Expanding Business Horizons Through Industry Associations

Michael Jay, President of Educational Systemics and host of EdTableTalk, gathered three educational publishing veterans to talk about the benefits of membership and making the most out of joining industry associations. For Jay, after he left teaching joining an association was a way to find the collegiality he was missing from his earlier profession. But as of all the panelists said, the most important benefit of membership is the opportunity it affords to stay connected with the industry, no matter where you are, and to find expand your business horizons.


  • Ira Wolfman, President of POE Communications and a member of the AAP PreK-12 Learning Group Executive Council: Membership has served him well at both large and small companies for three reasons. First, he finds associations to be a great source of information, including webinars, newsletters, and events. Second, he has met people through association events that he wouldn’t have otherwise been able to make. Finally, the professional development for himself and the people he works with have exposed him to resources that he would not have otherwise known about.
  • Lillian Kellog, Vice President, ENA: Whether an association is industry facing or customer facing, you want them to know your company as much as possible. There is still competition in the industry, and you want to make sure your company is present. The magic of membership won’t just happen when you sign up, though. You need to get yourself and your colleagues involved so that everyone sees the value.
  • Kate Gilligan, VP Business Development, Texthelp: When entering a new market, the fastest way to get the lay of the land is to join an association and take advantage of the resources and expertise they offer. By participating in an association, you create value for yourself and for others in the industry.

Listen to Membership has its benefits: Making the most of industry associations, EdTableTalk (May 24, 2016)

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