna Strickland
American Association for Respiratory Care
Associate Executive Director
Dr. Shawna Strickland is a Registered Respiratory Therapist and Certified Asthma Educator. She joined the American Association for Respiratory Care, the national organization for respiratory therapists, as the Associate Executive Director of Education in 2013. In this role, she develops, implements, and evaluates continuing education for respiratory care practitioners; is the managing editor of the Respiratory Care Education Annual; oversees member services; and manages special grants and projects with industry sponsors. She earned her undergraduate degrees from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and her graduate degrees from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She also currently serves as adjunct faculty at Rush University, teaching doctoral courses in educational leadership in the College of Health Sciences.