Okay, the countdown timer has started for #ASAE11 in St. Louis. My mind is now getting focused on preparations, packing, dry cleaning, and scheduling. It’s always so much to fit into such a short amount of time. There are so many sessions I want to go to, so many people I want to hang out with. It’s always overwhelming.

And this year I’m going to be delivering two sessions–one official and one unofficial.

My official session will be Monday, from 3:15 to 4:30 (room 231). It’s called “Conversations That Matter: The State of Young Association Executives: A Town Hall meeting.” We’re using open space technology for the session. We have some topics identified and people are going to self-select into small groups to discuss them, with some occasional sharing in the big group to share the wisdom.

I hope that some of you, ahem, older Association Executives will come to the session. I’m actually growing a little weary of the qualifier “young” in the phrase Young Association Executive, because the other two words (association executive) are much more defining. The work I did over the last year with the YAE Committee was awesome. These association executives are continuously underestimated. Come to the session and see for yourself.

My unofficial session is going to be in the “flash learning lounge” (not sure the room number yet) with Maddie Grant talking about our upcoming book, Humanize. Thanks to reader input on my previous post. It looks like we got more votes for “trustworthy” than the other three human elements, so that is going to be the main focus of that session (though we’ll obviously do an overview of the book as well). I think we’re shooting for doing this session immediately before my other one (Monday afternoon), but I can’t confirm that until we’re on site.

And finally, Monday night is the ever popular and fun YAP party. Again, I’m not sure the “Young” part of YAP is technically necessary. Everyone comes to the YAP party. This year it will be at “Jive and Wail,” a dueling piano bar. It’s great fun and people typically dance late into the night. Thanks to our sponsors, the early arrivers will get some drink tickets too. This year, though, we’re also raising money to support Habitat for Humanity’s efforts in rebuilding tornado-stricken Joplin, Missouri. Bring a $5 or $10 bill to drop in our box, and YAP will match the donations. Oh, and wear red! All the details are on the YAP site.

I absolutely love the ASAE annual meeting. The association community has been my home for many years. My dearest friends in the whole world are there. The opportunities I have had to write and present in this community have been critical to my professional growth. So I love that every year ASAE creates a physical space for so many of us to get together. It is a tremendous gift.

Jamie Notter