Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) is a trade association representing more than 200 physician assistant (PA) educational programs in the United States.

Their prior membership system was a simple contact database integrated into their content management system. PAEA could not track join dates, see member history or get the reports they needed. Supporting basic contact management, some reporting, and a mass email system, it quickly became inadequate for their current and future needs. PAEA was also experiencing rapid growth in both their member base and their staff. 

They recognized that they needed to choose a best of breed solution for both an AMS and a CMS, rather than relying on an “all-in-one” that did not even provide them with baseline membership information. We sat down with Sean Stickle, Chief Communications & Diversity Officer for PAEA to hear about their customer journey to Nimble AMS.

PAEA had a list of important criteria for their new AMS:

  • Technical support – Friendly, accurate, responsive service.
  • Reporting – General staff should be able to run a basic report and export the results easily.
  • Design – Easy for people to start using without much training, and progressively learn more about.
  • Speed – Responsive, quick to load, and just generally fast-performing. Small delays add up when processing a lot of member information all day!
  • Updates – Cloud-based system with automatic updates and new feature rollouts that wouldn’t interrupt their daily usage.
  • API – Clean way to get their other systems talking with their AMS. 
  • Search – Quickly find the things they need and sift through member data easily.

Why PAEA Chose Nimble AMS

PAEA found Nimble AMS met all of these needs and more:

  • Configurations, not Customizations sets Nimble AMS apart.

“The configuration capabilities of Nimble AMS made it a very easy decision. We can get up and running quickly. Other vendors told us ‘maybe we can build that as a feature’ when we would inquire about changes. I am not interested in being the test case for a new feature.”

  • User-Friendly – The intuitive design allows users to get to the information they need most.

“We had a committee in town and someone on that committee told us we had their email wrong. On the spot, our membership manager pulled up Nimble AMS and had the information updated in less than 30 seconds. That sounds like a small thing but it was actually a big thing because our prior system was so slow.”

  • Reporting – Easily drag and drop reporting fields to get at the information you need most. With Nimble AMS, reports are quick and intuitive by design.

“Reports in Nimble AMS are fabulous. We now have the business intelligence that we could not imagine before. People can access the member data without routing all of their requests through our membership manager. People can pull their own reports, create their own list views. No delays means real time information.”

  • Innovation Machine – Recognized by Forbes for four years in a row, Salesforce was named the “World’s Most Innovative Company.” Nimble AMS is able to leverage this innovation in the association-specific features created in the multi-year releases.

“With Nimble AMS we are buying into a massive ecosystem and community. We recognized that other AMS solutions were limited by what they could invest into the product. With Nimble AMS, we get product and innovation investments from both Salesforce and Nimble AMS.”

  • Plays Well With Others – Nimble AMS provides programmatic access to your organization’s information using simple, powerful, and secure application programming interfaces. There is also the Salesforce AppExchange,’s cloud computing marketplace, through which end users can access, download, and install custom software applications to supplement their need for additional functionality.

​​ “Everyone plugs into Salesforce. We’re able to integrate MailChimp, Zendesk, Slack, and all our other favorite support and communications tools.”

  • The Power of Search – Global Search scans more than just record types, including things like files, Chatter feeds, groups, topics, and people. It even looks through custom fields and long text fields such as descriptions, notes, and task and event comments. Global search keeps track of which objects you use and how often you use them. Search results for the objects you use most frequently appear by default.
  • Support is Included – NimbleUser’s friendly support team is available 24/7.

 “In contrast to our previous vendor, our partnership with NimbleUser gets us answers and solutions fast.  We don’t have to wait for a few weeks for the problem to be resolved, but hear back from the support team within a day—or a few hours for urgent issues.”

As for the overall project process and implementation, Sean commented, “The level of detail in the implementation process was better than any other implementation I had been a part of. It was very transparent and flexible. I didn’t have to think about it too much because it was going so smoothly.”

PAEA continues to explore additional integrations and expansion within Nimble AMS. Sean stated, “Knowing it’s possible is giving us great optimism over serving our members better.”​