by Brendan M. Lynch | October 01, 2004

Susan SarfatiThe American Society of Association Executives and the Center for Association Leadership announced it will launch a “Business of Meetings” certificate program for association meeting professionals in spring 2005.
    M&C spoke with Susan Sarfati, president and CEO of the CAL, about the new educational offering.

M&C: What is unique about being an association meeting planner that requires a specialized learning program ?
Sarfati: The biggest issue is working with volunteers and planning huge meetings, like citywides. Usually, a corporate meeting is not on that level.

M&C: Will ASAE planners have to choose between this new certificate and MPI’s CMP certification?
Sarfati: I would hope that people would choose both, and that one would support the other. It’s important to note that ours will be a certificate program, not a certification program.

M&C: Will the program also be open to ASAE’s supplier members?
Sarfati: We believe that suppliers are total partners with association professionals. If they’re interested, it would be our pleasure to work with them.

M&C: Is this certificate program typical of ways the CAL and ASAE will be working together?
Sarfati: The idea was driven by ASAE’s meetings and expositions section, which is very vibrant and made up of experienced planners at all levels. People want advanced information. They want their learning to move them to the next level. The certificate program will help them enhance their status as members of the association who generate lots of revenue for their organizations.