Conflicts of interest and the '60 Minutes' test

A member of your association’s board owns an office building that the association is considering for its new headquarters.

A board member is a partner in an accounting firm that is in the running to handle the association’s bookkeeping and taxes.

Your association needs to hire a new office assistant. A board member’s spouse applies for the position.

Which of these scenarios constitute a conflict of interest for the board member involved? The answer is “all of the above” and “none of the above.”

All gifts appreciated - even the ones that are hard to unwrap

Not all gifts come in boxes, bags and envelopes. Every person in our life is a gift. We’re not just talking about beloved friends and family members; this goes for the association leaders we’ve worked with over the years.

Many of these gifts are just what we asked for: the ones who are easily accessible, who have a plan for their association, who value and trust the staff and are comfortable in the knowledge that we’re all on the same page. We cherish these folks as we once cherished that new bike Santa left under the tree.

The arrival of Thanksgiving has us reflecting on the many reasons to be thankful for our involvement in association work.

We’re grateful for insight into the professions represented by the associations we work with. We’ve gained great appreciation for the skill and expertise required for our members to perform the work they do. We have grown intimately familiar with inner workings of worlds we’ll never work within ourselves, and are proud to represent people who keep our children safe, make our world beautiful, contribute to the health of our pets, make cancer patients stronger for the fight ahead, speak for the disenfranchised, move us from one place to the next and much more.

Online security at the best price - FREE!

by Shannon Davenport and Emily Luddy

As association managers you wear a lot of different hats. Staying informed about the latest technology and its implications for your association is just par for the course, so let’s dive right into an important development coming out of the web community: free SSL certificates.

SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is an encryption tool that provides secure communication over a computer network. The information you send over the internet such as usernames, passwords, Social Security numbers and credit card numbers, travels across the world’s computer networks until it reaches its destination. The security certificate locks up this private data, so it arrives at the destination safe and sound.

You may know more than you think about SSL certificates. Have you ever noticed web addresses that begin with “https://” and have a little padlock icon in the address bar? That means the site has a security certificate. It's a visual cue that says, “Hey, you can trust us!”

What are the implications of that for you and your members? Well, does your organization ask people to sign up for a weekly newsletter? Do you offer online registration for events? Do you collect dues payments?

Then you need a security certificate.