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by Curtis Kitchen, CAE, KCSAE President

Hello, everyone!

Thank you to all of you who attended the KCSAE Annual Celebration and Awards dinner last month. It was truly magnificent to see faces again … some of which I had not seen in person since March 2020.

The rejuvenating power of seeing people in the room at Grand Street Cafe was tangible, even as we continued to serve as positive examples of good leadership through following health guidelines.

During the evening, I shared a few words as new President to the audience and said, in many ways, I am a direct product of KCSAE.

I began attending events as a guest in 2013. I became a member soon after. From there, I got involved with committee work and networked through SIG gatherings. When the opportunity opened, I attended the KCSAE CAE Study Group and earned my CAE.

At the same time, I was fortunate to join the Board, where I have been a Director At-Large and now President for you all. That path has allowed me to see the work accomplished at all levels in our organization.

I know the level of heart and energy so many volunteer leaders have shown in planning and executing our top-level education and networking events, and I want to make sure our Kansas City community and circles know, too. That’s why “Improve public communication to members and non-members” is among the 11 (yes, 11!) Strategic Goals and Metrics for the 2021-22 term.

Part of that improvement is growing of KCSAE’s social media networks. We all know the power of reach through those methods, and we need YOU to join/follow KCSAE on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. The Communications Committee can pump out the content, including important session info and other key deadlines, but we need the audience there to catch what we’re throwing. (And when you catch it, throw it out to your groups!)

Also among the Strategic Goals, I think it’s important to note how the Board, with an eye toward the longer future for KCSAE, took into account ASAE’s “ForesightWorks” research initiative and the resulting Drivers of Change.

Elements of those Drivers (if you’re not familiar, please reach out to me to talk!), saturate our conversations in everything from membership recruitment and retention strategies to our specific goal to “Enhance commitment to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

I bring these points forward to say I’m proud of the work the Board has developed for us to accomplish over the next year, and I’m even more proud of genuinely open hearts and minds coming together to set this table.

I’ll finish here with how I finished speaking at the Annual Celebration and thank you all, again, for the opportunity to help lead the organization that helped me become an association management leader.

As KCSAE’s elected caretaker for this term, it is not a responsibility I take lightly, and I pledge my utmost commitment toward the duty of care for you and for this association we all love.

I’m open to conversation about darn near anything at any time, so please do say hi at our next in-person event at Lidia’s on Oct. 20 (info below) or through email at

Now, let’s make it a great year!

Next Event: Jay Younger, Strategic Planning in a Time of Constant Change, Oct 20

Non-Profit professionals are faced with an environment of constant change, chaos, and unknowns. Our members and other stakeholders are looking to their participation in professional groups to help guide, support, and be there with them in this turbulent time. Jay Younger, CEO of McKinley Advisors, will share his insight to help you prepare your strategic planning approach to address the critical and urgent issues we are facing. Register today at KCSAE Registration Members $35/Non-Members $45.

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