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  • May 28, 2020 10:31 AM | Anonymous
    By Suzanne Lanctot
    Managing Director
    About Suzanne

    Let’s face it. When your association has only one annual event and that event is expected to produce a large percentage of your non-dues revenue, every step must be taken to ensure a unique and memorable experience.

    No pressure.

    Professional development and education, branding, engagement, networking, building loyalty, recruiting – each component during the event must inspire and contribute to the long-term success of the association.

    Did I mention revenue?

    Most event planning decisions, both proactive and reactive, should strongly take into consideration the feedback from attendees. Last year’s conference sets the stage for next year. Previous feedback provides the elucidations for a better conference next year with the goal of constant improvement.

    But what is the best way to solicit meaningful feedback?

    It is generally understood that there are three select times for doing this - pre-event, mid-event, and post-event.

    Pre-event questions are more associated with the planning stage of an event and can be carefully crafted based on the feedback from the previous year’s conference or event. Hopefully, through the qualitative and quantitative data ascertained, you will be able to come up with new, fresh ideas for this year’s conference, especially if the conference is moving to a virtual platform. Members and past participants may have some very creative ideas, and who better to provide insights? Objectivity is key.

    Mid-event questions are sometimes called “instant” or “real-time” feedback. This can come in several forms, but one of the best ways is by responding to questions through an event app or text messaging. These methods are prevalent now that more and more conferences and events are virtual. Polls can also be used during virtual events, with just a few relevant questions during and/or after each conference session. Such responses are “sooner rather than later” and tend to be unrushed, less reflective and more emotive. The trick is not to distract the attendees – keep the questions short and few. Using mid-event questions, when done properly, can be easier for attendees than the arduous post-conference questionnaire when they are mentally tired and distracted with socializing and good-byes.

    Another idea for mid-event feedback for an in-person event is establishing a feedback table. This can be a different approach and provide “real time” responses based more in the moment. A knowledgeable volunteer can reply “in person” during the event and ensure that the participant has been heard…and possibly solicit a video testimonial. Those who are more comfortable in anonymity can use comment cards.

    Post-conference questions usually come in the form of the paper and pen survey at the end of the event or the email survey, but these can prove difficult as they challenge the member’s time and can also challenge their reflective memory. Some associations provide pre-loaded survey questions on iPads at the event or provide the link (via email or projected on the screen) and ask participants to complete the survey online before they leave.

    I would consider using mid-event feedback if you don’t already. Create an attendee engagement platform and find the balance through the multiple ways of soliciting event feedback. It can be the difference between a good event or a great event…and long-term success for your association.

  • May 08, 2020 10:09 AM | Anonymous

    By Conni Ingallina
    About Conni

    We are proud of the work that our clients are doing to support others in this time of crisis. Here are just a few examples:

    Family Emergency Relief Fund - The Phoenix Union Foundation for Education is an organization that supports the Phoenix Union High School District by raising money and funding scholarships for graduating seniors pursuing their next level of education, awarding grant requests made by educators, and supporting the district, as needed. The COVID-19 crisis brought to light many other needs for the students and their families in the greater Phoenix communities. Food and technology are at the top of the list of needs.

    After becoming aware of these great needs, the Foundation Board unanimously passed the motion to create a specific COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund to directly support students and their families in this time of need. The Foundation seeded this Fund with $30,000 in hopes that the community at large would step up and contribute as well. That, they did, donating over $47,000 in the first week and the outpouring from the community is still growing.

    Feeding Families in India – Five Rivers International found out there were many starving families in the mountains of India who were unable to buy food. With the assistance of partners on the ground, they were able to seed money into this effort to feed hundreds of families.

    Supporting Healthcare Workers on the Frontlines – Working on the frontlines of the COVID19 pandemic, the American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners (AAENP) has worked tirelessly to provide online resources and webinars to connect their members with information and each other.

    The Phoenix Union Foundation for Education, AAENP, and Five Rivers Intl. are managed by SOS-Association Management Solutions.

  • May 01, 2020 2:46 PM | Anonymous

    By Kenny Leahman

    We learned a few days ago of the second Covid-19 related death in our close circle of friends and family. Fortunately, two close friends who had the virus have completely recovered. This whole scenario still is very up close and personal for us.

    In response to numerous comments by several close friends and clients about how concerned they are, and the fact that their anxiety levels keep rising, I’ve put together these tips on how to cope. I imagine there are others out there who might also appreciate a few tips and ideas that they might not have already considered, so here’s a start.

    Please feel free to pass this on.

    Be Mindful: Be mindful of what you’re doing and why! Now is the time to be very conscious of our choices!

    Lead: We don’t need a title or a position to lead. I’ve never experienced a time in my life where leadership was more critical. Find ways to lead in your family, in your virtual workplace, in your virtual community and in your neighborhood.

    The News: Turn it Off! The same, sad, scary information cycles over and over and can wear you down! Don’t worry about missing something important, because replays are everywhere. Sad news generates sad feelings! It WILL wear you down if you’re not careful! TURN IT OFF!

    Engage: We just did a brief, but meaningful “through the glass door from ten feet away gettogether” with a neighbor. It was a big boost for all of us. Now’s the time to expand, not shrink your circle of contacts. Be the one to reach out! Keep engaged! Do NOT retreat! I’m consciously reaching out now to people I miss and haven’t engaged with for a while. Do more Personal vs Impersonal communication! Use tech to your advantage, e.g., ZOOM in on someone; SKYPE! Check out the SIGNAL app if you don’t already have it. It’s better than WhatsApp and more secure. (My Prediction: “Zoom” could be a 2020 word of the year!)

    Read: Start or join an online book club! Most books are now online. No need to visit a library or go to the bookstore. Balance out your TV Time with Reading Time.

    The Harvard Business Review (HBR) Free! HBR is offering all its Covid-19 related articles free to the public. Check out the weekly, sometimes daily, articles with tips on how to be more productive; how to conduct better virtual meetings; how to juggle family, work and stress; and one of my favorites: Focusing Attention

    Learn! A friend led me Great Courses Plus. Now is a great time to broaden our minds and to explore new dimensions rather than letting this crisis mess with our emotions. The more engaged we are with our brains, the more control we have over scary thoughts and anxiety. Learn a new language; Visit the Louvre.

    Movies! Film Festivals are coming to you online, including the "We Are One" You Tube Film Festival! from 29 May–7 June with 20 partners—streaming free to cinema fans everywhere. The event will feature programming from 20 top film festivals including the Cannes Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival and Venice Film Festival. Donations received will go to support the World Health Organization (WHO).

    Cook! Share with others from your kitchen! We’ve been cooking more for fun! We got invited and joined in on a “share your favorite recipe” chain letter. Chain letters aren’t everyone’s thing, but sharing cooking ideas, recipes, discoveries, and successes can be a great way to engage! Did you just bake or cook something that turned out great? Or if it didn’t, is there someone who could “coach you a bit” to get it right? If you haven’t seen it, the Netflix Series, SALT FAT ACID HEAT is pretty fun and educational.

    De-litter your part of the planet: One of my favorite organizations, 4Ocean, is struggling as a result of the current situation and has had to shutter some of its global operations. This week, while walking through our neighborhood—which has a beautiful stream—I decided that I’m going to begin carrying a trash bag on my walks so that I can collect garbage (including stuff that’s in the stream) and recycling or trashing it at home. It’s a great time to begin helping to de-litter our own small part of the planet.

    Be Active: Get up and move! Do more walks; go for a run; do the stairs in your home or building more than usual; find an online exercise class or trainer; stretch!

    Restaurants—Still an Option: Hard hit and innovative, MANY restaurants are still, or have begun bringing GREAT meals to your doorstep. So far, we have organized two neighborhood ‘virtual dinners.’ We contacted our favorite restaurant, placed one big collective order and had it delivered to our home. We then delivered the food to our neighbors’ doorsteps, shared hellos and virtual hugs through glass doors, then enjoyed a virtual evening dinner together. ‘Twas a big Win-Win in many ways for us AND the restaurant team!

    Many restaurants are now offering grocery delivery.

    Music: Make a Feel Good Tunes playlist and play it loud! Change it up; Update it often!

    Dance: Dance alone or dance together with friends on video! And if YOU don’t dance, watch some videos on YouTube or online of others who REALLY can. Check this one out! Amazingly well done and sure to make you smile! – Vintage Movie Stars Dance to Uptown Funk

    Help someone else | Give of yourself:

    Find the lonely: Who do you know who’s alone? Find them. Call them; don’t put it off. We’ve done more calls recently with our seniors and have been able to tangibly hear their smiles and gratitude.

    SHARE! Find or be an empathetic listener. If you’re feeling anxious or scared, share your feelings. Remember that right now, MANY others are feeling the same way. When I’m feeling anxious or concerned, a great way to get out of my own head is to support someone else. It ALWAYS makes me feel better.

    Volunteer: Find an online volunteer option … NOTE: These are all from a quick Google search; I have not validated ANY of them.

    Donate! Donations are needed now more than ever! Giving to others ALWAYS lifts my spirits! Use this time to clean out a closet, sort through stuff that’s just sitting unused, and donate! Call a charity and schedule a pick-up from your doorstep or sidewalk.

    Use your time wisely: Make a schedule and keep to it. Don’t sleep in every day. Get up, get going, and if needed, because stress can definitely generate fatigue, take a nap at an appropriate time later in the day. But, remain productive.

    Hobbies: Return to that hobby you dropped a while ago. I’m playing the piano again, and I’m also going to practice my fly-fishing cast more often (alone, of course, or at least six feet down or upstream from my fishing buddy).

    Video parties! We recently celebrated my birthday on Zoom, and good friends have invited us to join their weekly Thursday night video dance parties!

    Gardening: I do some gardening in our yard, but mostly in containers. Even if you haven’t ever gardened before, you can order some seeds or even small live plants online for delivery. Getting my hands in the soil, planting, watering, then caring for plants is great for the soul. Nature is miraculous. Bring some of it into your life right now.

    Walking outdoors: During a walk alone or with family, look for all the signs of Spring, and take photos along the way of unique and fun stuff.

    Share photos: I’m a photographer and am currently sending a ‘photo of the day’ to a circle of friends and loved ones! The photos our daughter texts us of our brand new grandson are a HUGE positive! And then…hearing him coo when we do video calls is enough to chase away ANY dark cloud or sad news story.

    LAUGH! Humor is the BEST medicine, especially in times like these. We scheduled a Zoom call with friends for 30 minutes and it lasted two hours! We laughed nearly the entire time. Find funny animal videos on YouTube or your favorite comedian. Find a way to laugh!

  • April 16, 2020 2:10 PM | Anonymous

    We're proud to work with the Phoenix Union Foundation for Education who shared this press release today: 

    The Phoenix Union Foundation for Education (PUFE) has created a $30,000 Emergency Relief Fund to benefit families of the Phoenix Union High School District (PXU) impacted by hardships due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This Fund, unanimously passed by the Foundation’s Executive Board on March 31, will directly support students and their families in this time of need.

    “We knew there was already a great need in our district before COVID–19 and have seen this need only grow for our families”, Phoenix Union Foundation President, Sentari Minor said. “It is our obligation, as a Foundation, to step up and meet the needs of the most vulnerable, and this Relief Fund is a great start to ensure that all students are able to continue learning in spite of this situation.”

    The Fund, created to purchase items the school district is unable to purchase for families like food, toiletries, mobile hot spots, and much more was seeded by the Foundation as a first step in hopes that the community at large will now have a place to go to donate directly. The Foundation has placed a “Donate” button on their website COVID-19_Emergency_Relief_Fund where members of the community can donate directly to the Emergency Relief Fund. The Phoenix Union Foundation for Education is a 501(c)(3) organization and therefore, all donations are tax deductible. All funds raised through and for the Relief Fund will go directly to ensuring the students and families of PXU receive the relief they need.

    If you are inclined to donate dollars or items to the Relief Fund to support PXU students, please contact Laura Taylor at info@foundation4education.org or (480) 289-5761 to accept your donation and ensure it gets into the hands of those who need it most.

  • April 10, 2020 11:02 AM | Anonymous

    By Anna Jovel
    SOS Account Executive
    About Anna

    Whew… It’s been a quite a whirlwind the last couple of weeks. Many people’s lives have been turned upside down since the start of the COVID-19 spread. There is worry about loved ones becoming at risk, travel bans put in place, a lack of toilet paper, and as many of you are experiencing, the need to work from home.

    How’s it going? Have you changed out of your pajamas yet? Personally, I don’t mind working from home. I actually get A LOT done. But I think part of my problem with working from home is that there is no separation of work time versus home time so my reaction is just to be in work mode, all the time. As you can imagine, the “work all the time mindset” can definitely cause some stress. Have kiddos that are stuck at home too? Bring on the additional stress.

    So, how do we balance this new lifestyle during this time? Below are some tips and tricks that I have read about or personally experienced:

    1. Manage expectations, or as Forbes Magazine calls it, “Get real with your boss and teammates.” Be forthright and let your clients, your teammates, and your Board know what is happening in your world today and what your game plan is to handle it. A simple message stating your circumstance and that you are still committed to supporting your organization goes a long way.

    2. “Create (and maintain) a designated workspace,” (Business News Daily). Having a designated workspace (and using it) allows you to focus your attention to the task at hand. Personally, this has helped me to find the balance between my home and work life. I have set up a desk space with my computers, notes, etc., and when I sit in this space, it is time to work. I do not use it for anything else. When I step away, I can be in a different mindset to take a walk, help my kids, or focus on something else.

    3. Do not, I repeat, do not, use your bed for your workspace. The American College of Healthcare Sciences suggests that working in bed, “limits focus, decreases productivity, and hurts sleep.” Your mind associates your bed as a space for rest and recovery. If you begin to utilize it as a space for work, the next time “you lay in bed to call it a night your mind will continue to think.” Additionally, is there enough space in your bed to be productive? When working, it is important to organize your materials to remain focused. When you are in your bed, surrounded by blankets and pillows, it can be difficult to lay out all of your materials and get the work done productively.

    4. Utilize video conferencing. At work, many of us are used to the social interactions that occur between teammates and clients. Now that we are all stuck in our homes we are missing out on a lot of social opportunities. Using video conferencing instead of phone calls helps to bring some of that social interaction back to our new work environments. It also helps to focus productivity. Often, when you are on a phone call, it is hard to know if someone is really paying attention or when they have finished their thought. The ability to see facial expressions helps us to bring back some of that body language, an integral part of human connection and communication, into our meetings or conversations.

    5. Have kids at home? Practice patience. “Trying to remain at the top of your game at work while also taking care of young children is completely unrealistic,” (Forbes).

    • Be patient with yourself – take walks to maintain your sanity, lower the expectations of yourself, ask for extensions on deadlines when you need them.
    • Be patient with your clients and teammates – more than likely, these people are experiencing similar circumstances. Some projects that you are working on might become delayed or new projects become a higher priority due to the current situation. It is okay to rearrange the priority of projects and it is okay to put things on hold (just make sure everyone is on the same page first).
    • Be patient with your children – most are not used to having to learn at home. Always remember to pick your battles and if you can get them to be engaged in some type of learning for a couple of hours a day, you have succeeded.
    We are all in this together. Sending health, safety, and well wishes your way during this time.


    Gausepohl, Shannon. “7 Ways to Improve Work-Life Balance When You Work at Home.” Business News Daily, Businessnewsdaily.com, 23 Feb. 2017, www.businessnewsdaily.com/7712-work-life-balance-home-entrepreneurs.html.

    Robben, Brian. “Never Do Homework In Bed: 3 Reasons Why.” Accredited Online Holistic Health College, 2016, info.achs.edu/blog/never-do-homework-in-bed-3-reasons-why.

    Whitehead, Kourtney. “5 Tips To Balance Remote Working While Your Family Is Also At Home.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 18 Mar. 2020, www.forbes.com/sites/kourtneywhitehead/2020/03/15/5-tips-to-balance-remote-working-while-your-family-is-also-at-home/#2eb2471c4843.

  • January 04, 2020 12:41 PM | Anonymous

    By Anna Jovel
    SOS Account Executive
    About Anna

    I spent eight years in the wonderful world of restaurant customer service. It is a faced paced, demanding, ever changing environment. However, between each restaurant, each new position, and each new management turnover, one thing remained the same: the customer is always right.

    Now, I know what you’re thinking, “What? No one is ever always right.” And that is entirely correct, they are not always right, but the goal is to make them feel like they are. To ensure the happiness of the customer, they need to feel valued, heard, and appreciated.

    The same idea applies in the association world, but instead of the customer it is the member who needs to feel valued, heard, and appreciated, maybe even more so since they are usually paying money to be a part of the association.

    Some members are really engaged. They know the ins and outs of the organization, they can maneuver the website, are always on time to events, and never forget to pay their dues. These members are the easy ones to show value and patience.

    On the other end, there will always be the member who forgot to register for Monday’s event, or who cannot figure out how to pay their dues online because they swear the website isn’t working even though you were just on it and someone else had literally just paid their dues online. So how do we make those difficult members still feel valued as a part of the association?

    1. Do things with a smile on your face, in person and on the phone. Yes, I know no one can see you, just do it! Psychology Today states that body language is 55% percent of our communication, vocal tone of voice is 38% and words spoken are only 7% of how others interpret our communication (Thompson, “Is Nonverbal Communication a Numbers Game?”). It is known that most people respond positively to a smile, and when you are smiling, it tends to change your tone of voice. This presents a more welcoming and positive atmosphere that can make your members feel welcome right from the get-go.

    So why do you need to smile on the phone when the member cannot see your smile? The Psychology Department at the University of Portsmouth in the U.K. held a study that “investigated the vocal communication of naturally occurring smiles.”  The study found that “listeners can discriminate different smile types and further indicated that listeners utilize prototypical ideals to discern whether a person is smiling. Some acoustical cues appear to be taken by listeners as strong indicators of a smile, regardless of whether the speaker is actually smiling” (Drahota et al. 2) So, the member may not be able to see you smile, but they can hear the acoustical cues in your voice to interpret a smile, and that is just as important.

    2. Restate some of their words and/or thoughts when you are conversing back with them. This makes them feel heard because you are using their exact words to help identify their concern and it reiterates that we truly listened to the words they used to express themselves.

    3. Sometimes, we just have to say “okay.” We live in a world with multiple generations, different learning styles, different personality types. We all function differently and prefer to do things in a certain style. Because of that there will never not be the difficult member and sometimes all someone wants is to be heard and helped.

    4. Find a happy medium. As I mentioned before, the member is not always going to be right, so how do we tell them they aren’t? Often, there is some type of solution to whatever problem is occurring. We can compromise, see what is available, discuss with our peers and our Board to address a situation. And when there is not…. As I mentioned before, politely explain what can and cannot be done, and do it with a smile on your face.

    All these tactics together will ensure that you can be the best administrator, director, or executive for your association. The members are the key to an association's success, without members, there is no association, so we want to be sure to keep them happy!


    Drahota, Amy & Costall, Alan & Reddy, Vasudevi. (2008). The Vocal Communication of Different Kinds of Smile. Speech Communication. 50. 278-287. 10.1016/j.specom.2007.10.001.

    Thompson, Jeff. “Is Nonverbal Communication a Numbers Game?” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 2011, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/beyond-words/201109/is-nonverbal-communication- numbers-game.

  • December 02, 2019 2:05 PM | Anonymous

    SOS-Association Management Solutions has recently been awarded re-accreditation by AMC Institute, the global trade association representing the Association Management industry.

    Among 500-plus Association Management Companies (AMC) worldwide, only 81 have achieved AMC Institute Accreditation, demonstrating the commitment and the ability to deliver the highest level of professional management services to association and not-for-profit clients. These AMCs are the recognized choice of association and not-for-profit organizations.

    “We applaud SOS on this significant achievement,” AMCI Chair Jeanne Sheehy said. “AMCI accreditation requires that association management firms demonstrate adherence to operational and ethical best practices, as outlined in the AMCI standard. Accreditation distinguishes SOS’s ongoing commitment to leadership in association management.”

    Administered by AMC Institute, AMC Institute Accreditation is recognized and supported by ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership and is based on the ANSI Standard of Good Practices for the AMC Industry. ANSI requires that the standard be reviewed and updated regularly to remain an approved standard. Measurable performance practices include contracts and service delivery; employee recruitment, training and professional development; and financial management and internal controls, among others. AMCs must earn re-accreditation every four years, demonstrating to an independent outside auditor that they continue to meet the standard.

    “We have been an accredited firm for over 8 years and this re-accreditation shows our commitment to the Associations we serve. The value of accreditation to our business growth is tremendous,” says SOS President and Founder, Conni Ingallina.

    For more about AMC Institute accreditation, visit www.AMCInstitute.org/accreditation.

  • October 23, 2019 1:09 PM | Anonymous
    By Laura Taylor
    SOS Account Executive
    About Laura

    Diversity helps build strong and effective work teams. When we think about diversity, there is often a tendency to focus on gender, age, and race. While it is certainly important and crucial to be diverse in those areas, there are other areas to consider in which to be diverse. How we work, learn, communicate, and cooperate with others all have certain levels of diversity to them.

    Building a diverse team is usually one of the more difficult tasks. When we recruit and hire staff and volunteers, we often subconsciously choose candidates that look and think just like ourselves. At times, statements are made about the chosen candidates being the best fit for the team. Sometimes this means the chosen candidate looks and thinks like many of the current team members. How can this be remedied?

    Understanding that we all have prejudices is a good start. From there, we can become cognizant of our actions and reactions. Start at the beginning. With each interview, be mindful of your own biases.

    How We Hire

    We need to be aware of our own prejudices and how that might play out when we communicate with others who are different from ourselves. There are many subconscious actions that happen and we are simply not aware they are occurring. Videoing a conversation with a potential new team member can be helpful in recognizing subtle body language actions for awareness. For example, when one agrees with a person, does he/she lean in, smile, make eye contact, shake their heads in agreement? When a person disagrees or has a different thought or receives an unexpected answer, what is his/her physical reaction? Remember, these are subtle things that we don’t always know are happening. It causes the other person to react in certain ways. Soon the whole conversation is derailed because of subconscious body language happening by both parties.

    Another area where diversity in the workplace can be found is in learning a new job or skill set.

    Leader and Teacher – How We Learn

    There are visual learners, auditory learners, and kinesthetic learners. Most of us are a combination of these three styles but probably have a preference. If you are in charge and want to be able to provide a learning component or teachable moments, you can be really effective in delivering your message by listening to and observing your would-be learners and reacting accordingly.

    Here are some characteristics for each type of learner and what might be observed. This can guide a leader as to how to best communicate with each type and gain the best and productive work from each individual.

    Visual learners process things better if there are pictures, graphs, diagrams, and charts. They often are good notetakers and artistic. They may have a strong sense of colors and can visualize objects at different angles.

    Auditory learners might say things like, “I hear you” or “that sounds like a good idea.” They may talk to themselves and be easily distracted by noise. They may speak in rhythmic patterns and are good at repeating music. They are better at telling than writing, are talkative, and often eloquent speakers.

    Kinesthetic learners learn by doing. They like hands on activities and working in groups. They may be physically active and well coordinated.

    How We Work

    Have you ever worked with someone who drives you crazy just because of how that person works? I’m not talking about someone who is incompetent or lazy. I am referring to individuals who get the job done but in a different way than you do. As long as you are working parallel to each other, all is good.

    But what happens when you have to work together on a committee or a project? If you can work through it, the relationship will potentially thrive. In the bigger picture, the organization becomes stronger. Our difference makes our teams that much better. Finding solutions often means there will be more than one thought as to how to get it done.

    In an article, Why Diverse Teams Create Better Work, Adam Vaccaro writes that teams with different perspectives, points of view, and backgrounds result in better work (2014, View article here). This is not a new idea. It also doesn’t mean it’s easy to do. It takes conscious effort to find diversity in how workers conduct themselves using their strengths and methods. As a supervisor, being transparent as to what one may be trying to accomplish is important so a team understands that goal. When a diverse team is formed, there is likely to be conflict or hopefully vigorous debate where everyone feels safe sharing opposing views. Coming to agreement and maybe compromise for some, moves the organization forward with confidence, in the work that is produced.

    Ideally, everyone is able to work in the style that they are accustomed to while having learned how other’s are most productive.

    There have been studies, such as the one done by economists, Quamrul Ashraf of Williams College and Oded Galor of Brown University, that demonstrate that diversity stimulates economic development and homogeneousness slows it down (2011, City Lab). Having staff with entrepreneurial spirit and others with great attention to detail is not only beneficial to the internal team. but in developing partnerships with other organizations, it can make the difference in successful advancement of the business. Diversity is the selling point.

    Build a diverse team. The challenges and struggles are worth the growth in personal development, team strength, and community partnerships.


    Vaccaro, A. (2014, March 25). Why Diverse Teams Create Better Work. Retrieved from this link.

    Florida, R. (2011, December 12). How Diversity Leads to Economic Growth. Retrieved from this link.

  • October 01, 2019 12:51 PM | Anonymous

    As published in the Fall edition of the AZSAE Newsletter

    In our increasingly fast-paced, technology-driven world, the opportunities and options of ways to communicate with each other are decreasing. Electronic communication seems to be the way in which we engage with others a majority of the time. It can be highly efficient and effective and therefore, abundantly necessary because we are moving at such a rapid pace. But what is lost in this automated system we have created to connect with others? Is it really necessary to have deeper connections with those we come in contact with throughout our business and social lives? If we do want to have significant, operative relationships in conjunction with savvy technology, it might be time to revisit The Basics. Here are just a few simple but effective ways to make associations with others and without a phone or computer.

    Eye contact is a small piece of the whole concept of body language, which is a study in itself. It is important in improving our social skills to be adept at making eye contact.  Determining how much eye contact to make can be tricky. Giving too much eye contact can be interpreted as staring and could likely be portrayed as creepy to the person to whom you are looking. If you don’t make eye contact while conversing, it seems like you are disinterested. To find that happy medium, a good tip is to follow the lead of the person with whom you are speaking. See how often the person looks away when he/she is talking. You don’t have to match that to a tee. But it will give you an idea with how much eye contact that person is comfortable, provided your converser is making some eye contact with you.

    Be sure to smile. There are definitely health benefits to smiling. Having a happy expression on your face exudes confidence, helps to build delightful relationships with colleagues and business associates, and can assist one in being recognized in a positive light by employers. A true smile can be heard in your voice and seen in your eyes.

    The handshake is another essential component when it comes to the basics. Think Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Mama Bear’s bed was too soft. Have you ever had a too soft handshake? Find a friend and do a too soft handshake - fragile and maybe kind of yucky.

    Moving on to Papa Bear’s bed – it’s too hard. The too hard handshake has two versions. There is the too hard of a squeeze handshake. Then there is the too hard of a shake handshake. Be careful when you practice this one. Don’t hurt your friend with your too hard handshake. If someone gives you this kind of handshake, instead of returning an equally hard handshake, just lose eye contact. This will end the handshake.

    Now, remember what Baby Bear’s bed is? Yep, it’s just right. The just right handshake is firm and radiates conviction. When a handshake is just right, two other things happen – you smile and you make eye contact.

    Another skill to master to show how much you care and to make others feel cared for is to learn and remember names. There are several techniques to use. Try these tips next time you make a new acquaintance.

    • Use the person’s name throughout the conversation. When you learn the person’s name, attach it to your greeting, “Hi Jennifer, it’s nice to meet you,” for example. Be sure to repeat the name when it makes sense in the conversation and definitely when you say goodbye.
    • Spelling out the name can be helpful to the visual learner. Gaining a business card and making some notes about what you talked about or a visual cue can be of assistance in remembering the person’s name.
    • Association techniques may also work for you. Think of an image tied to a person’s name for a future reference. Something like Benjamin has a burly beard; or Mary likes margaritas. A variation on this  is to make a connection with someone you already know with the same name. For example, Don is tall like my Uncle Don and of similar age to my Uncle Don. 

    The investments necessary to be successful at remembering names are focus, practice and time. The payoff is a step up to building strong relationships. The old show “Cheers” had the best theme song to illustrate the power of remembering names because “you want to go where everyone knows your name.”

    While we need the efficiency of virtual communication, making that long-term, meaningful connection requires some face to face time. Take time to revisit and develop The Basics.





  • August 27, 2019 10:39 AM | Anonymous

    SOS Association Management Solutions (SOS) has been selected by the National Pharmaceutical Association (NPhA) to provide association management services.

    Founded in 1947, NPhA is a national, professional organization of pharmacists committed to serving the underserved and promoting minorities in pharmacy. NPhA provides support for education and professional training intended to assure the public of the availability of competent personnel to perform the accepted functions of the practice of pharmacy, especially within disenfranchised communities.

    SOS will provide management support in all areas, including event planning, financial management, board support, membership, and communications.  “We needed a management solution that would allow us to grow and provide support to take us to the next level of success,” said Dr. Lakesha Butler, NPhA President. “We are excited to begin this new partnership with SOS Association Management Solutions.”

    “We are thrilled to be working with NPhA as it continues to build on its rich history by providing value to its members and pursuing its critically important mission,” said Conni Ingallina, president and owner of SOS.

    About the National Pharmaceutical Association (NPhA)

    The National Pharmaceutical Association is dedicated to representing the views and ideals of minority pharmacists on critical issues affecting health care and pharmacy, as well as advancing the standards of pharmaceutical care among all practitioners.  www.nationalpharmaceuticalassociation.org

    About SOS Association Management Solutions

    SOS is an accredited, full-service professional management company dedicated to giving the personal touch to all the associations it serves. The organization accomplishes this by creating a sustainable growth environment that ensures maximum success while allowing for individual personality, unique culture, and engaged volunteers.

    Association Management Companies (AMCs) specialize in managing associations and not-for-profit organizations, providing leadership and professional management services through experienced staff, best practices and shared resources.  Because AMCs manage multiple association and not-for-profit clients, their experience and knowledge base are broad and substantial, positioning AMCs as the preferred choice for full-service and specialized management services. SOS is the only AMC Institute-accredited AMC in Arizona. For more about SOS, visit www.sossolutions.org. For more about the AMC Institute, visit www.AMCInstitute.org/accreditation.

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