Changing for the Better

accounting firm innovation

From the Desk of the Executive Director

By: Lauren Clemmer

“All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.” ~Robin Sharma

One of the good things about AAM is that we’re always changing and growing as an organization. Change is never easy, but typically is better in the end. The following are some changes we are tackling right now that I believe will leave us all stronger.


Not only will the upcoming Summit encourage you to ThinkFresh, it made us think fresh about what we were planning, too. Here are some of the new things you can expect to experience at Summit:

  • A new city. It’s the first time AAM will be in Portland, and we think you’ll love it. Bring a good pair of shoes. It’s a walkable city ready for you to explore.
  • Different session formats. There are shorter sessions, more interactive sessions and more thought-provoking general sessions.
  • Fresh speakers. You’ve asked for it, and we’ve gone out of our way to bring you speakers you may not have heard at AAM before. Many of those selected will be presenting to us for the first time.
  • Cutting-edge topics. You’ll hear about what industry disruptions mean to the marketer, why you may want to go-to-market via issue, how to bring a controversial niche to market, plus a lot more. You’ll be encouraged to explore new ideas.
  • New people. Networking is one of the biggest benefits of Summit so we’ve expanded Dine and Connect to help you make new connections. Be sure to sign up and go out of your way to meet new people throughout the entire conference.
  • Giving back. For the first time ever, we’ve added a corporate social responsibility component to Summit. Plan to stick around afterward and help homeless children. We’ll be volunteering through the Portland Homeless Family Solutions.

Come to Summit with a fresh perspective on the new changes and make the most out of your conference experience.

As you prepare for the trip, the following are some ideas from the recent Campfire session on preparing for Summit:

  1. Align your session selections with your marketing plan.
  2. Divide and conquer if more than one person from your firm is attending.
  3. Identify three ideas to take back to your firm; more than that is not realistic.
  4. Report back to the firm what you learned to show the value of the conference and the value you provide.
  5. Meet with the vendors. Even if you don’t need their product or service, they are full of insights that may help you with something you’re working on.

While packing, remember that dress is business casual. (The AAM-MAA’s/opening reception is a little dressier.) Be sure to think layers though as conference rooms can be cold. Most importantly, have fun.

Hello and Good-bye

AAM is excited to welcome new association coordinator, Patricia Spencer. She works in our Forest Hill, Maryland headquarters and recently moved to the area from DC/Northern Virginia. Patricia previously worked as the office manager for a law firm. We’re excited to have her on the team and to tap her unique skills. She’s working now to get up to speed on AAM and all we do.

Patricia replaces Jessica Kiser who is moving into a new communications role with Stringfellow Management Group, our management company. She has worked with AAM for three years and many of you have had the opportunity to talk to her when calling in, correspond with her via email and even met her at past conferences. She has been such a tremendous asset to AAM and to me personally, and we are better for her contributions.

Continuous Improvement

Last year AAM introduced its blog, CPA Growth Trends. It was during that process that we realized AAM needed to practice more of the techniques we teach and invest in search engine optimization to improve the reach of the blog and the main AAM website.

After a thorough proposal process, we have selected Flashpoint Marketing to help us with the project. They bring a wealth of knowledge and proven experience in this area. By working with members of the website committee, Flashpoint will help us enhance what we currently do.

Embrace Change

Whether you’re attending your 3rd or 10th Summit, interacting with Patricia for the first time or are a committee member taking on a new project…remember that change isn’t necessarily good or bad—it’s just different. And everything we do is to make AAM better for you, as well as your personal and professional growth.

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About Lauren Clemmer

Lauren Clemmer is the Executive Director for the Association for Accounting Marketing. Prior to becoming the director, Lauren was an active member, participating in the Membership Satisfaction committee and then as co-chair of Virtual Education which includes AAM High Webinars and Virtual Campfires. In her role as executive director, Lauren works with the with the board president, the executive committee and the board of directors to drive AAM’s vision and strategic plan. Her responsibilities include the general administration of all AAM business, managing vendor and partner relationships, enhancing member engagement and loyalty, and serving as the voice of membership. Lauren gives back to her community as a member of the Women’s Board for the Boy and Girls Clubs of Cleveland.

Welcome to CPA Growth Trends — your source for information, insights, tools and best practices to drive growth within an accounting firm.

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