Association acronyms might change but for a membership manager its all about serving the members. Join URMIA Resource Manager and this week’s Guest Host Lou Drapeau as he interviews Teresa Ransdell, the new director of membership & marketing at URMIA and hear about her journey to URMIA.
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Guest Teresa Ransdell, CAE - Director of Membership & Marketing, URMIA
Host Lou Drapeau, MBA, ARM- Resource Manager, URMIA
Lou: Welcome to URMIA matters. I'm Lou Drapeau URMIA's resource manager, and this episodes guest host. I'm joining in the podcast today from the URMIA headquarters in Bloomington Indiana.
Our guest today is Teresa Ransdell a new member to the URMIA staff as director of membership and marketing. First of all, Teresa, welcome to URMIA.
Teresa: Thanks Lou. It's great to be part of the podcast.
Lou: Teresa, can you tell our audience a little bit about yourself.
Teresa: I come from an association background. As I understand it, I'm like a lot of risk managers. I never intended when I went to college to be an association manager, but here I am. I have spent the last 25 years working for professional associations. I've worked with some CPAs, nurses, journalists, broadcast engineers, and nature photographers. I love association management. It's been a great opportunity to work with a variety of people and the thing I love most about association management is that I am helping people do their jobs just a little bit easier is my goal.
Lou: Great. Well, that is certainly an interesting background and we're certainly happy to have you here at URMIA.
Um, I know you just attended your first URMIA conference in Seattle. What were your first impressions?
Teresa: The people at URMIA are so welcoming and nice all the way from the staff, the board of directors, the members, the affiliate members and the volunteers. It's.. it was exciting to be in-person with many of the members and it was a whirlwind few days of attending some sessions to try and get a little more familiar with risk management and insurance. And also, I worked a lot with the raffle, which was exciting because people were happy when they were winning those prizes.
Lou: Great. Um, how are you, uh, finding, becoming acquainted with, uh, different terminology and resources that risk managers deal with?
Teresa: Kinda like a foreign language. There's a lot of resources available and I have watched some URMIA shorts to learn more about risk management. I've started looking through some of the other resources that I've found in the library, such as the risk inventory. Again, it really does sound like a foreign language to me, but the more I hear about these things and listen to even some of URMIA’s webinars, it makes some of the terminology more familiar. The association world is very much an acronym based language. And so just trying to learn some of the acronyms that go along with it has been challenging, but it's a good time. And every again, everybody's been so welcoming and helpful. And when I say what's a DRM or, what does that mean? They've always been quick to help and explain the language to me.
Lou: Wow. That's wonderful. And I'm sure as you move forward, you'll, uh, pretty soon be speaking risk management, just like all of the risk managers do. Teresa as an association management professional. Are there any big differences in URMIA compared to the other associations you're familiar with?
Teresa: I wouldn't say there are big differences. You know, most associations are focused on the education and professional development of its members. A lot has changed in professional development in the 25 years that I've been involved with associations, you know, used to, we relied solely on in-person meetings. You know, we did a conference maybe once, twice a year, and that seemed to take a lot of energy and effort. But now you look at associations and almost every one of them is doing webinars every month or still some in-person meetings. Now we've added the hybrid to that list of ways that we can deliver content.
So I think in that regard, professional development has been the same. Again, the language is just a little bit different, but the core values are almost all the same. It's how can we, as an association staff, make your jobs as association members and even prospective members, how can we make your jobs easier?
How can we help you connect with other people who are doing the same jobs that you're doing? And most of the time, you're not in competition with each other. And that's, what's just so awesome about associations. The members are willing to share. They're willing to share their resources, their experiences, the good and the bad, and it just, everybody has always been appreciative.
So that is certainly true in URMIA. And that's what makes it a fun place to work.
Lou: Great. Well, it sounds like you're, uh, you're happy with us and it's a good fit and we are very happy to have you. Um, is there anything else that you would like to share with our audience?
Teresa: Just, uh, certainly being patient with me and, you know, I have taken a lot of phone calls from members over the few months that I've been here. And a lot of times I start out by saying, “Hold on just a minute and let me look that up or let me get back with you and I'll ask someone else, cause I want to make sure I'm not telling you the wrong information” and you know, I've had laughs with members along the way over things that have happened. And it's all a learning experience.
So I appreciate the patience as people ask questions. And if I don't know the answer, I certainly will get back with them, but I approach it as it's a learning opportunity. And it helps me understand what the programs and services are kind of hands-on training.
Lou: Wonderful. Well, Theresa, thank you for sharing some information about yourself, with our audience. And once again, welcome to URMIA.
And this wraps up another episode of URMIA Matters.