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2023 SEA Leadership Retreat

All complimentary representatives will receive the following from NCSEA:

  • Up to a $500 travel stipend*
  • 1 hotel night **

CLICK HERE to download the Reimbursement Instructions and Form


The number of complimentary attendees per SEA is based on the SEA’s most recently reported membership count.

1–300 members  1 complimentary attendee
301–600 members  2 complimentary attendees
601–900 members 3 complimentary attendees
901–1200 members   4 complimentary attendees
> 1201 members  5 complimentary attendees


Note:  Additional SEA representatives were welcome and encouraged to attend! A registration fee of $275/person for all non-complimentary individuals will provide them 1 hotel night, food, and event content.  Additional registrants are responsible for their own travel.  

*Reimbursement for complimentary attendees will be for airfare and ground transportation to/from the attendee’s departure airport. If driving, mileage at 65.5¢ per mile and any tolls will be reimbursed. Expenses above $500 is the responsibility of the individual, the individual’s company, or their SEA. Requests for exceptions are required to be made to NCSEA before May 1, 2023. 

**Complimentary attendees from the following states may request an additional hotel night (2 hotel nights), if needed: Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Wyoming.  This additional night will be for June 6 and only for those unable to travel the morning of June 7 and/or arrive by noon CST on the 7th, originating from the Pacific and Mountain time zones. Requests for exceptions are required to be made to NCSEA before May 1, 2023. 


As part of NCSEA's commitment to supporting the state SEAs, the 2023 Leadership Retreat is an event that helps equip SEA leaders and NCSEA Delegates with a deeper knowledge of association management as well as tools they can immediately apply at the local SEA level. In addition, this event connects SEA leaders with NCSEA's committees and showcases key resources for SEAs to utilize throughout the year.

When: Begins at 1 pm on June 7, and concludes at 12 pm on June 8 (all are Central time).

Where: Hilton Garden Inn, Des Plaines, IL*

Who: SEA Leaders – Delegates – Alternate Delegates – Executive Directors

If you serve on your SEA's board or are a volunteer involved with the success of your SEA, then you should attend!

*NCSEA will be responsible for all attendee hotel reservations. Hotel-provided shuttle service to and from O'Hare Airport will be available to all attendees.


2023 Agenda (subject to change)


June 7

1:00 – 1:10          Welcome & Introductions
Presenter: Ryan Kersting, NCSEA President                   



1:10 – 1:45          NCSEA’s New Committee Structure and Your SEA
Presenter: Ryan Kersting, NCSEA President


  • Discuss the new NCSEA committee structure
  • Discuss the connection between NCSEA and SEA Committees
  • Discuss how to engage with NCSEA committees and NCSEA resources for committee      


1:45 – 3:00          NCSEA Committee & SEA Leadership Speed Dating
Here is your opportunity to sit with the NCSEA Committee Chairs and learn the latest success stories.
Leaders: NCSEA Committee Chairs

3:00 – 3:15          Break



3:15 – 4:15          Big or Small: Associations Need a Strategic Plan … And You Can Do It!
Presenter: Dean West, Founder & President, Association Laboratory


  • Provide a blueprint for small and large associations
  • Explain how strategic plans can work day-to-day for associations and the benefits they deliver
  • Instill confidence that small (and large) SEAs can develop a plan and follow it


4:15 – 5:15          Strategic Planning Breakout: Interactive
Leaders: Dean West & NCSEA Staff

This is your opportunity to develop the basis for a strategic plan for your SEA with the help of experts.

6:30 – 8:00          Dinner



June 8

7:00 – 8:00          Breakfast


7:30 – 8:00       
Leader: Chris Cerino, NCSEA Vice President


  • Discuss the BOD Nomination Process & BOD Nomination Committee
  • Provide Insight into the SEA Grant Program
  • Detail the Diversity in Structural Engineering Scholarships



8:00—8:30          Executing Memorable Education, Events & Experiences for Your Members
Leaders: NCSEA Staff


  • Share tips to developing strong virtual and in-person education events
  • Share tricks to ensuring successful in-person events such as annual conferences and one-day seminars
  • Detail the importance of creating experiences for your members that transcend the technical information delivered
  • Emphasize that membership value is delivered through experiences


8:30—9:15          Triple ‘E’ Breakout: Interactive
Leaders:  NCSEA Staff, Internal Communications Committee, BOD

You will engage with fellow SEA Leaders to learn success stories in delivering education, events and experiences so you can bring back tips and tricks to your SEA that can be implemented immediately.



9:15 – 10:15       Engaging Members through Positive Use of Association IT…It Is Worth the Investment!
Presenter:  Kevin Ordonez, President and Managing Director, Digital Strategy, .orgSource


  • Learn to create a functional website
  • Understand how to select an AMS
  • Deliver simplified communication
  • Learn to simplify eCommerce

10:15 – 11:00     Successes Using IT Breakout: Interactive
Leaders:  Staff, Internal Communications Committee, BOD

Discuss IT successes with other SEA leaders to learn what works and doesn’t work with your colleagues so you can advance for technology usage to streamline operations for success.



11:00—11:40      We SEE Above & Beyond
Presenter: Elizabeth McKenna, Principal & Managing Partner, Agency McKenna


  • Detail what we have done, where we are going and how SEAs can support the campaign
  • Ensure SEAs are utilizing the campaign to their advantage and to advance the profession



11:40 – 12:00     Key Takeaways & Your “Blue-Sky” List
Leaders: Staff, Internal Communications Committee, BOD