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IEA October 2017 Ambassador Message

IEA Annual Leadership Conference 2017 Wrap-Up

  • The IEA Vision
    To be the world’s #1 leading resource for connecting member businesses.
  • The IEA Mission Statement
    To foster the growth of Executive Association businesses by connecting them to a trusted international network of contacts.

A big thanks to the Executives’ Association of Fort Lauderdale for hosting this year’s annual IEA Leadership Conference. Your conference was top-notch and lived up to its theme, “The Perfect Climate for Business” even though Hurricane Irma presented you with challenges the weeks leading up to the conference. And, thank you – to all of the Executive Association members and executive directors that attended the conference this year. For those of you who didn’t attend, we missed you! Below are some of the highlights of the conference.

As one of our Keynote Speakers, Ginger Martin, President & CEO of American National Bank was there to share the stories of her adventures of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and all the lessons she learned along the way. Her message clearly inspired many to climb higher.

Another Keynote Speaker, Manny Menendez updated us on the China market and shared with us how to be successful doing business internationally. Manny has over four decades of experience behind his words including his early work in business development and trade with China.

Thursday also featured association roundtable sessions on topics like member retention, membership growth, effective committees and boards, and more. There were also networking roundtables focused by specific industries.

Mediator, Trainer and Speaker, Ruth Sirman, kicked off Friday morning by showing us exciting ways to create a healthy workplace as well as how to work with and mediate priorities, perspectives, and personalities. She has successfully conducted over 400 mediations and more than 1000 training sessions in multicultural environments.

Friday continued with breakout business sessions. Tom Jones of Transworld Business Advisors, gave us insight into the process of buying and selling businesses and how to come out of it with successful results. Tom should know. He has transacted over 400 privately held businesses during his 30-year career.

Regarding U.S. taxes and Canadian Corporations in the U.S., Andrew Taubman and Carlos Somoza gave us a tag team discussion filled with interesting thoughts, stories, and issues. Andrew is a CPA partner and Carlos is an international tax principal. Both are with Kaufman Rossin.

Charles Caulkins, partner with the Fort Lauderdale Law offices of Fisher & Phillips, was on hand on Friday to discuss Labor Laws. Charles has represented employers across the nation in labor and employment law matters.

Also on Friday we had a physical therapist, Darlene Woodridge, who shared ways of bringing more energy back to the workplace without nagging. Using the concept of HIT, High-Intensity Training, she gave all of us new ideas to help employees be more productive and more effective.

Accounts receivables and effective ways to reduce them was also a topic of discussion, led by Laurie Jones. Laurie has been working in the area of collections for over 25 years and is now the CEO of Voss & Klein, leaders in improving cash flow for businesses around the world.

Michael Ryan, Senior Financial Advisor for Merrill Lynch, gave us new insight into the future of wealth management. His tips and advice are worth a fortune if you follow his experienced guidance.

In marketing, Christine Madsen and Laura Pierson taught convention attendees how to develop a strong brand presence and several interesting ways to effectively market that brand through an integrated multi-channel approach.

The social events were also outstanding. The business EXPO was combined with a cocktail reception and a live band and we also attended a dinner with a private tour of Nova Oceanographic Center. The water taxi ride on the way there, took us by the homes of Fort Lauderdale’s rich and famous. The conference ended with Happy Hour at the 15th Street Fisheries Dockside, an intracoastal waterfront restaurant.

There were many first time conference attendees who will now become regulars. There is great value in getting to know members from other associations and sharing ideas. It is powerful to have a trusted network of international contacts. Did you know that I am an honorary Canadian? Just ask my friends from Edmonton.

Save the date! Our next conference will be September 26th – 28th in Charlotte, NC. You owe it to yourself, your company, and your association, to attend.

Lisa Woodstock
President, International Executives Association Board of Directors
Seattle Executives Association