April 2023 President Letter
April 2023 President Letter
Hopefully spring has sprung wherever you live and that you have had the opportunity to enjoy all that spring has to offer. One of my favorite things about spring is the beautiful bright green color of the new leaves on the trees, the flowers growing in the garden, landscaping, and the fresh promise of the growing season ahead.
Speaking of fresh and new, NAFTZ staff has been working for months to make our back office more efficient and deliver a greatly improved member experience. While some of our systems have already been changed and implemented, until now most of this has been part of our transition away from in-house accounting to working with an accounting firm (bookkeeping, expense reporting and management, etc.); however, at the end of March, we flipped the switch from our old Association Management System (AMS) to a shiny new one!
This impacts just about everything we do – it is the heart of our association’s administration. When you sign up for a webinar, participate in a committee, attend and NAFTZ event, join or renew your membership, apply for the AZS designation – it’s all handled through our AMS.
Our new AMS – GrowthZone – is a robust platform and has a very rich feature set. Staff will be rolling out additional features over the coming months. An improvement you’ll notice immediately is not having to enter your contact information every time you register for an NAFTZ event, among other changes. You will have your own personal NAFTZ “InfoHub” page when you log into our new system. Here, you’ll see current and past invoices, update your member profile, track CEU hours, share files with fellow committee members, and so much more – not to mention, we have an entirely new website.
The months of work on back office operations has already saved the association tens of thousands of dollars. We were able to secure our new AMS for nearly the same cost as our old one. All of our systems are in the process of being integrated – allowing staff to spend more time on activities and projects that directly benefit members and less time on paperwork and transferring information from one system to another.
As we continue to expand the reach of our Advocacy efforts, our new system will help us organize our new “Virtual Fly-Ins” in June and October, support new working groups and task forces around each of our advocacy issues, and so much more.
Most importantly your interactions with NAFTZ systems will be seamless, user friendly, detailed and efficient.
Of course, with new systems there are things we can and cannot bring over from our old systems. For example, you’ve seen notices from staff and on our home page that all members will have to re-establish log-in credentials for the new system. We know it’s an extra step that no one likes to have to take, but we’ve done everything possible to make it quick and easy – all you need to know is your first and last name (as they were on file in the old system), and your email address. The system will guide you through the rest. Kristine Wells has an article elsewhere in this month’s Zones Report with some helpful tips and recommendations of things to do straight away in the new system.
We hope you enjoy our new bright and shiny AMS – while it can’t compare to what mother nature offers every spring, it’s our hope that you’ll find interacting with our new website and systems to be intuitive, quick, easy and informative.
If you do happen to come across something that isn’t working right, not what you expected or if you have suggestions for improvement, please don’t hesitate to let staff know.