May 19-20, 2010

"From Vision to Value: A Summit on
Certification Business Strategies"


Clarence "Buck" Chaffee

President & CEO, The Caviart Group

Dwayne L. Cook

Practice Leader; Mid-Atlantic Practice of Tatum, LLC.

Larry Fisher

Partner; Washington, D.C./Mid-Atlantic practice of Tatum, LLC.

Jeffrey Horn

The Business Development Group, Inc.

John Kittredge

Managing Partner; CEO Performance Inc. | Practice Leader - Process Improvement and Management; Focused Management Inc.

Christine Niero

Vice President, Professional Certification and Client Development; Professional Testing, Inc.

Larry Lynch

President and CEO; Environmetal Health Testing (EHT) and its partner company, Environmental Association Management Partners (EAMP).

Paul Sharman

Managing Director; Global Professional Skills, Inc. (GPS).


Wednesday, May 19th

9:00 – 9:45Welcome and Introductions

9:30 – 10:15Opening PlenaryThe Puzzle that is the Business of CredentialingSpeaker: Paul Sharman

The ultimate vision for most credentialing organizations is value for the profession, for stakeholders and for society. But turning the vision into a venture which is successful on all major counts requires disciplined analysis and planning, careful commitment of resources, serious financial controls and constant monitoring. Like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, these elements of business strategy must fit together neatly to create a complete and understandable picture.

To set the stage for this Certification Business Summit, Mr. Sharman will explain the concepts of business strategy and show how they apply to the credentialing industry. He will identify the tools of business management and discuss how planning, budgeting, reporting results and updating forecasts apply to credentialing as a business.

He will discuss why it is critically important that stakeholders, volunteers, board and staff understand the business model and share the business vision.

10:15 – 10:45Networking BREAK

10:45 – 12:00 NoonGreat ExpectationsSpeakers: Christine Niero and Buck Chaffee

Inevitably credentialing organizations embark on ambitious plans to reshape their credential and deliver new services with high expectations and enthusiastic support from boards. But often times, these initiatives fall short in achieving the expected results.

Our two highly experienced certification CEO's will present the key factors in growing a credentialing business. They will address the considerations credentialing organizations need to weigh in order to make informed business decisions, and show how executives can manage expectations for profit and long-term value. Dr. Niero and Mr. Chaffee will also facilitate an interactive session in which participants will work through a decision-making process that matches business objectives to the mission of credentialing, to show you how to turn vision into value.

12:00 Noon – 1:00Networking LUNCH

During lunch you'll network with your peers and discuss the business challenges you face planning and running your credentialing organization. We'll gather your concerns and make sure they get addressed during the two days.

1:00 – 2:30The Power of Listening... The Heart of Elevating the Customer ExperienceSpeaker: Jeffrey Horn

No organization can exist without "Customers." Your credentialing organization has customers on whom you rely and without whom you would not exist. You build products and services to meet their needs, but to what degree do you really understand customer needs, and how can you translate their needs into revenues? The more successful the organization, the better job they do listening to their customers; most importantly, they use what they hear to formulate business strategies that deliver value and create loyalty.

In this session, participants will clarify who their customer is; recognize how they've listened to their needs in the past; realize how they might listen to them in the future; and understand how they can create sustaining credentialing products and services that customers will value. Participants will engage in small work groups to create action plans they can begin implementing immediately.

2:30 – 3:00Networking BREAK

3:00 - 5:00Performance Framework, Strategy Formulation and Implementation Speaker: John D. Kittredge

In this session, participants will learn about the unique performance framework issues facing credentialing organizations, and how organizations can work toward establishing their key business strategies. Through a combination of lecture and small group activities, participants will identify the major environmental factors in which their organization operates, the stakeholders involved, and their impact on the organization's strategy. Discussion will focus on how credentialing organizations establish business objectives, assess the critical inputs/outputs and outcomes required to achieve objectives, and the measures used to plan, implement and manage their strategy.

Presented from a not-for-profit perspective, this session addresses some of the unique features credentialing organizations face in business planning, by helping you answer these strategic questions:

• What is strategy?
• What is a performance framework?
• How do things really get done in your organization?
• What needs to be managed?
• What measures should you use to plan, implement and manage your strategy?

5:00 – 6:30Evening Reception

Unwind with the faculty and your peers, build your network, and continue the discussion.

Thursday, May 20th


9:00 – 10:30Creating Financial Winners: The Tools of the TradeSpeakers: Larry Fisher & Dwayne Cook

Having a vision and making informed business decisions needs to be supported by a solid financial plan. This session will provide you with the tools you need to develop, implement, manage and track your business plans to produce financially successful credentialing programs. Senior Financial Executives Larry Fisher and Dwayne Cook will provide practical advice and tools you can immediately begin working with. Topics to include:

• Understanding financial trends in association education and certification programs and how they apply to your business
• Producing financially successful credentialing programs—minimizing costs to maximize financial return and investment with positive financial returns
• Pricing for success—understanding pricing considerations, competiveness of programs, cost beneficial program delivery, and payment and accounting control systems
• Program competitiveness—understanding the pricing and value of your competitors and packaging intellectual property.

10:30 – 11:00Networking BREAK

11:00 – 12:30Creating Financial Winners, Continued

Presenters will continue discussing the tools you need to plan and make solid business decisions, including:

• Forecasting considerations—budgeting over a 3 – 5 year period, producing net margins, projecting growth rate of revenue over time
• Investment decisions and using net assets; building asset accounts
• Reporting and business controls—assuring a positive ROI through refined business controls, reporting revenues, monitoring from start up to maturity, efficient and standardized payment processes for program expenses
• Educating boards about effective executive management practices.

12:30 – 1:30Networking LUNCH

During lunch you'll network with your peers and continue the discussion.

1:30 – 3:30Putting These Concepts to the Test Speaker: Larry Lynch

Organizations often lose sight of the fact that "not-for-profit" is a tax status, not a strategic objective. Organizations need to fully understand the revenue and cost structure that will ensure the success of a program.

When Mr. Lynch took the helm of Environmental Health Testing and its flagship program, National Registry of Food Safety Professionals, it was a well designed program but in functional disarray. While the business was a corporation, it was truly "non-profit". Now the company is thriving and was named by as one of the fastest growing small businesses in America by INC magazine in both 2008 and 2009.

Now it will be your chance to put what you have learned in this summit to the test by working through a number of exercises based on the EHT experience. Mr. Lynch will guide you as you look at:

• Breaking down and rebuilding the business paradigms (staffing)
• Understanding who the REAL market is
• Positioning WITH the competition
• Managing your cost structure
• Driving VALUE (not just revenue)

3:30 – 4:00Wrap UpSpeaker: Paul Sharman

In an open discussion format, participants will have the opportunity to ask the faculty any lingering questions from the sessions.

HotelSheraton Crystal City Hotel - Arlington, Virginia

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1800 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, VA 22202
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Certification Institute
The Certification Institute is the creation of David Cox and Christine Niero of Professional Testing, Inc, and Clarence "Buck" Chaffee of The Caviart Group, three industry thought leaders dedicated to providing a unique learning environment and networking forum for CEOs and senior staff of certification organizations.