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Raffa Newsroom
​Association Teams Create “Grand Challenges” as Part of Unique Day-Long Workshop with Strategists | News Release

Teams Made Up of Association CEO, Member and Young Leader Spend One Day with Other Teams to Craft Plan for Change
Washington, D.C. – Association leaders from across the region will participate in a day-long capacity-building workshop on March 20th designed to spark big changes within individual organizations and across the association landscape.
Co-hosted by Tom Raffa and Seth Kahan, “Grand Challenges: Harnessing Your Association’s Unique Business & Social Value to Drive Membership and Benefit Society” brings together three members from each participating association to plan a Grand Challenge. Each invited association will bring their current CEO, one association member and an up-and-coming young leader.
“A Grand Challenge is a skeleton key that opens three doors: growth; mission impact; and sustainable, profitable revenue,” says Seth Kahan, author of 2013’s Getting Innovation Right. “A Grand Challenge is especially valuable to scalable associations because it grows their stakeholder base exponentially. A Grand Challenge is a bold, audacious, socially beneficial goal aligned with the organization’s mission that captures the public’s imagination.”
“There will be three people from every organization which will allow us to do a deep dive into the realities of systemic change, and to work with tomorrows’ leaders, as well as today’s,” said Kahan.
“We want to help associations transcend the ‘membership mindset’ and catalyze a movement aimed at leveraging the power of associations to solve the world’s greatest challenges,” said Tom Raffa, CEO of Raffa, a B-Corp certified, national top 100 accounting, consulting and technology firm. “My experience shows that early adopters will lead the transformation that is happening in this sphere and redefine what the association community can accomplish together.”
CEOs who are in the midst of conducting their own Grand Challenges will be sharing what they are learning: the good, the bad, and the ugly, so attendees can build on their know-how as they shape your own challenges.
The keynote speaker will be Lisa Earle McLeod, Sales Leadership expert for Forbes.com, and author of four bestselling books, including Selling with Nobel Purpose. McLeod is a sought-after expert, having appeared on NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, and Good Morning America. Her next book is entitled Leading with Nobel Purpose.
“Grand Challenges” is by invitation-only and already includes leaders from the American Geophysical Union (AGU); American Association of University Women (AAUW); Endocrine Society; Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA); and American Nurses Association (ANA).
Event Details
Title: Grand Challenges: Harnessing Your Association’s Unique Business & Social Value to Drive Membership and Benefit Society
Date: March 20, 2015
Time: 9:30 am – 6:30 pm
Location: American Geophysical Union in Washington, DC
Fee: $300 for all three attendees from an organization
Please contact Seth Kahan at seth@visionaryleadership.com if your association is interested in attending.
About Tom Raffa
Tom Raffa helps nonprofit organizations and businesses build capacity and sustain excellence in all areas of their operation. He is the President and CEO of Raffa, PC, a B-Corp certified, national top 100 accounting, consulting and technology firm and founder of Companies for Causes, a collective of socially conscious CEOs whose mission is to solve the problems of their community using targeted philanthropy and hands-on engagement from member CEOs. Raffa is the recipient of the 2014 Pearl Foundation Award for Innovation in Philanthropy.
About Seth Kahan
Seth Kahan has worked with over 100 CEOs and agency heads in both the private and public sectors. He has led change initiatives working with the Peace Corps, World Bank, Shell, and Prudential, and is identified as a Thought Leader and an Exemplar in Change Leadership. Kahan is the bestselling author of Getting Change Right: How Leaders Transform Organizations from the Inside Out.