Associations and 2021: A Q&A with the new general manager of Nimble AMS, Susan Connors

Beth Farrar, Senior Marketing Manager, Nimble AMS

December 7, 2020

It’s an exciting time over here at Nimble AMS. As we move toward the end of a year that’s been tough for – well, the whole world – and look forward to a bright 2021, we welcome our new Nimble AMS general manager, Susan Connors.

It occurred to me that as an association professional, you might like to know more about Susan and how she views the association industry and the future of Nimble AMS. So, I sat down with Susan to ask her a few questions:

Susan Connors, General Manager, Nimble AMS

Q: Susan, I know you bring more than 25 years of leadership experience in CRM technology, customer success, data sciences, and service delivery to your role at Community Brands and Nimble AMS. Will you share some more specifics about your professional background?

A: Sure! Before I joined the Community Brands team, and specifically the Nimble AMS team, I served for four years as president and general manager of Blackbaud’s Managed Services and Analytics divisions. Before Blackbaud, I was senior vice president and general manager of data services, as well as senior vice president of operations, at Zeta Interactive. Before Zeta, I served in senior leadership roles for eBay, Quaero, Merkle Inc., and Harte-Hanks Direct Marketing. Also, I have a degree in Business Administration and Finance from George Mason University.

Q: We’re really excited about the experience you bring to Nimble AMS. What do you see as your role at Nimble AMS?

A: As general manager, I will help grow Nimble AMS in a way that continues to serve the evolving needs of associations. And, as the Nimble AMS product and customer base grows, I will focus on customer enablement and helping customers find new ways to get the most out of the product. I’ve already had the pleasure of meeting some of our clients, and I look forward to speaking with many more as our team keeps pace, and ideally stays ahead of, what the association industry needs.

Q: 2020 was a tough year for everyone. Now that the end of the year is here, what are your takeaways for the association industry?

A: 2020 was disruptive, to say the least. In the association space, organizations had to move to working from home while cancelling in-person events, moving to virtual events, and continuing to deliver a great member experience in a remote environment. They didn’t have a lot of time to think about it – they just had to do it. Many organizations that weren’t prepared technologically had to re-think and re-tool.

Associations that were already using a Salesforce platform-based solution like Nimble AMS were extremely well-positioned to adapt quickly to changing circumstances. Nimble AMS gives them the ability to easily access key systems and data no matter where they’re located. And, not only can their employees access important member data and processes remotely, but members can also continue to engage with the organization – doing things like paying dues and updating their member profiles from their mobile devices.

These associations were able to keep the organization running, and working well, at a time when everyone had to work from home. In fact, one of our clients, IHRSA, said they would not have been functional during the COVID-19 pandemic had they not replaced their legacy AMS system with Nimble AMS a couple of years before the pandemic.

I think this is one reason Nimble AMS has seen record growth during these challenging times. Nimble AMS has experienced continued strong demand with 58 percent growth in 2020. Associations are realizing that the technology they choose to manage their organization is critically important to their ongoing operations and their ability to deliver a great member experience.

2020 Benchmark Report: Preparing for 2021 and Beyond

How Associations Can Prepare for Future Growth

Q: Will you share some examples of the challenges you’ve seen associations face this year and how the Nimble AMS continues to meet these evolving needs?

A: Absolutely. Here are just a few:

As associations had to cancel in-person events, the Nimble AMS support team jumped in to help clients carry out mass event registration cancellations and issue refunds.

As associations decided to take their in-person events virtual and/or come up with completely new virtual events, the Nimble AMS and Community Brands teams were able to jump in with event tech solutions.

Associations needed a way to keep their members connected with the organization and with each other. The Nimble AMS team introduced online community functionality, Nimble Communities, to allow associations to deliver a connected association experience to members no matter where they are. And this isn’t just a pandemic thing – it’s a convenient and effective way to keep members engaged year-round.

Q: These are all great examples. I feel like we could talk a lot more about challenges in the association space and how Nimble AMS is addressing them. Can we come back to you in the new year with more questions?

A: Of course! I look forward to hearing more from our clients and prospective clients and sharing more about what we’re doing on the Nimble AMS team to help.

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