Staff Meeting is a feature here on the Forum’s Forum through which we check in with Forum staff members to find out what they’re working on, how you can get involved, and what they do in their off-hours.
What are your primary responsibilities at the Forum?
I’m responsible for the Knowledge Management (KM) efforts at the Forum Office and our network-wide KM initiative. In short, I deal with all things technology and online communications. If it has a physical or virtual on/off switch, I’m your guy. However, given that the Forum Office only has 5 staffers, we all pitch in wherever we can.
What part of your job is the most fun?
When it comes to technology, I consider myself an early adopter. I love gadgets and technical innovations. Whether we like it or not, technology has changed our industry and how we operate as associations. I’m convinced that this trend will continue and we should embrace the inevitable to stay relevant. I really enjoy the challenge of introducing and incorporating new approaches to our daily operations and streamlining processes to ultimately improve the value of our respective memberships. Slowly but surely the perception of technology is changing in our network. There’s less fear and inhibition, and more optimism. We can finally see tangible results from exploiting our commonalities and working collaboratively to capitalize on our early gains. This aspect of my job is truly rewarding.
What are you working on right now?
We are in the midst of rolling out a new Content Management System (CMS) and integrated Association Management System (AMS) to the network. The new CMS is built on an open source platform called Drupal, which is the same technology powering www.whitehouse.org, www.casefoundation.org, and thousands of other websites. The increased flexibility and interoperability that Drupal brings to our network is actually pretty exciting as we’d be equipped to take advantage of many opportunities previously unavailable to us. These include a more robust and user-friendly Knowledgebase that reaches nearly 5,000 grantmaking organizations nationwide, integration with Salesforce CRM, accessibility and optimization for increasingly popular mobile devices, tightly integrated e-communications, surveying, and reporting tools, interface and collaboration possibilities with colleague organizations, and many more.
How can regional association staff get involved?
There are lots of moving parts and lots of options available, so I always prefer to have very candid, one-on-one conversations with each Regional Association to walk through them. I encourage all interested RA members to contact me directly to discuss how they can join their colleagues around the country and benefit from this work.
What’s your life like outside of work?
Well, as a newlywed and new homeowner, I spend most of my spare time now learning to be both. It seems that every free moment lately is spent working on some home renovation project or quality time with my family. Perhaps these two aren’t really mutually exclusive. Also, my extremely energetic dog, Alfie, is very skilled at dragging me out of the house to take advantage of the great trails in the area. Although we do it for very different reasons, we both absolutely love it.
If you asked me about the Winter Olympics, I could spend hours talking about the upcoming hockey battles in Sochi. The Summer Olympics are great and I’m really looking forward to watching them, but without hockey it’s just not the same. I’ll certainly be watching the soccer games (short break after such a great EuroCup 2012) and track & field events, but I’m particularly interested in handball as I spent 7 years of my life playing it on a pretty competitive level. Unfortunately, it isn’t very popular in the US.