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Upon returning from the annual meeting for the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), I wanted to reflect on my whirlwind experience at the conference. First of all, I took the bold move of staying at a hotel in Redondo Beach instead of downtown Los Angeles, and, with fear and trepidation, rented a car and decided to venture onto the LA freeway system. More on that later though…

Saturday began with an all day Professional Development (PD) Council meeting. This was my rookie year on the council, so I attended with all ears and enthusiasm. Our assignment from the ASAE staff was to work to improve some of the materials typically found on the ASAE website. This included models and tools that are related to PD and education, and a PD Council newsletter that is dedicated to PD issues of associations, which are provided at no cost to members if they sign up for it. In addition, the ASAE has now also incorporated wiki technology and established an “Associapedia” (an encyclopedia for associations). I, personally, was unaware of these benefits of being a member and look forward to perusing and reviewing the tools and models that are available, as well as the topics archive. I hope to add a refreshing approach to how eLearning is represented in these two areas of the association site.

Speaking of, I was delighted to learn in the afternoon meeting that Anne Blouin, the Chief Learning Officer at ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership, was interested in having the council develop a “next generation in learning” educational track for The Great Ideas Conference in March, 2011. Of particular note was a discussion that arose around how associations were integrating their social media initiatives with their formal eLearning effort (bound to be a big topic for the Great Ideas Conference). However, what I look forward to the most is being able to, as a volunteer, work side by side with association education experts to learn more of what’s actually happening on the ground at various associations.

Oh, and about my adventures on the beach and freeway. I enjoyed soaking my tired feet in the Pacific Ocean every night… the cool breezes, the open fish market, and the eclectic urban mix of people enjoying the sun and sand were a perfect way to end the evenings. As for the freeway system, I learned that the trip into LA was a simple six miles to the 105, another six miles to the 110, and another six miles to the convention center – and at 75 mph it was generally a 20-30 minute ride without incident. Fortunately, I was able to return my rental car unscathed and with a tank full of gas. Me? … I was running on empty.