Connections - Winter 2018 - 11

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living legend

Heart and Soul

"I DIDN'T REALLY have any
aspirations to be chair," says the
2017 chair of GSAE, Tara Morrison,
CAE, CMP, who currently serves
as president of Association
Management Executives, Inc. in
Norcross, Georgia. "I didn't have
my eye on the chair, but I've always
wanted to be involved. It's an
organization that is near and dear
to my heart."
"Heart" is a fitting metaphor
for Morrison's motivation, what
drives her. "When I first delved
into association management, I was
the director of corporate wellness
and CPR programs at the American
Heart Association in Georgia.
Following that, I was executive
director for special societies at the
Medical Association of Georgia."
Few sectors are as demanding,
changing and challenging as
healthcare. Many of your members
have actual life and death on
the line in their jobs, every day.
It's imperative for association
executives serving that sector
to have foresight, to serve as
trusted counselors and advisors to
people with often-grueling career
challenges. Her experience in that

sector, as well as her extensive
experience managing all types
of associations through her firm,
equip Morrison with valuable
vision and experience, which
she is putting to work for GSAE's
members and for the
organization's future.
Morrison says that just
as important as a leader's
knowledge-and perhaps more so-
is the leader's deliberate practice
of listening carefully to others
and always displaying empathy.
"Getting to know people that I
hadn't had a chance to meet before
has been enlightening and really
informative," Morrison says. "I get
to be involved in a lot of committee
work that I otherwise wouldn't
have been involved in, and through
that, I get a clearer picture of how
the entire organization
comes together."
She emphasizes the importance
of understanding that even when
everyone is working toward
the same goal-as they are on a
board-people are still people.
They are relentlessly individual
and relentlessly unique, and no
two groups will ever have the

same dynamic. While everyone
may be focused on a common end,
the paths they find desirable will
always be filled with differences.
The job of the board collectively-
and especially the board chair-
is to pull from these competing
viewpoints a singular vision
and strategy.
The key, Morrison says, is to
"think about the golden rule. In
our industry, we are basically like
a conveyor belt; you have constant
movement, and different people
come through, some of whom don't
have agendas that are in line with
your organization, or at least aren't
in line with where the majority of
the organization's stakeholders
believe it should go."
She encourages all to keep
empathy and fairness in mind,
especially with the challenges that
come when volunteer leaders turn
over. "Think about the golden rule
when new volunteer leadership
comes through. It can be hard to
deal with different personalities
and people with different agendas.
Lean on your staff to make sure
that they can manage things and be
the constant."

"Think about the golden rule when new volunteer leadership comes through. It can be
hard to deal with different personalities and people with different agendas. Lean on
your staff to make sure that they can manage things and be the constant."

connections >

11



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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