Happy New Year from our Board Chairman

Happy new year and warm wishes from the IHAF Board, as we welcome 2017!

If you’re like me, the new calendar has you thinking about what you might do better or differently in the year to come. Whether you want to shed a few pounds, swear a little less, or get to work earlier, making meaningful change (even change that seems simple) can be a daunting task. You need a plan. You need to be committed. And sometimes you need a support system. In reflecting on IHAF, I’d like to tell you about what we’ve planned and committed to in 2017—and ask for your participation and support.

Stepping into the role of Chairman of the IHAF Board of Directors, I am inspired by how passionately so many of you embrace the in-house agency model, and how enthusiastically the Board partners with IHAF to advance our community. We are only as strong as our membership, however. So my hope is that we can tap you, our members, to help propel us to new heights.

The 2017 IHAF Board is comprised of six new members, as well as an established group that has helped shape the direction of IHAF in recent years. Though these leaders span geographies, industries, and roles, we all share a common goal—to be beacon members for everyone in the IHAF community. That means championing ideas that meet your needs and solutions that address your challenges. Most of all, we want to increase your access to stories (content) and connections (community) to enable your team’s performance day to day.

Of course, nothing happens without the great team at IHAF—busy planning new events and welcoming new in-house agencies, while staying focused on member satisfaction. It’s an exciting time, and also a time of inflection as we strive to keep pace with the changing demands of the marketplace. To do this, the IHAF Board and program team are concentrating on three key areas this year:

  1. Member Engagement. How do we connect in-house agencies with the right suppliers when needs arise? How do we build closer connections with those who cannot attend in-person events? How do we tap local leaders to boost regional networking? We want to provide even greater support to all of our members—no matter who or where you are. That’s why member engagement is “job one” in 2017.

  2. Content Creation. We all live it—how to get the right email sent or that perfect post up, precisely when our audience is looking for it. Well, IHAF strives to do that too! We know that a big part of member engagement is ensuring the right content is accessible at the right time. That’s why we’re doing a deep dive on content in 2017, delivering more of what you’re asking for and making it easier for you to access.

  3. Digital Evolution. Like most of us, IHAF has fully embraced the web. With online tools, digital content, and a virtual network, there are a host of ways to tap into the benefits of membership. As we look to engage with each of you further, IHAF’s digital platforms are an opportunity for us to do an even better job delivering content and keeping all of us connected. So evolving our tech and how we use it is also part of this year’s plan.

Advancing these areas will not only increase IHAF’s value to you as a member, it will increase our value with one another. As I noted earlier, our community can only be as strong as our membership. Which brings me to my last point—a simple request of all of you:

Share Your Ideas. Tell us about the great work your team is doing, and the progress you are making. Tell us what keeps you up at night, and in what areas you might be struggling. Keep the lines of communication open—including reaching out to me or any of us on the IHAF Board.

We want to be beacons for all members so even though IHAF is national, the Board is local. The roles and regions you support are the roles and regions we support, which means at least one of us is within reach for you and your team.

I hope you are as excited about the new year as I am. In looking forward, I’d also like to look back and thank outgoing Board Chair Mark Gibson for his passion and leadership—as well as departing Board members Kim McNeil-Downs, Rebecca Marino, and Mark McKenna for their dedication and service to IHAF.

And now, on to 2017!

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