One of the unique strengths of CE21’s Lighthouse, our platform that combines LMS + AMS into one system, is closely aligned with our view of the association industry at its core. Continuing education and professional development remain central to the member experience – providing professionals with valuable knowledge and expertise that will help them advance in their chosen careers. No one does this more effectively than associations.
When we began developing a new AMS, we knew the value of having our Learning Management System (LMS) as the foundation for the new system. For Kathie Pugaczewski, CAE, CMP, QAS, VP of Operations for Ewald Consulting, an Association Management Company, coming through the LMS to a new paradigm in membership management made sense – So much so that she volunteered to serve on the CE21 Lighthouse Advisory Team, where she has been an important partner in helping shape Lighthouse.
“We experienced CE21 from the LMS first,” Pugaczewski said. “That was the first piece in the process. I think when you start from a place of data and content (with an LMS), that’s a good place to build an AMS around, because you have the taxonomy, and you have the search (capabilities). You have the right structure you need to be able to make it robust and dynamic. That was compelling to me. The opportunity to actually provide feedback and have input in the design of Lighthouse made sense for us to be involved.”
“I think the one thing I really value in the CE21 platform is how they put a WordPress website on top of the data,” she added, “which gives you best in class with WordPress’ flexibility of design, but also the operational system around the data and the taxonomy which is really critical in making sure the system is dynamic and it is searchable. We’re really diving into search engine optimization (SEO) to help us get found out there on the market and I think that the CE21 system allows that flexibility.”
“We have ten associations in the CE21 LMS today,” Pugaczewski remarked, “so it makes it easier to go down that path of having the strength of that base and then build the community around the content (through the AMS). We recently launched the Ewald Consulting website in Lighthouse because our own company’s LMS is hosted in CE21. It just made good sense to be able to get what we needed as we built our site out, and to build it the way to meet our customers’ needs from a usability standpoint. That’s how we approached it. Considering the caliber of the people I get to work with I thought it was a good direction to go.”
As we have all learned in the past year, the appearance of COVID-19 on the world stage not only disrupted many association’s plans, but also altered their view of the role technology plays in these organizations current and future operational strategy.
“Looking back, the pandemic has advanced technology at least five years, due to people’s acceptance and willingness to use Zoom to be online with others,” Pugaczewski remarked. “We’ve seen our organizations and members actually adopt this technology and now we have the opportunity to do something with it.”
“We were deep into the LMS before COVID,” Pugaczewski said. “We had certification programs online and in 2019 we held a virtual conference long before virtual conferences became the way to go. Last year we converted 17 in-person events to online and our entire company rapidly became a learning company, spinning up a lot of virtual conferences, getting out of a lot of contracts to help our clients get through the year.”
“It’s become easier now and it’s even more critical to get to the other side of this,” she added, “to what the new world of work is going to be. I think the associations are going to have a tremendous opportunity to be that place where people go to change their careers – to get reskilled.”
“I think associations are primed to continue to be the difference makers we’ve always been, Pugaczewski said. “We can utilize this technology to help associations connect their people to really change the world of work. We have the ability to collaborate on content and really change professions and change people’s lives. It’s a high calling and I think that’s why a system like Lighthouse makes sense even more than it did a few years ago.”