2.7: Navigating New Roles in Associations with Cory Hall, Laura Harris, and Chris Ocampo
Play episode · 31 min

In this episode Cory, Laura, and Chris share their different paths to associations at different stages in their careers, reminding us the value of being open to new challenges and seeing new paths forward. From experiences in shifting industries to working with a recruiter, it’s important to be open to the opportunities even when they look like changes that might not be what we expected. A great reminder when our whole world is in times of change and asking us to switch gears and be open to growth opportunities.

Cory Hall
Marketing Specialist, Chicago Association of Realtors

“Remain conscientious of the advice that you give, we really take it to heart.”

Cory Hall is a marketing specialist at the Chicago Association of REALTORS® (CAR), which serves more than 15,000 Chicagoland real estate professionals. She markets the association real estate school, manages CAR’s marketing presence at events, and serves as the staff liaison for the association’s Young Professionals Network. She graduated from DePauw University in 2016 with a degree in English writing.

Other Resources

What are the most useful resources you’ve found to help your professional development (i.e. books, courses, trainings, assessments, magazines, thought leaders, etc.)? Association Forum training, 5 Love Languages Quiz, Creative Mornings newsletter, HubSpot newsletter and blog

What is your favorite aspect of the association management field? I love how the projects I work on and the events and committees I contribute to are limitless in the way I can add value to association members’ professions. What we do on a basic level is essential, but we’re also enhancing membership and constantly seeking ways to add value to people’s livelihoods. When we get it right—and we hope we do all the time!—it’s so rewarding to see how happily and passionately people respond. I love being “behind the scenes” and using my skills to uplift other people’s careers and goals. Association management offers a unique chance to add this level of meaning to an organization.

The best advice you’ve ever received? You’ll never regret being kind. Explanation: It reads sort of morbidly, but this has really resonated with me this year. The relationships we form and the way we treat people and make them feel is essential to our success as well as theirs. No matter how frustrating a fellow staff person or member may be, kindness is the one thing I don’t ever want to let fall to the wayside.

Laura Harris
Meeting Administrator, Association Management Center

“There are going to be times you need help from friends or coworkers and sometimes you’re going to mess up and its not going to go the way you thought.”

Laura Harris has been with Association Management Center (AMC) for 5 months. She was hired as a meetings administrator shortly after graduating from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management. In the spring of her senior year, Laura attended a Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) student event where she first learned about the association industry and what key roles meeting planners have in it. During her time at AMC, Laura has been actively participating in the events committee, young professionals SIG, administrator/coordinator SIG, and the coffee and productivity SIG. Laura has become a member of Association for Women in Events (AWE) and just recently joined their membership committee. She’s gotten involved in PCMA Education Days and hopes to join as a member in the next year. In her free time Laura enjoys volunteer activities around the Chicagoland area as well as researching her next travel destination!

Other Resources

What are the most useful resources you’ve found to help your professional development (i.e. books, courses, trainings, assessments, magazines, thought leaders, etc.)? One resource that I find myself constantly utilizing is LinkedIn. For me, LinkedIn is a way to see provocative articles that people in my network are sharing, new books to start reading, several different types of advice outlets, and much more. LinkedIn helps me expand my personal and professional development. Webinars are another resource that my team and I take advantage of because of the multitude of subjects that we can always learn more about.

What is your favorite aspect of the association management field? My favorite part is working with teams who truly want their attendees to have the best experience at every meeting/conference we help plan. They are passionate about their attendees and the work their attendees do. I like that all customer teams work well with the service teams to put on a successful conference. I also enjoy all the information I get to learn about each association.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Some of the best advice I’ve received since starting at AMC has been that “everything does not fall on your shoulders.” This is advice for in and out of the workplace and can be connected to so many other pieces of advice we’ve all gotten over the years. We all have different responsibilities, but when it comes to asking for help on certain projects or asking questions, it’s okay to utilize your resources, such as your coworkers and friends. It’s better to ask for help than to stress over all the things you need to tackle. It also helps keep a positive mindset.

Chris Ocampo
Marketing Manager, Awards and Personalization Association

“I think for me, it was that time in my career where I wanted to explore something new and get out of my comfort zone a little bit and challenge myself.

Chris Ocampo is the marketing manager for the Awards and Personalization Association and the Council of Engineering for Scientific Society Executives (CESSE). He may be new to the association game, but Chris is a veteran at leading organizations through marketing strategies, communication, and ad campaign development. He worked in a variety of higher education roles at small and large universities prior to his work at Association Management Center. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn and you’ll quickly discover that, “Somehow, Chris Ocampo has transformed into quite possibly the greatest marketing strategist ever.”

Other Resources

What are the most useful resources you’ve found to help your professional development (i.e. books, courses, trainings, assessments, magazines, thought leaders, etc.)? Udemy courses, Branding: In Five and a Half Steps, professional mentors that I connected with through work, and Fast Company magazine

What is your favorite aspect of the association management field? I’m new to the industry, but so far, I’ve enjoyed learning about who our members are and how our associations truly help them in their personal and professional growth. I’m looking forward to attending our conferences where I can meet members and volunteers face-to-face, hear their stories, and share them with others.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Don’t have regrets. You made the best decision with the information you had at the time.

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