Meet the Staff

Dear Members,

In my post last week, I spoke about teams.  In the association community, you quickly learn that going it alone is a recipe for failure.  For those of you who are familiar with the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Steven Covey, he uses the personal evolution of dependence to independence to interdependence.  In the game development community I understand you also have an awareness that without visual design there are no images, without programmers there is no code, and without marketing/sales there is no money…  Without expanding into the societal discussions, it is clear that working together we often achieve more than the sum of our collective engagement.

This is a large part of the reason to belong to an association.  By interacting with other members you can learn, contribute and grow beyond your individual experience.

In the last few weeks, the IGDA has had a reorganization in terms of using our resources more effectively.  Naturally, you are all familiar with the new Executive Director.  Also, we have made some changes in the manner with which we work with our partner, the Talley Management Group (TMG).  TMG is an association management company.  In short, they are a for profit firm who handle many of the operations of the organization, so that the volunteer leadership and the Executive Director can move forward on larger organizational items.

Previously, we have worked with TMG in a non-traditional manner.  We have asked them to assign specific staff to our organization who will handle all of the items, regardless of the staff person’s area of expertise.  This created a few challenges in the manner in which we were able to take advantage of all the TMG had to offer, and put some of those assigned professionals in a spot where they might not have been able to excel.  Since coming on board, I have been working with TMG to reorganize how we use their resources in a more traditional AMC approach.

For you, the member, this means there will actually be MORE people working on our account.  Each of them with expertise and experience in a specific area such as membership, marketing, technology, accounting, and events management.  While this means you will not always go to the same person, it also means that when you go to one of these folks you will be able to get a more direct and faster response.  It also means that the organization can operate more efficiently and more effectively.

This also means that Joe Casey has been freed up to work on other opportunities at TMG.  While we’ll be sad to see Joe move forward, I am sure you will all join me in wishing him the greatest success as his career develops.

Here I would like to introduce you to the new team we have working for you at TMG.  I have been very impressed with each of them in their respective areas, and I am sure you will be as well:

Joseph Sapp: Website, On-line applications, Database, and Community Support

Many of you may know Joseph as Joda, his on-line tag. He graduated in December 2007 from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois.  While at NIU he competed for the Huskie wrestling team as well as earned a degree in History with an emphasis on Southeast Asian Studies, taking Burmese as a foreign language.  He has been with the IGDA for a little over a year mainly working with IGDA’s chapters and SIGs.  He also works extensively with all of IGDA’s technologies, as well as daily administrative tasks.

David Wright: Marketing and Communications
David Wright’s area of expertise is marketing.  David’s experience in brand development, strategic communications and member-centric programming will help advance the dialog between members and the association.  David has a Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University and previously worked in marketing and operations at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in support of their 82,000+ alumni base.

Shelby Truxon: Membership
Shelby Truxon is new to the IGDA team with 3 years of experience in association management. Areas of expertise include membership and marketing along with various administrative skills. She graduated from The University of Maryland, College Park with a B.S. in Marketing where she was first introduced to associations through the campus chapter of a popular marketing group.

Alex Springer: Events and Meeting Planning
Alex Springer has been working with IGDA in the Meetings Department since May of this year. Although she is somewhat new to the IGDA team, Alex has about 5 years of meeting planning experience managing mostly association meetings of a variety of sizes.   She graduated from Villanova University with a BS in Economics. Alex is working with us on the Leadership Forum and GDC events, and is also supporting our newly forming Webinar Initiative and possibly new localized Leadership Forum offshoots.

Diann Furfaro: Accounting and Finance
In June of this year, Diann Furfaro joined IGDA as the Director of Accounting Operations. Diann is a 2000 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Rutgers University with a BS degree in Accounting. With experience at Arthur Anderson and Apex Integrated Solutions prior to joining TMG, Diann’s focus and ultimate specialty became managing the Accounting operations of nonprofits.

So that is your professional staff.  We are all ready and excited to keep moving the organization forward.

Now it’s your turn:  Please keep your eye out for an invitation to take our member satisfaction survey.  It will be coming to each member directly in your email on or before Friday of this week.  I look forward to hearing from you about how we can move the IGDA in the right direction for the future.

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