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Looking Forward DEI 2022: Insights Into the Association Sector's Approach to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Total Credits: 1.5

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Digital Workshops |  Futures Research |  Strategic Leadership & Governance
Dean A West, FASAE |  Nikki Golden |  Nicolette Haton Shanks, MBA, CAE |  Meg Whedbee, MPP
1 Hour 30 Minutes



Association Laboratory's Looking Forward® DEI study is the association sector's most current, comprehensive and relevant study of DEI issues in associations. This exclusive webinar is the first opportunity to review the data from more than 300 association leaders across 20 industry and professional sectors. It provides you with insight into how other associations are dealing with this complicated and often controversial topic.

Conversations about DEI are taking place every day among our volunteer leaders and staff. Unfortunately, these conversations are taking place without the data to guide decisions or monitor progress. Looking Forward® DEI is a ground-breaking study by Association Laboratory that collects insights from the association sector on the perceptions, challenges and solutions to DEI issues.

The study investigated four key questions.

  1. What are the perceptions of DEI in associations including definitions of DEI, importance of DEI, and the impact of DEI on association strategy?
  2. What are the primary challenges for successful DEI strategy in areas such as resources and implementation.
  3. What strategies are association leaders implementing to address these challenges and create more diverse and inclusive associations?
  4. How are associations measuring the success of their DEI efforts and to what extent do they believe progress is being made?

Dean West, FASAE, President of Association Laboratory and a globally recognized futurist and principal investigator of the Association Laboratory Looking Forward®  series will provide an interpretive analysis of the results.

In addition, participants will receive an Executive Summary of Looking Forward® (DEI) data.

Finally, participants will be provided with complimentary access to the Looking Forward® Dashboard. This online, customizable dashboard (powered by Nucleus) provides access to all three sector studies, allowing you to create and download customized reports to guide conversations with your volunteer leadership and staff. 

This study continues the efforts of Association Laboratory and the Association Laboratory Research Alliance to document emerging trends, issues and solutions in association leadership, management, and strategy and to investigate the future of the association business model.

A certificate for 1.5 CAE hours will be issued to all attendees of the live workshop. A recording will be shared with all registrants. Please note that you must attend the live version to receive CAE credit. 

Strategic Partners

This DEI webinar is presented free with support from our Strategic Partner, Advancing Organizational Excellence. Experts in crisis communications, organization strategy and communications, their DEI Practice Group is tailored to meet the unique needs of associations. Their benchmarking assessment tool allows all associations to pin-point where they are on their DEI journey and develop a roadmap that fits the culture and strategic objectives of the organization. For more information, contact Kimberly Kayler at 


Nucleus is the official Data Analytics Solution to the Association Laboratory Research Alliance. 

Built on modern data lake technology, Nucleus brings together the vast amounts of member data currently stored in different systems used by associations (AMS/CRM, email marketing, events, learning/certification, online community and more) and makes insights into this data available to everyone: staff, leadership, components, the board – and even members.

When you browse a Looking Forward Dashboard you are using Nucleus, a version specially configured to deliver the results of this industry research in an easily-explorable format. We are thrilled to have been chosen as the official data analytics solution of the Association Laboratory Research Alliance and hope you enjoy this new way to delve into findings from this and other Looking Forward studies.

We invite you to browse the Analytics for Associations Success Kit to learn more about Nucleus



Dean A West, FASAE's Profile

Dean A West, FASAE Related seminars and products


Association Laboratory

Dean West is the founder and President of Association Laboratory Inc. He leads client engagements and is a frequent speaker and facilitator for national and global association leadership meetings.

Mr. West is a former association executive with experience as executive director, chief operating officer, and chief financial officer for both national and international membership organizations. He has been a consultant to the association community since 1992, and has provided services to hundreds of state, national, and international organizations.

Dean West is a nationally recognized expert in association management. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Association Executives. Mr. West authored the chapter on Membership Research for the ASAE book, Membership Essentials and the chapter on Marketing Professional Development Programs in the ASAE book, Core Competencies in Professional Development.

Mr. West is an experienced volunteer leader familiar with the demands of volunteer leadership. He is Past Chairman of ASAE’s Professional Development Council and has served on the ASAE Membership Council and the Editorial Board for the ASAE & the Center for Association Leadership Journal of Association Leadership. He is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Association Forum of Chicagoland.

Nikki Golden's Profile

Nikki Golden Related seminars and products

Association Laboratory

Nikki Golden, CAE, is a strategist with Association Laboratory, which helps associations make strategic business decisions—on everything from membership to strategic planning to educational programming/certification—using state-of-the-art research. Previous to this position, she was the executive director of the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery.

Nikki has been recognized for her work in the association world, making the inaugural list of Association Forum of Chicagoland/USAE Forty Under 40 list. Nikki is an active member of Association Forum of Chicagoland, where she has served on the Editorial Working Group and Content Planning Committee, chaired the CAE Working Group and Membership SIG. She also frequently facilitates for the Association Forum’s CAE Study Course and its Association 101 program, has presented at Forum Forward and has been a contributor to FORUM magazine.

Nikki built her association career working in both marketing and membership, with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and the National Roofing Contractors Association.

Nicolette Haton Shanks, MBA, CAE's Profile

Nicolette Haton Shanks, MBA, CAE Related seminars and products

Association Laboratory

Nikki Haton Shanks, MBA, CAE is a Strategist for Association Laboratory. She is responsible for leading client engagements and conducting qualitative and quantitative research specific to client goals. Nikki been involved with associations for over 10 years and is a recognized leader in association management having received Association Forum’s Forty Under 40 Award. She has been active in membership and volunteer engagement for the American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Healthcare Risk Management, and American Academy of Periodontology. She is a member of the ASAE Healthcare Community Advisory Committee and volunteers with FSAE. She speaks and produces content on association topics related to content strategy, leadership, membership, and events. Ms. Haton received her MBA from Benedictine University and her BA in International Studies (Spanish & Latin American Studies) from Loyola University of Chicago. She obtained her CAE in 2016

Meg Whedbee, MPP's Profile

Meg Whedbee, MPP Related seminars and products

Senior Analyst

Association Laboratory

Meg Whedbee is responsible for leading client engagements and conducting qualitative and quantitative research specific to client goals.

Prior to Association Laboratory, Ms. Whedbee worked with a variety of industries including global public health and labor market research. Her expertise includes content creation and quality assurance of technical, academic, and educational materials, focusing on public policy and the social sciences.

Recent experience includes collaboration on program sustainability analyses, international health systems assessments, and other research documents for submission to stakeholders including USAID, foreign health ministries, and HUD.

Ms. Whedbee holds a Master of Public Policy degree from American University and a BA in Economics from New College of Florida.

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