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Just What Exactly is CAMI? Notes from the NEDRA Treasurer

Tue, January 31, 2017 1:28 PM | Laura Parshall

If you've seen the name "CAMI" associated with NEDRA at all, you may well have wondered what it referred to. Wonder no more! Lisa Foster, treasurer of NEDRA, would like to introduce you to CAMI in this article.

Just What Exactly is CAMI? Notes from the NEDRA Treasurer

by Lisa Foster

Back before I joined the NEDRA Board, when I attended the Annual Meeting at the conference, I always wondered what exactly CAMI was. I noticed in the Treasurer’s Report that NEDRA seemed to pay CAMI an awful lot of money, and wondered why and what for. 

CAMI stands for The Center For Association Management, Inc. CAMI was founded in 1995 by Linda King, who holds a degree in Psychology from Framingham State College. Prior to founding CAMI, Linda worked for Association Resources in Newton, MA. CAMI has 9 employees. Linda assigns teams of employees to work for CAMI’s various clients. CAMI’s clients range from other fundraising organizations, such as the Planned Giving Group of New England and Association of Fundraising Professionals, Massachusetts Chapter to other professional advocacy groups, such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Boston Section and the Massachusetts Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

NEDRA’s CAMI team is comprised of Carrie Winchman and Melanie McHugh. Carrie holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire and an MBA from Suffolk. She joined CAMI in June of 2011. Prior to CAMI, Carrie worked in the asset management field in Boston. She took time off from that career to raise her two children and became active in various education focused non-profits in her hometown of Weston. When she was ready to return to the work force, she worked with a recruiter who introduced her to Linda King. Linda realized that Carrie’s paid work and volunteer efforts combined made her a great fit for CAMI. Carrie loves the variety her job brings and the independence that results from the strong organizational systems CAMI has. Although teams of people are assigned to specific clients, the whole company meets weekly to discuss the important things happening with each client. This means that if someone is out sick or one client’s needs are especially high in a particular week, all the other people in the company understand exactly what is going on and can jump in and help. The work requires a lot of energy and stamina, which luckily, Carrie has!  Carrie lives in Weston with her husband (who does top-secret work for Raytheon!), daughter Courtney (13) and son Spencer (10). Most of her free time is spent watching her children compete in swimming, basketball, soccer and math leagues. Carrie and her daughter are also both learning to sew. Carrie firmly believes in the importance of eating dinner together as a family each night and appreciates the flexibility her job has in allowing this to happen.

Melanie McHugh joined CAMI in July 2015. She holds a BS in Business Management, with a concentration in hospitality, from Salem State. She was born and raised in Stoneham. Melanie’s family is in the real estate leasing business and she also works in that field on the side. Melanie also loves the organized environment CAMI provides and enjoys the team atmosphere of the office. She absolutely loves her job in general and really enjoys the opportunity to meet her clients in person when she goes to events. When not in the office, Melanie can most likely be found at a spinning class. She sometimes does more than one class in a day. Clearly, she has the energy level this work takes!  She also enjoys drawing, listening to music and going to car shows. She has two basset hounds, Samson and Delilah. 

So what do Melanie and Carrie do for NEDRA?  First of all, although the NEDRA board is very much a hard-working, hands on board, we all also have full time jobs. Melanie and Carrie are able to provide the office support needed to ensure that someone is available to answer phone calls and emails from members during the day when many of us might be tied up in meetings. Similarly, they also answer many questions from board members. The board holds in person meetings at the CAMI offices and CAMI provides storage for our paper files as well as maintaining our stock of stationary. Carrie and Melanie also help with organizing and reconciling the NEDRA financials and tax filings, reporting to APRA, organizing bank signer changes when board roles turnover, ordering food for events, making nametags and assisting with registration for events. Carrie is a real expert at contract negotiation and is invaluable in helping us with the contracts for our conferences and board retreats. Carrie and Melanie are a huge help in planning and executing the annual conference. They send out the speaker agreements, put together the packet you receive as an attendee, make all of the nametags, and staff the registration desk. If you are planning to come to the conference this year (which I hope you are!), you will see their smiling faces as soon as you arrive. One of them always participates in our board calls and meetings so that they are always up to date on everything that is going on. We have an excellent website and technology team on the board. However, Carrie and Melanie also provide additional support in those areas as well, when needed.

Each year, we look at the number of hours of CAMI time we used the year before. We think about the year ahead and what we have planned and estimate how many hours we think we will need for the coming year. Based upon that, we draw up our contract for the year. Each month, CAMI reports their number of hours and, as Treasurer, I report this out to the board. We watch the number of hours we have used as compared to how many we have left all year long. At the end of the year, if we are running under, we might have CAMI do a special project, and if we are running over, we might hold something until the next year. 

I can’t imagine how we could possibly do all that we do without CAMI’s help!


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