Connections - Winter 2018 - 10

>

living legend

Fine-Tuning
the Future

AS ANYONE WHO has spent time in
the GSAE community knows, an
organization's might has little to
do with its resources or size and
absolutely everything to do with
the people who comprise it: not just
the staff and elected leadership but
every single person who touches
the organization.
During his tenure as GSAE chair
in 2016, David Ellis, CAE, helped
GSAE make even better uses of
its resources as the organization
constantly and rapidly evolved to
address emerging member needs.
When asked how he approached
his position as elected leader of
the organization, Ellis says, "I
was elected to make sure that
something that was already going
really well-GSAE-continued to
go really well. I saw what I was
tasked to do as keeping the trains
on track.
"We weren't selling cookies
to make budget," he adds with a
laugh, "so I saw my tenure as a
great time to fine tune delivery, to
see how we could provide services
and programs even better, more
efficiently, and with improvements
in technology and delivery."

Ellis didn't seek to make a "big
splash" as chair. Instead, "I focused
my time on nuance," he says. "What
we had was working. My job-our
job, really, because everyone was
involved-was to make things
even better."
Ellis credits GSAE's success to
the hard work of everyone. "The
thing that we really work hard at,
particularly in leadership, is we
work as a team toward the long-term
plan, toward what happens when
our turn at the wheel, so to speak,
has long passed," he says. "What will
this organization look like next year?
In 10 years? Twenty years? What
might be down the road? What is
right around the corner. We have to
all look at that together, and it takes
many, many sources of input to do
that with any real success."
Ellis says the obvious and most
important source of this input
is members, and he especially
credits GSAE President Wendy W.
Kavanagh, CAE, as a major strength
in this area. "Wendy does a fabulous
job working with the members of
GSAE," he says. "She is dynamic and
innovative and keeps her finger on
the pulse of everything. She would

call to tell me she has solved a
problem, rather than presenting
me with a problem. She's
incredibly smart and incredibly
resourceful, and we're so fortunate
to have her."
Ellis, who for the past 12 years
was the executive vice president of
the Greater Atlanta Home Builders
Association and before that served
as EVP of the Collier Building
Industry Association, says that
what he valued the most as GSAE
chair, and continues to value, is
the time that he spent with other
association executives.
"I got to know a wide variety, a
diverse group of professionals who
work in my industry," he says. "The
only people I meet all day long in
my position are home builders,
who of course I love talking to.
Those are the people who I serve.
But when working with GSAE,
you get to meet people from all
kinds of associations-healthcare,
food service, technology. It really
broadens you and gives you a
platform to hone your craft and
learn more about what's out there,
and it enables you to better
serve your members."

When working with GSAE, you get to meet people from all kinds of associations-
healthcare, food service, technology. It really broadens you and gives you a
platform to hone your craft and learn more about what's out there, and it enables
you to better serve your members.
10

> Winter 2018



Connections - Winter 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Connections - Winter 2018

GSAE News & Events
New Members
Living Legends: Jim Fowler, CAE; David Ellis, CAE; and Tara Morrison, CAE, CMP
Moving a Convention with Two Weeks’ Notice
What to Do First in an Active Security Threat
GSAE Presents Annual Awards
GSAE 100th Anniversary Gala & Holiday Luncheon
Meetings Tips & Tricks
Destination: Sandestin, Panama City, Gulf Shores & Orange Beach
Choices: Graduation Has Meaning
Advertiser.com
Index of Advertisers
Connections - Winter 2018 - Intro
Connections - Winter 2018 - cover1
Connections - Winter 2018 - cover2
Connections - Winter 2018 - 3
Connections - Winter 2018 - 4
Connections - Winter 2018 - 5
Connections - Winter 2018 - GSAE News & Events
Connections - Winter 2018 - 7
Connections - Winter 2018 - New Members
Connections - Winter 2018 - Living Legends: Jim Fowler, CAE; David Ellis, CAE; and Tara Morrison, CAE, CMP
Connections - Winter 2018 - 10
Connections - Winter 2018 - 11
Connections - Winter 2018 - Moving a Convention with Two Weeks’ Notice
Connections - Winter 2018 - 13
Connections - Winter 2018 - 14
Connections - Winter 2018 - 15
Connections - Winter 2018 - What to Do First in an Active Security Threat
Connections - Winter 2018 - 17
Connections - Winter 2018 - GSAE Presents Annual Awards
Connections - Winter 2018 - 19
Connections - Winter 2018 - 20
Connections - Winter 2018 - GSAE 100th Anniversary Gala & Holiday Luncheon
Connections - Winter 2018 - 22
Connections - Winter 2018 - 23
Connections - Winter 2018 - Meetings Tips & Tricks
Connections - Winter 2018 - 25
Connections - Winter 2018 - Destination: Sandestin, Panama City, Gulf Shores & Orange Beach
Connections - Winter 2018 - 27
Connections - Winter 2018 - Choices: Graduation Has Meaning
Connections - Winter 2018 - 29
Connections - Winter 2018 - Index of Advertisers
Connections - Winter 2018 - cover3
Connections - Winter 2018 - cover4
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