About the Event

Now is the time to start thinking about what changes you and your association want to make for the new year. While no one knows what 2021 will look like yet, most experts agree that COVID-19 will continue to affect our lives well into the first half of this year. The good news is that the strongest, well-managed associations will continue to pivot and adapt to remain successful and learn new ways to create even more success.

At Glue Up's Outlook 2021: Preparing Your Association for the New Year event, we'll be taking a closer look at some strategic planning critical to the future of associations, our new normal, the prospects of 2021, and how to transition your organization to get ready for the post-COVID era.

This event aims to help associations how to meet today's member needs, actively engage new audiences, and uncover new revenue opportunities.

Learn how to become more effective and run smoothly this 2021 and get ready for the upcoming challenges and opportunities through an in-depth panel discussion from the country's top association leaders who will offer fresh perspectives and unique insights on how to prepare your association for the new year.

Key takeaways:

  • What members want now and in the future?
  • How can associations be successful in this "new normal"?
  • What will the future business model look like?
  • How do you future-proof your association?


  • Sharon Newport (Interim Chief Executive Officer at DHI - Door Security + Safety Professionals)

    Sharon Newport

    Interim Chief Executive Officer at DHI - Door Security + Safety Professionals

    Sharon Newport is the Interim Chief Executive Officer for both DHI – Door Security + Safety Professionals and Door Security & Safety Foundation. Sharon has successfully led change and growth for over a decade in both organizations and is passionate about what the future holds for her members and the industry.

    Sharon is a Certified Association Executive, a graduate of Georgetown University’s Organizational Development and Change Leadership program, and a Diversity Executive Leadership Scholar with American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). Sharon enjoys volunteering with ASAE, ASAE Foundation and Chesapeake Bay Organization Development Network.

    Prior to being an association executive, Sharon produced award-winning documentary film and television for Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and The History Channel. Sharon graduated Magna Cum Laude from the State University of New York at Purchase College with a Bachelor in Fine Arts. After many years of living in Los Angeles and New York, Sharon happily resides in her hometown of Washington, D.C.

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  • John Toner V (Vice President, Convention & Industry Collaboration at United Fresh Produce Association)

    John Toner V

    Vice President, Convention & Industry Collaboration at United Fresh Produce Association

    For more than two decades, John Toner, V has helped bring the produce industry together as vice president, convention and industry relations at the United Fresh Produce Association. He gets his daily thrills from helping craft the perfect opening
    night reception, finding a great product for an independent grower-shipper with a problem and securing a big sponsorship. He is obsessed with creating the perfect environment for his members to make new friends, gather good advice and see the
    best new products the industry has to offer. In fact, at the end of each year's convention, instead of feeling tired and worn out like any reasonable association professional, he feels energized and ready to tackle the next year’s convention. He is known for his love of scotch, his snazzy bowties and the huge smile always on his face.

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  • Allen Pratt (Executive Director of National Rural Education Association)

    Allen Pratt

    Executive Director of National Rural Education Association


    Is the Executive Director of the National Rural Education Association. He has served in this role for 4 years. The focus of his work is providing a unified voice for rural schools and communities. His work in the past has been in the areas of workforce development, school reform, professional learning communities and rural education initiatives.

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  • Eric Schmidt (CEO of Glue Up)

    Eric Schmidt

    CEO of Glue Up

    CEO of Glue Up (formerly EventBank), an all-in-one cloud-based CRM engagement platform for event and membership management, is the leading platform in emerging and developing markets and North America.

    As CEO of Glue Up, Eric L. Schmidt is focused on delivering cloud solutions that transform the way professional communities enable and enrich relationships. Glue Up has offices in 11 countries and clients in over 50. Eric’s focus is to continue building the best product for Glue Up’s clients and expanding the company’s presence in emerging and developing markets around the world. Over the last 18 years, Eric has founded and incubated several companies from the ground up; including China Entrepreneurs which was the top community organization for more than 50,000 entrepreneurs, hosting more than 100 conferences

    Eric was an elected member of American Chamber of Commerce in China's Board of Governors for three years (2017, 2018 & 2019) and is recognized as an authority on digital transformation and business in emerging markets. He has been featured in media such as The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Baron’s, BBC, CCTV, China Daily, and numerous other outlets.

    Eric once traced Marco Polo’s route from Beijing, China to Venice, Italy, 100 days by bicycle – he was appreciatively sponsored by Nike and Philips. He also previously lived in China (17 years) and Guatemala.

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