CEOnly Seminar

Thursday, Dec. 15 | 7:30-10 a.m.


Hyatt Regency Chicago | Michigan Rooms 1-2

HARD CHOICES: Making Tough Decisions During Unpredictable Times

A crisis can surface from a multitude of factors of which you have little to no control. For example, when state laws create social unrest, forcing you to pull your annual conference. Or, when an internal cyberattack wreaks havoc, including complicated legal and criminal repercussions, following the discovery that an employee has mishandled sensitive data and information. 

Sooner or later as a CEO, you will be faced with a truly difficult decision—perhaps even a crisis. 

When that time comes, will you be ready?

The Holiday Showcase® CEOnly® Seminar will delve deeply into the analysis of two very different real-life examples from CEOs who are facing some hard choices.

Part 1: Cybersecurity Fraud

Almost every organization and business today is wary of the risk and exposure of a cyber breach involving sensitive data. Most of these threats are assumed to come from outside actors and hackers, but what happens when your cyber breach originates from inside your organization? This session will look at how to handle a major disruption caused by a data breach that impacts many different stakeholders, including your membership, volunteers and staff colleagues. As all of our organizations live online today, it is a matter of whennot if—you will be faced with some form of cyber breach and will need to lead the response as CEO. 

Part 2: Religious Freedom Legislation

What happens when a state passes a law that conflicts with the principles and values of your association and your membership? What do you do when your annual conference is already scheduled, planned and well on its way to being hosted in that state? This session will look at the decision-making process not only from the association CEO perspective but also from that of the host community CVB. It will explore the short- and long-term implications of making a difficult decision that has both moral and financial consequences, as well as the volunteer board dynamics.

We will use these two scenarios to focus on how you, the CEO, can best prepare for when the next major crisis inevitably strikes. Today, there are a host of factors and influences that fall outside of your control, and traditional crisis management tactics are not enough. In our current environment, we need a framework, processes and guidelines on how to approach a crisis, particularly when the outcomes are not clear.

Don't miss this unique opportunity to discuss practical solutions to these questions and more:

  • How do you assess liability and risk? 
  • Who can you trust?
  • Where can you get help and advice?
  • How do you balance the near-term versus long-term implications?
  • What is the impact of social media on the need for speed in making decisions
    and communications management?
  • How transparent can you be? How transparent should you be?

Register Now!

Meet the Panelists:

Richard Yep, FASAE, CAE

Chief Executive Officer
American Counseling Association

Butch Spyridon

Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation

Deborah Sexton, FASAE

President & CEO
Professional Convention Management Association


Frederick H. Grubbe, MBA, CAE

Chief Executive Officer
Appraisal Institute

Matt Loeb, FASAE, CAE

ISACA/IT Governance Institute

Jed R. Mandel

Chicago Law Partners LLC





Thank you to our Holiday Showcase CEOnly Seminar Title partner:


Thank you to our Holiday Showcase CEOnly Seminar Supporting partner:


About the Moderator:

Terrance Barkan, CAE

Terrance Barkan, CAE, is founder and chief strategist of GLOBALSTRAT, LLC. For more than 25 years, he has been building international trade and professional associations on a global basis. He has served as the executive director for a number of global and multinational organizations and helps associations successfully develop and implement international association growth strategies.

GLOBALSTRAT provides independent, expert advice for associations on how to develop their international growth strategies and business plans. This includes helping to build internal staff capabilities to better manage their global growth business plan implementation and strategy.


7 – 7:30 a.m. – Registration and Networking
7:30  – 7:40 
a.m.  Welcome Remarks
7:40 – 8:00 a.m.  – Assessing Risk - Terrance Barkan
8 – 8:45 a.m. – Part 1: Religious Freedom Legislation - Deborah Sexton, Richard Yep, Butch Spyridon
8:45 – 9 a.m. – Break
9 – 9:45 a.m. – Part 2: Cybersecurity Fraud - Frederick H. Grubbe, Matt Loeb, Jed Mandel
9:45 – 10 a.m. – Closing Remarks
10 a.m. - Noon – Keynote and Networking Brunch
Noon - 4 p.m. – Exhibit Hall
4 - 5:30 p.m. – Closing Reception

*Schedule is subject to change.