AENC's 2019 Annual Meeting - July 20-22! - COMING SOON!

HOST CVB:  Visit Charlotte
Host Hotel: Charlotte Marriott City Center, Charlotte, NC

Click to see photos of the event in 2018!  

HOST CVB: Visit Charlotte



CLICK HERE FOR ONLINE REGISTRATION - (Online registration requires payment by credit card upon registering) 










Saturday, July 21

9:00 AM – 6:00 PM:  AENC Registration Desk Open - Greenville Convention Center 

Afternoon: Discover Greenville, North Carolina at these optional events!

10:00 AM (arrive at course/check-in) - 3:30 PM: Saturday Golf Summer Shootout - Greenville Country Club, 216 Country Club Dr, Greenville, NC 27834 (4 minutes from the Convention Center) Transportation on your own. Must be pre-registered. Tee Time 10:30 AM Fee includes green fee, cart, lunch, prize entry. Format: Captain's Choice. Winners will be announced at the Sunday evening Welcome Reception/Silent Auction. We need your handicap. Playing at 6,227 yards par 71 from the championship tees, the course with its tree-lined fairways and championship Bermuda greens offer a challenge for all skill levels.  The Greenville Country Club has hosted numerous Carolina Golf Association events, state championships, intercollegiate tournaments, and qualifiers.  

11:30 AM - 3:30 PM: Paddle the Tar River.  SOLD OUT ! Advance Registration and Separate Fee ($30) limited to 20 people. Join Knee Deep Adventures on a leisurely 3.5 mile paddle from the Town Commons in Greenville to Port Terminal and enjoy the quiet beauty of the Tar River while viewing wildlife and scenery that will provide moments to remember. Fee include kayak rental, guide fees, and transportation to the Town Common and pick up from Port Terminal.  Bus will leave the front of the Greenville Convention Center at 11:30 AM.  For more information on what you will experience please visit Knee Deep Adventures

11:45 AM - 3:30 PM: Pitt County Brew and Cue. (Advance registration required; no fee for tour/transportation; participants pay for their own food/beverage that they choose on the tour; limit 20 people) Grab your “passpork” (yes…that is passpork with a k) and a few of your AENC buddies to experience some of the finest barbecue and craft breweries in the great state of North Carolina on the Pitt County Brew and Cue Trail.  Our brew and cue bus (transportation provided…which is a good thing) will take you to some of Greenville's infamous barbecue restaurants including B’s, (Featured on ESPN) and Sam Jones Barbecue. (Featured on Food Network). You will also visit Pitt Street Brewery as well as Uptown Brewery which has brewed a special beer just for the AENC Conference.  Transportation will depart the Greenville Convention Center at 11:45 AM and return at 3:30 PM (in time for your nap before the evening’s festivities). 

12:00 Noon - 3:45 PM: Simply Natural Creamery - Ice Cream and more! (Advance Registration; $6 per person fee; limit 30 people) Simply Natural is exactly that….Simply Natural. Simply Natural’s Jersey cows live in a natural environment, eat natural food, roam, graze, and lounge on the farm’s pastures. AENC members will have the opportunity for a behind the scenes tour of how this award-winning dairy farm operates. The 1 ½ hour tour includes a wagon hay ride, tour of the milking barn and processing building as well as an opportunity to pet the newborn calves. Attendees can even try their hand at the simulated milking cow machine.  At the conclusion of the tour, head on into the ice-cream shop to enjoy the most natural and freshest ice cream you’ll ever taste.  Fee includes transportation from the Greenville Convention Center to Simply Natural Creamery and back.  The bus will leave from the front of the Greenville Convention Center at noon and return by 3:45 PM.  The tour will be limited to the first 30 people that sign up. To learn more about what you’ll experience visit

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM: Community Service Project - Community Crossroads Center/Shelter. Volunteers will be taking the 18 gallon plastic storage bins  donated by AENC attendees to the Shelter and helping with other tasks that are needed. The Shelter is located 2.4 miles from the Convention Center so you can drive on your own to participate for as long as you wish during the 3 hour time period. AENC member Jeanette Keys is on the board of directors and will be at this activity to assist. For more information visit the Community Crossroad Center/Shelter
AENC Young Professionals/FUEL are collecting needed items: 
18 gallon plastic storage bins with lids, baby items, kitchen supplies, children's toys, laundry/cleaning supplies, children & women's clothing, toiletries or personal care items. Bring to the meeting and leave at the FUEL table by Noon on Sunday.



6:15 – 8:30 PM:  Uptown Informal Reception/Networking - StillLife Rooftop Bar, 511 Cotanche St, Greenville, NC 27858 

Complimentary Beer/Wine (on-your-own for liquor). Uptown restaurants will provide light fare during the evening. StillLife has upgraded from two separate rooms to four, and 3 levels. Each one harbors its own distinct vibe, atmosphere and age restrictions. The Tiki Club, an outdoor “tiki party,” was expanded to create better traffic flow and the ceilings were raised in both the Tiki Club and the nightclub room. Both of those rooms remain open to patrons 18 and older. The Skybar — a brand- new feature — offers a different atmosphere with big screen televisions and a draft system that keeps beer ice cold even in the heat of summer. This room caters to patrons 21 and older. The rooftop bar — The Loft – is for customers 25 and older on Fridays and Saturdays, and 21 and older on Thursdays and Sundays. It is equipped with a retractable roof and offers an upscale lounge feel with craft cocktails and wine. Stilllife has been transformed from a nightclub into a fully functioning events center that will expand to wedding receptions, corporate events and charity functions.

Transportation will leave from the Greenville Convention Center at 6:15 PM to take everyone to the Uptown District/StillLife. At 8:30 PM attendees will have the option to take transportation back to the hotel or go out on their own and enjoy Uptown Greenville. One bus will be available at 11:00 PM at Five Points Plaza in Uptown to transport those who wish to take it back to the hotel.  After that, individuals are on-their-own for transportation back to the hotel.

8:30 – until: Informal Gathering - VILLEDGE Restaurant/Lounge at the Hilton (Adjacent to the Convention Center)
Everyone is welcome to gather at the Hilton following the evening reception. Food & beverage on-your-own.

Sunday, July 22

7:00 AM  - 7:00 PM:  AENC Registration Desk Open

7:00 - 7:45 AM:  Mimosa Yoga - Greenville Hilton (adjacent to Convention Center) 
AENC Young Professionals/FUEL Scholarship Fundraiser
 $15 per person (includes yoga mat/mimosa/instructor) Advance Registration requested

8:30 – 9:00 AM: Orientation for New Members and/or First Time Participants

9:00 – 9:30 AM:  Coffee, Connect, Conversation with Exhibitors

9:30  – 10:15 AM: General Session: Hers & His - Putting Our Differences to Work
Paula Brown Stafford & Lisa T. Grimes, Habergeon LLC
CE (0.75 credit hours)
Women and men think, behave, and work differently – sometimes the differences may be subtle while other times they are much more obvious. Regardless, men and women are wired uniquely. The way women approach a situation or communicate makes perfect sense to them, but to their male counterparts, it may not be perceived similarly. How do we take advantage of the differences? The answer begins with understanding. Resist the temptation to fit everyone into the same mold and instead appreciate the value of dissimilar perspectives. Be mindful of distinct strengths. Recognize nuances. With understanding, we can then begin to identify ways to leverage our differences for greater impact, ultimately experiencing the rewards that follow.

10:15 – 10:45 AM:  Break & visit with Exhibitors

10:45 – 11:30 AM: General Session: "The Interview" - How to Tell Your Story!
Jon Camp & Matt Duffy, CampSight Strategic Communications
CE (0.75 credit hours)
It’s been a great year. You're doing exciting, new things. You’ve got a great story to tell. All you have to do is get the word out. Easy, right? Not always. But if you know what you’re doing (believe it or not) it’s easier than ever to reach an enormous audience. This session will help you identify your very best stories and understand how to tell them on different media platforms. You’ll learn essential tools for being interviewed on-camera and tips for staying on-point when you’re getting grilled by a reporter. It doesn't matter where you are in your career, this session will give you critical insight about messaging in today's media. "The News" has morphed into a new beast over the past ten years and it’s hungrier than ever. You’ll leave this session knowing exactly what you need to do to feed it.

11:30 AM  – 12:30 PM: Enjoy a casual “walk around lunch” as you visit with exhibitors.

12:30 – 1:45 PM: Keynote Presentation: Permission to Win When Nothing is Certain
Mary Byers, CAE, CSP
Mary Byers Speaker. Facilitator. Consultant. Author of Race for Relevance and 5 Radical Changes for Associations
CE (1.00 CE Hours)
What should you do when you are being outpaced by change? Or when your members market has changed significantly (and your association hasn't)? Or when your very existence is threatened? Glenn Allen, co-founder of Open Table, says "Breakthroughs in business don't follow set formulas". We must continually explore options, test and modify our assumptions based on results and feedback. Then we can adapt to what we experience and learn. Rigorous experimentation and planned leaps allow an association to lead and adapt consistently while still meeting the day-to-day demands of the organization. During this program you'll learn:

Promoting experimentation so volunteer leaders can come to expect it:
How pricing and packaging experiments are essential to your future;
How to harness a 90-day sprint to create move-ahead gains; and, then find out from a real life example:
How tackling a member challenge head-on created a leap for one agriculture association.

1:45 – 2:15 PM: Break, visit with exhibitors.

2:15 – 3:00 PM: Breakout Sessions (choose one)

How to Recruit the Brightest and Best Volunteers
Mary Byers, CAE, CSP, Mary Byers Speaker. Facilitator. Consultant. Author of Race for Relevance: 5 Radical Changes for Associations. 
CE (0.75 CE Hours)
An association is only as good as its people.  Consequently, you want the brightest and best individuals volunteering.  But how do you make that happen?  This program provides a practical, no nonsense model that you can take back and share with your association so that recruiting become more than just filling available positions.  After this program, you'll begin to think about developing leaders in a whole new way.

 5 Steps to Creating an Inbound Marketing Strategy for Your Association
Callie Walker, MemberClicks
CE (0.75 CE Hours)

Over the past few years, marketing has changed a LOT. It used to be that tactics such as advertising and direct mail were, for the most part, fairly effective. But now, that’s simply not the case. People tend to tune information out, particularly if it’s not directly related to them. Enter inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is all about creating valuable content to attract people and convert them into members. And association professionals are particularly well-positioned to practice these types of tactics because they already have the expertise needed to create valuable content. The best part though? Inbound marketing is actually pretty cheap! Check out this session to learn how to get started with Inbound Marketing today.
In this session, you will:

  • Learn how to leverage your organization’s expertise to attract new members and engage your existing ones.
  • Learn how to implement an effective inbound marketing strategy - without breaking the bank!
  • Learn how to track key marketing metrics and measure your success
  • Learn how to take your inbound marketing strategy up a notch - once you have the basics down

3:00 – 3:30 PM: Break, visit with exhibitors.

3:30 – 4:15 PM or 4:30 PM: Breakout Sessions (choose one)

**How to Use Your Cell Phone to Create an Effective Marketing Video (for FREE) - A Practical Workshop (Note: This workshop ends at 4:30 PM)
Jon Camp & Matt Duffy, CampSight Strategic Communications
CE (1.00 credit hours)
If you’ve ever been impressed by the short videos your kids make or the quirky, fun, oddly professional looking spots you scroll past on your Facebook feed, this workshop is for you. By the end of this session, you’ll know how to do just that - shoot and edit (semi-)professional grade videos on your phone - FOR FREE! We’ll show you different tools and techniques for create high quality videos that you can use on every digital platform. It’s fast. It’s fun. It’s totally doable. Up your digital marketing game. Let’s make a movie! 

**Note: Must have smart phone and be willing to download free apps to get the most from this session.

Organizational Culture - Leadership Dynamics - A Conversation and Deeper Dive! (Ends at 4:15 PM)
Paula Brown Stafford & Lisa T. Grimes, Habergeon LLC
CE (0.75 credit hours)
Continue the conversation on organizational culture, leadership and dynamics in today's workplace and beyond.  Share examples of what works and what doesn't work. Learn from the experiences of two c-suite executives and your peers.  Bring your questions and leave inspired with tangible do's and don'ts that you can put into practice immediately.

4:15 – 7:00 PM:   Free Time On-Your-Own

5:45 – 6:45 PM:  FUEL Young Professionals Informal Networking - ALL AGES WELCOME!
Hilton Greenville in Hilton Courtyard (adjacent to the Convention Center) - Food/beverage on-your-own.

7:00 – 8:45 PM: Welcome Reception and Silent Auction
Enjoy a Low Country Boil (and other favorites), local brews and wines.  Snag some great auction items and have fun with new and old friends!

8:45 – 11:00 PM: After Party - It's never "too late to tailgate!"
 Get in the spirit at the After Party featuring local treats, food truck, corn hole and more!

Monday, July 23

8:00 – 1:00 PM: AENC Registration Desk Open

8:00 – 1:00 PM: Silent Auction Pick Up & Pay

8:00  – 8:30 AM:  AENC Board of Directors/Committee Chairs Meeting

8:30 – 8:45 AM:  Early Bird Coffee with Exhibitors

8:45 – 10:15 AM: Awards Breakfast and Annual Business Meeting
Celebrate the achievements of peers and elect the leaders of tomorrow!

(Plated breakfast served promptly at 8:45 AM)

10:15 AM – 10:45 AM:  Break and visit with exhibitors  

10:45 – 11:00 AM - Invitation to 2019 AENC Annual - VISIT CHARLOTTE
July 20 - 22, 2019 - Charlotte Marriott City Center - Host Hotel with events at Omni Charlotte - Sheraton Charlotte - Le Meredien and more!!

11:00 - 11:30 AM - Why Do You Do That? Planners & Hoteliers Q&A - Lightning Round!
Moderator: Denise Ryan, CSP, MA, FireStar Speaking
CE (0.50 Credit Hours)  
Back by popular demand, Enjoy this fast paced session where planners and hoteliers ask questions about why each does what they do in the event planning/execution process!

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM: Leadership in a Collaborative World  - Traits - Mistakes and Challenges!
Denise Ryan,  CSP, MA, FireStar Speaking 
CE (1.00 Credit Hours)
With much talk about holacracy and other forms of collaborative organizational structure, do we even need leaders anymore?  In this high energy session you will learn why leaders are more important than ever, traits of good leaders, mistakes leaders make and how to avoid them, challenges for leaders today and how to effectively reward volunteers and employees.  Denise applies her trademark humor and real life experiences to the very important issue of leadership. You will leave with a new energy and direction to move your organization forward!!

12:30 PM: Adjourn and Safe Travels!

CE Credits: 
AENC is an approved provider for CAE and CMP Programs

CAE - Sessions offered by AENC are approved.
CMP -This program has been submitted to the Events Industry Council for CMP Preferred Provider review.

Saturday and all social & evening events at the Annual Meeting will be casual dress. No coats and ties required, polos, shorts and flip flops are welcome! Shorts, casual summer dresses and sandals are encouraged! Our Greenville partners are going with a more laid back summer fun theme for all the social events, so let's dress the part. NOTE: Meetings... 72 degrees can feel warm to some and cool to others, so please be prepared to bring a sweater if needed inside the sessions.  Thank you!
(Education events and the Awards Breakfast are the usual Business Casual)


HOST CVB Sponsor Greenville-Pitt County CVB

AV Sponsor EZAV

Event Photography Sponsor Open Water Communications

AENC Resource Guide Headshot Sponsor Freeze-Frame Photography

Diamond Sponsor

Caesars Entertainment - Las Vegas

Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau

Platinum Sponsor

Chetola Resort at Blowing Rock

Great Wolf Lodge Concord

New Bern Riverfront Convention Center

Sheraton Raleigh Hotel

Badge Sponsor

Embassy Suites by Hilton Wilmington Riverfront

Gold Sponsor

Biltmore Farms Hotels

Cabarrus County CVB

Charlotte Payroll

Colonial Williamsburg Hotels


Pinehurst Resort

Silver Sponsor

Alabama Theatre

Courtyard by Marriott at Carolina Beach Oceanfront

CVB Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area


DoubleTree by Hilton Atlantic Beach Oceanfront Hotel

DoubleTree by Hilton Raleigh-Durham Airport at Research Triangle Park

Expo Auctions

Fayetteville CVB

Hickory Metro Convention Center & Visitors Bureau

Hilton Greenville, SC

Innovative Publishing

Kennedy Office

Kingsmill Resort

Meeting Advantage

Myrtle Beach Convention Center

Omni Homestead Resort

Pagargon Bank, A Division of Towne Bank

Pioneer Strategies

Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley

The Special Event Company


Twin City Quarter (Marriott, Embassy Suites, Benton Convention Center)

Up10 Solutions, LLC

Visit Greenville SC

Visit Norfolk

Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater

Visit Winston-Salem

Bronze Sponsor

Greensboro Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel

The Village at River Landing


Mary Byers, CAE

Mary is co-author of Race for Relevance: Five Radical Changes for Associations and Road to Relevance: 5 Strategies for Competitive Associations.  She’s the former Director of Communications and Member Services for the Illinois State Dental Society and served in that capacity for nine years prior to starting her consulting business in 1998. Since then, she’s worked primarily with not-for-profit organizations, including the Million Dollar Round Table, American and Illinois Farm Bureaus, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons and the American Association of Medical Society Executives.

Mary specializes in working with volunteer association leaders and chief staff executives to help define their roles and clarify their vision through leadership conference programming, facilitating strategic planning retreats and coaching. She’s a skilled listener and able to help initiate and manage difficult conversations.  Mary is a Certified Association Executive and a member of the National Speakers Association. She is also the author of seven books. [email protected] Website:

 Jon Camp
 Founding Partner, CampSight Strategic Communications

 Jon Camp recently left ABC11 as the Managing Editor of the station’s investigative unit. Before that, he trolled the halls of North   Carolina’s General Assembly, earning distinction from the Washington Post as one of the top political reporters in the state.
 Over his nearly 20 years in the business, Jon remained committed to holding powerful people accountable and reporting back   to viewers through honest, compelling, and compassionate storytelling. Jon’s worked up and down the TV-news food chain, from lugging a camera in Watertown, NY to sitting behind an anchor desk in Portland, ME. He ranks his work with ABC11’s I-Team as the best yet in his Emmy award winning career. [email protected] Website:

 Matt Duffy
 Founding Partner, CampSight Strategic Communications

 Matt Duffy is a successful businessperson and well connected political consultant.  He has presided over one of the top   boutique opposition research firms in the country since 2003.  He helps candidates, businesses, political organizations and   nonprofits to develop concise and effective media campaigns through diligent research, writing and communications.  Matt   graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1996 (GO SLUGS!) and enjoys food, wine, golf and spending time with his dog Meadow. [email protected] Website:

 Lisa Grimes

Lisa T. Grimes
Managing Director, Habergeon

Lisa is a proven C-level executive whose career experience spans more than three decades.  Lisa and Paula Brown Stafford co-founded Habergeon LLC, a management consulting firm offering executive solutions, coaching, keynote speaking, and training services. Their first book for professionals, Remember Who You Are: Achieve Success. Create Balance. Experience Fulfillment. will be published by Morgan James and is available at

 Lisa is a dynamic leader and seasoned entrepreneur having spent 32 years in a variety of executive management and business development roles.  Since 2009, she has served as CEO of PurThread, an antimicrobial textile company.  Lisa also served as CEO for several healthcare companies, including InSite Clinical Trials (sold to United Healthcare) and AcSentient (sold to ISTA).  Her background includes positions with Glaxo (now GSK) and PPDI, where she began her entrepreneurial career as an early member of its senior management team, leading global sales.  Active in her community, Lisa serves on several boards, including Fill Your Bucket List Foundation, Knowing God Ministries, and Lighthouse Ministries.  She is a past recipient of Triangle Business Journal’s “Women in Business” award.  Lisa graduated with a degree in pharmacy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. [email protected]  Website:

Denise Ryan

Denise Ryan, CSP, MA
Owner,FireStar Speaking

Raleigh, North Carolina based professional speaker Denise Ryan is a motivational pyromaniac. Her infectious energy, humor, and enthusiasm will set a room ablaze. A magna cum laude graduate of the University of South Carolina with a master’s degree in business, what she really specializes in is lighting fires.

After earning millions for clients in the corporate world, Denise realized she had a talent for firing people up. She parlayed this gift into FireStar, a company specializing in enthusiasm. Eighteen years later, Denise motivates and energizes large corporations and small businesses across North America at conferences, board retreats and annual meetings. Her no nonsense, direct delivery coupled with her business savvy and humor leave audiences not only laughing, but with actionable tips.

Not your typical “motivational speaker,” Denise is genuine and real. But also highly skilled – she holds the title of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), a designation awarded to fewer than 10 percent of professional speakers. Denise is an author, keynote speaker and most notably, a fire starter extraordinaire. FireStar’s unique programs are relevant, uplifting and informative. Denise’s trademark interactive programs address workplace issues such as dealing with change, getting along with others, staying motivated and motivating others. She also offers customized training sessions. Denise’s infectious enthusiasm motivates the unmotivated and challenges the challenged. Consider yourself warned: FireStar programs are five-alarm scorchers. [email protected] – Website:

Paula Brown Stafford

Paula B. Stafford
Managing Director, Habergeon

Paula is a proven C-level executive whose career experience spans three decades.  Paula and Lisa Grimes co-founded Habergeon LLC, a management consulting firm offering executive solutions, coaching, keynote speaking, and training services.  Their first book for professionals, Remember Who You Are: Achieve Success. Create Balance. Experience Fulfillment., will be published by Morgan James and is available at

 Paula helped build the contract research organization (CRO) industry and the preeminent CRO, Quintiles.  During her 30 years with Quintiles, she served as a board observer and member of its executive committee as well as president of clinical development (its largest division with responsibility for 22,000 employees) and as founder of Quintiles’ Women Inspired Network.  Paula serves as a board member of Health Decisions and is a board member and chief development officer for Novan (NASDAQ: NOVN).  She has been recognized by FierceBiotech as one of the top ten women in biotech; honored with a Distinguished Alumna Award from her alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and is a past recipient of Triangle Business Journal’s “Women in Business” award.  Paula graduated with degrees in biostatistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill [email protected] Website:

Callie Walker

 Callie Walker
 Senior Inbound Marketing Specialist, MemberClicks

 MemberClicks, is an Atlanta-based association management software company. She manages the company’s blog, content   pieces, and various social media sites. Callie attended the University of Georgia, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Public  Relations, and went on to pursue a career in PR and digital marketing.

 In her time at MemberClicks, she’s increased blog views by 286% and blog subscribers by374%. She loves writing and   exploring how associations can tap into the power of inbound marketing. [email protected] Website:



Amy McConkey photo“The AENC Annual Meeting is a great opportunity to get better acquainted with your fellow association members in a fun, casual setting. The learning opportunities and discussion are great fuel to move your organization forward.”

Amy McConkey, CEO
NC Beverage Association