From the Desk of the Executive Director
By: Lauren Clemmer
At this time of year, one can’t help but sit back and reflect on what one accomplished and what the New Year holds. As I look back, I am proud of what AAM had been able to accomplish. Here are some milestones for the organization:
- Fiscal Strength. We are ending the year in the black with a few extra dollars to put in the bank for a rainy day.
- Member Growth. More than 150 individuals joined AAM for the first time this year.
- Member Retention. We retained 80 percent of our existing members.
- Solid Membership Numbers. AAM ended the year at 777 members. Next year, we’d like to hit 800.
AAM exists for its members-to grow people and practices. Every decision we make is based on doing what’s best for each of you as we fulfill our mission. I hope you have seen the value in what AAM has been able to deliver.
New this Year
It seems as if we hear about the need for innovation everyday in the accounting profession. We know that need to keep up with change or our firms will be left behind. Well, that message has rubbed off on the association, as well.
This past year we’ve worked to add to our offerings; providing customized educational and networking opportunities for different segments of our membership. This past year we launched:
- AAM on the Road – These are high-value workshops brought to you in regional locations. Even more sessions will be rolled out in 2018.
- ENGAGE – Our ongoing partnership with the AICPA led us to be part of this first-ever combined event that brought together more than 4,200 professionals in the accounting industry-even more people who were introduced to the value marketing and business development professionals provide. While AAM will host its own summit in May, we’ll be back with ENGAGE in 2019.
- CPA Growth Trends – It’s taken a while, but AAM has entered the blogosphere. This blog aims to deliver more thought leadership to the accounting industry that you can share with others freely. Use the posts to gain support for ideas and initiatives you want to implement.
- BD Bootcamp – More and more business developers are joining firms, and this event helps get those new to the industry up to speed with selling in the accounting industry. This event, and events like it, will be back in future years.
- Major Firms Growth Council – Larger firms face issues unlike other firms. This council brought together the top 30 firms for engaging discussion that supported their unique needs.
- Virtual Campfire Tech – The campfires themselves are not new, but we are utilizing a new technology to allow for better conversations. Sharing with your peers is what most people value from their AAM memberships. This technology allows you to share with and learn from one another easily.
- Organizational Membership – Firms with four or more members are now eligible to get a reduced rate for a firm-wide membership. The biggest benefit though is the firm’s ability to transfer memberships when one person leaves the firm to a new team member. Traditional AAM memberships stay with the individual, not the firm.
Aiming for Continual Improvement
You continually expect more from your association. That’s why we always look for ways to improve and provide you with the best the industry offers. However, we cannot do this without you. I am the sole employee of AAM, and the conductor of this great orchestra. It is all of you who have made this happen. Thank you to each and every one of you who have lent a hand to make 2017 the great year that it was.
If you are not involved today, then volunteer. It’s a great way to get to know people, build your skills and learn new things.
And if you have any role in driving growth in your firm and you are not currently a member, then join us. We have a lot to help you along your journey.
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About Lauren Clemmer
Lauren Clemmer is the Executive Director for the Association for Accounting Marketing. Prior to becoming the director, Lauren was an active member, participating in the Membership Satisfaction committee and then as co-chair of Virtual Education which includes AAM High Webinars and Virtual Campfires. In her role as executive director, Lauren works with the with the board president, the executive committee and the board of directors to drive AAM’s vision and strategic plan. Her responsibilities include the general administration of all AAM business, managing vendor and partner relationships, enhancing member engagement and loyalty, and serving as the voice of membership.
Lauren gives back to her community as a member of the Women’s Board for the Boy and Girls Clubs of Cleveland.