Why Volunteer For NYSAE?

These members share their reasons with us.
By Holly Koenig

Ed Dramberger, national account executive with the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, joined NYSAE in 2009 as an associate member because he wanted to learn new strategies from other members on association management and meeting planning. He took the plunge, volunteering right away by joining the NYSAE Marketing Committee, where he felt he could utilize his skills to support the organization with its goals and objectives. The following year, he was nominated to co-chair of the committee, and this year he’s its chair. Ed felt the experience has been an excellent way to showcase his leadership and marketing skills.

What has been the greatest benefit of volunteering for NYSAE? “The interaction of association executives from across the spectrum of organizations with supplier  members,” said Dramberger. Since he represents a convention and visitors bureau in another state, he’s very pleased that his market of associations is right in his own backyard. Volunteering provides him with the opportunity to get to know his current and future clients firsthand. Ed advises new members to volunteer and utilize their skill sets to help continue to grow NYSAE while developing their own talents.

At the advice of Andrew Darmohraj, her colleague at the American Pets Product Association and former Board member and past NYSAE chair, Marian Thielsen, associate vice president, sales and marketing for the American Pet Products Association, joined NYSAE as a regular member in 2005. She attended a monthly event and luncheon and was introduced to several people from different industries. “I found my first experience with NYSAE very informative and professional,” she said. “Being new to the industry, I didn’t know many people or organizations. NYSAE gave me a solid foundation of knowledge about trade associations.”

Eventually she volunteered for NYSAE’s Membership Committee, where she helped recruit professionals to join NYSAE and communicated the association’s valuable benefits. From there she transferred her skills to the NYSAE Marketing Committee, where she currently serves as vice chair, working closely with Ed. “There are many great, positive aspects when volunteering for NYSAE, from networking with professionals to making new connections. You discover new skills, ideas and feel a sense of achievement,” said Marian. Marian has met so many people who have the same common interests and challenges as she does. She feels part of a community that helps her grow professionally and personally.

Volunteering for NYSAE provides an opportunity to share knowledge and professional experiences. Volunteer for NYSAE and you, too, will find the experience to be very rewarding.

Committee volunteers are invited to attend the NYSAE Board and Committee Retreat, scheduled for July 13–15. If you’re interested in volunteering on a committee and attending the Retreat, contact NYSAE at 212-206-8230 or 

Holly Koenig is vice president, Kellen Company, and Chair of NYSAE’s Membership Committee, a volunteer position she has held for the past two years.