Welcoming Environment® Summit


A positive office culture is one of the most important elements of a successful organization. It’s also one of the most difficult to attain. The culture of a modern office is a Welcoming Environment®.

A Welcoming Environment® uses inclusiveness to empower people to do their best and most innovative work. It attracts the best professionals to your organization and creates a team of diverse viewpoints, talents, and ideas.

This summit isn’t just talk. It’s a day packed with real-world examples and data on the impact a Welcoming Environment® has on the growth and sustainability of your organization.

You can’t afford to not attend. We look forward to seeing you there!

Register Now

Schedule of Events

8:30 – 9:00 Breakfast and Networking

9:00 – 9:30 Welcome and Introductions 
Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE
President and CEO
Association Forum

Bob Moore, CAE 
Chief Operating Officer
American Dental Hygienists Association
Welcoming Environment Committee

Celeste Smith, CAE
Director of Education
American Association of Law Libraries
Welcoming Environment Committee

9:30 – 10:30 Keynote: Making the Case for Welcoming Environment (WE)
  • Creating a culture of inclusion drive innovation, creativity, and results at businesses
  • Inclusion is no longer a choice for the organization as members and staff of the future expect an inclusive environment
  • Speaker TBA

10:30 – 10:45 Networking Break

10:45 – 11:45 Supporting the Case for Welcoming Environment
  • Research-based findings will be provided to support the case at your association.
  • Speaker TBA

11:45 – 12:30 Lunch

12:30 – 2:00 Our WE Journey: Lessons Learned (moderated panel and Q&A)
  • Demonstrate practical application of welcoming environment and inclusion within businesses – both for-profit and associations
  • Learn the successes and challenges that companies have had in their WE journey
  • Highlight key considerations for association leadership in building an inclusive environment and workforce

Julie Felix
Assistant Vice President
Diversity & Inclusion Manager
Mesirow Financial

Laura-Birk.jpg Laura Birk
VP, Human Resource
Barilla America

nancy-okpe-gargura.jpg Nancy Ukpe Gargula
Director of Diversity & Inclusion
Institute of Food Technologists

2:00 –2:15 Networking Break

2:15 – 3:45 Build Your Own Action Plan
  • Attendees will work as a staff team to build an action plan for when they return to the office to accelerate their WE journey.
  • Attendees will pitch some of their ideas to fellow attendees to real-time feedback to solutions.


jim-huberty.jpg Jim Huberty
Chair Emeritus
Out & Equal Chicago Chapter

moore-bob.jpg Bob Moore, CAE
Chief Operating Officer
American Dental Hygienists Association

3:45 – 4:00 Call to Action and Closing Remarks

4:00 – 5:00 Post-Event Networking

Register Now

Event Details

Location: Institute of Food Technologists
Date: February 13, 2019
Time: 9:00 – 4:00 pm
CAE Hours: 

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